Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

So please disregard the no-makeup, haven't-showered-hair, and the dirty clothes (almost disregard the uni-boob/tummy that I'm rocking in the photo -- I had just pulled my shirt down and my boobs disappeared into my stomach) -- but this was the only photo that I got of the four generations while we were back in Iowa.  I had big hopes of getting another one taken when we had the big family Christmas (when everyone looked ready for a photo), but that one never happened.

Being able to go back home for Christmas was really wonderful.  I miss the support that I get there when I'm out here in Ohio.  It also gave me a much needed reprieve from the demands of an almost two-year-old.  Yes, E helps out tremendously here in Ohio, but his work hours don't allow him to be home all the times that I'm at home.  So I'm "on" for most of the day and when you are this pregnant, sometimes you really need a five minute break -- like, almost every five minutes!  :)  While back at home, I was able to be lazy and let Mimi pick up a bunch of my slack.  Trust me, traveling across the country at 34.5 weeks does take its toll on a girl.

Finn was so funny this Christmas.  She was very into opening presents.  In fact, the photo above was her running out the first present before we even finished saying "It's time to open presents!"

She was definitely a "great" present-hander-outer -- until she opened up a present that she really wanted to play with and then refused to cooperate.  She couldn't understand that we didn't want to get out ALL the toys that go along with "baby" because we would lose them in the discarded gift wrap on the floor.

The boys of my family are now completely matching in their "Hollywood" clothes.  The last to receive one was my brother.  Doesn't he look thrilled?

We had a lot of these moments during our time out in Iowa.  This one was related to the fact that there were no presents left to unwrap.  Someone was very upset about it.  Other moments related to her cousin Owen and her having to share things.  Let me tell you something... Two 2-year-olds aren't very good at sharing with each other.

This was taken the night of our big family Christmas.  Finn looked quite smashing in her red dress and tights.  When she went down for her nap, there was only three people in the house and when she woke up there was over 20.  She wasn't so sure about all the strange faces at the beginning, but once she adjusted, she was running around with all her cousins and having a ball.

My sister-in-law Mandy and my cousin-in-law were also pregnant this Christmas.  My S-I-L is 13 weeks pregnant and really in the throes of first-trimester sickness.  I hope that it passes quickly for her as you could tell that she was in some serious misery each night around 7-8pm.  My C-I-L Kasey is 39 weeks pregnant and scheduled to have her baby boy today (in fact, while writing this, I'm currently checking to see if he has arrived yet or not).

E and my cousin Nik (Kasey's baby daddy) decided to get in on the belly bump photos.  Those two were quite the pair this year.

This is all of us, but not all of us.  We are missing about 15 people that were unable to attend.  This is the first time in about 4-5 years that we are getting a family photo as Grandma was in attendance this year.

This is really what Christmas is like for us.

Finn and Owen were like two peas in a pod -- that really didn't want to share with each other.  Here they were scheming to open up gifts.

And the first annual "Best Xmas Card Ever" trophy was given out.  Actually, E made the trophy and then wrapped it up in a big box.  He signed the present as "From Everyone".  Before opening it, E made a big stink about it being from "Everyone" and Mandy responded with "Well, it isn't from everyone because we weren't in on it."  We opened up the box next to her.  It caused quite a few laughs.

Finn's cousin Knoxx got a riding tractor and wagon, which was a hit with Finn.  In fact, once she got on, she didn't want to share (of course).

I was able to get a couple of photos of Finn & Owen riding around in the tractor.  There wasn't much riding as neither could reach the pedals to move the tractor (that and there was WAY too many people to be able to ride much).

Another tradition that our family does is my aunt Vicki brings red velvet cake and we sing "happy birthday" to Jesus.  This year, it was kind of forgotten and only remembered after a lot of people had already left.  E wanted in on the action.

If you look at the clock above, it read 10pm. Finorah was up until 11:30 that night.  She didn't actually start getting fussy and cranky until after everyone left and we were putting on her jammies.  Girlfriend knows how to party hard already!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Snow bunny

Last weekend, we got a little snow storm on Saturday.  We ended up with about 6 inches in on the ground.  It snowed for the majority of the day on Friday evening and Saturday.  Finn has always enjoyed seeing the small amount of snow that had fallen previously this year.  She has enjoyed eating it and making little snow balls in her hands with the light dustings that we have had.

Saturday, she got her first real opportunity to play in the snow.  I think the girl is a born natural!  We played outside for about a half an hour while the snow came down.

At first, she was a little reluctant to walk about in the snow that already past her ankles.  She wasn't sure how to walk in it or if it would move out of her way if she shuffled her feet.  After a little coaxing, I got her walking and she realized how much fun it was to run through the snow.  Her enthusiasm was only heightened when we let the dogs out.  Munk is a snow dog -- there is no doubt about it.  And he was over-joyed with all the snow.  He was running around and chasing Bishop.

In fact, Finn & Munk started up a game of catch with snow balls which left her in a state of giggles.

Daddy even got into the game and made bigger snowballs for Munk, throwing them up in the air to let him jump and catch them.  You would have thought that he had a big red nose on for how much Finn laughed.  When it was time to go inside because Mommy & Daddy were getting cold, she refused (of course) and after a couple of threats to leave her outside by herself, she managed to trudge over to us and we headed in to watch the snow from the warmth of inside.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Week in the Life -- The Holiday Edition Part I (v.16.2)

Last Friday night, we headed over to the local mall to meet up with the Fat Man in the Red Suit.  We got her all dolled up and she was excellent waiting in line (about 45 minutes).  She was excellent when we would point to Santa and ask her if she wanted to sit on his lap.  But the minute that I got within two feet of him, her fingers created a death-grip on my arm and she didn't want anything to do with him.

Saturday, we stuck close to home all day as we got about 6 inches of snow.  She put on Daddy's hat that Mommy made and was running around the house.

Being cute in Daddy's hat

Watching the snow fall

I also got a little artsy-fartsy and made some Christmas trees for the bay window in our kitchen.

A grocery selfie -- I have at least 15 photos that look exactly like this currently on my phone.

We were making cookies on Sunday night (as you can tell by the frosting around her mouth) and she started singing.  I tried to catch it, but she flubbed up after "N, O, P" and couldn't pick it back up.  She tried to distract me by asking where Daddy was.

Then she went back at it and I was able to catch most of it -- apparently on Sunday night, she was very into starting at "Q, R, S" and singing all the way through.  (PS Yes, she is standing at our stovetop, but we have a child-lock on the stove that was currently on.)

We are doing the "12 days of Christmas" at our house, gearing up for Christmas presents.  I went to the dollar store and bought 12 gifts and she gets to open them sporadically through the month of December.  This was the "big" end gift -- a little black purse.  I think she really liked it.

Daddy dressed her for school and the purse matches her outfit perfectly!

PS the hat was also Daddy...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gone fishin' at 33 weeks

We are down to a single-digit countdown with 7 weeks to go.  Holy crap!

I had a doctor's appointment a week ago Friday.  I've been struggling with my doctor's schedule for the last week or so.  The last appointment as well as the upcoming two had to be "rescheduled" by his office for various reasons.  To say that I was frustrated when I went in to see him last Friday was an understatement.  But he worked with me and we rescheduled the next two appointments that I would be able to see him (and not another provider as the front office tried to schedule me for).

Fish is going quite well in there -- I'm a good oven, I guess.  His heartbeat was strong and steady and he has been moving a lot!  In other great news, we are able to travel back to Iowa for the holidays!  He approved my travel, telling me that we are going to be needing to make frequent stops anyways for me to use the restroom, which would be sufficient to get the blood flowing.  There will also be no ultrasound needed.  This appointment I was measuring ahead of schedule still, but only by 3.5 weeks (instead of 4.5 as last appointment).  He said that with the slight decrease in measurements along with the fact that I'm weighing less pregnancy-weight-wise this time (I had gained 5 pounds more with Finorah by this point) and that I was also measuring 1-2 weeks ahead of schedule with her the entire pregnancy, he saw no need for an ultrasound.

Physically, I'm still feeling pretty good.  I'm definitely pregnant, but feeling okay pregnant most of the time.  I am constantly short of breath this pregnancy.  Walking up the stairs in our house winds me, especially if I'm carrying Finn up.  I sound like I just finished hiking up the side of a mountain when I reach the top of those 14 stairs.  I am constantly exhausted, but not tired.  Taking the extra iron has helped with this slightly, but I still feel physically run down. I have developed a case of pregnancy insomnia a couple of nights each week.  In fact, there have been at least 3-4 times in the last month where I spontaneously woke up at 2:30-3:00am and just couldn't fall back asleep.  I got out of bed every time and got some things done downstairs while the house slept and surprisingly wasn't tired for the rest of the next day.  He is definitely sitting lower than Finn ever did.  I have to get up at least 2-3 times each night to use the bathroom.  In fact, last Friday after E's holiday party from the hours of 10pm - 6am I used the bathroom no less than 6 times (and I didn't even drink a lot at the party because I didn't want to be constantly in the restroom there).  I also have had the urge to use the bathroom seconds after I have used the bathroom -- those nights are SUPER annoying and I try to physically lift him on my bladder.  He usually gets mad and keeps me awake for another half hour after if I'm trying to go back to sleep.  And my ligaments are loosening up nicely for delivery.  Rolling over in bed is a struggle as is getting in and out of my car which requires me to lift my leg to get in.

This past weekend, we picked up his nursery furniture (and I totally bought some skinny jeans in my pre-pregnancy size because they were on sale -- hopefully didn't jinx myself!) and E put that together for me on Sunday.  It was a challenge to figure out how all of it was going to fit into their shared room.  It's tight in there and we had to remove the doll house that my grandfather built me (which housed Finorah's books) to get everything to snugly fit.  I didn't like the arrangement at first, but I think that it's really growing on me now.  It's very cozy in there now.  There are still some things that I have to figure out, but having the extra crib in the room is making this seem pretty imminent.

I also started to get all of his clothes out and around to begin the washing process.  Now that I have a chifferobe to store his clothes in, I can start to really prepare for his arrival.  It still feels pretty surreal that I'm going to be a boy mom.  I say that I'm nervous is an understatement.  I'm really good at being a girl mom -- having a little boy is going to be such a big change.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy holidays!!!

The front of our 2013 holiday card.

The back of our 2013 holiday card.

Now before anyone can go asking where did we find all these people to pose for our holiday card for us... Let me clarify some things...

Yes, those fifteen people are in fact Finn, E, & I.  There are 5 Finns, 5 E's, and 5 me's.

No, we didn't make Finn didn't stick her tongue to the pole.

And finally, for those who do not get the reference...  Please click here...  A Christmas Story is celebrating its 30th anniversary and the movie was filmed here in Cleveland.  The Christmas Story house draws quite attention around this time of year.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Baking with Daddy

E makes a mean Irish bread.  It's not quite an Irish soda bread, although it doesn't require baking soda as we found out once when he forgot to put it in.  To say that you could break a window with that bread was putting it mildly.  But it's more like an Irish brown bread and tastes delicious served warm with a little butter and some raw sugar sprinkled on top.  Hey, while I like some comforting carbs, they always taste better with just a little sweet.  

E makes this bread so frequently that he doesn't even need a recipe anymore.  He knows it off the top of his head.  I've made some suggestions on what I think would be MY perfect Irish brown bread (like maybe some dried cherries).  But I think that he likes the recipe as is and it is perfection to him.

Over Thanksgiving and before he left for his hunting trip, he made a batch to bring with him and he let Finn help.  She is a big helper and loves to stand at the counter to see what's cooking up there.  She isn't at the point where she likes to get her hands dirty, as in there was absolutely NO hand kneading of the bread for her.  But she will definitely use her spatula to scoop with the best of them and try to eat as much of the flour as possible.

The bread turned out fabulously (as it always does).  And I think that the photos will go down in history as some of my favorite daddy-daughter bonding (so far) despite the wild tresses...

Monday, December 2, 2013

A (long-over-due) Week in the Life (v.16.1) -- Thanksgiving edition

It was a girls weekend as E usually goes away hunting over Thanksgiving weekend.
Friday, we laid low, but Saturday morning we got out and went to Dunkin' Donuts. 

Sister seriously loves her some donuts (well, she loves the sprinkles on the donuts)! 

We did a little shopping where Finn was taking selfies left and right. 

(A little jump back as I didn't want this to be the first photo in the post.)
Thursday night, my printer and I had a serious war.  The printer won.  Our Christmas card envelopes then had to be hand-written in my awful handwriting...  Thankfully, no one saves the envelopes.  There is another photo with my OTHER hand filled with ink as well as the bottom of my foot -- Don't ask.

Saturday late afternoon found us sick.  Poor Finn developed a fever for the rest of the weekend and didn't feel well at all.

This is what I saw the entire day on Sunday.  We didn't get out of our jammies or brush our hair and someone wanted to be constantly in my arms.  We have a doctor's appointment this morning, which I'm hopeful they are going to tell me that it's just molars and possibly an ear infection.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Oh, yes, we need a little Christmas right this very minute...

Complimentary link to the above song for your listening enjoyment while reading my first (of probably many) Christmas post.

So for the last two weeks, we have been preparing for the Christmas season.  Two weeks ago, I was able to convince E to put up lights on our house.  I put up the other outside lights.  There aren't as many as I would like -- but I had to pick and choose as I had a little helper running along side of me.  I should stress that there aren't any LESS lights (with the exception of the lit garland around our front door), but I had ideas of more decor.  It will have to wait until next year as there is snow on the ground and it's below freezing.  That weekend, we also took our Christmas card photos.  It was quite the ordeal, but the card turned out great.  I'll be sharing the card later in the holiday season.

Last weekend, Finn helped me put up two of my three trees.  Three trees?  Yes, I have one in my foyer (a 9 footer) that sits on the front side of the house and I have a 7.5 footer in the living room that faces the side of the house that sits on the other road.  I also have a sentimental tree that is only 6 foot and it was up during my wedding reception.  The bows are still intact from our wedding and that one sits upstairs in our hallway, sitting at a window that faces the front of house.  Back to decorating, she was very excited about hanging ornaments on the tree.  She didn't understand the concept of the ornament hook, but she was a pro at hanging up the ornaments that had loops to hang on the tree.  She was getting so excited, it was pretty darn great.

Today, we finished our Christmas cards.  I realized a little too late that we don't have the program to print envelopes on our computer.  My envelopes weren't exactly the color that I had hoped for (I wasl looking for brown parchment, instead they were ivory).  So part of my idea for the envelopes was squashed.  Due to the lack of Microsoft, I had to improvise and my improvisation worked for about 40 cards.  I got the return address printed on the back of the cards.  (Just a sidebar:  I'm kind of a perfectionist about things -- "When I want them a certain way, I WANT them to look a certain way.")  Well, the printer decided to go on strike.  The envelopes started jamming and then it refused to print anymore.  I ended up with 8 black fingertips, ink all over the bottom of my robe as well as on my thigh and the bottom of my foot.  The score ended up being Printer 1, Me 0.  So I had to write with my very own terrible writing each envelope.  They are done -- but the envelopes aren't exactly the way that I wanted them.  Miniscule.

I've also got the majority of my Christmas shopping done already.  There are still at least 5 people that I am waiting for inspiration to strike on their gifts.  But I also have more than enough people finished and crossed off my list to make me feel like I'm in a good place.

Santa also sent Finn a video to let her know that she was on the nice list.  The Portable North Pole does a phenomenal job on personalized videos.  And this year was pretty incredible to watch her reaction to hearing Santa say her name.  She was memorized.  We watched that video at least five times already.  I also videotaped her watching it for the first time.  E also got a video from Santa telling him that he needs to be nicer to me (they also make adult versions of those videos).  (ha!)

I'm also starting to think of what I want to do with Finn this Christmas season. I know that we are celebrating St. Nicholas Day which is coming up next Friday.  And we are also going to be doing an Advent calendar which will start on Sunday.  There is an upcoming visit to Santa in the mall and hopefully a lot of Christmas music, present wrapping, Charlie Brown & the Grinch watching, & holiday baking.  I'm really excited for the holiday season.