Monday, February 23, 2015

The great outdoors

For a couple weeks now Parker has been requesting the arrival of spring.  When is it going to be spring? When is it going to be warm? And most importantly, when can we have a campfire?!

The campfire question has been brought up numerous times.  And since this is the longest winter in the history of winters (though don't they all feel that way by the end of February) we had to take matters into our own hands.  No waiting around for the first sight of grass.  Two feet of snow was not going to stop us so yesterday we fired this bad boy up.

And of course, a fire is not complete without marshmallows.  Parker ate her age in sticky sugary goodness (four marshmallows) and even our littlest lady who shies away from sweets for the most part indulged in a couple.  I currently look and feel like a marshmallow so that was good enough for me.

In other news, my children are getting bigger.  Why/how does this keep happening? 2 1/2 next month!

As you can tell, Teagan is sporting quite the fancy dress for a lazy Saturday afternoon,  But she wouldn't have it any other way.  If it's not a fancy dress it's a princess dress.  If it's not clip on earrings it's necklaces and bracelets.  I have mentioned that I love having girly girls, right?!

Potty training Teagan has been...lets call it interesting.  Some days are awesome, like day.  From wake up at 730am to nap at 1pm, Teagan was diaper and accident free.  Some of the times she told me when she had to go potty.  The other times I asked.  Each successful potty trip resulted in the delicious goodness of a single M&M.

But then there are the other days.  The days when undie sporting Teagan pees on the couch and finds it HILARIOUS.  Or the days when she's standing up and pees all down legs, soaking her leggings and socks and also finds that to be a comedy show.  There was a reason we wanted a house with a lot of wood flooring.  And a reason why we make a decision a while back to not spend an arm and a leg on furniture that would inevitably be destroyed by a pee monster.  We're not pushing this milestone but if I can go without two in diapers again I won't be mad about it.

Teagan is learning at lighting speed.  Colors are easy for her and she loves telling us what color everything is.  Food, pictures in books, everything.  Singing is one of her favorite pastimes, she has a bunch of books memorized that she reads to us, and she is Parker's copycat.  Eating is still hit or miss but she will never turn down a glass of coconut milk paired with Goldfish.

Sleep is still strong, down about 9pm and up around 7am with a three hour nap.  The Toy Story trilogy is her favorite movie and Sofia the First is in the lead for her favorite show.  I'm calling it now--this girl has that natural athletic ability.  Watching her kick a soccer ball and dance is pretty incredible.  I'm looking forward to starting her in dance in September when she's finally old enough!

Still goofy as can be but we're also experiencing the terrible twos.  Like I tell her not to do something and she looks me dead in the eye, smirks, and does it again.

Exhibit A:
T: Mommy, can I slide on my belly?
Me: No
::slides on belly while cracking up

Lord help me.

Side note: I feel like an absolute genius for putting the slide into the ballpit. I am so smart.

Parker is so ready to be a big sister again.  This girl has such a caring heart of gold it's truly inspiring. When Teagan is at her worst, Parker more often than not greets the attitude with sympathy.  Take yesterday.  Parker was almost finished with her huge, three foot Frozen puzzle when Teagan was overcome by jerk-mode.  She walked over to the puzzle, bent down, and destroyed it.  Off to the time out couch T went and I helped Parker put the puzzle back together.  After Teagan's cooling off period, Parker said: " Teagan, I still love you even when you break my puzzle."  Yes, Parker is a mere four years old :)

True sisterly love.

Parker is dominating preschool.  Writing is old news.  Now we're on to addition and she loves math problems.  Right now she has 75 sight words memorized.  I switch them up to make sure she's not merely memorizing the pattern of the words and sure enough, she knows the words in any order. Homework is a breeze for her and she picks up new topics very easily. This makes me struggle over our decision to wait until next year for her to go to kindergarten.  But I keep going back to why make them grow up faster than they need to.  I do hope that being one of the oldest in her class will have strong advantages, especially when it comes to the workload and expectations I've heard are pretty intense in our district even for the wee kindergartners. I will eliminate the thought of an extra year of childcare that we will pay, times two (Teagan is also start public school when she's five as opposed to four).    Whatever, we're probably switching to a nanny for added convenience once baby girly #3 arrives so we'll still be paying out the wazoo for a while. Good thing these girls are cute ;) 

Until next time! I still have to catch up on Disney pics, plus I should update all the home improvements we (and by we, don't we all know that I really mean Kris) have knocked out like crazy these past few months.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The effects of seasonal depression

Warning: living in Michigan during the winter may have serious effects on your mental state.  It may make you dream about past vacations in a warmer climate, These dreams may take over your entire mind and before your fast typing fingers know what's happening, they've clicked "make your reservation" on Disney's website.

December 2015 family vacay to Disney, here we come!

Dying with anticipation does not come close to describing how I feel.  All the memories made on our first family trip a mere five months ago left us wanting to go back as soon as possible.  If you know me, you know that I'm obsessed with Christmas.  So in planning Disney trip numero dos, there was no doubt in my mind that this had to happen during the holiday season.

However, visiting the happiest place on Earth during the holidays can be a nightmare.  Christmas is by far the busiest season at the park.  After experiencing Disney during one of the slowest times of year during our last trip (September) I never plan to go when it's wall to wall people and endless waits.  Thankfully the week we're going (first full week in December) is one of the slowest times of year again so I'm looking forward to our longest wait being something like 15 minutes.

Our first vacation as a family of five.  What a sight we'll be lugging three children four and under, a stroller, and all our gear through the airport.  While we loved Disney's Animal Kingdom lodge, we're going with Disney's Old Key West resort this time.  Might as well try something new!

In all this Disney planning I realized that I never fully updated the blog with pics from our past trip.  Five months later...but something about being pregnant with two little ones already, a full time job, and a bedtime that mirrors the girls, I barely find time to prep for the next day.

So finally, a recap :)

Baby girl will get to spin in these teacups out of the womb on our December trip :) I was about seven weeks pregnant here.

That little face is SO happy.  Cannot cannot cannot wait to recreate these moments.

And even happier here.

But here? Very cautious.  Not trusting of Goofy as an astronaut.  Rightfully so I am quite sure.

Teagan decided to save up her doubt for Donald,

Riding It's a Small World for the 12th time.  Seriously.  That low time of the year thing really does pay off.  Hands down, this was Teagan's favorite ride.

One of the most magical things about Disney is the attention to every little detail.  If you've ever watched the movie Tangled, you will feel like you're in it at this corner of Disney.

About to stuff our face with the most delicious (and expensive) lunch on the planet.  Cinderella's Royal Table.  A must do on our next trip, though most likely for dinner this time around to try something new.

You really do get what you pay for at this meal. 5 star service for sure.  Five princess meet and greets, three (or was it four?) courses, magic wands, wishing stars, and to die for eats.  This really is a must do at Disney.

:) My littlest one loved nothing more than sprinting up to the princesses for a quick embrace before retreating to the safety of our table.

I forgot to mention that this post is picture overload.  Though I'm assuming you've already figured that out.

Tinkerbell was one of my fave character experiences.  It's truly secluded, just you and the fairy in a room alone, and you have a long time to chat.  These girls are big Tbell fans.  Parker even picked out a Tinkerbell doll to bring home and it's constantly played with.

Someone is excited to start the day! We ran these girls from sun up to sun down.  Napping in the stroller was okay, though we learned our lesson about renting what's supposed to be a great stroller--the City Mini.  We decided to leave our amazing double BOB at home. Didn't want to risk the pricey child transportation tool getting wrecked on the airplane.  Big mistake.  HUGE.  The BOB is easy to push.  City Mini is not.  The BOB is waterproof.  The City Mini is not.  I cannot even begin to explain my frustration with a soaking wet stroller from the daily rain.  No matter how we tried to protect it, soaking wet it got.

We'll be taking our chances this time and bringing the BOB with us!

Disney Junior day at Hollywood Studios! I practically passed out with excitement upon my first glimpse of Sofia the First.  I understand that' not a normal reaction for a 31 year old.

Check out baby T, book in hand waiting her turn to get Sofia's signature. 

I will stop now for the day before I crash this computer.  But I will be back to recap the rest of our trip! Between the pool and a sunny vacation planned, I’m pretty sure that I’m ready for fun in the sun!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thinking warm thoughts

Come April (hopefully if the ground is thawed enough by then) our backyard will be upgraded with this beaut:

Ahhhhh! Dying with anticipation!

We've been toying with the idea of putting in a pool since we bought our house.  Actually before we officially closed as I was very, VERY tempted to walk away and lose our good faith money to go with another house that already had an inground pool.  Pools add zero value to your home, at least in this area, so if we went with that home the pool was free.  FREE! And these things are not cheap so free was good.  But the overall square footage of the home was on the small side, the basement wasn't a walk out, and the kitchen was minuscule.  All that made us go with our current home, which by the way was a great choice, but it put me in hyper focus mode to make pool dreams a reality.  And when I hyper focus on something, watch out.  It's pretty much impossible for me to forget about it.

So last August we had a pool guy out to give us a quote.  And then we discussed it obsessively (me more than Kris) for months.  Whether the cost was worth it for only four months of swimming weather was the biggest thing weighing on our minds.  And we decided that yes, yes it is worth it! I grew up with a pool and loved enjoying it all summer long.  I'm looking forward to the girls having the same memories filled with splashing, friends, and relaxing.

Soooo, who's ready for a pool party?! These girls!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

28 weeks/3rd tri

Well folks, I'm paying for it.  Paying for all those times pregnant with Parker when I commented on how easy it was.  Oh, run three miles?? Sure, why not! Speed walk everywhere? Easy.  Never, ever take elevators?  Obviously.  

Fast forward to our third princess and the pain is REAL.

Yesterday I was pretty confident that I was stabbed in my side with a 7 in santoku knife. Again. And again. And again.  I know Dr. Google is the absolute worst but I went for it anyways.  My symptoms lined up with round ligament pain.  After some texts to friends from 2+ kiddos (because that's when it typically rears it's ugly head) I pretty much diagnosed myself though I will bring this up at my appointment next week. 

I'm all bumped out!

Parker getting ready to kiss my baby belly, as she often does when I say it's hurting me :) 

How far along: 28 weeks

Weight gain: up 15lbs.  I was hoping the weight gain gods would be nice to me this time around too and ::knock on wood:: they are. 

Maternity Clothes: I will need to find a maternity bathing suit for our upcoming getaway to Great Wolf Lodge this month! Nothing like enjoying splashing around while you watch the snow fall outside. 

Best moment this week: feeling so many kicks and jabs all day long :) 

Movement: most often during the night.  Prepping me for the up all nighters. 

Food Cravings: I found it! After countless trips to Target and Kroger, I found it! Philly BACON cream cheese.  Yessssss.  It does not disappoint.  I mix it up with a mashed up avocado and slap it on a plain bagel.  I'm hoping this is not a phase because I want to eat this on the regular.  I'm also really into eating Nutella straight up from the jar.  

Sleep: still out like a rock, up only once to pee. 

Milestones: baby girl can blink her eyes and has eyelashes!

Random: I am very much so looking forward to maternity leave during the summer for many reasons.  It will be easy to get out of the house (no boots, coats, hats, scarves, gloves, snow to worry about), it will be easy to get some exercise, and...

This bad boy will be coming to live with us forever! Ahhhhh, cannot wait.  But more on that later. 

A few morning pics of the girls:
Matching Tinkerbell outfits from Nani and Papi! Parker and Teagan are both SO obsessed with everything T-Bell.

Parker is also obsessed with American Girl Isabelle's colored hair extensions.  

I'm outta here to stuff my face with Nutella!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Snow much fun!

I am a kid at heart, especially when it comes to snow days.  On Sunday I watched out the window as the snow fell and fell, hoping for that text from school telling us to keep our butts at home.  The snow was falling so gently that I didn't realize how much actually accumulated until we left home Sunday night to attend a Super Bowl party.  Our main roads were like trails!  Multiple cars were stuck on the road, unable to make it through the almost foot of snow at that point.  The Acadia was made for the snow so it was smoooooth sailing. Midway through the big game the text arrived.  School was closed! Woohoo! 

Pre-snowpocalypse.  Love our "suburban" views :) 

Our snow day was filled with sleeping in, early morning movie watching of Beauty and the Beast (did you know that the Beast is actually a tiger?! According to Teagan that is), and lots of sledding.  Our sled hill is massive, so much so that Parker was in tears on the first run due to all the loose snow blowing in her face while she was zipping down. Later that afternoon Parker joined her friends a couple houses over for more sledding on a less intense hill.  Still cautious, she rode backwards down the hill the first few times. 

You gotta do what you gotta do in 20 inches of snow!

Snow pup lives for days like this. 

Teagan found it very comical to fall every three seconds.  

Waiting for snow dog to come back inside

Just look how happy they are about an extra day at home! The real look of shock was because I had the nerve to snap a photo mid movie

Yep, our porch is somewhere out there. 


Freezing but having fun! I know so many people complain about the snow but I simply love it! I couldn't imagine living somewhere that doesn't get to experience all seasons like MI.

To keep up with the winter theme, let's switch to one of Rochester's many events--Fire and Ice! A whole weekend of winter fun--bonfires, hot cocoa, ice sculptures, a hilly road transformed into a huge ice/snow sledding hills, and my favorite--fireworks! 

While fireworks are my fave, these Elsa and Anna cakes (yes, they are cakes!) made by a local downtown bakery are also so incredible.  

Something about seeing fireworks in the snow makes me oh so happy.  Teagan on the other hand? It makes her want to cry, snuggle up, hold on to me with a death grip, and close her eyes.  Poor babes! Never has this child enjoyed a firework show.  Never.  Not even at Disney!

I'm in the process of convincing Kris that we NEED to go to Disney again early December.  Beat the Christmas crowds (aka hell on earth) but still get to experience all the magical Christmas decor...why not! Maybe Teagan will warm up to the fireworks by then.

Downtown goes hand in hand with self serve fro-yo. 

Up tonight is another three inches of snow.  Weeeeee!