Friday, January 30, 2015

This And That

It is the weirdest thing. For the first time in years, there is more than one song I actually enjoy and turn the volume UP on the radio when they come on the pop radio station. The morning show I listen to is on a pop radio station so I hear at least the top 5 songs at the moment each morning and I cannot believe that there are a few that are tolerable to me right now.

The songs I am currently enjoying are:

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
Take Me To Church by Hozier
I'm Not The Only One by Sam S

I'm either getting cooler, orrr yeah no. That's probably not it. It's just coincidence they are all popular right now. I obviously like male singers, and a male ballad is even better.

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Have any of you ever done or ever considered the IKEA childcare place? I've never even considered it because strangers scare me but Charley INSISTED Sunday after seeing the kids playing through the window. So, I made her stay with me for the first half and told her if she still wanted to play when we got downstairs I'd allow it hoping she would change her mind. Spoiler alert: she didn't.

So I signed her in and she walked right in and never looked back. I stuck around for a few minutes to see if she would run back to me and want to leave but she didn't at all. It was only for an hour, so I went on and shopped but I couldn't focus because I was staring at the pager just KNOWING I'd get paged any minute. I of course forgot my list in the car and my brain was stuck on worrying about my baby so I did a poor job of making the most of the IKEA trip. And then about 10-15 minutes earlier than I was due I went back and got her and she came bouncing back to me safe and happy. Whew! And then I got us both IKEA ice cream cones because it was warranted. Her for being a far braver child than I ever was, and me for letting go just the tiniest bit even though if you studied my brain for those 45 minutes it may tell you a different story.

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Charley: Laney likes to swim!
Me: She sure does!
Charley: But, isn't she getting her dress wet?
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You know what is awesome about new job? When I leave at 5 o'clock on the dot and there are hardly any cars left in the parking lot. Old job: When I left on time I felt like I was taking a walk of shame out of the door. How dare she leave on time?!
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Twice this week I've checked my Timehop app to see what happened on this day 1 year ago, 2 years ago, etc etc, and found spelling errors from my posts in the past. Now, grammatically I know I screw stuff up on here often because I prefer to type in a more conversational tone instead of making sure I don't end my sentences in a preposition, for example. But spelling is a different story. I don't do misspellings. I'm hoping that I noticed both errors shortly after posting and went back and edited them and that Timehop just didn't pick up the corrected entry because otherwise those spelling errors will live on in my internet history for the rest of time.  FOREVER. And now that I'm reposting the picture of one of the errors here so it really will live on forever. I'm ashamed of myself.

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Charley got a haircut last Sunday and it is the CUTEST thing I've ever seen. I wanted to shorten it up some because her hair is pretty fine and it was getting stringy looking the longer it got. The lady blow dried it after she cut it which made it straight and Charley instantly aged 3 years when we walked out of there. 

The next night after her bath her curls had returned. When Charley later saw herself in the mirror she told me that she didn't think her hair looked pretty and asked me to blow dry it for her. It only took seconds to straighten it back out again with the blow dryer so she's gone all week looking like a Kindergartner. Cute as can be, but mahhhhhh bayyyyyyybeeeeeeee. :(


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Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Unfinished Business

I thought about updating this post from last May on what house projects we've accomplished in the last 8 months and then almost laughed myself off of my chair. Of the 73 potential house projects I outlined, we've completed 10 of those things. A mere 14%. Pathetic.

We have done some house things around here lately though, but nothing it seems like nothing is finished. We 1, take forever to do stuff (ahem - house projects are spendy!), and 2, jump around so much that things sit halfway finished for a while. I'm sick of waiting for everything to be finished. Here are some works-in-progress.
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Last August I started on a gallery wall and shared with you here my rough start. I got so many good suggestions from y'all and ultimately decided to repaint just a few of those frames in a mint green. I did that almost immediately.

Then, I started rounding up stuff to go in the frames. I don't really love family pictures as decor, so my plan was to come up with a ton of other stuff to frame a la Young House Love. (sniff, sniff. Miss those guys so much.) First I printed a couple of pictures of our trip to Venice, and found a card from our wedding that I really liked, and gathered a map we used in Paris and framed all those up. I framed around the doorbell and added a key to a frame that I didn't have glass for. I also even printed a couple of things with WORDS, which is so unlike me as you know. I just thought those might be nice to break it up a bit. Then I pulled some stuff out of magazines and books we just use for decor and had filled maybe 20% of all the frames on the wall. And then those empty frames sat. And sat. And sat. For five long months.

A couple weekends ago I'd had enough. SOMEthing would look better than nothing, and I was really hating the couple of WORDY prints so I trashed those. Finally, I went to mPix, went through all of our pictures and printed a picture for every frame. Why do I bother trying to take good pictures if I'm never going to display them? But I set this rule for myself that I was only displaying pictures I took - nothing from a photographer we had paid (although one from a pro did make the cut after all). I do like to make things difficult.

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Anyways, even though the idea of pictures instead of art is growing on me a little bit, the wall just looks 10x better with just anything in the frames. (And you all collectively say DUH LACEY). I'll replace pictures as we go with either more pictures or art I find that I like and one day it will be just as I pictured it when I started it last August.


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This next project actually WAS on the list from last May. What really got the ball rolling on this one was from a comment my brother made at Charley's birthday party, though.

So, my brother hasn't been over all that many times (usually we see each other at my parent's house instead) and while we were hanging out in the eat-in kitchen area he asked, "what is that room?" pointing to the opened french doors coming off of the eat-in kitchen area. I get why he asked it because it was already something I had wanted to change since I'd put it on my list of changes back in May. Our Master Bedroom was through those french doors and it was just wide open into the main entertaining area of the house for anyone to see. It's not that there was anything to hide, but, usually you don't see someone's master bedroom when you are at a child's birthday party, you know? I don't mind the layout at all, but the french doors didn't lend themselves to much privacy.

So after that we started working on replacing the doors with a pocket door. And by we, I me John of course. That's not really in my range of know-how.

It also took some time, but finally it was mostly done and it is so much better. I believe John said the wall needs one more round of patching and repainting, and the molding and actual door haven't been painted at all so it still needs that too. And then, of course, the plate collage looks pretty goofy now that the wall is so much larger so I need to reconfigure that as well.

Yay for unfinished project #2!

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It slides all the way in - I just pulled it out a little for effect. Effective?
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Okay I don't have an official before picture of this one, so we'll use this:

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Our well is in our front yard and the well installing people provide you with this very lovely fake rock to cover up the actual well components. That is the fake rock in the background up there. You have no idea why I'd want to replace that, now do you? Looks totally real.

Anyways, so I wanted an actual well house instead. My dad happened upon some leftover siding in a pile of discounted lumber one day and the siding matched our house exactly so he snagged it for us. I knew that I wanted to use that to cover the well house I was envisioning.

Not long after that, my dad - and then John (don't ask) built the well house and replaced the rock. I love it so much! All it needs is a pulley so it looks like an old functioning well would look and a couple of hanging baskets on either side of the pulley. I'm hoping to find something like that this spring.

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I especially loved hanging lights on it as well at Christmas.

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Hey! This next one might actually be a FINISHED project! I just can't say the same for the flower beds alongside it.

So, last Memorial Day weekend we had friends over at our house, many for the first time. This gave us the fire we needed under us to get some things done prior to their arrival. You may be thinking we spent the day making sure the kitchen was clean and the floors were vacuumed, but no. Instead, we went to a building materials place that sold stone so we could finally make a walkway to our front door.

We asked the guys working there what type of stone we would need to create stepping stones for a walkway and he pointed us in the right direction - or so we thought. From those we chose our favorite stones, purchased them, and then went home to lay them all out. Once we got them laid out we dubbed the sidewalk "THE SIDEWALK OF DEATH". The stones were not flat at all like you'd expect from stepping stones. They were all slanted and were ALL tripping hazards. I am going to say that there was probably a 90% chance of you tripping on one of these jagged stones and busting your butt had you tried to walk on that pathway. But then, it was time for the party so there was no undoing it just yet. We just had to make sure all guests did not actually use THE WALKWAY OF DEATH in fear of a lawsuit that night.

The next day (or maybe next weekend, can't remember) John picked up every last stone and packed them back up to return them. Turns out the guy told us wrong and sold us the stones you'd use on your home instead of the ones you'd use for a walkway. Idiots. The new guy then showed him the correct type of stone we'd need and he purchased that. He then laid the sidewalk back out again, leveled them properly and then we had an official completed project. It's a miracle and our UPS man thanks us.

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Ahhhhhhh the spare bedroom. It started as this mess...

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...which slowly evolved into a playroom for Charley.

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& now the room finally will have a purpose as Laney's nursery. Although far from finished, I'm really loving it so far.

I took both of these pictures with my phone while it was dark out, so the color isn't accurate, but I'll take better pictures later when the room really starts coming together.

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The walls are a peachy pink, and I plan to do some gold accents too. Not totally decided on other accent colors, but I bet they will go with the colors I used in creating the letters above the crib. Besides modge podging and hanging those letters, John painting, and Charley and I sorting the books by color and then size - that's about all we've done in here. But I have lots of stolen ideas and I'm hoping my trip to IKEA tomorrow can help some more of those come to life. You know I will blow up all social media outlets with every step along the way too. I can't help it - decorating nurseries or kid's rooms are my absolute favorite!

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I also had big plans back in May about refinishing the dining room table we got at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and refinishing the chairs as well. I never really could make up my mind HOW I wanted those all refinished, but was leaning mostly towards distressed and white. SHOCKER.

Well, that refinishing never happened. And then one day this popped up on a local Facebook swap page. Table, 6 chairs and a china cabinet for $250 already in a distressed white finish.

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I didn't bother cleaning up the craft supplies prior to taking the picture. REAL LIFE.
Sold.

I obviously still have tons of work to do in this room including paint on the walls, choosing a new fabric for those chairs, styling that china cabinet, and likely even replacing (or maybe just changing the color) on that chandelier but it's a ton better than it was with the old table and chairs that all needed refinishing. Speaking of that old table and chairs - they are all in my basement now and I'd be happy to sell them to whomever may want them!

So yeah - still a long way to go in this room but much better than it was before! I'd say we are 15% there. If we consider the starting point 8 months ago, take the completion percentage now which I estimate to be 15%, this room should be finished in a mere 45 more months. So I'll report back on this in October 2018! Moving right along aren't we?

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And sadly, that's about it as far as the more major house changes go. Sad, yes? Besides the obvious (nursery), where oh where should we start and halfway finish a project next?!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Never Ever Have I Ever

If you are unfamiliar, this is part of a drinking game. The goal is to say something that you truly never have done that you think most other people HAVE done, and for anyone that has done that thing, they must take a drink. Even though it has been several years since I've played this game or any other drinking game (sadly!), I could NEVER come up with anything good to say on the spot when I would pull this card. So I started this post probably 8 months ago and it took me that long to come up with this list. Man, there are some really good ones on here that I'd like to go back several years and use! It's Friday (or it will be when this posts) so grab your favorite drink of choice and I'll see you drunkies at the end!

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Never Ever Have I Ever....


...hired a moving company.

...shoveled snow.

...painted a room.

...been skydiving.

...bungee jumped.

...been in a tanning bed.

...had anything sent to collections. (Heh, cause, you know the townhouse was in John's name.) (That's not to say I haven't had tons of debt before. I was just really good at making sure to pay those minimums. Ha!)

...had a root canal.

...made a salad.

...been on a cruise.

...worn contacts...though I think my day is coming.

...driven on a toll road.

...gotten a tattoo.

...had a facial.

...been skiing, snowboarding or even snow tubing.

...played in an organized sport. One season of cheerleading in the 4th grade doesn't count.

...waited tables.

...mowed the grass.

...been to a Broadway show.

...been arrested.

...done a cartwheel.

...been in a hot air balloon.

...been parasailing.

...taken a red-eye flight.

...had chicken pox.

...owned a Droid phone.

...owned or used an Apple computer.

...been able to climb the rope in gym class.

...changed a tire - though I think I could if I had to.

...sewn on a button.

...been to Canada.

How are we feeling? Nice and tipsy? Now that I've finally posted this after it took me FOREVER to come up with the list I'm sure I'll come up with 30 other things. I'll save them for another Friday - perhaps one where I can have a drink with you.

Cheers!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

26 Weeks

I honestly cannot believe how fast this is going. Everyone says that the second time around. It's totally true. Whoa. I think I checked the app three times to make sure it truly said 26 weeks.

Date: January 14, 2015

Due Date: April 22, 2015

Weight gain: 10 pounds, plus the 10 I lost and regained for a grand total of 20. I really like candy.

Belly Shot:

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Laney bump, Charley bump

Photo thoughts: I cheated on the comparison. That's actually 25 weeks with Charley and 26 with Laney. I really hated the 26 week picture of Charley's bump so I'm not using it. But other than that I want to say I look and feel smaller with Laney. And my hair is much better, so there's that too. Ha.

Pregnancy Symptoms/How I'm feeling: Feeling pretty great overall! I do have back pain at the end of the day but I ordered a support belt that should come today and hopefully that will help. The Braxton Hicks contractions started last week or so and those surprised me with how early they are and how much more intense they are, but I've just increased my water intake and consulted with some friends and they are much less alarming. I think that first day I really noticed them I just needed more water because they haven't been like that since.

Cravings: All the sweets. I can't get enough.

Sleep: Just dandy! The last couple of days I've even slept through John's early alarm clock when he gets up to workout. So a solid 8.5 hours a night. I'll take it!

What I’m loving/I can't live without: Leggings. I've never been huge on the legging thing until this pregnancy but I'm converted. I need more long tunics because I see this becoming a uniform for post-pregnancy.

What I miss? Listen. I'm no alcoholic but I miss beer, okay? Must I say this every time?!

What I’m anticipating/Looking forward to: Getting the ball rolling on Laney's nursery. The toys have been moved out (we were using the room as a playroom for Charley), the furniture has been decided on (we already owned it all - just had to decide what would go in Charley's room versus Laney's room), and the walls were painted, although they may need a second coat according to my painter 'Juan'. (wink wink)  I started one project last night and am anxious to get home and continue working on it. I'm also REALLY anxious to get out the bins of clothing and see how much we have that will work for Laney since her and Charley are opposite seasons.

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What I’m stressing about/worries: I have my Glucose tolerance test next Thursday and I'm a little worried about that because of that one black out episode and then of course my craving for all things sweet. I would just cry if I failed it...and then I'd move on and deal with it.

Milestones: Just nearing the end of the second trimester I guess. 1-2 weeks of the second trimester left depending on what calendar you follow which just seems insane to me.

Aha Moment: Just walking by Laney's room as it comes together and having the realization that this room WILL have a purpose after all. I wasn't so sure for a while there if I should make it more of a functional playroom or if I should just keep waiting.

Differences between pregnancies: I'm still a little less apt to show off the belly this time. When my coworker says anything about my belly getting bigger I immediately pull my cardigan closed. WHY do I do this - I have no idea. It's some weird reflex I can't stop.

Highlights of the week: Just nursery stuff I think. It's been a pretty normal week otherwise, besides lots of extra time at work due to accounting year-end and that's not exactly highlight-able.

Goals for the upcoming week: Pass the Glucose Tolerance test! Finish nursery projects!

Movement: Lots really low and really high. She was breech at the anatomy scan so I constantly try to figure out if I'm feeling feet or elbows on either side. I can't tell.

Boy or girl: Girl! Laney Beth

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

Summary: I am a tiny bit sad that this is the last pregnancy because I truly do love being pregnant - despite the stress of the first trimester and how awful I felt. But this part totally makes up for it. It's exciting, I love the way I look pregnant if I'm being honest, and of course the baby at the end is a huge reward. But I just feel so, so blessed that we were given this second pregnancy because we were so so close to throwing in the towel. Basically, I'm all over the board emotionally which is expected from a hormonal pregnant lady - right?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Charley Lately

Today on the Timehop app on my phone it showed that I shared Charley's 4 month update on this day (a day late) 3 years ago (!!!) and I immediately had to do the math real quick to see which month update I'd be doing today if I was obnoxious enough to have kept those monthly bear updates up this long. 40 months. 40! That's a lot of months!

But it did inspire me to do a Charley update! She's got a lot of personality so there is a lot to share.

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I made her do a quick bear picture for old time's sake. I bribed her by allowing her to stay up another 20 minutes for one more show. Worth it, I think. And oh my goodness did you click back to see that little 4 month picture I linked up there^^? So tiny and bald!

Charley is VERY independent (funny - I said the same thing about her in her FOUR MONTH update.) and has very strong opinions which she makes known. She is most opinionated about what she wears. As of now, we have a drawer full of pants that Charley will not wear. She will only wear dresses and leggings 99% of the time. Of course I could force her to wear pants and I considered doing the thing where you give two choices of outfits from which she could choose in the morning, but I know it would be no use since she knows where her dresses are in her dresser. She would simply say "neither" and go pick out which dress she would wear that day instead. It's not worth the fight for me. Maybe Laney will get some use one day out of the pants Charley isn't wearing. 

The plaid nightgown she is wearing in the picture above was also her first nightgown and as of now her only nightgown. She's not as strict on the pajama front in only wearing gowns as opposed to pajamas with pants, but I think it's because she only owns that one gown so she understands that sometimes that gown is dirty and needs to be washed. I am on the lookout for more nightgowns for her though. Just not those polyester character ones that are EVERYWHERE and end up pilling in 2 washes. Where in the world can I just buy some 100% cotton nightgowns? It's a mystery I tell you.

To kind of go along with the clothing thing, she also is pretty particular about her hair and the way it is styled or which hairbow she wears. Pigtails are never welcomed ("just one pony, Mama") and a regular pony tail is only every so often. But one day I got the genius idea to show her a couple of YouTube videos of kid hairstyles and she really liked one that she calls "the diamond" so we've done that one a few times.

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She really loves taking a bath and even though we don't do daily baths here, lately she's wanted to at least play in the bath daily. So we still only wash every other day or so, but she will get in and play for a good 45 minutes each night if we have the time. And she got these little practice soap things from her preschool teachers at Christmas so on "non-washing" nights she does her own washing using those.

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She always throws the mean ol' crab and shark toys out of the tub. They aren't nice enough to play with all of the others. She's really into being nice and making sure the characters in whatever cartoon she's watching are also nice. If she's scrolling through Netflix and comes across a show she's not seen before she always asks me if everyone in it is going to be nice before she chooses it. And if they aren't being nice, she's done watching that show. "They weren't nice Mama."

To offset some of the clothes/hair sassiness, Charley really is pretty sensitive (she gets that from her Mama) and pretty sweet too. She's a major Mama's girl and is always snuggled up next to me at home. I have no complaints about that, of course. She's also pretty cautious and doesn't seem like she'll be the first one jumping off the bridge, for example. If she doesn't want to do it I don't think she will, even if every one of her friends have already jumped off the bridge. That trait she got straight from her Daddy. He's always marched to the beat of his own drum in a very good way.

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This particular morning she said "I don't want syrup with my pancakes. It will drip on me and make my pajamas dirty."

She's still not that great at sharing. That'll come, right? I try to encourage it but it's still not second-nature for her to share. Laney should help with that I'm thinking.

She can't take her shirt/dress off either. How does one teach that?

She can say her ABCs, but rarely does she identify a letter. Or numbers for that matter. I do think she recognizes numbers more often than letters, but it's not something she shows off. I remember when she was learning her ABCs she would say ABCXY as the entire song for the longest time, no matter how many times we tried to teach it to her. And then one day, she sang the whole darn thing. It's like she won't present her knowledge until she's got it all mastered. I'm not real concerned about any of this - we don't spend a ton of time dedicated to this unless it comes up during play. She's got lots of years to learn these things. For now we just play and have fun.

She loves to paint - without a smock or apron. She's surprisingly neat about it so I don't fight the smock/apron fight too often. She spends a lot of time at her desk doing artsy things.

She's really into Rapunzel and some of the other Disney Princesses, and still a big fan of Minnie Mouse. Ponies are another favorite as well.

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She goes to bed pretty easily and 95% of the time stays in her bed the entire night. Occasionally (although not very often lately) she will come in our room in the middle of the night and ask one of us to put her back in bed. Guess she just missed us. Ha. But we praise her every morning that she doesn't wake in the middle of the night so I think she understands that and tries to keep it to a minimum. And a couple of times she has gone to the bathroom by herself in the middle of the night too. "Mama, I didn't flush last night because you and Daddy were sleeping and I didn't want to wake you." And yes, I melted into a puddle when she said that.

Night terrors. Any other toddlers/pre-schoolers have these? We are 99% sure it only happens on days she's overtired because she didn't nap or stayed up too late. It's the only thing that has been consistent since we've been trying to pay more attention to what may be causing them. She usually has a handful a month. About an hour after she's gone to sleep, she'll wake up crying pretty hard. We always run in and pick her up and hold her tight because teeth chattering and shaking usually accompany them. She'll talk a little, but it's just nonsense jibberish or unfinished thoughts. From what I've read, she's not really awake during these and they just occur during the transition from one phase of sleep to another. I hate that she has them though. I plan to talk to her doctor about them next time we are in but would be curious on any other's experience with them too.

We used to have meltdowns and fights every night when it came to brushing her teeth. She stalled and refused to open her mouth and dilly dallied around until I got frustrated and was trying to pry her mouth open with the darn toothbrush. Okay maybe not that extreme, but it was so frustrating every evening and almost always ended in tears. Then, one day I got the genius idea to show her one of my cavities that had been filled with the silver filling instead of the enamel colored. I went on to explain how if you don't do a good job brushing that you get cavities and they hurt and blah blah blah. I kid you not - that was a good month ago and the whole teeth brushing thing is like night and day from how it was. That terrified her to the point where if we let her have candy during the day she's asking if she needs to go and brush her teeth right afterwards so she won't get a cavity. Yay for scare tactics and clean teeth!

All those words to say - she's still a really good kid. And an abnormal one. Sometimes I feel bad talking about how easy she is - I know this isn't the norm. I can't claim that I don't take her easiness/agreeableness for granted because it's all I've known. But Laney may put an end to all of that - we'll just have to wait and see. I just want to make sure that I am not coming across like I think I personally had anything to do with that. She just IS easy and I know this.

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So that's my kid at 40 months. I'll check back in somewhere around the 46 month mark. And in that update I'll get to tell how Charley is at being a big sister. Eep!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Review

Hey! Guess what a pregnant lady does on New Year's Eve? If you guessed "lets her kid stay up late watching Netflix, eating chips and sausage dip and blogging" you are correct! Let's make this year's post count a solid 50.

So, in lieu of the usual year-in-review survey I've completed in the past I'm going to do a quick bulleted-type list review. With pictures - of course - always with pictures. This will be difficult for me to keep my wordiness in check. You people know I'm wordy. Okay, so 2014. Here goes.

1/16/14 - Pregnant!

1/18/14 - Not pregnant. Chemical pregnancy.

1/18/14 - 1/20/14 - My child is potty trained in three days! Yah!

2/14/14 - You'd think I'd say something about Valentine's Day. But no. Decorated my foyer.

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2/15/14 - Pregnant again!

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3/20/14 - Confirmed miscarriage. This makes #4.

3/28/14 - Camping at Dreher Island for the weekend.

4/10/14 - Interview for a new job much closer to home!

4/12/14 - Leave for Daytona for a week's vacation.

4/14/14 - Turn 32 years old and celebrate with my family at the beach.

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4/24/14 - Charleston, SC for a few days.

4/27/14 - Family pictures

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5/6/14 - First ever broken bone - my baby toe!

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5/15/14 - Second interview for new job. And yes, I squeezed that broken toe into heels and hobbled my way into the interview.

5/25/14 - Hosted a fun little Memorial Day cookout at our house.

5/29/14 - I got the job! And with its acceptance, we officially put any efforts in trying for baby #2 on hold.

6/13/14 - Last day at my old job. I was there for 7 years. Don't miss the commute but do miss a lot of the people.

6/14/14 - Take off with John, Charley and my parents for a 10 day trip to Chicago and Michigan.

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6/21/14 - Attend our only wedding of the year which was the reason for the trip in Petoskey, MI. It was for my old coworker Katie whom I hadn't seen in a few years! (Sure, that post is about a different coworker but Katie and I were in cahoots for all of that so it's appropriate to link that up!)

6/24/14 - Start my new job.

7/4/14 - Spend the day at the lake, but it's just not the same as it used to be. Come home early and take Charley to fireworks instead.

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8/15/14 - Still NOT trying to get pregnant while at a new job and all. So naturally:

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8/16/14 - Camping at Foothills Family Campground.

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8/28/14 - Charley starts preschool.

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8/29/14 - Camping at Dan Nicholas Park for Labor Day weekend.

9/4/14 - Charley turns 3!

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9/6/14 - Charley's birthday party & the cake I'll never be able to top.

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9/11/14 - Finally good news at an ultrasound. Baby measured perfectly and is healthy.

9/19/14 - Hilton Head Island for the weekend.

10/11/14 - Camping in Myrtle Beach, SC for a long weekend.

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10/31/14 - Halloween!

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11/2/14 - It's a girl!

11/25/14 - Anatomy scan & she's a HEALTHY girl. Hallelujah.

12/8/14 - John turns 33.

December - holiday stuff. Craft shows, parades, craft day, Christmas parties, Polar Express, Christmas, etc.

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12/31/14 - It's 11:30 p.m. I didn't think I'd make it this late. Charley's asleep, John's asleep and I'm blogging. It's been a good year even though there were some really obvious low points. Hoping for an even better 2015!



Christmas Recap

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It's a strange time of year for an accountant. December comes and is crazy busy and then Christmas comes and is chaotic and fun, and naturally you expect the lull to follow while your life quiets down and you get settled back into normalcy. But no. For an accountant year-end (if your fiscal year-end is 12/31 of course) doesn't let the craziness stop - it just shifts from home/family craziness to work craziness. I'm looking forward to February/March when everything settles down again!

But Christmas! It was a blast. Charley is such a joy and age 3 was so much fun just as I expected. I bought her way too much and I had so much fun doing it too. I love to give gifts, especially ones that I come up with myself and just know the recipient will love so it is very natural to me to spoil my kid at any gift-giving holiday. John isn't as thrilled about that little trait of mine but I secretly think he likes it too. Charley really is a good kid so I truly like spoiling her a couple times a year. Anyways....

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For Christmas this year Santa's biggest gift to Charley was this Peg Perego Power Wheels type vehicle. We had to have one that had a motor brake because of all of the hills around here so we went with this brand instead of Fisher Price, and once we found out Laney was a girl I was fine going gender specific for the 2-seater vehicle.

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Charley can drive it down to my parent's house which is especially cool since we don't have a ton of  flat land for her otherwise. She loves it, but definitely needs to work on looking where she's going. She tends to get distracted and starts to run off of the driveway into the woods. Ha!

The one thing Charley asked Santa for was this set Costco sold that was the My First Disney Princess Toddler Rapunzel ("Tootunzel" according to Charley) doll like this one, but the one at Costco included the horse. She threw a massive tantrum in Costco when she saw that and talked about it ever since. So naturally since she was so well behaved in Costco that day I ran back in and purchased it while my dad sat with her in the car claiming I was just running in to go to the bathroom. Heh. And Costco - you sure do make hiding things like this difficult with your no bags and all.

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She was pretty excited to get it but I surprisingly I don't think that's her favorite gift at all! She definitely plays with it but not as much as I expected after hearing about it for 4 weeks straight!

One big hit came from my best friends. They gave Charley the Li'l Woodzeez Happy Camper and she (and her big cousins) loves that thing! It is so cute too. I was shocked at how detailed it was and how the little drawers all open and there is storage everywhere in the camper just like in a real camper. Highly recommend! I contemplated getting Charley some of that stuff for Christmas and then didn't because I had already bought so much so that was such a nice surprise for her! She loves little figurines and tiny pieces like that (Littlest Pet Shop also a favorite) so that was such a good gift for her!


Other favorites were the personalized Minnie Mouse fleece blanket, this set of princess crowns because you can never have enough, and these are much sturdier than the dollar spot variety, this set of Disney princess "Barbies" that came with extra clothes (that she doesn't know how to change herself yet), and this Minnie Polka Dot Yacht set I got her thinking it was a bath toy but it says on the box that it's not meant for water. Whoops. She also got a LeapPad which I think will be a huge hit as soon as she gets the hang of it. She doesn't have a ton of patience so she only practices in little spurts before getting annoyed. Ha! But yes, she was definitely spoiled. 

MY favorite gift she got were the two Nancy Tillman books Santa brought. I had been living under a rock I guess and didn't own any of them nor had I read any of them and now I want them all. I just wish Charley would choose them more often as the book she wants me to read her at night. I try to weasel my choice in as much as possible though. 

John and I don't really exchange gifts although I did get him a coat this year just because it was a good price and I liked it. He likes it too, but had he not liked it I would have no problem handing over the receipt. 

So Christmas morning Charley woke up around 7 and walked straight into our bedroom just like she does any other non-work/school/Aunt Christy day. I was worried that she may see the Christmas tree and all her stuff in front of it before coming to get us because she has to walk through that room to get to ours, but she must have forgot it was Christmas so I still got to see her face when we finally did venture out to the living room. My parents also came up from their house to see her open her gifts so that was nice too.

After opening all of the Santa stuff, Charley played with her new things while I started cooking a few things for the brunch at my parent's house that morning. When it was time to head to my parent's house, Charley got in her new car and drove on over. How awesome is that?

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It was the usual delicious brunch (my favorite meal of the year!) and we followed that up with the chaos of 16 (actually only 14 this year - brother and nephew stayed home sick) people exchanging gifts with each other. I love our Christmases.

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That party died down around 2, and we were back home by 2:01 or so. All that holiday travel made Charley exhausted and we got her down for a rare nap at home that afternoon.

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Basically, it was wonderful. I feel so very blessed by my own little family and what we are able to do for Christmases, but especially by how close I am (in physical distance and in closeness) to my larger family and how holidays are such a relaxed time for us. For now, I will dream about what next year will be like with my big 4 year old and hopefully 8 month old too!

And with this post I posted on this blog a total of 49 times this year. That's my worst year ever! Hope that next year I'll have more time to write because this is something I genuinely enjoy doing. And I'm sure that time will be of the plenty in 2015. ;)

Happy New Year, bloggy friends!