Tuesday, November 30, 2010

new holiday tradition: book advent countdown

Last night, while we took turns soothing Parker back to sleep, Mark and I finished wrapping the books for a new holiday tradition I am starting this year - a book advent countdown.I originally saw the idea last year and absolutely loved it. I saw this post today and really like the idea of letting the kids pick a book each night from the basket. I think I'll try that next year. This time, I just wrapped and numbered the books with the date because I wanted certain books to be opened before others. And I wanted them to be at Morgan's level so she can see them and 'count down', so I displayed them on top of the bookcase holding her toys. It's only been a few hours, but she has been very good about not touching them or attempting to open them. The plan is to incorporate this into our bedtime routine: pj's, snack, then open and read the book for that day as a family.

It wasn't as expensive as you may think either. I got most of the books for only a few dollars each or free, through Kristin and Scholastic, and the rest on Amazon. Next year, I'll remember to share the titles of the books. Morgan is already very curious about what all the presents are for and I tried to explain to her this morning that there is one gift for each day until Christmas (she doesn't know they are all books) and we will start unwrapping them tomorrow night. I can't wait to get started!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

so thankful

for our health, our home, being able to be a stay-at-home mom, for my loving, supportive husband, our beautiful children and so much more. Thanksgiving comes just once a year, but this year more than ever, I know I shouldn't take any of this for granted.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    whatever it takes

    I found this photo last week while uploading pictures from our camera's memory card. It was a Saturday and no one wanted to nap, but me. I was cranky and needed some rest before going to a birthday party for Morgan's BFF Lola's little sister, Mia (that was a mouthful). The only way that was going to happen was for them to join me. Morgan was in her bed (or so I thought) when Mark left to run some errands and I laid down with Parker. Morgan snuck in later and we all slept so long that we were late to the party. Heh, I'll take what I can get! Thanks for capturing this little snuggle session, Mark! :)

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    December Daily 2010

    My December Daily album is prepped and ready to fill. The majority of my photos are shown in the flickr group, if you are interested in the page-by-page.

    I used a variety of patterned papers, transparencies and envelopes. One of my goals was to use supplies that I already have and I did really well. I had a lot of Christmas paper that I bought a couple years ago when I originally planned on making my first December Daily album. The only things I purchased for the project were the white embossed cardstock for the cover and Ali Edwards digital overlays for each daily page.

    I didn't stray far from the way Ali designed her album. Each day has a cover page (which are the photos I've taken - the patterned paper and transparency pages with the date) and then a template page (Ali's overlay) which is where I will add a photo(s) and journaling for the day. Everything is bound by three 2" inch binder rings. Even though the album is already over an inch thick, there is plenty of room to grow!

    In an attempt to not get overwhelmed and toss the whole project, I spent the last week doing an assembly line to put the album together and tried to do a little bit each day. Printed the template pages, trimmed down the paper and transparencies, trimmed the template pages, punched holes, made the cover, added the date numbers and embellishments, took photos for the flickr group…

    I chose to do all 31 days of December, instead of just the first 25.  We often meet with family and friends between Christmas and New Years and I would like to record those get togethers too.  Plus, Mark doesn’t work that week so I’m sure our little family will be keeping busy.

    I plan on journaling each day on the blog in December but I’m not going to actually work on the album until after the New Year when I can have all of the photos developed together. And hopefully it will be done before next Christmas.

    Edited on March 2, 2011 to add: It only took 2 months, but you can see my completed December Daily 2010 album here.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010


    Happy Birthday babe!
    I'm so happy your day fell on a weekend and the four of us can actually spend some family time together.

    Per the birthday boy, our plans are as follows: cider mill, buy paint for the living room, furniture shopping, watch Lions game, dinner at Antonio's (we haven't been there in forever!).

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    all I want for Christmas

    I caught Morgan at the kitchen counter on Monday, making her Christmas list!
    She wants a tractor like daddy, more coloring books and a park in the backyard. "I don't want to sit on Santa's lap though. He's too scary. Parker can sit on his lap. I'll sit on daddy's." :)

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    40.2: pregnancy album for baby2

    I finished Parker's pregnancy album last month and thought I'd share some of it. It's super simple, because that's the only way I get any scrapbooking done these days. Journaling, belly pics and ultrasound photos. Throw in some patterned paper, a circle punch and a corner rounder for good measure. Done.

    album cover do-over - 40.2 = 40 weeks with baby number 2

    opening page
    yup, those are the pregnancy tests. Sure to gross Parker out when he learns how one takes a pregnancy test. ;)
    the first ultrasound photos
    the number in the half circle designates how many weeks pregnant I was - 9 weeks
    20 weeks and the belly pic
    dates I wanted to remember (and all of those ultrasounds) and journaling from 36 weeks
    close up of dates to remember
    37 weeks and that big 'ol belly
    the closing page - our first picture together

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    while I was out

    Phew! Between my self-imposed internet break and being router-less last week, I got a large chunk of my to-to list completed. This is just a bit of what we've been up to the last 2 weeks:
    • I survived several solo trips to the grocery store with both kids for a full weeks' worth of food. Zero crying and zero tantrums!
    • I got a much needed pedicure at Luv Pedicures in Livonia. Kristin and I went to their Rochester Hills salon before Parker was born and I loved it. I'm so happy they have one on my side of town now. The tech made me chuckle when she told me I had runner's feet. Ha! Maybe from running back and forth from my bed to Parker's room in the wee hours of the night. Chose a shimmery plum called Damsel in a Dress. How fun would it be if your job was to name nail polish colors?
    • Lots of work going on in the living room. The drywall work is done and I have lots of pictures to share in a separate post.
    • Morgan has really gotten into role playing with her dolls and Little People. It's absolutely adorable to watch her as they talk and play. Especially when I hear her repeating things, that Mark and I have told her, to her babies. Like, try it you'll like it, it's time to take a nappy nap, or please listen to me.
    • The kids and I joined Kristin and my parents to visit my Grandpa and go to my Grandma's gravesite. Her headstone is in and it's very nice. She is so missed.
    • I started working on my December Daily album. I'm almost done putting it together and once I'm done I'm going to add it to the flickr group and share it here. It's really cool and it's already over an inch thick. I hope I can keep up with it next month.
    • I find myself watching bits and pieces of Ellen in the morning. I've been itching for a haircut and am a smidge tempted to go Ellen-short.
    • I started stocking the freezer with homemade baby food for Parker. I remember how much I loved doing this for Morgan and it's so freakin' easy! So far we've got peas, butternut squash, pears and sweet potatoes. Such pretty colors and yummy fall flavors.
    • I remade the cover for my pregnancy album. I'll post pictures of the whole thing soon.
    • I've been trying to catch up on a stack of magazines with little success. And now it's only going to get worse with all the holiday catalogs that are bombarding our mailbox.
    • Speaking of which, I've been working on Christmas wish lists for the kids. We've been talking to Morgan about Christmas and Santa and she loves seeing the Christmas trees on display when we shop. Yesterday she asked me "Mommy, what do you want for Christmas?" Each year just gets more fun and exciting!
    • We lived through our first power outage of the season. It took 24 hours but we stayed busy and stayed warm. Morgan had her first experience at the kids play area at Twelve Oaks Mall. Holy crazy rowdiness. I plan to avoid the Sears wing for a long, long time.
    • Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai has been trumped by Zingerman's Pumpkin Chai as my favorite fall treat. So so good! Sue, it's another reason to come with me to Plum Market!
    Old to-do's have been replaced with new to-do's so I continue to stay busy busy. Such is life. I'm thrilled with the weather so far this week though and we plan on spending as much time as we can outside. We went to the park after lunch yesterday and it was dead. We were the only ones there and poor Morgan was so bummed. "Where are all the kids, mommy?" I hope to have some better luck today at another park.

    It's good to be back...

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Parker: five months

    The latest on our not-so-little Parker man:is getting a lot better at grabbing things.

    grabs his toes but can’t quite make them up to his mouth. I blame the long torso.had his first bowl of rice cereal this month and loves it. Lots of mmm. Also tried bananas, applesauce and pears. Not as much of a fan. Likes to chew on the spoon afterwards.

    no more swaddling for Parker. He kept rolling over on his belly while wrapped up and couldn’t roll back on his back. Now he always rolls on his left side when he sleeps.loves to look at our hands and fingers. And chew on them.

    rolled back to belly at 19 weeks and now when we put him down on his back, he rolls to his belly within seconds. He loves to be on his belly (hence all the pictures of him on his tummy). Sometimes he’ll roll several times to get over to some different toys, which is very cute. He gets pretty upset if he rolls on his belly while sleeping though.

    almost too big (long and wide) for his infant carseat. The current (daddy + Parker) - daddy weight is about 18 pounds!not a good thing, but Parker loves TV – kids shows, sports, watching people sing and dance. And especially Super Why.

    he is giggling more – mostly from silly noises and facial expressions.

    is beginning to respond to his name.
    when in a seated position, Parker props himself up with his hands to try to sit up by himself.

    has been making lots of new sounds, including an adorable buzzing sound with his lips and blowing spit bubbles - I think he's trying to blow raspberries.

    Next up: a half birthday! I can hardly believe it.