Friday, December 2, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Christmas! Well, in our house anyway. Outside looks more like Spring time. We had one day of snow which I thought was the start of another blizzardy Wisconsin winter, but it didn't stick, and it hasn't snowed again. I'm not complaining.

So much has happened since my last post. First of all, we had Thanksgiving! It was such a lovely day. Jordan had Thursday and Friday off of work which means we had him all to ourselves for FOUR DAYS! It was bliss. On Thursday we relaxed (well, Jordan and Axel relaxed while I bustled about in the kitchen. We didn't put a lot of thought into our meals and I didn't prepare ahead of time so my morning started with pie crust, pie filling (pumpkin of course) and I don't think I sat down until it was time to eat! But we really had a great day. We had a small turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce (the canned stuff is not as good as I remember it being when I was little), and other small side dishes. We were quickly stuffed and spent the rest of the day enjoying each others company. Axel LOVES having his daddy home. Thursday night I did round 1 of our black friday shopping. I had never gone before and I was so giddy and nervous! I was ready to go about an hour before I needed to leave and it felt like the first day of school, haha. My first stop was walmart. It was CRAZY, but not terrible. I got what I needed and left as fast as I could. Then it was on to Boston Store where I was hoping to get a jacket I had been lusting after. I knew I wouldn't get much wear out of it this year (things are a little..erm.. snug these days) but it was so gorgeous I wanted it for next year.. and the year after and so on. The store was set to open at midnight. I arrived at 10:30pm and started playing games on my phone from the warmth of my vehicle. Then I noticed a lady outside the doors. My first thought was "she must work there". Then I saw her get out a book, zip up her coat and put on a hat. Great. I rolled down my window and asked if she was waiting in line already. She told me pretty soon the line would be really long so I'd better get a good spot. This was not my plan. I didn't bring a jacket. But, I did it for the beautiful coat waiting for me inside. I waited outside for an hour and a half! As soon as the doors opened I ran inside and found my lovely coat. Fast forward to the next day...

We left early Friday morning to do some more Christmas shopping (Jordan got up at 4am to go to a few others stores. Nice teamwork eh? So anyways, as we headed to Madison I noticed (yes, I was wearing the jacket.. I still could have worn it for another week or so).. that the sleeves were really big, especially in the shoulders. CRAP! If the jacket is loose on me at 6 months pregnant, how is it going to look next winter when I'm 8 months post-pregnancy?! So, the jacket went back to the store (and no they didn't have a smaller size). It was a sad feat. However the rest of our day was wonderful! We were able to cross several items off of our Christmas shopping lists and snagged some great deals! Then we had lunch with my mom and siblings, Aunt Lynn and her boys, and my Aunt Lori, her husband Rolfe, and their daughters Leysa and Lara. They were visiting from Minneapolis! We went to Ella's Deli, which is a favorite of mine from childhood. I've been wanting to take Axel there for quite some time now. Once lunch was over we were very ready to get home and take some naps! But my family seemed sad that they weren't going to get to see us much more, so the next thing I know I was inviting everyone over for Pizza's the next day.

So.. Saturday we had everyone over for Jordan's amazing homemade pizza. We all hung out and enjoyed the company. Then on Sunday Jordan invited HIS family over for dinner (which was leftover Pizza.. still delicious). I lasted about 30 minutes and had to retire to my room to take a nap. All the hustle and bustle of the previous four days had me tired and very achy.

It was such a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend though, and I am so grateful for everything and everyone that I have in my life!

This week has been very quick! School is coming to a close so there is A LOT to do! It was hard getting back into the swing of things after all that family time, but things are coming along nicely.

The other day Jordan bought some Acai anti-oxidant juice (single serving) and hated it, so he offered it to me. I wasn't a fan either. Later that evening, after Axel was in bed, Jordan mentioned that he had given some to Axel and he just LOVED it, so it didn't go to waste. Okay, neat. Later that night.. .Ax woke up about 5 times in the middle of the night. Things got pretty crazy. After getting up with him several times and putting him back to bed only to hear him awake again an hour later I decided to just let him go back to sleep on his own. At one point I could have sworn I heard a loud noise coming from Axel's room, but tried to convince myself that it was just the building and that I was being paranoid. Plus, it was hard to hear much over him yelling/crying. We let about 20 minutes go by thinking he was almost sleep. Finally I went into his room. What did I see?! Axel's crib turned into a sinking ship and he was hanging on for dear life! He had jumped so hard that he somehow knocked the mattress frame loose, so half of it was on the floor and the other half was up in the air (totally Titanic style) and he was gripping the bed rail crying. Um, can you say major bad parenting guilt?! Why is it that all the other times I felt that I just HAD to check on him in the middle of the night, for fear that the boogy-man snuck in and kidnapped him, or that there were ghosts hovering over his bed, only to find him sound asleep? This time, something really did happen and it took me 20 minutes to go in and check on him!?! Well, we laugh about it now, but it was pretty sad at the time. Needless to say he spent the rest of the night in our bed.

The next morning Axel wasted no time getting the day started. Even though he had been up from about 3-5am, he woke up with tons of energy at 7:30am ready to play. I lay in bed trying to wake myself up while Axel played on the floor in my room. A couple minutes later I heard a crackling sound. OH NO. He got into the wrapping paper and bows. Then he came running up to the bed with a little green bow stuck to his head! I don't think he even knew it was there, but it was so stinkin' cute! Then we got up and made breakfast. What kind of breakfast does a crazy child get after he kept his pregnant mother up all night? Yep. Waffles with Nutella. I know. Bad mommy once again. After a little bit, it was off to the bath we go!

Later that day, when he was taking a much needed nap, and I was cleaning the kitchen I noitced the Acai bottle in the garbage. Curious to see the name of it so I could get it again for him (who doesn't need anti-oxidants, right?) I pulled it out of the trash and read the label. I think my eyes popped out of my head and I gasped so loud the neighbors probably thought.. well, nevermind what they might have thought. It was an ENERGY drink! AN ENERGY DRINK! Not a carbonated one like monster or rockstar, but a natural ingredient energy drink. OH. MY. GOSH. By this time I was ready to call CPS and turn myself in. No WONDER he was up all night. Jordan gave him natural caffeine! Well, the moral of this story? Always read the labels! Sheesh.

In case you are wondering, Axel had his 15-month check up yesterday and is doing wonderful! He has grown 2 inches since SEPTEMBER! He's 31 inches long and weighs 31lbs. He tops the charts for weight and is up in the 75th percentile for height. Also, according to the charts he has a big head, haha. Everything looked great, and our growing, crazy boy is in great health. After Axel's appointment I had one too! Jordan took Axel for a drive (because if you weren't sure.. 15-month olds do not do well in tiny rooms with lots of drawers and cabinets). Baby brother B is doing great as well and is so far, measuring right on track. I absolutely LOVE my clinic. There are two OB's and a midwife, and as of yesterday I have seen them all. I don't know who to pick for D-day because I love each of them so much! I guess I'm lucky to have all the options.

Today I am trying to cram my last bit of homework in before the weekend is over. That's why I decided to do a random craft and write this super long blog post. Yep, I am a procrastinator with a capital P. Here is what I made..

Cell phone charging holders! I don't know what else to call them, but I was sick of having cords everywhere so lo and behold Pinterest to the rescue. I found this great tutorial and made one for me, and one for Jordan.

I used an empty shampoo bottle for mine and an empty baby shampoo bottle for Jordans. His phone is a bit wide and I think taller than mine. My only concern now is that they wont fit. I didn't realize how much space the actual PLUGS would take up so there isn't much room for the top of the phones to peek out. I couldn't get a picture of the phone in the holder on the wall because I used my phone to take the pictures, and Jordan isn't home yet. But here ya go.. I love them!!

Okay I really need to do my homework now. My sister Lucy is coming for the weekend, yay!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DIY Anthropologie Nail & String Letters

I was feeling like it was time for another craft, so I did a search on Pinterest for "DIY Anthropologie". A ton of ideas came up and the two that I loved the most were the DIY Nail and String Letters, and the DIY Anthropologie bedding. I started with the letters because you basically use things you have around the house and it was only going to take me an hour or so to do. Here is the wonderful tutorial I used..

I really wanted to take up some major wall space in our apartment because the walls are so high and wide.. but I couldn't think of anything to write in our living room or dining room so I chose to go with our bedroom. The walls by our bed are totally bare and I wanted to write something lovey dovey. I chose to go with "XOXO". I used "insert--word art" instead of enlarging the letters in word so that I wouldn't have to use as much ink. Instead I just had the outline of the letters (if that makes sense). It was hard to tell if they were spaced out correctly and evenly on the wall but I went with what I thought looked alright and started nailing. Now that I am finished I kind of wish I would have written something longer, such as "I LOVE YOU".. but the nailing took awhile and I felt bad for my neighbors so I can go with something longer next time we move. For now.. the xoxo is up and I love it!!

The next project I want to do is this one..

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Welcome Home Daddy!

Oh Pinterest, how I love thee! I wish I could claim this brilliant idea as my own, but alas I cannot. A friend of mine posted this on facebook (via pinterest) and I had to copy it. The idea totally suits our family humor and I was so excited to get it going!

Last night we made a family outing to Fleet Farm (yes, we are becoming hicks.. you betcha!) I told Jordan I was going to look for his Christmas present so he needed to go to the back of the store for a few minutes. Really, I made a quick run to the toy section and grabbed two nerf guns, ran to the check out, and hid them in the car, before running back into the store calm and collected to find my boys. Success! We walked around the store a bit and then made our way to the car. Jordan had no idea. After Jordan went to bed I snuck outside and brought the bags in and hid them in our second bathroom tub with the curtain closed. This morning I noticed he had gone into that bathroom before he left for work! But thankfully, he didn't have any desire to look in the tub. (That would have been weird, right?)

I waited all day to get started on our plan. I wanted to get to work on it at soon as I woke up because I was so excited, but I had to wait until about 1:30pm to do anything or Axel would have gotten into it. First, we made the sign and hung it up in the entry way where Jordan was sure to see it..

Then, I took the guns out of their boxes, which took me almost 20 minutes to do! Remember when barbies had those weird wire things that twisted in the back of the box to keep their bodies in place? Well, the elves in toyland must have a lot of time on their hands these days because the wires were twisted so tight and so weird that I had to cut them off! (Which annoyed me because I had just painted my nails and smudged them in the process of trying to unwind the stupid wire before I gave up and used scissors). Once I had the guns ready I had to pick one for us (me and Ax) and one for Jordan. We chose the one that was easiest to use (and had the most foam "bullets") and left the more difficult one for Jordan, mwah hah hah.. guys are supposed to be good at that sort of thing anyway! Then, Axel and I got into costume..

Axel wouldn't keep his awesome belt on because he was more interested in playing with my make-up brush on his face.. (my pretty boy..).. but it worked out in the end..

I chose my arab scarf..

But Axel got jealous so I put it on him..

Jihad! Jihad!
I laughed my bum off at him in the scarf.. I couldn't decide if he looked more like a little Pakistanian baby or Toad from Mario Brothers..

Right before Jordan got home, we set up the entry way..

Just when I was starting to get impatient, we opened the door to go watch for Jordan's car from the hallway window.. as soon as we stepped into the hall he came walking around the corner so we quickly ran inside and locked the door and hid around the corner. We heard him come in and stop... he giggled (can I say he giggled? Is that too much of a girly word? Okay, he snickered..) and Axel and I came running around the corner! Since Axel is too little I took the reins with the nerf gun and fired away! Jordan was cornered and couldn't figure out how to work his gun so we got him really good! He was laughing so hard and so were we! He loved our outfits and the surprise!

I can't wait to surprise Axel and baby B when they are older and come home from school to find me and Jordan waiting with crazy costumes on and plenty of ammo. Haha.. oh the joys of having children!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Time to Pray"

Lately Axel has been a total vocabulary sponge and surprising us when he'll randomly repeat something we say, or out of no where we'll hear him say something while he is playing. He isn't speaking in sentences or anything yet, but he is definitely learning words and communicating.

His definite words so far are:

Mama (although he only says it when he reaaally wants me or when he's annoyed and then he'll say "oh, maaaa" like "come on Mom, really?" It's funny)
Dawn (our apartment manager who Axel is in love with)
Night Night ("nigh-nigh")
Sock ("sssssah")
Whats this? ("whassiss")
I love you (Iiiii-rah-ooo)
Axel (Aaaa-cks-ah)

And his newest word? Pray. Oh my goodness, it is so cute to hear him say this. Maybe more so because we're quite religious, but just hearing his little voice say it is too cute!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Less Mom, Little More Bang..

After weeks and months of trying to figure out how to change my hair, I finally decided I wanted to cut bangs. I had toyed with the idea of maybe doing a bob with long bangs, or cutting in a bunch of layers, but after typing in "bangs" in a search on pinterest I was easily convinced that bangs were the way to go. Finding the time to go get them cut is another thing. Last time I cut them myself I ended up at the salon in a frenzy to fix them. This time I tried to be more patient but today I had had enough of my lifeless mane. I took it too the streets (actually just google) and typed in "how to cut your own bangs". I think I did okay! We'll see what the gals at work have to say about it though.. they are the true experts! I'm loving my bangs so far. Since I'm usually sloughing around in leggings and a big shirt with no make-up, or bra, and days since my last shower, I think bangs are a good way to add a bit of a polished look to my usual mommy-mess.

My before picture is also my 22-week preggo picture. Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Thank you to everyone who answered my facebook query last night and checked out my blog. It's not that I want attention, but I didn't think many people were reading, and if that was the case I wasn't going to keep up with the blog. That's what journals are for.

Anyways, you may have seen my lovely friend, Molly Klatt comment on my last post (she is my most faithful reader/commenter) and suggest I write about Christmas Traditions. What a great idea! Especially as this year we hope to create our own and incorporate some from our different childhoods.

Growing up we had a really fun tradition on Christmas Eve where my mom would sit us all in a circle and hand us a gift. She would then start to read the story "Twas the Night Before Christmas". Anytime she reads the word "and", we all pass our gift to the left. The story starts out with very few "ands" and knowing the story quite well, you come to anticipate when the next one will be said. The best part is when she reads, "AND he whistled AND shouted AND called them by name". It was so funny when my sister Lucy was small and had a hard time keeping up. To keep the tradition going with our own family, I had an idea. I would like to keep my mother involved, so the plan is that on Christmas eve, my little family and I will all sit down with a gift, and call Grandma. We will put her on speaker phone and listen to her read us the story. I can only imagine the excitement our children will have in the coming years when we all sit down on Christmas eve and I say, "time to call Grandma for the story!"

Another tradition I love is one from my late Grandma June (my dad's mother). She had a Christmas ornament that looks like a pickle and would hide somewhere in the tree. On Christmas day, when all the grand kids were at her house we would get say, 3 minutes to try to find the pickle (and we'd all be looking at the same time). I remember all of our eyes darting to find the green pickle in the green tree. I can't remember what we got if we did find it, but I never found it. I saw a pickle ornament at Shopko the other day and I really want to buy it and carry on this tradition.

Growing up we lived near a fantastic sledding hill (Olbrich Hill in Madison, Wisconsin) and I remember going sledding some years on Christmas. This would be fun to keep up!

I still have to get all the traditions from Jordan's side, but one that I know of that I definitely want to carry on is the food. Oh the food. Jordan's mother prepares ahead of time and makes heaps and heaps of yummy Christmas goodies and displays them on Christmas day for everyone to enjoy. The times we've been at their home for Christmas I feel so silly because I am the only one salivating and considering sneaking a treat before they come out of their containers. She makes some really delicious goodies. I would like to do the same for my family.

The last one that I can think of so far, is one I found recently on pinterest. Here is the link..

It's listed as a birthday activity but I think it would be really fun on Christmas when the kiddos are dying to jump out of bed and check out the goods under the tree.

I'm sure more will come as the holiday gets closer but those are the big ones I can think of for now, and of course as the years go by we will establish more of our own traditions.

Thanks for the suggestion Molly! Looking forward to reading your traditions and everyone else's!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Time For... *Updated*

Christmas Crafts! Awwwwww-yeah! That's right, now that halloween has come and gone I say it's fair game to get ready for Christmas! We're even supposed to get snow today! Actually, I'm not sure how excited I am about the snow but it will help me convince Jordan that it is definitely time to dig out the box of Christmas decorations we have acquired so far in our lives together. Up until a day or two ago we've had the most glorious fall weather anyone could ask for! Gorgeous tree's, sun, comfortable mild weather (with chilly nights), oh.. it's just been perfect, so I suppose I can't complain too much now that Mr. Winter is headed our way. (Just wait until January.. I'm sure I'll be complaining by then... this is Wisconsin after all).

So, back to the Christmas crafts.. there are so many things I would like to do, but our budget is quite limited at the moment so I need to keep my head above water and not go too crazy. I found a really great tutorial for a no sew ruffled tree skirt (thanks pinterest). Here is the link, To make it more affordable I made some little changes. For example, instead of buying the painters canvas (which was $20 - I could have bought a pretty tree skirt for $20) I bought a painters...something else for only $5 and it is working just fine. Then, instead of buying fabric I went to goodwill and found a sheet. I would have preferred a different color or pattern, but oh well. This works and I can always add some sort of embellishment. Plus, no one will really be looking at the skirt too closely anyways. If anyone is under the tree I'm sure they'll be digging for gifts, not examining my craftsmanship, ha. The project is a pain in the hiney to say the very least. It took me about 2 hours just to get as far as I did and I'm not even finished. That's a lot of time for a preggo lady to be hunched over on the floor! Here is my progress. I am hoping to finish it today or tomorrow, but this week is a crazy week for homework so we'll see what I get to.. priorities you know..

Oh, and if you haven't been able to enjoy this little treat.. here you go. Poor little guy.. being 1 is tough stuff! All because I wouldn't let him play with Daddy's sharp tools! He was pretty worn out after this, and we had a lovely little snuggle.

Just had to update... I finished the skirt! I am so happy with the way it turned out and can't wait to put it under the tree! And, I have already begun my next project. It's not such a big deal so I'll show you those later.. but here is the finished skirt!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Waldvogels Farm

Yesterday we FINALLY went to the pumpkin patch! We've been planning on going for weeks, but our plans all got squashed by some sort of scheduling conflict or another. We knew that if we didn't go on Saturday we'd miss our chance. Now, as I've said before Fall is my favorite season and I love Halloween and Thanksgiving festivities because of their colors, flavors, and the mild weather. Before I had Axel I always had this ideal of how it would be when we would get our pumpkins with our cute little child. I have to say, yesterday was pretty close to what I had always pictured!

We went to a place near our home called Waldvogels. They have a little play-time-farm with a huge pumpkin patch, a small petting zoo, and tons of other activities! Axel had a great time (for the most part), and so did we!

First we looked at the goats, who were very friendly. I had forgotten my purse in the car with all my quarters so we didn't by any animal food, but they were still very friendly and licked Axel's little hand. At one point he marched along the fence saying "hi" to all the different goats. It was too cute!

After the goats we went on the little train ride that took us around the corn maze and the edge of the pumpkin patch. Axel wasn't a very big fan of the train and wanted to get off of it the entire time, but he managed to pull through and we finished the ride.

The farm had a huge slide that Jordan and I took turns taking Axel down and it was so fun! Axel loved it so much and was giggling and squealing each time we went down with him. That was my favorite part of the day, seeing him enjoy the slide so much.

They also had a big hay pile with little tunnels for the kiddos to run around in. I guess this was the test to see if Axel had a hay allergy. Thankfully no reaction! Jordan climbed into one of the dusty (and in my opinion, very gross) tunnels and Axel was pretty aprehensive to follow him, but eventually made his way a few feet inside. He didn't stay long and quickly backed himself out.

They had a bunch of other activities that Axel will have to take part in when he is a little older. We also enjoyed some delicious apples, but skipped out on the cider and caramel apples because Jordan felt they were over-priced. (My husband, always the money saver).. I would have bought a whole gallon of cider and a dozen caramel apples if it were up to me :)

We also found a great backdrop to have someone take a family picture of us that I hope to use for our Christmas card!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Boy oh Boy!

I'm so excited to announce that we are having another BOY! Today I had my 20-week ultrasound and it was wonderful! However, my mothers intuition is completely off. From day one I was convinced this baby was a girl, but the ultrasound proved to be very different from my prediction. Jordan wanted to stay home so he could be surprised so I asked my friend Chelsie to come along. She is also expecting a baby (her first, a boy!) and was great company. It is always such a joy to see the healthy development of a growing baby inside. He has all his fingers and toes and a great heartbeat and brain. I love him so much already and am so excited to have two boys so close in age. I know they will be little partner's in crime together and create a lot of mischief! Jordan and his brother Ryan are 21 months apart and are so incredibly close. They bicker like mad, but can read each others minds and are really funny to watch together. There are so many cute pictures of them together when they were little boys and I am so excited to give Axel a little buddy to grow up with as well. Eeee! I'm so excited! Axel is going to be such a great big brother. I'm sure it will be an adjustment for him and I do wonder how he will react and if he'll know that he is still my baby, but if I know him as well as I think I do, I think he'll do well overall and take good care of his little bro. Here's our little guy...

Now here is a picture of Jordan and Ryan (Ryan is older) when they were little ones.. how cute are they?!?

So excited for our new addition. We are still toying with names... I think we have it down to two! (Which is good for me and Jordan.. we can't agree on many names). Oh, I also had a great talk with the nurse midwife at my clinic today regarding whether or not I will try a VBAC. I REALLY want to at least TRY. I know that at the end of the day the most important thing is that me and my baby are healthy, and once he is in my arms I wont care if he came out of my you-know-what or if the stork dropped him in my lap. But, I love that my doctors are giving me options. They are very supportive to my fears and are really wise as to the risks and what to prepare for. They also said that it is all up to me and they will do everything they can do accommodate my desires. As things progress we'll see what happens.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Cutest Boy Ever

Is it bad to vocalize that I think I have the cutest child ever created? Because I do. This little boy makes me giggle and smile and coo more than anything or anyone else ever has! How can one little 14-month-old have so much cute in him? I just don't get it!

On the not-so-cute side, Ax was going through some pretty crazy sleep issues last week and over the last month in general. About 2 months ago he naturally went from two naps to one nap a day, which is okay, but the timing has been questionable. He used to nap at 9am and again around 3pm. So now the question is.. when do I put him down? If I put him to sleep at 9 he'll just make noise in his crib forever. If I put him down after 11am, he has no interest in sleeping anymore. It's almost like he's so over-tired by that point that he's talked himself out of being sleepy. So I've been trying to get him to sleep around 10-ish, or at least into his crib by then. Last week though, he started waking in the night! He's been sleeping solid through the night for the past several months so when he started waking up at 12:30am on the dot three nights in a row I started to wonder. Not only was he waking up.. oh no.. there's more.. it wasn't a simple.. okay, let's-snuggle-and-put you-back-to-bed-routine. Once he was up at midnight, he was up until about 4-5am. I'm talking WIRED and ready to play! If I put him back in his crib he would scream, which isn't normal for him so I didn't know how to react. It was the first time since his nightmare infancy (colic, reflux, refusing to nurse...oy) that I didn't know what to do next.

I typically try to avoid medicating him unless I KNOW something is up. I took him to get his ears checked and his overall health, and he came back completely healthy. Finally someone suggested it might be some back teeth bothering him. Sure enough 2 rounds of baby ibuprofen and he was sleeping like a... well.. a baby! I can feel those sharp big back teeth poking at his gums from all sides, poor little guy. Now that we have the situation under control, I've also been trying to wear him out more during the day. We've been really taking advantage of the amazing fall weather here in Wisconsin and have had some great fun at the park near our place.

He braves the slide all by himself now, and loves every thrilling second of it. We like to find sticks, make noise on the bells (some weird part of the play structure that makes a bell sound if you hit it hard enough.. totally Axel's thing!), and chase the geese so they all honk and fly away :) He is so much fun to run and play with. Notice the picture of him walking. I always crack up when he starts to strut his stuff. I think he walks like the Berlin Ampelmann, hah.

As far as baby #2 goes, things are going great! Axel keeps me so busy that I really don't have the same time to obsess over this pregnancy as I did with Ax. With him I was on babycenter 24/7 and everything was new and surprising. This time around I already know what to expect. A few weeks ago baby #2 started kicking pretty hard! It's unbelievable how much earlier on I can feel him/her this time. With Axel I didn't feel any definitive jabs until about 22 weeks. I felt this baby around 15. What's also funny is how much stronger Axel has made me. When I was pregnant with him I really had no muscle definition in my abs or arms. Thanks to him being a solid 30lbs for the past few months, I've grown some really sweet lean muscle. I thought I would be much bigger much faster this time around, but comparing two photos from this pregnancy and my last, around the exact same time, you can totally see the difference in my shape and belly.

Did you notice it said 20 weeks? Well I'm actually just under that right now, and the first picture was taken just AFTER 20 weeks, so I'm about a week or so apart in the different photos. But did you also know.. that me being close to 20 weeks means we find out the gender soon! On WEDNESDAY! I am so so so excited! I haven't had a lot of time to think about it up until recently, and now that I know it's close I am sooooo anxious to know if we are going to have a boy or a girl. My intuition from day one has said this baby is a girl. I feel it in my bones every single day. Plus, this pregnancy has been totally different from Axel's. I know that doesn't necessarily mean anything but who knows. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a little girl! I'm getting outnumbered around here! One of each would be so much fun! However, two boys so close in age would be an absolute blast and I know that Axel and he would be the best of friends (and at times, the worst of enemies).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fallin' for Fall

We've all been little busy bodies lately as school is now in full swing. Jordan keeps busy at work and Axel definitely keeps me on my toes. We have been enjoying some beautiful fall weather over the past two months or so and I wish this season would last year round! Fall is truly, my favorite season.

So here's what we've been up to...

A few weeks ago we went to the World Dairy Expo in Madison. I was excited to go as I remember going in elementary school and getting a lot of delicious samples and cow pencils. This time wasn't as... much of a smorgasbord of goodies and dairy delectables but somewhat entertaining nonetheless and fun to see the absurd gleam in Jordan's eye as he went from booth to booth, explaining sciences and products to me that I had no idea existed, and still don't really know (or care..) what he was talking about.

After looking at the cows, I decided a cheeseburger was in order..

Axel has been showing everyone who's boss (as he always has) and now that he can walk as fast as he was crawling he's quite the big man! It is so cute to see him bobbing around the house with his little baby swagger. I need to get a video of him soon. It's too cute! Things haven't been completely rosey with my little munchkin.. he's going through something I'm not quite sure how to deal with. He's recently gone from 2 naps a day to 1 nap and now we're in a big struggle trying to figure out what TIME to put him down. He's not tired enough to sleep at his normal am nap time, and if I put him down too late (when he actually appears to be sleepy) he doesn't go to sleep at all. That's not the end of it... at night he has started waking up crying and does not want to be put back to bed. It breaks my heart not knowing what the problem is. Is he afraid of something? Is he having bad dreams? Poor little guy. I just had his ears and overall health checked and he is fine. He goes to bed with a fully tummy, clean body, and fresh diaper. The culprit may be teething, but I'm not sure. Whatever it is, it's not fun!

We've been trying to find time to head off to a pumpkin patch but so far time hasn't allowed. We're hoping to go next Thursday... or maybe it's this Thursday? I can't remember, but soon! And I will take a lot of pictures!

Little baby is growing rapidly inside me and I am finally getting to the point of looking pregnant, not questionably fat. Here are some recent belly shots.. We find out the gender ONE WEEK from today! I cannot wait! My "mother's intuition" says girl, but everyone else swears it has to be a boy. We would love to have a girl around (I'm getting out numbered by testosterone here!), but a boy so close in age to Axel would be a blast and we'd be set on clothing, so we'll be excited either way!

My most recent little activity was last night's enrichment night at church. We made adorable fall throw pillows out of placemats! It was extremely easy and great to get out of the house and spend some time with other moms who were also escaping the home for a few hours. Axel loves the pillows too...

Friday, September 16, 2011


Today I was relieved to read a friends blog, when she stated that being a stay-at-home-mom is hard. That's right. She admitted it. Which got me thinking, why is it so hard to admit that being at home isn't always as easy as it sounds? Before I had Axel, I thought being at home with him all day, every day would mean endless freedom to do whatever we wanted. We would go on walks, do art projects, sew, watch movies, cuddle, go shopping, and Jordan would always come home to a delicious cooked meal.


Although there are good days, and even great days, being at home is hard work. I'm sure there might be someone reading this who would kill to be a stay-at-home-mom, and hates me for "complaining". Don't get me wrong. I LOVE being able to stay at home with Axel, however I'm also admitting that it isn't always a walk in the park. My son, who is perfect in every which way, is messy, active, clingy, and whiney at times. When the house is a mess, I can't always get up and clean it. When I try to load or unload the dishwasher I am interrupted by a little boy who is determined to climb onto the door of the dishwasher. When I try to cook, I have a sweet little set of hands tugging at my leg. When, on an ambitious day I attempt to do my hair or makeup my bathroom becomes a war-zone! Nap-time for him means rushing around and getting as much cleaning and organizing done as possible, and in my recent case, homework! Once Jordan gets home, mouths are fed, a bath is given, and Axel goes to sleep. At this point, I clean up his toys, clean up after dinner, and fold laundry if needed.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not bragging or looking for sympathy. I know people have it tougher than I do. I know that. I just think it is interesting to realize how much a mother does. Even mothers who work. They are gone all day and once they come home the job continues, and break time only comes during the wee hours of the night when Mr. Sandman comes to put us to sleep. Sometimes, he brings a tylenol PM.

Although becoming a Mother has somehow taken away all fashion sense, dancing abilities, and sexiness I may have once had.. I wouldn't trade my time with my Axie for anything in the world! Plus, all of my jobs at home make for a pretty decent work out! I'm sure Jilliam Michaels wouldn't agree, but suck it Jill! This job get's my heart pumpin!

Recently I came to a conclusion regarding stay-at-home-moms; We all need a hobby! I have a sewing machine, and a whole box full of craft/sewing supplies, but time doesn't always allow for that kind of hobby. Recently I started BYU-Idaho's online degree program to finish my bachelors. It is something I've always wanted to do, but after I went to beauty school, I decided I was happy with my education and would leave it at that. About a month ago I changed my mind. Last week my courses started and my spirits have already lifted. Yes, I know my life has great purpose. I am a wife and mother, and those are great things to be. However, knowing I need to carry some weight in another domain has given me a strange new confidence. Maybe it's just the distraction from the same ol' same ol'. Instead of speaking to a 1-year-old, I am reporting to an educated person. I am reading insightful essays and writing for a grade. My major is English and I'm doing a minor in Marriage and Family Studies. I know it will get more chaotic as the semester progresses, but I am really enjoying these first few weeks while I have the motivation.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day!

This past weekend was fun and eventful! We had Jordan to ourselves for 3 days! On Friday afternoon we took Axel to his 1-year-check up! Luckily, our family doctor is also a family friend and the Branch President in our ward, so we have a great relationship with him and he is a fantastic doctor. We've actually been really lucky so far, and with all of our moves we've found great Doctors for Axel, but this time it's really nice to know ours outside of the clinic.

Anyways, Axel did really well and we learned some new techniques in "discipline" and bottle weaning. Of course, they took his measurements and, well our child definitely does not have any issues with malnourishment. His head is in the 100th percentile haha! I didn't realize his head was so big! His weight is in the 99th percentile, and his height is in the 87th percentile! I remember about two weeks after he was born I was worried he would never get back to his birth weight because he was having trouble nursing. Obviously that was not the case as his birth weight has more than tripled! I am more than grateful that I have a strong, healthy child. Especially after his colicky infancy. Yet, I know things could be worse, and I know we are very lucky.

On Saturday we pretty much had a lazy day in. I had big plans of going to The Taste of Madison festivities on the square but the weather was really bad. It rained most of the day and was extremely muggy. We had fun staying indoors, and I made a yummy chicken stroganoff in my trusty crock pot.

Sunday was the start of my favorite weather. It was 45 degrees when we woke up! The day capped off at around 69 degrees and it put me in the best mood ever! Yes, the weather does indeed affect my state of mind that much! It was so nice to bundle up a little instead of looking through my closet wondering how to keep myself cool in the heat. Towards the end of church I was hit with a massive migraine and we left a little early. Jordan was so sweet to put me to bed when we got home and watch Axel (and put him to sleep too!) while I slept for 3 hours. THREE HOURS! I haven't taken a three hour nap in ages. It felt so good and really helped with my headache (which is still lingering :S).

Monday was Labor Day, so most Americans had the day off, including Jordan and we were able to spend a wonderful day together. We started the day off with a yummy breakfast and then packed up for the Labor Day Parade in Jordan's hometown of Randolph. It was so fun getting to dress Axel in some of his new Fall clothing! He looked so cute! Jordan's little sister, Jenna is in her middle school marching band, so we watched her March, and enjoyed watching all of the other pieces of the parade go by. The Mommy in me kicked in when the fire trucks went by and blasted their horns. Hello! Didn't they see my child? Haha, but I seemed more bothered by it than Axel even did. He was such a good boy and had a lot of fun!

After the parade we walked down to a Corn Carnival (I think that's what it was called) in a local park and enjoyed some free sweetcorn and walked around to look at some of the booths that were set up by local vendors. There really wasn't much other than beer mirrors and clocks, but hey.. it's Randolph. After the carnival we went over to Jordan's parents house and his Dad bbq'd some burgers, hot dogs, and brats. We had a nice lunch, and Axel had a great time playing with his Uncles Landon, and Evan. He worships those boys (and they him)!

After we left the Stanley's, we all went home and relaxed and tried to rest. Around dinner time I asked Jordan if he wanted to go to the Chinese Restaurant down the street. Normally, I really don't like Chinese food, but occasionally I get a weird craving for it. It's like a gross comfort food or something. Jordan always winces when I ask if we can go so we've never gone! But last night, he agreed. It was extra sweet of him because I know he only said "yes" so that I could have what I wanted, and he had such a sweet attitude about it. He was a great sport and cleared his plate, although we left feeling so disgusting!!

It was a fabulous weekend and I am sad to have Jordan away at work today! Love my boys!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


The day has come. The glory day. The day where the opera vvoices "aaaahhhhh" and rays of sun shine down... on our bedroom. Haha, where am I going with this? We have a bed. A BED! For the first time in almost a year. We are once again sleeping on a real bed. When we moved back to Wisconsin from Idaho, we sold our bed to keep moving costs down. Thinking we'd get by on an air mattress for a few weeks, we were fine with the idea. Well, weeks turned into months, and still.. no bed! The other day, my sweet, thoughtful cousin Drew called me and asked if Jordan and I want their Queen Tempurpedic bed. For FREE! They decided to upgrade to a King and were going to put their Queen on the curb. Instead of the curb, it came to us.. and it is not a curb piece! Oh the comfort I felt as I lay in bed last night without the sound of the canvas air mattress in my ear, and without the worry of having to re-inflate the bed the next morning.

Thank you Drew! We love our new bed!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Amazing Baby. Amazing Weekend.

Today I am ever so grateful for the people who made this weekend so special and fun! Yesterday, I started my day with a very long foil session with my co-worker, Chelsie. She spent 3 hours putting highlights into my hair to give me the blonde I have been longing for ever since I made the mistake of going back to brunette. I am not only grateful to Chelsie for being so talented, but for being so sweet and patient as she stood on her feet for so long. She's expecting a baby and that could not have been comfortable. So thank you Chelsie. I love my hair!

After my hair appointment, I rushed home to help Jordan get the house ready for AXEL'S FIRST BIRTHDAY! Friday night we had gone to the store and bought everything we would need and I made the fondant for Axel's cake that night so it would be less work on Saturday. When I got home we started to prep the food and get the decorations ready. At first we were really feeling rushed but as things came together we had a blast! We didn't get many RSVP's but were suprised and had a great turn out! The cake smash was really fun as well.

Before the party even ended, I had to disappear and get ready for Jordan's high school reunion. As people slowly started to leave, we cleaned up and got ready to go. I am so grateful to my dear Mother who stayed and helped clean up so Jordan and I could get ready to leave. Then, Jordan's sister Kelly came over straight from a long day of work and watched Axel while we were gone, and she cleaned EVERYTHING! It was such a sweet and relieving surprise to come home to after such a long day. She did all the dishes, swept, vacuumed, cleaned up the big cake mess, put the food away, and cleaned off all the counters, on top of taking care of our sweet birthday boy! Our house looked so nice. She also spent the night and we had some fun chats. Thank you so much Kelly! You are going to be such a good wife and future mother!

The high school reunion was fun, but I always feel a little out of place among all of Jordan's high school friends. We had a nice time, but let's just say it was everything I expected it to be; A lot of drinking and friendly banter. It was nice getting to know Jordan's high school friends though, and finally putting faces with names.

The next morning (Sunday) Jordan made a yummy breakfast and we had a nice relaxing morning. It was fun talking in detail with Kelly about some of her ideas for her wedding (in December)! I was so excited that Axel fit in his adorable shirt he got for his birthday.

It was such a glorious weekend and I am so grateful for everyone who helped make it so fun! I am so happy to be Axel's mommy. I love my big boy more than anything and find new things to gush over each and every day.

At this time, here are his stats:

*He is 30" long and weighs 29lbs (a year ago he was 20.5" long and weighed 8.9lbs)
*He's wearing size 2T comfortably, but will fit into 18-24months.
*He speaks a lot of gibberish, and calls everyone he loves "da-da". His toys he calls "da".
*He is starting to take steps on his own, but isn't quite there yet. I'm sure he'll be a great walker in a month or so.
*He loves spaghetti, chicken, blueberries, strawberries, and his milk.
*He loves to look at books and "read" them to himself.
*He LOVES dogs, cats, and other animals, but dogs are his favorite.
*Music by The Fresh Beat Band or Laurie Berkner get him dancing every time! He loves to dance.
*He loves to splash in the tub and suck on his sponge. (It's so gross but makes him really happy).
*He loves to "scare" Mama and Dada when we are all laying in bed. He will go to the end of the bed and say "raaah!" with big eyes and a big smile and Jordan and I pretend to get scared. Axel thinks it's hilarious and cracks up every time.
*Axel loves other kids, especially his friends Kylie and Gabe from church.

I love you Axel Jay! You are my shining light and give me a happiness I never could have imagined! You've changed my life and taught me so much (especially patience :D). Thank you for being so smiley, funny, and sweet. Happy Birthday big boy! We love you!