Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nora Kay Love ~ 20 Weeks

And just like that we're closer to having a baby than not being pregnant!  How is that possible?!?
20 weeks and 3 days today.  Yikes! 
How far along:  20 weeks
How big is baby: Small Cantaloupe, 10.6 oz
Gender: My sweet baby girl, Nora Kay! 

Weight gain/loss: I'm hopefully still holding steady! Bump-friendly clothing is definitely a must these days, and Bella Bands are going to work for a little while longer...but I think I'll need to be purchasing a few more maternity pants options than I did last time.  Thanks to the second baby showing more and more quickly! 

Sleep: Sleeping wonderfully.  We've been busy, busy, busy...so minus the middle of the night trip to the bathroom, I've been enjoying some pretty great sleep!  Hopefully that continues for the next 20ish weeks! 

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Food. Just food.  Wow.  I am SOOOO hungry.  Not like belly-grumbling hunger, but even after I eat a full meal I still don't feel fully satisfied.  I really think I just need to be better about filling my meals with proteins, fruits, and veggies instead of carbs.  However, it's so frustrating when I'm trying to be conscious about my diet and all I want to do is EAT! 

Movement: The little kicks here & there seriously warm my heart!  I tried to have Hubby feel her last week, but he obviously wasn't patient enough to wait.  I'm to the point where I'll think I haven't felt her for awhile and then just when I slightly start to get worried...there she is!  Oh how I love that! 

What I'm loving:  As much as it's annoying, I'm glad that I'm to the point where I don't just look like I ate too much...I actually have a serious bump going on!  I'm also full into the nursery planning which makes me so excited for what the room is going to look like when we're finished! 

Symptoms: Oh you mean besides the belly & the ridiculous hunger & the weird left-ankle swelling?!?  Really not much.  I do realize that I get tired much more easily & pushing Elyse in the stroller up the hills in our neighborhood even leave me a little winded.  Oh, and in the hopes of full disclosure...the "girls" are continuing the trend from my pregnancy with Elyse.  I think over half of my weightgain is probably above my ribcage!  Ughhh!  

What I'm looking forward to: We are leaving on Friday for vacation with Hubby's entire family & I couldn't be more excited!  We're traveling Up North to Petoskey, MI for a week in a beautiful log house and we've got lots of rest & relaxation on the schedule...and also plenty of fun as well!  It'll be so great to getaway for awhile! 
Best moment of the week: Finding the nursery fabric.  I'll share a sneak peek soon, but I'm so excited for my momma to get started on Nora's bedding & curtains! 
Elyse wanted to take a picture with momma...the purse, the pigtails, the hand across her belly like Momma...I DIE!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nora Kay's Gender Reveal Party

The one thing we knew for sure when we found out we were pregnant with Baby #2, is that we DEFINITELY wanted to have a gender reveal party.  We had such a blast throwing this party when we found out Elyse was a girl, and of course we couldn't treat #2 any differently...yet, anyway! 
And just let me remind you...NO ONE knew the gender of Baby #2, except our two ultrasound techs, the cake vendor, and the confetti balloon vendor from Etsy.  Hubby & I wanted to be surprised with everyone else! 
For various reasons, we ended up having to schedule our party for the same day as our scheduled anatomy scan with my OB's office.  This was originally going to cause a few logistical problems, but those were quickly resolved when a good friend volunteered to do an early scan...nearly 2 weeks before the actual party!  She made the phone calls to the cake lady, and also to our confetti balloon vendor...and everything was set!   
Invite by EmandBeaPaperie via Etsy
Hubby & I were both off work the afternoon of our anatomy scan, and that was seriously the fastest OB appointment ever...which also resulted in the LONGEST afternoon ever.  The party didn't start until 7, and the anticipation was killing us! 

One of the problems with having so much family and so many friends nearby?  Even a "small" party becomes a little large REALLY fast!  I think we ended up with 50+ people at our home to celebrate Baby Layman #2!  So blessed to have so much support and encouragement surrounding us each day of our lives!  
Cake by StarCakes
For the most part I kept the party decorations and planning pretty simple.  We only served cake, fruit, and punch and a lot of the decorations I had on hand already from other parties.  My mom and I did pick up some blue/pink polka dot balloons & coordinating paper goods from Party City, some paper straws & the pink table runner from Hobby Lobby, and the He/She printable came from Krista @ Grateful Imperfections.  I made blue & pink punch (drink containers from Sam's Club and borrowed from my SIL).  And that was pretty much it! 

With Elyse's gender reveal, we did the whole cake thing with the baker making us a pink cake to cut in to.  This time around we wanted to do something a little different, but we also tied in the cake color as well.  Hubby & I tossed around several ideas, and then I happened upon this giant confetti balloon from The Gender Reveal on Etsy.  This sounded like such a great idea...and honestly, it worked perfectly! 

This is about the time that my truly color-blind husband looks at me and says..."It is pink, right?"  There were a few metallic pieces of confetti that truly did look a little blue...I think he just wanted to make sure we were all celebrating a Baby Girl together! 
 I had asked everyone who came to dress in the appropriate color, and as you can see...the blue team definitely was in the majority...

But the pink team came away victorious!  

After the big reveal, we headed inside to cut the cake...which resulted in the first anxiety of the night...what if the cake and the balloon didn't match?!?  ha! 

But nothing to be worried about...the cake was definitely pink inside!

And the second anxiety came when I had to compare the pink confetti & the pink cake...to the ultrasound photo sealed in an envelope from just a few hours earlier!  But again, nothing to be worried about...because It's a Girl!  

Hubby, Elyse, & I are so incredibly blessed to have so many nearby family & friends who were willing to take time out of their busy schedules to come celebrate Baby Layman #2.  

 Our house was full of love and laughter and children running inside & out...and my heart was overflowing. 

Hubby & I honestly couldn't be more happy to be welcoming another precious baby girl into our family...bring on the pink, the ruffles, and the lace!   
*all photos, except top selfie, taken by our good friend Tyler Wilson of FourTen Photography

Thursday, July 17, 2014

On Nora Kay being Nora Kay...

When trying to decide on a name for Baby #2, I had two main requirements.  Ok, probably more than that, but these are the two that I remember specifically. 

1.  I wanted it to be a grouping of 3 syllables for the first and middle name.  I like how Elyse Ann rolls off my tongue so I wanted to match that with Baby #2. 
2.  I wanted it to be a gender-specific name.  Elyse is DEFINITELY a girls' name.  So I didn't want there to be any question about Baby #2 being a boy/girl when someone first heard their name. 

And so...here's how Nora Kay came to be Nora Kay. 

Almost 3 years ago to the day, I posted about receiving one of my favorite gifts for the yet-to-be-named Elyse Ann Layman.  My very own copy of Noisy Nora. 

You can read the entire post here, but to make a long story short, Noisy Nora was my favorite children's book when I was a little girl.  It was the first book I "read" aka recited by memory to my parents.  It's incredibly short, but is a fun read and for awhile, it was Elyse's chosen book to read before naptime. 
 We briefly considered Nora as a name for Elyse, but neither one of us were really feeling it...and we juts fell in love with Elyse's name once we heard it.  And to be completely honest, I felt a little guilty about giving my baby girl a complex by naming her after a book called "Noisy Nora!"  ha! 
However, several months ago, like before we were even pregnant and we were just casually discussing future second baby names...I mentioned the name to Nora to Hubby.  He didn't completely blow me off...which was a huge success since choosing a girls' name for Elyse was quite the chore!  We honestly decided that if Baby #2 was a girl, and ANYTHING like her sister...she was going to be noisy anyway, so what did it matter?!?  ha!   

So...I had the first name, or at least I was pretty sure I did.  What about a middle name?!?  And to be honest, it came to me before I hardly needed to think about it.  It met my requirements of 3 syllables, and it had so much meaning. 
Kay.  My grandma's first name.  My mom's mom.  The woman who I sat next to in church for years.   
The woman who cooked us Sunday dinner every week for years until my brother & went to college. The woman who prayed for me and my husband before Nick even existed.
The woman who came (along with my grandpa) to EVERY single sporting event, band competition, piano recital, and honors night regardless of the distance, time, or effort required. 
 The woman who is so important to me, that why wouldn't I name my child after her?!?
Let me just tell you....this woman is one of the strongest women I know.  Through lots of ups and downs in life, and lots of health struggles...she still manages to put a smile on her face everytime she sees her only granddaughter (me), or her first born great-granddaughter (Elyse). 
She still has LOADS of personality & sass, along with LOADS of grace, mercy, and love...and I hope that her namesake will carry even an ounce of that with her throughout her life. 
Kay Sonya, you may feel it's an honor for us to use your name for our new baby girl...but we are even more honored to have someone in our lives that we can even name a child after. 
I feel completely obligated to mention, that I, along with Elyse & Nora, are INCREDIBLY blessed to have not just one grandma (great-grandma) in our lives, but two...and they are both wonderful women of God, who lift us up in prayer more than I would ever believe, expect or deserve.
So blessed, so incredibly wonderfully blessed by our Heavenly Father to be able to know these women...and for my daughter's to be able to know their great-grandmothers.  It is I who am honored, more than they will ever know!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nora Kay Love ~ 19 Weeks

And at 19w4d, Baby Girl Layman #2 has a name!  
It may sound a bit like Noah when big sis says it...but Nora Kay will be her name.  I'll have an entire post on where the name came from, but we're so excited about actually referring to our second sweet baby girl by her new name! 
And so...our Charlie Love updates are now Nora Kay updates...I fall more in love with it everytime I use it! 
How far along: 19 weeks
How big is baby: An heirloom tomato (whatever that is); 8.5 oz
Gender: Another sweet baby girl! Nora Kay, you are going to be so incredibly blessed and loved.  I honestly can't believe that God would put me in charge of two precious girls, and I'm so excited to experience the ups (and downs) of having little girls who are sisters by birth and hopefully best friends one of these days. 

Weight gain/loss: At my appt last week, the weight gain was a little more than I would have liked.  But I'm also trying to remind myself that it came off last time with hardwork, it'll come off this time as well.  July is just an awful month for us as far as travelling and eating out.   I'm trying to be much more careful with my snacking and even though I'm not able to attend Zumba like I'd like, we are getting in several nightly walks a week. 

Sleep: Still great, just those occasional early morning risings.  I should really get out of bed and be productive, but I've been lazy & seem to just enjoy the extra few minutes of relaxing in bed. 

Diet/Cravings/Aversions:  Food.  Just food.  I'm really having to be careful with the snacks I keep around the house because I definitely lean towards the cookies, chips, popcorn, type snacks.  I'm trying to keep almonds and fresh fruit handy along with whole wheat crackers that I can eat with avocado.  The junk food I know doesn't fill me up like a good nutritious snack, so I'm trying to make a conscious effort there.  No aversions at this time...although I wish there were some!  ha! 

Movement: It's there for sure.  And last night I think I felt my first movement on the outside.  It's still so faint that I don't think anyone else would be able to feel it, but she's definitely an active little girl! 

What I'm loving:  Hearing Elyse say Nora's name...it's the most adorable thing ever.  And when we ask Elyse where Baby Nora is, she says..."in momma's belly!"  Melt.  My.  Heart. 

Symptoms: My belly is definitely out there a little earlier this time compared to last.  I'm gonna be at an outlet mall this week and I think I'll definitely need to pick up a few pair of maternity shorts or cotton-jersey skirts to get me through the rest of the summer.  My dress pants with a bella band just aren't going to cut it!  I'm also still having some swelling in my left-ankle, but my nurse & dr both agree it has to do with how Nora is laying. 

What I'm looking forward to: Starting the nursery decorating process.  Thankfully the room was kept fairly clean of junk during the moving process.  I've narrowed down a color-scheme so now we just need to start making a few purchases.  With having two girls, I'm also going to redo the second bathroom to be all girl...I'm excited to have an excuse to add a little more fru-fru in the house!
Best moment of the week:  Sharing our name with my Grandma Kay, Elyse & Nora's Great-Grandma.  Nora's middle name was chosen in honor of her, and I thought I was prepared for my grandma's reaction...but I totally wasn't.  She literally broke down, and kept going on and on about how honored she was.  Of course, we were both in tears...but I couldn't have chosen a more God-centered, loving, encouraging, strong woman to name my baby after.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Pledge of Allegiance--as performed by Elyse

Turn up those speakers and shut your office doors...this is something to make you laugh on this Monday! 

There are no words for how adorable I think this is...needless to say, I watch it multiple times per day!  Love this little girl! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Charlie Love ~ 18 Weeks

And....it's a....

How far along: 18 weeks (closer to 19, but who's counting!)

How big is baby: A Sweet Potato, 6.7 oz
Gender: Another sweet baby girl! Watch out Daddy, you are totally going to be outnumbered now!

Weight gain/loss:  This month definitely had some weight gain, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Summer is so hard with so many events & outdoor activities.  Plus I haven't been able to get to Zumba as frequently as I'd like. 

Sleep: I'm still sleeping fairly well, with just one wakeup each night to use the bathroom.  While I'm still waking up before the alarm, I still wake feeling fairly rested which is a bonus with a rambunctious 2 1/2 year old and a busy summer schedule! 

Diet/Cravings/Aversions:  Still nothing here.  If I were to say I was craving anything, it would probably be fresh fruit and guacamole. But not together! ha! Thankfully it's summer time so the fresh fruit is available in abundance...but I seriously wish that avocadoes weren't so dang expensive! 

Movement: Definitely feeling a few little movements here and there, but nothing that you can feel or see on the outside.  It's definitely much more noticeable on the rare occasion that I do have something sugary to drink. 

What I'm loving:  Knowing the gender.  Something about having a gender for the baby just makes it so much more real....of course that means that there's LOTS of work to do now!  I honestly can't believe that I'm gonna be the momma of another sweet baby girl! 

Symptoms: Just my expanding waist line. I've decided to stock up on cotton/jersey skirts and maxi dresses for the rest of summer...the perfect wardrobe pieces to accomodate before/after baby! I've also been getting obnoxious leg/foot/toe cramps in the evenings...Hubby is convinced it's a ploy to get a foot rub, but I can't help it if my toes are bending on their own!

What I'm looking forward to: Narrowing down a name.  Picking nursery decorations.  Referring to the baby by their real name.  Oh there is so much I'm looking forward to! 

Best moment of the week:  Well it's always a pretty wonderful day when you get to see your baby on ultrasound, and finding out the gender with 50+ family & friends was pretty stinkin' amazing as well.  This baby is already so incredibly blessed! 
Trust me, there will be so much more about the gender reveal party, being a momma of 2 girls, and summertime fun to come! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Family Adventures after the 4th

I've decided that the 4th of July should always be on Friday.  I realize that wouldn't work with the whole "4th of July" thing...but seriously, how wonderful was it to have a 3 day weekend in the middle of summer?!? 
Hubby & I had talked early on about taking advantage of the long weekend to do some fun family things with Elyse that we hadn't had a chance to do quite yet this year.  Whenever we're going to be in the car for a little longer than normal, but going somewhere fun...we've started telling Elyse that we're going on an ADVENTURE!!!  Of course then she asks..."Where's the adventure?" about 20x before we actually get there!  ha!  But it does seem to help her endure the long car ride when there's a promise of something fun at the end. 
On the adventure itinerary for Saturday...a trip to our local zoo.  My in-laws bought us family passes to our local zoo, Dickerson Park Zoo, and we had yet to actually use them!  Elyse LOVES animals and the weather on Saturday was beautiful so we decided to take a little roadtrip (all of 20 minutes) to the zoo!  It's not a huge zoo by any means, but it's big enough...and they have probably one the best giraffe exhibits I've ever seen!  Complete with biscuits (for a fee) that you can feed them right out of your hand...
Why hello there Mr. Giraffe!

The newest addition...only 9 weeks old!

Last year Elyse was a little timid around the giraffe's giant tongues...not this year, she was all about feeding them their biscuits!

Of course there were elephants and cheetahs and lions and zebras and tigers...but of course, my farm-loving daughter was most excited about the donkeys and the goats at the petting zoo!  Silly girl!  I'm sure she's a farm girl at heart...even with the big pink bow in her hair!  

After plenty of time at the zoo we had lunch at Chick-fil-A before heading home for Elyse's naptime...and maybe a quick nap for momma too!  We spent the evening just relaxing at home, enjoying our backyard & took Bogey for a walk around the neighborhood. 
On Sundy we decided to be rebels and skip church.  Yes, I know.  We're horrible.  However, sometimes quality family fun time can be just as much a blessing and just as much a reminder of God's provision and grace.  Or at least that's what I'm telling myself!  ha! 
Sunday we took Elyse to Silver Dollar City in Branson, only about an hour away.  They have lots of little kid rides and she had been once before this year with my in-laws and enjoyed every moment!  Well, I think she enjoyed every moment this time...except for at the measuring station where we got her bracelet for riding rides.  She had a serious MELTDOWN!!!!  And I was seriously afraid that we were going to have to packup and go home.  However, I think she was honestly just a little timid of the man dressed up in his old-time costume, complete with hat, glasses, and mustache...the trifecta of evil in Elyse's mind...apparently! 
After we got her bracelet on, we were all smiles!  She rode basically all the little kid rides...flying elephants, hopping frogs, flying butterflies, giant swings, and of course the horses on the carousel!  We were there for over 4 1/2 hours and I honestly think she would have lasted even longer if we would have let her keep riding the frogs!  She even got to the point where she was willing to ride all by herself!  My little girl is growing up!

Of course momma HAD to go down the giant twirly slide with her...I'm pretty sure I'm a little big! 


It was a fabulous family day with just the three of us!  We left a little after lunch, just in time for her to crash in the car for naptime.  I can't wait to have many more family adventures!  Next year, with both of our precious kiddos in tow!