Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas this year was so much fun. I may change my mind later, but I think two years old has to be the best age. Abby knows how to open presents and loves it but she had no expectations. When we would ask her what she wanted for Christmas, she would just say, "Presents." She didn't understand that she could make a request.

We went in to get her in the morning and gave her the last link of her Christmas-countdown chain to tear in half. We took her out to the family room to show her all of the presents. The look on her face was priceless. She picked one up and was ready to get started immediately. We told her she could dump out her stocking but that we needed to eat breakfast before opening presents.

With the prospect of presents and candy all around, she was too excited to eat breakfast. We finally got her to eat a little bit of banana while the rest of us ate. It was so fun to see her so overwhelmed with excitement.

She thought it was so great that we all had snowman jammies on.

We finally got started opening gifts and Abby loved every minute of it--so much so that she was sure to help us open our gifts too.

Helping grammy and grampy with their present--a grandkid calendar.

After all of the presents were opened, we brought out the big one.

Abby got her very own kitchen from grammy and grampy. We were so excited to find this little kitchen. It is a perfect size for Abby, but more importantly, a perfect size for our apartment.

Abby loves playing with it almost as much as Sam loved putting it together. He was excited for the dawn of "adult assembly required" toys.

Abby wanted to try on her new clothes while coloring her new coloring book. And when your two, and it's Christmas, you get what you want.

Later in the day, Abby gave us a wonderful present. We put her new potty seat on the toilet and she sat down and went pee. We are hoping to have her potty-trained before the baby comes and this was a step in the right direction. Yay Abby!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's the holiday season...

Ever since we put up our Christmas decorations and started listening to Christmas music on our beloved B101, the Christmas spirit has been in full swing in our house. Abby has loved playing with the nativities, plugging in the Christmas lights, opening Christmas cards and tearing off links on her Christmas-countdown train.

Last week, my parents came into town and we have been keeping up the festivities.

Abby has loved having four adults at her disposal.

Grandpa makes a great Play-Do partner.

We went into the city to see the Macy's light show. Abby insisted that she wanted to sit on Santa's lap, but when the time came, she was utterly terrified. I wish I had a picture of her clinging to Sam in tears. I believe she thought Santa was an inflatable decoration in someone's front yard.

Here's a cute family picture of us waiting in line.

Every year, my family makes Schliefferlies, a deep fried Swiss pastry. Yum! When Sam and I were engaged, we decided to carry on the tradition.

Abby has become quite the helper in the kitchen.

She doesn't even make much of a mess while measuring her flour.

It's been so fun having time to relax and really enjoy the holiday season now that Sam is off from school!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mommy, mommmy, mommy...

Lately, when Abby wakes up in the morning or from her nap in the afternoon, you'll hear her quietly jabbering and rolling about.

And then, when she's good and awake, you'll hear, "Mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy (repeat)...get out please...time lapse...Daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy (repeat).

It totally cracks us up!

We've been trying to tell her to say "Grammy grammy grammy" so we won't have to get her when she wakes up tomorrow morning and my parents are here!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

30 Weeks

I feel pretty excited about the 30-week milestone. I guess that's because here on out we're in the single-digit week count (assuming I don't go over, but we won't consider that as an option right now).

I was feeling pretty small for a while, but now I'm starting to feel enormous! Sam kept taking pictures of me and I kept saying, "I don't like that one, take another one." After several photos, I came to the realization that I must just look like that. HA!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Because I Can

Because this is MY blog and I get to write whatever I want, I'm going to whine for a few paragraphs. Bear with me or stop reading, whatever suits you...

This pregnancy has been a lot more challenging than the first one. I believe it has mostly to due with the fact that I now have a two-year-old to take care of, which includes a lot of sitting on the floor, lifting, crawling and other abnormal body positions. However, I think this one would have been more challenging without all of that.

I started having a hard time sleeping much earlier this time. With pregnancy number one, I had to get up to tinkle in the night during the first trimester and at the end but I didn't have a hard time getting comfortable until I was good and large. This time, I've had to tinkle in the night almost every.single.night. and the discomfort has been in full force for several weeks already. I wake up several times each night and never feel sufficiently rested in the morning. I take a nap in the afternoon because I'm totally exhausted and then can't fall to sleep quickly at night (and repeat).

Back pain with pregnancy number one took place mostly in the first trimester and was triggered by walking (particularly the dreaded stairs on my way home from BYU each day). This time, my back pretty much hurts all the time. I don't know how to avoid sitting on the floor and lifting Abby, so this is something I have (mostly) learned to accept.

**Warning** The next paragraph contains too much information for the weak of heart!

I'm never a particularly, um, regular person, if you know what I'm saying. With pregnancy number one, going number two was painful, and I mean, like, prepare you for labor painful. We purchased all of the latest fiber-packed delights and things went more smoothly (sorry, I couldn't resist). Thankfully, things have been better this time around. But, recently, I've started having this nagging pain somewhere along the ole digestive tract. It ranges from mild to quite painful without any obvious provocation. I'm hoping my doctor will have some insight at my next appointment because it's seriously stressing me out.

I think the most frustrating symptom is my mood swings. Throughout the day, I am randomly struck with anxiety. I think I have a desire to nest but I've already done everything that can be done up to this point. It helps to clean or tidy but there is only so much tidying a girl can do. I also think my mood is down because we aren't getting out much; it's too stinkin' cold!

Thankfully, my wonderful Sam has been home most of the time during the past week. He has been studying for finals but is quick to help me out throughout the day. A lot of the wives ship out during finals so I feel bad hanging around being needy, but he as always, has been so great. I really don't know what I would do without him. Come Friday, around lunch time, we'll have two fabulous weeks of vacation to spend together (and with my parents who are coming into town). Hopefully, I will be lifted by Christmas spirit enough to make it through the next two months!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Have you ever looked at the site Ebates? If you ever buy anything online, it's really worth taking a looksie! All you do is log in to Ebates and click on whatever site you want to order from. They have just about everything. Ebates will link you to the store you want to shop at. After your order is finalized with whatever store you ordered something from, your Ebates account is credited the money. After a certain amount of time/money accumulates, you will get a check mailed to you. Voila! That's it! There's no catch!

Go check out all of the Web sites that you get paid to order from:

Just always remember to check if a site you're going to order something from is on Ebates. You'll kick yourself for forgetting and not getting your cash back.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Stockings

After finishing baby shower gifts for the seventy-five friends I have due in December, I was thrilled to start on some of my own baby projects. But first, I decided to throw a few more things into the mix. There's still plenty of time before the baby comes, right?

As we were putting up our Christmas decorations, I decided that we need matching stockings. Abby hasn't had a stocking yet and Sam and I have been using our stockings from our childhood (cute, but not cohesive.) We looked for ideas online and found one we liked at We went to JoAnn's, made a few adjustments, and ended up with these beauties:

I think they turned out adorable. I'm probably most proud of the fact that three of the four stockings are lined with the fabric leftover from hemming my curtains. Hooray for repurposing! It was also my first time using a decorative stitch on my sewing machine. It is totally amazing to me that somebody invented that!

Next on the docket: Christmas presents for Abby--a new file folder game and clothes for her baby.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

28 Weeks

Hooray for entering the Third Trimester! I really hope the time keeps flying by because I am getting seriously antsy already. I feel so much more prepared this time which makes me much more excited than nervous (despite all of the differences there will be with a two-year-old around.)

I thought it would be fun to do a comparison picture since 28 weeks is really the only intentional pregnancy picture I have from Abby (besides the REALLY lovely one right before leaving for the hospital). I totally regret not taking more, by the way, but you live and learn.

I threw on the same shirt to make it really good.

What do you think? I think my belly looks about the same.

Abby decided to join in the fun by copying my pose.

She is so funny!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

27 Weeks

Here I am at 27 weeks, post Thanksgiving dinner...Probably not the most flattering time to take a photo but it will have to suffice!

Happy Thanksgiving

This year, we had our first Thanksgiving dinner at home, just the three of us. We had planned to have some people over, but we procrastinated extending invitations. Despite our lack of numbers, we still cooked enough food for a small army.

We had a 15 pound turkey, gravy, two dozen rolls, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, cranberry sauce, stuffing and four different pies--pumpkin, apple, coconut cream and blueberry. I, of course, forgot to take very many pictures.

Our turkey turned out quite lovely and delicious. We did it in a bag this year. We did wish we had a good roasting pan, so we went ahead and bought one at a Black Friday sale.

Abby loves pie just like her daddy. When I asked her what she wanted for lunch yesterday, she said, "PIE!"

We had a fun day spending time together. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is a big job, especially doing all the dishes. There may still be a few that aren't done yet. Shhhh, don't tell.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Terrible Twos?

ALL of last week, Abby was sick with what we believe was a sinus infection. She seems to be prone to them thanks to her daddy and his "world's largest sinus cavities." Sometimes her congestion made her sad, sweet and cuddly but mostly it made her grumpy, bossy and sensitive. Last night, the grumpiness morphed into an intense tantrum.

Now, if you've spent much time around Abby, you know that she is quite pleasant. I don't think I could even convince my closest friends of the level of fury behind her tyraid. I kind of wish I had filmed it so you could really understand.

She decided she didn't want what we were having for dinner, which doesn't fly in our house, especially when I know she likes what we are having. She kept repeating, "Something else" at higher volumes until there was smoke coming out of her ears. Sam put her in a time-out, which only made matters worse. She proceeded to storm around the house, throwing herself on the ground and wailing. I was certain she was going to throw herself right down the stairs.

After what seemed like an eternity, she walked into her room and got her blankey (which doesn't usually leave her crib, but you choose your battles, right?) She came and sat with me on the couch because Sam and I had finished eating at this point. She then went and gave Sam some cuddles and asked him to build towers with her.

As they started to play, I went and sat down at the table and started eating a chip. She looked up at me, walked over to the table, climbed into her chair and proceeded to eat the meal I had prepared. Aren't two-year-olds hilarious? I felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction for standing my ground. She may have won a small battle, but we won the war! HA!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Please Touch Museum

For our playgroup this week, we went to the Please Touch Museum. Several of the libraries around Philadelphia let you pick up free passes (One pass admits 4 people which would cost ya 60 bucks!) I absolutely love going to this museum! It's in this gorgeous building that was built for a world's fair and it's huge! There are so many fun things to do. We never have the chance to get to everything in one trip.

When we were getting ready in the morning, Abby asked me to give her baby ponytails. Then, she decided that she needed a ponytail too. I was thrilled and quickly took a picture right away anticipating that she would take it out before we even left the house. She actually kept it in all day! I guess our morning routine will have to include a hairdo for her baby more often.

Isn't this little piano (dano in Abby-speak) so adorable? I wish we could have one at our house.

Brooklyn and Abby worked together to operate some heavy machinery.

Abby likes playing with letters at home and the ones at the museum are about four times the size of her magnet letters.

These little racecars were a hit for Abby this time. I had a hard time getting her out when it was time to go home.

I can't wait to go back soon. It's the perfect escape from the cold weather!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

25 Weeks

I can't believe I only have 15ish weeks left until we add another member to our family. October flew by and with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I know she will be here before we know it.

For posterity's sake, I wanted to write a little bit about my pregnancy so far. I feel like I've already forgotten about some things that I probably would have wanted to write about. I guess that's what I get for being a secret keeper.

It took us quite a bit longer to get pregnant than I anticipated. My body was pretty out-of-whack. We kept thinking I was pregnant when the 38, 39, 40th day of my cycle would come around and then I'd get a visit from my monthly friend at the worst possible moment. It felt like a slap in the face month after month. I was grumpy and bitter and frustrated. Then, I would feel horribly selfish and my heart would ache for those struggling with devastating bouts of infertility. I tried to remember how lucky I was to have already been blessed with a child but I had a hard time understanding what the Lord had planned for our family. After several months, I went to the doctor and had some hormone testing done (which was actually around the time I got pregnant) because I didn't want to wait forever to try and see if something was wrong.

The morning we left for our summer trip, I took a pregnancy test. I think I was at about day 45 of my cycle, but I had learned my lesson and was too nervous to take one any sooner. We were thrilled and relieved but nervous at the same time. I knew I wouldn't be able to have a doctor's appointment until I was about 16 weeks and I was worried that something might go wrong.

We didn't intend to tell anyone until we were able to see a doctor, but by the time we got to Utah, I started having a lot of really bad days(I only had one bad day on our trip to San Diego and I just played it off since nobody knew I was puking). We went ahead and told Sam's mom but her grandma radar had already informed her. I was so grateful to be at my mother-in-law's house while I was sick. I wasn't a particularly fun guest, but it was nice to have someone cook meals for my family when I couldn't even think about eating anything and to have people to play with Abby when all I could do was lay in bed. Sam was so supportive and got to spend a lot of one-on-one time with Abby, which I think was really good for them.

I was feeling mostly better by the time we returned home. I had actually lost some weight and kept getting comments from my friends about how skinny I was looking. It was hard not to laugh when they would ask what I had done during the summer to lose weight. (Oh, you know, just don't eat anything and when you do, puke it up!)

The past few weeks have been going pretty well. I have had some problems with back pain, but not as bad as I had it with Abby. I have been having a hard time sleeping already which has been frustrating. My circulation is really bad and I am constantly losing feeling in my extremities. But, I get to feel my sweet girl wiggle around and that makes it all worth it.

My belly hasn't been growing as fast as I anticipated. I actually think I'm smaller than I was with Abby at this point. That might change quickly if I keep eating so many treats. Dang that Halloween candy that KEEPS being on sale. I've had to make up for the time I lost during the first trimester when most sweets were totally repulsive.

Sorry about my lack of head in this picture. The self-timer and I weren't getting along very well.

When all is said and done, I know the timing of things is what was right for our family right now. I'm not really sure why and I don't know if I'll ever understand but I have faith that my Heavenly Father knows me and knows what's best. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to bring children into the world. I know everyone doesn't get to have that experience and it breaks my heart but I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for those women just as he does for me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Abby Turns 2

Until Abby decides otherwise, Halloween festivities end on October 30 at our house. October 31 is a much more important day of celebration--the day we celebrate Abby's birth!

Sam had to be to the church early, so I was flying solo in the morning trying to make her day special while trying to bake her cake/cupcakes before heading to church. I pre-measured everything the night before (I know, I'm a psycho) so the baking went off without a hitch. Abby entertained herself with my Halloween costume turned birthday party decoration while I sang Happy Birthday to her incessantly. She loved it!

Isn't she just the cutest two-year-old you've ever seen?

After church, we put Abby down for her nap and got to business in the kitchen. We were making brinner (breakfast for dinner) for all of the party guests. The two hours between getting home from church and the guests arriving was completely insane. But, being the birthday Nazi that I am, the party had to be on her real birthday.

After Abby woke up from her nap, she opened her gifts. She got clothes, Duplos, a train set, books and some play food. She wanted to play right away which gave us the chance to get things finished up for dinner.

The dinner preparations went pretty well, other than the fact that I dropped about half a dozen eggs on the ground. Luckily, it was after I was done using eggs so I said good riddance and threw them in the trash.

Here are some lovely candid shots of our guests. The kids played in Abby's room until it got too dark (yeah, we don't have a lamp in there, weird, I know).

I made a butterfly and some lady bugs. I am lacking in cake decorating skills and I was really lacking in time but I think the deliciousness made up for the sloppiness. Who doesn't like homemade butter cream frosting?

Whenever I asked Abby about her upcoming birthday, she would always tell me that she was going to blow out her candles. So, she was pretty excited when it was time for the big event.

After some failed attempts (the girl is just so dainty), one of her friends came in and finished the job.

For the game, I printed off a picture from each month of Abby's life and everyone had to try and put them in order. It was really hard! Sam won with 14/24 correct.

We had such a fun day celebrating our little girl. I can't believe how quickly the past two years have gone by, but at the same time, I can't fathom how I ever lived life without her. She is such a sweet, loving, fun little girl. Other kids love to be around her because she is so easy-going. She can be a shy little wallflower or a spunky little firecracker depending on her mood. She amazes me every day with the things she is learning. We are so lucky to have her.

We love you Abby!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Party # 2

We got together with some friends for another chance to celebrate Halloween. Everyone brought fun, Halloween themed treats. I made little cheesy pumpkins and jack-o-lantern sandwiches.

I decided against a repeat of the grape costume so I threw on my awesome pumpkin headband and earrings. Kind of lame, I know, but it was last minute.

Abby decided to remove most of her costume and walk around in her onesie and tights. I'm not sure she gets the Halloween-costume-wearing concept yet.

The kids attempted to play a game carrying candy corns on spoons positioned in their mouths. Most of the kids were crying or cheating. Every time I handed Abby a candy corn, she just ate it. Here she is enjoying her treat.

Hopefully party # 3 (the big one) of the weekend will be just as fun!

Ward Halloween Party

We had an awesome Ward Halloween Party this year. It doubled as the annual chili cook-off. I made a super yummy chili, but not good enough to win the favor of the judges! Darn!

Abby was a beautiful fairy. I made her skirt, wand and pretty bows for her shoes. I found the wings at the dollar store (SCORE!) Luckily, I snapped this picture right when we got there because she promptly removed the wings (and skirt briefly).

Sam and I decided to be grapes. We thought it was easy, but it turned out to be kind of a pain. We put my costume together at home, but ran out of time for Sam's. We had to do some quick pinning when we arrived at the church. We quickly learned that our costumes were completely nonfunctional. We couldn't sit, eat or pick up Abby. Sam took his off right after the picture and I followed suit a little while later.

We were a total hit with the kids though. I had a constant pair of little hands touching me.

Abby trick-or-treated just enough doors to make a quick snack for herself! She's such a little candy monster. She's a quick learner too. During the day, she frequently asks me for some of the candy in our little Halloween decoration. After I tell her no, she always says, "Ask daddy?"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

THE Pants

This is totally my favorite sewing project so far. It was SO easy and TOTALLY inexpensive but SO cute.

How did you make these adorable pants, you ask? Well, I took one of Sam's old t-shirts (which I'm bummed I didn't take a picture of first), followed the instructions on this site:

And about 20 minutes later, voila, little baby pants. Now, I really want to make some for Abby and about everyone else I know. So, if you have any shirts/sweatshirts you're ready to get rid of, send them my way and I'll whip you up some adorable pants!

Food Group

I started a food group with a group of friends. We had our first get-together last night. The theme for the month was pumpkin. We all made a pumpkin dish and sat around gorging ourselves, drinking sparkling cider and chatting. It was a fun night. Our group has a blog where we will be keeping our recipes each month.

Check it out:

Next month's theme is bacon! I can hardly wait!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Freddy Hills Farm

For playgroup this week, we went to Freddy Hills Farm. This was our second year going and it was even more fun this time around. It was crazy for me to think that Abby couldn't even walk when we came last year (though I sorta wished she couldn't since it was rather muddy).

We (almost) all arrived just in the nick of time to board our reserved hayride. Actually, the guy kept trying to take the stairs away when we'd all yell, "Wait, one more girl is running over." I think he wanted to kill us.

Abby waiting to get on the hayride. The anticipation was killing her.

The hayride (Which Abby seemed indifferent to) took us to a pumpkin patch. We walked around while I coached Abby into picking a pumpkin. Then, as we walked back through the patch, she proceeded to pick up several others. Luckily, I was able to persuade her that the one in our bag was far superior.

At the end of the hayride there is a child-sized corn maze (that we all still managed to take every wrong turn in). You exit the maze by climbing some stairs and going down a very slow slide.

Finally, we all ended up in the little shop to partake in some delicious homemade ice-cream. Abby, obviously, loved it. I practically had to wrestle her to get a few licks!

It was a fun, fall day. However, Halloween activities always make me sad because I realize how big my sweetheart is getting. In just over a week she will be two! Crazy!
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