Monday, January 31, 2011

mini update

I'm feeling less than inspired to blog the last few days. Things are going well, life is bobbing along as always (mental image of a fishing bobber on a lake, my life seems to float along like this).

Brecken is fantastic, he's growing like a weed. We got him up for school on Friday and Joey and I were both like hmm, he obviously grew overnight. We inexactly measured him against the counter, and he is as tall as the counters now - 36"! But again, business as usual for him. I have a cute video to post later this week, he knows his baby brother's name, and it's hilarious to hear him say it. :)

Daycare is closed tomorrow - PLEASE give me ideas of things Brecken and I can do tomorrow. Toddler activities do not come easily to me. I could teach him Excel or how to play the Wii, but methinks he's too young for both. So really, pass ideas along, please and thank you!

So my whole point of this post was a tiny update on the tiny babe. We hit 22 weeks last Saturday. This pregnancy is going so very fast. Baby J is kicking like crazy! Here's the baby update from "At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily."

So that's all about us - what are YOU up to this cold winter night?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

little and big

Ahh, pictures. Of both boys! Finally!

First, baby numero dos:

this, I think, is heads down, obviously both arms and hands

facing away from us, pwetty spine and head :)

semi-creepy alien baby shot - see he's facing us

this is the only 3d one we got, his head was smooshed into the placenta on the left. He sort of looks like he's on Mount Rushmore here, to me.

head to the left, arm

leetle foot

I think this is my favorite... his belly on the right and then looong legs down to feet on the left (sorry bad quality scan...)

And of course, our lovebug baby err, big kid #1, from Christmas. Because I am incredibly behind with taking pictures...

new trike from Santa, and it was nice enough to ride outside!

there was a lot of this... told you he loves BIG

checking out the choo choo ornament with gma!

two cute blondes

Sunday, January 23, 2011

bedroom redo, project #2

Someday I'll tell you about how I was pregnant with Brecken and omg, the queen bed might as well have been a twin, I needed some space. So we went out and hastily (and for as little money as possible) bought this king size bed. And that is why we have no fancy bed, or bed linens. Because we bought the bed, the sheets, and this quilt that is cute, but so not my style all in a matter of 2 hours.

Well there we go, guess I just told you.

Rambling, what?

p.s. The mattress itself? Sucks. Don't buy the cheapest one at the store, even if it is a Sealy. The end.

So where was I? Oh yes, the bed linens. I bought this quilt/bedspread that didn't have a bed skirt. And the bedding I want to get for our room redo, doesn't have one either. I figured it was beyond time we hide the simple bed frame we have, and shopped a bit online for them. But a) I didn't find much I liked, they were all ruffly and such. I don't do ruffles. And b) they were pretty pricey... I figured for $40-50 I could surely make my own.

I stumbled on a tutorial for a no-sew bedskirt here, and figured even I could do that. I mean strips of fabric? 10,000 times easier than making one with a middle. So I searched for fabric and decided I wanted something gray. Black would show The Dog Hair that takes over our house omg lives among us and white would show Brecken's shoe marks every time he steps on it to get on our bed.

I also found this blog post, which was inspired by the first one. She used an old drapery scarf and guess what? I just happened to have 144" inches of a cream colored linen curtain swag in the closet that the previous owners left.

I'm not even posting steps for you - just use those two blog posts, it's SO easy. All I did was cut my swag in half, lengthwise (you could do the same with normal fabric yardage and hem), and then sew the two lengths together. It reaches all the way around the king box spring (and then some).

I also thought I'd venture into fabric dying, I really wanted Rit's Pearl Gray color, but that seems to not be sold anywhere in Lincoln. So instead I mixed some black and royal blue. And what do you know, it turned out dark royal blue. ;) So I need to re-dye it, but I'm not worried about that part.

Anyway, once the fabric was successfully dyed the wrong color, I just then placed it on the box spring, safety pinned down, and voila!

Friday, January 21, 2011

more than you ever wanted to know about how we named our kids

Some of you may know this about me: I'm a bit obsessed with baby names. Not necessarily even for my own kids (although they DO have pretty spectacular names, if I say so myself :) - but I really enjoy learning about the history and trends of names. Even when Joey and I aren't actively naming our kids (and I think we're done with that now, for the foreseeable future, whew!) I still love hearing about how others' names came to be.

Growing up, I thought Alison was THE most annoying name on the planet. I was super annoyed at age 8 - gee thanks mom and dad for making my name so difficult for the rest of the world to spell. I think my dad actually thought making it with one "L" would be easier - one less letter, right?

But now? Now I *love* my name. (So really, thanks mom and dad!) I'm so glad it's a bit different, and I've mostly (ok, that might be a lie) gotten over correcting people that it's "just one L, please and thank you". (The only ones who really still get me, are the ones that say "Hi Allison..." in an email even though they had to type Alison to get my address to pop up, but what can you do...)

I think my own name has made me want a similar experience for my kids - I want to give them names that set them apart just a bit and mark their individuality and uniqueness. (But I personally want to avoid totally u-neeke names - I know it gets a bit annoying spelling my name over and over again.)

Joey on the other hand might be completely fine naming our kids Frank and Bob. Because they're easy, and people can spell them. It took me a l.o.n.g. time to convince him that B's name was great, and he finally came around. I actually think I've changed his mind on the Frank and Bob thing along the way, because Joey was even suggesting some different names this time around. I will tell you that his #1 pick for a name was Boston. Bless his heart. We didn't pick Boston. I've never been there, neither has he, but I'm sure it's a lovely town. :)

His only qualification is that our kids' names be "nickname proof". While I agree with him in theory, and also look to avoid all the common annoying nicknames, I think making something nickname proof is impossible. Plus, I survived being called "Alice In Wonderland" (ha. haha.) growing up.

Joey has two middle names (one of which he didn't know how to spell officially until we were getting his passport for our honeymoon, but that's a different story...) - as do both of his brothers. And well, telling me that Joey has two middle names? Is like giving B a bowl full of Sugar Smacks. Because as soon as I started processing that we could give our kids two middle names also, my naming-loving-brain went crazy. Two. middle. names?! So much better than one. And especially if it has family ties.

So, how did B's name come to be? In college I was watching the movie Road Trip, or some other equally subpar Breckin Meyer movie and his name kind of stuck with me. Fast forward 7ish years, and it was still a front runner. Thankfully, the ultrasound showed we were having a boy, because Joey was already on board with it by that point, and we had ZERO names for girls. I had to switch Breckin to end in -en though because I have this weird thing with symmetry, and it seemed like it needed two e's to me. I am WEIRD, I know.

And what's this new baby's name? Which I'm sure is the whole point of you reading this really (really) long post, if you're still there. Sorry, you'll have to wait a few more months to find out. Joey has sworn me to secrecy. B knows, but he will tell you "puppy" if you try to get it out of him. I can tell you that his first name starts with a J - so I might refer to him as Baby J sometimes. (My mom and aunt just breathed a sigh of relief, no more B babies for now - it's hard to keep B and his cousin (also a B) separate on your tongue! :) Baby J also has two middle names, one a family name, and another we just liked. We can't wait to tell you what his name is!

So! If you're still there... tell me about your name or your kids names if you have them. How did they come to be?

Monday, January 17, 2011

a headboard for grownups

Since our boys (BOYS!) are going to share a room, I don't have that same need to nest in their room like I did before Brecken came along. My plan is to makeover our bedroom a bit to feed my creative (and nesting!) needs. More on the plans for our room in the weeks to come (it's going to have a yellow/gray/black/white theme, and I'm SO excited).

Joey and I have had a plain old headboard-less bed for a few years now. Since we're on a budget for this room makeover, I decided to make one myself. I'd seen a great one on Prudent Baby and thought I could do something similar. And you guys? It was SO easy. The headboard creation took less than an hour. I promise promise you can do it if you have even a little bit of craft skills.

I like a more modern look than the one shown on the Prudent Baby site - so I chose to make ours simple and rectangular. In case you're curious, it's 24" tall and 78" wide (we have a king size bed). It's hung on the wall with flush mounts.

Before you set out to shop, determine how big you want the headboard to be, as well as if you want to do a pattern. A good rule of thumb is to make it a few inches wider than the mattress.

What you'll need:

- a saw (a jigsaw if you're doing something other than a rectangle) to cut your piece to size
- hot glue or spray glue
- staple gun (your desk stapler won't work :)
- Plywood - you can use 1/4" but we got 1/2" because it was cheaper. We had them cut the sheet at Home Depot so it fit in the truck. (Plus that's one less cut you'll have to make at home.)
- Flush mounts (Home Depot had no clue what we were talking about, Ace Hardware knew right where to find them)
- 2" upholstery foam - y'all this stuff is CrAzY expensive. Like $30 a yard. The cheapest place I found was Hobby Lobby, but make sure to shop Joann's, etc. sometimes they have half off plus coupons. You will need enough foam to cover your plywood exactly.
- quilt batting - you can use whatever thickness you want, obviously puffier will be, well, puffier on the wall :) - add 12" to the length and width of your shape so you have around 6" extra to pull around to the back and staple
- fabric - choose a "home decor" fabric or something else a little more stout than regular cotton. Again, add 12" to the length so you have enough to wrap around to the back and fasten

What you'll do:
1) With the saw, cut your plywood to the size and shape you want to use. If you have rough edges, you can use a bit of sandpaper to smooth them - but don't worry too much, they'll be covered with layers of batting and fabric.

2) Trim your foam to match the shape of the plywood exactly. The best thing to use is an electric knife, but a bread knife works as well. Using either the hot glue or the spray glue, glue your foam to the plywood. You don't have to go crazy making it stick, it just has to hold so you can add the batting and fabric.

3) Lay the quilt batting on the floor and center your plywood/foam on the batting, foam side down. You should now have a sandwich of batting, foam, and plywood from the floor up. Pull the batting tight and wrap around to the back of the plywood - staple in place with your staple gun. Continue this all the way around the batting. Corners are a bit tricky, there really isn't a specific way to do it, I tried to make mine look as least bulky as possible.

4) Iron your fabric - this is critical as the wrinkles will stay on your headboard if you don't. Lay the fabric on the floor, pretty side down, and then center your batting/foam/plywood on top of it, batting side down. Follow the same process for fastening the fabric as you did for your batting. Check the fabric from the "front" of the headboard as you go to make sure it's laying like you want it to and not pulling or creating wrinkles.

5) Trim the excess fabric from the back of the headboard.

6) Attach the flush mounts to your headboard and wall - measure, measure, measure. This requires some math and crossed fingers. :)

Enjoy your fancy new headboard!

Let me know if you have questions, I can add the info back in! I'm sure I skimmed over something useful. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

and then we knew

I won't make you do anything fancy to find out what we're having, like I did with Brecken...

It's a BOY!

We are so excited! I'm secretly relieved we have everything we need (except itty bitty diapers and wipes) - there's an entire wardrobe of clothes waiting for the peanut in totes in our storage room.

Apparently most of you were getting the girl vibe, according to the poll, but I promise this kid is all boy. :) We have some cutie ultrasound pics that I will try to scan in the next couple days.

Brecken has no idea what a brother is, but he is saying "big brother" like it's his job today. I know he'll be a fantastic big bro - he's sooo loving and caring. When he's not throwing his toys around the room. :)

Anyway, team blue! Good thing this momma likes football.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

the time before we knew who

Last weekend, Joey nonchalantly said "I can't believe we'll know next weekend if we're having a boy or a girl". Which is true. We'll hopefully find out Thursday morning if we're baking a he or a she.

From there on out, we'll always know if we're parents to two boys or parents to a boy and a girl. And that's sitting so heavily on me for some reason.

Everyone has asked if I feel like it's a boy or a girl, and I honestly have no clue. And I don't care an ounce if it's a boy or a girl. I have reasons for wanting both, but we don't always get what we want.

I think maybe the gravity of holycrapwhatarewedoing is finally starting to set in. Brecken is in Epic Two Year Old Mode lately. I think Joey and I each utter the phrase "time out" 50 times a day. He pushes your buttons like it's his job. And then gives you a big squeeze and says "sawwy" and wipes it all away.

But an infant on top of this? What are we doing? (Rhetorical question. I know it will be fine.)

Anyway. Our 2 years, 3 months and some odd days (since we found out B was a he) of knowing we're just parents to a boy is about to end. And I'm ready for it. I think.

Monday, January 10, 2011

snow day!

I know, pictures is what you keep coming back for. I'm a terrrrrible photo taker lately. I will get better, promise!


So we had a snow day today. Meaning Brecken's daycare was closed (and I didn't want to make the 40 minute drive to work in the white stuff anyway). I know what you're thinking - SNOW DAY! FUN! LAZINESS! TV AND JAMMIES ALL DAY! It was more like agony and woe for both of us.

Today I'm thankful that God gave us all unique gifts. I can organize tasks. I can do computery stuff. I can crochet. I can lead people. I can create a complex spreadsheet.

But being home with Brecken all day (for the 3rd day in a row)? I'm horrible at it, admittedly. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that kid. So much it makes my heart hurt. But when it's just me and him, for 8 hours? Woe. Agony.

I am horrible with knowing how to entertain an almost-2-year-old. I tell Joey often that if I ever were staying home with my kids full time, I would so be taking some early childhood classes first. It doesn't help that we were home due to 6+" of snow, because holy cabin fever, batman. But we tried coloring, we tried Thomas the Train - both on tv, and on the floor, we tried Diego and Elmo and A Bug's Life. We tried trucks and blocks and books, oh my.

At some point in the last 3ish months, my cautious and gentle peanut has reached epic levels of BOYHOOD. He throws things (granted, he has a pretty good arm on him, hoping this bodes well for his quarterbacking skillz) - not in tantrum mode, just to see how far they can fly. He wipes all of his magnets off the fridge... just to make noise. He jumps on the couch. He sings/screams for what feels like hours (probably 3-5 minutes). And there's no getting through to his cute little face. He's just Captain Independent (which is a quality I hope both of my kids have) and I had no idea it would set in this early.

He is still as sweet as ever, generous with his hugs and smooches. But boy. Oh boy.

So all that to say... a) we survived. By the skin of our teeth, but we survived. b) I'm thankful I don't have to do this every day. c) I love him, to bits. d) please let there be a girl in my belly, I don't think I can handle another crazy boy. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

technologically challenged

This hasn't been the week for me and electronics.

Our 5 year old HP laptop is slowly losing its charm. Sometimes it doesn't really want to turn on unless you hold your breath and say a prayer. I'd say it's definitely lived longer than most laptops these days, and hopefully we can squeeze a few more months out of it until we get a new one.

My iPod is 4 years old, I think. We took it to Mexico and while the screen worked and videos played, the sound wouldn't work at all. It worked sporadically over the holidays but now seems to have died a final death. Some forums on the internet say this is a common issue, but a non-fixable one at that. I can pay $145 to apple to have them fix it for me, but that seems like a gigantic waste of money. So to ebay for parts it will go. Sigh.

And last night. I dropped my blackberry crackberry in the (dry) sink. There was just enough water sitting in there to sprinkle the face of it with water. But that seems to be enough for its demise. So now my beloved phone is sitting at home in a bowl of rice mixed with hope. I've heard that the rice will dry it out enough to work again. I hope so. I miss it.

Hope your weekends are great! It's supposed to finally snow here, and I'm excited!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


B has been finding his voice more and more lately, and he's constantly cracking us up with what comes out of his mouth.

We were lucky to hang out with nearly all of our extended family members at some point over Christmas. B is a bit shy at first but quickly warms up to whomever is giving him attention. The kiddo is lucky to have SO many grandpas (he calls them all Poppa) and grandmas - 5 of each if I didn't accidentally forget anyone! He hasn't quite figured out that we don't, unfortunately, get to see them all every day so he's taken to asking "Poppa GO?!" nearly every hour, on the hour. We remind him that Poppa is at home.

We took the Christmas tree down on Sunday and he was confused. For 2 days we got "tistis tree GO?!" - Joey even took B to the recycling place so they could tell the "tistis tree" bye bye, thinking the poor kid would get some closure, but not so much.

He's working on fine-tuning his vocabulary, but for the last few weeks, he has started babbling nonstop. He's very adamant about what he's saying, but usually Joey and I are totally in the dark with no clue what he means. We can pick out a few words here and there. We'll get there though, I'm confident. :) He does do a rockstar job with the two sign language signs we taught him - "more" and "all done". Thank God for sign language!

I'll leave you with a B funny - a month or so ago Joey was out of town and I was squeezing the last bit of dishwasher soap into the dishwasher and it was making those lovely end-of-bottle noises. B was watching me and all of a sudden said "Momma! I TOOT!". And then I died laughing.


We're off to watch a Nebraska men's basketball game tonight with B - I hope he likes it!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ahh, where to start?

I've hesitated to come post here because it's been SO long since the last post that I don't even know where to begin! I really do love this little space and want to use it to better keep track of things that Brecken or his little brother or sister* does. But that requires me to actually sit down and type. So here we go!

*First item of note! Baby number two is on the way! He or she will be making his or her appearance around June 4th! I'm 18 1/2 weeks today and feeling great so far. I'm starting to feel movement, so that's fun. I don't have any inklings if it's a boy or girl, but we will hopefully find out next Thursday, the 13th!

Otherwise, everything is pretty much business as usual in our little world. Brecken is 22 months old today! Holy cow. We're gearing up for a Things That Go birthday party in a couple months. He's starting to talk about the baby in my belly, but I don't think he really gets it yet. He's at such a fun age though, like a little sponge.

Joey is great also - he spends several hours a week at the gym doing his boot camp workouts which continue to go well for him. He's lost 100 pounds in the last year - so proud of him!

More coming soon, I promise. I had to start somewhere! :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

bad, bad blogger

I'm just moving back in this old bloggy space, vacuuming and dusting a bit. Promise to write more soon!