Friday Tidbits

Whoa, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on a Friday, eh? I’ve been meaning to but you know how good intentions slip away into darkness sometimes. This is post is going to be chalk full of random. Are you ready?

Remember my old Raves & Faves feature? I’ve decided to nix them. I found them difficult to pull together, I was always months behind and I felt like they were kind of boring to read (whereas the rest of my blog material is totally stellar). But since I’ve come across some amazing music this summer, I wanted to share: this gorgeous ballad by super singer Sam Smith (oh when the choir joins in…), this funny funky song by the talented Meghan Trainor, and Sia, who gives me chills with her vocals. Click through for some musical awesomeness.

Fall. Oh my goodness how I love the fall. The pumpkins, the warm drinks, boot weather, the smell of cinnamon and caramel. It’s the very best. Remember the tree that I wanted cut down in our backyard but was talked out of it by Erik the Arborist?

Thankfully I have some sense to listen to professionals. Look at it now:

And way back during this blog’s beginnings, I spray painted two faux pumpkins white. I discovered them in the Halloween bin while cleaning out the guest bath linen closet and now I’ve officially “decorated” for fall. It’s not much but I love seeing them displayed on our kitchen table. Plus, it’ll be easy to put away come Christmas time.

Speaking of Christmas, I’m not trying to skip too quickly past fall because it’s my favorite time of year but getting organized for the holidays, especially since I am due mid-Dec, has been buzzing around my brain. I’m brainstorming Christmas cards, decorations and gifts and trying to strategize a plan to get it done all well in advance. I need to start being more efficient with my evenings because nap time melts away into an endless cycle of laundry and cleanup-after-meals type of tasks and I feel like I can’t make any head way. No matter what your circumstances, it doesn’t hurt to give the holidays some forward thought. Here are two helpful posts on just that:

But before I gather up too much Christmas cheer, I have to work on Amelie’s Halloween costume. It’s the farthest thing from creative or elaborate. In fact, it’s probably perfect because I imagine she’ll wear the thing for about 26 seconds. I better have the camera ready!

Happy Friday everyone!

 

My Amelie

AGE: 18 months

My goodness it’s difficult to get a decent picture of her. She has no patience for the camera! You should see the family pics we tried to take this weekend. How come the masterful Emily Griffith has to live all the way in Maine? I need her superhero skills baaad.

Summary: You know what? My little sweetie is back to her normal self. She’s gotten through this latest round of teething/diaper rash/cold. Oh how I had missed that dimple smile! I hadn’t seen it for a long while until now. Not every day is free from crankiness but at least it’s mostly normal toddler stuff.

Stats: I’ve noticed Amelie is much bigger than kids her age and every time another Mommy asks how old she is – they are always surprised by my reply. Doting Daddy chalked it up to her amazing hair; it’s long, gorgeous and does make her look older. But I was starting to feel sensitive about her size. Well, now we’ve got the stats to prove it – she’s my big girl.

  • Height: 2′ 9.5″ – 93% (she’s the height of an average 2 year old!)
  • Weight: 24lbs 11 oz – 76% (no wonder I’m exhausted carrying her around all day)

Verbal: She is not really talking. She says Dadda and sometimes Mama. She’ll sign a few more words but that’s about it. She’s right on the cusp of being “behind” but the doctor said it’s probably due to her observant personality instead of any concern development-wise. It’s something that they are watching though. I’m trying to not to worry. Her comprehension is excellent and I believe she’s a thinker like her Daddy. Amelie, in a world that cannot stop blabbing, this is a good thing.

Socializing: This has gotten easier too now that Amelie is feeling better. No more swatting at innocents that get too close to her. She watches other children intently but still only plays side by side (or more preferably, playing with Daddy instead). She’s still swatting when she gets irked but we are working on that.

Food: She loves to feed herself with a bowl and spoon! It must be so empowering. She’s not eating much variety but I’m trying to cut down on juices and packaged crap per the doctor’s suggestions. Everything contains so much sugar! I’ve been eating terribly myself so I need to do the same.

Amelie is a little neat freak. She points at any crumbs/dirt/lint/who-knows-what on the floor or stairs. Believe me Amelie, I already know our house is a mess from way up at my level. Anyway, she also does not like sticky stuff on her hands. Although she enjoys playing with her food, she insists we clean up any spills or smears on her tray, bib or clothes.

I forgot to mention this in the last update but it’s too cute not share, albeit a little outdated. Grandma watches Amelie for me a few afternoons/week so I can coach cross country. One afternoon, Amelie woke up from her nap and when Grandma went to get her – she was greeted with a very stinky nursery. Assuming she had a big poopy diaper she moved in closer and to her horror realized a very clean diaper was sitting on the floor but a whole mess of poop was inside her crib! Amelie had taken off her diaper, thrown it “overboard” and well… Poop was smeared over everything – the crib, the sheets, her clothes, her hair, sleepsack, her dinosaur and on her hands! She did not like the poop on her hands, that’s for sure! Grandma had to call in Daddy for backups (he works from home). After a few loads of laundry and two baths for Amelie, everything seemed to be de-poopified. Hilariously gross!

Talents: Of course, I think she is quite talented. She can prance around on her tippy toes, she can run, and she’s a great climber. I’ve been taking her to the older story time at the library because she’s getting bored of other one. Gymnastics has ended but we still have swimming lessons through the end of this month. She LOVES swimming lessons. We’ve been walking to her lessons as a family (Amelie rides in her red wagon) and if I’ve shaved, I smash my pregnant belly into a swimsuit and join her and Daddy in the pool. I try not think about being 8 months pregnant and in a bikini.

Especially though, Amelie adores make-believe. Daddy is good at sparking her imagination with her stuffies and thinking of new ways to play with her toys. I need to brush up on my pretend-skills. I’m an old fuddy duddy now and my mind goes blank!

Two times in the last few weeks, Amelie has woken up crying strangely after putting her down for the night. Again, she’s in another funny phase where she isn’t sleeping awesome but these cries sound different to me. I’ve gone into her nursery and something frantic about her makes me rush and pick her up. She’s usually standing with her sleep sack and Dinosaur clutched tightly and the moment I have her in my arms, she lays against me and sleeps. I kinda think she’s having nightmares?

Randomly: She doesn’t go anywhere without Dinosaur and her sleep sack (which she occasionally wears around her neck like a massive infinity scarf). When she’s just woken up or getting settled in for a nap/bedtime, she strokes her sleep sack between her fingers and very much enjoys it if you join her in doing so. I usually pat her on the back after she has had her milk to try and burp her (btw, Daddy taught her how to make fake burping sounds) but it’s mostly for me to get a few snuggles in. Lately while in my arms, she’s been reaching back to pat herself on the butt, showing me that’s what she prefers! It’s SO cute. I oblige and give her the butt pats instead. I love you very much, Amelie!

 

Baby Bump2 Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing another human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby (again).  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: I’m napping infrequently during the week (although I do have to give myself a long pep talk first) and I’m motivated to make any sort of progress on my To Do list. My cross country season is wrapping up, I am excited for the upcoming holidays and I think I’m in nesting mode! Only two more months to go! (Maybe less, ack!)

The Science: Baby Center recap – 30weeks. I need more time but I really don’t enjoy being pregnant. I feel bad for admitting it but from the very beginning, this pregnancy has been hard on me emotionally, physically, and mentally. I am tired of being tired. My back hurts, my legs burn walking or going up stairs, and my belly feels big and awkward now. Doing anything is cumbersome, even talking on the phone since I get out of breath easily.

Body morphing: I think my belly really grew this week! It feels bigger and rounder. He’s been kicking me a lot in the ribs. Thankful for his movement, nonetheless.

Sexy stuff! Of course, there is always the restless sleep but nothing new to report.

Food drama: I get heartburn in the evenings if I eat or drink too much but honestly, no drama on this front. I’m so thankful.

Exercising? I’m back to walking at practice! I’m counting any movement at all as exercise. Vacuuming? Sure. Getting Amelie in and out of the car? Yes! Blogging? Why not?

To Dos: Hubs has been busy. While I’ve been spending a lot of time organizing the guest bathroom linen closet (seriously low priority), he has been getting things done that actually need to be done. He bought a double stroller off of Craigslist. He bought a new swing (since we burned out the motor on Amelie’s old one). He’s researching a new car. Thank goodness he’s my partner!!

And randomly: Both of my SILs were pregnant and due this fall. My Minnesota SIL had her baby girl in September and now my other SIL is about to give birth within the next day or two. That means I’m in the batter’s box! *queue panicking*

Just for comparison sake, I thought it would be fun to include my 30 week pregnancy pic with Amelie:

 

Home Sweat Home: The Guest Bath Linen Closet

As I mentioned in my latest baby bump2 update, the linen closets in our house have been driving me bonkers. When we moved in, I had crammed things into every closet to get everything “put away”…planning to address them all in a reasonable amount of time and pretty them up kinda like this. Fast forward almost 2 years and our closets have only gotten more chaotic.

Let’s look closer:

Shockingly, this is the most organized closet in the house. You should see the others. (Oh, you will soon enough). I didn’t label every last thing stashed in there but you get the idea. I don’t know why but if I start off with a gross space, it’s like I purposely try to make it look worse by jamming things in extra sloppy. It’s like it’s a lost cause or something. Anyone else do that?

Also? The previous owners had more cabling routed through this closet. It was dangling from the ceiling like a scary snake. We lived with it for a long while until one day my postpartum hormones encouraged me to rip it out. As it turned out, the smallish rough hole in the ceiling accidentally turned into a bigger one…

I guess I need to patch that. I need to do a lot of things.

There are a few reasons why I decided to tackle this closet first (even though it’s the least used):

  • It seemed less intimidating
  • It wouldn’t wake Amelie (whereas the master linen closet is right next to her nursery)
  • I’d be shuffling stuff out to our garage and transplanting items from the master linen closet in here. Doing this first would free up space, making the master linen closet easier to tackle down the line

I decided to jot down my plan for this closet. What do I really want it to be used for? Our closets are on the puny side in this house. Even so, I want each closet to have a dedicated purpose instead of having a catch-all-because-we-have-small-closets-vibe. Not only is this bathroom for guests but I use it quite often to shower/blow dry my hair when I don’t want to risk waking Amelie. That being said, this closet should be stocked with basics that I need as well as guests for when they come.

I moved most of the holiday bins and gift wrap stuff to the guest room (yay for moving messes around!) and tried to stick to my plan. Eventually the holiday madness will all go in the garage but I have Halloween AND Christmas on my mind as of late, so I’m keeping those out while I get some projects done and gifts wrapped.

Anyway, here is the “After”:

Although far from what I had dreamed as being “pretty”, it feels much better now.

Before, everything was spread between the master linen closet and this one and it was hard to tell if we were low on products/toiletries. Also, I was always running around gathering up towels and new sheets for when guests came. Now with one quick glance, I can tell if anything needs to be restocked or washed. That feels nice!

Admittedly, the closet still needs serious TLC. It’s missing baseboards, the shelves are lined with mismatched contact paper, the ceiling hole needs to be patched, it needs paint, etc. I want to redo it entirely. That’s not going to happen anytime soon with Baby Boy on his way this winter. Plus, redoing the closet makes me consider redoing the entire bathroom and THAT is a few years and a few buckets of cash away from now.

Buuuut, I did paint the door ages ago. I never showed you because ohmergerd-another-door-painted-Zinc-is-on-the-blog-today?! As I teased in this post, I did also manage to get one coat of paint done in the bathroom itself (not the closet though). It needs a second coat and since I only had a sample, I’ll need to run out and get more paint from Sherwin Williams. Although, I refuse to buy more paint until I’ve used up cans of paint that I’ve already opened for other projects (ahem like the kitchen cabinets, noooo! the remaining interior doors, cough the railings, mutters the quarter round, chokes the green dresser in the nursery, and SO ON). I have so many opened paint cans stashed in the linen closet by the laundry room that I’m worried the paint will be useless and crunchy by the time I get around to finishing anything.

ANYWAY.

Thinking ahead, I imagine that this will be Amelie’s bathroom someday. I’ve been eyeing this adorable cart from Ikea for her play area (more on that sometime eventually one day hopefully but probably not anytime soon):

So cute, right? I thought it might be nice to have another cart for this bathroom. Especially if we swap out the current bulky vanity for a slim pedestal sink, she can cram all of her delights for getting ready in the morning in the cart which she could wheel out and stash back into the closet when she’s done!

But, I’m getting way ahead of myself now. I need to stop. Can you believe I wrote this long of a blog post on a linen closet? With a hole in the ceiling and missing baseboards? With spiderwebs and mismatched linens?

Baby Bump2 Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing another human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby (again).  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: I don’t feel as beat down as last time around but I am still napping often. I try so hard not to but a morning with cranky Amelie wipes me out. I’ve been going back and forth between getting excited for a new baby and then all terrified again. There’s a whole world of Mommies out there that are raising littles under way more stressful circumstances than I am so I’m trying to remind myself that I can do this!

The Science: Baby Center recap – 28weeks. I’m in the third trimester! I feel like I need more time…

He moves and moves and moves (especially late at night when I’m trying to sleeeeeeep). The doctor said my placenta is in the front so she is surprised I can feel as much as I do – he must be a strong squirt.

Glucose results – super low (63). I’m hypoglycemic. My husband and I always suspected hypoglycemia but now I have scientific proof for being Hangry for a majority of my day/life.

Iron: Apparently my iron was awesome; the doctor said my levels were even higher than hers. Who knew I was so stellar?

Body morphing: I had my doctor’s visit this week and I’ve gained 14-16 lbs. She measured my bump and said I am measuring small. I told her that since I had a similar experience with Amelie, maybe I make small babies? Of course I left the appointment worried about his size now… :(

Sexy stuff! Just like my last pregnancy, I’m “sleeping” all night long but it’s very disrupted. I’m going to the bathroom all of the time, the baby is twirling around in there, and sometimes I randomly wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back to sleep.

I just realized that I haven’t had any leg cramps or serious constipation like I had with Amelie. I hope that good luck continues…

Talk of a birth plan: At my 24 week appointment, another doctor (they rotate around) recommended having a scheduled c-section. This doctor is also pregnant (with a previous history of c-section) and that’s her plan because “why cause more trauma somewhere else, when you can keep it localized to your previous trauma?” I’ve given it a lot of thought. I originally thought my c-section experience was normal but after learning a bit more, I don’t think it was. I had a reaction to the anesthesia: my temperature fluctuated from hot to cold/clammy, I had nausea, and severe itching. Sincerely, I wanted to claw my face off! Even the tape from my IVs and monitors caused my skin to freak out. The staff ended up giving me medication to settle everything down (probably Benadryl?) which helped immensely. So, having the baby? Well, the six minutes it took to cut me open and pull Amelie out was a breeze! But the rest was The Yucks. I couldn’t drive for 2 weeks. I could hardly pick up Amelie even though she was a tiny thing. I want to try a VBAC to see if this birth goes smoother. Who knows what will happen but the doctor at my most recent appointment assured me “we are going to have a successful VBAC, girl!” I really hope so! Of course I’m scared of that too. :)

Food drama: Happy to report zero food drama!

Exercising? Even though I swore off of running in the last update, I’ve been doing a little bit of it again. It’s slow and a little painful “down-low” but I keep my heart rate down and I walk quite a bit during my “runs”.

To Dos: The double stroller and new carseat for Amelie is still on our list to buy. I also need to tour the new hospital. We switched insurance last year and so everything is new this time around again. I need to clean up my breast pump, pick up newborn diapers (until he can fit in our cloth ones), pull out my nursing tanks, start getting my hospital bag ready, clean out our car. Oh, and we don’t have a second crib yet either…

We still have yet to pick out a name. Like, not even close to having a name picked out. The ones I like sorta, Hubs is not impressed by and visa versa. Boy names are hard!

Hubs and I are focusing more on getting our life a tiny bit more organized. We are Craiglisting (actually, Hubs is doing all of that thankfully). We cleaned up our garage. We are trying to finish a few big updates on the house (ie: addressing the blue carpeted stairs!) and I really want to clean out my awful linen closets. It’s not baby related necessarily but will help set us up for when he arrives.

And randomly: I hit up a garage sale and picked up a few much needed items – two spare crib sheets (we have five total now), an extra changing pad cover, plus, “new” toys for Amelie. Happy to have scored a great deal!

Just for comparison sake, I thought it would be fun to include my 28 week pregnancy pic with Amelie:

My Amelie

AGE: 17 1/2 months

Summary: For at least three weeks, she’s been sick and congested, teething, drooling A LOT, sleeping in but skipping naps, battling fevers and acting out by swatting, yelling, stomping and throwing things. Amelie does not feel well and it has been rough on all of us.

It takes all of my energy to get us through a normal day and when the days greatly depart from normal, I feel like hiding. I know Amelie can’t help herself because she’s feeling so crappy. For the longest time, she only had two teeth and now she has at least seven! Pile on being sick and not knowing how to blow her nose or communicate with us must be so frustrating for her. She’s been extremely cranky – all day, during naptimes and nightimes.

Amelie is still showing preference to Daddy. He’s fun! He reads books loudly with animation! He plays pretend with her stuffies! He gives her floppy crazy piggie back rides! He dances and gallops around! He eats what she feeds him, no matter if it’s been on the floor or in her mouth first! He chases her (my goodness, she loves to be chased)! On the other hand, I am creaky and slow moving these days. She is well aware that Daddy is the main attraction no matter how enthusiastic I try to be. She’ll blow right by my open arms with three stuffed animals and two books clutched to her chest to go find him instead.  Daddy has been taking Amelie to swimming lessons on Saturdays while I coach. She enjoys it immensely. I was able to join them the past few weekends but she only wants to be with Daddy in the pool. It hurts but I totally get why. I’m trying to remind myself to be thankful that she has him to give her all of this delight, energy and dedication so I’m working hard not to be offended (not necessarily succeeding though).

One night when she was having difficulty falling asleep, I came into her room and picked her up. She wrapped her legs around me and put her head on my shoulder. Her sobs eased. I recognized that although I’m not very fun, this was my time to be the Mommy she needs. I held her and we swayed together in the dark for a long while. I think it’s what we both needed actually.

Socializing: Before it frustrated me that my sweet Amelie was getting pushed around by other kids. Some Mommies stand by and let their children do whatever they want at the expensive of mine.  At the museum, a Mommy was came up to chat just as Amelie and I were about to read a book together. The book was in Amelie’s hands. Her son swiped it away and then he and HIS Mommy sat down and read the entire book while Amelie and I watched the injustice of it all! I tried to diffuse the situation by handing Amelie one of our own books from the diaper bag but her son jumped up and grabbed that one too! So the Mommy started to read him that book… She stopped part way and asked absently “oh this is your book, isn’t it?”. I nodded and we moved away from them. I felt bad because it’s so confusing for Amelie. I’m demanding that she be considerate but other kids aren’t held to the same standard. And I don’t know how to stand up for us because it’s not my nature. I know this social stuff is only going to get more difficult/complicated and I’m dreading it.

So, anyhow, that’s been going on for a while but now I have a new social problem. Lately, especially since feeling rotten, my little sweetie has turned into the aggressor! She is swatting at any kid that gets near her even if they are only walking/crawling by. She’s subtle about it – it doesn’t look like much but I know exactly what she’s doing. I watch closely and reprimand her when she does but how can I stop this behavior?!? She’s even snarled and yelled at a few kids…a full out yell! What I’m hoping is time will teach her that this is not okay. I’ll have to stay consistent/vigilant until then. Right now she’s at that age where she’s around kids almost every day of the week but she’s not actually interacting with them that much. She has very little experience practicing being social. I know with the new baby’s arrival, she will learn quickly and at least I can referee…

Food: I’ve become that Mommy: my diaper bag is filled with juice boxes, packaged crap, squeezy packets, fruit snacks. Most days, Amelie and I subsist on applesauce and graham crackers (plus coffee for me). It’s frightful! Thankfully Daddy makes us dinner otherwise we would probably never eat anything real again.

Talents: She still doesn’t talk much but she’s signing a little more (“yes, “no” – she does a lot of that,”thank you” and most recently, “baby”). It always catches me off guard how much she understands though. The other day, we showed her a picture of a parrot. She confused it with “carrot” and pretended to eat it! She loves to read animatedly and play pretend with her stuffies. She likes to do things herself: put on her hat, grab her shoes to go outside, pull on her shorts/shirt, blow/wipe her nose, clean herself in the bath, comb her hair, and feed herself using her own utensils (sometimes one in each hand). When she’s with me and I have to use the potty (which is constantly), she insists on having her own wad of toilet paper so she can wipe herself too (so super cute)! She did an accidental summersault when showing off her headstand for Daddy. Her latest animal sound is Angry Duck (which Daddy taught her) and sounds exactly how you think an Angry Duck would sound…

Oh and now she knows how to pick her nose. I guess she’s Mommy’s girl after all. ;)

Makeup Organization

Organization makes me giddy. Color coordinated closets, bins and baskets with labels, gift wrapping stations, labels, pegboards, ridiculously awesome pantries…all of these things make me feel good. Junk drawers?  Haphazard hodgepodge of crap in all of our closets? Stuff crammed angrily into a garage? Those do not make me feel good. Unfortunately, we have a lot of those going on in this house…

For example, starting each morning with this makeup drawer disaster was a bit of a bummer:

A long while ago, my MIL had given us a few drawer dividers and shelves that didn’t fit in her new place. Just this week, I decided to plop one in my bathroom vanity to organize my makeup. It took me 30 seconds.

Does it fit everything perfect? Nah. Does it fit everything pretty darn good? YES! How in the world it took me this long to do this, I will never understand. It’s the little things that can color a morning for better, you know?

I’m sorry that this post was a little on the lame side but that’s what I’m working with these days. But, here is a great blog to keep you inspired!

 

Friday Tidbits

I’m still working hard on the “foundation” of this house. You know the stuff like wall paint, flooring, caulking and trim work. It’s all very bare. You wouldn’t know a beautiful little girl lives here because we have no pictures of her hanging up. You wouldn’t know anything about us, frankly because we have nothing on the walls to tell our story. Here is my tidbit for today and a tiny one at that. I actually hung something on the wall!

Remember when I redid the “french doors” out to the deck? Here is a dark photo to jog your memory:

And Ta Da, something on the left hand side of the wall. Art, if you will!

I had three goals when filling this spot:

  • Put something up there (anything at all!). I’m trying not to think too hard, otherwise I wimp out.
  • Instead of buying new, I wanted to dig through what I had on hand. I had been meaning to hang these pretties somewhere for forever. The wall filer was a clearance score from Target earlier this spring. The “G” and the calendar were gifts from the awesome Emily Griffith. Originally, the wall filer was collecting dust on my dresser in the master bedroom, the “G” was stashed in a box in the garage and the calendar was hanging haphazardly off a peg on my hutch. Now they have official homes!
  • Embrace a little organization – hence the wall filer. I was hoping to tame the mail monster and keep crap from collecting on the fridge and kitchen table. It’s not working even close to perfectly but I’m hoping that as I figure out my needs better it will come in handy.

I still have to patch that tiny hole by the trim leftover from the hideous drapes that once flanked the door but I think this adds a bit of cute, color and personalization to my gray-everything that I’ve got going on.

Doing any tiny projects that you regret not taking 5 minutes out of your life to do 6 months earlier? Are you surprised I posted today?

Me too.

 

Baby Bump2 Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing another human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby (again).  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: Oh my goodness, I’ve been so bad at keeping up with these updates! I guess the main scoop is that I’m tired. I’m always tired. It could be because I’m chasing Amelie all day. Hoisting her in and out of the car and going anywhere takes serious effort. I’m also coaching each afternoon, so that might be it. But mostly I think I’m tired because I go to bed later than I should doing stupid stuff like checking Instagram which I sincerely regret come morning. When will I ever learn? I’m trying to make it through most days without a nap but it’s tough going.

The Science: Baby Center recap – 26weeks. I’m having a hard time remembering what week I’m at since my days blur together. Baby boy is always moving and grooving which comforts me. It forces me to remember him too, which I feel ashamed to admit. Truthfully, I haven’t taken the time like I did with Amelie to daydream about him; what he’ll look like, if he’ll be like Daddy, etc. I think it’s because it’s all very scary right now – the prospect of taking care of two littles with completely different needs, the idea of breastfeeding again, the thought of birth (a yucky c-section vs. a mysterious and undoubtably painful VBAC), the thought of getting no sleep again. I’m sorry Baby Boy, I’m nervous for it all.

Body morphing: I think it’s just the way my body does pregnancy but I’m on the small side again, like I was with Amelie. I forgot to mention my weight gain last time but I had gained about 10lbs by 22 weeks. I haven’t weighed myself recently to note what I’ve gained since then. My belly/boobs feel tight and itchier each week but overall I’m not that uncomfortable. I’m looking forward to cooler weather though…

Sexy stuff! I mentioned sciatica in the last update and that’s still a bother but not inhibiting me. Towards the end of the day, I hobble around more but that’s about it. I did give up running because my pelvic area felt too strained each time (plus I am ridiculously slow). Walking is a way better option!

Food drama: I had one night where I was sick. I’m not convinced if it was because I just stuffed myself stupid with a delicious meal and too much water way too late in the evening and my body revolted or if it was a flu bug going around since Amelie and I both got sick this week. Regardless, I vomited all over the floor beside the bed so that was royally disgusting. Thank goodness for those faux hardwood floors though, they clean up nicely! Other than that, seriously no drama. I do not take the no drama for granted!

Exercising? No more running for me. Carrying my 25 lbs. toddler around is enough. :)

To Dos: I’ve indulged and bought a few more boy clothes in the last few weeks – some consignment, some new. Baby Boy still doesn’t have much of anything but he has very doting Grandmas that I’m sure will come through…wink wink nudge nudge.

And randomly: I picked up two extra maternity tanks during a big Gap sale this summer to beef up my small maternity wardrobe but I’m still rocking the one pair of maternity jeans from last time around. I can fit into yoga pants and tights to give me variety but even so, my wardrobe is pretty limited. I can’t justify buying another pair of pants since I’m well over half way done and I don’t plan to have a third baby. Let’s see if these jeans can take me until December *fingers crossed*!

Also, I got my glucose test done today. This time around was totally different – I didn’t have to fast beforehand, the nurse watched me drink it and I had to sit in the waiting room for an hour before getting my labs. Last time, I got to drink it at home and then go in so this was peculiar. We did it much earlier this time around too. I don’t know what the results are yet but I’m hoping for good news.

Just for comparison sake, I thought it would be fun to include my 26 week pregnancy pic with Amelie. Apparently we were getting our new floors installed! That tree behind me is gone too – a lot has changed…

 

Home Sweat Home: Outside updates

I did spend three minutes trying to think of a more clever title but I just couldn’t come up with one. I’m open to suggestions. Also, long post ahead.

Remember when I took you on a bushy tour of our front yard and then a similar tour of our backyard? Well this is so unlike me but I told you I was going to get a few trees removed this summer and I actually followed through on that promise.

We had a tree guy come out and as one would hope, he knew a lot about trees. Erik can wield a chainsaw AND he’s a certified arborist so he taught me a quite a bit on his journey through our jungles.

We’ll start with the front yard. Let me post a Before picture to jog your memory:

He agreed the mammoth pine tree (more specifically, a blue spruce) had to go since it was sitting on top of the roof. Plus it was fairly ugly because it had been carved into over the years to keep it manageable, making it lopsided and goofy looking (which reminds me of how I looked after my breast feeding Amelie started to go awry but that is for another day and another post). A closer look made me realize it was also seriously encroaching our neighbor’s yard as well.

Erik’s guys had at it *claps excitedly*  What a difference, eh?! Unfortunately, removing this tree exposed our neighbor’s secret: they had painters come last summer but they only got the front of the house painted…

I am so excited that this huge tree is gone! Amelie was too; she thought the big trucks and loud chainsaws were fascinating. And so are big rocks!

How about a closeup?

It’s actually quite sunny back there just as I had hoped (although cloud cover had moved in when I went to take these pictures). Removing this dude uncovers ugly side yards for both us and our neighbor but maybe this the encouragement we will need to pretty it up. I’d like to plant flowers and hide our trash/recycle/compost bins back there and eventually Hubs would like a nice paver path leading to the back yard. At least this is a small step towards getting there.

If you scroll back up, you’ll also noticed another tree was taken down in the front. Erik suggested I remove the very tall but still young silver maple on the other side of the driveway. He had some favorites in the front (including an aspen and a linden) so he felt this fast growing maple would clobber those eventually.

Here’s another angle:

Moving right along, remember this beautiful picture of my “grand plans”?

Well, Erik had other suggestions. He recommended keeping the pine tree and only trim it slightly on the side near the house. He said it’s in perfect condition – growing nice and straight. I dislike the mess it produces with its needles and pine cones but I decided to take his advice and leave her be! As you can see, I also wanted to remove the smaller tree (noted on the left above) but Erik said that was a desirable tree – a linden. I’m glad we called in an expert because I seriously don’t know anything.

Instead, he recommended trimming the Big Tree (the one noted with a heart in the above picture) or officially known as a honey locust. I thought it was gorgeous with its fancy lime green leaves but it really isn’t the greatest tree to have since grows so fast and can die early.  There were a few dead branches overhanging the smaller crab apple tree so Erik’s guys fixed it right up.

 Should we move on to the back yard?

A couple big changes happened here as well. Do you remember the right side (next to the wasteland)? Here’s a picture to help you recall.

Erik told me that center tree was an ornamental pear tree, which he likes mucho mucho because it’s beautiful and drought resistant. He told me to keep it and I do what Erik says. He did, however, suggest we remove the silver maple (shown on the left side in the above picture) since it was crowding the pear tree. Here’s a Before picture:

This tree was big! Look at how high!

And, all gone:

Another view:

With that tree removed, the pear tree can breathe easy and enjoy more sun. It also uncovered a few tattered shrubs that might enjoy the extra sunshine as well.

Remember the funny strip of yard that led to our wonky hot tub? And remember that awful dead tree stump?

That came down!

Weeee!

The tree guys found it quite silly because they could literally push it over, it was so rotten. Glad to see it go!

Last but not least, we round the corner to the other side. We had two trees removed here – a river birch that was hounding a pretty red maple (Erik seemed to like this maple variety) and a dead Lombardy poplar.

Let me refresh you on where we started:

And our new plans:

Apparently, according to Erik, the shrub thingy living next to the not-living Lombardy poplar is used for cancer research. How cool is that?

And here are the trees removed:

And another angle:

Removing this trees made me notice a few other problems. I’m not in love with the pine tree that’s still there nor am I a fan of the neighbor’s grape vines overtaking that area.

Our plan is to leave them for the summer and after their harvest is over – I’ll try to do my best to return the grape plants to their side and trim back anything that won’t budge.

All of this tree talk got me understanding our back yard better. Our other neighbors to the back have two huge apple trees that hang over to our side. They drop a ton of fruit into our yard. The squirrels and the birds have a hay day over the apples. Seeing how we spent a few hundred dollars to encourage squirrels NOT to come over to our house to play, I periodically go and gather them up (half eaten and rotten) for the compost bin. Amelie has been helping me and yes, she tried to eat an especially gross one. Yuck! Also, the apple branches are so big and sun hungry that they reach across our yard and can almost touch our deck! I do love the foliage but next summer it might be nice to trim them back. They provide so much shade that the shrubs that line our side of the fence are doing terribly so that’s another reason to tame them. But that is for next summer and when we can get the neighbor’s permission. For now, I’m enjoying this huge step towards some flora sanity.

So how much did all of this tree work cost? We haven’t gotten the official invoice but it’ll be around $1300. It was certainly not a small project. Luckily we’ve been planning this so even though it was costly, I am glad we put a little money into the outside of the house this year. I’d still like to fertilize and get our deck fixed up with new railings, remove the walkway to the hot tub and get some boards re-secured. I imagine that will be spendy undertaking but we’ll see.

You know what else was a spendy undertaking that we didn’t plan for? Our new washer and dryer fiasco…more on that someday.

You made it to the end! Go get yourself an iced coffee as a reward.