Friday, August 30, 2013

Five years!


Happy five year anniversary to my hubby! Maybe its because this anniversary is a nice "round" number (five) but it seems like a milestone anniversary to me. Five years. One home. Two kids. A pretty amazing ride. I love doing life with Mike and am so thankful to be celebrating another year of marriage with him today :) Happy anniversary babe!


Tonight we had an anniversary date at Biaggi's. We broke the trend of spending our first anniversary where we had our first date, etc. this year (since I can't remember what our fifth date or beyond was). And we can never "restart" with one like Mike said, because just a month or so ago the place we had our first date (Miko's) closed down. Our dinners were so-so (we ended up getting the same thing...yep we're definitely two of a kind!) but our time together was great. I love date nights, no matter where we go or what we eat or do.

Now Troy is off at Camp Grandpa/Grandma in Chicago for the next couple days. Its really strange being in the house without him running around, but I know he's having a great time! We're looking forward to relaxing on the first college football Saturday of the year and getting some more things checked off my pre-Cassidy arrival list in the meantime :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

34 weeks

One week closer! My little butternut squash baby is getting bigger and bigger. Some of her kicks definitely took my breath away earlier today. She packs a lot of punch (or kick!)

I feel like I've had a bunch of mental notes to include in the update this week. We'll see what I can remember.

My appetite has been out of control. Wow. I have had an insatiable appetite at times. I try to eat things that will be good for me throughout the day but don't mind giving in to treats as the opportunity presents itself :) Special thanks to my boys for running out to get "real" ice cream for me from Dairy Queen last night while I chilled in the a/c.

Braxton Hicks contractions have been out of control. Those take my breath away too. I've had way more of them than last time (I think, to the best of my memory). I also started drinking red raspberry leaf tea this past week and that's been bringing some on too. That's good though, my body is getting good practice for "go time" in October!

I'm one giant wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. If its not my shirt its my pants. (Or skirt, or whatever.) Nothing fits well. Starting to get to that point where I'll be glad to have shirts covering my entire belly again, even though things won't be "normal" for awhile. At least I'll have things that cover me up (and then I'll spend half my day taking said shirts off to breastfeed. I digress.)

Speaking of breastfeeding, I'm really looking forward to doing this again! I really can't wait. I loved nursing Troy and am looking forward to sharing that special time with Cass too.

I think Troy is completely over waiting for his sister to arrive. You can just tell he's thinking, "why isn't she HERE yet?!" His friend Tate at church has a baby sister and I know Troy is trying to process why Tate has his baby sister but Troy's isn't here yet. It'll all make sense soon, buddy!

I think that's about it. Not much in the way of "news" I suppose. Just random tidbits to help me document this pregnancy and everything that's going in to it. Its been an incredible seven months since we found out about baby girl, full of lots of special moments and blessings big and small, and she's almost ready to come out and meet us!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

selfie


Dragon Stairs

Troy calls this project "dragon stairs". He's asked to do it a couple times now. Sometimes he sets the stairs up himself (in this case I built the stairs) but he always is in charge or setting up the people. I have no idea where the "dragon" part came from. Wild imagination, this one has :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mater crisis averted

Troy never ceases to make us laugh. Tonight he was laying down in bed and all of a sudden he popped his head up and started yelling out, "Mater! Where's my Mater?!" And in an instant he was off his bed, opening his door and calling out for help to find his stuffed Mater.

Daddy to the rescue. Mater crisis averted. Back to your regularly scheduled programming of bedtime, Troy :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Family visit and chasing kittens

With Gramma, Beema (Great-Gramma) and Auntie Daria visiting for the day, one of our stops was the Orchard to pick up some apples. Or, in the case of Troy, pick up some kittens. We already visited these kittens once this summer, and now they're even bigger and more chill than they were when this place first opened last month. These sleepy cats were catching some zzz's when we walked up and it was only a moment or two before we let Troy pick one up. He's been telling us all day about how gentle he was with the kittens at the orchard "yesterday" (AKA earlier) with Gramma.

Thanks for coming down for a visit today, everybody!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

33 weeks

Okay, first things first. I had no clue what this week's "fruit of the week" was - a durian?! Turns out its a fruit native to southeast Asia... anyways, moving on...

I'm continually reminded that I'm in the "home stretch" but time is definitely slowing down a little bit now. I kind of thought I was 33 weeks earlier this week, about to be 34, when I realized I was a week off. Its not a huge deal, just getting more ready for her to be here.

The "average" fetus is 4.2 to 5.8 pounds at this point. My good friend Michelle gave birth to twins at just over 33 weeks earlier this year and both of the babies were in that range, I believe. Crazy to think about having TWO in there that size at this point (Michelle, you're amazing, in case I haven't told you recently!)

Changes I've noticed in Cassidy this week are longer periods of being awake. Instead of just five or ten minutes of kicks, I'll notice her being really active over an hour long period (without me really "playing" back and tapping on my belly or anything). I really don't think she's changing position much. At my check up last week her back was all along one side of my belly with arms and legs reaching towards the other side and I'm pretty confident that's how she's still hanging out.

I've been eating a lot (again) this week. Just more snacky these days I guess. I've eaten a ton of amish apple butter that I picked up at Beachy's last week, and I've also eaten grilled cheese for lunch two or three days (at least!) I think because its nice and easy and it also just tastes really good to me right now.

Nothing else, really. The weather is hot, hot, HOT again, and going to get even warmer next week. I was kind of hoping to move right into fall but looks like we have a little summer weather left for now.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Branching out: trying the new pool in town

I've blogged about our adventures at Sholem Pool all summer long. However, on my summer "punch list" was at least one visit to the brand new Crystal Lake Aquatic Center. I wanted to do some research to see if getting a Sholem pass would be the right move for next year, or if we'd consider jumping to the new pool. I haven't heard a ton of exciting buzz from anyone about this pool so far, so my expectations weren't great. However, I was pleasantly surprised once we settled in for our evening!

This "treehouse" play structure is nothing short of impressive. There's nothing like this at Sholem, and is perfect for kids preschool age (and those ambitious not-yet preschoolers like a particular toddler I know) :) Troy spent 95% of our visit here and there was only one time I had to get up from my partially submerged chair to make sure he didn't wander into a too-deep section of the pool just beyond the treehouse. (You can see him behind the shooting water gun at the top here.)


Doing his thing in the pool, floating and "swimming" around in just the right depth.

Another view of the "treehouse".

Exploring the rest of the property, including this play area surrounding a picnic/party area. We wanted to check the whole place out!

So what was my decision coming out of tonight? Its hard because I absolutely love, love our pool that I've had a pass to for now the fourth year in a row. But Crystal Lake is much closer to our (current) home and that treehouse play structure is fantastic. Overall, its much easier to supervise a kid like Troy at this pool versus our normal one. And there's much more for him to safely do. For those reasons, I may consider getting a pass there instead next year. Toting along an 8-10 month old on our pool trips will surely slow me down a bit and having somewhere I can easily supervise him will be key if we want to go as often. Of course I'll miss the lazy river... but then how on earth would I have ridden a lazy river with not one but two small wiggly children, anyways??

Waffle house

I like traditions of all kinds, big and small. I've realized there's certain traditions Troy and I have picked up for when Mike is out of town. Not that we celebrate he's gone or anything, but since its a normal occurrence around here, I like to make that time special. One of these "traditions" is waffles for breakfast :) No real reason why, but Troy loves helping mix up the batter and watching the waffle iron do its thing. Today was no exception :)

Happy Birthday, Liam!

We were excited to be invited out to Liam's new house to celebrate his third birthday with him this week! How is it possible these little guys are turning THREE now!? Troy hadn't been to Liam's "new house" yet, but talks about it a lot since he moved away. He was very, very excited to see his friend!

We visited the store before heading out to Liam's house and I let Troy pick something special out for Liam (almost) all on his own. I knew he would pick something he wanted so we talked a LOT about how we would take it to Liam and give it to him as a present. In the end, Troy ending up doing just fine passing his present over and excitedly wished Liam a happy birthday when we arrived :)

Reunited buddies! And they couldn't be happier :)

Enjoying cake and ice cream with one of Liam's new neighborhood friends, too :)

Troy's fuel tank was running on empty, so it was time to head home. It was barely five minutes into the drive and he was out cold! Thankfully he woke up to walk himself into the house, but crashed as soon as he got to bed.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Nursery update

A couple of weeks ago, paint went on the walls and the crib was set up, leaving just the details to come together for Cassidy's room in anticipation of her arrival. We had a small shipment from Amazon earlier this week, plus some great crafting time during naptime for me today, making the room suddenly look like it belongs to a special little girl :)

I got the inspiration for this idea on pinterest (of course) and made it my own. I purchased a bunch of the cheapest embroidery hoops I could find (Hobby Lobby, just under or over $1 each depending on the size). Then I purchased some small pieces of fabric in a variety of colors and two polka dot prints to match the things I bought for her room. I laid it out the way I wanted it and then figured out which fabric would go in each hoop, cut it to size and hot glued it in place.


I couldn't wait to get it all up on the walls! So we worked on that after Troy woke up :)


Pics of the rest of her room coming soon!

Froggy the Frog

This week's been full of nature critters for Troy! First it was the grasshopper on our cornfield walk earlier this week, and now today two separate encounters with frogs in our backyard! The first came as Daddy was doing some lawn work and stumbled upon one. Troy loved holding him and picking him back up when he hopped out.




Later, I was inside while Troy was outside playing with Mike and he came charging in not just to tell me that he found the frog, but to show me, frog in hand. I quickly led him back outside where we all played with him for awhile before lunch. He hasn't been found since, but I'm sure more frogs will turn up again in the days to come. Now that we've spotted some, we're likely to spot more, as has been the case in years past.


Day with Troy: Trip to Amish Country

This past Friday, Troy and I enjoyed a mini-road trip down to Amish Country for the morning. The main reason I was going was to make a trip to Beachy's Bulk Foods in Arthur for an upcoming article I'm working on for chambanamoms.com (tune in next week for my first one to be posted!) but truly I was just looking forward to a relaxing morning soaking up some time with Troy while he's still an only child :)  We got a ton of stuff at Beachy's, like lots of foil pans/lids and over 7 pounds of oatmeal for $4. Hello, bulk food!


Afterwards, we walked around downtown Arthur for awhile and Troy insisted on climbing up next to these "cup men" that were all over in front of one of the stores and saying cheese. He really liked them!

Of course, there were plenty of horses and buggies spotted during our time down there. As I drove into town, passing buggies, he shouted "Mommy, watch out for that horse!!" Later, he was amazed when we saw someone come out of the store right behind us and instead of climbing into a car, climbing into a buggy and driving away.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

32 weeks and feeling pretty great!

Wait, what was that??? 32 weeks pregnant! No way! Yes, already :) My baby updates tell me that she's likely head down (yep, confirmed today) and getting more cramped in there (really, ya don't say!) Overall, things are still moving along pretty wonderfully. I feel pretty great and while I'm getting a little more tired, its nothing too significant to impact my days than the last few months. I've had more braxton hicks contractions, she's more active in the last week than she's been in previous weeks and while she hasn't technically "dropped" yet, she does feel a little lower than she was a few weeks ago.

Still not feeling terribly big, which is great!
32 week check up with Ray today went great. I really, really like him and while I'm totally comfortable with all the midwives (I've met them all now!), he and Vanessa are definitely towards the top of the list. My health is continuing to be great, though I could probably eat a few less sweets and be okay :) He asked how big Troy was (7lbs 13oz) and said she'll probably be a little bigger than he was, likely an 8 pounder. We'll see if he's right, I was guessing she was smaller than Troy. And while I'll probably be in there for four or more appointments between now and the time I deliver, as I was leaving, Ray jokingly said, "ah, just come back when you're ready to push." If only!

Just this afternoon, we got some things in the mail for Cassidy's room and we're going to work on that this weekend. I see some trips to the craft store in my future tomorrow in preparation :) Aside from that, we plan to enjoy the sunshine and fall-like temps during one of the last summer weekends... just two weeks 'til football season begins!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Growing stronger

The beginning of the summer, Troy couldn't tackle these moving climbing structures at one of our local parks. Tonight he pulled himself up and from one to the next like a champ! Getting stronger every day!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Corn Park

Tonight when we left for our walk we decided to go on a trek through the corn instead of our usual to the playground. Troy asked where we were going when we didn't walk towards the playground and we said we were going to play in the corn, or the "corn park". It was a gorgeous night and I love how peaceful it is walking through the fields!


Lots of critters and bugs running around the field, including a big grasshopper that we stopped to play with. Here's a video we took right before snapping the photo below.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Play doh rules

Almost two weeks after first introducing my son to the magic that is play-doh, the novelty still hasn't worn off.

1- this homemade stuff is awesome, its still really soft and easy to play with!
2- its never been easier to cook dinner in 2 1/2 years of parenting!
3- why did i wait so long? haha

This is Troy's "birthday cake". He used the roller as a candle and got it to stand up :) He was quite proud!

Touch a truck (okay two trucks)

I had seen some buzz around town leading up to this event (C U Days) and we didn't have any plans on Saturday, so we all headed over to check out their "touch a truck" event that was promoted. Parenting fail = we even talked up the fact that there would be fire trucks the night before/morning of. (((shakes head at myself)))

Alas, we pulled up and there was one lone truck to check out. Troy ran up and down the bed of the truck a few times and then we diverted him from the pricey inflatable area and headed to the playground. He had fun climbing around and watching a basketball tournament from the playground. By the time we were done at the playground, a city bus had pulled up, and Troy wanted to sit on it for a loong time.

We left shortly after... not our best outing, but not a complete loss either :) It wasn't until bedtime that night that Troy looked up at me and said, "Tomorrow we go see fire trucks Mommy???" Next time, Troy, next time :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Last Prairie Farm visit of the season

After last year's surprise of finding out how early Prairie Farm closes for the season, I had this year's closing date on my calendar so we could make it out there one more time. Troy loves this place and aside from watching him around the animals, he can pretty much have free reign to run around and check things out, which I love!

Today he was most excited to "go IN with the goats" since the last couple times we've seen goats we weren't actually allowed into the petting area. Here's my attempt at taking a photo in the petting area. My belly now nudges its way into pictures I've noticed!

We got to see a chicken actually lay an egg... that was pretty cool! You can see it in the corner there.

Troy visited the turtles three different times today. The last time he told me "Mommy, I say CHEESE with the turtles!" When I took out my camera he couldn't peel his eyes away from the turtles behind him, but he was a happy guy!

Over and out

Remember that time that we were barely looking, found a house we really liked, put our house on the market while six months pregnant, and then took it down one month later? Oh yea, that's right, that just happened!

For the sake of documentation, here's (the short version of) what went down this summer. We love the nearby town of Mahomet. We plan to move there sometime before Troy goes to kindergarten (three years from now, almost exactly). In the last few months, we have been watching homes come and go from the market, with the assurance that "sometime in the next couple years" we'd make a move.

Then around Father's Day we found a home we both love. And came home, talked about it, and decided nope, we're not going to go for it we need to stick to our "next year or later" plan. Fast forward two weeks, the house is STILL on the market and two homes in our neighborhood sell quickly.

We decide to go for it. Give it a shot. Part of us felt like the house is still on the market in Mahomet because its "our" house, and we just need to sell our own home to get it. So we prayed that 1) our home would sell quickly and 2) the Mahomet house would still be available when ours sells. And so we cleaned. We listed.


Mike moved a ton of our stuff to a storage unit, making the place look "bigger" supposedly. (Though the only two comments we received back on the open house we had were that our house felt too big.)

And then we waited. And waited. And not a single call came through for a showing. One month after listing we decided to take it off and told our realtor to prepare the paperwork. That very same day, we got a call from another realtor in town who wanted to show our house that night. So we left it on a few more days... find out the people that walked through the house passed on it because its a detached garage :/

And then Mike moved our things back in. The sign left the front lawn.

Then Mike painted a baby's room. And set up a crib. And we sat back and realized how much we really do like our house and don't have any reason to rush moving. We weren't sure if this was the right time/place for us to move and, since things didn't go quickly, we got the confirmation we were looking for either way. It would have been fun to move into a new home, but its also enjoyable to be staying here, living in our neighborhood a bit longer and bringing another baby home to this house. Plus I think we're even more excited for what the future holds in store for us when we do eventually move!

...and now we have a nice clean, de-cluttered home to enjoy at the end of it all. And that's never a bad thing!

31 week update

Whoops, missed an update last week! That's okay, now I have two weeks of pregnancy updates to fill you in on  :)

Well, we're starting to get closer and closer to Cassidy's arrival! In my own opinion, I like to be totally ready about 3-4 weeks before my due date, just in case. Bags packed. Nursery set up. Work notes typed up. Car seat bases installed. All of that. How much of it is done? Well, nothing entirely yet :)

Last weekend, Mike worked on the nursery and it looks awesome! So that's coming along nicely! I'm excited the crib is up again. One night this week, after Troy went to bed and when Mike was out of town, I just went and sat in the nursery in the glider and looked around. Its completely surreal to think about rocking and feeding a newborn in that chair again relatively soon. And EXCITING! I've seen a handful of fun blog posts lately circulating around about things you have forgotten about taking care of a newborn... I KNOW I've forgotten the majority of the daily ins and outs. I'm sure things will come flooding back :)

On that note, one of my pregnancy prayers has been that I would get LOTS of sleep before she comes. And its truly miraculous how well I'm sleeping. Some nights I even sleep through the night, other nights I get up just once to go to the bathroom and right back to bed. Praying it lasts and lasts for many more weeks to come! As a result, I still feel great and even though my size is making it a little harder to do certain things, I have plenty of energy for the day. Pretty amazing!

We had a quick (well not really) trip to the midwife earlier this week to check things out when I got a bruise on my belly :/ A couple days earlier I was loading an empty paint tray into the car and it clipped the side of the car, then bumping into my belly... everything was fine afterwards but a couple days later I had a tender bruise so I figured I'd go in to have them take a look at it. As expected, both of us are perfectly fine... though the 20 minutes of fetal monitoring while my toddler bounced around the exam room was interesting!

Had a great visit with my amazing friend/doula last night and I'm even more excited for the birth now than I was before. I just know its going to be a great experience and can't wait to meet my baby girl!

That's about all for now. More updates to come next week!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Not over yet!

While we haven't been to the pool with as much frequency as we were earlier this summer (from several times a week to once a week or so), we're still soaking it up as long as its here!

Here's some pictures and video from the end of the night when we were relaxing at the kiddie pool. Because, you probably haven't seen enough photos of my kid in the water this summer... haha :)




Monday, August 5, 2013

Goodbye, blue..

Goodbye, blue nursery!



Hello, "linen" :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ag Days Carnival

Original plan: pick mike up at the airport after dinner time and bring him home :) 
Actual plan: find a way to pass a couple hours before heading to the airport to pick up a delayed daddy!

Wanting to find something to do just south of C-U so I could make a quick run to the airport when the plane was actually close to arriving, we found ourselves at Villa Grove's Ag Days carnival. Small town festival all the way, I think we were one of the few from outside of VG in attendance. It made for a great time though, a perfect way to spend a cool summer night :) It was Troys first carnival and he certainly had a blast!

We started out with the nice safe car ride :)


And he quickly spotted the dragon coaster. Part of me was hoping he wasn't tall enough for it when we walked over to measure him. As soon as he was cleared he gladly climbed right up and handed over his ticket to the tattooed carnie man now responsible for buckling my child in. We hadn't even watched it go around once so I didn't know what he'd think. It did have a pretty scary sign about not forcing kids on this ride if they don't want to go... OY. 

I'm thankful he loved it! And happily whipped around with all the other children as a group of anxious parents looked on. And while I'm glad he had fun I did my best to steer him away from doing it again that night :)



So back to the nice safe car ride to spend the rest of troys tickets. I thought this ride was particularly funny when he had not one but three little girls climb on to ride his fire truck. And then one of them moved from the very back to sit right next to him up front. Too funny!

We capped our visit off with a lemon shake up while a band played nearby...and off to the airport we went! Such a fun time :)