Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Christmas Recap

We're halfway through Christmas break with the bulk of our holiday gatherings behind us.  Hooray!  It was all wonderful, but it's good to be home to enjoy some quiet days together.

Santa sent me a text on Dec 22 asking if it would be okay if he swung by our house early.  His sleigh was full and it would really help him out to come to our house a few days ahead of schedule.  The kids were thrilled.  We've done our Christmas on the 23rd for the past couple of years. It works great for our family especially given the fact that we always travel around Christmas.

I had my wrapping done ahead of time and then Kevin got busy building Olive' Barbie Majestic Mansion on our Christmas Eve.  Reviews warned it took 3-4 hours and they were right.  It took him 4 hours and put him going to bed at 2:30am.  Yikes!  Parenting struggle :)

The kids were thrilled with their gifts - LOLs and Nerf Guns from Santa and lots of other fun things from Mom and Dad.  They stayed in the pjs all day (except to get dressed for a bike ride thanks to the unseasonably warm days we had around Christmas) and played.

Kevin surprised me with a diamond tennis bracelet that is GORGEOUS (I was shocked and he really has great taste in diamonds!), some fun things for around the house and my beloved Gallery Leather planner.  I got Kevin the new Ember coffee cup from Starbucks with wifi temperature control, books, photo calendar and a few other favorite things.

We also celebrated our 16th engagement anniversary on Dec 24th!  Time flies :)

Letter to Santa, Christmas cookies, milk and reindeer food ready for Santa.

After midnight Dad duty.  I had to head to bed, but he kept building until he got it done.

Our Christmas morning!!

Christmas pjs, loads of smiles and a lazy day at home.

I'd never seen a tennis bracelet like this one.  Good job, Kevy!

I put my pom pom maker to good use.  My Christmas gifts turned out so cute.

Christmas magic!

We headed to celebrate with family on Christmas Eve.

We had 8 Christmasy events to attend along with a few other things we were hoping to do.  We split up our visit and stayed with both of our families.  We cheered on Notre Dame in their bowl game, made a few Target runs, made Christmas candy and played.  It was a great time.

I made my kid's favorite cookies to take to our gatherings.

Real Christmas Eve!

These River Stones were a HUGE hit!

Christmas dinner at my parent's house.

I was in charge of the Christmas charcuterie boards.  They turned out great!

My parent's house was all decked out for Christmas!  It looked so pretty.

My sis and bro :)

Christmas breakfast with friends.  It's so fun when your kids and your friend's kids become friends.

Go Irish!  Fun bowl game win :)

Can't wait to ring in the new year tonight!  Bring on a wonderful 2020!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Baby #3: Weeks 19-23

Time for our monthly baby check in!  Everything is going smoothly and I'm feeling good.

Week 19: Nov 19
Baby boy is the size of a mango.

We flew to Florida for Thanksgiving break.  Travel was no problem and it was a great getaway.  All sweets and treats sound so good this week.

Week 20: Nov 26
Baby boy is the size of a sweet potato.

We headed out of town to celebrate Thanksgiving with family.  We had a nice time despite the big kids being sick.  I'm feeling very hungry all the time.  Still sleeping pretty great.  The kids come up and talk to my belly all the time.  They keep saying they just can't wait for him to come out and play!

Week 21: Dec 3
Baby boy is the size of a banana.

We picked out our Christmas tree and got the house all decked out for Christmas.  We hung up five stockings this year and added baby boy to our personalized ornament for 2019.  Everything looked great for me and for baby looked great at our regular appointment this week.  I'm bruising really easily, but nothing to be concerned about.

We had our in depth ultrasound at the Maternal Fetal Medicine office.  It took a long time, but was really cool.  We got to see baby boy in GREAT detail.  He looks perfect!  Zero concerns for him.  We also got to see a 3D image of him which was a first for any of our kids.  We confirmed he was a boy with his anatomy scan.  This was a highlight because he'd never cooperated during any of my previous ultrasounds for a gender reveal. The ultrasound tech kept commenting on how active he was.  He'd press his feet against the section they were scanning, moved his legs like he was running in my stomach and flip flopped all around.  It was hilarious. 

Another highlight was that the nurse couldn't figure out why I was there for an in depth appointment.  She kept asking me all these weird questions and then finally asked my age.  She was shocked to hear 38 and said she would have guessed upper 20s/early 30s.  I almost gave her a hug!  My blood pressure is still highish and baby is measuring big.  He's already in the 90th percentile so looks like we're going to have another big boy.

Week 22: Dec 10
Baby boy is the size of a red pepper.

We had tons of fun Christmas events this week.  I'm feeling good.  Wearing almost all maternity clothes at this point and starting to feel like it takes lots of effort to bend and pick things up off the floor.  All sweets, comfort foods and breakfast foods are sounding good to me.  Kevin got to feel the baby move this week.

Week 23: Dec 17
Baby boy is the size of a grapefruit.

Baby is moving a ton.  We were reading The Polar Express one night and my stomach started moving around like crazy.  The kids could see and feel their baby brother kicking.  It was so much fun!  My skin has been really dry, my hair is growing fast and I'm sleeping with some extra pillows.  Baby is growing very quickly and I'm so hungry 24/7.

Hoping and praying it's a quiet, calm next weeks until my next baby update!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas Card 2019

Merry Christmas, Friends!

I wish I could snail mail you all a Christmas card, but this post will have to do.

We ordered our cards from Sams this year and it was such a pain!  It took forever to get them now that they've closed their in store photo labs.  It took almost 3 weeks for them to arrive.  I need to plan ahead and order in November next year or find somewhere else to print them.  I am just thrilled they got mailed out before Christmas.  I was really pleased with our family pictures and our card so that's the silver lining. 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas from our house to yours!  Hope you have a wonderful week with your family and friends.  I'll be back sometime next week to check in here.

I'm also sending you extra hugs if this is a hard holiday season for you. 

I know so many people who are going through very hard things right now - 3 house fires, loss of a child, loss of a job, uncertain family situations, sickness and illness.  I am thinking of you and sending prayers for a wonderful 2020 for you.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Holiday Top 10

December has flown by SO quickly.  It feels like we've had the perfect mix of relaxing time at home and fun holiday events.  Olive had four different events at school this month. We've had church activities, fun with friends, Christmas events and more.  Even though it's been a fun month, I'll be excited for a quiet January when we turn the calendar to 2020.

Here's our Holiday Top 10

1.  Baking Christmas Cookies
I love baking all year, but Christmas baking seems really special.  My mom always made sugar cookies so I do the same.  I baked a mix of chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies.  We kept some and then made plates of cookies to share with our neighbors.

This picture makes me laugh... it perfectly captures my life in this season.  I was trying to snap a picture of my 23 week baby bump and later realized all three kids were in the picture.  Olive and Fletcher are always right by my side so seeing their little feet in this picture made me smile.

Letting everything cool and dry before plating.   Aren't these tin Santa plates cute!?!

2. Neighbor Treats
A sweet couple surprised us with a plate of homemade Christmas goodies.  Best fudge I've ever eaten!

3. Baking with Kids
I decided to rethink my Christmas baking a bit this year.  My kids LOVE to help me bake, but if I'm baking for other people, I usually try do it all myself.  I don't want any kid germs hopping on the plates.  I decided to save them each a ball of cookie dough to let them roll out, cut out and decorate some cookies for themselves.  I helped a little when they asked, but I let them do the process themselves.  They were THRILLED to get the opportunity to join in the baking fun.  I think a new Christmas tradition was born!

3. Olive's Class Christmas Party
I planned the activities and we had a great time!  It was PJ/Polar Express Day, too.  We stacked jumbo marshmallows to build a snowman and then had all the parts for a snowman toss game.  You got one point for every item that landed in the correct snowman spot.  The kids also decorated wooden ornaments to give to their parents.

4. Olive's Christmas Program
We loved seeing Olive perform the songs she's been working so hard on this season!

5.  Mimi Came to Town
My Mom drove up to see us for a couple days.  We did some fun shopping together, ate yummy food and got to go to Olive's program.

6. Christmas Train
We went to see the lights in the park on the Christmas train.

7. Grinch Day
Olive isn't a fan of The Grinch, but still managed to have fun at Grinch Day at school.  Fletcher and I came in to help make this cute craft.

8. Date Night
I booked our favorite babysitters and we had a great date night.  We ran a few last minute Christmas errands and enjoyed all the festivities.

9. Christmas Organization
I felt really organized and on top of things this year.  I got my shopping done early, saved boxes to wrap all our gifts and got my wrapping done early.  I remembered to use Rakuten for my online purchases, kept good lists and didn't stress about gift giving.  I got to enjoy the holiday season even more because I planned ahead.  In years past, I did all my wrapping on Christmas Eve and told myself never again :)

10. Snow Days!!
We were forecasted to get up to 6 inches of snow last week.  We were hopeful it would happen, but a little skeptical at the same time.  Imagine our surprise when we actually got the 6 inches over a couple of days.  Olive missed one day of school and then had a two hour delay. 

We played in the snow for several days.  The pictures are from the first snow of 3-4 inches.  We got a couple more inches later in the day.  We had snow much fun playing in the snow!   And Scrappy the outdoor cat that kind of came with our house showed back up after not seeing him since last winter.  Not sure where he's been, but he looks happy, healthy and hungry.

Both kids really enjoyed the snow this year.  They bundled up really well and were in no hurry to come inside.  I think it helps that we had great quality snow jackets, mittens, snow boots, hats and overalls (and that they agreed to wearing them!!).

Thanks for sticking with me on this long post!!  It was fun to round up some fun highlights from the month of December before Christmas.