Thursday, December 4, 2014

Halfway!

Twenty weeks! Halfway there! 4.5 months for those of you who aren't familiar with the weekly aging method of dating pregnancy!

Date: December 3, 2014

Due Date: April 22, 2015

Weight gain: Good news! I've gained back all the 10 pounds I originally lost and then 2 more on top of that. So, about 5 pounds in 4 weeks since the last update. Add about a pound a week for the remainder of the pregnancy and I'd be gaining less overall than I did with Charley (40 pounds or so), but I started out 10 pounds heavier so I'll end up about the same. I'm sure it's an exact science.

Belly Shot:

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Charley Bump, Laney Bump

Photo thoughts: Oh man. Didn't realize it until now but looking at those two pictures I'm looking bigger this time around I think. Gasp! I am really liking the fact that it is ALMOST completely obvious that it's baby bump and not beer belly though. Still a couple things I put on and it's not quite obvious enough so I hang those back up for use later in pregnancy.

Pregnancy Symptoms/How I'm feeling: Feeling pretty great overall! Definitely in the second trimester bliss right now. Had a recent ultrasound which curbed any anxieties and symptoms are minimal at this stage so yay! Although my back and tailbone are really hurting me lately. I never had this with Charley so this is a new one. Find its most painful when standing for too long or when I go from standing to walking. Walking doesn't seem to bother me which is weird.

Cravings: Nothing in particular really. I'm able to eat (and enjoy) all the sweets again, so there has been quite a bit of warm-chocolate-chip-cookie-after-Charley's-in-bed action recently. For further proof of that, see section entitled "Weight gain".

Sleep: Sleep is good. Fall asleep easily and am not really waking in the night. I did break out the pregnancy pillow and I'm trying to only sleep on my side at this point now (does this matter now or just when you get bigger? I feel like Laney protests against it when I'm on my back so I try not to lay that way much.) so if any complaints it's just the lack of sleeping position variety in my life. Left side, right side, left side, right side. Booooring.

What I’m loving/I can't live without: Dark chocolate covered almonds. I asked John to pick up some dark chocolate covered pecans for me but he couldn't find those and bought these instead. I do love a pecan more than an almond but there is so much chocolate coating that you really cannot even tell what nut was supposed to be in there. Delicious!

What I miss? Is it concerning if I say alcohol again? Ha! John stopped by the store the other night to get a couple of beers for the evening and I was pretty jealous. I love a good tasting beer or two on a weekend evening. And of course we both have open bar Christmas parties this year that I won't get to enjoy. Worth it, obviously, but just a tougher time of year to be cut off. :P

What I’m anticipating/Looking forward to: Getting started on the nursery. I'm ready to buy paint, darn it! Let's get this show on the road!

What I’m stressing about/worries: Not much really. Some small concerns but nothing that's weighing on my mind. Quite the change from the last 16 weeks! I feel so freeeeeeee!

Oh actually, just remembered this. Knew it was too good to be true. So I had one little blackout episode a couple weeks back at a Christmas Show thing we go to annually. Lots of people + lots of walking + a poor breakfast that morning = me completely blacking out due to low blood sugar. I didn't fall down thank goodness, but doctor agreed that low blood sugar was likely the culprit and just to be sure to eat better from now on, but now I'm all worried about the gestational diabetes test at 28 weeks. I don't even know how I would survive on that diet so really hoping it was just a fluke thing.

Milestones: Halfway! That's all I can think of really.

Aha Moment: No aha-ing lately I don't think.

Differences between pregnancies: Just my overall feelings about it in general. With Charley I was PUSHING the bump out at this point and with Laney I'm hiding a bit. I don't know why - I AM so excited but maybe just don't feel like inviting conversations to begin about it? Who knows. I am weird.

Highlights of the week: The anatomy scan was a big one last Tuesday, and other than that just Thanksgiving with my family and a long weekend were pretty highlightable.

Goals for the upcoming week: Eat well for the busy weekend coming up! Who am I kidding - this whole month is crazy busy. I just need to remember snacks and water and to eat. What pregnant lady forgets to eat??

Movement: I still am not 100% on this. I don't know if its because I am only a believer if I can feel it from the outside or what. I feel flutters pretty often but then I talk myself out of it like nahhhhh, that was just in my head.

Boy or girl: Girl! Laney Beth

Birthdate prediction: I'm gonna go with sometime in April.

Summary: Feeling pretty good and canNOT believe I'm halfway through already.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Santa and Laney and Charley and Thanksgiving and Scandal

Remember the days that each blog post was about one single subject and there were thought out pictures and links and even drawings to go along with it? Yeah, those days were fun. Now you just get a list of things and short commentary that all would have been their own post if only they'd occurred a few years ago and if we're lucky I can toss in a picture or two. Forgive me?

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Santa - we visited. It was good. Paid a few more dollars for a different mall Santa this year because a) I don't trust myself to take a great picture at a free Santa (see Charley's first Santa pic), b) it seems other mall Santa never smiles and c) I needed to go to a store at this different mall this year which really, was the only reason at all but I like justification and I feel justified now.

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And then I made a collage because I don't want you getting the idea that I've completely lost all my blogging gusto.

PicMonkey Collage

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Hey remember that anatomy scan I had last week? No? Oh that's right - every blog I've written about my insecurities and anxieties about that appointment are still in draft mode because I never finished them. Anyways, I was nervous. I felt like this was the last thing holding me back from feeling good about this pregnancy and moving forward like this was really happening. We knew it was a girl from the elective ultrasound, but I really needed to see that Laney was healthy. And guess what? Everything looked great as far as they could tell! I feel so much better it's unreal. 

She's still a girl, too.

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I reach the halfway point on Wednesday! Yay!

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Charley makes me laugh so much. I know, I know. Everyone thinks their kid is funny and 99% of the time when you try and tell someone else the funny thing they did you just get a sympathy laugh, but hear me out and give me all the sympathy laughs in the end.

I posted this first bit on Facebook. This happened as we were walking out of a store to the car.

Me: We need to go to Costco.
Charley: What's that place? We have to take an airplane to get there?
Me: (after thinking it over for a second to connect the dots in her head) Hahahahaa no no, that was Chicago!

And then I told her she was so funny and I wanted to write that down real quick so I didn't forget it. Then we got in the car and drove to our next destination.

Several minutes later we get to our next destination. I usually turn around in my seat and unbuckle Charley, and then get out and open her door to get her out. Easier for me since she's in the middle seat still.

So I open the door and she does this cute thing with her hands in the air saying "help, help! Please rescue the tiny princess! She needs your help!" And I giggle and tell her she makes me laugh.

To which she replies: "Mama, do you need to take a minute and write that one down too?"

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Thanksgiving was good except we were missing 44% of the usual guests. 44%! That part is kind of sad. There were just a measly 10 of us which I realize sounds crazy but I'm just used to having a big immediate family! 10 people is like deafening silence when you are used to the volume of 18! (That part is totally not true - I get overwhelmed by the volume of 18 so 10 was way more my style. I'll allow the other 8 to return if they can keep their voices low for me and my old lady ears.) We'll do better at Christmas - I'm sure of it!

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Our ride to Thanksgiving. Charley in a princess dress and crown, carrying Minnie Mouse and riding to Thanksgiving on a golf cart in my dad's lap. I like my life.

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Scandal - I finally started watching it. I think I'm about halfway through season 2. Really good and really scandalous, but sometimes the more political parts lose my interest and I find myself perusing my phone and not paying attention. But then! Scandalous part! Attention grabbed again.

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I've decorated every square inch of my house for Christmas. Less is definitely not more when it comes to Christmas decorations in my opinion. I'll show you sometime. Maybe a whole post dedicated to the topic. It'll be just like old times.

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That'll get you semi-updated with me. Maybe I'll do another one of those pregnancy week updates since this week is the big 20 weeker one, and get around to showing you some house projects and Christmas decor soon too. I've got big plans. And approximately 2 hours of unscheduled time this weekend. It's totally going to work out.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Halloween 2014

As Charley gets older and has more opinions, this DIY costume thing we have going on is definitely going to be more difficult. This year, I just crossed my fingers she wouldn't choose to be a Disney Princess or any other character and I asked her what she wanted to be. Her answer: a pink hippo! Yay! It was original and I liked it! I brainstormed about how to make the costume for a couple of weeks and then started to buy a few things for it including a pink sweatsuit one size too big that I would stuff to make her nice and plump like a hippo. I couldn't wait!

To steer clear of any meltdowns, I occasionally would ask Charley once again what she wanted to be for Halloween, and about 2 weeks out from Halloween her answer suddenly changed to a pink kitty cat. I asked a couple times a day for several days to be sure she had changed her mind and it seemed she had. Sure, the cat would be easier but it's not as original nor is it as fun in my opinion. But, that's what the girl wanted so that's what we did.

Charley's favorite color is pink, obviously, but her second favorite color is black so I took creative liberty and decided she would have some black stripes on her pink costume also. A few days before Halloween I started putting it together.

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I bought a long sleeved pink shirt and some pink pants from Old Navy for about $10 I think. And, even though they were really cheap, I didn't want to waste 2 perfectly good pieces of clothing so I brainstormed on how I could stripe up her clothing without ruining the shirt and pants. My solution: double sided tape and black felt.

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It wasn't perfect by any means. Some of the stripes stuck up at the ends because the tape wasn't placed all the way to the end. And once I applied the stripes, it reminded me more of a tiger's stripes (or even Tigger's stripes) than a cat's stripes, but it was good enough and Charley was thrilled about it which is all that matters anyways. 

Charley went back and forth on whether she wanted her whole face painted pink or not but a) I could never find the creamy face paint that covers a face well in pink and b) she ultimately decided against having her whole face pink and opted for just a pink nose and black whiskers. Easy enough!

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We made her collar with a piece of ribbon and a toy coin we got from the Renaissance Festival a couple weeks ago, added a bell, and double sided taped that one together too. The ears we already owned and we did make some paws out of some fuzzy pink fabric adhered to a pair of mittens with the fingertips cut off, but in the end we actually forgot to put those on before heading out to trick or treat. It was definitely the most simple costume we've done yet!

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But it wasn't my favorite. I think Raggedy Ann is still my favorite and the peacock a close second! But she still enjoyed herself and still loaded up on candy so I'd call it a win!

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My nieces were Little Red Riding Hood and Little Red Riding Hood's Sick Granny - their entire costumes (minus the cape) from Goodwill! It was a cheap Halloween for all!

And then when we got home, we ripped the stripes and tape off of the shirt and pants and tossed them into the washer! Cheapest costume ever - paid a few dollars for the face paint, maybe $1 on black felt, $2 or $3 on the pink fuzzy fabric we used on her paws and tail, and everything else we already owned or planned to keep! Pretty awesome!

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Can't wait to see what she comes up with next year. I'm still pulling for the pink hippo, but something tells me her mind will change a million times between now and then!

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sixteen Weeks

Sixteen weeks! Stealing this little survey thing from a fellow April '15 Mama to get a snapshot of this pregnancy at this point. I don't have it in me to keep this up weekly, so you can either breathe a sigh of relief or chastise me in the comments for that.

Date: November 6, 2014

Due Date: April 22, 2015

Weight gain: I lost 10 pounds in that awful first trimester, and have gained about 7 of that back. So I'm still down 3 or so.

Belly Shot: 16 weeks is when I started having a bump and not just all over belly pudge with Charley, and it seems to be the same this time. Although looks a bit bigger this time, but I did start out with a bit extra this time too so makes sense.


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Charley Bump, Laney Bump

Photo thoughts: In pictures it is definitely a bump because I make sure to hold the top or bottom of my shirt in to highlight the roundness of it. I don't however walk around with my hand like that so I notice many curious glances at my belly both by those that know and strangers that can't tell. Maternity clothes have helped a lot this week in distinguishing a bump versus pudge but it still isn't that pronounced.

Pregnancy Symptoms/How I'm feeling: I still have random nausea which is really annoying. GO. AWAY. Also been getting headaches after lunch but am wondering if I just need to up my water intake a bit more. Ahhh. As if I'm not in the bathroom enough as it is. Which is another symptom - I don't know if it's the way she's sitting versus the way Charley was sitting in there, but I remember thinking I didn't have much of a change in how often I had to pee when I was pregnant with Charley and that definitely is not the case with this baby.

Cravings: I WANT sweets all of the time, but 75% of the time they make me feel icky afterwards. Same with soda. I  WANT it, but it makes me feel bad after I drink it.

Sleep: Sleep is good. Occasionally I will wake up after an intense dream around 4 or so in the morning and it takes me a bit to get back to sleep, but falling asleep initially is no problem. I also don't have to get up to pee at all so plenty of good night's sleeps over here.

What I’m loving/I can't live without: Heating pad. Really helps with some tailbone pain I've had or just back pain at the end of the day.

What I miss? All the fall beers. It really hasn't been too bad with missing those tasty drinks, but when I'm going to hang out with a friend or when John and I went on a date it was hard to come up with something to do that doesn't involve getting a couple of drinks. That sounds awful, doesn't it? Ha!

What I’m anticipating/Looking forward to: I am anxious for my doctor appointment next Thursday. It's just a regular heartbeat check and I'm able to check that at home but I just like going and hearing that everything is still going okay.

What I’m stressing about/worries: Just the usual stuff - something's not right or is going to go wrong.

Milestones: Found out this little baby is a GIRL at our elective ultrasound on Sunday! So excited!

Aha Moment: This baby girl's name is going to be Laney, and my sister realized that my girls are now Laney and Janey (Charley's middle name is Jane, and my sister often calls her Janey). Love it!

Differences between pregnancies: Definitely have felt worse this pregnancy and have had way more worries, but otherwise the belly seems to be growing at about the same rate. Time is definitely going by faster with this pregnancy though!

Highlights of the week: Obviously the big one was finding out this baby is a girl. Also had a great time on Halloween which I promise to write about soon!

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Goals for the upcoming week: Organize another area in the house this weekend! Remember to take those darn vitamins every single day! Drink more water!

Movement: Nothing absolute yet. I remember it being later with Charley too, but since I know what it feels like now I'm thinking it will be very soon.

Boy or girl: Girl! Laney Beth

Birthdate prediction: Still pretty early for this one and I'm sure I'm shooting myself in the foot by guessing an early date, but I'm going with April 9th.

Summary: I know I won't keep up with these weekly, but I would like some sort of formal documentation of this pregnancy at each stage. I didn't really do these with Charley either and it's not like I'll need this information for future pregnancies because those will not be happening, but it's good to be able to look back on stuff like this for when friends may ask "when did you have your elective ultrasound?" or "were you still nauseous at 16 weeks?" etc.

Overall though, feeling much more positive as each week passes and am excited to get to the anatomy scan first, and then to actually start working on the nursery! Pinterest was not in existence when I designed Charley's nursery so I can't wait to start there.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Quick Takes

The song 'Bang Bang' by Jessie J. (took me over a month to figure out ANY lyrics to the song so I could Google it and include it here) is the worst song ever made. I listen to a morning show that is on the pop radio station so I get to pretend to stay hip and up to date with all the new pop songs. And this one is AWFUL. Monotone, lady rapping, screaming, screeching. HATE it. It's the only song I can ever remember having to turn the radio all the way down when it comes on.

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Charley is cracking me up lately. I don't know if these things will translate well to written form or to people that don't know her personally but I'm sharing anyways. It's not even that funny and it for sure wouldn't be funny if an adult said them, but hearing her use phrases I've not heard her use before and in the appropriate context makes me laugh so hard. It's like she's a little person or something!

So, Charley and I ran to the Dollar Tree to get a few things I needed to finish decorating for Halloween a couple weeks ago. As we were pulling out of the driveway Charley asked where John was since she knew he was outside somewhere but didn't see him. I told her he was in the backyard near her playground set and her follow up question was "Is he working on it??!" I told her no, he was working on the irrigation system and her response was "Oh! You scared me for a minute!" And I died laughing. See, not even that funny but a little wee person using that phrase just amuses me.

Then, while in the Dollar Tree I couldn't find the clothespins within the area I knew they should be. I said out loud "I just don't see them anywhere!" and started to walk away. With Charley following behind me and also helping to look for the missing clothespins she shakes her head and says "strange, strange, strange". Again, I laughed. I wonder at what age will it no longer amuse me that she uses phrases appropriately and in context? I guess when I come to terms with the fact that she really is a little person and not a baby, maybe?

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At yard sales one weekend I found an accent chair that I LOVED for $35. It was a minty green color, in great shape and just so happens to help with my mint green accent thing I have going on in my living room. I get it home and get John to bring it in for me and......it's just not right. I need help.

So, our couch is not really 100% my style but it is functional for our room and it was the right price and that's done. It is IKEA, and therefore a bit more modern of a look than I'd normally go for, but since it's a floating couch in a room that didn't offer very many functional configurations it really works well. The lower back keeps the room nice and open which was totally a happy accident. I do normally prefer higher-backed couches so the fact that we ended up with this one and it works well in the room was just by chance.

Anyways, so the chair is not lower-backed like the couch. The seat is higher than the couch and even though it's not directly next to the couch, I think it looks a bit off. First thought was to change the legs. I could even buy the exact legs that are on the couch, but I'm worried that the chair will look funny with short legs and a tall back like that. What are we thinking? Leave it? Put it elsewhere in the house? Another suggestion?

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And now that I've taken the pictures to accompany this and have looked at it for a couple of weeks I don't think it's THAT bad. But maybe you'll have some good suggestions anyways.

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Can I eat you up Charley?
No, I'm not very tasty.

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I've shared on Facebook and on Instagram so I've probably covered most of my bases, but I know there are some exclusive blog people too so I need to share here too. Sorry for those of you that will now see this for the third time! My social networking people are spread across many outlets; I can't help it!

We went to have an elective ultrasound yesterday at 15 weeks 4 days because we aren't very patient people. Also, the anxiety with this pregnancy is only lessened by ultrasounds and this was one to bridge the gap from that last one at 8 weeks and the next one that won't be until 21 weeks or so since we declined the NT scan.

So anyways, I'll post the video of Charley sharing the news but for those of us that can't just watch videos at any time of the day I'll put the cliff's notes transcript right here: IT'S A GIRL!





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Still relating to pregnancy, I have been playing hide the bump at work thus far because I wasn't ready for everyone to know because I still am not completely convinced this baby is happening - likely due to my history. I like to go around pretending all is good because I don't want to remember this pregnancy as one that I didn't get as excited about as I did with Charley's or whatever, but that sinking feeling is still there. So, if less people knew at work, the less I would have to put on my fake excited face. (Granted, it isn't ALL fake by any means, but sometimes I just have a hard time accepting congratulations and all.)

Anyways, I guess I am embracing the bump today.

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Excuse the bedhead - hadn't gotten around to that yet this morning.

Well, I'll be sure to embrace it as soon as I take this coat off. 

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Yesterday I gave myself a 20 minute break in cleaning up our disaster of a house (I am only about 3 months behind on laundry and everything else it seems) to play on the computer for a bit. I really wanted to finally update my header to the current month since I missed October so I played around with that and created a new one. Whew. I wouldn't be missing TWO months in a row - no way.

Last night as we were laying in bed John visited my blog to see if there were any updates and said "Oh! You made a new header!" which reminded me to look at it on mobile to see how I liked it. 

I pull it up and could have smacked myself. That should definitely say NOVEMBER not OCTOBER you idiot. And of course I created it in Photoshop and didn't save the Photoshop version of it (only the jpeg) so I'll have to recreate the whole darn thing. Idiot!

(And I'll stick a picture of it here in case you are reading in a reader or if you read this at a later date...)



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That's all I've got I think. I still have some house updates to share and of course Halloween to share, but those will have to be another day. Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Festivober

I officially am petitioning to have October renamed as Festivober. The amount of festivals squeezed into one month is outrageous. And exhausting. And fun.

This year we only managed 4 festivals in Festivober, but that's because we spent one weekend of October at the beach. We easily could have made it to 6 this year had it not been for that pesky trip. Can't believe I picked the ocean and perfect weather over hayrides, tons of people and pumpkins. I'm obviously not thinking right.

Anyways, so the first festival we went to this year was our second annual trip to the Anne Springs Close Greenway Fall Frolic - because anything with a name that long HAS to be fun. And well, it was fun last year so I figured it'd be fun again. Spoiler alert: it was.

And since it was the second annual, comparison pictures to last year are a must. MUST. It's in the rule book. [Rule 14.a. Any activity visited for consecutive years, photographed in a similar nature, and shared on any type of social media must include side by side comparisons with prior year(s).]

I even took the rule one step further when I saw the same dress (in a different color) Charley wore to last year's festival in her current size at a consignment sale - I went ahead and purchased that dress for her to wear to this year's festival for the ultimate in consistency.


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We even kept the helmet crooked year over year to ensure consistency.

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Much safer now that she can see over the steering wheel.

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Hmm, this last one is odd. Those pumpkins are the exact same size. 

So that was festival number 1 in Festivober. We knew that one was a favorite so we did it early in the month so the crowds wouldn't be as bad. We then took the next weekend off for that beach trip I mentioned. If I was really serious about Festivober I would've found a festival AT the beach, but oh well. We have to leave ourselves a cushion to improve upon next year.

The next festival we also visited last year and is my wallet's favorite one. It's just a little one at a shopping center near me and everything is FREE. Well, 99% of it is. So naturally, more crowded but it really isn't that bad. We still were able to do everything we wanted to do except a couple things that we protested based on the wait time alone. (face painting and balloon animals.) 

Here's a list of the free stuff though: free pumpkin and free stickers with which to decorate your pumpkin, free cupcake and free icing with which to decorate your own cupcake, a free child's pizza they are able to make themselves, from Home Depot - a free apron and kit with which to make and paint a toolbox, free bounce houses, free horse and carriage rides, free samples from various restaurants (cider, cookies, cheese sticks, chicken wings, etc) free games, free massages, free, free, free, free, free! Awesome, yes? 

Only non-awesome part is that last year the only picture I took was of the face painting and this year we did NO FACE PAINTING. No consistency here except for the fact that I only really took ONE picture this year too. 

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Festival 3 was a last minute change-up. Originally the plan was to go to the Hot Air Balloon Fest we normally go to each year but at the last minute due to some family members with the sickies and others (me) not wanting to make the long drive to the festival, Charley and I decided we would just do the Fall Festival at the local theme park Carowinds instead. We have season passes to this park so this one was also in the low end of the $$$ spectrum. 

Everything was free here too. Free pumpkin, free petting zoo, free Halloween show, free balloon, $3.49 lollipop. Ok, so not everything.

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Festival 4 was today. We met some friends at the Carolina Renaissance Festival in our best Renaissance garbs. 

Just kidding - we just kind of did our best people-watching-but-not-quite-staring at those people. So, um, fascinating that so many people take this festival so serious. We were really there for the turkey legs and the beer (well, not ALL of us) and the entertainment for the kids. Well - just our kid I guess because the other two were still pretty tiny. Next year though! Next year they'll be big enough to fit into a Renaissance costume and we will all get into it!

And my camera was on the wrong setting for about 75% of the time we were there. Darn exposure. Photoshop helped some of them but many were not in focus. BOO HOO. 

But some were pretty good!

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John does not actually have blue hair, and I actually do not have the energy to color correct.
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I know there are still 6 days left of this month and therefore plenty of more time for festivalling, but I'm going to go ahead and call it. We still have a costume to make and a pumpkin to carve so that should successfully finish out our Halloweeny month.

Oh, and if I get around to it perhaps I'll change my header to an October header before the end of the month too. I can't have 55 months of monthly-header-changing consistency and ruin because of some busy festivalling and beaching. I need to get my priorities in order, that's for sure.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Great Clean Out

My mom was (and still is) a stickler for keeping things clean and organized. Once a year she would reorganize everything in the house and she would call these annual feats THE GREAT CLEAN OUT. Yesterday I found myself doing the same thing - and I was oddly excited about it. We're a lot alike, she and I.

The plan was to take advantage of the morning because I usually feel better in the mornings than the rest of the day. (Yes, still not 100% over here. Puked up a BAGEL yesterday morning! A bagel! The epitome of safe pregnancy carby eating!) Charley's room was out of control both just clutter-y wise and organization wise. I knew that before we could even think about doing anything to the spare room for the future nursery that we would a) have to get her toys out of there as she's currently using it as a playroom and b) get her room organized. So we'll call this great clean out 'Nesting: Part I'.

I set foot in her room with the sole purpose of just cleaning it up. And maybe finding a couple of reorganization solutions. It turned into a full day where I hired (with hugs) my handy husband to rebuild her entire closet. Well, not the entire thing. Just 75% of it.

This was her closet before:

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There are also shelves on the left side as well that we built to take advantage of the nooks on either side of the closet. The stuff on top of the shelf is all clothing and shoes in larger sizes and all that we hang up at this age are coats and jackets. However, we have a coat closet so as soon as I can pare down (or move into my own closet) some of my own many coats or jackets, we can move hers in there and would no longer need the hanging space. And while I love the IKEA Expedit, shelving all the way across would make the space more functional because getting to those bottom floor shelves is pretty difficult and the Expedit unit can be used either in the nursery or in the basement one day. So, shelves all the way across he built. (We plan on rebuilding the closet to include hanging space again whenever she gets older.)

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Which left me with these few things to organize and fit back in there.


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But that would have been too easy and wouldn't follow the rules for THE GREAT CLEAN OUT. Basically, during the great clean out you go through it all. The junk box, every game to inspect for any/all missing pieces, sift through Legos to make sure a rogue Lincoln Log hasn't joined the Lego party, etc. YOU GO THROUGH IT ALL. So that's what I did.

(I will admit I'm not as great as my mom. As she did her GREAT CLEAN OUT she would have the vacuum with the hose attachments on it next to her so she could vacuum out the boxes and baskets and shelves as she went. I....did not do any of this. I hope she doesn't think I'm a failure.)

We are missing one Buzz card from Toy Story Yahtzee and 4 sticks from Kerplunk; both of which games were acquired second hand so there is a chance we never had these pieces. If found, please send ASAP.

Once all that is done and everything is in exactly the box it should be in, you empty the baskets and other storage solutions to make sure everything is being used optimally. And then you place it all back in there. And also, go ahead and pull everything from the playroom too to make sure it will all have a place when that room is ready to be used for someone else in the near future. It fits! (minus a giant doll house and a Dora house - those we will deal with later.)

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Watch out for dangling purple sparkly spiders.
It really didn't take as long as I thought and even though my mom always did this while we were at school so we wouldn't protest about her throwing away our favorite happy meal toy or whatever, I was able to get it done with Charley home and even with her help from time to time. She was fine with tossing/donating/saving for a sibling a bunch of stuff out of the junk box or toys she no longer cared for. Although I would be shocked if she had hoarder tendencies as both John and I are tossers and not savers.

I kept all of her books on the Expedit shelving thing that is now housed in the spare bedroom/future nursery. I need to come up with a better solution for book storage and I haven't done that yet. Charley still has a lot of "baby" board books which we will put in the nursery, but to be honest she still likes reading a lot of those so I hesitate to take those from her. (and lets be real: tiny board books are really short and I consider that a huge win when she chooses those to read at night!)

And sure, her closet would look better with uniform baskets and cubes and all, but ehhh. It's a kid's closet that has doors that close. I just don't see the point in wasting the money. Things are labeled and organized and she can still get to most of her favorite things herself. And being able to see it all has her playing with things she forgot she had when it was tucked into the nook shelving we had before. Yay!

I plan on continuing THE GREAT CLEAN OUT (is anyone else saying those words similar to how THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ is said on The Wizard of Oz or just me?) with the other rooms of the house. Because THE GREAT CLEAN OUT doesn't stop at one room. Well, I say that. We'll see how my energy is looking and we'll go from there. I'm on a organization high so I need to keep it up or I'm going to lose my momentum. Or maybe I'll hire my mom (with hugs) to come do the rest. I'm sure she won't mind. I mean, she made me like this! She's going to have to make up for my shortcomings! It's only fair!