Monday, December 26, 2011

My amazing Christmas gift!!

On December 20th (last Tuesday) we were blessed with the best Christmas gift we could possibly get as expecting parents.  We went to our 20.5 week appointment, met with the OB, and had our ultrasound.  I am a paranoid freak when it comes to the *big* ultrasound as I know all the bad things that can happen.  Luckily, I am so, so, so happy to say that our little "Cletus the Fetus" (B's current nn for the baby.  Yes, I am being serious, and yes, it's awful) is as healthy and active as can be!!!  This baby is much more active than Spencer was, and it definitely proved it during the ultrasound by doing all kinds of gymnastics for us while we were watching!

Let me be the first to introduce to you our sweet new bundle of (a little over halfway there)love!!  Adorable, isn't it???  And let me also be the first to tell you that, in May, Spencer will be welcoming a baby...........


Yep, it's another little boy for the T family.  While a small part of me is sad that bows, dresses, and 80% of children's clothing stores will not be a part of my life, I am thrilled that Spence will have playmate, a hockey partner, and a best friend for life.  B is thrilled that I just cut our costs by 90% (because Lord knows I would not be able to resist much in the world of girl's clothes!!).  But, in all seriousness, we are just beyond excited that this baby is healthy and growing as expected.  We realize how amazing a miracle this is and feel incredibly blessed.  Now we just have to be patient for 20 more weeks until we can meet him!

Oh, and let the naming begin!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from JD & the Muppets!

My favorite Christmas album and my favorite song.  May your Christmas be as perfect as this song is to me! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's almost here!

It's almost here!!  The music has been playing, the cookies and eggnog pound cake have been baking, the presents are wrapped, the cards have arrived, and now the most important part of the season is here!  Time for the presents!! 

Just kidding, of course.  It's time to celebrate the birth of Mary's son, our savior, Emmanuel.  It's time for the reading of the Christmas story and pondering Mary's incredible bravery, Joseph's incredible faith, and Jesus's immaculate birth.

It's time to cherish our families and spend time breathing, laughing, singing, rejoicing, and loving.

It's time to listen to our hearts. 

It's time to pray for faith, peace, happiness, and health in the New Year.

It's time to remember that the smallest things, like the ringing of a bell, might, just might, help an angel get it's wings.

I pray that your Christmas is full of wonder, hope, love, family, rejoicing, and precious memories.  I pray that the baby we all celebrate will hear the deepest desires of your hearts in the coming year!

Merry Christmas one and all!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Family Fun Saturday

Just woke up from his nap and ready to go to Meijer Gardens (our local botanical garden) to see the Christmas Trees from around the world.

Much to our surprise, and massive delight, there were two reindeer from a local reindeer farm outside at Meijer Gardens.  They were asleep when we first arrived but then woke up once they smelled an apple that some other visitors brought.  These reindeer were 5 and 6 years old, weighed in at 350 lbs, and had huge antlers.  Did you know that reindeer antlers are like our fingerprints?  No two are ever the same, and a father reindeer can look out amongst a herd and spot his own flock. 

This one is Blizzard.  He was closer to us most of the time.  Spencer was so excited to see them!!

Okay, you can't really tell in this pic, but he was happy to see them and be outside!

Our first snow of the year on Spencer's hood.

Spencer with the Swedish tree.  It had horses on it which automatically mean that he loved it. 

The Irish Tree.  It had all of the 12 Days of Christmas ornaments on it plus Irish crosses.  I adored the velvet ribbons with the jingle bells running down them.  How easy would this be to make for next year?

At the outdoor children's play area.  This little door is just too cute and Spence loved it.

All the way through the door.

Daddy and SYT taking a break

The German tree.  It was definitely my favorite of all the trees.

The electric model train that ran above three of the rooms.  You should have seen the number of kids that were mezmerized by this!  Even the adults thought it was fascinating. 

Spencer pointing at the "choo choo". 

I'm so glad we went to see this.  It was well worth the admission cost (goodness, the reindeer and the trains alone were worth even more than we paid!).  We came home afterwards and fed Spencer dinner, got him in his jammies and read a few books before bundling him up and getting back in the car to drive around and look at Christmas lights.  We ended up being gone for almost two hours (Spence fell asleep in the car) and picked up dinner on our way back home.  We had Christmas music on the whole time.  It was seriously a wonderful day with my boys.

Did you have a holly, jolly Saturday too??

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spencer, 19 months

(The lights are "hot", so he has to blow on them to cool them off!)

Spencer is already 19 months old.  Yowzers.  We've had some good and bad moments this month.

You have learned how to hit.  It's incredibly frustrating.  Luckily it happens mostly at home, not at daycare, but either way it's SO hard to discipline.  When we hold your hands and say "no hit", you just laugh, pull your hands away, and do it again.  Or you look at us, start crying, and immediately hit again.  Often you will hit someone and then immediately follow it with a "gentle" touch, but that doesn't help much when you've hurt someone already.  You had one really aggressive day at daycare, but most of the time, this only happens at home.

You also have typical toddler meltdowns.  Often it's because we won't let you watch "baby" (videos we take of him on the ipad) or "Momo" (elmo videos on you tube).  It also happens when we won't let you into the baking cabinet.  You adore the baking cabinet and want to get out all the pop top containers to play with the lids.  That would be fine if you hadn't also discovered that brown sugar tastes really good- you will try to eat it by the handful if we don't catch you fast enough!!

(My favorite picture this month!)

Your vocabularly continues to grow.  It's definitely not perfect as you miss consanants quite a bit, but most of the time you are able to get your point across.  You still have never said "yes".  Odd, I think, but I'm sure it will happen someday.

You love to "help".  Even if it's not perfect, it's so cute to see.  You're really good at throwing things away, getting your boots/shoes, bringing us what we ask for, and picking up your books/toys (sometimes!).

You adore your bear (a little white bear head lovie) and your Little Giraffe blankie right now.  You want them with you at all times, especially when you are upset.  You haven't been attached to anything before (no pacifier), so it's cute to see this.  We're trying to keep the blanket in the crib only as both of them are white (good thinking, Mom!) and I don't like having to wash them 2 or 3 times weekly.  Sometimes this throws you into a tizzy, but most times you're okay with just having bear.

(Haircute #8!)

Your eating is so typical of a toddler.  You want small portions more frequently, you rarely eat meat right now, and you definitely prefer your favorite foods.  Black beans, bananas, cheese, milk, "uice" (juice though you aren't allowed to have it at home, you do get some occasionally at daycare), crackers, peas, eggs and any kind of fruit tend to be your favorite.  I try to keep everything as balanced as I can.  Loading spaghetti sauce with tons of veggies and ground beef as well as giving you something to dip usually helps!

You are trying to jump now.  You bend down and then stand up really fast.  You haven't yet managed to get your feet off the ground.  You do like to jump off the ottaman when we're there to help.  It's always good for a belly laugh!  Your other new game is to chase us around the kitchen island.  You love, love, love it!! It's hysterical how much you will laugh at this. 

You're still such a doll, buddy, and I love you!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Praying this goes on sale sometime this winter.  The smallest size is a size 5, so we'd have to wait awhile to put SYT in it, but it's NEVER going to go out of style, and it's just fantastic!!  Perfect for chilly summer nights and for all fall and winter in our chilly state.  L-O-V-E!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Joy

I have a horrid head cold and have been wanting to do nothing but sleep for the past 3 days.  I took a nap both Saturday and Sunday and was even in bed by 8:30 on Saturday night (skipped the neighborhood party due to this cold and significant sleepiness).  All the sleep hasn't helped and right now, I feel that I can barely breathe.  A few of the girls in my office have already had this, and the good news is that it hasn't gone to anyone's chest- it's just all been stuffiness, headaches, sneezing, and runny noses.  Even though none of it is fun, it's WAY better than a significant hacking, barking, wheezing cough!!

So, instead of dwelling on yuckiness, let's instead talk about the Christmas joys I've encountered lately instead.

*Today as I walked out of work, one of the local churches bells were going off (it was exactly 5 p.m.) to the tune of Deck the Halls.  I love church bells and to hear them set to a Christmas tune just made my afternoon.

*I made peppermint bark for our JL mtg tomorrow night, and it is good!!!  I hope all the ladies at the meeting like it!  Honestly, if I weren't on the Arrangements Committee (we arrange/set up/decorate for/organize all the meetings), I probably wouldn't go tomorrow just b/c I would prefer to sleep, but I am excited to see my favorite girls!

*When we get home from work/daycare, the first thing Spencer does is come into the family room, point to the tree, and say "ights, ights".  So we'll plug in the Christmas tree lights and then he immediately starts pointing to the mantle saying "ights, ights".  He does that for the two smaller front trees too.  It's super cute!

*I love driving home from work and seeing all the "ights" everywhere decorating the houses.  Even the gaudy, tacky beyond belief ones make me smile.  I can't wait to get in the car in the next week and drive around the neighborhoods I don't see daily! 

*Our mailbox is full of Christmas cards, gifts, and catalogs.  I love it!!  I'm working on getting mine addressed, and I hope our recipients love them as much as I've loved getting theirs!!

*Christmas music.  Manheim Steamroller, Amy Grant, John Denver and the Muppets, George Winston- it all really gets me in the mood and puts a huge smile on my face.  Our Christmas pandora station really has me pegged!! 

*My baking is no where near finished.  The treats I have made so far have been devoured by friends and coworkers, and I have a lot more to go.  As soon as I have a touch more energy, it's back in the kitchen for me.

*I have put Spencer in all but one of his Christmas outfits (the last will get worn next weekend), and he looks adorbs in all of them.  I just love dressing him in cute seasonal clothing!  Thank goodness for ebay, btw.  I got great prices on all of them!

*Okay, I've never posted a video before, but this little guy (and his sweet daddy) are what are bringing me most of my joy this year (and a little special someone tucked away in my tummy kicking like crazy!!).  This is my overexaggerated "mommy" voice, so please don't make fun.  In case you can't tell, he's saying bell, neigh (for horse), bear, star, and bell again.  Easy to understand if you speak "toddler-ease", harder if you don't and you're watching cheesy home videos!

So, tell me, what is bringing you holiday joy this week?  Mail?  Music?  An awesome homily at church?  The baking you are doing (or that your co-workers are bringing in)?  I can't wait to hear!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Celebrations!!

B and I went to his company's Christmas party tonight, so I made the babysitter take a few pics once we got home.  We rarely get pics of just the two of us anymore, and since we were dressed up, I thought it was a good opportunity.  We had a lot of fun at the party.  He works with really nice people (mostly men), and I definitely enjoyed myself.  He did too.

Tomorrow night is my Christmas party (it's just for our staff, so B is staying home with Spence), and Saturday night is our neighborhood tree toasting, so it's a BUSY weekend.  Fun though, so I can't complain!!  Neither night will be super late, so I'm not too worried about being as tired as I was last weekend.  The neighborhood party could end up being a late night, but it's nice that B will be able to stay if he wants, and I'll be able to be in bed at a decent hour.  It's a really fun evening.  We start at one of our neighbor's homes for chili and cocktails and then go around house to house to look at everyone's tree and then end up back at the first house for the rest of the evening.  We had a blast last year!!

As you can tell in the above pic, I'm obviously sporting a bump now (though that pic makes me look bigger than I actually am- I think it's the angle).  I made the dress from this tutorial and am quite happy with the results.  I'm planning on wearing it to church on Christmas Eve as well.  I have another long sleeved shirt and more fabric and I think I'm going to make another one that is more work appropriate after the holidays are over.

I'm sure you all are just as crazy this weekend and next.  I hope it's all fun stuff, and I hope you are also able to get your lists checked off in the down time!!  I have to round this weekend as well as the above social stuff, but I'm hoping to get a few more baking things done as well as wrapping some gifts and addressing our Christmas cards which arrived this week!!  We've already received two in the mail from truly organized friends of mine :)  Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekend in the kitchen

B and I spent all weekend in the kitchen making amazing food, and I seriously didn't take one photo.  What was I thinking???  I wish I had some for you, but instead, I'm just going to have to write about it all instead.

Saturday our goals were to bake most of the day, pick up one Christmas gift for our niece, and watch the MSU/Wisconsin game.  We definitely accomplished all those things (don't you just LOVE a productive day?).  We made peppermint bark brownies, eggnog poundcake, buckeye bark, and soft ginger cookies with lemon glaze.  We also threw together "nuts and bolts" (our family's version of chex mix) and made apple compote.  We really wanted to have Christmas tins put together for all of our dinner guests, and we wanted a variety of things to put inside.  Between B and I, we were able to sample all of the above, and, I hope our guests will agree, it all tasted delicious!!

Today after church, we started on the meal for our Christmas dinner party (we hosted 3 other couples whom we just adore).  We served the baked brie with apple compote (from Annie's Eats), Smitten Kitchen's short ribs with swiss chard and pearl onions (I cannot rave about these enough.  They're time consuming but worth every single bite!!), mashed potates, and eggnog trifle.  Everyone seemed to leave the table full and happy. 

The best part?  Hanging out with delightful people that we just don't see enough of!!!  It was so, so, so nice.  Spencer was a little shy at the beginning but then loved showing off the "balls" (aka ornaments) to all our guests and climbing the stairs to turn the dining room light off and on.  It was a wonderful evening!!!  Another great part? We have a few cookies, brownies, and pieces of eggnog pound cake left, but most of it went out the door.  Enough for a few bites over the week but definitely not enough to gorge ourselves on.  Unfortunately, we didn't give away enough nuts and bolts, and this lady has been craving nothing but salt lately!! 

Did any of you make anything exciting in the kitchen this weekend?  Any fantastic Christmas cookies I should make next weekend? 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pregnancy Update

It's been a few weeks since I've talked about this new little one, so I thought an update was in order!

*I'm now 18 weeks and feeling great.  Absolutely no more nausea, no fatigue, eating normally (craving salty more than sweet still), and am definitely showing!! 
*I broke out a bit this week (all around my nose) which I hate (bad skin= feeling ugly), but at least they're not huge craters.  Lots of smaller ones instead. 
*My pregnancy bras from last time are a lot more comfortable than my regular bras are, so I must be getting bigger up top.  I really never experienced soreness or the horrific painful ni*#(#s that I did last time.  That was a true blessing because for a few weeks showering was awful with Spencer.
*I am having some mild pain in the back of my left hip almost daily.  It feels tight and like it needs to be popped or something.  It doesn't stop me from doing anything, it's just slightly annoying at this time.  Hopefully it won't get worse!
*Overall, I would say this pregnancy is even milder than my last.  I wonder if it's because I'm busier and just don't have the time to dwell on all the symptoms?  Or maybe it's just that I am not nearly as emotional, so things are put a little more into perspective.  Whatever it is, I cannot complain one bit (so if I do, refer me back here).
*I have zero idea if it's a boy or girl, no dreams, no feelings, no nothing.  I have occasionally leaned towards boy because my symptoms have been similar to Spencer's pregnancy (besides that complete exhaustion in the first tri), but that's about it.  I never, not once had a dream about Spencer being a boy or girl throughout my entire pregnancy with him.  Apparently I have bad mommy intuition!
*Did I tell you that we are going to find out with this pregnancy?  B wants to know, and since I made the decision last time to not find out, I figure it's his turn this time.  Our apt is December 20th as our office won't let you schedule an ultrasound until you are 21 weeks.  A lot of my friends have known by 18 or 19, and I do wish we had a sooner apt (mostly because I am impatient), but I think it will be interesting to find out with this babe.  We will not be sharing names until the baby is here, but perhaps we can do a fun "name the baby" post in the future!
*The baby is moving and has been for a few weeks.  Around 14ish weeks I was definite about the feeling the movement.  With Spencer, it was around 18-19 weeks.  It's definitely not just flutters, either, this is full on kicks and punches.  Every single one of them makes me giddy.  And slightly (but just slightly) emotional.  I don't think this will be our last pregnancy, but just in case it is, I am treasuring these kicks for sure!!  Plus, the movement helps to connect me to this babe!!
*No nickname for baby#2.  Puddin was great last time, but it hasn't stuck for this peanut.  Maybe because we are going to find out, so we're waiting to know the sex before giving it a name?  Spencer does say baby and point to my stomach which is adorable!!

Tiny SYT update: He was sick all weekend with high fevers (102-103.7), clingy, and miserable.  Monday he went to pediatrician and was diagnosed with tonsillitis.  He's now on an antibiotic for 10 days.  Poor thing!  He has been afebrile since Monday morning and is eating a little better, but he is still pretty crabby and clingy.  I feel so bad for him.  I can't wait until Saturday so I can just spend a whole day loving on him (while he throws fits on the floor when I won't let him watch "Momo" ie Elmo on youtube!).  Seriously, though, even though it was something as minor as tonsillitis, he was just so sick all weekend and I did break down once crying as I thought about how minor this was in comparison to so many sick kids I see all the time.  It, once again, puts into perspective how important our health, and the health of our families, really is. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday dressing

Absolutely gorgeous black dress perfect for pretty much any occasion.  Very Jackie-ish AND under $100!!  If only my every expanding waistline would fit into this number, I would buy it in a heartbeat.  Anyone else need a classic black dress?