Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

So I mentioned in the beginning of the year that I thought this was going to be a big year of changes.

Well, our first change was not a good one. Having to uproot a child from daycare is not fun.  However, we found a new place for Avery to go and now I can say that we are VERY happy with where she is. The teachers there are great and they do so much with the kids. It's like she's in a preschool when she goes there and we just love it! The only bad thing? They don't take infants. So we have no idea what to do when baby #2 joins us in a few weeks.

Our second big change of the year was deciding to build a home. From the initial piece of land, to groundbreaking day, to the finish line! And of course moving day!

Change #3...our big news of the year....becoming parents again! Of course this will really effect us in 2012, but it's still a change for us nontheless.

Avery had a few big changes as well. She started potty training, and moved to a big girl bed! Not to mention the poor thing went through the daycare change and moving into a new house as well!  She's gone through a lot of changes this year and will soon be a big sister-another change for her to deal with. I have to say this girl is a trooper and has taken everything in stride-and way better than we anticipated!

One other change is in the works that I haven't mentioned on here yet. My In-Law's are in the process of buying a new house as well! They've been in their current home since before Gabe was born so this will be a huge change for them. It's a bigger home (don't you know you upgrade when you're empty-nesters?!) and closer to us, which is nice. They still haven't gotten a closing date on it yet, but they're hoping sometime in January. So they will have a lot of work ahead of them. It was sad at the holidays this year knowing it will most likely be the last at their current home.

I think that pretty much sums up the big changes for the year.

Other things to mark 2011?

I started some new skills when signing up for my first cake decorating class. It was a ton of fun and I'm glad I did it!  Now I can make my kids' birthday cakes and feel like I have some sort of clue what I'm doing!

Gabe and I celebrated 3 years of marriage already!

And some firsts for Avery....bowling, her first haircut, her first egg hunt, her first daycare performance, first time going on the potty, turning 2 years old, and having her eye tube removed,

2011 was a great year for us and we're looking forward to what 2012 will bring!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

36 Weeks-Baby #2

On Wednesday I turned 36 weeks! I delayed my post so that I could include my doctor's appointment from this week, which was today.

How I'm feeling/sleeping: I'm still pretty itchy which isn't fun. It has gotten a little better, but not much. Some days are great and I won't itch at all until around bedtime (go figure). Other days I itch all day long. Overnight has been hit or miss but I'm usually up a few times scratching and/or to use the bathroom at this point.  I'm just feeling really huge these days so I get tired/sore pretty quickly now.

Appointments/events: I had my appointment today. I gained 7lbs since my last visit (did I tell you I think their scale is really off whack?! According to mine at home I gained 4lbs-they weighed me in 3lbs heavier then my scale did this time!) so according to them I'm up a total of 25lbs and am at the exact weight I was when I delivered Avery. Let's see-all of my bloodwork came back normal so no cause of my itching (boo!). They did do an ultrasound to check out baby's position and great is now head down! Yay!  Now we just have to hope he/she stays that way!  I start weekly appointments now so I go next Friday already.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing really-no cravings, no strong aversions these days! The holidays totally killed me though-I've been eating like a pig!

Movement: Yep! Lots of movements that you can see from the outside. Sometimes it hurts too! Baby has had hiccoughs quite a bit lately too!

Avery's thoughts: Nothing new- still strongly convinced it's a girl though! 

Here are my photos from this week. The blue shirt is me at 37wks with Avery and the black shirt is me at 36 weeks now. I feel like I'm carrying lower this time around, but looking at photos I look the same! And honestly I don't look much bigger this time around either!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas-Day 3

Yesterday was day 3 of Christmas festivities.

My Dad had to work on Christmas Eve when we were in Buffalo, so we didn't get a chance to see him that day. Instead, they came out to our house to celebrate since we all had off of work yesterday.

They came out around noon and I just made us some appetizers to snack on.

Avery was very excited to open up her big gift!

It was the train table she desperately wanted!  My Grandpa also sent along a little gift for her-a little leap frog thing she can play with!
Silly Smile!

My Dad also got us our infant car seat and bases for the baby, so that was a big help!  We got the train table all set up and Avery had a blast playing with it!

Before they left, we had to get a family photo:
Dad, Avery, Me, Gabe

Shortly after my Dad left, we headed to my In-Laws' for our Christmas dinner. There were about 12 of us there and we had a really nice time.

The kids had their own kiddie table for dinner and were so cute sitting there together!

Owen, Bianca, Avery

We had our usual Christmas dinner which was excellent-soup, followed by salad, followed by shrimp scampi (chicken for me since I don't eat seafood), followed by filet and roasted squash. Delish!  And dessert of course! 

Gabe's birthday is on the 29th so we sang to him at dessert time

And of course the girls had to help blow out the candles!
So our celebrations for the year are officially over. Part of me is glad because now we can get Avery back on some sort of sleep schedule. Of course it's always sad to see the holidays go! Until next year.....

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day-Day 2

Merry Christmas!

Our day started with Avery getting up and we had to remind her that Santa had come overnight. We brought her downstairs and asked "where did Santa put the gifts?" and Avery actually ran to the back door to the garage! We were laughing at that! We had to tell her they were under the tree and then she ran to the tree and got all excited saying "I want to open them!"

We didn't go super crazy with gifts for her. Gabe and I got her some PJs, an Aquadoodle, the Memory game, a Big Sister book, and a Mrs. Potato Head.

Santa brought her some cozy PJs, a piggy bank, finger paints, watercolor paints, a reese's pieces candy cane, a butterfly bow for her hair, and a radio flyer wagon.

She had a blast opening everything and of course once she opened something she wanted to play with it! I think by 10am we already had the Aquadoodle, potato head and finger paints out!

It was her first time finger painting with us, so of course I had to take a few photos of her!

Look at my hands!

While I was on the phone, Gabe told Avery to paint my tummy. She was very hesitant to do it even when I told her she could, but after a few minutes she caved in and tried it out! 

We had a pretty relaxing morning. Had a good breakfast and just played with new toys. We went over my In-Laws' house around 4pm to just open gifts (the formal dinner was on the 26th).  The kids had a lot of fun, but I think by the end Avery had had enough-she didn't nap so of course she was exhausted and was actually not into opening gifts near the end. 

Here is our nephew opening a very cool plane ornament we got him. He loved it!

And Avery (looking like a ragamuffin) with our niece:

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with those who are special to you and filled with many  memorable moments!

Happy Holidays from our home to yours!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas-Day 1

Our Christmas festivities began last night-party #1 at my Sister-in-Law's house. I didn't take my camera with me, but took this photo of Avery before she left-all dressed up in her party attire!

Today was our Christmas in Buffalo. We left our house around 10:30am and got there around noon.  My Mom had Avery open up her stocking shortly after we arrived
My girlfriend Katie was in town from Maryland and I'm so happy she was able to stop by! I only get to see her once or twice a year now so it's nice to have some time to visit with her while she's here. Her son, Roman and her sister came along for the visit. We had to get a photo of us with our kiddos:
Roman, Katie, Avery and I

And since I had Avery in her Christmas dress, I wanted a nice picture of her by the tree as well!
And a nice family photo of us too!
Avery loves this one zoo book my Mom has for her so it was read to her multiple times today. Here my Mom just finished reading it to her.
My friend Renee also stopped by for a little while and also my Uncle Joe and Aunt Marion came by for a bit. It was pretty much a rotating door all day of people coming in and out. Once Renee left, we had a very yummy dinner-stuffed pork roast, cauliflower, mashed potatoes, salad, bread.

After dinner it was more guests-my friend Megan, her husband, Todd, Noah and baby Leigha.  We attempted a photo of Avery and Noah by the tree and it was an epic fail. We couldn't get both of them looking at the camera at the same time for anything! I think this was the best shot I got of them:

Avery and Noah exchanged gifts and she got a really cute doctors set. Of course we had to open it immediately so she could play with it! She was pretty funny with it too-checking everyone out to see if they were healty.

I hear something!
Whatcha got in there Noah?

Here, you listen now!
 The kids played very well together-they were even sharing the little people house!
And I had to take a pic of little Leigha-hard to believe she's almost 2 months old already! What a cutie!
Once they all left, we still had to do gifts with my Mom. Avery was so overtired by the end of the day (she didn't nap of course) that she was getting really silly. She started making a ton of funny faces and cracking us up!

We ended up not leaving until about 9pm which was really late for us. Avery crashed in the car and slept the entire ride home. She did wake up when we got home, but quickly fell back asleep, thankfully!! 

Tomorrow we get to see what Santa brings!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


35 Weeks down, 35 DAYS left....

Wow, where has this pregnancy gone?!


I thought I'd give a few updates on things this week....

In my last pregnancy post, I mentioned having blood work done for my itching. I found out yesterday that 2 out of 3 tests came back normal. The third test had to be sent out for results so they won't have them until the end of the week. So I won't have a final answer until then. Yes I'm still itching-some days are ok, others are terrible. I just wish I knew the cause-allergies, weather, pregnancy, hormones, etc.

I also wanted to update on Avery's transition to her big girl bed. The first night, she did great. We put her to bed and she fell asleep rather quickly. We didn't hear from her all night long. The following morning, she showed up in our bedroom just before 8am. So she did manage to climb out of bed, open the door, and come to see us. So I knew we needed to gate her doorway.

I thought of just gating off the stairs, but honestly I don't want her running around all upstairs either-it would mean access to the baby's room, bathroom, and spare bedroom. I thought it was too risky so I decided to put a gate right across her doorway. Her door still shuts, but if she does open it, she can't escape. So on Friday I put the gate up.

Naptime both Friday and Saturday were a joke-she was so obsessed with having free reign of her room that she was constantly in and out of her bed. We would hear her door open and shut, light turning on and off, etc. Sunday she did take a nap though, which surprised me.

Bedtime has been ok. The one hard thing was we broke her routine of rocking with us at night. We used to sit in a rocking chair and read stories then sing songs. With the bed set up, there really is no room for the rocking chair in her room. And we knew we wanted it in the baby's room eventually. So I think that transition was a little tough-she kept wanting to rock before bed and instead we were trying to get her to lie down in bed and we would lie down with her. We still do stories and songs, but now in her bed.

Some nights she falls asleep rather easily (usually when she doesn't nap). She has had a few nights of crying for awhile until Gabe goes to sit with her and rub her back. She had one night that she was just off the wall wound up and we ended up leaving her in her room to play. She played for awhile then somehow made it to her bed.

The good thing is that once she's asleep, we typically don't hear from her at all overnight. We only had one night that she woke up screaming at 1am so I went down to check on her-she had turned her light on and was trying to open her door. I asked if she fell out of bed and she said yes, though I don't believe her-she tends to answer yes to anything you ask her these days. Luckily she fell back to sleep in about 10min and that was that. So far, so good with the whole bed thing!

Other than that, we've been gearing up for Santa's visit this weekend-finishing shopping, wrapping gifts, etc. Can't wait!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

34 Weeks-Baby #2

Wednesday I turned 34 weeks! I had my doctors appointment yesterday to check on the little bambino....

How I'm feeling/sleeping: I'll admit-the past week and a half have been pretty bad. My skin is itching me like crazy-head to toe 24/7. Last weekend I was up every hour on the dot overnight to scratch myself-it was terrible. A "good" night is me waking up only 3 times to scratch. I've tried everything-multiple moisturizers (Eucerin regular, Eucerin calming cream, Babyganics eczema cream), anti itch creams, steroid creams, oatmeal baths, and antihistamines....NOTHING gives me any relief. It's awful. I'm literally covered in bruises from all of the scratching-it's a site to see. Besides that, I'm doing ok.

Appointments/events: Had my appointment yesterday. I gained 1lb since my last visit (up a total of 18lbs)-how that's possible I have no idea! I told the doctor about my itching (it had just started at my last appt) so she sent me for bloodwork to check on my liver. I guess if you get bile in your bloodstream it causes severe itching so they're going to check that out. I'm hoping that's not the cause, but at the same time it would at least be an answer. She really said she had no other "tricks up her sleeve" for me to try so I might end up suffering until this itching goes away. I should have the results of the bloodwork hopefully Monday. She also said that the baby now feels head-down which is good. We will confirm that with an ultrasound at my next appointment in two weeks...we shall see!

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing really-no cravings, no strong aversions these days!

Movement: Yep! Lots of movements that you can see from the outside. Sometimes it hurts too! Baby has had hiccoughs quite a bit lately too!

Avery's thoughts: The other day she said to me "how's that baby doin' Mama?" Cracks me up!

Here are my photos from this week....the green shirt is me at 35 weeks with Avery (I look incredibly small in this pic) and the grey shirt is me on Wednesday at 34 weeks.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Bed!

Today was the day....

....another step in my girl growing up.

This has been in the works for a few weeks now, but today it all came together.

Avery now has a "big girl" bed!

The week before we moved, she figured out how to almost climb out of her crib-we caught her straddling the top of the crib several times in that last week.

Then the week we moved in, she completely climbed (fell) out during her nap time. That next day Gabe and I went mattress shopping.

We have had the mattresses probably two weeks or so and we've been waiting on the bed rails. They took forever to get here! When they finally came, we postponed converting her crib just because we wanted to do it when we had a few days (a weekend) at home. Last weekend was busy with us having our party, so we knew that wouldn't be a good weekend to do it. So, it became this weekend. Since I have off on Fridays, we figured to start on a Thursday night and see how things go.

After work, Gabe spent awhile taking apart her crib, assembling the bed, putting the boxspring/mattress on and getting the bed all ready for her. She had no idea what was going on as her and I stayed downstairs playing. When I brought her up for her bath, she still didn't see what was going on. After bath, we showed her the surprise-and I wish we had recorded it! She walked in her room and yelled "my big girl bed!!" and was so excited. She couldn't wait to get in it!

Of course I had to get a few pics of her in it!
This is also her first time using an actual pillow too!

With her new comforter and pretending to sleep:

To be honest, we're both dreading this change. It's so nice having her contained in her crib, especially when she doesn't take a nap. This will be a real adjustment for all of us so we're hoping it's a smooth transition!!

Updates to come....

Monday, December 12, 2011

One Month

One month....

We have officially been moved into the new house for one month already.

Part of me feels like we've been here awhile and part of me feels like we just moved in.

The first week or two were odd. I think Gabe and I both felt unsettled. I chalk that up to the fact that we were going to the old house almost daily to get things that we needed. And also the fact that he had lived there for ten years and I lived there for six years. For me, as soon as I turned onto the old street, it felt like I was coming "home". I would get that relaxed feeling and think "I'm home" when actually I wasn't anymore. I'd open the door to an (almost) empty house and it was an odd feeling. Then I'd come back to the new house and not feel fully settled here either. I think it was really challenging for us at first because we sort of felt like we didn't "belong" at either place.

I will say that now I'm feeling more like this is home. I think decorating for Christmas really helped-the tree is up and decorations that we normally would put out at the old house are now put out here. So it's familiar stuff in a new place. I think that has helped me feel settled. Plus, we hosted our first party over the weekend and I think that helped too. Getting to entertain and show off the place was nice.

I think Avery settled in pretty well. She hasn't mentioned the old house in a long time now. We purposely haven't taken her there since moving day and I don't know how she would do if we did take her there. Part of me wonders if she remembers it at all but I don't want to bring it up to her either.

I was at the old house once last week and actually didn't even go in....I forgot the key! So it's been awhile since I've been to the old house. We still have some things to empty out of there one of these days. And we're still getting mail delivered there so we have to go every now and then to pick that up as well.

First month down...many, many more to come!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I'll admit, I've been a slacker on my blog this week.

This week was just very, very busy.

My Mom came out for a visit Tuesday night and into Wednesday. I took advantage of having a babysitter and did some Christmas shopping on Wednesday. Thursday was work like normal. Friday I had a dentist appointment then took Avery to story time. Gabe had an employee only happy hour after work and didn't get home until after I went to bed.

Did I mention that we hosted a holiday party on Saturday?! Yeah, so between all of that, we were cleaning, baking, etc to get ready to host our first party in the new house. And did I mention that I'm almost 34 weeks pregnant?! Yeah, just when cleaning, etc needed to be done, all I wanted to do was sit on my butt and relax with my feet up. Not a good combination.

But I will say that the party was fabulous. We had a great turn out, got to show off the house, had some great food and even better company. It was wonderful!

So today I was thankful that we had nothing to do. ZERO.

Sounded like a good day to relax and bust out the gingerbread house kit I bought for Avery.

I ended up assembling it myself because she was being too grabby with it-she wanted to just reach in and eat the frosting so I took it in the other room to assemble.

After her (no) nap time, we did the decorating. And I think she really enjoyed it! I would put on frosting and just let her have at it. She lined the roof with gumdrops:

And decorated the roof with little colored balls:

And here is her masterpiece (she's saying "cheese"):

Of course all she wanted to do was eat the candy so at times it was hard to get her to actually decorate. I don't blame her though-that's the fun part is getting to eat the stuff that comes with it! But she had a great time and the house stayed together and turned out really cute.

I took a picture of each side of it as well:

Now my question you actually eat these things or what?!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Garden Factory Fun

On Sunday, we did our annual trip to the Garden Factory. We have bought our tree there in the past, but with where we live now, it's quite a hike to get there. We didn't really want to drive across town with a tree strapped to the top of a car, so this year we didn't get ours there. But the one thing we always get there is pointsettias. We bought about a dozen of them for the house and they look great!

We met my in-laws there as well as my brother-in-law, niece, and nephew. Like I said, it's a famiy tradition to go there. And we made quite the day of it.

When we first got there, they had a Great Dane rescue group there with about 4 dogs. They are HUGE-I swear I've never seen dogs this big ever. The pictures don't to them justice! This grey one was the biggest of them, but what a sweetheart he was! I found out he weighs a "slim" 170lbs and is in his "skinny" season. He'll beef up another 30lbs in the next few months-yep, you're talking a 200lb dog! Yowza!
Here he is standing up-his head was up to my chest!
Avery loved him-she was going right up to him and petting this guy like crazy-and the dog was eating up all of the attention!
We did take Avery to see Santa, but since I was holding her, I didn't get any photos of the whole thing. She was all about sitting on his lap until we got up to him. Then she didn't want to. So I crouched down and she sat on my knee and talked to Santa. Yep, she actually told him what she wanted ("a train table and a bank"). He gave her a candy cane, which she tried and didn't like. We saw him walking around later in the day and she was waving and yelling "Hi Santa!" to him so that was cute.

After Santa, the girls were all about going on the rides....

They rode the train together-and wouldn't look at each other or even look happy for that matter. They had looks on their faces like they were being was hysterical!

They went on the merry-go-round numerous times. Avery could ride the "horsies" all day long if we let her. I went on the first time and Gabe took her on a few times as well.
Avery and Bianca braved the big slide all by themselves. Avery had some trouble going up the stairs while carrying her sack and actually was crying when they sent her down the slide. She came running up to us crying after, but said she had fun. Needless to say, she didn't want to go down it again!

We took a break from some rides to look at the huge train display they have. It's quite impressive!

Avery wanted to get her hand painted so we went to see the clown doing face painting. She picked out a candy cane and did pretty well sitting still for her to paint it.

After the arm painting, the girls went on a few more rides and then we called it quits for the day. We literally were there for four hours and Avery did not want to leave! We had a lot of fun and it was such a nice day out that we all kept warm while there (usually the area they have all of this in is freezing). We'll definitely be back next year!