25 Week Bump and Baby Update

8:00 AM

So here we are, at 25 weeks!

I haven't lost count, I am aware that I said 23 weeks just last week, but that all changed when I went to the Doctor on Friday.

I found out that I moved up a little bit after my last ultrasound, which technically moves baby up, but my Doctor decided to leave her due date at May 16th because babies always come on time [they don't, that's sarcasm from both of us]. But it rolls me a week ahead, at 25. I'm not going back and changing anything because at the time, I thought it was 23!

Baby and I are still completely healthy, she's on track with growth and I'm doing good. Now that I've hit the 3rd trimester, the comforts of the the 2nd are slowly dwindling away.

I'm having a harder time sleeping.

Nausea is returning when it pleases.

I'm getting uncomfortable cramps from growth. [Baby's, not mine, but I guess I have to grow a little too]

Sooo tired, all the time.

I'm starting to hit the point where normal clothes no longer fit and I have to wear maternity options. Which is okay, considering a friend just gave me a ton of maternity clothes in excellent condition. Yay for a dozen free sweaters and pants!

Speaking of normal clothes, I can still fit my "leather" leggings, hooray! Which just means that since being pregnant, my booty and thighs haven't grown much. I can't say so much for things above the belt as, obviously, my waist is gone, ha. And, well, other things are preparing to be a food source.

And with the mention of a food source... boy, is it complicated trying to explain breast feeding to a 5 year old. I kind of gave up when I said Momma would feed her, he said how and I looked down at my chest, not ready to go there! He'll understand when she gets here, right? I hope.

That's all I have for 25 weeks. On a side note, I have no idea why I am always wearing stripes when I take my photos. I try to make sure my hair is presentable and I have clothes on, but I don't think much beyond that, ha. Next week, I'll try to ditch the stripes!

- Amanda

DIY: Sequin Chipboard Letters

1:53 PM

Since I first found out I was pregnant, I began scheming up ways to decorate a little girl's room. I know, that's a little crazy but some how I just knew it was a girl.

Maybe it was a terrible morning sickness and how this pregnancy was far from being as easy as my previous.

I have an embarrassing pinboard with 300+ ideas for a girl, I kept it a secret until we knew for sure.

The sequin letters were something I actually stumbled across on facebook and just saved a screenshot. I don't recall which one, but one of the beauty companies I "like" posted up photos from a New Years party and had displayed the words "CHEERS" over their drink table. The words were gold sequin and I immediately knew I wanted THAT for her room.

My overall vibe is, I guess, eclectic. I'm pulling inspiration from vintage, modern and I guess you call it hipster sources? I just hope it all comes together.

I didn't want to go overboard on the shiny and glam, so I decided to just make the sequin letters to hang. We'll see if it actually stops there.

They're easy to make, but take time. I spent about 4 days working on mine, but I could only give it 30 minutes to a hour here or there. I also got much faster at it as I figured out how measure and layer.

To Make Your Own, You Need:

  • Chipboard Letters [I found mine in scrapbooking]
  • Sequins on the Spool [found with ribbons and sewing]
  • Hot Glue Gun or Craft Glue
  • Scissors
  • Paint to match sequins and a paint brush
  • Wax Paper or a Tray to paint and glue on
  • Ribbon/Twine
  • Tacks
  • Hammer
  • Super Glue [I'll explain later]

I began by painting my letters gold, you don't NEED to do this, but I wanted them all gold just incase there was a gap anywhere and you could see the board through the sequins.

I used gold metallic paint from Martha Stewart that you can find at Michael's and my Chip Decor letters came from Hobby Lobby.

I painted all sides of the board, even the back. Maybe I'm a bit of a perfectionist on that point but it's what I did!

Go ahead and paint all of your letters now, so they have time to dry. Give them at least 1 hour to dry, just to make sure everything will stick.

The next step involves your glue gun, sequins and scissors. If you don't have a glue gun, you can use a high quality craft glue. I didn't use one, so I can't tell you which works best. I can tell you the pros and cons. 

With the glue gun, you have the treat of your glue drying quickly, but that can also be a pain if you don't move fast enough! One the other side, craft glues can take up to 48 hours to fully dry, but you'll have time to mess around and make sure everything is straight.

Also, be aware that a craft glue and super glue are totally different things! Do not use super glue because it dries quickly and you can never fix a mistake... or get your fingers free.

To begin, measure your sequins along your letter to find how long to cut. You will lose a few sequins each time you cut, so find your length and then cut a few sequins longer. We'll deal with the excess thread later, but it's harder to add sequins back than it is to remove a few!

Put a line of glue down and lay your sequins on top, pressing them down into the glue. 

This is up to you, but I layered my sequins as I went. I also changed the direction, to me it just looked better this way, but it's up to you.

You'll have to play around a little to figure out how to cover the full letter, especially if you have small spots like I did. It doesn't look pretty now, but it's okay, it gets there!

Once you have applied all the sequins, trim all the excess strings off of the edges. You can be finished here or you can go back and edge them. I went back.

I ran a line of sequins across the top and bottom and finish mine off. That is completely up to you, it just made me feel better about mine.

From here, you just repeat with each letter until your word or name is finished.

At this point, you can stop! If you just want to stand them or lean them on something, then you are all done! 

But I wanted to hang mine, so I'll be continuing into the optional section.

If you want to hang it, you will need ribbon or twine, tacks and a hammer. 

I also have super glue and now I will tell you why. I'm am not 100% sure where I'm hanging this yet, but in case it goes some place like up above or near her crib, I don't want to risk a letter coming loose and falling. They're not heavy, so the worry isn't it hitting the baby as much as ending up in baby's hands. So if yours is going into the room of an infant or small child, I suggest the super glue!

Begin by laying your letters out and spacing them as you want them to hang. Then run your ribbon across the top to find out how much you want. I gave myself an extra two feetish on each side, just to be sure I'd have enough.

Cut your ribbon.

Turn your letters over, space them properly and be sure to place them in order so that they look right when you flip it back over. I put a towel under my letters to be sure I wouldn't break anything off and to protect my table from having sequins pounded into it.

Lay the ribbon over your letters, take a tack and gently press it through the ribbon and partially into the letter.

Gently pull tack back out of the letter, if should leave a small hole, but keep it in the ribbon.

Twist the ribbon so that you can see the tack and put a dab of super glue onto the tip of the tack. Turn the tack over and place it back into the hole you just made.

Take your hammer and gently hammer the tack into the letter. Continue this process until all your letters are done and connected. Allow super glue time to dry.

And that's it! You're ready to go and place this cute little decoration anywhere you please. I haven't put mine up yet, simply because I haven't started putting her room together. It needs a fresh coat of paint before I do anything to it! And since I'm pregnant, I have to wait until my husband has time to do that... he just finished painting my dining room for me, so he deserves this coming weekend off for sure.

I'll update when I get it put up in her room!

And if you make your own, tag me on instagram or leave a link in the comments, I'd love to see yours!

23 Week Bump and Baby Update

8:00 AM

Apparently I am not very good at documenting the baby bump, week 17 was the last time I officially took a photo. How awesome am I? But at the same time, I was completely aware that there isn't a huge change week to week and so I like putting a little gap in between.

I also like making excuses to make myself feel good about not getting things done.

You can't tell in the photo, but I took this in our dining room, which we just ripped all the wallpaper off of this past weekend. So I am keeping busy!

You can see the 17 week bump and compare.

So what is has changed since last time?
Well, I'm still in love with junk food and spicy food, all of which kill me. But she also enjoys a salad and kind of lets me eat deer meat. She was totally into duck and dumplings soup the other day, but cravings vary day to day.

I have oddly specific cravings too, like the other day I was craving brownies. But I didn't just want brownies, I wanted a whole pan, to myself and I wanted to slowly eat it with a fork while it was still warm.

To be safe, I just didn't have any brownies, at all.

She's moving like crazy! My son and my husband have their hands on my stomach anytime they see me placing my hands where I feel movement. I've especially fallen in love with her fondness for her Father, he'll fall asleep next to me with his hand on my stomach and I can feel her pressing against his hand. Not kicking, punching or moving, just resting there where her daddy is.

And I just got all misty eyed, the second trimester has been all about ill timed tears for me. This morning I noticed I couldn't see my feet when I looked down, so I started crying. The tears just started rolling, it's ridiculous.

I've named my second trimester, The Weepies, for this reason.

And baby's health?

According to our last ultrasound and Dr's appt, baby is doing great and so am I. We're both healthy and looking good. She is running small, Dr. Miller said she was only missing growth by 2-3 days, so this early it wasn't anything to be concerned about.

My son was 9lbs 5oz, so I could really go for a smaller baby. Maybe she'll be a petite gal and I will actually have a kid that won't outgrow me. I see my son towering over me by the time he's 10, he's tall like his father.

And baby's closet?

Ha.... One of my friends offered me an intervention because of my Baby Girl pin board with 300+ pins. I haven't bought a ton for her, though I've hit a few consignment stores in the city and online to catch summer clothes on the cheap. I've been able to get several GAP, Old Navy and other nice baby brands without spending much.

I'm trying to hold off buying anything else until after my baby shower.

As far as baby items, I have been blessed by my friends generosity with hand me downs. I don't complain about free stuff, even if it's blue, who cares? So we have a swing, bouncer, bumbo, boppy, rocky bassinet thing and a walker, hooray!

I made registries at Target, Walmart and Amazon to maybe fill the gaps, but we plan to make an Ikea trip in March to pick up furniture for her room. [The nearest Ikea is 3 hours away in Dallas, so it's a trip!] We have all tile floors, so she needs a rug and I'm demanding new rugs in other rooms too. I'll have a baby on the floors soon, no nasty old rugs!

And that is all I have at this moment. I have an appt on Friday, so I'll try to update on the bump next week.

- Amanda

Sweet Little Maeve

8:00 AM

With the busyness of the past month, I have not had a chance to get on here and properly announce who we will be welcoming in May. I had a grand idea that involved tons of sequins and maybe some balloons... but we just let Izzy announce via Instagram holding a darling onsie he picked to pose with.

He's becoming a big brother and he is so darn proud, I just let him take all the attention for it.

We found out on December 19th that we will be welcoming into our lives a little lady, which over joys me because I'm ready to even the playing field in this boy ran house.

I have loved the last 5 years with just our son, he has let me enjoy my super geeky side. We've indulged in Star Wars, Ninja Turtles and video games, obviously all things that a girl can do too, but there was no balance of princess fluff! And while I'm geeky, I am girly! So she'll probably be a total tomboy and daddy's girl, but I'll enjoy it while I can.

The other great news was we already knew her name, if she was in fact a girl. And if baby had been a boy, then my husband and I would have continued to disagree on names.

My boy name was Gabriel, which he didn't like, so I present Caellum and it was iffy.

His boy names were Phinehas, Hezekiah and Methuselah, as you can guess, I was against them all.

I have this thing I do, where I imagine trying to grow up and introduce myself with the name I choose and none of his were working.

On to our little girl, we chose the name Maeve Lorraine. My husband really wanted to use Lorraine, it's his Mom's middle name, his sister's middle name and actually a variation of my Grandma's name, Lorene.

At one point I started to like it a little less and came back to a name I saved in a my phone long before I was pregnant, which was Maeve.

Maeve is Celtic and, well, it actually has several meanings. I have latched onto "The Cause of Great Joy" but it can also mean, "Goddess of Song" or "Intoxicating." Obviously I have taken to the first because her surprise arrival into our life has only brought me joy!

I had a difficult time finding a middle name, I played with Lucille and then ended up coming back to Lorraine, which was a perfect fit for me.

Lorraine just means, "From Lorraine" which is a region in France. It's also where the The Maid of Orleans was born [in the village Domremy], or as most know her, Joan of Arc.

I do my research!

I have just started working on projects for her nursery, we had a spare room when we bought the house and I always called it the nursery. The photo above shows my first project, her name in sequins. I'm actually planning on keeping most of the decor fairly simple, so I had to put at least one thing glitzy in there!

I cannot tell you how much we all look forward to our sweet little Maeve to arrive in May, even if it means I won't make it to the theatre to see Jurassic World. Life of a parent, right? [I'm a life long Jurassic Park fan/Dinosaur lover, that's all.]

Onward to May!

- Amanda

That Day it Snowed in December

7:30 AM

We had a very interesting snow day in December, they said we'd only see maybe 1 inch, 2 if we were lucky. But it ended up looking like a full on blizzard that day!

My husband was gone hunting and while my pregnant self would have rather stayed inside where it was warm, I have a 5 year old that has a very different opinion when it comes to snow. So I bundled up the best I could, because normal clothes are fitting me less and less all the time, and took the boy outside.

Of course, there was one condition, he had to let me take pictures before the snowballs started flying! 

You can see in the above photo how the flakes were coming down. If you live up North, it's probably not that big of a deal, but here in OK seeing those big fat flakes is a treat. We usually just get ice... hooray.

Below you can see the snow accumulating on him while he patiently took a few photos [the word patiently should be read sarcastically!].

I indulged him in his snowball fight and for the first time, I think I actually lost. I'll blame pregnancy but his aim is so much better and he kept catching them at the top of my coat and boots so the snow would get inside and slowly freeze me out.

Smart kid.

Polar Express in Bristow - Christmas 2014

6:00 AM

I'm aware that this is Christmas related, but umm, I'm trying to catch up and I finally have time to catch up! Yay!

I've been knocking out little projects at home: Finishing baby quilts I started as gifts before I was pregnant, peeling off wallpaper in my dining room, doing various crafty things for baby's room and preparing for our new little one. And now that school has started back up for Mr. Handsome, I have time to sit at the table while he does his school work.

Every year we try to do something for Christmas as a family, we've been focusing less on getting "big" gifts and more on spending the money on events that give us time together. We miss out on a lot of time together during the holiday's simply because it all falls around rifle season for deer, so my husband spends the majority of his time freezing in a deer stand. And I'm not complaining, because if he gets a deer, that's food for our family as well as the fact that he only gets to do this once a year.

So we pick an event and set that day aside for our family.

This day was a little more special for us, we had the train in the evening but first thing that morning, we had a ultrasound appointment.

THE ultrasound appointment.

So not only did we get to treat the kiddo to a train ride, he got to find out if he was having a little brother or sister... but that's another post. [Just look on instagram]

We bought tickets for the Polar Express almost as soon as I found out about it online. Mr Handsome is a train fanatic and he loves the movie, The Polar Express.

The ride took place about an hour north of us in a quaint little town, Bristow, OK.

Bristow looked like the kind of small down that would grace a Hallmark movie, with the small antique shops, a welcoming coffee shop and Christmas decor everywhere. We showed up early and to the dismay of the little guy, spent some time shopping for antiques.

Around the train depot, they had many pop up shops selling Christmas items, kettle corn, candy and the likes. As well as many food trucks ready to serve you a warm meal or drink.

I loved Bristow, after our train ride we drove around to see lights on all the beautiful, old homes in the town. I grew up in a small town and I will always love the charm they have.

But as soon as the train pulled into the station, it was time to go, we couldn't convince him to wait even if we couldn't board for another hour.

But that's okay, it gave us time to sneak over and take pictures with the train. No one said we couldn't! My husband didn't know if we should and I figured someone would say something if we got too close. No one ever did! And he was super excited to get that close to the train.

When the time finally came to board, I gave him his golden ticket. I'm not usually prideful as a parent... but I kind of take pride in NOT giving my son his ticket before. He didn't need it until he was on the train and unfortunately we heard the shrieks of children crying because they dropped theirs. Mine may have been disappointed that I made him wait... but at least he had his. I'm just saying.

We rode coach [cheap seats] and the kiddo loved the experience. They played music from the movie and had a narrator read the story. I wouldn't complain because I knew it wouldn't be a hollywood grade experience to begin with and my son enjoyed every bit of it.

They gave out big sugar cookies and hot chocolate for the ride, which took about an hour round trip to the North Pole and back. I've seen a couple of complaints about not getting to get out at the North Pole [which was just a little wooden fake town where Santa was waiting] but personally I understand that it would have taken so much more time to unboard and board all the passengers again. Not to mention the risk of people getting left behind because not everyone pays attention!

When we reached the North Pole, Santa boarded the train, asked each child if they had been good and then gave them a silver bell just like in the movie. I couldn't help but laugh on the ride back as our car was full of the sound of ringing bells.

I have to give a special shout out to the crew that was running the cars. Our conductor, a young man that probably hadn't hit 20 yet, was kind and patient with each child. He punched their tickets, posed for photos and answered their questions. When my son told him that he really like his train, the young man replied, "Thank you, I take a lot of pride in my train!", way to stay in character. All of our servers were kind and patient, Santa was in and out but he had a lot of ground to cover and the elves took time to sit and talk with the children. I think my son quickly developed a crush on one female elf that answered a ton of his questions.

Will we go again next year? Probably not. We enjoyed the ride and the experience but my son has memories of another Christmas Train we rode and has repeatedly asked to return there. So we'll just be doing a different train.

To my knowledge the Eastern Flyer plans to bring the Polar Express back next year, as it was almost completely sold out most days. The majority of reviews has been positive, as was mine! Whether your child is a fan of the movie, a train fanatic or you just want to do something as a family, I think is a great way to spend a day or evening as a family for Christmas.
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