Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Henry's Baby Shower

Cathy sent me pictures from Little Man's shower and they are wonderful! Warning: there are a bunch of them! We had so much fun and were spoiled rotten with diapers, clothes, and other goodies! What an incredible blessing it was to be surrounded by so many friends and to be gifted with so many (much-needed) supplies! Mel, Caroline Rooke, and Cathy McCallum hosted, and they were so creative!

A "stamping" station that Mel designed where guests could stamp designs onto burp cloths.

There was a mustache theme throughout!

The shower invitation and a sonogram picture of Little Man.

It was so amazing to have my mom fly in and surprise me! I wasn't expecting it at all, and we were all able to have a great weekend together!

The moral of this table is...don't mess with Cathy McCallum when it comes to throwing a great party!

This UGA jersey came with a card that read, "Dear Henry, May you always cheer for Jesus in your heart and the Dawgs on the field. Love, Denise" I love that our friends are so "gently persistent" in making sure we raise our children with a good Southern dose of football pride!

Anna-Marie made a diaper motorcycle! How cool is that?!?

These three are some of the sweetest, most giving women I know, and I am so thankful to have them in my life!

Such a great picture! We had so much fun playing around with these mustaches!

A Little Bit Of Survival Mode

Steve is gone this week in Kansas City, so it's me and the girls - and my huge belly - desperately trying to stay sane until Friday night! On Sunday night, I was crying at the overwhelming prospect of being so tired while also being so alone with the girls, but I've taken a deep breath, given a lot of spankings, and made peace with the growing number of dishes in the sink.

Steve and I don't have "official" jobs around the house, but apparently his usual ones are the trash and the dishes, because the cans have been sitting (empty) at the end of the driveway since Sunday night, and I don't really see myself walking the 100-feet or so to go get them anytime soon, and I keep looking at the kitchen sink, wondering why there are so many dirty dishes!

Yesterday, I managed to coordinate Evelyn's Fall preschool party and still stay awake until after lunch, so I'm considering that a win! Now if I could only finish the thank-you's from my baby shower two weekends ago, and start working on the newsletter for one of the ministries I help out with, I'd be feeling super accomplished! How was I ever pregnant with a full-time job?!?

The girls still aren't doing a great job of sleeping consistently, but I've been able to take a calmer approach and calmly administer spankings or take them back to bed as needed. 

Does anyone else have a hard time spanking whithout being angry? My friend, Jess, and I were talking about this randomly on Sunday, and her husband's advice was that he always walks their son to his room to give the spanking because it gives him (the dad) a chance to calm down first. For some reason, that has really helped me this week, and I've been much more consistent and calm about spankings, without giving them in anger, or giving up on them completely, because they just seemed like so much work! 

Baby-wise, we're surviving! I am terrible at any sort of "women's intuition", but I keep looking at Steve and saying, "There's no way we make it to our due date." Since I've said that out loud, I'm sure Little Man will end up being a week late, but it just doesn't seem like we have an entire six weeks left. Maybe that's just wishful thinking! 

Praying for Friday to come quickly and for Steve to be home with us! He's scheduled to be out of town again in the middle of October, but we'll be 38 weeks by then, so we'll see! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tour Of Little Man's Room

There are days when I think my iPhone takes the most amazing pictures, but today was not that day. I can't find my camera card for our actual camera, so these pictures will have to do!
Since our baby shower last Sunday (I'm still working on getting pictures), I've been a lot more motivated to get the nursery finished! (Gift cards will do that for a girl.)
We didn't do an official "theme", but it's vintage-y with greys and blues. It's also not very baby-ish, because, let's be honest, for the first three years or so, this room is much more for my enjoyment than for his. My favorite aspect of the room is how we were able to mix in a lot of personal or sentimental touches.

This is the chalkboard sign that Mel bought to use as a decoration piece for the shower. I am not artistic, but for some reason, one of my spiritual gifts seems to be lettering. I love how this sign turned out! (Clearly, humility is not one of my spiritual gifts.)

The bright light from the window didn't mix well with my iPhone, but here's the first corner...the blue curtains are a shower curtain from Target that I cut in half, since they're just going to be for decoration and never actually closed.
I was really hesitant about the faux, cowhide pillow (especially a faux cowhide pillow from WalMart), but I ended up really liking the different pattern that it brought to the space. The rocking chair was my Grandma's and I love the tall back!
You know we had to include my brass knuckles! They're shiny, they make me smile, and they add a touch of "tough". And this table! End tables are one of those weirdly expensive items, but I found this one on sale at Kohl's, and I had a gift card, so it was only $15.00!

I couldn't get a good picture of this painting to save my life, but our friend, Jen, painted it for us, and it's amazing! It was originally on canvas, but I'd been saving this frame to use in the nursery, and when I saw the picture, it was an epiphany moment! I love that it's a motorcycle, it's unique, and the artist is a friend!
[Side note: Jen told me that she was going to paint woodland creatures, but her amazing husband, Travis, intervened and insisted it be a motorcycle for Steve's sake. I owe you, Travis!]

How many times on this blog have I admitted that I'm a total sucker for a gallery wall? They just never get don't have to measure! (Unless you have a "fancy" gallery wall, and then, God bless your level of patience.)
This wall in Little Man's room just makes me sigh with contentedness...

The motorcycle t-shirt is from Old Navy and the canvas print is a Percy Shelley quote from Mel. Oh, also, the shirt is hanging on one of my Grandpa's old tools! I've been holding on to the vintage tattoo print since we found out we were having a boy! It adds a great pop of color!

The top frame is a quote from Where the Wild Things Are, and it says, "I'll eat you up, I love you so." The center picture is from our recent family shoot and the gazelle is just a fun touch that I've seen in different pictures lately and wanted to try for myself. The BB gun was Steve's when he was a kid.

Again, these camera angles are terrible, but the frame holds a Norman Rockwell painting that I love of a boy in a doctor's, and the top wooden block has a beetle on it that we used at the shower to stamp burp cloths.
The last wall just before the door. (There's also a closet behind the door where we'll probably stash a dresser.) It's a tiny room, so we're using all the space we can find!

These shelves will probably be a work in progress; we've used these in all three nurseries and the items tend to change as the baby gets older or we find pieces we like better.
My original plan was to get these cool, vintage-inspired, wire storage baskets from Target, but they ended up being expensive and I had a gift card to Babies 'R' Us that came at the perfect time! The paint cans won't stay there (but that would be fun to explain to people!); we're thinking of painting the crib, but haven't settled on a color yet, so those green cans are sitting there until we're sure.
So, I think that's it for now! The crib hasn't been put together yet, because we're pretty sure my parents are coming for Christmas, and we'll need the space! Since Little Man will only be a few months, he'll still be in our room, and Rachel's bed can fit in the nursery. Once we get it painted, we'll just store it until after the holidays.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall Family Pictures

About once a year, I miraculously beg convince Steve that we should take some professional pictures of our family. These are always interesting experiences, because we tend to go back and forth between bribing the girls with M&M's or threatening dire harm to their bodies if they don't smile for the camera. (Doesn't it sound fun?) This year, we (okay, me) added the fun aspect of wanting "Fall" pictures that were taken at the beginning of September, so we were dressed in pants and long sleeves while it was about 85-degrees and sunny out.
Sarah was our photographer this year, and she was two weeks from her due date! I was so impressed that she was in such a good mood when she was that close to having a baby! The pictures turned out beautifully, and we could not have been more thrilled! It's hard to decide which ones to order for our walls!
I won't "caption" them all, but I have to comment on a few!
This shoe picture cracks me up, because I was copying a pose that my friend, Emily, has done with her family, but we couldn't get Evelyn to stand still for anything. Those are Little Man's shoes all the way on the left, but it ended up looking like Evelyn just kicked her shoes off...

This picture captures their different personalities so perfectly! Bella's got her hands on her hips and Evelyn is touching Bella's face. Yep... 

This isn't the most photogenic picture, but I just feel like the caption should be "TROUBLE"...

Well, I look pretty at least...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Catching Up On Life!

It's been awhile since I've posted, so here's a quick update on what's been going on...

Our "Real" Eating Plan

We are about 5 weeks in to our new plan to each a majority of real food, and it's definitely starting to feel more like the norm! The first week, I had planned out all of our meals and snacks with real food, but Evelyn and I still stopped at fast food every single day for some sort of snack or "treat". Obviously, that's not the goal! My biggest obstacles have been how to find real food options when I just want to snack, and our budget - eating healthy is not cheap! I plan six homemade meals for the week, and I'm feeling much more confident in making things from scratch when I either don't have the money in my budget or can't find the healthy option that I want. I still buy 90% of our grocery list from Aldi, which is working surprisingly well. My "one day" dream would still be to get our dairy (especially milk!) either local or organic, but I'm willing to be patient for now. Clearly, I'm not a food blogger, because I never remember to take pictures of the delicious meals that we've made, but here are some of our favorites in our cookbook! 

These meatballs are so good! I can say that since it's not my recipe. They have whole wheat breadcrumbs, grated carrots, and Parmesan cheese in them...really, how can you go wrong?

These tuna patties are a new favorite. I don't buy organic fish, but I DO get the whole, white, albacore tuna in water, and then we melt a slice of cheese over them. Served with cold peach slices and corn on the cobb as sides, and this meal is epic!

I think the most exciting thing for me is when I find myself reaching for the ghee butter instead shortening, or actually remembering to toss some frozen peas on the girls' plates for lunch! (Not that they eat them, but at least they see them!) And we definitely still splurge! Last night, Steve brought home a box mix of double-chocolate, Ghirardelli brownies and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream! Sooooo good!

Bella's First Month of Kindergarten
Bella seems to be adjusting really well to school! Her teacher ended up being more laid back in the "behavior" department than I expected, and she is extremely patient with Bella! You know she's a Grandma, because she is an expert at taking it all in stride - last week, Bella came home, completely soaked from her hair to her sneakers. Her teacher just calmly explained that it had rained last night, so the playground was really wet, but Bella had loved rolling down the hill over and over (and over and over...)! That right there was proof that her teacher is a "go with the flow"-kind of girl! She does seem to expect a lot when it comes to their work, and I really appreciate that! If Bella misses a question or gets an activity wrong because she wasn't paying attention, Ms. Thornton marks it wrong; she doesn't give in and just assume that Bella would have known it. This has definitely been Bella's biggest hurdle in school - listening before she starts the activity and then following through on the correct instructions instead of what she wants to do - so it's really important that Ms. Thornton is holding her accountable in this area! It has been fun to see her general understanding of letters and sounds improving, even if it's not the letter the class is specifically working on that particular week. And she's getting pretty stellar at writing her name! 

This is one of my favorite projects that she's done this year. I'm a little proud of her horse drawing, but I'm raising an eyebrow that my talent is limited to starting movies for her...

Little Man

I'm sitting in the doctor's office as I'm typing this, waiting to see another one of the doctors in our practice. We are just shy of 33 weeks and I'm actually feeling good! I called in to the nurse about a week ago for some prescription heartburn medicine, and that was like nectar from the gods! It has really helped my comfort level at night! (Also, I had to finally accept that I can't eat any more delivery pizza for the rest of the pregnancy; apparently the tomato sauce puts me at death's door. That's a huge bummer.) Steve and I are still working on middle names. Our current favorite is Wilder (Laura Ingalls' husband in the Little House series.) I loved those books as a kid and I love that Little Man's middle name would have a literary reference like Evelyn's. Oh! And he was an actual person, which is just cool. (We may have to create a reference for Bella and "Cole" just to keep the tradition going.) Going from "Wilder" to "Wires" is definitely a mouthful when you say all three names together, so we're still thinking about it, but it's our favorite at the moment!

Here he is...Almanzo Wilder in the "flesh". Total stud, right?

Baby Shower Fun

I have my baby shower this Sunday! We've kept everything with Little Man pretty low-key since he's our third, and the baby shower will be the same way. We're only doing one, we didn't register anywhere for it, and we kept the invitation list small. Steve's mom sent me an amazing box of baby goodies that had a bunchnof the most adorable footie PJ's, so I'm pretty set in that area - I think he's just long to wear footie pajamas for the first three months of his life! They're so adorable! I think I'd be excited if all we got at this shower were diapers! I still haven't done too much with the nursery, but I know we'll get there. I have a feeling that the shower this weekend will be my "Oh yeah, he's actually coming!" moment that spurs me to action.

Here's the invitation that Mel and Caroline designed. It's super cute! I've been so thankful to have the two of them and Cathy host this shower! (I have to admit, though, it really makes me miss Whitney.)

What Else...

Having the girls in school and getting closer to meeting Little Man have been the biggest things on our plate lately. My work has gotten much busier (in a good way!) now that the Bella is in school everyday and Evelyn goes two mornings a week. It's been fun to be a part of something at church and be more involved with Missions. 

I'm getting super excited about the different holidays coming, and I'm already planning Steve's Halloween birthday party at the end of October! Hopefully, Little Man can hold off until we celebrate Daddy!

This is a sneak peek of my cake inspiration for Steve's party this year! I also found a gorgeous one with ravens that may win out!