Monday, December 12, 2011


When I was pregnant with Stella I didn't really look that big (all due to her and my height - she was only 5lb 10oz and I'm fairly tall).

When I was pregnant with Lucy Jim told me at about 6 months that I looked as big at that time as I did just before I delivered Stella.  This is NOT the kind of thing a girl wants to hear from her husband and I knew I was bigger, but I didn't honestly think I was THAT big...!

I was looking for some old pictures last night and ended up looking at Lucy's newborn pictures.  THIS is one of the pictures that jumped out at me.  Taken the morning Lucy was born before we headed out to the hospital.  That thing is RIDICULOUS - it doesn't even look real!  I remember being in Target a few weeks before she was born and I was kind of bent over looking at nail polish.  When I stood up and turned a girl walking down the aisle let out a loud (and scared sounding), "AWK!"  She tried to cover, but it was obvious.

Yep, I was in denial - that thing was out of control!  Still, wish I could feel those little feet kicking around again and feel the anticipation.  There's nothing like it in the world!

This post has nothing to do with anything but I know someday while I'm going through old posts I'll get a good laugh out of it again!  Plus, maybe it will make some of you girls who are still preggo feel a bit better, "at least I'm not THAT big!" ;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advent Fun

This isn't the first time I've mentioned that I made an advent calendar last year but it didn't hold up well and there was no good way to store it so it was dumped at the end of the season.  I went around and around about what kind of calendar to make this year, scouring Pinterest, Flickr, and the web in general looking for ideas.  I narrowed it down to two:

Oh, how I LOVE this one!  There are two issues however...  Virtually nothing will fit in one of those little mittens, I didn't have time to knit them all, I couldn't decide on colors, I kind of want each girl to have their own they can take someday and I REALLY don't have time to knit two!  (ok, that's four issues).  I think I may work on this for next year just to hang from the mantel because I do love it so much.

This is the inspiration for mine. (found on Pinterest). I really like the idea of it but I wondered how long it would need to be to fit 24 numbers and I wanted their names at the top.

So... I ordered their names and numbers 1-24 in vinyl.  I got 2 boards, clothespins, ribbon, and glue from JoAnns.  When I got home with the boards I quickly realized the numbers were MUCH too big so I ended up getting 2 sets of numbers meant for board games or something.
 I painted the boards white, glued ribbon to the clothespins, and glued everything to the boards.

As I've mentioned, some of our days are activities, while others are small gifts.  I got a piece of red/white paper to write the activities on and hung them from the pins.

Here's Stella's finished with her wrapped gifts.  It's a bit more jumbled than I'd care for, but it seems to be working well.  So far the only issue is that without fail, Stella wants whatever Lucy has.  Last night I finally had to tell her that if she whines about what she gets again and wanting Lu's I'll be taking the rest of her gifts down and donating them. We spend a lot of time talking about having a grateful heart and how blessed we are.  I need to find some new ways to express that to her because I'm not sure she gets it.

I know "activity only" Advent calendars are big right now, but I like finding little things for them (mostly from the dollar section at Tarjay) and frankly, I wouldn't make it doing activities everyday for 24 days!  I like that they each have their own, I'm always thinking that one day I want them to each be able to have things to take with them when they move out.  It's crazy because I don't even know if these boards will survive the next year! Like I said, I'm kind of a nutty worrier of a Mama.

Christmas pictures

I have a whole list of Christmas pictures I want to take this year.  I've checked the first two off my list.  The first is of Lu's chubby little legs/feet with our 24 days of wrapped books.  I can't get enough of those toes, I wish I could keep them forever.

 The next shot I wanted to get was of Lucy in a wrapped box.  Stella was asleep on the couch, Jim was gone, and the dog was being his normal 'I need to be right in the middle of everything' self.  I was trying out a lens that I'd rented and fighting the dog and lack of light so they left a lot to be desired.  Sadly, the cutest ones weren't focused on her face. 

This is her, "whoa, what the heck am I doing in here?" picture:
Here's, "oooh... it's fun to tear up the paper".  I LOVE the tongue sticking out concentration.  Stella does this too, so does my Grandpa.  Tearing the paper was followed up by tasting the paper.  The photo shoot was continuously interrupted by me get up off of my belly and crawling over to her to get it out of her mouth.
 Finally, we have, "hey, I can get up on my knees and look over the side..." This is the last picture I got, can you see where it's going? 
Yep, baby faceplant (her first but not last of the weekend)

They're not professional quality but I'm ok with that.  The memories are better this way. ;)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Polar Express!

Our Advent calendar activity Friday night was to have a movie night and watch the Polar Express.  I think the movie is so beautiful and this year Stella got into it much more than she has previously.  She asked a ton of questions about the train and told me that she wanted to go on a train to see Santa.  I played it cool, "hmmm, really?  Yeah, that would be fun... we'll see..."  HA HA - inside I was fist pumping and cheering.  She'd fallen right into my plan.  You see, the next day's activity was to ride the Polar Express train!

Saturday we'd planned to get family Christmas pictures taken (which Stella was well aware of) and we hadn't told her about the train.  She asked for her calendar for the day and I "read" it to her but I told her that we were going to get our pictures taken and then go to dinner.  She frowned and said, "well that's not a very exciting activity". Oh Stella, just wait my love!

When we finally got to the train Stella was in disbelief.  Check out that, "is this actually happening?" look on her face, I LOVE it!  She doesn't get excited about doing stuff like this.  You'd think she's not having fun at all.  Actually, she's just soaking up every single second of it.  She will talk about every detail for a long time to come (she actually told me about going to see Scrooge last Christmas - she remembered things I didn't)

Mama and Lu snuggling.  It was SO cold!  Thankfully we'd brought blankets for the girls and our picnic blanket was in my trunk.  It took the entire ride home for my toes to thaw.
The girls
 The whole fam (decent considering we just asked the people next to us to snap one quick pic)
 Santa giving Stella her bell.
He gave one to Lu too with a little, "aww..."  She loved it!
This is it for our Santa pic for the year.  We don't ever do anything with them so there's no way I'm going to take them to the mall for another pic.  I'm perfectly happy!  We actually got a few and I couldn't believe that Lucy didn't mind him at all.  Maybe next year will be the hysterical year - every kid needs to have at least one.
It wasn't fancy, but it was a great outing for our family. I adore making memories with these 3 people, I'm so very lucky to get to be part of their lives.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wreath mania!

We're hosting Jim's families Christmas this year so I want to amp up our decorations a bit without spending a lot of money. Stella and I made three new super easy wreaths that I'm pretty happy with overall.
The first is an ornament wreath for the front door.  Seriously, SO easy! We untwisted a wire hanger, threaded on our ornaments, twisted it back together.  I have seen people who have issues with their balls popping off and suggest glueing the tops on before stringing them onto the hanger but I tested ours and they were pretty tight (and I didn't want to spend that much time on it), so I was a rebel and did without the glue!
The second is my yarn wreath which I think is fitting for any knitter!  At first I was trying to be so careful about wrapping the yarn and glueing it every few rows but then when I looked at some on Pinterest I actually liked the ones that were a bit less uniform better so I just started wrapping like crazy and glued it at the end.  I've been making felt flowers for headbands for the girls so I had felt on hand and cut some spirals for flowers, glued a pearl in the middle, and DONE!  The only thing I'm not thrilled about is that I tried making my own wreath form like I'd seen on Pinterest and it's not perfectly round.  If I were to do this one again I'd spring for a premade wreath form.  I did turn it so it looks a bit better now (I put the wonky spot under the yarn hanging it.)
You can see our new PB stockings here...  I've wanted them for years and when I tried to order them they were gone.  On a whim I checked one more time a few weeks ago and they had them!  We spray painted the "JOY" letters too.
The last wreath we made was a boa wreath.  I saw one on Pinterest and immediately fell in love with the fluffy soft white loveliness.  Have you noticed when you take pictures of your house you notice things that you don't notice otherwise?  Here I noticed that the blue tealight holders are spread too far apart...  I've moved them!  (Just a little something that helps me get perspective on things - I do it with my haircuts too!)  I'm not in love with the color of the ribbon, I'd picked a cozy copper color but it didn't go with the colors on the mantel and Jim liked the green better.  Next year I'll probably change it out for something a bit more subtle.  I also have some mercury glass candle holders that I'm going to switch out for the "peace" and "joy" ones because I ADORE mercury glass and they'll probably get some pretty new candles.

Our last Christmas craft so far is our PB inspired NOEL. Note...  Check out our nativity.  I set it up and when Stella got up she "arranged" them for me.  Such a nice little straight row they're all in - yep, she's definitely my girl!
I tried to get a picture to show the finish of the paint but it doesn't show up very well.  I really like it in person, it has a bit of a metallic look to it.
I've been taking pictures of Bob's adventures, I'll try to post those soon.  Today we get to start our Advent Calendar which I'm so excited for and opening a new book a day.  (Stella could tell that they were books and asked me if they were new books or books from our bookshelf.  She's way too smart for us and onto all of my tricks!)