Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Have you read this?  If you haven't, please, please, please add it to your book list for 2012.  I am currently only 3/4 of the way through (started it on Sunday), and I so desperately wanted to call into work today so that I could stay curled up under the covers and finish it.  The characters are so well written that you can't help but fall in love with them (even the wicked ones are so evil you have a passionate dislike for them).  It's written from two of the ladies perspectives (most of it from Lavinia, some from Belle).  Besides Divergent (Veronica Roth), this is the best book I have read in the past year.  Totally different from the Hunger Games and Divergent.  It's historical fiction and it's about the differences between the white and black families on a plantation.  Set in the early 1900s, so not as "current" as the Help (and, to be honest, TOTALLY different).  I don't doubt that a lot of you will love this, so get crackin soon!!

Let me know if you have read it.  I'm so hoping that it ends up differently than where I am at now.......

Friday, January 27, 2012

Drop off.....

One of the things I like least about working and using daycare is the drop off.  Some days it is no big deal.  I'll get there, get him settled in playing with something, and off I go.  I usually sneak out while he's distracted because a long, drawn out good-bye doesn't work for either of us, but on the good days, he doesn't even notice that I'm leaving.  Other days, it's full of drama.  He's clinging to me, saying "mama, mama" over and over, and crying.  One of his teachers will have to pull him from my arms so that I can go.  It's literally heart wrenching to hear that and know he just wants you and isn't ready to be left yet. 

He definitely doesn't do act that way the rest of the day.  Usually if I stand outside the door for two minutes, he's adjusted and off playing with the other kids.  It's just that initial moment of feeling deserted or left that really gets him.  It also may just be complete drama and him wanting me to know I'm making a bad decision.  I guess I don't really know.  All I know is that it makes me feel guilty every time! 

When B drops off, he says (and our head teacher agrees) that Spence does fine.  Very rarely will he be upset.  Most times, he goes in, starts playing and is over it.  I know that he loves daycare- he is always smiling and playing when we pick him up.  Both teachers report how good and easy he is and that he really does well with the other kids.  From what I see at certain points of the day, he loves the other kids and interacts with them really well.  So, he's very well adjusted there and is learning a ton.  It's just the drop off that is hard.  I suppose I should be thankful that it's not a constant, daily, ongoing problem where he cries all day and isn't adjusted at all.  That's a complete blessing.  I just wish that leaving him weren't so hard.  It's definitely harder on me, and I know that, but it doesn't always make it easier!! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

26 weeks!!

Well, I'm 26 weeks now!  I just looked at old pics from 22.5 weeks and 30 weeks when pregnant with Spencer, and I would say that I am about in the middle of both of those pics.  So, apparently, even though I feel much larger this time around (and have gained ugggg amts of weight), I'm actually looking (in pics anyway) completely appropriate for my pregnancy body.  I did try on a pair of my normal jeans the other day and can pretty much still get them on (without being buttoned obviously).  They're a little tight, but at least I know I'm not too crazy big!  I'll take it!! 

As for the general pregnancy stuff, I'm definitely enjoying the overall second trimester.  I do have my occasional days when I'm exhausted by 8 p.m., but for the most part, I have normal energy and am not any more tired than I would be working full time and chasing after a toddler in my "off" hours.  Otherwise, I have no other symptoms: no heartburn, no nausea, not peeing too often (Thank the Good Lord I still don't have to wake up in the middle of the night and I am sleeping SO well), no significant cravings, etc.  It can be hard to breathe at times, especially when the little chap stretches out fully, but a little readjusting and we're good to go.  Second tri is always the best!!

Thank you all so much for your name suggestions.  We're working on it still, but you all have given us new names to talk about!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fabulous article on naming your baby.....

Baby naming

Don't get me wrong, I know that you all have named your children appropriate names (many of which I adore (J.W. being my favorite!!)), but I found this article and just had to share it here.  Naming a baby is tough work and required a lot of thought, and I'm not sure that everyone in the world realizes this.  Honestly, you should see the names that people come up with.  Working in a pediatric clinic, you see it all (as I'm sure many teachers can also attest to).  I understand that YOU think you are being unique when you spell a child's name atrociously (and just plan incorrectly), but your child has to a) learn to spell it, b) pronounce it for everyone they meet, and c) spell it constantly because no one can spell it correctly.  Neveah, Jaxon, Maddyson,

We're struggling with this currently as the name we both love and agree on has the initials G.U.T.  It's such a fabulous first name, it would go really well with Spencer, and the whole thing flows really well, but how do you give your kid a name with such atrocious initials?  I really want to, but just can't (the U is a family name which is why it is tip-top in the running for a middle name).  The other name we loved and were going to use was just used by B's cousin (whom we see very regularly as they live close to us), so that's out.  So now we really have very little to work with.  It's not that we don't see eye to eye on naming, it's just that we know a ton of little boys and a lot of them have used the "normal" names that we like.  I can't name my child Jack or Will.  They're darling names, but we know a ton of them under the age of 3, and I don't want my next baby to be one of three Jacks in his room.  My besties have Ben, Henry, and Patrick, so those are all off the board too.

If you have any favorite baby boy names that you'd like to share in the comments, I'd love to hear them.  Remember that our last name starts with T and we would prefer to use a U (first choice), J, or W (all family names) as the middle name.  So Benjamin U.T. wouldn't work either!!  Help, ladies!!! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Finding out vs not finding out

From what I gather of the people around me, other bloggers, people on the Bump, etc, I would say that most people find out the sex of their baby at the 20 week ultrasound.  As most of you know, when we were pregnant with Spencer, we chose not to find out if we were having a boy or a girl until he (well, it or Puddin at the time) was born.  This time, B really was interested in finding out at the 20 week ultrasound, so we did.  I thought I'd share my experience with both, in case others are debating whether or not they should find out at their ultrasound.

With SYT, it truly did not matter one bit if he was a boy or girl.  That was a huge factor in not finding out.  We didn't care, we knew we wanted a relatively neutral nursery (we wanted to always keep the nursery a nursery and move the older child up to a bigger room), we wanted the surprise factor, etc.  I've heard people say that they bonded with the baby better once they knew the sex, but, to me, once we found out we had a healthy baby growing inside, I could have cared less if it was a boy or girl.  I felt extrememly bonded to "Pud" and I felt like I had the opportunity to dream for all 41 weeks about all the possibilities that existed for that baby.  Since we didn't know, I could dream of dresses and dance class and two hours later be dreaming of hockey and exploring.  It was awesome to be able to do that.  I had no preconceived notions of anything throughout the pregnancy. 

Another really nice thing is that we got very, very few clothes at my baby shower.  Instead of being bombarded by blue or pink, we received bottles and a baby tub, blankets and breastpump parts, a car seat, a storage bench, a diaper bag, a swing, the monitor, etc.  We did get a few neutral sleepers and some onsies which were great.  But, honestly, for the most part, I wanted to dress my baby.  I'd been dreaming of that for years, and I didn't want other people's taste to dictate what my child wore just because I felt obligated to those outfits.  A few weeks before I delivered, I bought both boy outfits and girl outfits that I knew could be returned and then my mom returned all the girl stuff once we knew that Puddin was actually Spencer.  It worked really, really well for me.  I loved that we had all the stuff we needed from our shower, and I got to lovingly pick out all my little ones clothes.  We did get a lot of clothes as gifts after he was here and I was definitely grateful for all those that we received (and they all ended up being super cute!!). 

With this baby, we often heard at the beginning of the pregnancy, "Oh, I hope you get your girl" or "Are you having different symptoms?  Do you think you'll get a girl this time?".  All of this talk made B really nervous not to find out.  He was really worried that if we didn't find out, when we had the baby and if it was a boy, people would be so upset that we didn't "get our girl" that they wouldn't be excited about this baby and the fact that it was healthy, normal, and ours.  He wanted any last shred of disappointment for family/friends/strangers (because they always have an opinion) out of the way early enough that the birth would just be exciting itself.  I understood his reasoning and, since I was so adamant the first time around about not finding out, I was totally fine with it being his decision this time around. 

Once we found out that we're having another sweet baby boy, I did sense a little bit of disappointment from a few people (I was not upset by this and I completely understand and agree that girls stuff is so much cuter that they just wanted to have a little pink in this family!!) but for the most part, I don't really think that people cared either way.  It's not their life and it's something that is nice to know but in no way will affect them, so it's just not a big deal.  It really didn't matter to me in a practical way this time as we knew if we would have a boy, it's the exact same season as Spencer, so we have every last bit of clothing possible, and if it was a girl, my mom would go nuts buying stuff anyway.  It's going into the same nursery, and we were just going to pink it up a bit if it turned out to be a girl.

Now though, I do feel a bit of disappointment in finding out.  Not that it is a boy (I'm dying over having another cuter than a button Spencer!) but in the fact that there is no surprise, no mystery.  I am a planner in every sense of the word, but I have nothing that I have to plan for this time anyway, so finding out didn't change that.  Buying a double stroller (ugggg!) doesn't change regardless of sex!  I feel like I have nothing to look forward to for the next 16 weeks.  The baby is healthy (thank God!) and the baby is a boy.  Soooooooo, now we're just waiting.  I guess there is some mystery in what he will look like, but that will change so much over the first few years of life that it's not a big "surprise" moment like the sex is.  I don't know, I just don't get why it's so important to know everything at 20 weeks.  I realize that it's obviously HUGE to most people (over 90% of Americans find out the sex of their baby prior to delivery), but after doing it both ways, I can honestly say that if we have a 3rd child, we won't find out that time.  I just really, really, really like the dreaming, the mystery, the possibilities that come with not finding out. 

I realize that a lot of people out their totally disagree with this, and that's fine.  We all have different ways to bond with our babies in waiting, we all have different ways of preparing for being a mommy.  Finding out suits some people to a T.  I have numerous people who have told me that they are shocked that I didn't like finding out because they see me as so typical, so straight as an arrow, such a planner, etc.  And I see myself that way too.  But I really, really loved the shock and amazing surprise I felt last time and will really miss that this time around in the delivery room.  Ah well, live and learn!!  Either way, I can't wait to hold this little, precious bundle of love in my arms!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Sunday night we had 7 adults over for dinner.  It was a delish dinner- brisket, pulled pork, cornbread, cabbage salad, mac and cheese, and green beans.  Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal immensely.  The best part came afterwards.............
(photo from Lulu the Baker)

This frickin phenomenal desssert.  Caramel, chocolate, oatmeal, brown sugar, butter- pure, pure, pure awesomeness.  Are there a few changes I would make?  Sure.  I would cut the caramel to 3/4s of what it calls for and I would increase the chocolate by 1/3.  But, overall, these are one of the best, easiest, most delicious desserts that I have made in a long time.  They are very rich, so you can cut them pretty small and serve a lot of people even with an 8x8 pan. 

If you are looking for a great Super Bowl dessert, a dessert to take to new parents, or a fun new dessert for your hubby, I would highly recommend these!!

Friday, January 13, 2012


We got SNOW!!!!  It hit the lakefront harder than it hit our house (we're about 50 min inland from Lake Michigan); unfortunately our yard probably only has 2 or 3 inches.  We're supposed to get another inch or so today.  It is so pretty!!!  While I didn't take the below picture, I easily could have- it's almost an exact replica of our backyard!  Amazing what will come up on google images :) 

Tonight when we get home, we are going to shovel the driveway (pointless to do this a.m. with not very much snow and more on the way).  Why is this so exciting??  Because I get to wear my new boots!!  Woo Hoo!  Spencer has a tiny spade/shovel thing, so we'll get him out there too.  He loves "helping" so we'll see if that applies to the wet, cold snow too!

Hopefully those of you northerners who are wishing for some snow this weekend will also get some.  It looks like the storm is heading east as I type.  I just wish that more of the West was being blanketed by the same.  A lot of my family lives in Aspen, and they are dying for snow.  The base is miserable, a lot of tourists have cancelled their trips, and their skiing hasn't been enjoyable for them.  It's rough going in CO right now.  

We aren't supposed to get any more snow in the next week, just lots of cold and wind.  I'm not looking forward to the cold, but I am ready for more snow.  I'm looking ahead in earnest, so bring it on!!  (Boy this makes me sound crazy, huh??) 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wayyyyyyy late, but here are a few Christmas photos to share

Spencer and his baby cousin, Leah.  She is a total doll face and such a fun baby.  Spencer loves playing with baby "Yaya".  They were so cute together.

Seriously, could those cheeks be any cuter (or any bigger?)!

Christmas Eve after church.  I wore the dress I made, Spencer had on black velvet overalls with a plaid turn up cuff from Hanna, and B wore his RL plaid pants with a black cashmere sweater.  We don't normally match this well :)

Kissin' cousins!

Christmas day, just bumming around

New Year's weekend at my mom's house.  Mimi got Spence a new backpack, and he loved it!  He looks WAY too old in this picture though!


With Uncle G

Spencer's first snow of the year.  He's saying "snow" in this picture.  He kept saying "uh-oh" when it would get on his boots.  He was very concerned about it.  Hysterical.

No, he doesn't have mittens on- he wanted to feel the snow (and we were only out for a few minutes).  I'm not sure he loves it yet, but he will, I'm not worried :)

There's a little bit of my photo dump from the end of 2011.  I'm heading to bed early tonight (it's only 8:40) but I was up all night with a sick, coughing, whiny, crying baby.  Poor thing has croup and has been sick since Saturday.  2 other kids in his class have croup, one has RSV, and every single one of them has a runny nose and cough.  Out of 12 kids, 6 were out on Monday and 7 on Tues.  We stayed home today and even though he got no sleep last night, he was up at 6:30 and only took a 20 min nap today.  He was in a pretty good mood overall, but it was rough on me to not have any time to myself (a 20 min nap is just NOT long enough when I only got 4 hours of sleep myself).  I'm just praying he gets better every day and that tonight brings a little more sleep for all of us!!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My new Sorels

oooooh, aren't they snazzy?  I just love them!  My old boots cracked and I needed a new pair this year.  When I saw these in the store window up north over Christmas, I knew I needed them.  I had to go to 3 different stores to find my size (they're already sold out at Sorel too, so what you find is what you get) but I'm so glad I finally found them in my size.  Now, if only we would get some snow around here, I would be ready to shovel the driveway and go "sploring" in our backyard with B and Spence.  I hope the snow is coming............I'm really ready for winter!!  The brown-ness would look so much better covered in a beautiful blanket of white!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Resolutions? More like goals......

I've never really been one for resolutions.  To me, why does it have to be January 1st to change anything?  That being said, B and I do have some goals for the months and year ahead, so I'll post them here to have a record and see how we do!

1.  B is onto another 1,000 mile year.  He did this in 2010 too (and was done running his 1000 miles by mid-December).  It's essentially 2.73 miles/day.  Since we now have a treadmill in the basement (and have quit the gym due to lack of time to get there), it should be pretty easy for him to meet this goal.  He always has to have a goal in front of him to keep him running, and he's not in the marathon mindset this year, so 1,000 miles it is.

2.  My goal is to just get out of bed at 5 at least 3 mornings a week to either work on the treadmill or do a workout video.  I don't like getting up that early, but I also know that staying in shape while I was pregnant with Spencer really helped me to get back into shape once he was born and helped keep me sane.  I've been feeling a bit out of control with this pregnancy, and I'm hoping this will help.

3.  We are creating a list of home items that need to be done by the end of 2012 and are breaking them down by month.  These include: getting a painter into the house to get the basement and family room redone, new light fixtures in the breezeway and laundry room, finishing Spencer's big boy room, and getting quotes on hardwood floors in the family room.  There are quite a few smaller items as well.  We have been saving quite a bit this past year in order to get this stuff done, and I'm excited to now spend that money!!

4.  Our other big goal is to sit down and figure out where our finances will be in May when the baby is here.  Would I be able to talk to my boss about staying home a day or two a week?  How much more are we going to contribute to the college account?  What will daycare costs be?  Will our hospitals costs be the same for this baby as they were for Spencer?  Are we going to change our personal expenditures in order to save more?  Etc, etc, etc.  One of the things I feel SO blessed about is that B and I are pretty dang compatible when it comes to finances, so these conversations are never a chore.  Plus, he adores excel and tracking stuff like this, so I just get to talk and he does all the math :)

5.  Have a health baby.  Enough said.

6.  Find a name for above baby. 

7.  Find a double stroller.  This is the one I am dreading the most.  Ugggg....

I can't wait to read about all of your goals for 2012!!  Hopefully accomplishing all of them will be satisfying for all of us!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Merry New Year!

We arrived home this afternoon after spending the weekend at my mom and Ralph's to celebrate the holidays with them.  It was wonderful to see my family and spend time in their new house.  It's pretty dang awesome and so perfect for them.  I will upload all my pics this week and get a few posted here, but not tonight.

After we got home this afternoon, I made a quick grocery list and headed out to the store.  After getting home, I was able to prep all the chicken and veggies for tomorrow night's chicken noodle soup, make the stock, chop veggies for our baked spaghetti dinner for Wednesday, make dinner for tonight, play with Spence, get his bath/bed done, and get the kitchen cleaned.  If I can keep this up, 2012 is going to be one productive year!!

B&J had their first baby on Thursday, just before we left to go up north.  They named him John- I love that name.  So classic and not one you hear much anymore.  It also meets all my baby name criteria!  It does take it off our list though (cousins who are 5 months apart and live in the same city probably shouldn't have the same name!).  Bummer!  This weekend we are going to make a few freezer meals, some coffee cake, and some chocolate chip cookies to them (more time in the kitchen - yea!!).  We were able to meet him for a little bit in the hospital, and we are very excited to spend more time with him.

We have also got to get all of our Christmas decorations down this weekend.  We haven't been home yet to do it, but it's time.  It'll be a busy, and hopefully very productive, weekend at home.  Putting away laundry, writing thank you notes, and getting in a workout or two also need to get done.  I love knowing that we are home and settled for the rest of the month, so it's all about being productive this month!!  Yea for January!

Do any of you feel the same way?  Now that the holidays have ended, do you feel like your time is your own AND you can make the most of it?  I also love that the cold helps us to be a little more indoor focused so that we can get little things done that we've put off for awhile.  Hopefully I'm not the only crazy person out there who thinks this!  Have a great Tuesday, everyone!!