Friday, January 28, 2011

Superbowl and Baby

Or maybe a Superbowl baby?!  Haha wishful thinking, since she's not due for 3 more weeks....

So after an awesome season of football, our hometown Packers are Superbowl bound!  And bound for our home city of Dallas!  Too bad tickets are something crazy like $2500 at a mimimum, that is of course unless you are willing to pay $200 to stand in the parking lot?!  Crazy but true.  Despite that enticing offer from Jerry Jones, we plan to watch the game from the comfort of my parent's house, decked out in our green and gold (my classic t-shirt is looking more and more like a bikini top as my stomach becomes bigger and bigger....lovely visual I know).  When we were home in Wisconsin this fall, I splurged on two Packers sweatsuits for the boys that have become Sunday staples in our household.  The boys are actually enthusiastic little supporters of the Pack, and Hayden insists on wearing this outfit when they play, so I have to make sure to keep up with the laundry :)  Pierce just yells "GO PACKERS" at the TV the whole time they play, while Hayden is genuinely interested in the rules of the game, and will just sit with Poppy and ask question after question, which thrills his grandfather, who is enjoying raising a little football fan.  Sharing this season of the Packers heading to the Superbowl has been really special for my family, and I wish them TONS of luck next weekend!


As much as I'd like to have my little daughter here, cheering on the Packers in a green and gold cheerleading uniform, she still has a few more weeks to grow.  I'm just hitting 37 weeks, and have started getting really anxious about all things baby related.  I've had two beautiful showers this month put on by several friends, which were so much fun!  Not only it is a gift to have friends who are so eager to welcome my little girl, but it's also fabulous to have closets and drawers stocked with clothes and necessities for her arrival.  I really need very little at this point, except a baby girl to hold in my arms.

I'm down to weekly visits with my midwives, and at my last appointment I got a list with everything I need to bring with me to the birth center on her birth day.  The list, not surprisingly, is very similar to what you would bring to a hospital, but it's more customized to making you and baby comfy - in your own clothes, blankets and with your own food and snacks.  So I've begun to pack both Ruthie and I, and seeing that little pink bag in her room, full of clothes, blankets, diapers, and of course bows, makes it feel more real!  We washed all of her newborn sized clothing, and both Nate and I commented on how fun it was to fold the soft little pink and purple onesies and blankets.  Such a change for our household!

Baby seems to be in a perfect spot; head down deep, and rotated into such a position that should ensure a safe and painless delivery.  Ok that second part is probably not true but it is what I tell myself, so I thought I'd tell you all too haha.  I am already starting to progress in terms of dilating and effacing, so all these contractions I've been having recently are actually doing something!  So really, since I'm technically full-term, it could be any day now.  However, since I have gone full-term (or post dates) with both boys, there is absolutely no reason to suspect I would have this little girl early.  So I'm not holding my breath on that.

Here are us girls at 37 weeks pregnant!  Hitting the homestretch.  I know, scary huge and low.

And here is the most beautiful flannel quilt that my mom made for her grand-daughter.  It was such a simple and sweet surprise, and I just know it will be her favorite and most treasured blanket!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Texas Seasons

So two weeks ago, it was a winter wonderland in Texas!  Although Nate and I claim to miss our wintry upbringings in Wisconsin and Colorado, we really haven't been suffering too badly since it's snowed heavily at least once a winter since we've lived here.  I'm so thankful that the boys have grown up at least seeing snow a bit, and being able to bundle up and throw snowballs and make snowmen.  I'm also incredibly thankful that it only happens about once a year haha!  Here are some photos from our most recent snowfall.  Hayden LOVED it!


Pierce did not :)

Snow angels.  Not to be confused with grass angels or wood chip angels, which are more commonplace here :)

The only two photos I have of Pierce smiling.  The rest of the time he was panicking about the fact that he apparently couldn't move in the 1 inch of snow.  I also love the Texas snow photo with the pool in the background!  Classic.


By contrast, today was 72 and sunny!  A mere few weeks later.  And still January.  Amazing.  I have to say while I appreciate the joys of snowfall, I much prefer the balmy winter days that allow us to spend time outside in the fresh air.  We broke out the picnic table for an afternoon snack, followed by sandbox time, sidewalk chalk, the water table, racing cars down the slide, and some backyard golf.  We wrapped the afternoon up just hanging out in patio chairs, taking goofy photos with my camera phone and sending them to daddy, and just chit chatting and watching airplanes fly over.  Just what we all needed!



Look at that swing!



Whatever the weather, I'm having fun here with my little men :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thank You Jimmy

So Pierce has finally given his grandma a name, and it's "Jimmy", or when he's rushed, it's "Jimen".  SO FUNNY.  Somehow "Grammy" turned into "Jimmy", and I have to say that I wish it would stick.  There is nothing cuter than Pierce waking up from a nap and saying "Where Jimmy Go?", or "Thank You Jimmy" when she gives him lunch, or "Juice Please Jimmy!".  I imagine that since Hayden calls her "Grammy", that eventually he will grow into that, but for now, we are all laughing about the "Jimmy" phase.

This is just the tip of Pierce iceburg.  This is one funny dude!  He's grown into such a little personality, and I just spend my days laughing at all his fun little antics.  Pierce bootcamp definitely worked, and he has chilled out quite a bit on the tantrums (although they do still happen occasionally naturally!).  He is a jokester and is always telling Nate or I that we are being "silly".  Everything he likes is "way cool", and he is extremely polite.  Instead of just saying "yes" or "no", he almost always says "no thank you mommy" or if you ask if he wants something, for instance "Pierce do you want a snack" he'll simply say "please" instead of "yes".  It's very endearing and sweet.  The other day a dad at preschool held the door open for us, and his eyes widened in surprise as my little 21 month old looked up at him and said "Thank you!" (which sounds like "dank you").  Love him.

He continues to call himself "Wubby" (my fault oops), and his brother, "bradoo".  However, the other day I overheard Pierce and Hayden chatting at breakfast and it sounded a bit like this:

Hayden:  Pierce, could you please call me Hayden now?"
Pierce: .............."Okay Haynoo" 

He also talks about "baby" constantly, and points to her carseat (which is now installed in the mini-van), and also pats on my tummy while chanting "baby".  I honestly wonder what he thinks?!  There is no way that he can comprehend that a little baby is in my tummy now and will be born shortly right?  But he sure acts like he understands it.  I wonder.

Singing is his new favorite hobby, and both of the boys are literally OBSESSED with the soundtrack to "The Sound of Music".  This is my fault.  Since it's one of my favorite musicals, I thought that it would be infinitely better to listen to in the car than "Dora".  I was right, for about the first 135 times.  And the fact that they only like 4 songs on the disk means that they repeat far too frequently for my taste.  But I will admit that there is absolutely nothing sweeter than listening to Pierce recite word for word the lyrics to "Doe, a Deer" with a huge smile on his face.  It's become "our song", just like Hayden and I have "You are My Sunshine".  Each night when we go to bed we sing it together and Pierce always starts off with saying "me, me, me" while he pats himself, meaning that I have to put my hand over his heart while I sing.  He wants me touching him and rubbing his little tum.  First we sing a verse together, which he then repeats by himself with gusto.  I have to get it on video, which I'm so bad at with him.  But trust me, it's sweet as can be.

Other than "Doe, a Deer", he also loves "Raindrops on Roses" and the "Sheep Song" as my boys call it, which is really the yodeling song about goats and goat herders that they sing while they are putting on a puppet show in the musical.  It's super funny listening to both boys yodel at the top of their lungs in the car.  Whenever a song ends, Pierce will say, "Nother song please mommy!".  His patience is sorely lacking haha.  But he definitely loves to sing his little heart out.

Finally I just have to mention that Pierce LOVES his bed.  I mean loves it more than probably any other almost 2 year old that I have ever met.  He frequently suggests going to bed and down for naps (what child does this?), and he just looks ever so comfortable as he snuggles into his sleep sack, with his minky giraffe blanky and paci (yes he still has one in bed only).  I sewed a little airplane pillow case for him, which he always uses, and he just looks so darling in his happy little sleepy place.  This is my little sweetie pie right before I turn the lights out at night and sing to him.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Baby Girl's Room!

The excitement and hustle of the holidays has passed, our guests have all gone home, and my work load has (somewhat) slackened.  So what does that leave me time to do?  Work on my baby girl's nursery!!  This time around, being our third, we've had to be more budget conscious, which means I've had to be more creative and hands-on.  Of course I want her to the have the cutest room ever, so I've enlisted the help of the boys and Nathan, and together I think we are making good progress, and keeping out costs low.

We had decorated Pierce's nursery in an outdoorsy "Colorado" theme, which was so adorable, and included white painted winter aspen trees on the walls (courtesy of Nathan).  Even though the room had a distinctly boy vibe, and we knew we wanted to girlify it, I also knew that the trees HAD to stay because I LOVE them, and I wanted some continuity in the nursey from when Piercey J slept there.  So naturally the idea of birds came to me, and the theme of a spring-time forest kind of grew from there.

I started out with some little forest creature vinyl clings that I ordered off of Etsy in the color scheme we had chosen - lavenders, purples, whites and browns; little birds, an owl, a fawn, some squirrels, and a rabbit.  I haven't found a home for all of them yet, but the ones that are up are pretty cute, and instantly turn the room more girly.  Next, I decided to enlist Hayden's help to paint a few bird houses.  I had high hopes to stencil a damask pattern on the roofs, to match the rug and changing pad cover I had ordered, but alas I discovered I am a HORRIBLE stenciler and do not possess the level of patience or skill required to make an intricate stencil look good.  Instead we chose some pretty paint colors and went to work with some freehand designs.  Then we did use a pretty stencil of a bird perching on a branch to add some details, but if you look closely they are pretty messy!  Still turned out cute though, and it was fun to work on a project like that with Hayden.  It was thrilling for him to pick out his colors and I literally let him go to town, even with the stencil, completely on his own.  I wondered if he'd let me put the bird house in her room instead of his own, but he was very proud to put it up on her shelf, and to know that he made it for her.


Next, Pierce got involved in the art work, "helping" me while I painted some letters for her name to hang on the wall.  I think more paint got on his face than anywhere else, but he sure was an enthusiastic contributer!  And once again my genius stenciling idea flew completely out the window and I ended up just using sponges and free handing some butterflies.  I'm not going to win any awards, but I do like the way they turned out for the most part.  Team effort!


I'm not one to buy fancy bedding sets for the nursery because I never use crib bumpers or quilts with a newborn - they aren't really safe.  So instead I pretty much grabbed random on-sale items that I liked to put together the linens in the room (damask rug and changing pad cover, polka dot sheets, and a simple bed skirt), but I needed some super soft blankets to use in her crib and carseat, etc.  Anything in those soft materials can cost an arm and a leg to buy.  Cue my awesome parents, who gave me a new sewing machine as an early birthday present, so I could make some stuff!  I ordered some beautiful, soft fabrics, and managed to sew one large blanket (almost a total fiasco but it's intact even if it doesn't look good AT ALL up close, and it's soft), and a more successful little lovey blanket for her.  Obviously sewing is a skill I'm still working on developing :)  I also played around in photoshop a bit to make some framed photos, made a little wreath with birds and dried flowers (again with the help of Hayden), and voila - we have a room that is nearly completed!




And here is my FAVORITE new photo, of my two boys "testing out" Ruthie's new crib :)  LOVE them.

I still have some finishing touches to put on the room, including a window valence which will put my sewing skills to the test, and possibly a lampshade.  Then we should be ready for our little girl, who is due in about 5 weeks.

Everything continues to go really well with my pregnancy in general, and I switch over to weekly visits with my midwife THIS week (which always feels like the point at which you are close!).  This week Nate is going to come to my appointment with me, and we'll go over all the details of delivery day, and what we need to bring, when/who to call, etc.  Wow, becoming real.  She is quite the little mover and shaker in there, just like her brothers.  It's kind of surreal that this might be the last month that I ever spend pregnant, and I'm trying to savor it instead of rush it.  But wow, I feel ready to have her here and cuddle her out of my stomach.  And to sleep on my stomach again lol :)  Here is a photo of her and I at 35 weeks pregnant.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Happy New Year Indeed

Usually after Christmas there is a feeling of let-down.  The holidays are over, and life needs to get back to normal.  But this year was different because my brother and Rebecca were coming for a little post-Christmas visit from London, and they were bringing some special news with them. 

Let me go back a bit to mid-November, when Jeff emailed me to say he was shopping for a ring for his lovely girlfriend Rebecca, and could I take a look at some options he was considering.  WHAAAT?!?  I was OVER the moon excited.  Jeff and Rebecca are the most adorable couple, and have been dating for a long time, and I was just beyond thrilled that he was going to make her part of our family (should she want to be!). 

Of course I threw myself into helping him find the perfect ring, which he eventually did.  I have to admit he was quite picky and just really wanting to get her a ring that perfectly suited her style and tastes.  You'll have to ask her, but I think he pulled it off.  The only problem was that he ended up purchasing the ring from a US based company, and he asked me to bring it over the pond to him when I traveled to London for work.  Uh...most of you who know me know that I am not the most organized or responsible person ever.  I am notorious for losing sunglasses and sippy could I be trusted with an expensive diamond engagement ring?  And the hardest part was that I could ask NO ONE for advice about how to safely transport it, because this was all super top secret.  I didn't even share it with Nathan, which was a huge exercise in restraint.  Long story short, I managed to make it through two airports, security, a trans-Atlantic flight, customs, a train and a cab, before finally delivering it safely to my very excited and anxious brother in Notting Hill.  He was like a giddy child with a new toy, opening it and examining it in all kinds of light and from all angles.  He agreed - it was perfect in person.  We talked a lot about how excited he was to propose, and how he finally knew without a doubt that Rebecca was the perfect woman for him.  So sweet!

Although I had been part of the ring purchase and delivery, he wanted to keep the details of the future proposal to himself, which I respected.  While I fully expected them to step off of their plane engaged, I still wasn't certain, and had no idea when/how it happened.  But there I was, armed with my camera, to catch everyone's expression as they shared the news.  And it was priceless!  I don't know if they were more shocked about the engagement, or the fact that I had managed not to spill the beans for a month and a half lol.  Needless to say, Rebecca had said yes, and my family was beyond thrilled at the news.  Rebecca is such a fun, easy going, smart, affectionate, intelligent person, and I'm proud to have her as a sister.  So they are engaged, and planning a fall wedding somewhere in New England.  Lots to look forward to!  Congrats to them!

So their visit began on a high note, and stayed there.  The boys were so excited to see Uncle Jeffrey and Becca.  Well, obsessed would be a better word.  Jeff and Rebecca aren't around kids that much, so they were very enthusiastic play partners, which pleased the boys immensely.  Everytime we'd go over to my parents house during their visit, both Hayden and Pierce would run into their house yelling "BECCA....JEFFREY!".  We all spent time together at the zoo, playing Wii, celebrating New Year's Eve, hiking, and watching the Badgers kick butt (but lose) at the Rose Bowl.  All in all, it was a great New Year's, and the fitting start to a year that is sure to be filled with amazing events for our family!






 Happy 2011 everyone!  Hope this year brings great joy and fun times to all of my friends and family!