Friday, February 28, 2014

Helpful Moving Tips

Since we're moving early next week (closing today!), I thought I would share some helpful moving tips!  Maybe I should have waited until after the move, but hopefully everything will go smoothly!

{oneBefore you move: Recruit friends and family to start collecting boxes for you before your move!  You will most likely need more boxes than you think and nobody wants to spend money on boxes!  Also start donating or selling items that you won't use at your new house.  This will cut down on the stuff you need to pack/move/unpack and it will also reduce clutter at your new house!  I made quite a bit of cash selling stuff on our local Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook page!

{two} Even though I just said nobody wants to spend money on boxes, spend money on a just few boxes!  :)  I bought some special "glass pack" boxes for our crystal and everyday glass drinkware as well as a "dish saver" box for our china, and a wardrobe box for my dresses.  The special glass boxes came with foam wrapping to protect our crystal and china which is worth it to me!  Plus we can save the box for storage or pass it on to a friend when they move!  I also bought a small wardrobe box for my dresses.  I folded the majority of my clothes and put them in boxes but I really didn't want my dresses to get all wrinkled!

{threePack an overnight bag with some daily essentials for the next day.  After all of the moving, you probably won't want to dig through boxes to find the things you need to get ready, or even food to eat.  Packing a light bag with some things to get you through the next morning/afternoon will help you feel less flustered!  (Especially if you have kids!)

{fourIf you are taking any furniture apart, keep the small parts in a labeled baggie.  This will make it so much easier when you go to put the furniture back together at your new house!  Make sure to label the baggies!  Keep all of the baggies together or (if possible), tape them to the furniture pieces they belong to!

{fiveDon't move while pregnant!  Haha, this wasn't really possible for us.  We wanted to get closer to Nick's work and we figured moving with one child would be easier than moving with two.  (Which I still think is true!)  The only problem with moving while pregnant is that I get SO tired and I'm not supposed to lift heavy things (especially since apparently I'm already progressing...).  I also have wanted to nest for months and haven't been able to do much!

I'm linking up today:


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Carson Anthony: 21 Months

I can't believe my handsome little guy is already 21 months!  I have started secretly pinning 2nd birthday ideas on Pinterest even though I'm in denial that my baby will be 2 in a few months!  I'm a planner by nature but I figure I should probably get a head start on planning since I'll have a newborn as well!  :) 

A pic from our Valentine's photo shoot :)

He loves the pockets in his snow pants!


What Carson Loves Right Now
-Carson loves letters!  He has really enjoyed playing with his magnetic letters on the dishwasher lately and he also loves his LeapFrog Letter Factory Phonics.  He has a few other letter toys like the VTech Alphabet Apple and Leap Frog Phonics Radio.  He also loves when we sing the ABC's and he now sings along.  He always waits for me to pause and then says a letter.  Usually he'll sing these letters: "G...K...P...T...V...X...Z".  I recently found a copy of the LeapFrog Letter Factory DVD on our local buy/sell/trade board and he loves watching it!  He loves yelling out letters that he recognizes which makes my teacher heart happy.  :)
-Carson also is really into basketball.  He loves playing with his hoop and he also has started bringing us the TV remote and asking for "buh-ball".  It's really cute and Nick LOVES that Carson already loves to watch sports with him.  :)
-Carson is still really into books.  We read TONS of bedtime stories every night and his favorite lately has been Goodnight Moon.  He likes when I read slowly and he'll say the last word of the page.  He also really enjoyed his special Valentine's books that we had out this past month!  He now has THREE big brother books and he loves listening to those stories, too.
-Carson's favorite foods are still the same: peanut butter sandwiches, chicken nuggets, cheese (but NOT shredded, he won't touch that!), and Annie's mac'n'cheese.  He still likes applesauce but isn't obsessed with it anymore.  Sometimes he'll even give me the pouch before it's gone and say "done!"  He's still really into "cookies" (Annie's bunny grahams) and usually gets some each evening after dinner.  He has started drinking water from a big boy cup (see below) and he LOVES it!  He still uses his Playtex straw sippies and Contigo water bottle, but sometimes he'll ask for "buh-buh-cup" (big boy cup).  It's pretty cute and I love that it doesn't leak! 
Sassy Grow Up Cup (picture is a link!)

Carson also loves his puzzles!  

We started Carson's second round of swimming lessons!

What I Love Right Now: I still love to hear Carson call me "Mama".  It melts my heart EVERY time.  Many mornings when I go into his room to get him he'll point and say "Mama!" and then point to himself and say "Cah-gah!" (his version of his name, haha).  It's been really cold here in Ohio and when we would run errands I started telling him "brrr, it's cold...snuggle Mommy!"  Now anytime we get out of the car he nuzzles his head into my shoulder and says "brrr!"  Love, love, love!  I also love that he still takes my hand and leads me to wherever he wants to be.  He has also started taking my finger while we read books and making ME point to things while he verbally labels them.  Teamwork! :)  He also has started asking for specific songs at bedtime "row row" (Row Row Row Your Boat) and "star" (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star).  He's quite the bargainer and always asks for more songs! 

Carson loves having afternoon snack in his chair!

Some of our Biggest Struggles: We're still working on the bedtime routine.  He is so used to having Mommy there that he hates if I leave the room.  My mom babysat one night and he was fine, but if he knows I'm home, he's not happy if I'm not in there!  Nick and I have been doing the routine together and Carson seems to really enjoy it.  Eventually the goal will be for Nick to do it without me some nights but I love doing it so I haven't tried to sneak out yet.  He loves when we sing together too.  :)  

Exciting Milestones & Physical Changes: Carson started using a trainer "big boy cup".  I think he thinks he's pretty cool and I think it's pretty cute.  So far we're just doing water in there and still giving milk in a straw sippy.  He also got a potty seat!  We aren't actively potty training but he started showing a real interest and telling us before he would poo so we decided to just get a seat that fits on the regular toilet so he can get used to it.  I also got a few potty books (because I love an excuse to buy books) and he loves listening to those while hanging out on the pot.

Carson also went to his first movie this past month!  We went to a morning "Mommy and Me" screening of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.  I was shocked at how well he did!  We made it through the entire movie and he really enjoyed pointing out things he recognized and laughing at the silly characters (he especially loved the talking pickles)!  He sat on my lap because he didn't weigh enough to keep the movie seat from flipping back up!  He LOVED the popcorn and probably would have had the whole box to himself if I would have let him.  :)

As far as speech Carson has added many new words and also frequently puts words together into sentences now!  He says things like "Wawa gone", "bye-bye Dada", "Hi Grammy", "light on", etc.  I love watching him be able to verbally communicate his wants, needs, and feelings!

21 Month Word List:
  • "all gone"/"gone" (always with upturned hands and a shrug)
  • "up" 
  • "Ma"/"Mama"
  • "Dada" and "Daddy" 
  • "duh" (dog)
  • "bird"
  • "book"
  • "ball"
  • "vroom vroom"
  • "duck"
  • "wawa" (water)
  • "shoooos" (shoes)
  • "puh" (pillow)
  • "tuh" (truck)
  • "trsssh" (trash)
  • "mm-bah" (apple)  Not sure where he got that pronunciation!
  • "yea"
  • "boo!" (are you surprised he learned this around Halloween?!)
  • "whoa!"
  • "cah" (car...with a Bostonian accent, haha!) 
  • "Ho Ho" (he loves Santa in books but not in real life!)
  • "bah-beh" (baby)
  • "cook" (cookie)
  • "pay" (please)
  • "daank-dee" (Thank You)
  • bum (always said as a 2-syllable word: "bum-muh" and points to his bum each time)
  • "puh" (pillow) Carson has been saying this for a long time but I forgot to put it on the list!
  • "brrr!" whenever we talk about something cold
  • "caw" (clock) - He uses this word for watch too.  :)
  • moon
  • "/k/" (yuck)
  • "paw" (potty)
  • Hi
  • Bye-bye
  • Pa/PaPa (Grandpa)
  • "buh-ball" (Basketball/Football)
  • "Cah-dah" (Carson) - it's so cute he finally learned his name!
  • "co" (coat) - sometimes he says "co-uh"
  • "wee-wee" (while pointing to his boy parts...gosh, I'm so proud!)
  • "coo" (cool)
  • bubble
  • tree
  • on (sounds like "on-uh")
  • off
  • cup
  • chair
  • light
  • goofball
  • color
  • ice cream 
  • done (he says this a lot while pushing things away from him, haha Mr. Attitude!)
  • "Guy-yeh" (Grammy)
  • Chip
  • Dixie
  • cream (referring to lotion/toothpaste/diaper cream, etc.)
  • puff
  • uh-oh ("ooh-oh")
  • flower ("faw-bah")
  • fire ("fi-buh")
  • heart
  • star ("stoo-rah")
  • socks
  • banana ("beh-lah")
  • heart ("hut")
  • airplane ("up-duh")
  • train ("choo" or "tain")
  • fire truck ("fie-tuh")
  • phone ("fo")

Animal Sounds (15): Cow, Elephant, Pig, Fish, Duck (although it doesn't sound like a quack...more like "duck! duck! duck!"), Sheep, Chicken (which really sounds like he's clearing his throat for some odd reason!), Snake, Dog ("bow-wow!"), Owl, Cat (sort of sounds like he's saying "awww" in a high pitched voice, haha!), Monkey ("ha-ha!"), Lion/Tiger ("rah!"), Goat, Horse

**As of 21 months, Carson can also say a lot of the animal names (cow, pig, chicken, dog, cat, etc.)

Body Parts He Can Identify (24): Head, Hair, Ears, Eyes, Nose, Cheeks, Mouth, Tongue, Hands, Fingers, Feet, Toes, Tummy, Belly Button, Knees (he usually thinks I say "sneeze" so he'll give me a fake sneeze and giggle!), Shoulders, Bum, Wee-Wee, Legs, Arms, Chin, Neck, Elbows, Teeth
Playing with Chip & Dixie :)

He loves trucks!

Things We're Looking Forward To: At the end of the month we'll be closing on our new house!  I can't wait to see what Carson thinks of our new home.  It will be fun to watch him explore his new environment.  I'm really looking forward to starting our new gymnastics class next week, too!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Puffy Paint Polar Bear

What You Need:
  • Elmer's Glue
  • Shaving Cream (I just used the cheap Barbasol)
  • white paper
  • Optional: pink paper, black paper, googly eyes, black paint, glitter
How to Make:
  1. Prepare your "canvas" by cutting 3 circles: one large, 2 small.  Attach the two smaller circles on the top to create the polar bear's head and ears.
  2. Mix even amounts of glue and shaving cream to create your puffy paint.  I also added some glitter into my mixture, but it didn't end up being very visible once the paint dried.
  3. Give your child a paint brush and let them go to town painting their polar bear.  Carson loved the feeling of the puffy paint!
  4. Once the bear head is dry, you can add your embellishments.  I cut out little pink half circles for the ears and a black piece for the nose.  I also used googly eyes and added some black paint under the nose.  I attached all embellishments with the Elmer's glue I used for the project.  Carson loves feeling the bear now that it's dry, too!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Bumpdate: 31 Weeks

31 Weeks!

Baby is currently the size of a PINEAPPLE!

Next Appointment: Monday March 3rd....not too far away!

Gender: Adding another BOY to our family!  Check out our reveal photo.  

Total Weight Gain: At my last appointment (31w1d) I was +21.  Ugh, gaining weight is NOT fun.  I know it needs to happen but seeing the scale creep up just sucks!
Maternity Clothes: At this point it should be obvious.  YES!  (Although I still have non-maternity items I mix in.)

Sleep: I've been sleeping pretty soundly and reading helps me to fall asleep (I often fall asleep while reading).  The part where I have trouble is all the tossing and turning throughout the night - so annoying!

Movement: Mason is a little acrobat.  He's always moving...always!  It's really fun and makes me happy that I know he's doing well in there.

Food Cravings/Aversions: Still no meat, that's a given.  I've been craving fruity things this week like juice and delicious!

Best Moment This Week: Hearing Mason's heart beating at my appointment!  It was only 120-130bpm which is low for him so I'm hoping it's back up by the next appointment.  Carson had some dips in the end which is part of the reason I ended up getting induced.  Maybe I'll drink a smoothie before my next appointment because I know that makes Mason bounce all around!

What I Miss: Warm weather!  When I look back at bump pictures from my pregnancy with Carson I was already in a lot of warm weather clothes (granted it was the end of March, not February).  I'm ready to get out those maternity t-shirts and tank tops!

What I'm Looking Forward To: I'm really excited for my next appointment now that I'm on the 2-week schedule, woohoo!

Symptoms: Lower back pain is my biggest symptom.  I also always feel like I have to pee and I am constantly thirsty!  This week I had a new not so fun symptom too - bleeding gums.  :(  I brushed my teeth one morning and the sink was full of red.  My OB said this is normal and they may worry about platelet counts if it happened all the time but I only had one major incident and the rest of the time it's just minor bleeding.  Plus my platelets were totally normal the last time they did my bloodwork!

Extra Notes From the Week: I had my 31w appointment this week so I have a lot of updates from that.  My blood pressure was perfect which made me happy since it was high at my wellness assessment just a couple weeks ago!  My belly is measuring at 31cm which "translates" to 31w so that's perfect.  I also got a tdap vaccination to hopefully help protect Mason once he's born.  The biggest news I received is that I'm already dilated!  Only a fingertip/1cm but it was still a shocker.  My doctor said she would normally be concerned but my cervix isn't super soft yet and I dilated somewhat early last time and still made it to full term.  (With Carson I was 3cm from 36w until delivery.)  She gave me strict instructions to try to take it easy and not lift anything heavy.  Just in time for our move next week, haha!  

Here's a close-up and a pic with my busy photo bomber.  This week he insisted he get in on a few shots but he didn't have time for much, he had basketball to play!  :)


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Earlier this week I think I forgot to mention on of my husband's "gifts" in my Valentine's recap post.  Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.

This is one of my most favorite super easy recipes that I make almost every year on Valentine's Day.  You only need 4 ingredients to complete the dessert.  Even my husband who claims he "isn't really into sweets" always requests theses and ends up eating most of them!

1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs (as always, I use Egg Beaters)
1 container whipped white frosting

How to Make:
-Preheat your oven to 375°.
-Combine cake mix, oil, and eggs in a large bowl.  I used my hand mixer for this but beware, the batter gets really thick...almost a dough like consistency!  My 7-speed kitchen-aid almost couldn't handle it!
-Once your mixture is thoroughly moistened and combined, use a cookie scoop to shape dough into balls.  Place the cookie dough about 2" apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
-Next, use a glass dipped in flour to flatten your cookies.  They should be about 1/4" thick.

-Throw your cookies in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
-Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from cookie sheets.

-Once your cookies are completely cool, you can frost the bottom of one cookie and then add another to create the sandwich whoopie pie!  Add as little or as much frosting as you like.

-I like to store my cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.  They're delicious right out of the fridge, or if you prefer softer frosting, you can let them set out for just a few minutes!

**This recipe made about 26 whoopie pies for me and I used a 1.5" cookie scoop.  I had plenty of leftover frosting as well!

  • Photobucket

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Deals and Steals!

I know I've mentioned before, but they have some fabulous deals going on right now (and in the near future) that I just can't resist sharing!  If you aren't a member, sign up here!

Click the banner below to go browse deals on your own!

The first deal I'm really excited about is TOMS!  I bought Carson his first pair of Toms from Zulily last year and I can't wait to order more.  It's hard to come by a deal so great, especially on Toms.  Just look how cute Carson looked in his Toms!

Here is a close up of the Tiny Toms I ordered for Carson last time:

TOMS will be on sale at from 6am PT on 2/19 to 6am PT on 2/22!  I suggest shopping as soon as the sale opens up because some of the styles go so quickly!  Last time I thought I missed out on the gray but I was lucky and they added more stock!  Not only will be offering kid's styles, but they will also have Toms for men and women!

If you aren't familiar with Toms, they have a fabulous program called TOMS One for One.  Read more about it here.

Some of the other amazing deals right now on Zulily include:
-PinkBlush Maternity on sale at zulily
-The Honest Company on sale at zulily
-Rockabye on sale at zulily

If you aren't a member with yet, you can click any of the banners in this post to sign up.  It's quick and easy and you can sign up to get alerts for daily deals.  I also got my awesome Ergo through a special!

Have fun shopping!!  If you aren't a member, sign up here!