Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

We had the most productive day ever! I am finally getting over my cold, so we used the first day of our long weekend to clean out the attic, the guest room, AND the garage! The garbage men will probably hate us, but Baby Girl #2's nursery is actually starting to looking like a nursery! Whew!

Our New Year's Eve date...

Crab angels and sushi from our favorite Thai restaurant in downtown Atlanta! It's so delicious and absolutely worth the drive! We finished up all of our housework, picked up our order to-go, and bought Bella some chicken nuggets on the way home; then we snuggled into bed and watched To Kill A Mockingbird. Who doesn't love Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch? It's one of my favorite movies of all time, and the reason I want our daughter's middle name to be Scout.

We may even make it to midnight...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thanksgiving And Christmas Pictures

I was finally able to load pictures from four different cameras and choose some special ones from our holiday travels. We spent Thanksgiving in Ohio with Steve's family and were in Florida for Christmas with my family! It was a busy two months, but always worth it to see family!

These are a little dark because we're in the basement, but it's the only family picture we remembered to take this year during our fake Christmas!

The whole Wires clan! We'll have a new little one next year!

Playing with the new table and chairs that Grandpa made her! This was a special request from Mama this year, and I was so excited with how they turned out!

Grandma got Bella a Beauty and the Beast tea set to go with her new table!

Watching the sunset and eating ham dip!

Waiting for the burgers to be done and enjoying the beautiful weather!

Chasing the seagulls!

Hubby and wife shot...what a handsome man I married!

Bella and Rachel waiting to start The Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve night

Waiting for morning...we let Bella open her Christmas PJ's, but that was it!

Our stockings stuffed with goodies on Christmas morning!

Bella opening her giraffe from Mimi! She loved her stocking presents!

Steve opening his new tie-downs. "Boy" gifts are not as exciting

Still dressed up from church and unwrapping her new art easel made by Papa!

Trying it out! Plus, I had to include a picture of her beautiful hair!

Christmas dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Zinn

The "kid" picture with Grandma and Grandpa. We've eaten, enjoyed a wonderful service at church, sung carols, opened presents, and now we're ready for our comfy clothes!

Merry Christmas to all and to all, a good night!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wonderful Christmas Chaos 2011

Does anyone actually have a relaxing Christmas? You're going to have to tell me how you do that. We had a short but great trip down to Florida this past weekend! We made it in around 3 AM the "morning" of Christmas Eve and left the morning after Christmas; like I said, very quick.

On Christmas Eve, we mostly just hung around my parents' house. We spent some time in the afternoon with my grandparents and my uncle and his wife. We don't get to see my uncle very often, so that was really nice. For dinner, we took burgers and ham dip (a Meyer family favorite...not served together!) down to the beach and had a cookout. It was about 70 degrees and so beautiful! We sat at a picnic table, ate a ton, and took turns walking Bella down to the water to play in the sand. We got to watch the sunset and listen to Christmas carols on Steve's iPhone.

Our Christmas Eve tradition is to watch the old 1970's version of The Christmas Carol. We only made it about halfway through before Mel and I fell asleep, so we had to finish that the next night.

I love Christmas morning in my parents' house! We still do stockings for all of the adults and we pile onto my mom and dad's bed. (Yes, even Steve...he felt very awkward that first year!) :)

After stockings, we ate breakfast and got ready for church. Mel and I sang a duet together and we sang a trio with dad. Bella behaved so well during the service! It really helped that it wasn't a full sermon, but the funniest thing was that she was singing Little Mermaid songs during all of the hymns and carols! Imagine trying to sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing while Bella is busting out Under the Sea!

We came home to open presents and have an amazing roast that my mom cooked! Some favorite presents this year...Bella got an art easel, handmade by her Papa! It looks super cool and Mimi got her all sorts of art supplies to go with it. My favorite present was a sheet set for our bed! It sounds lame, but it's really expensive to buy sheets for our Olympic Queen-sized bed (a foolish newlywed purchase...not the bed, just the odd size) and we haven't slept on an actual bottom sheet for about two years. You can see why I'd be excited for a new set! Steve loved a Chipotle gift card from Mel and a speaker/charger station for his iPhone. We are spoiled!

All of my pictures are on Mel's camera, so I'll have to post those later. I also need to include some pictures from the great time we had at Steve's parents for Thanksgiving and an early Christmas.

Next year, we'll have Christmas in our own home for the first time, Bella will be 3 1/2 years old, and Baby #2 will be 8 months old! Speaking of babies: My favorite name is still Josephine Scout, but we're a little stuck over possible nicknames.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Horsey" With Daddy

Now that Steve works downtown, his commute can sometimes cut into his playtime with Bella. They have a standing bedtime date that includes singing, reading the "Baby Zheeshush" story, and prayers, but they both love any extra time they can get! Tonight, it was playing horsey. Bells loves horses and they traipsed up and down our hallway for about 10 minutes tonight! My favorite was her whinnying and saying, "yee-haw!"

Mrs. Meyer's Soap...Simple Pleasures

Mel found this soap at Wal-Mart for my mom, and I couldn't pass up getting a few for our house, too. "Meyer" is my maiden name, so Mel got my mom a couple of bottles for Christmas. How cute is that? Simple pleasures, I know. I just think it's fun to have soap that has my maiden name on it. (And Mel's, too!) I chose Lavender for our master bathroom and Lemon Verbena for the guest bath downstairs...mmmmm!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Dinner...A Little Early

Steve and I never get to host Christmas dinner at our house, so this year, we decided to invite a few friends over for a traditional feast! We provided a honey-baked ham and pumpkin pie and had guests bring the "fixin's." It was so much fun! We intentionally kept the number small, so that we could enjoy a nice dinner without it feeling like a big Christmas party.

We read the Christmas story before we ate and played some games afterwards! Kids were welcome, but everyone ended up getting babysitters and Bella was in bed before dinner, so we had a wonderful, kids-free meal! I think we were all a little giddy at not having to chase toddlers or answer a million questions!

We set up a large table in the living room. It was so nice in there with the fireplace and Christmas tree.

The whole gang!

Our championship round of Spoons. If you've never played this game, you're missing out!

Being silly for the camera...this is why Steve won't let me dance in public.

Potty Training = 0; Bella = 2

I have to write this post, so Bella and baby girl #2 will have encouragement one day when they potty train their own babies!

This past weekend, we decided to try and get serious about potty training. We set aside Saturday and Sunday, and we were prepared to sit around all day with a naked toddler, a potty, and a bag of M & M's.

Saturday went really well! Bella only had one accident where she peed all over herself. The rest of the day, though, she did very well sitting on the potty. She had no interest in pooping on the potty, but I had heard from multiple moms that it was normal, so no stress. We actually went to bed on Saturday thinking that she was on her way.

Sunday morning was a completely different story. I don't know if we accidentally trained her that she wasn't supposed to pee anywhere, but she started screaming anytime she had to go - it didn't matter if she was naked, wearing underwear, or wearing a diaper - when she had the urge to go, she freaked out. As soon as she starts to pee, she's completely calm, so at least that part is good; it seems to just be her thinking that she's not supposed to go.

We finally decided to put her back in diapers completely, and I've spent Monday and Tuesday potty training in reverse...if she starts to whimper, I calmly reassure her that it's absolutely fine to go potty in her diaper and encourage her that it won't hurt. (It's kind of funny!)

So potty training has once again taken a pause. We figure Bella will do it in her own time and we're not worried about it. It would have been nice if we had made some progress this week since it was just her and I at home, but we'll work on it again as she gets more interested.

Happy times! Bella and Daddy reading on Saturday morning,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Meeting Our Baby Girl

On Wednesday morning, Steve and I found out that we're having a baby girl! Since this blog is equal parts sharing and therapy for me, I have to be totally honest...I cried. I'm going to blame hormones on the fact that I wasn't able to greet the doctor because my face was in my hands. I'm chuckling as I write this, imagining what the doctor (and Steve!) must have been thinking.

Despite my hormonal breakdown in the doctor's office, I can honestly say that my disappointment over not having a little boy does not take away from my excitement over a little girl. I love having sisters, and I love that Bella will get to experience that same closeness with our new little one. Baby girls are so much fun to prepare for and dress up. (Don't plan on us dressing our girls in identical outfits; that's just not how we roll.)

On the ultrasound, we got to see her open and close her mouth and squirm all around. All of her little organs and bones are perfect and healthy! I'm always amazed that people could see a baby forming in the womb and not believe in an incredible God!

We've added a few names to our very short list: we like Josephine and Greyson. Nothing has completely clicked with us yet; at least not both of us at the same time. I'm more of an "instant decision" girl and Steve's a "mull things over" guy, so we're having an interesting time picking something both of us like. Luckily, we have 4 months!

Little Human #2...Baby Girl Wires!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

At Least Santa's Happy!

This is our third year going to Chick-fil-A to visit Santa and I'm so glad we do! It's completely free, which is really nice when there's a strong possibility that your child is going to scream, and the Santa is so nice and relaxed! This year, we also got a coupon for a free cookie and milk! How can you beat that?!

We did our best to prepare Bella this year, and she was genuinely excited to go visit Santa! Once we got there, though, she became very shy and didn't want to sit on his lap. The CFA was packed so we didn't want to risk the traditional "screaming" picture. Bella and I stood next to Santa and he didn't mind at all! I'm hoping that next year, I won't have to be in the Santa picture.

Bella's 2011 Visit to Santa!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Preparations

Putting up the tree is always a favorite activity for us! I love reminiscing over each ornament, whether it's the house I painted for my mom in the 3rd grade, Bella's "1st Christmas" ornament, or Steve's many motorcycles!

Bella loved the tree and all of the ornaments! It's been an interesting Christmas season with Bella this year. She's old enough to understand a lot more, and it's been funny to teach her about Santa and Baby Jesus all at the same time. Thankfully, between preschool and Sunday School, she's hearing a lot more about Jesus than she is Santa!

We have a Storybook Bible for Bella, and every night in December, Steve has been reading to her the story of Jesus' birth and the shepherds. She's done so well with following along that we decided to keep reading to her from the beginning of the Bible once Christmas is over.

Our completed tree! I love how round and fat it is! And the smell!

Bella adding ornaments to the tree

Baking Christmas cookies with Aunt Mel

Our best attempt at the family picture! Not our final choice, but definitely the most fun!

Torturing Bella with double-kisses!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oh, The Memories!

Bella's first preschool Christmas musical was Thursday morning! I was so excited, but I was also very nervous! Let's be honest...our child doesn't have the greatest track record for performing well in these situations. My biggest fear was that she would see me in the audience and scream like crazy when she wasn't allowed to actually come see me.

Whelp...that's pretty much exactly what happened. Her cute little class walked in and she was so excited to see me, but then her teachers made her stay in line and she wasn't very happy. [Note to self: Next year, don't sit in the front row; even if you want good pictures.]

Miss Betty, her wonderful teacher, got her calmed down and she was able to sit with her class during their songs. She sucked her thumb the entire time, like she was coping and trying to go to her "happy place." Right before the third song, she spotted me again and I got a really cute moment on the camera of her saying hi to me. But then she lost her mind again, and what you don't see on camera is the music teacher asking over the microphone if Bella's mother was present and could she please come get her from the stage.

Those are some memories to cherish right there! I was so proud that she made it through the first two songs, even if she didn't sing at all, and I'm only minorly offended that my child was requested to leave the stage. (Kidding! I'm not really offended! I don't think...)

Her pose during the first two songs.

Losing it when she wasn't allowed to come to me

We played with the camera while the 3's and 4's finished with their song. I've been trying to load my video, so hopefully that will load.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stickers On My Belly

Bella has been more and more interested in my growing belly and the baby. We think she's pretty sure the baby is sprouting in my belly button, but it's fun to have her be involved. Last night, we were all playing on our bed and Bella was sticking stickers all over her face.

She decided that the baby needed stickers, too, so we got some cute pictures of Bella with her face covered in stickers and putting stickers all over my belly.

The little diva with apple and tree stickers all over her face!

Adding some special touches for the baby.

Decided that Daddy would nap much better with stickers on his nose.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Baby Happenings

I've been feeling the baby "nudge" for about a month now, but last night, Steve got to feel him for the first time! Those are always some of my favorite pregnancy moments - when Steve gets to be involved. The baby was spending most of his time sideways, but in the last week or so, he's been positioned up-and-down, so all of the nudges happen right on top of my bladder.

Thoughts on baby names...for a girl, we've been considering Penelope; and we'd call her "Pip." Is that too different? We're not sure...

(Full disclosure - we'd be stealing it from my cousin, but they live in New York, so I think we'd be okay.)

For middle names, we've been thinking about "Mae", "Jean", and "JoAnn" - all family names.

We can't wait to find out whether this baby is a boy or a girl, so we can know his/her name for sure!!! Our appointment is on the's so hard to wait!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vampires And Other Such Fun

We are finally getting mentally settled from Thanksgiving and traveling, and I want to catch up on some fun activities that I forgot to post about before we left for Ohio.

The Thursday before Thanksgiving was our annual Twilight premiere! We get a big group of (grown) women together, go out to dinner without children or husbands, and then stand in line for a ridiculously long time time to see the midnight premiere of the latest Twilight movie.

This year was just as much fun as all the others! I was a little nervous that "pregnant Katie" was not going to be able to stay awake for an 8:00 PM dinner let alone a midnight movie, but I survived just fine.

The very nice difference this year was that they let us wait IN the theatre seats instead of waiting in line outside or in the hallway. Since we act like highschoolers and get there two hours early, it was really nice (and warm!) to be able to pick out our seats early and relax!

The movie was fun and it was great getting to see girls that I rarely get to spend time with. We don't go expecting an Oscar winner; we just like to squeal like teenagers and hang out!

Mel and I at 2:30 AM...not too shabby!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Last Picture Of Fall

I know Fall is still here and we still have to celebrate Thanksgiving, but mentally, I'm on to Christmas. Steve and Mel are a little surprised that the house isn't covered in Christmas decorations yet; I blame the baby. We leave in just a few days for Ohio where we will celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with Steve's family, making it even harder to care about Fall.

Before it goes away completely, here are my last picture I wanted to make sure I posted...

Bella's painted pumpkin from our Pumpkin Party...because that girl should never be trusted with a knife. ;)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Goodnight Moon

Bella is firmly in the "mine" stage, and every once in awhile she claims ownership of things that are either attached to someone else's body or simply impossible to get. Last night, as we got out of the car, she saw the moon. She reached up to the sky and yelled, "Ooohhhh! Moon! Mine! Mama! Mine!" I wish I had recorded her voice because she became extremely perturbed that I would not get the moon for her. It was a fun reminder that, as ornery as two-year olds can be, they can also be very funny and insistent!

And speaking of moons and bedtime...we got Bella a twin bed! The original plan was to wait until right before the baby was born, but we found an incredible deal on Craigslist and decided to do it now. As challenging as Bella has been at times, she has always been an amazing sleeper. Thankfully, this time was no exception. She loved the new bed and had no problem when we took her crib out of her room.

A trundle bed with a row of drawers on the bottom. Love it!

All cozy and asleep during naptime. Steve let me get the sheets that match her curtains; they have tiny owls and trees on them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Whole New Ballgame

I am not the kind of girl who loves school photos. I have years worth of coming-of-age, horribly embarrassing evidence to prove why. If I hadn't buried those pictures in the depths of the attic, I would pull them out to show you.

Becoming a mother has definitely changed that perspective. I don't think every picture of my child is stunning, but I loved her school pictures. When I showed up at the preschool office to check out her pictures, I expected to scan the one pose of Bella scowling at the camera and say a very kind, "No thank you." The school secretary suggested I take the envelope to the room next door so that I could spread them out for a closer look. I said okay and moved next door. When I took out all of the pictures, there were three different poses! (Can you sense the "sucker new mom" moment?) And they were all adorable!

I'm tempted to spy on the photographer the next time school pictures are taken, because if Steve and I had been there, no way Bella would have smiled so sweetly. And I DO have proof of that...

This is the face that we get if we try to take her picture.

How cute is she?!? I mean, come on! The little tilted head, the cheesy grin! So perfect! Further proof that we birthed an adorable little human!

I like to think of this one as her "dramatic heroin" pose. Complete with flowers and a pensive stare.

The smiling, wonderful monster that we all love! In person, this picture came out a little blurry around her face, but I love the shot of her giggling!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our Second Midwife...

Last night, Steve and I met with our second potential midwife. We knew the questions we needed to ask and we were confident that both of us were on the same page about what we were looking for.

I had found this midwife, Debbie, over the internet after searching countless sites for midwife practices. She was very friendly and has about 12 years of experience. She started with letting us ask questions, so we repeated much of what we had asked Margaret the week before. I kept wondering throughout the entire meeting what Steve was thinking and which midwife he was favoring. I was really praying that God would align our hearts and minds on this issue.

As we left, I asked him what he thought and which one he preferred. Thankfully, we were both completely in agreement!

We definitely preferred the first midwife, Margaret! Ironically, what I first felt was a slightly colder approach, I now really appreciate as knowledgeable and professional. Since we are very new to the world of midwives and home births, Steve and I both feel that we need the guidance of someone who knows what she's doing. Margaret was able to suggest classes that would help us with nursing and childbirth, as well as give us suggestions for different aspects along the way. She seemed to be a good mix of letting us do what we felt and offering the support we need.

With Debbie, she was much more "feel-goody", which is not at all a bad thing, and in fact, it's exactly what many women are looking for. Steve and I definitely felt that she was of the mindset of "just do what your body is telling you" or "do what you feel." Since we have never experienced or witnessed a natural birth, I think we both would have felt like we were floundering and wondering why she wasn't being more proactive.

We are excited to have made our choice and move forward. We are now focusing on some logistics like finding a midwife or OB practice that will let us get some tests done at their facility without seeing us as full-time patients. I will see my OB for the last time next month in order to do my 20 week ultrasound and find out the baby's gender. (So excited for this!) For some of the tests that happen towards the end, we will find a doctor willing to do those. If the baby is a boy, we will also need to find a place to do a circumcision, etc. we go! Another plus of Margaret is that she comes to our house for each visit; how great is that!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our Weekend In Florida

I come from an impulsive family, and it was definitely evident this week! Mel and I got a call on Wednesday afternoon from my dad, asking us if we felt like driving to Florida this weekend. He said that they missed all of us and they'd pay for gas if we would handle the crazy travel. How can you turn that down? We cleared it by Steve and started packing. Turns out, it's incredibly easy to pack when you're only going to be there a day and a half; I fit everything for Steve, Bella, and I into one duffel bag.

Our first stop on Saturday was downtown Venice with all of the shops and stores. Mom wanted our opinion on a little sushi place she had found. She and Steve loved it!

Mel, Steve, and Dad trying the sushi. Dad is NOT a sushi guy, so this was a big step for him!

Baking with Mimi...cookie dough is almost done!

The whole gang at Cheeburger Cheeburger, a 1950's-style diner with make-your-own-burgers. Dad has wanted to take us here for awhile, and he was a little disappointed that I was craving a salad! Bella's great-grandparents on my side of the family are my mom's parents.

Great-Grandpa Zinn sneaking his hot fudge sundae to Bella. They both enjoyed this!

Proof that we actually got to see each other during the crazy weekend!

Hanging out with Papa by the pool. This is Bella's favorite spot in the whole house!

Family picture on Sunday morning; we even got one with Rachel smiling!

It was a quick visit, but a wonderful one! We just don't get enough time with family and it was nice to spend a few hours with mine. In just two weeks, we'll be headed to our Ohio family for Thanksgiving!