Monday, December 28, 2009


Morgan LOVED the sled hill. And she loved the snow. At first she didn't like when it got on her boots (she kept brushing it off), but once we got her to start walking through it, there was no stopping her. Mark and Morgan made 5 runs down the hill and Morgan kept asking, "again?"

Christmas Wrap-up

We had a long non-stop Christmas weekend starting with Christmas morning at home. Mark and I opened our gifts to each other the night before so we could make Christmas morning all about Morgan. She totally knew what to do with her gifts and ripped them up quite easily. The problem was she wanted to sit and play with each toy before moving on to the next one. We hustled her through it, got dressed and head to my parents for brunch.Morgan opened her gifts, but not without a couple of wardrobe changes because she just had to try on her new clothes. She got a lot of great toys and our Secret Santa's were very good to us too. :)

On Saturday we celebrated with Mark's dad and stepmom and brothers. After Morgan's nap, we went to Eagle to spend the afternoon with the whole Reaves family and ended the evening at Mark's mom and stepdad's where we crashed and had a slumber party.
On Sunday we enjoyed brunch and Morgan was bombarded with more gifts from Grandma and Grandma Goulding and her uncles. Mark packed up our load and we drove home just in time for a nap and the Lions kickoff. It wasn't time to rest quite yet though because we had one more nearby party to attend at Morgan's BFF, Lola's house. They were so cute to watch, squealing through the house like little girls do, babbling and giggling. Man, do I wish I knew what they were "saying".

We had a wonderful weekend visiting and celebrating with our families but I am so happy to be home. It was a huge 'note to self' for next year. I am exhausted and poor Morgan hasn't been at home and awake for more than an hour since Thursday. She's spent more time playing with everyone else's toys and finally, today, she can spend more than 10 minutes playing without being swooped up to leave or go to bed. Next up today, we are going sledding in a little bit. And by we I mean Mark and Morgan. Baby2 and I will be waiting at the bottom of the hill with camera in hand. Later!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

high hopes

We are home once again (briefly) after a wonderful Christmas weekend. I have lots of photos (of Morgan) to upload and write about, but first, while the little one is napping, I have thought I'd whip up a quick list. Since I have this week off of work, I have high hopes of kicking this to-do list in the ass. A few every day things mixed in with catching up on a bunch of stuff that didn't seem important at the time.
  • restock our fridge and pantry
  • look for a 2010 planner, probably this Moleskine one like the past 2 years
  • finish our January dinner menu. Yup, I plan our dinners out a whole month at a time. I do not like grocery shopping and I really hate figuring out what to have for dinner. Especially being pregnant and nothing (healthy) sounds good. I could eat pizza and salad, or Thai food, or Chicken King BBQ sandwiches all day long.
  • clean and purge my scrapbook area
  • get a battery for my watch that died over 2 months ago
  • finish the handful of layouts I need to complete for Morgan's first year album. At the time, before I found out we were pregnant again, I think I said here "I don't think there will be a problem getting the rest of them done, hopefully by the end of the year." Unfortunately, morning/evening sickness did become a problem. This is my chance.
  • backup my mac
  • cash the money gifts Morgan received for Christmas for her to jam into her piggy
  • buy some digital scrapbook paper and work on my Yesterday and Today class projects (albeit, late - our last assignment was given on Christmas Eve - bummer.)
  • dig out my maternity clothes. 'Tis time to break out the stretchy panel pants.
  • order about a dozen of these notebooks. Mark and I LOVE a good sketchbook and we both ooh'd and aah'd over it. Ahh, the things that make us happy...
  • make a list of things to do in 2010, particularly before baby2 arrives. I'm thinking of another goal of the month-ish project. I will share January's goal at the end of the week.
I will post again soon about our holiday.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas (Eve)

Our Christmas Eve has been filled with fun and a few essentials. Sleeping in, pancake breakfast, laundry, ironing, packing, lunch at Cedar, straightening up the house and cleaning out the car to get ready for all the traveling and gift giving we'll be doing the next few days. Mark even squeezed in having new tires put on his car after we picked it up from having a 4 year old dent repaired.

Morgan took a nearly 3 hour nap this afternoon, it was practically dark out when she woke up! I think someone might've thought she was going to stay up late waiting for the big man in red to show up. She opened her Christmas pajamas after dinner and was just too cute and snuggly after a nice warm bath and lotion massage.
Right now: A Christmas Story is on tv, there is a fire in the fireplace and I think I'm going to go chill on the couch with some popcorn before Santa shows up. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

looking forward

to the short work week and a holiday luncheon on Wednesday.

to spending the long holiday weekend with my little family and our extended families.

to starting some traditions of our own.

to watching Morgan tear up all of her gifts on Christmas morning.

to fires and hot cocoa and brunches.

to 11 days off of work.

to seeing our renovated space re-framed and ready for drywall.

to finding out if baby2 is as stubborn as his/her big sister in just 2 weeks.

What are you looking forward to?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thornbrook Renovation: Chapter 2

Here are some pictures of Mark's progress on the house from last Saturday. Most of the piles have been picked up. It is less dusty. And,There is a big hole in the bathroom wall, right though the shower. The shot above is from the family room side.And from the bathroom looking into the shower. See the family room back there? The studs were in bad shape, practically rotten through in some spots. Mark said the sill plate was reduced to sawdust.And this is an overall photo from the family room. Mark will correct me if I'm wrong, but in the end, our shower will be a smidge deeper and about where that opening is to the right of the shower "walls" will be a short hallway that leads to the doors to both our bedroom on the left and the spare bedroom on the right. We'll also be gaining some closet space in our room (something I've really missed since we moved from the condo).

This week, we are playing with options for storage in our "mudroom" and trying to figure out exactly how we want it to function. Mark is busy sketching and I am quoting. Certain parts of this project I just want Mark to do what needs to be done, others I enjoy collaberating with him. Especially if it involves organization!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cookie Fest 2009

Kristin, my mom and I had a very successful cookie making day on Saturday. Kristin made peanut butter gingerbread cookies, my mom made chocolate covered cherry cookies, and I made butterscotch oatmeal cookies. We each went home with over 60 cookies, and while I thought that sounded (and looked) like a lot, Mark and I (mostly I) have already put a nice dent in our cookie stash. And Morgan too. She loves the (unglazed) gingerbread cookies. I was going to take some to work to share, but, too bad for them. I'm not sharing! At least it's helping with my milk/calcium intake. Here are a few pics from our day (thank you Kristin for actually using your camera!).
I realized this is one of the very few photos of Morgan and I. Ever. Here is my 'lil maraschino cherry lover. I'm surprised my mom had any left for her cookies. The evidence is on her shirt. :) She is so funny. Now when she sees my KitchenAid mixer on the counter, she says "cookie". Good girl!Morgan and Gramm.Morgan figured out that she can reach Aunt Kristin's cookies on the cooling rack. What a hoot!Ahhh, and she would not stop climbing on the coffee table. Thank goodness there was nothing on it. This shot is Morgan trying to sneak down after Kristin caught her. Since then, she has been using her Radio Flyer bike at home to climb onto chairs and the TV stand at home. All of a sudden she is a climber. Fantastic!

So, that was my Saturday. I will return later with pictures from Mark's Saturday. In the meantime, I am hoping for a quieter and calmer week than last. And that my clingy little snuggle bunny can fall asleep tonight without a fuss.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

18. 24. 33. Hut!

Happy football Sunday to you!

At 18 months, Morgan is 24 pounds and 33 inches tall. Her doctor is very pleased with her development and how cooperative she was during her checkup. She also needed to get a couple vaccines (complete with a grape sucker). We found out that our doctor will be leaving her practice in March and persuing research, so we have about 6 months to find a new doctor for Morgan and baby2. So mommies, I'll take all the referrals I can get. I hate doctor shopping.

Go Lions! Ha ha...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Mark and I purchased our very first full size (and real!) Christmas tree last Friday. Holy giddy school girl, I was jumping around the tree lot (and our back patio) I was so excited. I love it and I'm quite certain I'm going to cry when we take it down. I'll blame it on the baby. They had a crazy good selection of firs and pines and it took all of 3 minutes to find the one we wanted to take home. We chose a 9 foot Michigan-grown Fraser fir.While Mark dressed the tree in white lights, I did a little bit of decorating. Not too much really. I put the beaded wreath I made several years ago on our front door. And I made a little arrangement of berry stems, a Method peppermint vanilla candle and some Hershey kisses, on a tray complete with pinecones for the dining table. Simple simple.Our tree will be decorated sans ornaments this year. Morgan has been a very good girl, touching the tree very gently, saying "tree" and "star" (at the tree topper), "snow" (at the sheepskin tree skirt) and "wah-wah" (at the tree base when we water the tree each night). Then we went to visit Kristin and Troy last weekend and all she wanted to do is bat their ball ornaments (you know how she loves balls!). That was all the proof I needed to know that ornaments would be a bad idea this year. And I'm not doing that whole 'just decorate the top half' business. Our tree looks perfectly perfect with just lights. We are also ready for plenty of winter fires. When Linda and Nick came down last weekend to start demolition on the house, they brought a bunch of firewood with them. Sweetness! It came at a good time too because we burned through a bit of it after losing our power for about 36 hours a couple days ago. I imagine we are going to be consuming a great deal of my favorite hot cocoa and popcorn these coming months.

Other than that, the Christmas cards have been sent, I've been listening to the Christmas station on Pandora and today, Morgan and I will be joining Kristin at my mom's to make Christmas cookies. I'm in the spirit!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 11, 2009

5 favorites for Friday : Holiday Edition

Someday when my kiddies are older and "get" the whole holiday season, I want to make an advent calendar. I LOVE this idea and this one too.

I've been a crazy list maker the past couple weeks, so I can totally relate to
this post. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Speaking of lists, one of my to-do's today is to start wrapping gifts. I need to make some gift tags too. I have an idea up my sleeve, but if that doesn't work out, I may just resort to printing and punching out some of

I was on a manhunt for simple modern stockings a few weeks ago but have sort of abandoned it for this year. Then I found
instructions for a felt one online. Duh, I can DIY. But first I need to sketch a template. And dig out the sewing machine. And ask Mark to build a mantle over our fireplace. You know, in his spare time.

I found the link to that stocking within this incredible
list of holiday craft ideas. You know, in all your spare time. You've got 2 weeks, so get crackin'.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Please Pardon Our Dust

The destruction has officially begun.Carpet and pad. Gone.
Trim. Gone.
Doors. Gone.
Plasterboard and drywall. Gone.
Vanity and toilet. Gone.
Tile. Pretty much gone. Here is our master bath right now: Here is the current state of our family room:
And our bedroom. That closed off doorway (on the right, below) was the door to the living room.
And Morgan's old bedroom. Not bad for a couple days work. Thank you so so much to my mother and brother-in-law for their extra hands and muscle last weekend!!!

I will continue to update as we go.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

18 Months Old

My baby is 18 months (and one day) old today. Here's the scoop on what's going on with her now:

Tooth 13 popped through on Thanksgiving weekend.

Morgan is enunciating her words - especially her R's and K's. Words like more, cookie, buckle and milk are so clear now.

She loves her new temporary bedroom. She just giggled when Mark put her crib back together last weekend.

I'm not completely sure if we are going to take Morgan to see Santa this year. She has been having some clingy spells the last few weeks, especially after the holiday and the long weekend and all of the "strangers". She likes to be held and she likes to be "up" with us. I suppose we still have time to decide.Every now and then we practice drinking from a cup. Mama needs to buy smaller cups, but regardless, she's doing awesome.

Morgan is starting to (try) to dress herself. She's loved wearing or giving Mark and I our shoes to wear for quite a while, but she's recently started trying to dress herself in her clothes (and ours). She can put her hat on by herself too, and loves to wear it around the house, even if we aren't going outside.
I can already imagine the independence and power struggles we are going to have in the coming months when she insists on dressing herself.

She loves to modeling us in other ways too. When we were sitting at the table after eating lunch this afternoon, Mark had his arms crossed and she fussed with her arms, looking down at hers, then checking his until she got it just right. This morning, she followed me around with her modified Swiffer and helped me sweep the floors.

She can distinguish between hockey, football and basketball on TV. Hockey seems to be her favorite :)

Her 18 month appointment isn't until Friday. We'll get a height and weight update then.

Edited to add:

Morgan is perfecting her closed mouth kiss. She can pucker for kisses now (and smacks her lips when blowing kisses) and we have been the recipients of fewer and fewer wet, tongue-y kisses.

A couple of new words that she's picked up on are "mote" (remote), "mine-a-min" (vitamin) and of course, snow. We've been talking about Santa and asking what he says. HO HO HO!

Morgan LOVES 'This Little Piggy'. She always asks "again?", even if I've recited 50 times.

On nights when Mark is working on the renovation, Morgan has been a big help cleaning up her books and toys before bed (a chore I used to save until after we put her to bed at night). Sometimes we'll swaddle her baby and put her to bed too, after reading her Curious George Good Night book.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The 6 Month Deadline

With the arrival of baby2, Mark and I have started talking about remodeling the house again. We have a self-imposed deadline now to get most of the house renovated in about 6 months or so. At least the big messy stuff, like moving some walls on the west side of the house (mostly so our master bedroom isn't right off
the living room), insulating our crawl space, and replacing the wood on our living room walls with nice bright drywall. Oh, and a new kitchen. How could I forget that?

Of course, Mark has been/will be doing most of the work. He seems to have regained his motivation to do a lot of the grunt work himself. It will certainly be less expensive and lucky for us, we have a lot of offered help! Mark has been creating demolition plans, getting quotes on new windows and doors and sketching, sketching, sketching. I hope we (read: he) can get it done. Finishing this house is a much bigger task than building a crib. Other than ordering kitchen cabinets, the only grunt work I'll be involved with is decorating not one, but two nurseries.

So, the demolition begins on Saturday. About 1/3 of the house is closed off and ready to have walls removed. I'm trying to convince myself that it sounds like more work than it is. We are really just rearranging some space, moving doorways, consolidating our storage space and adding a small mud "room" off our garage. Throw in some new carpet and paint and that side of the house will be good to go.

Here's a look at what it looked like before we moved in. Essentially, it doesn't look any different six months later.

This is our teeny tiny master bath. It won't be much bigger in the end, but maybe both of us can stand in there at the same time. You can see the door from our bedroom to the living room on the right. We'll be closing that off and moving the door so the entrance is down a short hallway off the family room instead.
Morgan's room was right off of our bedroom, and the family room. Soon this will be the guest room and the only entrance will be opposite ours, off the family room.The family room can stand to lose all of those little closets, which we'll make one big storage closet. We've already gotten rid of one to make our laundry room larger.Those built-in bookshelves and cabinets are going buh-bye too. And we'll squeeze in a mini mudroom off the garage entrance (on the far left).

If I can bust through the plaster dust I will take some during pictures at the end of the weekend. Wish us luck and if you need to take out any aggression this weekend, let me know and I'll send you our address.
Sidenote for inquiring minds: I got my blood pressure check yesterday and it is back to normal (phew!) and everything is great. And, despite how big everyone seems to think my belly is, at 14 weeks, I am measuring 12 weeks. So there.