Monday, December 31, 2012

Toddler Christmas 2012

This year we got a taste of Christmas magic through the eyes of a toddler.  (Can I even still call her a toddler anymore?)  
It's just the three of us until March.

1.  She believed this button really turned on the tree lights at the zoo.
2.  Family!
3.  It "snowed" at the San Diego zoo.
4.  Guilty! She must have climbed up there to eat the crackers a million times.
5.  Serving up some pizza in her new apron.
6.  Santa came and brought this freaky looking doll that she asked for.
7.  Little Santa hanging at the Catamaran before brunch.
8.  Taking her sweet time opening her stocking.

Sharing her stickers with Uncle Jay.
Walking  to brunch, hand in hand with her favorite guy.
Wishing you a Happy New Year!  There is so much to look forward to in 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Great List {12.28.12}

I started writing The Great List each week back in August after reading Betsy's posts each Friday.  I always looked forward to reading her lists, wanting to know what she picked out as the highlight of her week.  Sometimes it was a big thing that made her week great, other times it was more difficult for her to find something to be grateful for.  Regardless, each week Betsy takes time to reflect on the good that happened, giving her a sunny and positive outlook on life

As I started writing my own weekly lists, I noticed the same thing happening to me.  Some weeks my lists were full of big things and other weeks it was the small things that made me smile.  There were weeks that flew by so fast, I hardly remembered what had happened until I sat down to write my list.  Each week I found something to be grateful for.  I shared something that made me happy...things that I never want to forget.

I will continue to write and share my Great List each week and I encourage you to take the time to reflect on all the joys in your life.


1.  This year our Christmas went just like we hoped it would.  We celebrated with friends and family all this week and still have more fun to come as we ring in the new year.  Pictures to come! 

2.  I became an AUNT!  My youngest sister had her first baby, Jaxon, on Sunday afternoon.  They made it home just in time for his first Christmas.  As excited as I am to be an aunt, I am even more excited that my sister is now a mom!  Jaxon is going to be a great addition to the family.

3.  It was time to bust out my new Erin Condren Life Planner this week.  I realize I may be one of the few people left that still uses a paper planner, but the teacher in me needs it.  I added all the birthdays for the year, began scheduling in my work days, and wrote Carson's due date on the calendar...all in my color coded pens. (I am a nerd.)
  
It really has been a GREAT year!  You can read all of my Great List posts from 2012 here.

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." 
- Thornton Wilder


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Come back here each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Scenes from the past {Christmas Edition}


Christmas 2009- Just Married!
This Christmas involved lots of drinking and fun with friends.  Every photo I have turned out terrible (must have been the drinking), including the one below..

Taking down the tree- Jeff and I enjoyed our first married Christmas, maybe too much?!

Christmas 2010- Leila's first Christmas
Leila had no clue what was going on...

She willingly posed by the tree at 3 months old.
Christmas Eve at the Haley's-
Leila is dresses to impress and Aunt Val is sporting our Grandmother's favorite ve
st.

Christmas 2011-  New Traditions
This year Leila met Santa for the first time, our Christmas Eve celebration moved to Val and Stefan's, and Christmas morning with a toddler proved to be a lot more exciting than waking up with a hangover...

Leila (15 months) and Santa at Fashion Valley Mall.
Kicking off the Christmas Eve festivities.
Still able to fit into her Santa hat.
Christmas morning-about to see what Santa brought!
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas! This year we are excited to experience the magic of Christmas through the eyes of a two year old.  Let the celebrating begin...

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Great List {12.21.12}

If you are reading this, then the Mayans were wrong, and that alone is a reason to be grateful.  (Not that I believed it anyways.)  But that's not all... 

Just chillin' in the stroller
1.  I GOT A JOB!  After being laid off from teaching in June of 2011, I have stayed on the district's call-back list since I was a tenured permanent full-time teacher.  

Not once, in 19 months, had a position opened up for me.  I had already written off teaching anytime soon, especially with increasing statewide budget cuts.  To my surprise, after some shifting of teachers into different positions, a part time job landed my way.  I'll be back to doing what I love, two days a week, starting in January.  I am so excited I could burst!  

The fact that I will be in a temporary position, working up to my due date, only have a six week maternity leave, be super tired and possibly delirious, is overshadowed by the fact that I am able to teach again and regain some balance in my life.

So that's it for this week...it's a BIG one and I can hardly focus on anything else.  I am excited to say that I am on Christmas vacation.  Let the celebrating begin!

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ― William Arthur Ward

Merry Christmas!  Enjoy every minute of it!

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Come back here each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...

Photobucket

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

What a year!

This year has been one of exciting changes, fun-filled days, and hope for the future.



I started the year with a plan to work on myself.  After all the not-so-awesome changes we faced in 2011, I was ready to start over and lose the baby weight (even though Leila was a toddler), get out of my yoga pants, and make some mommy-friends.

I can happily say, one year later I feel so much better about myself.  Thanks for encouraging me on my weight-loss journey.  I set a goal, met it, and plan to do it all over again this summer!



Meeting Lauren and Charlie was one of the biggest things that happened to Leila me this year!  It got us out of our park rut, gave Leila a best friend, and allowed me to officially say I had made my first mom-friend.  It has been so fun watching Leila and Charlie grow this year, as individuals and as friends.  For me, making a new friend that shares many of my parenting views, my need to cuss, and desire to have a balanced life changed my outlook on this stay-at-home mom gig.  It's been a win-win for us all!



This year Jeff and I enjoyed our first vacation away from Leila.  The two of us headed up the coast to San Francisco for a long weekend.  It was just what a vacation should be...carefree.  We both missed Leila, but were happy to have missed her first case of the flu.



Summertime proved to be too hot for me, both here and during our three week trip to Chicago.  It was great to see my family and friends and I know they enjoyed seeing us too.  It's hard living so far away from so many people you love.



After our vacation I was sure I had the world's worst hangover.  Turns out it wasn't just the pile of mail, the unpacking, or the 100 degree heat that was getting to me. I found out I was eight weeks pregnant when I returned from our Chicago trip.  It was the biggest surprise of the year, and I still have moments when I can't believe this is really happening.



Leila had a big birthday in September!  Two, as everyone promised, has be kind of nuts.  Leila certainly has a personality all her own (or maybe she gets a little of it from me).  She's funny, sweet, a little bossy, and has a strong desire to be independent.  Our days are mostly wonderful, but some days feel much longer than others.  



The future here in Leilaland is hopeful, a little scary, and exciting all rolled into one.  I don't know exactly how it will play out, but I am sure it will involve some Mommy meltdowns, toddler tantrums, and lots and lots of love.  (Oh, and a new blog name too.  Suggestions are welcome!)

Happy New Year everyone! 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

28 weeks {Bumpdate}

This gray rainy morning makes for worse than normal lighting.  Please focus your attention to the adorable girl posing with me.
How far along: 28 weeks

Weight gain/loss:  Up a half pound this week. Total weight gain so far = 15 lbs  


Feeling: Pregnant.  Don't know how else to describe it.

Maternity clothes: Of course!

Stretch marks:  Nope.

Sleep: Still a little pregnancy insomnia, nothing major.  I am still comfortable enough when I sleep.

Best moment(s) this week:  More Christmas shopping, more wrapping, more holiday fun!


Food cravingsBack on the peppermint train.  Can't get enough. 

Gender: It's a boy!  We are calling him Carson.

Movement: Yes.  I think it's about time to start kick counts.

What I miss:  Not being pregnant.  Sitting on the floor comfortably.  Not almost peeing my pants while running.  WINE.


What I'm looking forward to:  My youngest sister is 38 weeks pregnant with her first child, Jaxon.  I am anxious to talk to her again, even though she seems to be feeling better than me these days. 

Weekly wisdom: Less than 3 months!

Milestones:  I made it, with few complaints, to the third trimester.  Here's where it starts getting annoying.  

Due date: 3-13-13


Only 84 days until she's not my one and only any more.  The guilt is really hitting me even though I KNOW how important siblings are!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Naming this baby wasn't easy...

...and I realize it was my fault.  I am the one with all the crazy baby-naming rules. 

But Jeff didn't make it any easier. He had no problem crossing names off the list without any real reason behind it.  He'd randomly veto a name because he didn't like how it sounded.  I, at least, had a clear set of rules to guide my decision.   

Here's a recap of the rules I had for naming this child:

  • The name, when written, cannot go below the line.  No lowercase y, p, g, j, or q allowed.
  • There are also some uppercase letters that I just don't like writing so they are out too.  (Told you they were strange rules.)  I don't particularly like writing the uppercase letters G, Y, A, or F.
  • The name of my child my NOT be one of a pesky student that I had.  I taught for eleven years...that rules out a lot of names.
  • I will not name my child the same name as a friend.  Friend can be a loose term these days with Facebook, Twitter, and all the blogs I read.  Since I make the rules, I can decide whether or not this friend's child's name is a contender or not.
  • For those of you who know us personally, you know that our last name can be tricky to match up with a first name.  (Trust me on this one.)  It is a hard sounding, one syllable last name that starts with an S.  So guess what...S names are out too.  (Jeff would beg to differ, but I make the rules remember!)
  • My son and daughter will not both start with the same letter, so L names are out.  We are already Jeff and Jen...Leila and L-something would be too much for me.

We are officially calling this baby boy...Carson.

We love it for many reasons...  

  • It has a strong sound to it
  • It's fun to write
  • I don't know of any non-famous people named Carson
  • It's not super-popular or super-unique (ranked #83 in 2012)
  • It follows all my crazy baby-naming rules!

Thank you for all of the suggestions.  The name we chose was actually suggested more than once!

I know a lot of people choose not to share their unborn baby's name.  Many times they don't want to hear people's negative reaction or they want it to be a surprise for their family.  Sometimes parents can't commit to a name until the baby is born!  

Not us.  We chose to share both Leila and Carson's name before they were born for one simple reason...to help us connect with our unborn baby. Hopefully it helps you connect with him too! 

Carson, your big sister cannot wait to meet you.  See you in March!
Did you share your child's name before they were born?

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Great List {12.14.12}

Like most weeks, this one had it's ups and downs.  Each Friday I can push the negativity aside and see the bright side of things.  It's important to me to be grateful for both the little and big things in life.  Sharing them here helps me start fresh and count my blessings.

Loving the top deck of the bus.

1.  Leila and I met up with friends for our monthly play groups's zoo meet-up.  This time we got to ride the double-decker bus around the zoo to see the polar bears.  Of course the bus ride was more exciting to Leila than the animals!  We also got a great surprise in the mail this week.  Our zoo pass has be renewed by Poppy.  The San Diego zoo is a stress free environment and I'm excited to spend another year visiting it.

2.  Rainy days are usually no fun but yesterday's rain didn't stand in the way of a great day.  We had Charlie over and the girls got to play, get crafty, and just enjoy each other's company.  Having a friend over made our inside day much easier!

3.  Wednesday night I attended an annual ladies-only gift exchange.  Everyone brings a wrapped $25 gift and an appetizer or a bottle of wine.  We chat, eat, and drink (well, some of us) until gift time when the claws come out.  Each lady gets a number, and then in order, opens a gift of their choice.  When it's your turn you can either choose and unwrapped gift OR steal a gift from someone's hands.  I always tend to steal a gift, proceed to get it stolen, then steal again.  It's a fun tradition that I am happy I was a part of these past two years.  I am looking forward to doing this again on Christmas Eve with a new set of friends. 

4.  Today is my second (and hopefully last) official shopping day of the season. Leila's Poppy is spending the day with her while I cross every item off my Christmas list.  Shopping without a toddler is so much more efficient.

Happy Friday to you!

Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for. — Barry Neil Kaufman
**********************************************************************************
Come back here each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Babies vs. Puppies

Having a baby on the way is kind of freaking me out...still!  

I'm happy I have successfully raised a two-year old (yes, I realize that's not saying much).  Knowing that we all survived the baby-stage of the the first kid, makes me confident that we can do it again.

Raising a baby seems easy compared to raising a puppy!  Betsy recently got a puppy named Olive, and although she gets more attention on our weekly Farmers' Market trips than Leila ever did, Olive seems like more work too.

What do you think?  Would babies or puppies score more points in a head-to-head competition?

I think babies would out score puppies and take the victory.  Babies are better because...
Leila 3 months (December 2010)
  • It's always appropriate to dress them in clothing
  • Self-contained poop (most of the time)
  • You can bring your baby with you almost everywhere
  • Babysitters are easier to find
  • Eventually you don't have to clean your baby's poop
  • Babies smile at you
  • You don't really have to worry about tripping over your baby
  • Kisses are not nearly as wet or stinky
  • The random stuff your kid says can make you laugh for days
  • You won't get fur all over your clothes, couch, bed, etc.
Go ahead, try to be convinced by Betsy that puppies are better than babies by reading her post HERE.  I have a feeling you'll think I am right.  


Leave me a comment and help us settle the score.  
Who wins...babies or puppies?  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

27 weeks {Bumpdate}



How far along: 27 weeks

Weight gain/loss:  Up one pound, which I feel is quite an accomplishment after eating tons of the cookies Betsy and I baked and slacking on my workouts last week.  Total weight gain so far = 14.5 lbs  


Feeling: Meh.  I may be getting Leila's cold.  I may be stuffy due to the dry Santa Ana winds.  I may just be pregnant.  Meh.

Maternity clothes: Yep.  I have almost worn everything once (and many things 1000 times!).

Stretch marks:  No thank you.

Sleep: A little pregnancy insomnia, nothing major. 

Best moment(s) this week:  I had an entire day to myself to get some shopping done.  I have missed having a regular babysitter.


Food cravingsWine.  Is that even a food?  

Gender: It's a boy!  We've committed to a name and started sharing it.  I'll announce it on the blog once I have time to write a decent post about it. 

Movement: Tons, especially after I eat.

What I miss:  WINE!  I cannot say it enough.


What I'm looking forward to:  I have another shopping day scheduled, a girls' gift exchange, and an event to support my friend.  Also, planning to learn how to make reindeer ornaments from wine corks...someone else will have to drink the wine.

Weekly wisdom: Three more months!

Milestones: Some people consider 27 weeks the start of the third trimester!  Hooray!  And, I made my goal of running until 27 weeks.  Went for a quick run yesterday and have two more planned this week! 

Due date: 3-13-13


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Salt dough ornaments {New traditions}

Last Christmas I attempted to make salt dough ornaments with Leila.  I was proud of my accomplishment, but they are so easy to make, I decided to step it up a notch this year.  I saw these adorable Santa hand print ornaments on Pinterest (of course) and knew they would be the ornaments we made this year.

Aren't they adorable?


They were super easy to make too!  The most difficult part was keeping these two friends entertained while Amy and I kneaded, rolled, and cut out the dough into the shapes we wanted.


I used the same recipe I used last year to make the dough.

Salt Dough Santa Claus Ornaments

This recipe makes 12-16 toddler hand sized Santas.


Ingredients:
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups water
sturdy cardboard
parchment paper
Acrylic paint- skin tone, red, white, black/brown, blue, pale pink

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Knead the dough for 15-20 minutes (knead on the counter, it's easier)
  4. Separate dough into equal sized portions and set aside.
  5. Roll out one portion of dough onto a small piece of parchment paper.
  6. Trace your child's hand onto a piece of cardboard and cut out carefully.
  7. Dust one side of the cardboard cut-out hand print with flour to prevent sticking.
  8. Cut around the cardboard hand with a knife.
  9. Use a straw or similar object to make a hole at the top (base of the hand) for hanging on the tree later.
  10. Poke holes with a skewer around the perimeter of the ornament to prevent bubbling.  Poke all the way through the dough for the best results.
  11. Place parchment paper and ornament on a baking sheet.
  12. Bake at 300 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden. 
  13. Let them cool completely before painting. 

Salt dough Santa Claus Ornament painting guide:
(As you can see in the pics above, I also made stars for Leila to paint herself since she is not ready for the detailed Santa painting.  Read these tips on painting with toddlers...no muddy brown if you follow my instructions!)
  1. Start by paining the section just above the fingers using the skin tone colored acrylic paint.  (You can see in my close-up picture that the paint I used for the face cracked.  I did not use acrylic for the skin tone which was a big mistake.  Regular washable paint just doesn't work as well.)
  2. Paint the hat and the thumb red leaving the tip of the thumb unpainted until later.
  3. Let these two colors dry.  (You may need more than one coat.)
  4. Paint the fingers and sides of the ornament white.  Leave a little bit of the skin tone paint showing for the mouth.
  5. Paint the fur trim on Santa's hat and the tip of the thumb white.  I definitely needed more than one coat of white paint.  For best results let it dry between each coat.
  6. Use pale pink for the cheeks and mouth, blue for the eyes, and black/brown for the pupils,
  7. Mix a bit of pale pink with the skin tone paint for the nose.
  8. Let them dry completely overnight.
  9. Add a ribbon or ornament hook and wrap them as a gift of hang it on your tree. 
Next year I'll be making ornaments again!  With inspiration from Pinterest, I'll be tackling something new for our homemade Christmas ornament tradition.

i love you more than carrots



What are your holiday traditions?  Have they changed since having children?


Monday, December 10, 2012

Where does she come up with this stuff?

After spending an afternoon with Betsy, Leila said the most random thing...

"I have a question."  She stated this with such authority.  When Jeff asked what her question was, she told him, "I see red birds.  And orange birds."

WHAT?!

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Sometimes I wonder where in the world Leila hears these phrases she's spitting out...

We're talking.
I did it!
Oh, that's better.
No singing Mommy.
Oh well.
I want it.  I don't want it.  I WANT IT! 
What's going on here?
Leave me alone.  I'm pooping.
Oh my gosh!
NO TALKING!
Daddy, you play with me?
Santa talks?
Oh sure!
That's not right.

Photobucket

Other times I know exactly where they came from...

Leila and I hang out all day.  I talk, she talks (and talks, and talks, and talks).  We have conversations that I never expected to have with my two-year old, yet at the same time it seems so natural.

One of these days I am actually going to record her sweet little voice.  I never want to forget how tiny (yet loud) her voice is.  Sometimes when she has nothing to say, she just fills the silence with a song.

Sometimes I think I'd like her to stop asking, "What's that?" (even though she knows exactly what it is) for the millionth time.  Then I remind myself that one of these days (many, many years from now) we probably won't talk everyday.  I know for sure that I will miss her silly questions, her indecisive nature, and her lovely singing voice.

Talk on, Leila.  I promise to listen.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Great List {12.07.12}

I have been so excited for this Great List all week!  We are busy, busy, busy here and I like it!



1.  We finally put up our tree!  We borrowed an artificial tree this year from my friend Lauren for a few reasons (cost and size).  Although it doesn't look like or smell like a real tree (that's what scented candles are for) it did get me into the holiday spirit!  Leila loved hanging the ornaments with us.  It was fun to watch her choose the specific ones she wanted to hang.  Her favorite...my First Christmas ornament from 1977!  It's got her favorite Disney characters right on the front.  Mickey, Donald, and Goofy haven't aged a bit.

2.  Jeff took the first step in getting the kids' bedroom ready for baby #2.  We have so much reorganizing to do to get ready for this little guy.  Luckily we have plenty of time.  I currently have four projects going and need Jeff's help for all but one. We'll get there!

3.  I had a whole day to myself!  Ahhhhhhhhhh.  Shopping is one of my favorite pastimes and although I love to shop with my mom and sister, I also love shopping alone.  I literally shopped till I dropped and am still in some pain from all the standing and walking.  Leila's Poppy will be babysitting again next week (hooray!) and hopefully I can get all our shopping done without killing myself in the process.

4.  Leila and Kennady did some crafting.  Okay, Amy and I most of the work, while they tried to eat the salt-dough.  Regardless, the ornaments turned out wonderfully!  If you follow me on Instagram (myleilaland) you saw some pictures of them.  I'll be posting the tutorial on Tuesday.  If you're interested get some flour, salt, and acrylic paints.  It took only two days/sessions to complete the project. You have time before Christmas to wrap these cute ornaments up!

5.  I received the highest compliment on my blog from a guy I've looked up to my whole life...my dad.  Yesterday his email simply said, "I enjoy reading your blog. Impressive."  I started this blog to keep in touch with faraway family and friends and am thankful to know that they are still reading.  Although knowing that they read does make me filter out some content/blog ideas, I still post embarrassing and personal stuff here (recently looking at my butt in the mirror comes to mind). Thanks to EVERYONE for reading.  I would still write if you didn't, but am sure glad you do.

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
 -Oprah Winfrey

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Come back here each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...

Photobucket

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Toy rotation {How I made it work for us}

I saved my sanity by recently implementing a new toy rotation system for Leila's main play area.  After just one day of less toys and books around our home felt less cluttered, Leila started playing with "new" toys, and I didn't spend all day picking up after her various messes.

In the first post of this series, I shared what I learned about toy rotation from Kim at Little Stories and a fellow mom, Meagan.

With limited storage space and a play kitchen set that is always set-up in the living room, I was worried if I could toy rotation work in our tiny space.

I started by getting rid of the junk.  I tossed broken and junky prize toys, gave away toys with missing pieces, and boxed up toys that were too baby-ish for her.  I did the same with our books on the book shelf.  This left us with way fewer toys and books for the rotation than I had expected.  I couldn't believe how many baby toys I still had out for Leila to play with ignore.

Next, I sorted the toys we were keeping in for the rotation into one of 5 categories.  Instead of pulling all the toys off the shelves (again) I made lists of the toys we have in a notebook.  I figured this would help me when I was ready to switch the toys out in two weeks.  No more thinking required...I already did the most difficult part!

Here's what my list looks like:

Thinking Toys- choose 3
puzzles, bead maze, wooden stacking train, crayons/coloring books, Magna-Doodle, pounding set, blocks (we have 4 different sets), play-dough, magnets, shape sorter, art/crafts 

Moving Toys- choose 3
balls, foam climbing blocks, wagon, baby stroller*, keyboard, musical instruments, vacuum*

Pretending toys- choose 3
kitchen set, play food and dishes, tool set, shopping baskets/bags, dress-up clothes/accessories, baby crib, Little People house, Little People zoo, baby dolls, doll clothes, stuffed animals, baby diaper bag

SCLaNs- choose 1
anything that turns on and has buttons to push

*I realize some of these toys can fit into more than one category.  This is how I chose to do it based upon how many of toys we have for each category and what her current faves are.

See...not nearly as many toys as I thought.  Clearing out the junk and packing up the baby toys really helped.

Choosing toys to have out for the first rotation was easy using my list.  I picked the correct amount of toys from each category, found a tub for them, and set them on the shelf.  Ta-da!

For this rotation-Thinking toys: 1 puzzle, wooden stacking train, MegaBlocks
Moving toys: keyboard, stroller, ball
Pretending toys: kitchen, baby diaper bag/baby doll, Little People house and accessories

I also decided that we had way too much play food and dishes available in the kitchen set.  I put them all into a giant tub for storage and chose two cooking pots with lids, three place settings, and five food items.  The available kitchen toys are neatly in baskets that fit in the kitchen set.


Ahhhh...so much better.

You may have noticed that I left out her GIANT Minnie Mouse and considered her baby diaper bag with the baby doll one pretending toy.  I also left out two shopping buckets in the kitchen area and decided to always keep the crayons and coloring books on the top shelf, out of her reach, until they are officially part of the rotation.

The important thing to remember is that this is your toy rotation system now.  You need to be flexible, bend the rules if necessary, and make it work for you and your child(ren).

Now, what on Earth did I do with all of the toys left out from this first rotation?

Stay tuned for my next post in this series...
Toy rotation {Storage and books}

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

26 weeks {Bumpdate}


How far along: 26 weeks

Weight gain/loss:  After not stepping on the scale last week I was a little scared to see the Thanksgiving damage.  However, I did get weighed in at my doctor's appointment on Friday.  AND, the doctor had the nerve to tell me I had put on a little Thanksgiving weight.  Who says that?!  Especially since I only put on two pounds these past two weeks.  Total weight gain so far = 13.5 lbs  


Feeling: In the holiday spirit!  

Maternity clothes: Yes!  And what is it about maternity clothes?  Mine always seem to get the strangest stains.  Luckily I won't be wearing them for more than a few months.  

Stretch marks:  Nope.

Sleep: I am happy that belly gravity, when sleeping on my side, is not too bad.  I can easily wedge a pillow under it for comfort but its not necessary.

Best moment(s) this week:  Getting our Christmas tree up.  I loved listening to Leila squeal from excitement as she discovered an ornament she wanted to hang.


Food cravings: Peppermint coffee, peppermint chocolate, peppermint candy canes...

Gender: It's a boy!

Movement: Lots!

What I miss:  Getting my drink on while wrapping presents.  It's gonna be more difficult to get them wrapped without wine. 


What I'm looking forward to:  I have the 1-hour glucose test on Thursday.  That means I got a babysitter AND that I can use the rest of my day to get some shopping done, alone.

Weekly wisdom: It seemed like just last week I was saying, "Only 4 more months."  Well THAT month just flew by!  This is going much faster than my first pregnancy.

Milestones: His eyelashes have grown.  I sure hope they are long like Leila's!

Due date: 3-13-13

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Unsolicited pregnancy advice

Back in 2010, when I was 35 weeks pregnant with Leila, I found out that two of my best friends from home were expecting their first child.  I decided to share with them some of the things I had learned along my journey. 

Now my youngest sister is 36 weeks pregnant with her first child (my first nephew!)  I revisited the list of advice I titled: Candid Pregnancy Advice from a VERY Pregnant Jen and sent it to her too.

Well...just today, I found myself NOT following my own advice! (Will I ever learn?)  So I figured it was time to revisit my list once again, to remind myself of what I learned the first time around, and share it with you.

Candid Pregnancy Advice from my VERY Pregnant Self:

  • Trust your instincts! Enough said. 
  • Do not research anything on the internet! Just like no one talks about how many people made it home safely (without getting shot, stabbed, in a car accident, or plane crash) the internet only tells the BAD stuff. Make a promise to yourself that you will not research pregnancy related symptoms online. 
  • Yes it’s normal. What?!!? Yep…it’s normal. Anything you can imagine can and will happen to your body. Of course it is important to know the warning signs of something atypical but again, remember #1…trust your instincts. 
  • Never look at your butt in the mirror. I am seriously sad that I did. Really…do not. (BIG MISTAKE that I made today!)
  • Cellulite will appear in places you never expected. Think of it positively…my baby needs this or it wouldn't happen. 
  • It is okay to eat deli meat, drink caffeine (200-300 mg is in a cup of coffee or a soda), hot dogs, AND...ice cream cures everything. 
  • You will need to buy bigger underwear. Granny panties rock. 
  • Wear your regular clothes as long as possible. Maternity clothes were very exciting at 16 weeks…not so much at 35 weeks when you are still wearing the same stupid maternity clothes. 
  • Buy lots of clothes in bigger sizes.  What you wear in the 2nd trimester will not necessarily fit you in the 3rd trimester. 
  • Don’t get hung up on the 25-35 lbs weight gain suggested to you by your doctor. It will make you cry and want to eat ice cream when you pass it up. (Unless, of course, your doctor says something to you specifically about your weight gain or lack of at an appointment. Mine laughed at me when I was concerned saying that no one really stays within those guidelines.) 
  • Buy lots of toilet paper. You will pee 800 times a day/night. I sit down, pee, wipe, stand up and repeat (2 or 3x) before I am ready to leave the bathroom. Lean forward when you pee to get the last few drops out.
  • You will be thirstier than you ever imagined. Water will keep you from major swelling, but 3rd trimester swelling will come. It will be funny when you can’t make a fist, see your ankle bones, have chubby knees, and fingerprints leave indents in your legs. 
  • Everything (yes, even an apple) can give you heartburn and indigestion. Be smart and take Tums before you eat. 
  • Prune juice is not so bad. Splurge on the good shit…the generic is just not the same. It works wonders and is totally necessary.   I drink it daily. Just close your eyes because it looks a little like au jus. 
  • One word: EXERCISE. It boosts your mood, helps you poop, and keeps you from feeling bad about the shit you ate the day before. 
  • Take weekly pictures of your belly. You will look back and laugh at when you “thought you looked pregnant” (me at week 10) and pray to just have that little bloated bump again someday! 
This last one is so true.  Here's the first bump picture of this pregnancy...
  
Huge at 13 weeks, huh?!
What would pregnancy advice would you need to remind yourself of the second (or third) time around?



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