December 25, 2013

Lots of Christmas Parties-- Lots of Presents

We had a total of seven Christmas parties this year. Unfortunately, I failed at taking pictures this Christmas and only captured a few pictures from five of the parties. I missed pictures from Bill's family's Christmas and his mom's extended family party. We also missed my step dad's family Christmas party entirely, which we intended on going to but became overwhelmed. 

Geglio Christmas Party

Lots of kids at this party!
Miss A opening presents

Bill and his grandma
A new addition to the family-- Bill's sister's second daughter-- New niece for us-- New cousin for Miss A!

 Nicklas Christmas Party

Santa visits... and apparently shops at Kmart!
Santa stopped by just for our family Christmas party! How nice of him!

Christmas Party at Dad's House

Gingerbread House & Christmas Cookie Decorating

Miss A was really getting into the cookie decorating!

Christmas Party at Mom's House

Bill wanted to take my mom's foster puppy home!

Our Family Christmas Party

Miss A waiting a lonngg time to open up these presents!

December 24, 2013

How to Make a Hand Painted Reindeer Christmas Plate

We officially have a cute plate to set cookies out on for Santa and his reindeer tonight! I found a picture of this plate on Pinterest via South Shore Mamas. There were no instructions on it so I figured I would lay them out for you here. It is very simple and there are so many options for creating your own unique design.

Hand Painted Reindeer Christmas Plate

Step 1: Find a White Plate. I went to a thrift store and bought a ceramic plate for 20 cents. You will need to use an oven safe plate (ceramic, china, or porcelain) if you intend to eat off it.

Step 2: For a Decorative Plate, use acrylic paint. For a Food Safe Plate, use non-toxic ceramic paint. I used acrylic paint because I own a lot of it already and only plan to use the plate to set cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Step 3: Paint a Reindeer. Paint one of your child's feet (excluding the toes) and both hands brown. Stamp them on the plate according to the picture above. You can also switch the hand placement around if you want the thumbs pointing outwards. Paint a big red nose at the base of the foot. Paint two black eyes.

Step 4: Decorate the rest of the place according to your liking. Add child's name and date for a special keepsake. 

Step 5: For a Decorative Plate, spray clear acrylic gloss to coat and finish it. For a Food Safe plate, allow paint to dry according to paint directions. Bake in oven for 35 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off the oven, open the door, and let the plate cool before removing it.

Voila! You have now created a simple hand painted reindeer Christmas plate! 

December 18, 2013

Top 10 Most Played With Toys of 2013 (Toddler)

Here is a list of all the top 10 toys Miss A (2.5 years old now) has continuously played with throughout 2013. Many of the toys were gifts from her birthday and previous Christmases.
  1. Step2 Lifestyle Custom Kitchen: Miss A loves making coffee in her kitchen. That is what she does almost everyday! She also feeds her baby food from the kitchen.
  2. Dirt Devil Junior Reaction Vacuum Cleaner: Anytime I vacuum, she runs to her room and grabs her vacuum to help. This occurs 100% of the time. If she cannot find her vacuum she will whine and beg me to find it for her!
  3. Graco Baby Doll Playset: Her favorite part of this set is the stroller. She is always strolling her babies around the house.
  4. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy: This was a gift from around the time she was first born. She did not touch it for the longest time but now she plays with it all the time. She loves singing with the songs. 
  5. Magnadoodle: She loves drawing on this and it entertains her for hours! We even bring it in the car with us for long trips. 
  6. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Sing-with-Me CD Player: She has all the songs on this CD player memorized! She does not use the individual CDs yet but the buttons in front play songs.
  7. Strawberry Shortcake Grocery Cart: If she is not strolling her baby in the stroller, she is strolling the baby in the grocery cart! She will often pile up all the toys she brought out into the living room for easy clean up. (I prompt her, of course!)
  8. Uncle Goose Classic Embossed Alphabet Blocks ABC: She builds towers with these DAILY. She is so obsessed that I should have bought her two sets. Instead, I bought her better building blocks for Christmas this year. 
  9. Design & Drill Activity Center: This is a super neat, skill building toy. She spends hours drilling screws in and out of a board. She will grow with this toy because it has dozens of sample patterns she can create with all the different colors. 
  10. Radio Flyer Trike: We have an island in our kitchen and Miss A rides around it as fast as she can, for as long as she can. She even gives her babies rides because there is a small storage compartment in the back. It is awesome because she gets tons of exercise indoors throughout the winter! 

December 13, 2013

Third Trimester Updates (Second Pregnancy)

I have not posted much about pregnancy symptoms this time around.
Basically, this second pregnancy brings much more aches and pains overall. The doctor says it is because my body has "been there, done that" and everything is already stretched out, which often causes more pain in subsequent pregnancies. I have not gained any additional weight compared to my first pregnancy. In fact, I will probably end up gaining less weight overall.

Here is a pretty picture I took of myself today. I am 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant.

36w5d pregnant
Aches & Pains Experienced

  • Pelvic Girdle Pain: I have been unable to lay flat and lift up my legs since my third trimester began. It feels almost impossible to flip over while laying in bed at night. The pain shoots from my lowest abdominal muscles down my legs. I lay with pillows and do some recommended pelvic floor strengthening exercises but nothing seems to help it completely. My temporary solution has been to pull my entire body over with just my upper arm strength and simply grit my teeth through the pain. If I could stay laying in one spot all night (it would be a miracle!), I would only have pain when I sit and stand up. My doctor is very unhelpful and unsympathetic when I describe this pain to her so I have not had a confirmation on what this pain is called. However, I believe it to be pelvic girdle pain
  • Sciatic Nerve Pain (Could be related to above issue): I can no longer vacuum, sweep, or mop my home because the ending result is long term sciatic nerve pain and sore lower back. The pain is so strong that I am unable to walk without limping or using objects to lean on to move around. I can no longer go shopping unless it is a very quick trip because the pain from pushing the shopping cart forces me into bed rest. The pain will not subside until I have completely rested for a full day or longer!
  • Minor cramping and occasional sharp lower abdominal pains: Starting this week (36 weeks pregnant), I have experienced very minor cramping. It feels like I am about to start my period but obviously I am not. I have been feeling slightly nauseous too. Yesterday and today, I have been feeling very sharp pains in my lower abdomen. It is very quick and does not happen regularly. I had this pain every 2-10 minutes for about a half hour earlier today and then it stopped entirely. I am anxious for my next prenatal appointment to find out if this is normal but I am not concerned enough to call and ask. My baby is kicking around a lot, the pain is inconsistent, I have no blood or other leaking fluids, and my water has not broke. 
These are my main unpleasant pregnancy symptoms that are very different from my first pregnancy. My first pregnancy was a breeze! My biggest problem then was being unable to breathe and panicking often about the lack of air getting into my lungs. I was very paranoid about that happening again with this pregnancy but it has not been a problem yet. I must just be carrying this baby much lower than the first. 

Biggest Pet Peeve: My MIL states how big I am every time I see her and talk to her on the phone (which is often) and exclaims that I am going to have a huge baby... So irritating that I would like to ban her from visiting the baby in the hospital. I did not have that problem with my first pregnancy and I gained a total of 40 pounds for that baby. So far, I have only gained 30-31 pounds. I was pushing 35 pounds a couple weeks ago but seemed to have lost some of it... due to starving myself to boost self confidence! <--- totally joking. But really, I don't feel huge... I feel like a normal pregnant woman and that is how I want to be.

Emotional Status: Thrilled to be having a baby boy and can't wait to meet him! Though, I am frightened about how sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones will affect my mind this time around. Last time, my mind was mush and I could not multitask for the life of me! Ahh!! I am still way excited to meet my son and for my daughter to meet her baby brother! I am also a little nervous about how a new baby will affect my daughter's behavior but am prepared by having no expectations! =)

December 5, 2013

Our Family Christmas Tree 2013

This is our second real Christmas tree together as a family. We were really ambitious and wanted to pick out the biggest, tallest tree...

So many Christmas trees... So many choices!
Miss A found her perfect my size Christmas tree and when I told her it was too little, she found the next best one... which we seriously contemplated bring home for five minutes!

And after walking around forever, we finally found a nice soft bristled tree that doesn't shed or poke you to death. (I forget the type of tree... it was a self service tree farm so I wasn't able to ask.) We bought the same type of tree last year too.

Cutting down our 11ft Christmas tree

While daddy cut the tree and loaded it into the truck, Miss A & I goofed off... =)

It just hilarious watching him carry this humongous tree... that we would later cut an additional 2ft off because our ceiling was only 9ft tall... ! Too funny!

I had to deal with my own troubles of hiking through the field carrying a baby... having to pee... and sciatic nerve pain striking at every step. But still, I couldn't miss out on picking out our family Christmas tree!

35 weeks pregnant
Four hours and fifteen bucks later, we had a fully decorated Christmas tree in our living room!

35 weeks pregnant- Mommy & Miss A
Daddy & Miss A
Merry Christmas everybody and have fun decorating for the holidays if you haven't done so already! =)
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