Thanksgiving Thankfulness

Today, I'm thankful for many things, but at the top of my list are my two healthy, little boys. God has blessed me with a wonderful life and, for that, I am forever grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! 

Bumpdate: Weeks 18 & 19

19 weeks and I still don't really feel pregnant.  Or look it, to a stranger on the street.  Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not complaining.  The less I grow, the easier it will be to return to my pre-prego size.  And I'm all about not feeling pregnant while having to chase around a crazy, always-on-the-go toddler. But it's definitely different than I thought pregnancy #2 would be! 

Here's a "selfie" at 18 weeks & 6 days.  Is there really a 6-inch baby in there??

Today was our 19-week sonogram.  Because of Brantley's hydrocephalus, this was a level 2 ultrasound (a more in-depth, detailed look) at the hospital, with a specialist, instead of at our regular OB's office.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous going into it.  With pregnancy #1, I assumed the sonogram was to check the baby's gender...and that was it.  Little did I know, the sonogram checked every square inch of the baby's body, inside and out, for abnormalities.  Now that I knew that, I was extremely nervous that the technician would find something wrong with Baby #2.  There's so much, after all, that could go wrong, and I guess I've been programmed to expect the worst.  With every mention of "That looks great" by the technician, I felt as if I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  The doctor confirmed that everything looked normal (thank God) and Baby is growing like he should.  He measured about 10 ounces and had a fetal heart rate of 146.  We're going back in eight weeks for another level 2 sonogram so they can check one final time for normal growth and development, but at this point, I'm going to assume Baby #2 is a normal, healthy, baby boy.  (Side note: Brantley's hydrocephalus wasn't discovered until week 27.)

How Far Along: 19 weeks

Size of Baby: ~6 inches, about 8.5 ounces; the size of an heirloom tomato

Gender: Confirmation that it's a BOY at our sono today!

Weight Gain: No idea.  Haven't weighed myself in two weeks.  Under 10 pounds.

Food Cravings: No major cravings.

Food Aversions: Tried my first cup of coffee in about 10 weeks.  Not bad, but still not like what it used to be. :(

Movement: Feeling more distinct kicks and punches!  It's amazing how much easier it is to recognize the second time around!

Sleep: Normal.  And still on my stomach.

Clothing: Still in my regular jeans, button fastened, and no Bella Band.

Other Pregnancy Symptoms: I honestly don't feel pregnant about 90% of the time.

What I Miss: We went to dinner tonight.  I so wanted to order a cold, draft beer.  But instead, opted for a fun, non-alcoholic Moscow Mule.

Best Moment:  Getting to see Baby at our sonogram.  And learning that he is developing normally.  (And getting our new crib!  Anxiously awaiting January to put it together!)

Looking Forward To: Next week's halfway point!  And checking more weeks off the countdown!

A "Selfie"

Did you hear? The Oxford Dictionary recently announced its 2013 word-of-the-year as 'selfie'.  For those not familiar with this fad vocab term (Grandma), a selfie is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”  I definitely don't take "selfies" often (c'mon, I'm 30 years old), but have been known to snap a few on occasion...

So in the spirit of the recently announced word-of-the-year, I present you with Brantley's very first selfie!  This cracks me up!  Sorry kid, but you've got some definite practicing to do...

Life as a Boy Mom

I've always felt that I was made to be a girl mom.  Clean, prissy, and one with a weak stomach.  I can't handle blood (Craig once faked cutting himself in the kitchen...I ran the opposite direction when I saw the "blood" aka ketchup), messes drive me crazy, and Lord only knows what I'll do when one of my boys breaks a bone and it protrudes from the skin.  Let's just hope that, whenever that happens, someone is with me and able to a) catch me as I faint, or b) hold my hair while I puke in disguest.

Never mind the weak stomach, I can't stand the thought of my baby being hurt.  Or worse, deformed.  The thought of having to rush to my injured baby on the sidelines of a football field someday breaks my heart into a million, tiny little pieces.

See what I mean??  Girl mom.

But apparently, God thought otherwise and gave me two boys.  Messy, ornery, daring, rambunctious, mischievous, (and adorable) boys.  (I can only assume the second will be just like the first!)

In five days time, my near 17-month old had me questioning whether to make a trip to the ER for an accident.  And not once, but twice.

Last Friday, he was standing on our couch.  (Parenting mistake #1)  Well, somehow he tripped and fell forward and hit his top two front teeth on the corners of the arms of the couch.  We didn't see a cut of any sort and it was past his bedtime, so we blamed the extended crying on the fact that he was tired.  The wailing continued and finally, one of us noticed blood where the top of his teeth connect to his gums.  Not gushing blood, but a line of red above both teeth. 

Of course, I felt horrible and freaked out.  I knew they were baby teeth, but let my mind wander about possible long-term consequences.  What if he loses his two front teeth?  What if he damaged the nerve?  What if he messed up his teeth for life? 

I could have sworn the teeth were pushed back, but Craig checked and said impossible since they weren't loose or wiggling.  We gave him some Tylenol (which of course, he wanted nothing to do with since it involved a syringe near his teeth) and put him to bed.  He seemed fine in the morning, but his gums were swollen and I still swore his teeth were angled back. 

Fast forward four days.  Craig is out of town for work.  I arrive home from getting Brantley from daycare and take him out of his carseat like I always do.  As I was reaching into the back seat for his shoes and socks (which he kicks off on the way home), he started crying.  He was near the tire of my car and my initial thought was "Did he burn himself?"  But I felt down by the tire and nothing that I could feel was even remotely warm.  He had a cough and runny nose, so I chalked it up to him not feeling well.  We went inside and the crying continued.  He was also very clingy and would not let me put him down.  I tried feeding him a snack, and then dinner.  He wanted none of it.  (And this is a kid that loves to eat.)  It was then that I noticed two red fingers.  I called my dad and asked if there was something on the car that could have burned him.  My dad said perhaps it could have been the brake pad.  (Parenting mistake #2)

Instantly, I felt horrible.  Like the worst mom ever.  I had no idea there was something that hot within reach that kids could find in a matter of seconds.  Literally, seconds. 

I ran his fingers under cold water and then cuddled him for a looooong time.  All while calling my mom and texting Craig for advice.  I gave him Tylenol for the pain and sprayed some OTC aloe/lidocaine on the burn.  (Which was, at that point, turning to obvious blisters.)

After a 30-minute nap on my chest (which never happens), an episode of Elmo on the iPad, and multiple books to distract him from the pain, he seemed to be doing a tad better.  Two plus hours after he burnt his fingers, he finally let me put down.  And he played until bedtime. 


I dug out a baby mitton and covered the burn, but he quickly learned how to rip it off.  I felt about a million times better when he was chasing and laughing at the dog.  But, poor kid would frequently get a sensation of pain and start fussing again. 

It definitely made for an interesting night alone.  That, and a horribly worried mama.

Oh, such is life with a boy two boys.  I suppose I better get used to it, because I have a feeling this is only the tip of the iceburg...

Fa La La La La

Now that our Christmas tree is up, I've officially switched over my playlist to my all-time favorite genre - Christmas music!!  I love me some Christmas music and always have.  I still remember my very first Christmas album - a collection of Disney Christmas songs.  On record (not even cassette tape), nonetheless!!  I loved that thing and have since tried to find a cd version with no such luck.  Maybe someday...

I've compiled a list some of my favorite Christmas tunes!  So without further ado, I present you my Christmas playlist!

Let It Be Christmas - Alan Jackson
Away in a Manger - Blaine Larson
My Only Wish - Britney Spears
Santa Clause is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen
Do You Hear What I Hear - Carrie Underwood
Auld Lang Syne - Dave Koz
Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton
Let It Snow - Jessica Simpson
Baby It's Cold Outside - Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey
So This is Christmas - John Lennon
My Grown Up Christmas List - Kelly Clarkson
The First Noel - Lady Antebellum
Deck the Halls - Manheim Steamroller
All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
Silent Night - Mariah Carey
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays - N'Sync
The 12 Days of Christmas - Straight No Chaser
The Christmas Can-Can - Straight No Chaser
Last Christmas - Taylor Swift
Carol of the Bells - TSO
Christmas Melody (Oh Come All Ye Faithful / O Holy Night) - TSO
Christmas Canon Rock - TSO
Christmas Eve Sarajevo - TSO
Hard the Harold Angels Sing - TSO
The Little Drummer Boy - TSO
Mad Russian Christmas / Nutcracker Suite - TSO
Wizards in Winter - TSO
Christmas Wish - 98 Degrees
The Little Drummer Boy - 98 Degrees

Crib Comparisons

With your first pregnancy, everything has to be perfect.  The perfect nursery that includes the perfect, often-expensive, furniture.  With Brantley, we visited multiple baby stores multiple times in search of the perfect crib.  We compared, price-shopped, debated, and debated some more...before finally deciding on one from Buy Buy Baby.

This time?  We looked online ( nonetheless), agreed on one of the least expensive models, read a few reviews, and boom, bought it!

Our plan is to use the same {black} baby furniture for Baby #2.  Brantley's the one getting the new room, and hence the new crib.  So, why a crib instead of a bed?  I'm still holding out for Baby #3 to be a girl.  If and when that ever happens, I envision white nursery furniture.  We already have a white dresser and nightstand in our guest bedroom that Brantley's new room will acquire (and, of course, that I could use in a future baby girl's room, if needed).  So our options were to buy either a white bed frame or a white crib.  Most cribs nowadays are convertable...meaning they can convert to a toddler bed, day bed, and adult full-size bed.  So that's what we bought!  In the instance that we'll need a white crib someday, we'll have it.  And if not, well...we'll just use it as a full-size bed until Brantley goes to college. :)

We went with the Dream on Me Ashton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib.  $149 from Walmart, with free shipping.  Can't beat that.  We like this model because it includes a toddler rail (a half rail) to prevent toddlers from rolling out.  That's how we envision using it for Brantley.

Toddler bed

Day bed

Adult full-size bed

As for Brantley's new room, we'll probably start transforming our guest bedroom once the holidays are over.  For now, I'll have fun dreaming of paint colors and scouring Pinterest for some cute ideas!  Here are a few inspiration photos so far...

"Spring" Cleaning + Christmas Decor??

Do you ever have one of those weekends that just feels productive?  That was ours this weekend, despite having little "to do" on our calendar. 

Weather wise, it was near 70 and sunny.  We cleaned big time.  With our windows open and breeze blowing through.  Felt like we were spring cleaning on a warm, sunny day.  We also installed a baby gate, Internet shopped for cribs, talked Brantley's big boy room, and bought some storage ottomans for our living room toys.  (Probably my fave part of the weekend.)

What else did we decide to do?  Put up our Christmas decor, of course!  Nothing says Christmas like a warm spring-like day, huh?

Here's the deal.  We both love Christmas.  Luckily, I married someone who's as Christmas-obsessed as myself.  Most people think it's ridiculous to put up a Christmas tree in mid-November.  But we are not "most people".  We love the coziness it brings to our home and love the sparkle of our tree.  We aren't around to enjoy it at Thanksgiving...ditto with Christmas, so why not put it up early to maximize our holiday enjoyment?

(We're also the kind of people that take it down on December 26, or very soon after.  Just one more reason it put it up early!)

We let Brantley "help" and snapped a few pictures in the process, but did most of it after he went to bed.  We knew we wanted the tree to be a "no touch" item so we didn't want to send mixed signals by asking him to touch it while decorating.

The rest of our decor is up, as well, as are lights outside.  It was a productive weekend, I tell ya!  Pictures to come!

Here's a couple more pictures from our weekend.

Not sure how much we'll do with this this year, but we officially have an Elf!

The toy storage {insert angel voices}

Holiday Bucket List

I'm a sucker for traditions.  I'm the typical, cliche, idealist when it comes to family, holidays, and festiveness.  Last year, I posted about some Christmas traditions I wanted to start.  So here's my 2013 holiday bucket list to ensure I hold myself accountable for these special traditions! 

Ahhh so excited and ready for the holidays!  (Though it's going to be tough to stay festive with temps near 70 degrees this weeeknd!) 

Someone's Ready for Christmas...

Sloppy Joses

So apparently I lied and I wasn't done with the fall-themed posts...
This fall we started a new tradtion with our neighbors.  For each Chiefs' home, 12-o'clock noon football game, we decided to do a friendly backyard cook-off.  We decided on a main entree, or theme, each week (something that involved beef) and each whipped up our own version of said entree.  For example, chili, tacos, and my personal fave so far, Sloppy Joes! 

Me and Sloppy Joes go way back.  Growing up, my mom fixed it all the time.  It was our go-to Friday night meal before a high school football or basketball game.  My two bffs lived 15 minutes away in a neighboring town, so our house was often the after-school hangout until game time.  Sloppy Joes was something easy that my mom could throw in the crock-pot and we could enjoy as we pleased.  The tradtion somehow stuck and whenever I went to one of these bff's houses, their moms made Sloppy Joes, too!  Even through college, everytime we got together for a home-cooked meal, it was always homemade sloppy Joes by one of our moms!

So anyway, there's my backstory on that.  I've always loved and used my mom's recipe.  Until last year when I caught a Rachael Ray episode where she was making a tex-mex version called Sloppy Joses.  Oh my goodness, I'm not sure I can ever go back to my mom's version.  It was good, but Rachel's includes bacon, beer, and the perfect amount of spiciness.  What's better?  The hubs loves it, too.  In fact, he's been requesting it for weeks...ever since we finished the leftover after that Sunday afternoon Chief's game!  Here's the recipe!  I recommend you go buy the ingredients and try it asap!

Rachael Ray's Sloppy Joses
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 cup lager beer, at room temperature
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Franks Red Hot
  • Toppings: Fritos, jalapenos, and red pepper relish
  • Buns
    In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel to drain, then chop into small pieces.  (I used my electric chopper.) 
    Add the ground beef to the same pan and cook until browned, stirring with a spoon to crumble; season with a little salt and black pepper. Return the cooked bacon to the pan and add the onion, jalepenos, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
    In a medium bowl, stir together the beer, tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire, vinegar, and hot sauce. Pour the mixture over the meat, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until ready to serve.
    Serve on buns topped with Fritos, jalepenos, and red pepper relish.  And if you live near a Lenny's Sub Shop, I totally recommend using their hot pepper relish.  Adds about a million times the flavor and is making my mouth water just thinking about it!  If you don't live near one, you may want to consider ordering a jar online.  It's that good.

     Here's my hubby slaving away over the skillet of Sloppy Joses!

    Now that I've blog posted this recipe, I have a feeling Sloppy Joses are in our near future.  This prego will be craving it until then!

    One More {Fall Themed} Catch-Up Post!

    It's mid-November, dark at 5:00, cold, and we're only days away from putting up our Christmas tree.  But before I completely switch gears from Halloween to Christmas-mode, I better finish posting about our of our fun fall activities! 

    Perhaps our favorite fall activity - the Lenexa Chili Challenge.  What can I say, it involves {free} food!  This was our third year attending and again, it did not disappoint!  The weather was great.  A tad chilly (pun intended), but crisp and sunny - perfect for scarfing down some chili!  My parents were in town for the weekend, so they got to join in on the chili-tasting fun.  We met up with some neighbors, enjoying the live music, and stuffed ourselves full...which is hard to believe when sampling from 2 ounce cups!

    We also attended a wedding this fall. Well, technically not the wedding (it was for immediate family only), but the reception...which is what weddings are all about anyway, right??   The wedding was for the bride whose bachelorette party was in Cali in June and whose shower I co-hosted in September.    The venue was Cellar 222 - an urban, intimate setting.  Super cute and super perfect for this couple.  It was a fun evening, even though I couldn't thoroughly enjoy the night (and open bar) like the rest of the crowd. :)

    Congrats to the newlyweds - Mr. and Mrs. Betts!

    And that, my friends, completes my fall-themed catch-up posts!  Now it's officially time to celebrate the holidays! :)