Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Big Ball Drop

Tonight the big ball will drop, and we’ll enter into a new year.
(My own little belly ball got a head start and dropped yesterday.  I can breathe and actually bend over again!  Now the big question is – did she turn head down before she dropped?  We’ll find out the answer on Thursday at my ultrasound.)

As I look back on 2013, what started off as a not so great year, has turned out pretty awesome.

Last year on New Years Day, we were driving back from our Christmas trip to Texas.  We had found out while we were in Texas that I was pregnant.  And I bled the whole drive back to California.  Once we got back here, we found out that I was miscarrying.  (The miscarriage that lasted three months)

Thankfully the year turned around, and we had many many good times (click on blue links to see posts):

Trenton had an “Out of this World” fourth birthday.
We went to prison.
Charlotte had a “berry” fun third birthday.
We got an up close look at Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Spring Break = San Diego Vacay
Bluebonnets grow in California (just under a different name)!
We spent Jarrod’s birthday on a volcano.  And we got to see a little bear family in the wild!
We made our big announcement with a little math lesson.
Charlotte had her first ballet lesson and was the cutest little ballerina EVER!
Labor Day weekend was spent in California’s capital city.
Trenton wasn’t too happy with our gender reveal.
I said goodbye to my 20s and welcomed my 30s.
We took a nice hike out to see a BUNCH of elephant seals.
Our little elf and Santa taught the kids a lesson in giving.

The year was not without its tough times.  Charlotte spent a total of 10 days in hospitals this year.  First in the spring for a kidney infection.  Then this fall for surgery to correct her urinary tract problems and then another kidney infection.  But so far at least, the surgery seems to have worked, and Charlotte hasn’t had any more urinary tract/kidney issues.

I have loved seeing the kids so excited over soon welcoming a new baby to our family.  They ask the funniest questions and say the funniest things.  But they are also so sweet.  They can’t wait to help out with Baby (except for diapers – they’ve already told us that they will not be helping with that job).  Any time Charlotte tries on clothes that are getting too small, she always tells me to put them away so that Baby can wear them.  And today when I was putting the bedside sleeper together, she brought in her Nanny Pillow – so that Baby could be close to Nanny too.  Both kids love talking and singing to Baby, and Charlotte and the wee one already play together – poking each other back and forth.

Jarrod and I have so much to look forward to in the coming year and so much to be thankful for in the past year.  Through thick and thin, I am so happy that this is the man I have to stand beside me.  Raising a family isn’t always easy, but we sure try our best and try to have fun doing it!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Joy to the World

Joy to the world!  The Lord is come


Let Earth receive her King!


Let every heart prepare Him room


And Heaven and nature sing


And Heaven and nature sing

And Heaven, and Heaven and nature sing

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns


Let men their songs employ


While fields and floods


Rocks, hills and plains


Repeat the sounding joy


Repeat the sounding joy


Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!  I hope you all had a joyous holiday!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Out of the Mouths: Pregnancy Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and since I’ve only got 4 weeks and 1 day until my due date, I thought I should go ahead and do this now.

Once again, Trenton is in the green and Charlotte is purple.

A few days after finding out the baby’s gender:
Mommy, I’m not upset that the baby is a girl anymore.  I’m just going to ask God to put another baby in your tummy and to make it a boy baby next time!


Why are your boobies growing and my boobies are not?

The baby is going to have to learn all kinds of things – how to walk and crawl and sit and roll…
She learns to roll for if she has fire on her?

Our baby can see see light if we shine a flashlight on my tummy.
Or if we shine it in your mouth down your throat?

After Mimi cut my cord and I could get away from you, did I go on a playdate with the other babies at the hospital?
(Jarrod was in Afghanistan when Charlotte was born, so my mom was with me.)

Why is Baby naked in your belly?
Well, I don’t have any clothes in my belly for her to wear.
I saw some of Charlotte’s little clothes from when she was a baby.  You could eat those.  They would get in your belly so Baby could wear them and she wouldn’t have to be naked anymore.

photo (2)

That’s all for now.  I can’t believe that it will only be a few short weeks until we’re adding another one to this crazy mix!


Friday, December 13, 2013

We’ve Decided to be Friends

Trenton and Charlotte have always loved Santa in theory.  Just not in person.

We started out with this.

Santa 2009 - Yankee Candle - Williamsburg, VA

Then we added another kid to the mix.

Santa 2010 - Yankee Candle - Williamsburg, VA

Then we added two parents because neither kid wanted to sit on Santa’s lap.

Santa 2011 - Yankee Candle - Williamsburg, VA

Last year we were able to drop one parent, but we still had one unhappy kid.

Santa 2012 - Pacific Grove Tree Lighting - Pacific Grove, CA

But this year both kids actually sat on Santa’s lap and were happy about it!

Santa 2013 - Del Monte Center - Monterey, CA

And we’ll probably be back to square one next year when we add an almost one year old to the mix!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Kiddie Tree

One of the activities in our advent calendar is “decorate a Christmas tree.”  The past two years, the kids have decorated a felt tree with felt ornaments that I made.

But I thought that they were a little too old for that this year.

This year I had another idea.

I let the kids made homemade cinnamon ornaments, paint them, and then decorate their very own Christmas tree for their bedroom.

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments - Super Easy and Smell WONDERFUL!

There are a lot of different ways to make these ornaments, but here is how we did it.

Mix 1 cup cinnamon, 1 cup applesauce, and 1 Tbsp. white school glue together.  Roll out to 1/4 inch.  Cut with cookie cutters and use a straw to make a hole for stringing.  At this point you can either lay them on a cookie sheet to dry on their own, or stick them in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour or two.  Since we live in such a damp climate, I opted for the oven.

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments - Super Easy and Smell WONDERFULHomemade Cinnamon Ornaments - Super Easy and Smell WONDERFULHomemade Cinnamon Ornaments - Super Easy and Smell WONDERFULHomemade Cinnamon Ornaments - Super Easy and Smell WONDERFUL

After the ornaments were completely dry, I let the kids decorate them with Tulip glitter paint.

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments - Super Easy and Smell WONDERFULHomemade Cinnamon Ornaments - Super Easy and Smell WONDERFUL

Once the paint was dry and I had strung the ornaments, they were ready to go on the kids new tree.

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments - Super Easy and Smell WONDERFULHomemade Cinnamon Ornaments - Super Easy and Smell WONDERFUL

We put the tree on the bookshelves in their room along with the pine cone Christmas trees they made last week.

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments - Super Easy and Smell WONDERFUL

And in case you haven’t already seen it on Instagram or Creatively Blooming’s facebook page, more decorating went on in the kids bedroom yesterday.

Snowman Door

It’s definitely looking a lot like Christmas here!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Season of Giving

Snickers brought back a note from the North Pole and Santa last week.

Elf on the Shelf note from Santa - Season of Giving

Along with a couple of empty boxes.

Elf on the Shelf note from Santa - Season of Giving

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the kids, but they did a great job filling their boxes with no complaints.  And it wasn’t just stuff that they never play with.  There were a couple things that they still play with pretty often, but they wanted other kids to have them.

Saturday Trenton and Charlotte got to deliver their boxes to the Goodwill trailer (or ‘Good Wheel’ as Trenton calls it). 

Season of GivingSeason of GivingSeason of GivingSeason of Giving

Today Charlotte asked to play one of the games that she put in her box.  I reminded her that she gave her game away, and she replied that she hoped that another little girl was having fun with it.

I love seeing the kids really grasp what the Christmas season is supposed to be about.  Not just sitting on Santa’s lap and getting gifts under the tree Christmas morning.  I hope that what we are trying to instill in them sticks with them for years to come. 


My bloggy friend and fellow military wife, Amanda, over at The B’s is gearing up for a cross-country move from North Carolina to California.  She has guest bloggers set up to give her time to pack and to make their way across the U.S.  And today, I was featured.  If you have time, hop on over to her blog and say hello!

Getting Closer to Baby Day

I hit the 34 week mark yesterday.  I had Charlotte at 36 weeks (induced due to my low amniotic fluid and her growth restriction) and Trenton at 38 weeks (he came on his own), so we’ll see what happens with this little girl.

Weight Gain: 20 pounds
More than I gained during Charlotte’s pregnancy and pretty much right on track with what I gained with Trenton.

Cravings: A good night’s sleep
I’ve started having reflux/indigestion issues.  They started out a couple weeks ago just at night, but now I get bouts during the day too.  My doctor prescribed me some Zantac on Friday, so I’m hoping for some better sleep soon.

Labor signs: I’ve started having contractions pretty much every day now.  Nothing regular or extremely uncomfortable.  They have kept me up at night a few times though.  Last night Jarrod and I went to the Grand Winter Ball at Naval Postgraduate School, and I had quite a few contractions while we were there.  And they were not comfortable.  Remind me not to go somewhere where I have to stand around in a ball gown and high heels for 2+ hours at 34 weeks pregnant again.  Luckily once we got home and I changed into pajamas and laid down in bed, the contractions settled down fairly quick.

NPS Grand Winter Ball - 34 week pregnant

Complications:  Baby girl isn’t even here yet, and she’s already being difficult.  She is in a breech position with her head wedged under my right rib.  Let me tell ya – bending over is kind of difficult when there’s a hard little skull under your rib.  On top of that, my amniotic fluid levels have dropped below the normal level again.  My doctor said that it’s not likely that she’ll turn to a head down position if my levels don’t come up.  And it’s not even an option for doctors to try to turn an in-utero baby when the fluid levels are low (not that I’m sure I would be for trying to turn the baby even if my levels were higher).  So, it looks like a c-section could be pretty high probability.  My fluid levels aren’t dangerously low right now, but I will have another ultrasound in two weeks to check them again.  On the good side of things though – baby girl is right on schedule as far as size goes and is looking healthy.

Baby Prep:  I still don’t have everything ready for baby, but more than I did 4 weeks ago.  We have a name picked out, but we’re keeping it quiet until baby makes her appearance.  Speaking of appearances, Charlotte has been looking for her little sister.  Last week she came into my bed in the morning and asked me to open my mouth really really big so that she could see the baby.  That obviously didn’t work, and today she tried pulling my belly button open to see her.  Trenton is excited about his baby sister’s arrival too.  He sings her the ABC’s and is sure that she’ll know them when she comes out!

So that’s where we stand 34 weeks in.  We’ll see what happens next!   

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Counting Down to Christmas

I don’t know about you, but once that Christmas tree goes up, my kids start exclaiming that it’s Christmas.  Like that day.

So that we don’t get asked every single day if it’s Christmas yet, we have a couple countdowns in our home.

The first is the advent calendar that I made a few years ago with the help of my mom.


Every day the kids pull out the card from the corresponding day, and we do the activity on the card.

It may be visiting Santa – which we all love…


Decorating a Christmas Tree


“Snow” play


Watching a Christmas movie (along with fun movie themed snacks!)

Grinch Float for Grinch Party

Or making a pine cone craft (after going on a pine cone hunt which is another activity in the countdown).

Pine Cone Christmas Trees

We also started a Christmas book countdown a few years ago.

I (with help from Snickers the Elf) wrap 24 Christmas books, and every night we unwrap one and read it.

photo (18)

Here are just a few of our favorites (click on the pictures to be taken to Amazon if you’re interested in checking them out).

Fletcher is worried that Santa won’t know where to deliver gifts to his rabbit friends since they have moved to a new burrow.  He sets out to make sure Santa can find the rabbit family’s new home.

Who will help Santa deliver gifts when the reindeer break loose from the sleigh?

Beautiful illustrations and ends by telling us how each baby born brings God’s smile to Earth.

My favorite as a mother.

What do you do to count down to the big day with your little ones?