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! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Get Your Wallets Out

I meant to do this earlier in the month - you know, in case I sold you on something so well that you decided you may want it for Christmas. But yeah. We know how that goes.

Here are some things that I'm loving lately.

Reusable Napkins

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It's been nearly a year since these were delivered to my house (ironically they came on a day I did A Day In The Life post) and I honestly have not bought a single roll of paper towels since. Originally I bought them because I saw my lovely husband repeatedly skipping over the dish towel to grab a paper towel (OR TWO!) to dry his hands with after he washed them and it was making me crazy. I thought if I can just have these in a place close to the sink to eliminate that alone then we'd be doing good. That part was a success as expected.

The part I didn't expect was not having both the choice of a paper towel AND a reusable napkin. Once we ran out of the paper towels we had, we just never saw the need to purchase them again. We were using them for every meal, every spill, every anything and the need was just no longer there. We toss them in our laundry sink (one day I'll buy a separate basket to house them in the laundry room, but sink works for now) when they're ready to be washed and the 3 dozen we bought seems to be just the right amount. They take up such a small amount of space in the washer that it didn't add an additional load in our weekly washing - we just toss them in with towels***. I fold them in fourths and place them in a little square basket I found at Target and it resides right next to the sink.

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***The washing instructions included suggested using Woolite on them to keep them as absorbent as possible and we did start out following those instructions. But one weekend we were out of Woolite and laundry must go on so we just tossed them in with towels and our usual Tide and never looked back. If they aren't as absorbent we haven't noticed yet!


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So one of my good friends (who also happens to be a fabulous hair stylist!) offered to get me some hair products because I admitted my shampoo of choice was "whatever was on sale". I had fallen off the CVS free stuff wagon because I just wasn't able to keep up any longer and my stash of drug store brand shampoos and conditioners was dwindling, so I thought this would be the time since I was about to start paying for stuff anyways. She knows my hair very well so I just let her buy whatever she thought was best since I had absolutely no clue where to even start. She chose these for me: AG Hair Cosmetics Xtramoist Shampoo and Ultramoist Conditioner. She chose really, really, really well. I'm in love.

Now, seeing as how prior to this I was just a whatever-brand shampoo user, it IS possible that I may have had the same results with any real brand of shampoo but I'm not willing to give these up to give anything else a try right now. My hair has never been as shiny and just all around easy as it is right now. And I know my hair WAS better while pregnant with Charley also, but it wasn't like this. This is like BETTER better. Definitely better.

So naturally, when I left my beloved shampoo and conditioner in the hotel shower last weekend I had to immediately run out and replace them the next day. And yeah, they weren't cheap at Ulta even with a coupon. I paid $26 for both the shampoo and conditioner, but based on the price per ounce I can get them even cheaper on Amazon next time. Worth it though to me to have good hair with no where near as much effort - especially since I've been lazy about curling my hair as much as I did pre-pregnancy.

KMS California Free Shape

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While we are talking hair stuff, my same friend also bought me this stuff to try. Another big win in my book.

Remember when I told you I hate showering? And then a ton of you secretly judged me and pinched your nose closed? Hehe. Well, a ton of you didn't and felt the same way as me about showering and using your hair to drive your need to shower. Especially the fellow working ladies and even more-so when dealing with morning showers. Showering + drying + styling hair was such a process that the mornings just cannot accommodate that kind of time commitment.

But then came this stuff and my life changed. Okay, so I'm not showering more often (and all of you just pinched your noses back closed), but I am morning showering more often which I prefer so I don't have to undo the mess that sleeping on wet/damp hair can do. A morning shower and then spraying this stuff all over on my wet hair while I switch tasks and get Charley ready makes drying and styling my hair doable in the mornings. It truly does help your hair dry faster. And it smells good and is a heat protectant too! Win/win/win!

Soma Vanishing Edge Undies

Again - not my most frugal purchase but another one that I promise you is SO SO worth it. Find a good sale, use ebates, and a coupon code or whatever and get these undies. Your butt will thank me.

And sure, it may be weird to share a picture of myself in underwear for the world to see but what good would a product review be without a picture?

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Now that we've got that out of the way let me tell you how wonderful they are - SO SO wonderful. They don't move you guys. Like, at all. You put them on and they don't wishy washy under your clothes at all. Not even a millimeter. The edges really do vanish and just sit perfectly flush with your skin and you can't even TRY and make a visible panty line at all. It's VANISHED. Gone. Donezo. The line doesn't exist. These undies have become one with your skin, no matter how round certain parts of you may be. And then up top where you may worry about some squeezing and muffining - nope. None of that either. Another vanishing line.

My favorites are the hipsters or bikinis and I like the microfiber ones quite a bit too. I have bigger hips (obviously they look way bigger than pictured above) and a bigger butt and these are perfection. I didn't discover them on my own - a couple of girls suggested them to a group of us and they have spread like wildfire. We are all converts now. You want these. I promise.

The Wet Brush

This may be the third time you are seeing this recommendation if you run in the same blog circle as myself, but I feel like my own friends and family deserved to know about this brush as well.


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The Wet Brush is not going to break the bank and is something I think you can get at a regular store if you still frequent those types of establishments in lieu of online shopping. I personally loved it for myself - it just sort of massages your head as it goes and it feels quite lovely, but the real test was Charley. She HATED HATED HATED getting her hair brushed daily. Now, she doesn't mind at all. Maybe it's the fact that she has her own mini brush, or maybe it's the fact that it is pink, or just maybe she likes the feeling of having her head massaged as well.

I bought the regular sized + mini sized combo pack, but they do sell just the one brush by itself in different colors if that's what you'd prefer. And you know what else - sometimes I use this brush when my hair isn't even wet! GASP! It's just as wonderful then. Quick! This is a good stocking stuffer and Amazon can still make that happen!

SO Riding Boots


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If you've seen me in the past 10 weeks or so where I've been wearing maternity jeans (and therefore wearing the ONE pair of maternity jeans I own) I've likely also been wearing these boots because the jeans are skinnies. No you say, I was wearing brown boots instead when I saw you? Oh then yeah, I was still wearing these boots because I own that color too. Oh no? They were tan boots I was wearing. Then yes, those too were these boots because I bought all three colors available when I scored some sale where I got them for $16 and some change each. I figured for that price they were worth a try and if I hated them I could return them, and if I liked them then I could just pick one or two I'd like to keep and return the other(s).

But I loved them! They are comfortable, they aren't tall heels which make me look even more Amazon woman when I wear them, and the calves are SMALL and fit for a change! I've had to resort to slouchy boots in the past because I have skinny chicken legs and boots either looked crazy for the gaps they had all the way around, or they became slouchy boots when they weren't intended to be slouchy boots. So annoying. So anyways, I doubt they will last THAT long since they aren't real leather and were so cheap, but $16 (times three...ahem) is definitely worth it for just one season to me if that's all they end up lasting.


I know as soon as I hit 'publish' I'm going to think of 10 more things that all of you must have, but this is all I can come up with at this moment. I love and hate these types of posts because I inevitably buy something/everything someone suggests but I usually end up loving the stuff too because nothing sells something better to me than a personal review.

What are you loving lately? I'm sure John agrees that I haven't yet spent enough money in December. ;)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Activities Thus Far

It's been a very busy and fun December so far which explains the 2 week hiatus I unexpectedly took. But lets catch up on things Christmas related, shall we?
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We are once again doing the wrapped-Christmas-book-a-day advent thing and it's working really well. I had 33 books this year so we got to start the Monday before Thanksgiving. Last year I bought several dollar bin books to help fill the month without spending too much, so as I added a few of the classics this year our collection got a little large. I think next year I'll just wrap the best ones and keep the cheapies out for Laney to chew on or just to read at any time instead.

I am once again shocked at Charley's self-control to only open one book a day even though they are located within her reach. I have a feeling Laney is going to rock my world.

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Again this year we went to a local town's Christmas parade. It is the BEST parade. Nice and long yet still very small town feeling. There are lots of firetrucks and construction vehicles that decorate their vehicles with lights and play music and it's just so fun. Charley really enjoyed it this year too - even though she was REFUSING to wear any kind of cold weather apparel at all at first. She just wanted to sit out there in a short-sleeved shirt. Oh Charley. Glad she eventually complied somewhat.

Some of my favorite things in the parade were the extremely hillbilly vehicles all decorated for Christmas. I've even seen one of these driving around town just like it was in the parade!

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The very next night was John's company Christmas party. I knew this one would be an early night for me because it is held at a restaurant and after the eating portion of the evening is over, it becomes a pretty heavy drinking evening and what fun is that for me at the moment? So not only did I leave at 9:30 p.m., I also didn't manage to take one single picture. I do remember posing for one picture for one of his coworkers so maybe one day that picture will surface and I'll come back and add it here.

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And then the very next day we did our annual craft day. (2013, 2010, and 2008 were the only years I felt compelled to share)

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My oldest sister always brings the best craft and this year was no exception. Her craft was Christmas trees made out of pallet wood. We got to paint, use power tools and string them up with lights. My dad assisted her with the preparations by coming up with the really cool base for them, but she did all the wood cutting herself. I'm impressed with her as I was slightly intimidated by just the nail gun we used to assemble them!

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Here were all the rest of the crafts this year. It's not really a great picture at all - all of them are way cuter in person. I especially love the canvas Charley created there on the left with buttons and stickers and popsicle sticks. But even though the picture doesn't do these things justice, you can tell that my sister blew the rest of us out of the water regardless with her pallet trees. 


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Last weekend was my company Christmas party. My old job didn't do company Christmas parties so I was excited to bring John to meet my coworkers for a change. It was held in a hotel at Myrtle Beach and they pay for us to stay in the hotel that night so no one has to worry about driving. Not that I would have driven the 3.5 hours home anyways even though I was sober! However, I was actually kind of dreading leaving Charley for such a long time after a week where she was especially clingy and needy for Mama since the weekends are usually reserved for her but we went anyways. And man. I am SO glad I did. It was a ton of fun and I can only imagine how much more fun it will be next year when I can really enjoy it!

They had a DJ and a dance floor and there were about 400 people there, but it wasn't overwhelming at all! Dinner was awesome, the photo booth they provided was awesome and the people I work with are awesome also. I can't exactly explain it but the people at new job versus old job are SO MUCH MORE my people. Not all of them from old job, of course, but just the overall company culture is so much more my style. It's relaxed and just small company-like, even though it obviously wasn't a small party by any means. And they just give back so much to the employees. It's unreal. Without divulging anything about new company or old company, let me just say how drastic the difference is in how old company rewarded and appreciated employees (read: they didn't) versus how new company does (read: they very, very much do!) especially considering the difference in their size and means. I love feeling appreciated even though I am still very much a new girl. 

ANYWAYS, sorry about the tangent.

So I rented a dress again from Rent The Runway (that is totally a referral link) and had awesome luck with them once again. I did buy fashion tape because I was a tad worried about the top being just the slightest bit too big, but then I left it on the kitchen counter at home and just ended up pulling up the dress all night long. D'oh! But really, I loved everything else about the dress and just a little bit of fashion tape would have made it 100% perfect. 

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Such a fun, fun night. Love getting all dressed up too. Yay!

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Tonight my mom and I got hot chocolate and Charley got ice cream and we drove around to look at Christmas lights. Charley either doesn't really care about Christmas lights much or she was just tired (probably both - she didn't nap today) because she asked a few times for the iPad or my phone which I of course refused and then just asked to go home. So it wasn't her favorite thing we've done for Christmas at all, but it was still fun for my mom and I at least!

Speaking of - we put lights on our own house this year and I just love them so much. I bought a ton of LED lights on clearance after Christmas last year (they were 80% off!) so we could do this for the first time this year and not have a crazy power bill and I hope I'm able to get some more after Christmas this year. I did have to get colored lights when white would have been my first choice, but I had to go with what they had in stock at 80% off. I actually prefer the color lights if they are LED over the white LED ones so I'm happy with what we got! I can definitely feel myself getting more and more Clark Griswaldy each year though after starting this tradition.

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More lights! We need MORE LIGHTS!

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Tomorrow we are going to The Polar Express train ride in the mountains and I don't think we have much else planned between now and Christmas but man - so, so excited for Christmas morning to get here! Can't wait to be all hormonal and cry over Charley's joy. It'll be great.

If I don't get back over here before Christmas - Merry Christmas friends!! Hope Santa is good to you!

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.