October 29, 2014

Halloween Fun!

We're two days away from Halloween! I can't believe it, I'm so excited for the big day, even if we don't get very far with Miss A trick or treating, it's always so much fun to hand out candy. Did you buy your candy yet? I scored a huge bag of Reese's cups, milky ways, and snickers from Aldi. I may or may not have been snacking on the Reese's cups...they are my favorite!

Every day this week we've been celebrating the holiday. On Monday we baked cupcakes for a Halloween party, which was on Tuesday, with our playgroup. Miss A had SO much fun decorating the cupcakes. I may be picking up sprinkles for day, but it was sure worth it.

Tuesday morning we got around everything we needed to go- cupcakes, camera, extra outfit to change into after costume time. She was so happy to wear what she calls her "Minnie dress" and to put on her "Minnie shoes" which are dark pink flats with a large bow that I found at Target. Her headband kept falling off and I didn't have bobby pins, so she wore them later for a little while at the party.

I wasn't expecting her to be shy, but she was when we got there. I'm sure it was strange to see all her little friends in costume. She hasn't stuck by my side in a long time! All the kids decorated masks to take home with them, we all bought a dish to share, and all the kids devoured their cupcakes.

It was fun and I can't wait for next year already! I also have to share her Halloween pajamas, which she calls her "bone pajamas" that I found at Gymboree. They glow in the dark, but don't tell her that. ;) 

We also made cards to send to family and will be carving our pumpkin soon! What are you doing to celebrate Halloween? 

I'm linking up for Halloween Pajama Party!

October 27, 2014

Monday Musings

My parents were here for the weekend and Miss A could not have been more excited. She loves, loves having family around. I wish it could be like this always but we appreciate the time we do have with them so much more. We went to the park, out to lunch, and played a lot at home. Hubby and I even had a rare date night out and it was so good to reconnect, talk, and enjoy each other's company without having to entertain a toddler. :) My dad had all kinds of projects he wanted to do in the house (he stayed longer than my mom) so lots of time was also spent helping out. It's so sweet, every time he comes to visit, he has to fix something. :)

I'm so excited it's Halloween week! I plan to do something Halloween related everyday until the big day. We painted pumpkins with my parents and we still have to crave our pumpkin. Today we baked cupcakes and decorated with Halloween sprinkles for a Halloween party we're having with our playgroup tomorrow. I'm also thinking of making mummy dogs, going to the library's dress up parade, making pumpkins out of construction paper, and collecting leaves for an art project. I love this time of year so much!!

Now that October is almost over, it's time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, which, I honestly can't believe it right around the corner. I'm kind of glad it's so late this year. I was reading the blog Honey We're Home today and she had a Thanksgiving post today, so now my wheels are turning. What to cook,  bake, or try something new... Anyway, that's a topic for another day. Let's focus and enjoy Halloween week!

October 22, 2014

My Sweet Girl- 27 Month Update

I don't write "updates" often enough about my sweet little girl. She turned two three months ago. Three months! I figured it was time to share how she's been doing, growing, progressing into an amazing little person. I can't believe we're getting close to the two and a half year old mark. She is all kinds of fun, I swear everyday I feel like I can do something new with her and it keeps getting better and better. Dare I say this is my favorite age so far?!

She's a sweetheart, truly. She loves to give kisses, giant smooches right on the lips. We have to chase her down for hugs but more often than not she gives them freely. I love when she holds my hand, at the store (when she's refusing to be in the cart), on walks, or to go down the slide. She's crazy about our dog, Sandy, and tries to give her hugs and loves to roll around with her on the floor.

Minnie, Mickey, and Ariel are huge favorites. I thought she would have moved on from Mickey and Minnir but there's no signs of that happening any time soon. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is still her favorite show to watch. Frozen and The Little Mermaid are her favorite movies. I tried showing her Beauty and the Beast and Tangled, neither held her attention for very long. If there's not enough singing, it doesn't do the trick. She also likes Doc McStuffins, Handy Manny, and Peppa Pig.

Her vocabulary has really taken off. She repeats a lot of what we say: "oh my goodness", "what did I say", "being bad", "let's keep going". Sentences can be as long as four or five words; she knows how to communicate so well. Everyday I'm impressed by how well she talks and how much she talks! My little chatterbox. She can count from 1-10 and likes to try and count to 20, but it's really "10, 15, 16, 18". She knows almost all her shapes: circle, triangle, diamond, star, and heart. Squares and rectangles aren't her thing. ;) Recognizing colors is also improving. Yellow is her favorite color by far and she can identify blue, green, red, pink, purple, and sometime orange.

Discipline wise, we are doing time out. She stands or sits in a corner in the dining room, which is probably the most boring room of the house. She's definitely testing us with listening- that's what lands her in time out the most. That and throwing toys, hitting (which rarely, rarely happens), and getting upset over dinner (my least favorite time of the day).

Her favorite people are definitely family. Daddy too of course, seeing as she doesn't see him everyday sometimes. She absolutely loves her grandparents and Tia's. Whenever we FaceTime or talk to them on the phone she is so happy. She also loves to see her friends and asks for them if it's been a while in between play dates. Some of her favorite places to go are the park, library, and to see the choo-choo train. There's a park that we love that has a train and merry-go-round; she's crazy about both. The pumpkin patch too was a huge favorite and she's been asking to go back since we went a few weeks ago.

It's amazing to me how she's becoming her own little person with likes and dislikes. I love watching her change, grow, and discover new things. Seeing the world through her eyes is like seeing it new; everything is an experience. We love taking her to new places and seeing how she'll react. Of course going out to eat is still a struggle so we don't do that very often, unless we have another set of hands! Being around her is infectious, we can't get enough!

October 20, 2014

Baby #2 16-17 Weeks

It's so true what they say- the second pregnancy flies! I can't believe I'm going to be 18 weeks very, very soon. Time is flying by! I'm feeling good, eating well, and slowly incorporating exercise back into my every day routine. The only area that is still lacking is sleep! I wake up often throughout the night and sometimes have difficulty falling back to sleep. The middle of the day can drag after a night like that when all I want to do is take a nap, yet a certain toddler of mine refuses to even go to her room. Ah yes, she's a stubborn one. I miss nap time!

My appetite is just as ravenous. I could easily eat two breakfasts and lunches. I try to have protein at every meal otherwise it's even worse and I'm hungry after an hour. I've been eating lots of eggs, yogurt, fruit, salads packed with veggies, chicken, and grilled cheese sandwiches. My sweet tooth isn't as bad as it was with Miss A, although I do have a thing for mint Milano cookies right now! ;)

At the end of the day I'm pretty exhausted. My feet hurt and my back aches, which I don't understand, since it's still so early for that kind of thing. I remember that happening around the six month mark, with Miss A. We go for walks in the morning or mid afternoon while I still have energy. I walked almost everyday while pregnant with Miss A and hope to keep that up, although I'm sure it's going to be harder once it gets really cold out. 

I'm so anxious to find out whether this baby is a boy or girl!! We find out in two weeks, any guesses?? I'm enjoying this pregnancy so much now that the 1st trimester is over. I can't believe we're going to have another baby!

October 17, 2014

Five on Friday

One. Mommy Time

On Wednesday I had some time to myself in the middle of the afternoon after the hubby woke up. I've had a groupon for a pedicure for weeks and I've been dying to use it. I stopped to get my flu shot first then went to the nail salon, my first time there. I've heard lots of good things from friends and they were spot on. There's a full bar at the salon (not that I could partake it that right now), huge, comfy massage chairs, and no one around to bother me for a solid half hour. It was heavenly! Afterwards I stopped by Ulta, just to browse and see if there's anything I'd like to ask for for Christmas.

Two. The Fair

Yesterday we went to the state fair! We had an absolute blast riding the ferris wheel, eating elephant ears and cheese fries, riding the toddler train, and merry go round. I love checking out the exhibits too, there were awards for the largest pumpkin (over 800 pounds!), farm animals, and beautiful flower displays. Miss A did so well despite having to wait in line for tickets and in the lines for the actual rides. Luckily yesterday was opening day and there weren't that many people there, at least, not like how it was last year when we went over a weekend. Never doing that again!

Three. Crate & Barrel Holiday Catalog

Do you get the Crate & Barrel catalogs? I'm crazy about this store (just as I am about Pottery Barn) and love to ooh and ahh over the pages. Why can't my house look like that? I love all their Thanksgiving line and got a tad too excited over the Christmas pages.

Four. Favorite Pins

I pinned a lot of new recipes this week. There was so much to love in blog world. I'm all about snacks and dips lately, I'm craving spinach and artichoke dip something fierce and need to pick some up from the store.  

Five. Christmas Shopping

I ordered Miss A this easel from Toys R Us this week. It's going to be so hard to wait until Christmas to give it to her! It was a great price and I couldn't turn it down. Have you started Christmas shopping for your littles yet?

Happy Friday! I linked up for Five on Friday with the girls. 

October 16, 2014

To-do List for Baby #2

I'm slowly starting to make a to-do list for baby #2. Writing it all down helps me remember everything I want to do and now that I'm four months along (how did that happen?) I think it's a good time to start. I like to do everything with time, I hate running around at the last minute and get really stressed out.

1. Potty train: I'd really, really like Miss A to be potty trained before her brother or sister arrives. I know I can't force it to happen and if she's not ready I'll suck it up, but it would really help if I only had one in diapers to worry about! We have a potty and she's used it several times and then lost interest completely. I hope to try again soon, if not next month then after the holidays are over when there's nothing going on and no trips to make.

2. Empty out the guest room closet: We are lucky to have four bedrooms in our house. One is the master, Miss A's room,  the guest room, and the "man" room. Baby is going to be in the guest room, across the hall from his/her sister. We purposely didn't buy any furniture for this room as we knew it would eventually be the new nursery. The queen bed will have to be dismantled and put into storage. What I really want to focus on is the closet as that has become the I-don't-know-where-to-put-this drop zone. A lot of it is decor we never got to putting up, extra sheets, blankets, and pillows. Hiding a new place for these things is going to give me a headache! 

3. Pick out a new stroller: We went to Buy Buy Baby recently and were overwhelmed by all the different options for double strollers. I was glad there were many on the floor to try out and push around as I was easily able to figure out what I don't want. The employee helping us was very informative and asked gray questions- like how long do I anticipate Miss A being in her stroller? Do I want her facing me or outwards? Do I want to wear the baby and push Miss A in the stroller? Ahh so much to think about. We walked out with more to think about, and I didn't realize I also had to look into car seat adapters! A mom friend mentioned looking into the joovy caboose, which is a sit and stand that may work better for us. I'd like to see it in person first, so I'll be looking into that soon. 

4. Sell/donate old furniture and decor: Like I said with our guest room closet, there's lots of stuff we never got around to hanging on the walls or couldn't come to a decision if we actually wanted to use it. I think it's time for us to go through it and see what we actually want to keep. We also have old furniture from our apartment sitting in the garage collecting dust and spider webs. It's all in perfect condition and we'll need the space to put away the queen bed frame and mattress.

5. Pick out a dresser, nursery set, prints, etc: This is all fun stuff, no cleaning involved! I'll have a better idea of what I want to do after we find out if it's a boy or girl. I can't wait! 

6. Pull out baby gear- see what needs to be replaced, washed, or fixed: All our baby gear from Miss A is in our huge storage closet. Most of it is in boxes, I organized some stuff fairly well when we moved in. Not everything was stored in a box so I'm sure it's going to need to be washed. I have to take a look at my pump, nursing pillow, and take everything out to see what we have, because believe it or not I've forgotten about most of it! Crazy that we're doing it all again soon!

October 14, 2014

What We've Been Eating

It's been a long, long time since I've talked about food here on the blog. I'm happy to say I've been doing a lot of cooking lately now that food tastes good again! I love, love trying new recipes and seeing if they're a hit or miss. There are a few new things we've tried that we loved and will be added to our dinner rotation. Sadly, I've been a bad blogger in the sense that I haven't taken my own pictures, but rest assured these bloggers are much more talented than me in the photography department and make their recipes look much more appealing than if I shared my own photos!

Coconut Crunch Chicken Fingers- I made these last night! The dip is so good, I didn't have mango on hand but it was still delicious. Instead of frying them in vegetable oil I fried them in a skillet with olive oil, so tasty!

Skinny Baked Potato Soup- I love soups once the evenings start to cool off. What I love about this one is that half the soup is actually cauliflower, which you really can't tell. Great way to get a serving of veggies into a picky eater.

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas- I've tried many enchilada recipes and this is one of my favorites. I love that there is cream cheese and sour cream in the mixture, I also like to add whatever veggies I have on hand like peppers or corn, and I always add black beans. I had cilantro to use up and added that to the mix to and it made such a difference, definitely doing that from now on.

Pot Roast- Another favorite when the nights turn cooler- pot roast! I didn't like pot roast for the longest time until I started making it in the crock pot. I used this recipe as a guide, following the directions for searing the meat and veggies and then I pour everything into the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours, depending on the size of your roast. The hubby really liked it and it was even better the next day in as a sandwich (Hawaiian roll with a white cheese, so good).

What have you tried recently that you loved? Or any favorite recipes to share?

October 13, 2014

Resurfacing for the Weekend

I'm so glad it's the beginning of a new week! Let's start fresh and chat about all good things, starting with the highlight of our weekend, attending another fall festival!

We went last year and loved it, I hope this will be one of our fall traditions for as long as we live here. The festival took place at a nursery, with beautiful flowers and plants, a large pond, goats, chickens, and llamas. It's very picturesque and the owners do a wonderful job of providing various photo ops. Sadly I didn't get any this year and it was just the two of us (hubby was still sick at home) and Miss A wasn't really in a cooperative picture mood anyway.

Instead we picked out another pumpkin, which will be the one we crave and roast the seeds out of. We said hello to the llamas, walked over to the goats, and listened to folk music being performed by the lake. Our friends stopped by to visit and we chatted with them while waiting in line for Miss A's first ever face painting! I really didn't expect her to do it, but I showed her what was going on and the drawings kids had on their face and she said, "yes."

I asked her if she wanted Minnie Mouse and that was another "yes" and when it was her turn she sat down, very still, and waited as the girl painted. There was a full length mirror to see how you look and she was very pleased, all shy about it. I can't even tell you how cute it was, it was a moment I'll never forget.

Not long after that we left because for some odd reason it was very warm and muggy out for a mid October day. I don't know if it was me being pregnant or feeling a little under the weather, but I was getting hotter and hotter by the second and could feel my cheeks burning. I needed air! My sweet friend offered to bring us over dinner and it was a gift so appreciated, it was exactly what we needed that night.

Oh, and I also picked this up at the festival. It smells SO good and I'm sad to open it because I'm obsessed with the packaging.

Sunday wasn't all too exciting as I planned our dinner menu, clipped coupons, went through the Target cartwheel app and made a grocery list. Is it just me or does that take hours? I spend more time preparing to go to the store than actually shopping. Miss A and I went and did the shopping and spent the rest of the day at home with Dad.

I'm scared to even say I'm excited for this week- I don't want to jinx it, but we're planning on going to the fair and hubby will have three days off. This has been a great rotation! I wish it was always like this. If all the stars align we'll have great weather and a sick free wee!

October 10, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! I hope you've had a great week, looking forward to next week and hoping it's better for us. I'm linking up with the four ladies, Natasha, April, Christina, and Darci for Five on Friday. Today is even special because they have a fantastic giveaway going on!

1. If you read my post earlier this week, you know we'd have it rough lately with a sick toddler. I'm happy to say Miss A is on the mend and pretty much back to her normal self. Unfortunately, the husband and I are now coming down with her cold. :( I feel awful since he was just sick two weeks ago and he's not really going to have a lot of time off to recuperate.

2. The weather has been absolutely perfect lately. Since we haven't left the house much, in the afternoons we've gone out to the front yard to look at the leaves falling off our maple tree and collecting acorns from the side of the house. It's the cutest thing, I love watching her explore. We look for the acorns, gather them in a pile, and toss them down the driveway to watch them bounce. We've also gone on a few walks this week since the cooler air is supposed to be good for croup and she loves this particular house with lots of small bird houses hanging from the trees. Whenever I tell her we're going on a walk, she says, "to see bird house?"

3. Speaking of which, her vocabulary is really taking off. She's always been a talker and has been able to form three word sentences for months now. Now she's at the point where she can pretty much communicate with full on sentences. Pretty amazing. She also repeats any new word she hears and tries to use it herself. I think we have a little chatterbox on our hands. 

4. I've decorated the house for fall and Halloween and I'm loving it. I'd like to find a hay stack for our front porch, where can I find one? 

5. This weekend there is another fall festival I'm hoping to take Miss A to, if I'm not feeling too bad. Can you believe there's only two more weekends left until Halloween? 

I'm off to lie down, hopefully little miss thing will take a nap too so we can both get some rest. Have a great weekend, do something fun!