Thursday, December 30, 2010

hot dog, it's already party time!

homemade mouse ears-from

I'm starting to plan for Harper's 2nd birthday.  Yikes.  I know it seems early, but I'll have to get the invitations out in the next 2 weeks to make it in time.  So, Brian and I have been discussing if and where we should have it.  We've decided on one of her favorite .  I'd love to have it outside somewhere, but February does not permit.  Actually, we usually have snow that week in February. So inside at Gymboree it is.

I'm still going to do a theme, and this year I'm making it Minnie Mouse.  There'll be pink and red everywhere during the next 6 weeks, so supplies will be easy.  I'm thinking of going with hot pink and black and keeping it simple-just lots of play time and cake.  I'm getting some blog inspiration like this:

-also from

And look at these cute invitations in red and black:


Harper and I are going to have a little girls' day tomorrow and I'm going to start hunting for some party bargains.  

BTW-she went down for her nap with only 2 minutes of crying this afternoon.  Phew!  I think it is going to work!


Harper has had no more than 5 hours of sleep each night since last Wednesday.  I don't know what is going on with this girl, but she's screaming when I put her down for bed and it can go on for hours.  I finally took her back to the doctor to make sure something wasn't horribly wrong.  She has a cold, but that seems to be it.  The doctor told me to let her cry and to NOT go in there.  I have been going in every 30 minutes to soothe her and it just seemed to be making things worse.

So, last night I put her to bed as usual and after she cried for 30 minutes I did not go in there.  About 10 minutes later she was asleep, and she slept until 6 when Brian's alarm clock was going off for 30 minutes (thanks, Bri).  Harper has always been a wonderful sleeper and bed time girl.  I think the cold, along with all of the last week's "commotion" with Christmas, got her into a funk.  Let's hope she keeps getting better. We both need it.

sleep like this, Harper...

Monday, December 27, 2010

25 weeks

At 25 weeks, Kate is about 13 1/2 inches and weighs in at a pound and half!  She'll start putting on weight now-thank goodness someone's joining me...  She also has hair; if we could see it, we would be able to tell its color and texture.  Our doctor's visit today went really well.  I'm so thankful for a great OBGYN.  There's something about them that is calming and comforting-I need that.

Baby's size: about 13 1/2 inches and a pound and a half, about the size of a rutabaga.  
Cravings:  sweets!  don't worry-I'm not really eating them (mom)
How I'm feeling:  pretty good.  I'm still having Braxton Hicks that force me to sit down and relax from time to time.  I'm sick occasionally
Sleep:  Sleep is a little rough this week because Harper is sick.  
My favorite part of this week:  I bought her take-home outfit and it is really sweet.  This is a picture of it.  The hat says "happy girl."  It is just so sweet.  The little pants have pockets on the bottom.  I learned my lesson with Harper trying to bring her home in a gown in February-not the best idea for the car seat.  I'm going with pants this time.

Planning:  Her room is painted and ready for furniture any day now.  The color is a beautiful turquoise blue and I'll share it once we get the furniture in there.  I LOVE the color.  Brian and his dad sorted all of the baby gear into one area and so now I'll start going through and pulling what we'll need.  I can't believe that I'm already pulling Harper's baby gear back out-and for the last time. :(  I'm probably going to be much more sentimental through the delivery and early months.  

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a wonderful Christmas at home this year.

Since we've moved into a new home, we decided early on to have an open house at Christmas-that would give us 6 months to get the house together.  We invited people from the neighborhood, along with many friends, and had a great turnout.  My favorite part of the evening was our Santa surprise for the kids.  We had 20 kids here (yes, I somehow survived), and it was so neat.  I don't usually see kids at Christmas parties, and I think it was nice to have families enjoying the evening together.  My father in law helped us with Santa and I think it turned out really great.  I couldn't believe how the kids came RUNNING to see him at the front door and then quietly sat down for him to read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.  My Harper seemed to be getting sick that night, so she wasn't in a great mood.  But, otherwise we had a wonderful time.

We went to Christmas Mass at 4:00, and even though we had to sit in the gymnasium (there was no room in the inn (church)-ha!) it actually turned out to be perfect.  We were right in the front our favorite priest conducted the mass.  The title of the homily was "Recalibrating" and he discussed making adjustments in how we treat others.  It was refreshing.  Here we are all dressed up for church.

dancing with her daddy
so graceful...

Christmas morning was fun, as Harper actually knew what was going on.  She tore open presents and sat and played with each one as we opened our secret santa gifts from one another.  She received mostly cups, plates, and pretend food because her grand finale gift was a kitchen-and it is quite the hit!  Brian and his dad spent 3 1/2 hours putting it together into the wee hours of Christmas morning.  And so it begins...


baby Kate's dress for spring
For dinner, we had a simple but scrumptious meal of ham, green beans, dressing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes.

Finally, we all sat around watching A Christmas Story, as that seems to be the only movie on on Christmas day, ate some Rotel dip basically for dinner, and just enjoyed being with family.  We had a light dusting of snow and made a nice fire in the fireplace.  All in all, we had a Very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

24 Weeks

Our baby is 24 weeks along and starting to fill out proportionately.  She is developing her taste buds!  Will she love sweets like me?  Or, will she be a meat and potatoes girl like her dad?

Baby's size: about 12 inches and just over a pound, about the size of an ear of corn.  
Cravings:  sweets!  
How I'm feeling:  pretty good.  I'm still having Braxton Hicks that force me to sit down and relax from time to time.  I also feel big.  I have a long way to go.
Sleep:  I'm sleeping like
My favorite part of this week:  For the first time, Brian felt her kick.  She was having a field day that night and I said, "okay, try now."  He immediately felt her and said, "that is so weird."  I guess it is kind of crazy that I have a baby inside of me.  I CAN'T WAIT to see and hold her.  
Planning:  we purchased the baby furniture this week and hope to get the room together in the next few weeks.  We also think her name is going to be Kathryn Ann and we'll call her "Kate."  Kate means "pure."  We discussed just naming her "Kate," but we don't think it goes with the middle name that we want.  I'm pretty flexible, but this is the one name Brian keeps coming back to.  That's how he was with Harper.  He's also pretty set on that spelling.  So that's her name-at least we think so.

Merry Christmas, my sweet baby girl!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

let it snow!

We got a little bit of snow today and it is so pretty.  I'll let Harper play in it some more in the morning when it stops coming down.  She loved the snow last year, and I think she'll love it again.

She also loves the Christmas tree.  We had just a little potted table tree last year with a few ornaments because Harper was walking and we just didn't have any room in our house.  She's enjoying looking at the ornaments and says, "kismastee" when we walk by it.  


We got all bundled up and went to buy our baby furniture tonight!  We now have to install a closet organizer because right now there's just a single rod in a pretty big closet.  Then I'll start sorting and washing Harper's newborn clothes and getting those ready too!  It is crazy to think that I have just 3 more months after this month.  We have a set c-section date and time, so it is even crazier to know that she'll likely be here at a specific moment.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

there's no use crying over spilled milk

Yesterday I had a big playgroup at my house and a couple of the kids spilled their juice boxes on the freshly mopped hardwood floors.  The nice moms were so sweet and concerned about it.  Oh dear!  Harper never spills her drinks!  Ha!  

Motherhood has certainly taught me to relax a little bit.  Speaking of spills, Harper also NEVER spills all of her books off of the shelf.


She likes to take every book off of the shelf and then sit in the middle of them and read each one.  This happens at least once a day.  

please note the milk on her romper.  her new thing is to drink a big gulp of milk and then giggle as it spills out of her mouth onto her shirt/carpet/me

As does spilling every single Lego onto the floor so that she can build with all of them.  

I used to pick up after her constantly, but now I just wait until the end of the day and do it at once-you know, since at the end of the day I'm the most tired and I'm so big that I can't bend over any more so I have to crawl on all fours to clean up-yeah, that seems to be the best time.  :)  Oh how I love her, though!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

23 weeks, 22 months, and a winter's nap

Our baby is 23 weeks along and growing!  She can hear things outside of the womb and clearly feel my movements.  When I read that today, I thought, "no wonder" because every time I turn over at night she goes crazy kicking and moving around.  I guess if I wake her up, she's going to keep me up too.  I thought that wouldn't start for another 17 weeks or, when she's born!

Baby's size: over 11 inches and just over a pound, about the size of a large mango.  She's going to start plumping up here in a few weeks

Cravings:  sweets!  'tis the season!  This happened about the same time with Harper.  I'm going to try my best to control myself

Aversions:  crab meat-but I did have some cooked sushi this week.  I'm kind of over aversions now.

How I'm feeling:  pretty good.  I'm sick only about once a week now.  I am having Braxton HIcks contractions now and I never had those with Harper.  They are uncomfortable and force me to sit down and chill.

Sleep:  I'm sleeping like

My favorite part of this week:  I can see her kick on the outside now.  It only happens every so often, and Brian still hasn't felt her yet, but if my hand is there and she gives a good kick (or punch), my hand moves. So neat.

Planning:  we have NO NAME.  Brian is not digging any of the names we originally talked about, so we have no name.  I don't like that.  I just feel there's something weird and impersonal about it.  So, I've got to get him searching!


My Harper is 22 months old today.  She's only 2 months away from being 2!!!!  I'm starting to think about her birthday party options and think I'll probably do a Gymboree party to make life easy.  We have limited options due to winter, and she loves that place.  I think it will be a nice party.

So here's what is going on with you Miss Harper

  • You're beginning to speak in small sentences and it is adorable.  You're saying, "where did it go?" and "there it is!"  I love it.  
  • You talk constantly!  I can't understand a lot of it, but you're practicing and I'm so glad.
  • This morning, you asked, "where did daddy go" and I couldn't believe it.
  • You LOVE LOVE LOVE your duplo legos.  You have started building huge structures and you call them houses every time.  Will you be a little engineer?
  • Speaking of engineer, you also love your train table and trains.  You will tell me when you want to go play with "choo choo" and you love to show them off to friends and family.  The train table is the first toy you've become a little possessive over.  I don't like that part, but we'll work it out.
  • You tell me when you "go" and I think you're getting ready for potty training time!  You say, "poop, yuck!" when you go.
  • You recognize the relationship between mother and baby.  It if funny, though, because when you see two Woody dolls and one is bigger than the other, you call the big one "momma" and little one "baby" and make the big one hold the little one.  You do this with other big and small toys that look similar.  
  • You read read read all by yourself for a good hour almost every day.  I've always spent a lot of time reading to you-since you were a few months old-and now you love to read to yourself.  Your favorites are Moo, Baa, La La La; Are You My MotherI'm a New Big Sister; your toddler Bible; and of course Toy Story.  
  • You color furiously.  I can give you a big brand new coloring book and box of crayons and the coloring book will be completed in less than a week-every little bit colored.  You're an intense artist.  You don't color in the lines of course, but you color objects on the page.
  • You eat well-finally.  You're good at telling me when you're hungry and you're a good vegetable eater!  Yay!
  • I'll admit it-you're on a mommy kick right now.  You want your momma all of the time and get so excited when you see me.
  • You are so friendly.  You're still scared in certain situations, but you are so sweet and friendly with everyone.  You don't see it when people are mean to you and it will break my heart when you do one day.  A little boy pushed you down the other day and you just giggled because you thought it was funny.  You got back up and kept going.  Oh, how I hope you'll keep that sweet heart.  

I'll close with this picture.  Can you guess who curled up with who?  
You may be surprised by the answer...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

the elf(ette) on the shelf

We've discovered a new Wallace Christmas tradition this year-the Elf on the Shelf.  I heard about it last year and thought it would be fun for this year.  Harper's mimi sent us the box and it arrived on Monday night.  We pulled it out last night for Harper.

The story goes that Santa sends his elves to check on little children and make sure they're being good.  We're going to move the elf around the house each night so in the morning Harper has to find it.  Later on, we'll put a little candy on its lap or something and the girls will race to find it.  Isn't it cute!?

You can choose the skin, hair and eye color! I swear I'm losing my mind because I thought that magically the elf had brought me Harper's long-lost white bow (at the bottom of the box).  Turns out her mimi just stuck it in there.  I'm soooo pregnant.

 Since we'll have two girls, mimi also got the elf a skirt...instant elfette

Brian and I opened the box with Harper and Brian read her the story.  

We let Harper look but not touch the elf (to maintain the "mystery" of the elf), and then we put it on the shelf. 

Well, little Miss Harper did not like that too much, and she promptly moved her drum to the fireplace gate and tried to get to the elf.  So sweet.

That's our elf story for this year-I'm sure we'll have many more to come!  We'll try naming it next year since none of Harper's names really made any sense.  

I'll close today with how I found Harper curled up on the couch with a pile of books and a blanket over her.  She looked like a little old lady-all snuggled up with her books.  My bundle of energy does have her rare moments of quiet time to herself.  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

our little engineer

I don't have the decorations finished, so I'll post them when I do.  We have to finish tonight, as Brian has had 3 very work intensive days.  Saturday and Monday was a little nuts, so we will finish tonight.  I could have done it myself, but I like it when we decorate together.  We listen to the Peanuts Christmas Album-this will be the 7th year we've done that.  Our first year, I'll never forget, we had no money and set a $25 limit on each others' gifts.  We got a free tree from my parents' church-it was a "leftover" and we decorated it to that Christmas music.  When the tree was finished, we turned off the lights and plugged in the tree as the last song on the album, "Greensleeves" played on the CD player.  That album is seriously the best-you can preview it here:

I don't have a digital picture of our first Christmas-we didn't have a camera (good grief!)- but here's one from NYC in 2005.

Okay, so moving on.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking at her toys and realized she needed some more "grown up" items.  Time goes by so quickly and I forget.  Considering she's not in daycare or any preschool, I don't mind getting her some good toys.  So she got an early Christmas gift-a train table.  She'll get a kitchen on Christmas morning, but we needed something until then.  Brian put it together last week and since then she's constantly telling me, "play choo choo!" so that we can go to the playroom.  

This train table rocks!  It requires 3 hours of putting it together-phew!-but I think it was well worth it.  It came with all of the tracks, trains, people, accessories, and the table has 2 big drawers for storage.  My two favorite things are that it makes sound and it is made of wood.  Here's Harpster playing with her train table.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

22 weeks

I'm getting bigger by the minute!  Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but the scale does not lie.  I gained 6 pounds last month!  It originally said "7" but I made the nurse let me take off my boots and let me have a do-over.  So I'm going with 6.  It was 6 okay!?  I'm sure Thanksgiving contributed some, right?  Right. Ha!  I can only laugh at my growing self and be thankful-yes thankful-that I'm gaining weight.  I bet I have another big girl at delivery.

At 22 weeks, our baby is 11 inches long-that is BIG to me!  She has tiny tooth buds forming under her gums and her eyes have formed.  There's no pigment in her irises yet, so we don't yet have a blue, green, or brown-eyed baby.  My guess is she'll look just like Brian-much like her sister Harper has since she was born.

  • Size:  11 inches (the size of a spaghetti squash) and 1 pound
  • Cravings:  just food food food
  • Aversions:  seafood
  • How I'm feeling:  much better than last week.  It turns out that I had some kind of UTI or kidney infection that likely caused a kidney stone.  Remember when I said, "my back is killing me?"  Well, I had this hunch and asked the doctor to test me for a kidney stone.  My hunch was right.  I had this with Harper, so I just hope this is the LAST one.  I'm going to discuss it more with my doctor at the end of the month.  I'm just grateful for antibiotics.
  • Sleep:  she's kicking all night and I haven't quite gotten used to it yet
  • My favorite part of this week:  this might sound cheesy, but I don't care.  I've been thinking a lot about Mary and how she carried and raised Christ.  That seriously got me through morning sickness and also reminds me of how blessed I am to be a mother.  Even when my feet are swelling, I'm sick all of the time, my back (aka kidney) hurts, and I could sleep 'til next year, I am so fortunate to have this in my life.
  • Planning fun:  we've had all kinds of suggestions on names, to include... "Bella Donna"-from my mom, "Rae," "Vivian," and "Brentley"-from my mother in law, and "Michelle"-from my dad (his name is Michael).   We are leaning towards "Kate," which was our other choice when we had Harper.  I just really like that name and it sounds nice with our last name.  We aren't certain yet, but that's been our top pick so far.  

ho ho ho

I've taught Harper to say "ho ho ho" when she sees a Santa Claus
but a mother's optimism is just one of my flaws.  
See, she likes him on dresses, on presents, and on walls, 
but to sit on his lap, she does not like at all!
I dressed her in a smocked romper of cheerful green and red,
but the cuteness would not prevent her from becoming quite sca-red.
My meter is failing me and I'm tiring of rhyme,
so I'll just tell you-
Santa had a sore knee this time.

all 3 of us sitting on Santa's lap (me and my girls!)

So we obviously took Harper to a Santa visit.  It was at the mom's club kids' party and there is photographer there, but this is the picture Brian got.  I wasn't planning on being in the picture-I would have worn something a bit more festive.  This picture is also the one point she wasn't burying her head into my chest.  Let's just say it was a typical toddler-Santa visit.  

We've been busy getting into the Christmas spirit.  We made Christmas cookies for my wonderful neighbors.  They've been so warm and welcoming since we've moved in.  They brought us dinner the first day we moved in, showed us all around the neighborhood (via 5 am morning runs), happily take care of our dog while we're away, and are just the nicest people.  I put tape on the sprinkle jar to slow the flow of sprinkles and let Harper "shake!"  

I changed our kitchen chalkboard and put the Linus quote from the Charlie Brown Christmas movie on our chalkboard.  That movie and soundtrack is kind of a tradition for me and Brian (remember this picture from last year),

and it is so sweet.  Linus is explaining the Christmas miracle to Charlie Brown and quotes from Luke 2, "'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth Peace, good will toward men.' That is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

I always like being pregnant this time of year because there's such a spirit of promise in the air.  Brian was saying tonight, "when the girls get older...we'll do this at Christmas."  It was so sweet to think about having "the girls" help pick out a tree and decorate.  I'll try and take some pictures of our decorations tomorrow.  try being the operative word...