Monday, October 24, 2011

It's A....

My maternal instinct was right! IT'S A GIRL!!!

We had our sonogram at 1:30 today; I was so excited and so nervous at the same time. So excited to see our baby, and nervous hoping that everything was healthy and ok. The sono tech asked us if we wanted to know the gender and we said YES. She told us "Looks like a baby girl!" and I just told Kyle "I knew it!!!!" I just knew she is a girl! And our prayers were answered, she is perfect! Here are our first pictures of our precious daughter.

She has a cute little nose just like Landon did! One of her little hands is up by her forehead - a drama queen already!!

Smiling for the camera

Sweet little foot
I just love watching the sonogram. I wish it lasted for an hour instead of just 10 or 15 minutes! I could just watch forever! She had the hiccups while we were watching so it was so cute to see her little belly jumping; we could even hear them while listening to her heartbeat! So incredible! It just amazes me how we could watch her heart beating, see her little spine and other internal organs. God is so incredible!
Here is Landon "meeting" his little sister for the first time!

He only thought it was interesting to watch for about a minute and then he was ready to move on. But he cooperated very well so Kyle & I could watch our little girl moving & jumping around!

I made cupcakes and filled them with pink whipped cream to take to some of the girls in my Bible studies to announce the gender to them (we were originally thinking about doing a gender reveal party for all our students, but it's homecoming week so evenings are pretty packed for people!) Here is Kyle & me with our pink filled cupcake!

And here are some pictures of the girls reacting while biting into the cupcakes!

 It was so fun to see them all be so excited!!

We would have been excited for a boy or a girl, but I'm just so excited that my instincts were right and I haven't been thinking our poor boy was a girl all this time! Now I can REALLY start planning the nursery! We're going to have so much fun!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oops, I Did It Again

I did, I just can't help myself. I baked again this week on Tuesday. Did I mention I just can't help myself? Is it possible to be addicted to baking? Because if so I need to join Bakers' Anonymous.
The worst part is I didn't even have an excuse this time. No Bible study, no group gathering, no function to take baked goods to. Nothing other than the simple desire to BAKE! So out came these.

The most wonderful, EASIEST double chocolate cookies ever. They take me back to my childhood when we used to go shopping at the mall, and every now and then mom would let us go to the cookie shop and pick out any cookie we wanted. I never went for the colorful or super frosted cookies, I ALWAYS chose the chocolate cookie with chocolate chips. And that's exactly what these taste like! I'm even going to share the easy recipe just so you can go bake some for yourself and join in the happiness.

Double Chocolate Cookies
(makes about 24 cookies)
1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
2 TBS melted butter
2 eggs
3 TBS water
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix together the cake mix, butter, eggs, and water - I would do it by hand, not in a mixer. The dough is going to be THICK and sticky, in fact so thick you might think you did it wrong, but you didn't. It's an arm work out to stir. If it seems like all the cake mix isn't getting mixed in, add a dash more water, but not too much. Then stir in the chocolate chips, which I never actually measure out 1/2 cup, just dump some in (who's really going to argue that you added too many chocolate chips?).
Grease a cookie sheet, and also grease your cookie scoop if you use one (and you should. If you don't, go buy one). Drop them on the cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes in a 350 degree oven (or 325 if yours cooks hot like mine). Cool for a minute on the cookie sheet then transfer to a cooling rack. Then eat one, preferably with a hot cup of coffee. Then try to limit yourself to just 3 in the first sitting.

Yum. Can you seriously blame me for needing to bake that batch of soft chocolate goodness?
Landon certainly didn't mind.

Except I made the mistake of trying to just break a cookie in half and hand him half instead of feeding it to him piece by piece. Two seconds later I was fishing the entire half of the cookie back out of his mouth. Which then led to him grabbing it back and hold it tightly in his hand, and trying to escape thinking I was taking it away completely. Which then led to crumbled cookie all over the couch and rug, which led to vacuuming which I HATE with a passion.

The baking was still worth it though. I'll just continue feeding the addiction, literally. Especially since I then made chocolate chip pumpkin bread yesterday. Baby #2 doesn't seem to mind either, and TOMORROW we'll find out if we're having a boy or a girl, so stay tuned!!

**To give proper credit where it is due, you should know that the cookie recipe did NOT come from my own creative mind (although I wish it had!) I got it from a Taste of Home special cookie edition magazine. Thank you Taste of Home!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

20 Weeks and 13 Months!

We have two milestones this week! On the same day (yesterday) I'm at 20 weeks pregnant and Landon is 13 months old!

Total weight gain: Not 100% sure but I think around 5 or 6 pounds
Maternity clothes: Ta Da! In the above photo I'm wearing my very first pair of maternity jeans (which you actually can't see in the pic. Oops) I originally thought I'd wait a little longer before I bought maternity jeans, and then it dawned on me that if I'm going to pay for them I may as well get the most use out of them possible. Plus I was getting really annoyed at my Bella Band, specifically having to constantly pull it down and readjust it after crawling around on the floor after Landon! I still need to find a 2nd pair of maternity jeans that are the skinny cut so I can wear them with boots. But I love my first pair!
Best moment this week: Kyle felt Baby move last night for the first time!
Foods: While shopping at the grocery store this week the only cereal that sounded good was Cocoa Krispies. So I've eaten them almost every day. It was a flashback to early high school when I ate them EVERY morning for multiple years for breakfast. Don't judge, they're actually not as unnutritious as you might think.
Movement: Getting bigger and bigger! Starting to feel more like baby is pushing off of one side of my uterus to bounce against the other side!
Gender: FOUR MORE DAYS of mystery!
Labor signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out: Still very in.
What I miss: Not really sure that there's anything major I've been missing this week.
Milestones: We're officially halfway through the pregnancy! Went SO fast!

And just for fun, thought I'd do a little belly comparison of me at 20 weeks with Landon (which was actually the first time I took a belly pic w/ his pregnancy)
You can tell I'm a little bit bigger this time!

And Landon is 13 Months old now!! I'm going to try to keep doing the month pictures at least till his 2nd birthday, then we'll reevaluate. He was NOT excited about taking the pictures yesterday.

This is the closest thing to a smile he would give me. And if you were there in real life you would know that this face was actually the beginning of him yelling at me before he took the paper and flung it to the side. 
Thankfully this morning he was in a much better picture taking mood.

It's possible that his grumpiness yesterday could be due to another tooth coming in (to add to his two upper and two lower teeth!) We're not sure but last night he was acting SUPER grouchy, so much so that we put him to bed at 7 p.m. And he slept till 8:40 this morning! Must be growing or getting a tooth!
Have I shown you recently how cute of a sleeper he is?

My little 13 month old is walking around like a pro now, although he still has trouble walking in his shoes. His eating habits are about the same as they were last month as well as his sleeping habits.  He's playing with his blocks and looking at books the most out of any activity right now. He's starting to make the mental connection that when he's doing something he's not supposed to do, he needs to be QUIET. We close all the bedroom/bathroom doors in our hallway, and in the past when he's seen one of the "forbidden doors" accidentally left open, he starts beelining it down the hallway giggling to himself the whole time, which of course completely gave away the fact that he was going somewhere off limits. But just the past week or so he's figured out he needs to be quiet and not giggle. He was also quiet while unrolling half of the toilet paper roll for Daddy.

He still loooooooooooooves to be outside, especially crunching the leaves, which I let him do more and more now that he doesn't try to eat them anymore.

He's still not saying any words other than "Mama" "Dada" and "Uh oh." Although we're diligently trying to get him to say dog or ball, but so far he only smiles at us like, "You wish!"
He's such a cutie pie and just more and more fun & interactive everyday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Wreath

For the first time in my life, I made a wreath! So I just thought I'd share. Here's our fall wreath for our door:

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy (and cheap!) it was to make! I bought the base of the wreath at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 (minus a 40% off coupon!!). I already had the fall leaves from buying them on 90% off clearance at Hobby Lobby after the fall season a couple of years ago, and they had their fall decorations on sale for 40% off so I got the little set of berries for less than $2. I just poked the leaves in through the branches, then added the berries, and then tied down the berries with some fishing line so they wouldn't stick straight out and voila! My first fall wreath!
It actually was also my first time to ever hang a wreath directly on our door. I called my friend Alissa to double check that you use a wreath hanger to do that, ha ha! The $8 wreath hanger from Target was the most expensive part of my wreath! Good thing I can reuse it for the Christmas wreath I plan to make!!
There you have it, my fall craftiness (heavily inspired by my new addiction to Pinterest).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Our Little Construction Worker

Landon's newest talent:

He's good for both demolition as well as rebuilding. Just call for pricing and availability.


Not to mention how cute he is when he's proud of himself.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

19 Weeks

Total weight gain: Still haven't checked. But according to this post, probably all the baked goods haven't helped with this one.
Maternity clothes: As you can see in the picture above, the Bella Band made it's official debut this week, as predicted. Baby #2 is making his or her presence more known! Still no maternity shirts though.
Best moment this week: Feeling Baby's movements much more distinctly (see below)
Foods: Nothing too crazy this week, minus the random craving I had for Sprite last night at 10 p.m. which led to me driving through McDonald's on my way home for the Bible study at the Zeta house. (don't worry, Landon was fast asleep at home with a babysitter here)
Movement: LOTS this week! The movements are getting much more distinct and also very regular. I forgot how much I loved this!
Gender: Still don't know, but only a week and a half till we do!
Labor signs: No thanks.
Belly Button in or out: Still very in.
What I miss: Just buttoning my jeans. It's so much more work to get the Bella Band resituated after every time of going to the bathroom.
Milestones: If this baby were to come as early as Landon did (2 weeks) then this week would be halfway through the pregnancy! WHOA that's crazy!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Heart Fall

I love fall.
Every year I have a debate with myself over whether my favorite season is fall or spring. But I have 100% officially, no-turning-back decided this year that fall is my most favorite season. I won't even change my mind come spring time. Here's why I love fall!

Leaves start to turn beautiful colors, making everything outside even more spectacular! Of course, this leads to inspiration and excitement to put up our fall decorations in our house.

I love decorating our house for fall, almost as much as decorating for Christmas! (almost, but not quite). Maybe that's why I like fall better than spring; I don't have special spring decorations!

Another reason to love fall?
The return of baking season! My mama always taught me growing up that during the summer, we turn the oven on as little as possible to save on the electric bill. I don't adhere to that rule QUITE as vigorously as my mom, but my oven time is definitely limited during the hot months. So fall is the official return of full force baking. I may or may not have baked something at least twice every week for the past 3 or 4 weeks. In fact three times a week might not be a stretch. (Potential correlation to needing to wear maternity clothes earlier this time around???) Those cookies are today's latest baking celebration. Luckily for me, having college girls over for Bible studies (or going to their dorms/sorority houses) provides a perfect excuse reason for me to bake up some treats!
And what's better than sampling said baked goods with a nice hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate?

I mean seriously, can you argue with fall being the best season after that? Not to mention all things pumpkin coming out to be baked as well.

Landon loves fall too!! It means getting to taste some of those yummy baked treats (oh the joys of being one and not having dietary restrictions!!)
Fall also means cooler weather, which means more time to spend outside. Yesterday we took Landon to the local pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins for our front porch.

This one is bigger than me Dad!!

That one's more my size

Phone pic, sorry for the poor quality

Our little family of pumpkins! Including Baby #2 :)
Unfortunately it was REALLY windy, which meant dust blowing everywhere. And turns out the actual pumpkin patch that you pay for had mostly stuff that Landon is way too little to enjoy, so we decided to skip the $7.50 per person fee and just looked around at the pumpkins already set out for you to choose from. He still thought it was fun!!
And fall is even more fun with Landon's birthday gift from Dad & Mom!
(once again, video from the phone, my camera battery died right as we went out to swing for the first time!)

All in all, we're loving fall. We hope it sticks around for a long time before winter sets in!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

18 Weeks

Total weight gain: Not sure if I've gained any since my dr. appt last week. I haven't checked :)
Maternity clothes: Swiftly approaching! As you can see in the picture, my bump had a growth spurt this week, because I feel like all of a sudden I'm actually showing the past couple of days! Gone are the days of buttoning my jeans, so I'm sure the Bella Band will make its first appearance this week.
Best moment this week: We had our first weekend at home as a family since students came back to school, so Kyle and I got to take Landon on a walk and talk about our new baby! Can't talk in too much details yet since we don't know the gender, but just talked about things we're excited about (and nervous about)
Foods: Honeycrisp apples!!! My obsession this week. They are by far the most incredible apple ever created, but also WAAAAY to expensive to buy consistently. But our local grocery store had them on sale for $1.88/lb this week so we bought 8 and have been thoroughly enjoying them. I'm kicking myself that I didn't go buy more of them yesterday before the sale ended. Now there are only 3 left to fight Kyle over. *sniff* Goodbye Honeycrisp apples. See you again next sale time. Oh, and randomly this week I thought summer sausage (like the big stick one) with cheese and crackers sounded good. Prob the most random pregnancy "craving" I've ever had. It's been yummy though!
Movement: Still feeling tiny movements, but only when I'm sitting still and actually paying attention for it. If I wasn't paying attention I probably wouldn't notice.
Gender: Still don't know for sure. My friend Genny says the 159 heartrate is girl for sure though, ha ha.
Labor signs: No no and no.
Belly Button in or out: Still very in.
What I miss: Wearing my full wardrobe of shirts. I'm in the awkward phase where you can't really tell I'm pregnant if you don't know, I just look like I have a fat stomach. So I'm not enjoying wearing my more fitted shirts, but I only have so many loose shirts.
Milestones: I've stayed up till 11:00 p.m. two nights this week. That's a milestone for having gone to bed at 10 or 10:30 consistently for 10 weeks!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Did This Happen?!

After looking at a hundred recipes for hot chocolate/hot chocolate accessory ideas on Pinterest, I'm now sipping a cup of hot chocolate (made from a Swiss Miss packet, not one of the amazing recipes) and listening to Christmas music. Yes, I'm one of THOSE people who starts listening to Christmas music in October. Well, actually, September if you're going to get technical about it this year. However, I'm listening to instrumental Christmas music, Jim Brickman piano to be exact, and I feel like that's not as scandalous as say, sing along with the Rat Pack Christmas music.
But something about quiet, instrumental Christmas music makes me very nostalgic. Especially now that I'm a Mom. And pregnant. Lethal combination for nostalgia.
But I'm just sitting here thinking, how did this happen?! How is Landon THIS big?? :


It's true,  Landon is OFFICIALLY walking now. We put the sticker in his calendar last Monday for "Walks Alone" because it was the first day that he started taking 5-6 steps at a time in a row multiple times that day. But on Wednesday things really clicked and now he can walk across the room! Actually the best video I've been able to capture was on my phone, so sorry for the poor quality:


What happened to my tiny baby boy that I was snuggling with for hours on end a year ago? How can I be the Mom of a little boy who's walking now?! After Landon was born I apologized to my mom for all the times I used to make fun of her for getting all sentimental about us growing up. I get it now!! But I will say, nostalgia aside, it is SO fun to watch Landon walk. He's just so pleased with himself for figuring it out that he often laughs to himself the entire time he's walking. It's adorable. And I'm so glad that he's growing up to be such a healthy and spunky little boy. He sure lights up our lives.

Something else new he figured out how to do :)

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