Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day via iPhone

Last week was rough...Everything appears to be normal now and I'll have more of an update tomorrow with my Nora Kay Love post...but things were a little stressful for me.  A little stress was only aggravated by the fact that I may have freaked out a little more than necessary...but more on that tomorrow. 
 
Friday morning I had to go to the hospital for some blood work and this was my view as I left the house.  No other cars on the road and God reminding me that He is good.  All the time. 

After my labwork (which I survived), I came back to work and we spent the evening at my parents' house.  They had been gone for a week on vacation so we stayed down for dinner and some fun.  Of course they mainly just wanted to spend some extra time with Elyse, but we got to catch up as well. 

Elyse finally got her wish and took her maiden voyage on the paddle boat at my grandparents' pond.  I really wasn't sure how she would do with it, but she LOVED every second.  I can see a new activity forming every time we visit the pond. 

Saturday was a casual morning and then we paid a visit to one of Elyse's favorite places on earth...Rutledge Wilson Community Farm Park.  She was super excited to see all the animals and as luck would have it, 12 baby piglets had been born just the day before!  They were absolutely adorable and Elyse was in Hog Heaven...or I guess Piglet Paradise in this case! 
 

 She wasn't able to pet the newborns, but they also had two 3-week old piglets there and I just know that Elyse would have taken one home if given the opportunity! 

We spent Saturday afternoon resting & relaxing and then Elyse played with her panties. Forever.  She would unstack and restack and sort and throw them in the air and gather them up again.  It's quite hilarious to see her sitting, watching tv with 20+ pair of panties in her lap! 
 I headed out Saturday evening for a ridiculous casual girls' night. We dressed in our comfy clothes, brought food that we ate straight out of the serving dishes, and sat around the table having fabulous conversation. I seriously considered taking a picture and tagging it..."The Non-Pinterest version of Girls Night!"  Ha!  I am super blessed to be surrounded by some amazing women! 

Sunday we had church, Elyse & I headed to the pool, and Hubby headed to the golf course...a pretty great day...with nothing really to document. 

Yesterday for our day off we had planned on taking Elyse to the zoo...but we woke up to a stormy, rainy morning and none of us were really too motivated to get moving.  We finally loaded up to run a few errands and grab lunch at Chickfila...Elyse spotted Barnes & Noble and requested a stop at the "bookstore."  Apparently finally deciding on the Rainbow Fish was just too much for her, she crashed within minutes of loading back in the car. 

After we loaded back up and headed to Branson to meet my parents and my brother's family for dinner at Cantina Laredo on Branson Landing.  We don't live more than 30 minutes from each other...but sometimes our schedules just don't work out to get together very often.  It was an absolutely beautiful evening & our girls LOVED playing along the boardwalk! 



It was a fabulous evening...and I can't wait to see our girls' continue to grow up together.  There are 18 months between Elyse & Harper and there will be another 18 months between Harper & Nora.  Man...we're totally going to have our hands full with all these girls!  But oh what joy they will bring to us! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Nora Kay Love ~ 25 Weeks

How far along: 25 weeks
How big is baby: Rutabaga, 1.5 lb


Gender: My sweet baby girl, Nora Kay!

Weight gain/loss: I've done pretty well with monitoring my calorie intake and thankfully the ridiculous hunger seems to still be keeping it's distance.  I've been getting in one Zumba workout and one Piyo workout each week and that has definitely been helping me feel a lot better.  It's amazing how much more energy I have when I get in just 1-2 workouts a week! 

Sleep: Still going strong here...and SOOOO thankful for it!  I know that it won't last long! 

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: My food intake is pretty much exactly the same as it was before I got pregnant...minus the 5-6 peanut M & M's that I sneak out of the pantry after meals!  At least I don't eat the whole bag! 

Movement: ALL over the place!  I'm starting to be able to see her from the outside which is pretty cool.  She moves like crazy in the evenings when we're relaxing in front of the tv, but then when its' time for bed she calms right down...maybe that's a good sign for things to come?!? She does seem to find a comfortable place right along a nerve that affects my inner-right leg...and I could do without that! 

What I'm loving: As corny as it sounds...just our life routine right now.  With school starting our schedule has slowed down quite a bit which leaves plenty of room for time with just our little family of 3.  Elyse is at such a fun age and I'm soaking every minute of being her mommy.  I can't hardly believe that God is going to bless me with another little girl to be her sidekick! I've also managed to get a start on my Before Nora Kay to-do list...which makes me quite happy!  LOVE marking things off a list!

Symptoms: Boobs. Belly. Fatter Face. That is all.   
What I'm looking forward to: Our Labor Day weekend.  We have plans to take Elyse to a local farm park which is her favorite place in the world, I have a girls night on Saturday, and then a family trip to the zoo on Monday.  The weather is supposed to cool down just slightly so I'm excited to do some super fun things with Elyse!  
Best moment of the week: Last night....Hubby & I had free overnight babysitters by way of my in-laws, so we took the opportunity for a spontaneous date night.  It had been FAR TOO LONG since we had gone out with just the two of us and it was fabulous!  Hopefully we can fit in a few more of those before Nora arrives! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Insta-Friday

Lots of randomness on my phone from the past couple of weeks...most of which deserves to be documented at least in a phone-dump post!
 
Our August schedule is MUCH slower than July, which means that on my Elyse Days, we've actually been able to have some fun! 
 
1.  Last Thursday before swim lessons I took Elyse to one of her favorite places...the FARM!  It's a local farm-park that is maintained by our county park board.  They have pigs, cows, goats, donkeys, sheep, etc. and a fun play area.  Elyse LOVES farm animals so she had a blast.  It was also quite hilarious when she tried to walk away from the goat only to realize that the goat had put her ponytail in it's mouth!  Elyse didn't panic, but she for sure wondered why she couldn't move! 

After our visit to the farm we stopped by Chick-fil-A for a quick lunch before heading on to swim lessons.  After swim lessons Elyse pretty much crashes in the car and today was no different...she was WORN OUT!  But what a fun day with my girl!
 
2.  The day before Elyse had spent some of the day with her Mamaw and I made a stop by Target...and once again the Dollar Spot got me!  They had 15-piece framed puzzles for $1!!!  Elyse is really into puzzles right now so I bought three that I knew she'd enjoy.  She has spent probably HOURS putting those things together, taking them apart, and putting them together...all BY HERSELF!  I honestly think she has some of her momma's photographic memory because it takes her no time to put them back together. 

3.  On Friday morning it was time for Hubby & I to have our teeth cleaned and at the recommendation of our hygienist, we brought Elyse along.  I honestly had no idea how it would go, but after a little bit of coaxing onto momma's lap, and Sheriff Callie on the iPad...she opened her mouth and let her teeth be examined.  Thankfully we're doing a great job and we didn't push it since this was her first time!  Next up...her first teeth cleaning!  Hopefully it goes just as smoothly. 

4.  This past weekend on Saturday night, we met up with my parents for dinner and a Springfield Cardinals baseball game.  They have a grassy area in the outfield where you can take a blanket and just relax so we bought general admission tickets out there so Elyse could run around.  It turned out to be a beautiful evening and Elyse was LOVING the cotton candy, peanuts, and popcorn that was provided by her Papa. 

5. On Sunday, my little brother challenged us to the #icebucketchallenge.  So...when it was about time to head in for the evening, Hubby & I prepared our buckets to join in.  Here's the videos that we shared on social media to challenge some others! Even if you're making a funny video, I hope you're also donating to this worthy cause...obviously lots of people are because donations have surpassed $50 million!  Go here to donate!
 
 
6.  Wednesday of this week, Elyse & I had absolutely NO plans.  I considered taking her to our neighborhood pool for awhile in the morning, but she was perfectly content to play with her toys...which honestly doesn't happen that often.  So we simply stayed home and we played in her playroom for over 3 hours!!!  Without leaving except for a potty break!  I think my heart melted a bit when she found her Piggy Paint and brought it over for me to paint her fingernails and toenails.  She sat completely still the entire time and also sat long enough for it to dry!  Toddler fingers & toes are the most adorable thing! 
7.  Since Elyse & I literally did NOT leave the house at all on Wednesday (this NEVER happens), she didn't even make it out of her jammies until after her nap.  And the only reason I changed her clothes is because I knew we'd be spending the evening outside and I didn't want her to be crazy hot.  So...I picked out some of her most casual play clothes, let her pick her shoes, and then she found her daddy's Color Run headbands.  She was quite the fashionista...or she looked like a bag of Skittles...either way!  ha! 
 
Hope you all have a fabulous weekend...we'll either be inside with the A/C cranked or we may pay a LONG visit to my parents' pool!  The highs are forecasted to be 100+...YIKES!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nora Kay Love ~ 24 Weeks

I actually had a cute pregnant day today...I've been a little rough on myself recently, but I was feeling extra cute this morning...which always makes for better pictures.  Maybe it's the black non-maternity maxi from Target...I may wear it every. single. day for the rest of my pregnancy!  ha! 



How far along: 24 weeks
How big is baby: Corn, 1.25 lb
Gender: My sweet baby girl, Nora Kay!

Weight gain/loss: This is a permanently removed subject in regards to specifics; however, last week I ate MUCH better and while I'm not trying to diet and be pregnant at the same time...I am using MyFitnessPal again just to monitor my calorie and nutrition intake.  The weekend was pretty much awful as far as food was concerned...but hey, I'm pregnant right?  I get a little bit of a pass! 
Sleep: I'm sleeping fairly well...but the last several nights I've been waking up SUPER HOT!  And then it takes me a bit to cool down and go back to sleep.  Of course there are also the middle of the night potty breaks which are always exciting!  ha! 

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Still nothing.  I'm still loving all the fresh summer fruit which I'm enjoying over Greek yogurt for breakfast and also as a sweet snack with maybe a small scoop of ice cream. 

Movement: We've got another dancer on our hands!  She actually seems to move the most either right before I go to sleep or right after I wake up in the morning.  Hubby finally was patient enough to feel her move a bit and I can't wait until Elyse can feel her move in my tummy! 

What I'm loving: All the nursery prep!  My mom has a big start on the nursery bedding, we have a painter lined up for the first part of September, the rocker-recliner (x2) will be ordered this week, and now I'm starting to think about all the details!  I'm so excited for it to all come together! 

Symptoms: She's definitely created a nice round belly for me!  I get lots of "you look so cute" comments...which helps a LOT.  My left ankle tends to swell the most after being at work on Monday & Tuesday; probably something to do with sitting in a chair for the majority of the day at a desk. 
 
What I'm looking forward to: A slower schedule...I hope.  We've been going kind of crazy the last few weeks so I'm hoping that with the arrival of Fall comes a little bit of a slower schedule.  Of course that could definitely be wishful thinking!   
Best moment of the week: So is it bad that I looked forward to a couple of homemade chocolate chip cookies and a small glass of milk every night last week?!?  Thankfully there are only two small ones left and it's up to Hubby to eat those.  I'm not thinking I'll be making those again anytime soon...or at least not until after my glucose test in a month or so!    

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Up North Michigan 2014-Random Days & Wrapping it Up

There truly is LOTS to do in the area where we stayed.  One afternoon after a relaxing morning, we had a quick lunch and the rest of the group headed to tour a chocolate factory while we took Elyse home to catch up on some sleep.  She woke up about 4 and we met up with everyone else at a nearby "beach" area. 
 
It was a little chilly due to the wind...and Elyse was less than excited to be awake quite yet.  So she spent the majority of the time hanging out with Mamaw & cuddling while the big kids played catch with the frisbee, some of the adults played bocce ball and some of the kids even braved the water!  BRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!




That evening we fixed dinner at home and also played baseball!  Elyse loved spending the evenings just playing around with her cousins and we ended up building a bonfire a few nights in the firepit.  It was a great relaxing way to end a busy day!






On our last day we didn't have much of anything planned, so Hubby & I took Elyse down to a park area that is right on the water.  A pretty beautiful place to swing & slide! 









Mamaw had grand plans of planning a picture with all the grandkids dressed in red, white and blue, but we just kept forgetting to take it.  So...the last night we changed the kiddos clothes and were hoping for some good photos.  Elyse was all about taking pictures with Mamaw...Exhibit A. 

However, she was not excited once Mamaw sat her down to take just a picture of the kids...I love the sad look on her face!  Is that bad?!?


And then as we were all packed up, feeling gross & worn out from the week, and pretty much dressed in our comfy clothes for the rest of the evening...Pappy decided we needed a group photo in front of the house.  Of course we obliged! 

 A pretty great way to end the trip!  We were definitely ready to be home, because 8 days is a long time to be away from all that you know...but it was wonderful to spend some quality time with all the people you don't see nearly often enough! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Up North Michigan 2014-Day 6-Sleeping Bear Dunes

One of the must visit places during our Up North trip, was the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore.  My husband's family has extremely fond memories of climbing the dunes when Hubby & his sister were children and we knew the kiddos on the vacation would love all the wide-open sand! 
 
 While things have changed a bit, due to erosion, park popularity, etc., we still found the Dune Climb and spent a couple of hours climbing up and down the mountain of sand. We also packed a picnic lunch to enjoy at the base of the gigantic sand pile! 
Everyone got in on the sand climbing...even this pregnant lady!  I only made it about halfway up, which is still a ridiculously long ways from the end of the sand climb...but I was definitely feeling the difficulty of climbing through sand! 

Elyse wasn't quite sure about all the sand being on her hands and feet at first...but then as she watched her cousins take the lead she couldn't help but join in! 



This was as far as momma made it!


She even slid all the way to the bottom on her booty and then climbed back up with her cousin Jackson...that's tough stuff!

She was definitely happy to make it to Pappy's outstretched hand!
 And then it was time for the next stop...so we all headed down the giant ant hill to load up and head back to the car. 



Elyse was pretty much done with things at this point...new places, new people, new schedule, and missing naptime most days are not a good combination.  So we quickly took in the sights at one of the Dune Overlooks, and then she headed back to the car with Mamaw to hopefully catch a quick rest. 

We couldn't leave the seashore without taking in the stunning views of Lake Michigan...the sand dunes truly are a beautiful sight!


See those small black dots...yeah those are crazy people climbing up a dune.  Not recommended by the parks department but a challenge for many!  We DID NOT participate in this particular activity!  ha! 

Elyse fell asleep fairly quickly in the car and while she slept, we found a nearby beach for the older kids to enjoy for a bit.  We had about a 2 hour drive home and while we were worried that she would be a bear the whole time, she sat back, relaxed and I think enjoyed the silence of being the only kiddo in the car with her parents' full attention! 
 
We spent the evening at home with a quick dinner of leftovers and then of course another baseball game was on the schedule!