Parker’s hospital pictures

For those of you who are not friends with me “in real life” and haven’t seen on Facebook…guess what?  Parker is here!  He arrived Thursday and we are both doing really well!  I’ll share more details and our birth story later but for now here are some of the sweet pictures from the hospital photographer.  At this point I don’t think he looks all that much like Hudson, especially comparing his hospital pictures to Parker’s.

dsc_9212 dsc_9215 dsc_9222_0 dsc_9233 dsc_9241_0 dsc_9242

We are totally in love and so thankful!

new bed and shelves

I have to tell you, Michael is a rock star.  If he decides he wants to learn something or do something then by golly he will.  When he mentioned a few months ago that he wanted to build us a new bed I was like…okayyyyyy.  I mean, he’s done some minor woodworking before, but a bed?  That’s a pretty big project.  I knew he could if he wanted to but I wasn’t sure that he was serious.

He was.

We had decided that we wanted to get a king sized mattress and of course would need a new bed since our old one was a queen.  Instead of buying a bed frame, Michael made ours.  He researched and looked up plans and we picked out a design.  It took him several nights working hard out in the garage and then voila…we had a bed!  And it’s GORGEOUS!  I love it!

2015-12-31_16.27.26 copy

We didn’t center it on the rug and instead pushed it over to one side because Parker’s crib is now attached to my side (I don’t have a current picture, but we turned his crib into a cosleeper so it’s attached to the side of the bed next to me so I can access him easily but he has his own space too).

For comparison, here is our old bed right before we made the switch.  Isn’t the new one a million times prettier?  Plus it is SO NICE to have a king now and much more room.  I still need to get a new comforter or duvet – right now we’re using our old queen one and it’s obviously not big enough but that’ll be a project for another time.

IMG_1272

The other big home update we’ve done recently is that we added some built in-type shelves in our living room.  We had this nook by the bathroom and my mom had a bookshelf that fit there perfectly.  It was actually a shelf from the one room schoolhouse that my Mema (my mom’s mom) attended so it’s got a cool history and it’s very rustic and old, which I like.  However, as Hudson has gotten older I started to get nervous that he would pull it over on himself and as we acquired more and more books (par for the course when you’re a former librarian…) we were running out of space on the shelf.

2016-01-18_07.45.34 copy

I started thinking that building some shelves right into the wall in that nook area would be perfect.  Michael had done some similar ones in our bathroom a few years ago so I figured it wouldn’t be too hard for him to do some more.  And of course, he did a fantastic job!

…with a little help from his carpenter assistant, of course!

2016-01-20_08.38.15 copy2016-01-20_08.38.30 copy Completed shelves!

2016-01-21_07.49.07 copyWe gained so much space by filling in that whole area with shelves.  I was able to bring down all the other books we had upstairs in Hudson’s room and fit them on there too.  The shelves are really deep – I’m thinking 15″ or maybe 18″?  Something like that.

Hudson is able to reach the bottom shelf easily so we put all his books that he’s allowed to get out and read unsupervised there (aka board books that aren’t easily torn up).  He can only reach the very edge of the middle shelf but not the books that are pushed to the back so we put his books that have paper pages there (he is not very gentle with them so books like that have to be read/looked at with an adult).  I think Michael has plans for the top to put some of our internet router equipment stuff up there but for now I just decorated it with some of the knick knacks I had on the old shelf.
2016-01-21_13.45.13 copy

I found two bin/basket things at Target that fit great under the shelf.  One holds some overflow books and I anticipate that in the future when Parker is mobile/pulling up but not yet able to reach the bottom shelf we will put books in there that he can get out on his own.  The other one holds stuffed animals.  I loved that they were large, didn’t scream “toys!” like so many of the plastic bins I found, and were on sale.IMG_1327

Here’s a before and after to compare – I’m blown away by the difference!  The shelves just look perfect there…as if it was meant to be!

2016-01-21_13.49.57 copy

I’m going to take a wild guess that our home improvement projects are going to take a bit of a hiatus with a new baby arriving soon but I’m so pleased with what all we’ve done recently around the house – new bed and shelves, plus our gallery wall, toy storage, and entry way shelf.

Parker’s baby quilt

IMG_1330

I thought there was no way I’d get Parker’s baby quilt done before he was born and yet here I am, still pregnant at 40 weeks 2 days and his quilt is totally, 100% done!  Yay!  I absolutely love how it turned out too!

IMG_1339

This was by far the quickest and easiest quilt I’ve done.  I’m sure part of that is because I’m getting better at it as I do more quilts but I also think this was a pretty easy quilt pattern in general to piece together and would be a good one for someone who is somewhat of a beginner like me.  I used this pattern and tutorial to make the top and then quilted it by hand.

I went Wednesday morning to my favorite fabric place (seriously, if you are in south central Kentucky you need to check out Whittle’s…way better selection and prices than Hobby Lobby or Hancock’s!).  Wednesday afternoon I got all the squares cut out.  I am not a fast cutter…at least not when I’m trying to be accurate, like I was with this quilt, but even at that it didn’t take me long to get all the squares cut out.  Wednesday night after Hudson was in bed I pieced the top together and I think that took me about 3 hours (which is not bad in my experience for putting the top together!).  Thursday I made the back, basted it together, and began quilting Thursday night.  I’ve been working on it since then, mostly after Hudson was asleep at night and sometimes during nap.  I finished up the quilting and did the binding yesterday (Tuesday).  So all in all the quilt took me not quite a week to finish, working on it mostly after Hudson was in bed.  Fairly quick compared to others I’ve done!

I love a stack of freshly cut fabric ready to be turned into something beautiful! 2016-01-27_10.49.46 copy

laying out the cut blocks2016-01-27_21.52.26 copy

quilt top done!2016-01-28_08.53.24 copyquilting2016-01-31_13.49.39 copycompleted quilt last night before going into the washing machine2016-02-02_23.33.00 copyPicking simple quilting helped a lot too – usually I trace around each piece of fabric and follow the sewing lines so I cover a lot of area and I’m usually quilting through lots of layers of fabric since it’s close to a seam.  This time I just did X’s through the middle of each block so that went way faster.  I’m still learning but I think that was sufficient to hold it all together and I really like the effect it made, especially on the back!

(Sorry for the pictures…our porch was way too bright for good pictures but I’m impatient so maybe I’ll go back and retake later.)IMG_1333IMG_1334

I have no idea how to actually embroider so I make it up as I go and it’s not the prettiest but the quilt is signed and tagged and made with love so that’s what is important.  In case you can’t read it, it says “to Parker, love Mommy, February 2016”.  IMG_1336I love the color combination and how it turned out!  It’s exactly what I wanted – different from Hudson’s quilt but still compliments the green, blue, and navy colors in their room (if they ever end up actually using their room…) and isn’t too babyish so it could be used later on too.
IMG_1331IMG_1338IMG_1337
And now that I’ve knocked the final thing off my baby to-do list I am more than ready for Parker to make his appearance!  Until then I have a quilt I’ve been slowly working on for…ummm…3ish years now?  So while I’m in quilting mode I guess I’ll keep chugging along on that to keep me occupied while I wait.

pregnancy #2 update – Hello 40 weeks!

How far along – 40 weeks!  Today is my due date!  I know due dates are just estimates and it could still be a while but it’s still exciting.  I guess we can say now that we will definitely be having a February baby!

Doctor updates – I went Friday but there isn’t really any news.  I’ve been opting out of all my cervical checks other than the one I had about a month ago so I have no idea how much (it at all) I’m dilated/effaced.  My doctor is awesome, very laid back and supportive of natural methods (which is why I picked him) so he’s totally cool with the fact that I’m planning to just let nature run it’s course and continue on being pregnant until my body says it’s time.  He said that if I’m still pregnant by this Friday’s appointment he would like for me to get an ultrasound to check on Parker and my amniotic fluid levels but other than that he’s good for me to keep on keeping on.  He was actually telling us that when he did his medical training they never induced someone before 42 weeks unless there was a severe medical reason – that has definitely changed a lot in the past few years!  I certainly hope I don’t have to go all the way to 42 weeks though!

Labor symptoms – Contractions for the last week but not regular or strong, really barely even enough to make me take note.  They’re mainly in the evenings and stop when I rest.  Other than that, nothing!  I’ve still been able to sleep great other than having to get up to go to the bathroom two or so times.  I’m feeling really good as long as I don’t overdo things.  On days where I’ve been cleaning or on my feet a lot I’m so sore and achy by the end of the day but as long as I’m resting a lot then I feel fine.

Labor thoughts – Last weekend I thought I’d be going into labor any second.  Now that a whole week has past and nothing has happened I’m going about my business not really thinking about it.  I am nervous about labor itself since I had such a horrible experience last time, but I’ve been trying to tell myself that it’s going to be totally different this time around.  I’m praying for a much quicker and easier labor and delivery!

Prepared feelings – Last week I was DONE physically.  I didn’t feel good and just wanted Parker to come out.  That feeling has passed and I feel pretty good.  I’m definitely sore and uncomfortable and awkward but it’s not horrible.

My mom came again this week and we spent a few hours cleaning our bedroom and bathroom so now our whole downstairs has been spring cleaned (other than pulling everything from each drawer) and our upstairs has been lightly cleaned.  Since our house is nice and clean now I’m mostly just trying to keep it picked up and tidy and the laundry caught up.  I had all kinds of projects on my wishful to-do list that I’ve been able to knock out since I keep staying pregnant!  This past week I got Hudson’s baby book caught up, filled out what I could in advance for Parker’s baby book, sewed some cloth napkins, and I’m currently working on a quilt for Parker.

I went Wednesday morning to my favorite fabric store and bought all the fabric, cut the squares out that afternoon, and that evening pieced the top together (it was the easiest and fastest quilt I’ve done so far!).  Since then I’ve been working on quilting it during Hudson’s naps and after he goes to bed at night.  I’m over halfway done so depending on how much longer Parker decides to stay in I just might get it done!  I never thought that would happen!2016-01-28_08.53.24IMG_2115

The double stroller we bought arrived this week too.  I had picked out a Bumbleride Indie Twin as my double stroller of choice and it’s a rather expensive stroller (of course…I always tend to have such expensive taste and definitely not on purpose!).  I watched Craigslist and some other bargain places for weeks with no luck before it finally dawned to me to try ebay.  We found several for really good prices so we ordered one!  Contrary to this picture Hudson really liked it and has wanted to go “ride” a lot.  If the weather stays warmish then we’ll probably take it out for some walks this week.  2016-01-29_17.26.35

Mentally I’m not sure I’ll ever be *totally* ready but now that I’ve gotten so many things done that I wanted to get accomplished I’m feeling more settled.  Last week if I had contractions I would hope that it wasn’t the real deal because I wasn’t ready.  Now I think I’ll be ready and accepting whenever it decides to happen.  I’m still not in a rush or anything though!

Other thoughts – Just hanging out waiting!  I’d love to get Parker’s quilt done because then I will have truly finished everything on my to-do list and I’m obviously fine if that doesn’t happen but that’s my project to work on as I wait.  We are supposed to have some bad weather this week (possible tornados on Tuesday and snow this weekend) so I hope to avoid that!

pregnancy #2 update – 39 weeks

How far along – 39 weeks today!  I went into labor with Hudson at 38+6 and had him at 39 weeks exactly so last time I didn’t really get to make it past 39 weeks.

Doctor updates – Nothing much to speak of.  He checked me at 35 weeks and I wasn’t dilated any.  I declined cervical checks at my other two appointments since then so I don’t have a clue how dilated or effaced I am (if any).  At my 35 week appointment he did the Group B Strep test and at the 37 week appointment I got my results…positive for GBS but only “lightly positive” and would not colonize.  He said he’d never seen that before so they retested me.  The retest came back negative so no need to worry about that!  Yay!

Labor symptoms – This is what you really want to know, isn’t it?  Well since Saturday I’ve had occasional contractions, occasional nausea, and occasional cramping.  Nothing consistent yet.  Saturday I thought I might have lost a teeny piece of my mucous plug (and I’m not even certain) but I haven’t noticed anything else since then.  Saturday night I had a few contractions while I was sitting down and resting (so far they have only happened when I’ve been very active) so we kicked it into gear getting stuff finished up just in case.  Saturday night I had the worst insomnia!  I don’t think I fell asleep until around 5:30am.  Part of that was because Hudson cried a lot during the night and kept me awake, I think part was maybe anticipation, and then other than that who knows?  Sunday I felt pretty yucky off and on but no real labor.  I slept great Sunday night (last night) and only woke up once to go to the bathroom, which is big for me!  And so far today (Monday) I’ve been feeling fine.

I think Parker has dropped.  I don’t see that visually (although a few people at church said they could tell) but I am having to go to the bathroom constantly and if I hold it too long it hurts pretty bad, so I think he’s dropped down and is squishing my bladder.

Labor thoughts – I am SO glad I made it through this weekend without going into labor.  We had an insane snowstorm with 1/4 inch of ice and 12 inches of snow on Friday.  Definitely the most snow I’ve ever seen and very unusual for Kentucky.  Everything was pretty much shut down and I was afraid I would go into labor and we wouldn’t be able to get to the hospital.  Thankfully that didn’t happen!  The roads in our neighborhood are still a sheet of ice but the main roads are fine and we can easily get out if we need to.

Saturday was also Hudson’s 2nd birthday and even though it would have been totally fine if Parker had been born before or on his birthday I was really hoping to make it past Hudson’s birthday.  We got to spend Saturday (and actually most of Friday too because Michael’s office closed) having lots of family time, just the three of us, which was nice.

As far as labor itself goes I am…nervous? anticipatory?  I’m not sure how to describe it.  With Hudson I didn’t get to have a “normal” labor where I started feeling contractions that gradually got closer together or more intense and have that “Is this it?” feeling…instead I was a little crampy that morning, noted that and remembered that some people said labor started for them feeling like period cramps, but then an hour later my water broke before feeling any contractions and there was no doubt I was in labor.  And if you have a traditional hospital birth, like I did, once your water breaks they have you on a timeline to deliver the baby before they start to get concerned about infections and things so I was having to do whatever I could to get labor to progress, go in for monitoring every few hours, and didn’t get to let things just happen.

The random contractions, cramping, nausea, possible mucous plug loss, Parker dropping…all this is totally new to me!  None of this happened last time.  And if all goes well and I have a “normal” labor (aka my water doesn’t break prematurely) that will be a totally different experience than last time too so it’s almost like being a newbie to labor all over again.  Which is kind of nerve wracking but it also gives me hope that my labor won’t be nearly as bad this time around.  I know people always say “you forget how painful labor is” but I’m pretty sure I haven’t.  Especially that last part…I remember that pain quite well and I don’t look forward to that!  I desperately hope it’ll be easier and less painful than last time but I also realize it’s going to hurt and I’m not exactly excited about that!

Prepared feelings – Physically I am ready to not be pregnant.  I have been very uncomfortable, not sleeping well, and just tired of being pregnant.  I never got to this point with Hudson but this time I am definitely over being pregnant.  However that comes and goes – yesterday I was miserable but today I’m feeling good.

“To Do list”-wise I’m pretty ready.  We’ve been working hard the last couple of weeks to get some things done and Michael having work cancelled Friday gave us some time to get our last few things knocked out.  The hospital bags are packed other than some last minute things I can’t put in until right before we leave.  Michael got his last project done (building some shelves for the living room).  We set up Parker’s crib (we are going to try using his crib like a cosleeper attached to our bed – that may not end up working for us but it’s what we’re going to start out with) and installed the carseat.  We ordered a double stroller, which really wasn’t something I was concerned about having immediately after birth but it was still nice to get that done.

Our house is mostly cleaned.  Last Sunday afternoon Michael and I cleaned out the attic – we threw a ton of stuff away and reorganized.  It had been a total mess and all the Christmas decorations were still sitting out but now everything fits, it’s much more organized, and we were even able to fit in some boxes of Hudson’s old clothes.  My mom came two days last week and we deep cleaned the playroom, living room, kitchen (other than pulling everything out of every cabinet), downstairs bathroom, and foyer.  The kids’ room, the guest room, and upstairs bathroom have been tidied and a basic cleaning done.  All that’s left would be to do our bedroom and bathroom and I’ll work on that this weekend if I have time.

I got some other little things done like replacing the elastic in some of Hudson’s diapers, rearranging the dresser in the nursery to fit Parker’s clothes in there too, sewing new rings into my ring sling, etc.  If Parker takes his sweet time arriving then I have a few other things to work on but nothing that’s a huge deal (things like getting Hudson’s baby book up to date, filling out some of Parker’s baby book that can be done in advance, working on Parker’s quilt, etc.).

This afternoon I’m planning to do one last “really want to” thing that I had on my list…go get a pedicure!  It’s a silly little thing but with Hudson I planned to get one and went into labor before I could.  My toe nails looked horrible and even though no one else cared but me it bugged me that they looked so bad.  Plus I would just really enjoy a little pampering!  So as long as Parker doesn’t make a surprising and very quick arrival I’ll be off to enjoy getting my feet rubbed for a bit.

Mentally…well, that’s where I’m least prepared.  I am so excited to meet Parker but I’m also nervous about the transition from one child to two.  Last time my attention was 100% on taking care of Hudson, this time I will now have a toddler and a newborn needing me so that will be an adjustment.  I also remember how exhausting those first few weeks are and I’m not looking forward to that.

Other thoughts – That’s about it!  We’re just kind of in waiting mode now.  All the big stuff is done so I’m pretty much just trying to keep the house mostly tidy, dishes done, laundry caught up, etc. so that we don’t have a bunch of mess everywhere.  I’ve got plenty to keep me busy but nothing pressing so just trying to relax and enjoy hanging out with my family.

Enjoy this rather hasty 39 week picture in the bathroom – ha!

IMG_2032

Hudson’s 24 month update…my sweet boy is TWO!

And just like that my baby turned two!  What a crazy, amazing, FAST two years it has been.IMG_1214

growth

We had Hudson’s 2 year check up earlier this month (got it done a few weeks early since his birthday was so close to my due date).  He weighed just shy of 29 pounds and was 35 inches tall.  He hated every second of his appointment and screamed through the weighing, the measuring, the stethoscope, etc. (at least she had no problem looking down his throat…)

He’s wearing 24 month and 2T clothes currently, although some 24 month pants are already too short.

2016-01-10_17.21.48 copycommunication

There is no way for me to keep up, especially because he will now repeat just about any word you say.  Some new ones that I did get written down this month were football, thank you, bed, soccer ball, Nonny and Gil (the names of his favorite Bubble Guppies characters), cupcake, goldfish, and (my favorite for sure) “I love you”.

He’s been adding more phrases (like “thank you” and “I love you”) and starting to talk in little sentences such as “see snow outside” “working car” (Daddy was working on the car), “eat goldfish”, and “Bed, Daddy, Yay Daddy!” (he says this multiple times at night when we’re going to bed talking about our new bed that Michael built).

food

I should probably drop this category because there really isn’t anything new at this point.  One thing that was new this month (which I know will seem so crazy to most people) is that Hudson had his first chocolate chip cookie on his 2nd birthday.  I’ve mentioned it before that we are pretty strict about not letting him eat junk (there is seriously no reason in my mind for a one year old to eat much, if any, junk food…I’m not being judgmental if you chose to feed your child that but we personally don’t see any reason for him to eat stuff like that, he’ll get plenty of sweets later in life I’m sure!) and so he’s had very few sweet treats in his life, but I made chocolate chip cookies on his birthday and let him have some.

2016-01-23_14.58.46 copy

sleep

I was looking back at Hudson’s one year update the other day and I had talked about how hard it was to go to sleep.  Well here we are a year later and it’s still not very easy! His newest “thing” is that he kind of moan-sings himself to sleep.  Just this monotone moaning sound that he does over and over…it gets annoying quickly!  We had been having such issues getting him to fall asleep at night (it was taking 1-3 hours every night) that we decided to try changing up his wake and nap times to see if that helped so for the last week or so I’ve been getting him up around 7-7:30 (instead of letting him sleep to 8:30 or later) and we’ve been napping earlier and I make sure he doesn’t sleep past 2-2:30.  I think this has helped.  We’re still not having a super quick and easy bedtime but most nights he has been asleep in under an hour so that’s progress!  Fingers crossed this keeps up.

We took the crib down from his room and moved it into ours for Parker.  In it’s place we put a twin mattress on the floor.  We haven’t actually used it yet but it’s there for when we’re ready to try Hudson in his own bed.  Michael built us a king sized bed (we were in a queen) this month and that has been very nice.  Hudson still takes up the majority of the bed (how DOES he do that?) but it’s not nearly as cramped as it was.

new stuff

Hudson mimics us a lot – this month I noticed him trying to do thumbs up or thumbs down when we do that.  He’s also started wiggling his eyebrows and it’s hilarious!

He got a ton of new toys for Christmas and it has been fun to watch him play.  I’m not sure how to describe it but he’s moved from just playing with his toys however to using them in the way they were supposed to be used, especially playing pretend.  For example, he got a play kitchen for Christmas and he acts like he’s cooking, eating, washing his hands in the sink, etc. rather than just scattering the fake food around (although he does do that quite a bit too) like he would have in the past.

We got him a potty chair for Christmas and he likes to sit on it sometimes but he hasn’t actually sat on it to go to the bathroom.  We aren’t pushing it at this point and are just letting him get used to the idea of using the potty.  He definitely knows what it is and what you do with it, and he’s sometimes tells us after he’s pooped in his diaper, but so far he hasn’t let us know before he did anything and he still wakes up wet after naps and in the morning so I think he’s not quite ready to potty train for real yet

2016-01-11_18.01.40

He learned how to open the doors in the house so we had to get those door handle cover things that make it where he can’t twist the knob.  Just when you think you’re done childproofing they find something new to get in to!

adventures

So many great adventures this month!

We celebrated Christmas this month with lots of family, food, travel, and new toys.  Here are a few (ok, a lot) of pictures from our Christmas festivities.

Playing with plastic food

IMG_1217

Playing cars at his new Sesame Street table – just his size!IMG_1228

Ball goal!2015-12-25_07.59.44Christmas morningIMG_1248Checking out his laptop2015-12-25_08.44.44I found these goggles at Goodwill and he has worn them a ton – cracks me up!2015-12-25_11.34.06Our pitiful attempt at a Christmas morning family picture…this is the best we got!  Ha!2015-12-25_11.35.552015-12-25_11.46.19IMG_1258Sweet naptime snuggles on Christmas2015-12-25_12.36.102015-12-25_15.26.35family picture Christmas night2015-12-25_18.07.38

We also celebrated Hudson’s first birthday with an “Under the Sea” birthday party (you can read about that here)

IMG_1318

One big change this month was that we moved Hudson from the nursery class at church to the toddler class.  At our church the nursery class typically runs from birth (really whenever the parents decide to start bringing their child there for class which is usually at least 3 months old) to around two.  Then they move up to the toddler class (2 and 3 year olds).  I was nervous about it because he has literally been in the nursery class since birth – I used to go in there to breastfeed him when he was teeny tiny and then once he was about 3 months old I started setting him in the seat to “participate” in class with the other kids.  It has been so incredibly cool to watch him go from a baby who could barely sit up in the seat to an almost two year old who knows the songs and loves to sing along.

I wasn’t sure how the transition was going to go but he did great!  Granted, this was just last Sunday so we’ll see how he does going forward, but his first time at least was good.  He went in and sat right down.  He seemed more reserved than usual but they had snacks set out (goldfish and teddy grahams, which he almost never has) so I think that lured him in ;).  They said he participated in class and he didn’t cry so that’s good!

His last class in the nursery2016-01-13_19.37.41

comparison between the first time he sat in the seats in the nursery class and the last – such a change!2016-01-13_22.34.25

first time in the toddler class2016-01-17_10.34.21-1

his teacher took a picture of him doing his playdoh activity2016-01-17_21.28.12

Then our most recent adventure has been Snowmaggedon2016.  We got our first snow of the winter on Wednesday, January 20 but then Friday, January 22 we got hit with a big snowstorm.  We had about a quarter inch of ice and then another 12 inches (or more, haven’t heard final totals) of snow.  That’s by far the most I’ve ever seen in my life!

Hudson really liked looking at it out the window and talking about it, but he wasn’t a huge fan of actually playing in it.  On Wednesday we took him out and he cried and cried if we tried to set him down.  He finally just stood at the edge of the garage and would stomp his foot in the snow but wouldn’t take more than one step.  Then after our huge snow Friday we took him out twice Saturday.  He did better – he liked kicking it and throwing it and even helping to knock snow off the car but he never would actually walk in it.  He fell down twice on the ice but didn’t get upset or cry at all, which surprised me!

Watching the birds and looking at the snow2016-01-20_07.36.14 copyReady to go outside!2016-01-20_16.57.092016-01-20_16.59.40This is as close as he wanted to get! (this was Wednesday, just an inch or two)2016-01-20_17.09.25Watching Daddy clear the 12 inches on Saturday with the snowblower – Hudson really liked watching this!2016-01-23_09.55.592016-01-23_10.19.50Not quite as scared once Michael had cleared the snow off2016-01-23_10.23.242016-01-23_16.03.47 copyHelping Daddy shovel2016-01-23_16.33.37 copy

other stuff

My mom came to help clean the house to get ready for Parker.  Hudson of course had to help – Mom was wiping the walls down with her Swiffer and Hudson went and got his little mop to do the same.2016-01-13_09.31.39“Drilling” the wall like Daddy to help build shelves
2016-01-20_08.38.30Michael was leaned up against the counter typing up an email and Hudson grabbed his “phone” (a calculator) and mimicked him.
2016-01-22_17.06.06He put on the oven mitts and tried to open the door (thankfully he is not strong enough to get it open!)
2016-01-23_08.33.30Sweet sleepy naptime snuggles on his birthday.  Two years old and independent but still loves to snuggle with Mommy :).2016-01-23_11.57.34

Happy birthday my sweet, precious boy!  Mommy and Daddy love you so much!

Some throwback pictures:

Just bornIMG_3062

one year oldIMG_0061

two years oldIMG_1214

Hudson’s Under the Sea birthday party

Yesterday we celebrated Hudson’s 2nd birthday with an Under the Sea themed party.  His birthday isn’t until this coming Saturday and ideally I would have done it then but that was getting too close to my due date for comfort (and even for yesterday’s party I was keeping my fingers crossed that we’d get to have it before Parker made his appearance…so far, so good – no signs of arrival yet!) so we went ahead and did it a week in advance.

For the last several months Hudson has absolutely loved fish – books about fish, shows with fish in them, talking about fish, the aquarium.  He loves them.  His favorite tv show is Bubble Guppies and his favorite movie (well actually, the only movie he’s ever seen) is Finding Nemo.  So we decided to do an Under the Sea party and incorporate all those things.  Hudson was pretty excited about that and talked about his “fish party” for days and days leading up to it.

Being so very pregnant I wanted to keep things pretty simple and easy.  We did a small party with a few easy decorations and some snacks.  At his age he doesn’t know anyway and would much rather play with balloons than anything else so it was perfect!

Thanks to Pinterest I was able to have some super cute stuff without having to think of it myself ;).  You can see my Pinterest inspiration board here.

(Pardon the picture quality…I was trying to snap a few quickly before the party started and they weren’t as great as I’d like.)

We used green streamers for seaweed, blue balloons for bubbles, and I cut some fish out of colorful paper.  I think it turned out adorable!

Here’s a fun tip: if you have an air compressor, use it to blow up balloons.  That’s what Michael did and I can’t believe we’ve never thought of this before!  It took no time at all to blow up a ton of balloons.  Another tip: buy your balloons at Hobby Lobby.  The ones we got last year for his first birthday party stayed blown up and stuck to our wall for over a month.  I know!  So crazy.  Super good balloons.

under the sea birthday party wall decorationsunder the sea birthday party sea weedI was planning to make a “happy birthday” banner but while we were out shopping for the party we went to Party City and passed a section of Bubble Guppies decorations.  Hudson went absolutely nuts over them so I decided to get the Bubble Guppies birthday banner and some other Bubble Guppies hanging decorations.  That was the best $10 or so that I spent…saved me a ton of time trying to make all that stuff myself and of course he loved that it had his favorite characters on it!
under the sea birthday party Bubble Guppies bannerunder the sea birthday party balloonsI printed off some Bubble Guppies fish (found those here) and taped them to our basketball goal for some “fishketball”.
under the sea birthday party fishketballWe also printed off Bubble Puppy and taped him to the bathroom door…for no other reason than because Hudson loves Bubble Puppy :).under the sea birthday party bubble puppyI wanted to do something cute on the coat rack/mantle/shelf but ran out of ideas and time so I just stuck Hudson’s big Nemo fish up there and also this battery powered aquarium we have that lights up and fish scroll across the screen.IMG_1293

We had a variety of fish/sea themed snacks.under the sea birthday party foodI skipped doing a decorated birthday cake and instead stuck to just cupcakes – chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  While I enjoy (to an extent) making cakes, it’s definitely stressful and I knew that it just wasn’t worth it right now.  Cupcakes are insanely easy to decorate compared to cake, much less time consuming, and just as yummy.  I found some free printable cupcake wrappers here and those jazzed up the plain cupcakes.  I also got to use a cupcake stand I bought years ago and had never even opened!
under the sea cupcakes

Bananas turned into dolphins and some grapes.
dolphin bananas and fish egg grapes

Cutie or Halo (can’t remember which ones we got) orange “beach balls”beach ball oranges

Goldfish crackers in a (clean and unused) fishbowl served with a (clean and unused) fish net.goldfish crackers in a fish bowl

Veggies and dip with a bell pepper octopus on topoctopus veggies and dip

Cheese cut into triangles for “shark teeth”shark teeth cheese

The circle fish that I cut out and added to the labels came from the same place as the cupcake wrappers.

I forgot to take a picture of the party favors but I just did a little bag with a bottle of bubbles, a snack pack of goldfish crackers, and these light-up squishy balls that I bought at Party City that looked kind of like sea urchins.

Hudson very rarely gets sweets so he thoroughly enjoyed eating his birthday cupcake! IMG_1312IMG_1310IMG_1316All in all it was a super fun party!  I had just about zero stress and was pleased that we were able to do a cute, themed party without a bunch of work (although I have to say that Michael, my mom, and my brother did a ton of the decorating and food prep…without them it would have been very stressful and lots of work so I’m incredibly thankful for their help).  And of course Hudson had a blast and that’s the main thing.

Happy (almost) birthday, my sweet boy!IMG_1320

pregnancy #2 update – 36 weeks

How far along – 36 weeks (37 tomorrow, actually).  Less than a month from my due date!!!

Doctor updates – I had a check up last week at 35 weeks and everything was fine.  Good blood pressure, Parker’s heart rate was good.  The last two appointments I was measuring about two weeks ahead (according to the tape measure thing they use on your belly) but last week my doctor didn’t say either way so I don’t know if that has changed or not.  He doesn’t think I’m anywhere close to delivery yet so we skipped a 36 week appointment and I’ll go back in a few days for a 37 week appointment…and then after that it’ll be weekly until The Big Day!

Symptoms – Honestly, for being this far along I feel great.  In fact, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that delivery could be in the very near future because I just don’t feel uncomfortable or have that “totally ready to be done being pregnant” feeling or anything like that.

Really my only symptom I’ve been having recently is with my feet swelling.  It happened a lot over the holidays – a combination of eating tons of junk food, not drinking enough water, and traveling (for some reason sitting in a car really seems to aggravate the swelling).  It’s better now that we’ve been home and I’m eating (somewhat) healthier and drinking more water, but it’s still there some by the end of the day.

Weight/belly – I try not to look at the scale but I think I’ve gained about 30 pounds so far.  So unless I gain a crazy amount right at the end (please, no!) then I should at least end this pregnancy with a bit less weight gain then I did with Hudson (I gained 50 pounds with him).  Of course I never lost the weight I gained with Hudson so I’ll be ending this pregnancy with the weight gain from two full pregnancies but that’s a different story for a different day and I’m determined to get working on that once I’ve recovered. 

People have started looking at me funny and asking questions about how much longer I have (in a manner or tone that makes it obvious they think it should be any day now).  Looking at this picture though I don’t really blame them – I’m getting pretty big!

IMG_1283

Movement – All the time.  He’s a very active little guy!  My belly rolls and jumps constantly, especially when I sit down or lay down.

Food cravings – Nothing specific.

Food aversions – None.

Sleep –I have to sleep with a couple of pillows and have to get up to go to the bathroom several times during the night but aside from those interruptions I’ve been sleeping pretty well.

Thoughts – I alternate between denial that Parker is coming (and coming SOON) and totally freaking out that there is so little time and so much to do.  This week I did a huge freezer meal cooking session to get a bunch of meals ready to have after he’s born.  Next week I’m planning to get the house really clean, more so than just my normal weekly surface cleaning.

I also need to get my hospital bags packed (and a few things purchased for that) and read back over our Bradley Birthing information from the classes we took with Hudson.  There are lots of little things I’d like to get done but those are the big ones that I really need to get going on.  Yikes!

Just for fun here’s a comparison of me at 36 weeks with Hudson vs 36 weeks with Parker

36w0d1IMG_1283

freezer meal bonanza

freezer meal bonanza

This week I did my first huge freezer meal batch cooking session.  Whew!  What an experience!  Since this was my first time I’m definitely not an expert but I thought I’d share what all I did anyway (especially since several people have asked after hearing that I was going to do this).

Before Hudson was born I had a long list of to-do items that I wanted to get done – things like getting the nursery all perfect, clean the house from top to bottom, etc.  But it never really crossed my mind to get meals prepared ahead of time.  I believe maybe I thought of it at the very end of my pregnancy but didn’t get around to it before he was born.

I hope recovery with Parker won’t be as difficult as it was with Hudson, but with Hudson it was a long, LONG time after he was born that I was ready and able to start really caring about and/or cooking good meals.  Thankfully we had my mom those first few weeks to feed us and for a good while after she left we lived mostly on pizza and other take out.  Talk about hard on your health and your wallet!  So this time around I made getting good healthy food prepared a huge priority!  In fact, that’s what I asked my mom for for Christmas…that she would come and help me get meals ready!

So this week was the week and here’s an overview of what I did:

Step 1 – Picking the meals

I started by making a list of all the meals I wanted to make.  I went through our list of common supper ideas and wrote down the ones that I thought would freeze well (mostly soups, casseroles, and other “one dish” meals).  I had also posted on Facebook asking my friends for advice, tips, and/or meal suggestions and got a lot of recipes that way so I went through all those and chose a few to try.  Then finally I checked out Pinterest and looked at a bunch of recipe ideas there (mostly breakfast, I really wanted to make ahead some breakfast meals and I didn’t have any good ideas).

freezer meal ideasStep 2 – Ingredients

Once I had a list of quite a few favorites as well as several new recipes to try, I wrote next to each one how many batches I wanted to make of each one (whether it was taking a large casserole and splitting it into two smaller dishes to use for two different meals or doubling/tripling a recipe).

Then I started going through each recipe and writing down what all it called for.  I kept a running total and added to it as I went through each recipe until I had finished my list.

IMG_1276Step 3 – Grocery list

After I had this HUGE long list of ingredients I wanted to get it a little less confusing before I actually headed to the store.  The first thing I did was to condense quantities.  For example, since I’d just added to each item based on what the recipe said I had several things that looked like this:

chicken: 3 cups, 1.5 cups, 1 lb, 1.5 lb, 2 breasts, 4 breasts…

Depending on what the recipe had said I’d just written down cups of something or pounds of something or number of bags or whatever.  So spent some time trying to add things up and say I need X number of whatever.

Then I did something that I’d eventually like to do for all my grocery trips – I sorted my list based on category (or actually based on what was grouped together in the store).  So I listed all the produce together, meat, canned goods, pasta, and so forth.  I hoped (and was right) that this would keep me from having to make multiple trips back and forth across the store because I’d missed something while I was in that section.

freezer meal shopping listStep 4 – Shopping

Thanks to my pre-sorted list this wasn’t too bad.  It didn’t take much longer than my normal weekly trip, although my cart was WAY full!

Step 5 – Cooking

The main event!  Like I said, my mom came and we got to work fixing all this food.  It was definitely an ordeal.  We started around mid-morning and worked all day, then when Michael got home from work he jumped in and helped out too.

I’m not sure that my way was the most efficient.  We did some things in large batches and others we did along the way.  For example, the first thing we did was cook up all the chicken at once then chop/shred it and divide it based on how much each recipe needed.  However, with things like onions and green peppers we chopped as we needed them for each recipe and I’m sure if we’d chopped all that at once it would have helped a little.

While mom was starting the chicken cooking I worked on putting together the crockpot freezer meals – those were super fast because I didn’t have to cook anything, I just dumped all the raw ingredients in a bag, sealed them up, and they were off to the freezer.  That made me feel very accomplished :).  If we end up loving those meals then I may start doing that way more often because they’re so simple to assemble!

After the chicken was cooked and the crock pot meals were done we started in on all the chicken dishes.  Once those were done we moved on to all the ground beef dishes.  We finished off with the breakfast foods.

We spent probably 10 hours cooking that day, but a lot of that time was actually spent corralling, distracting, and taking care of Hudson.  Tip for the future – if you plan to do an all day cooking marathon, find someone to come watch your child(ren) so that you can just focus on cooking.  Hudson made things go a lot slower for sure.

The menu

A lot of people have asked what we cooked so here are the recipes we made that one day:

Crock pot meals (these are all new recipes that I haven’t tried yet)

Old faves (things we’d made before)

  • baked ziti (split the recipe into two pans)
  • baked spaghetti (split the recipe into three pans)
  • lasagna (split the recipe into two pans)
  • spaghetti sauce (doubled to make two meals)
  • “regular” chili (tripled and divided into 4 gallon-sized bags)
  • white chili (doubled and divided into 2 gallon-sized bags)
  • – chicken tortilla soup
  • enchiladas (split the recipe into two pans)
  • chicken casserole (split the recipe into two pans)
  • – chicken and black bean quesadillas (we had one random chicken breast left over so I used it and some cheese, beans, and tortillas we had on hand to make several quesadillas – they will be good for quick dinners or lunches)

New meals (found via Pinterest or recommendations from friends)

I had two other meals planned – chicken and rice casserole (split into two dishes) and some breakfast sandwiches.  We did not get to these because I didn’t have enough chicken for the casserole or enough eggs for the sandwiches.  The casserole I made and froze the next day and the breakfast sandwiches will be made as soon as we get more eggs from our “egg lady” at church.

This weekend Michael is going to make a big batch of pancakes that we can freeze.  I also had two meals already frozen, things we had made recently and frozen half of the dish (pizza bites and vegetable soup).

(Note: have a deep freezer in our garage.  No way would all of this fit into our freezer attached to our fridge.)

IMG_1282(Another note: My mom brought several of her pots, knives, measuring spoons, bowls, etc.  That really helped us not have to be washing dishes constantly since we had so many.  We still had to wash quite a bit and ran the dishwasher I think three times that day, but we were able to do more or go longer before we needed to wash something.)

So from that one marathon day of cooking we ended up with 27 meals plus 20 breakfast burritos plus 7 quesadillas (for another supper or lunches).  Once it’s all said and done we should have 31 meals, 20 breakfast burritos, 12 breakfast sandwiches, and a whole bunch of pancakes.

WHEW!

The cost

Total for ingredients came out to about $350.  Yep, I nearly choked when I had to pay that but if you do the math that’s not very expensive per meal, it’s just a LOT up front.

A couple of things about that $350

  • – We buy almost all organic – beef, chicken, cheese, etc. and that jacks the price up
  • – I was low on a bunch of spices all at once so I had to stock up on those too, plus I went ahead and got extra aluminum foil and Saran wrap to have just in case, so that cost is included in the $350.
  • – I did not shop the sales or coupon.  In all of my work to get every thing pre-planned before I went to the store I totally forgot to check for coupons.  I doubt it would have made a huge difference but I’m not a big coupononer anyway; someone who is could probably get a lot of deals.  As far as shopping on sale goes, I totally intended to do that but that meant having my list ready far in advance so I could shop when particular things went on sale.  Unfortunately, especially because of Christmas, I didn’t get that done so once I had the list done I just had to buy at whatever price it was since we were down to the wire.  In the future I’d like to be more prepared so I can buy chicken when it’s on sale and beef when it’s on sale and so on.

And there we go!  I was very proud and impressed by our first freezer meal cooking experience.  I’m not sure that I’d try to do quite so much at once again, especially not at 36 weeks pregnant, because it was a long, hard day.  But I know it’s going to be SO worth it after Parker is here.

Oh and I guess I should add in a Step 6: Inventory

Once everything was nice and frozen I organized the deep freezer and took inventory of what was in there.  I hung it inside our pantry door so when we’re meal planning each week we can look at the list, pick out what we want, and then go pull them from the freezer rather than trying to remember what we have or go out there and rummage around constantly.  I even made some notes under certain meals indicating what we need to get to go along with that meal.

freezer meal inventoryIMG_1280Have you ever made freezer meals?  Any tips you want to add here?

Hudson’s 23 month update

Ummm…what?  23 months old?  My baby is going to TWO in just one short month?

Pardon me while I go cry.

It’s crazy how fast time is flying!

growth

I finally remembered to weigh and measure him!  He’s 28.2 pounds and 34.5 inches.  I would guess he’s on a growth spurt too – he’s eating us out of house and home and he’s getting a bit pudgy (a pretty sure sign that he’s going to grow a few inches soon).  In fact, he’s already grown quite a bit recently – I noticed last week that several of the 24 month pants that were plenty long on him just a few weeks ago are now too short.

communication

So.Many.Words.  He talks all the time and is constantly picking up new words and phrases.  I try to write them down the best I can but it gets hard to keep up.  Some from this month include:
– Tigey (Daniel Tiger’s stuffed tiger toy)
– elbow (which sounds like helbow)
– amen (cracks me up because we say A-men but he pronounces it Ah-men; he will sign and say amen after we pray at the table or someone prays at church)
– phone
– fork
– paci
– feet
– moon
– mail
– high five
– bug
– cool
– high chair
– sorry
– outside
– hair
– ear
– Ho Ho (for Santa)

I mentioned in one of the past monthly updates that he had attached to a shirt of mine that Michael and I started calling “Ruffles” because it has some ruffles on the front and that’s Hudson’s favorite part of the shirt.  This month Hudson started saying Ruffles too but when he says it is sounds like “Fuffle” and it’s pretty much the most adorable thing he says!  I love it!

2015-11-26_08.29.11

His favorite word, I’d say, it probably “no”.  Or more accurately “NONONONO!”  He’s definitely exercising his ability to let us know when he does not want to do something or is not pleased!

Hudson has really gotten interested in singing lately.  There are several songs, mostly from the nursery class at church, that he wants us to sing a lot and he’ll sing or do the motions with us.  His current favorites are “This Little Light of Mine”, “The BIBLE”, the choo choo song (not sure it has a name, just one I sing in the nursery about trains), and the car song (another little song we sing in the nursery about driving to church).

Recently he told us what I would consider his first “story”.  We had been at my mom’s and a stray cat wandered up on her porch and hung out there for about a day.  Y’all know from previous posts that Hudson is terrified of pretty much all animals and that is definitely still true.  He cried and shrieked if he saw the cat and was all upset about it; but it’s like he’s both fascinated and terrified because he just kept talking about it and wanting to look out the window and check on it.  So he talked and talked and talked about it.  At one point I was trying to feed him a snack and he said:

“cat” – “eat” – “watee” (how he says water; he also signed “drink” at the same time) – signed “sleep” – “outside” – “all gone” – “bye!”

Basically he summed up the experience…there was a cat outside on the porch that ate some cat food, drank some water, slept on the chair, and now it’s gone!

That happened over a week ago and he’s STILL talking about it.  Multiple times a day he says “Mamie? Riley? cat?”…he wants to know where Mamie (what he calls my mom), his uncle Riley, and the cat are and what they’re doing.

food

Like I said before, this child is eating like nobody’s business.  I mean, he out-eats me some meals (and I’m pregnant!).  Forget creating a college fund…we need to start a food fund to get us through the teenage years – ha!

We went out to Mellow Mushroom for Michael’s birthday and Hudson just ate and ate and ate.  I’d guess he ate about 4 normal sized pieces of pizza.

2015-11-28_18.55.07One night we had breakfast for dinner and he ate two biscuits (one with gravy, one with honey), 2 fried eggs, 3 pieces of bacon, and milk.

We’ve been making okra a lot recently and Michael and I hardly get to eat any of it ourselves because Hudson eats it all.  Here’s a picture of the okra tops left over from what he ate…yes, just him.

2015-12-15_19.51.05

Chowing down on some chili.2015-12-17_12.17.51

It’s still hit or miss – some meals we won’t eat much at all or I’ll give him a bunch of options and he refuses to eat any of them, but for the most part he eats good and he eats lots!  One meal recently Michael was trying to get him to eat his food and so he started making rocket sounds and having Hudson “fly” his food into his mouth.  Now Hudson wants to do that a lot at meals and will say “fly! fly!”.

He’s also a super slow eater.  Many meals last an hour or so because he’s just so poky (and he eats so much!).

new stuff

So many new things that he does this month!

He has started praying for his food.  For a long time he would hold our hands and bow his head and then sign amen after the prayer but recently if he’s in his high chair and we haven’t gotten all the food on the table yet and just don’t seem to be going fast enough for him then he’ll bow his head, fold his hands, and do his own prayer.

He likes to have his boo boos kissed and kiss other people’s.  Or sometimes he’ll just kiss his own boo boos.  Tops in efficiency ;).

He does this funny thing where he makes a fist, holds it in front of his mouth, and clears his throat.  Then he holds out his fist to us and we have to clear our throats too.  Hilarious.

Sometimes he’ll put his hand on his chin or his face and tilt his head to the side a bit like he’s thinking.

He’s learned how to peel stickers off – how to bend the paper a bit to get one side of the sticker to pop up so he can grab it.

I am constantly amazed by how quickly he picks things up.  He’ll see someone do something one time and he’ll start mimicking them right away.  It definitely makes you mindful of how you act and also about the things you allow your child to watch/see/experience because one exposure, good or bad, can make a big impact!

My brother was telling a story at the dinner table and he tapped the side of his hand on the table for emphasis…Hudson started doing his hand the same way too and has continued to do that several times since then.  Michael will do something like drum his fingers on the table and Hudson will immediately copy him.  My dad was doing “magic” with him and making a piece of peppermint candy disappear and just a few minutes later I saw Hudson putting the candy in his hand, blowing on his hands, and then holding the candy above his head and dropping it behind his back to make it disappear.

Very impressionable!

adventures

Like I mentioned before we stayed with my mom for a couple of days while Michael was out of town on a business trip.  Hudson had a blast playing at this fantastic park right down the road from her house!

2015-12-15_15.56.41

We had two Thanksgiving’s this year – lunch with my mom’s family and dinner with Michael’s family.  I thought Hudson would love eating all that food but he was really so distracted by all the activity and his cousins that he didn’t eat that much.2015-11-26_19.44.26

We took Hudson to see Santa but as I expected he was NOT a fan at all.  Michael had to hold him the whole time and Hudson wanted nothing to do with Santa.

IMG_1193IMG_1206IMG_1211The only time he showed any interest at all was when Santa gave him a candy cane.  When we got in the car after the pictures he was clutching that candy cane so I just let him hold on to it, figuring he wouldn’t be able to get it out of the wrapper.

Well I was wrong.  He got it out of the wrapper and happily crunched along on it!  He’s never had candy before so I’m sure he loved it!  His face was a mess afterward.
2015-12-05_12.24.13

I was concerned about how he would do with the Christmas tree but he has done surprisingly well!  The first few days were a bit of a struggle and he broke three ornaments in those three days (one I think he thought was food because not only was it broken but also soggy).  I thought all the ornaments I’d put down low were not breakable but obviously I was mistaken ;).  After a couple of days what I started doing was I picked out a couple of ornaments and told him that those were his to play with, touch, move, whatever but he had to leave the rest of them alone.  That combined with the newness of the tree wearing off has made it no big deal to have the tree up the rest of the time.  He hasn’t bothered it much at all since then.

2015-11-29_22.24.552015-11-30_09.40.332015-12-02_15.40.23

We had the first of several Christmas celebrations last weekend with my dad’s side of the family.  Hudson enjoyed opening up presents and getting new toys!

One other “adventure”, if you want to call it that, has been church recently.  December is Michael’s month to be in the sound booth, which means that he is not sitting with us in service for the whole month and Hudson has been giving me a run for my money!  He’s usually pretty good in church but I’ve had to take him out more in this last month then I bet I have in the last year!  When Michael is with us we can tag team and usually keep him pretty distracted but when it’s just me it wears off quicker I guess.  Plus being 8 months pregnant makes it so much harder for me to lean over and pick up the things he drops, hold him when he wants to sit in my lap, and just wrangle him in general.

Apologies to our preachers because I’m pretty sure I haven’t heard a word of a sermon this month and I’ve been counting down the Sunday’s until January.  And huge props to the single parents, preachers wives, parents of multiples, etc. who do this every week!

other stuff

We’ve been going out on walks just about every day that the weather permits (which this unseasonably warm weather has allowed for lots of walks) and Hudson likes to help me get my shoes on before we go out.2015-11-25_11.22.30Reading with daddy2015-11-29_20.00.40

The Gaineses stayed with us one night and Hudson had so much fun playing with Josiah and Levi!2015-12-03_10.13.07Christmas dinner at church.2015-12-06_19.54.21

We’ve had a lot of those ladybug beetles things in our house recently and Hudson loves them.  He likes to watch them, blow on them, pick them up and carry them around, talk about them, and throw them in the trash.2015-12-08_11.36.35 copySliding at the park.  I was so shocked that as soon as we got to the park Hudson climbed up the steps on his own and then slid down the slide on his own!  He’s much more brave than he used to be.  He even went down the big twisty slide while we were there.2015-12-09_10.47.53

He loves to flip through the song books and Bible when we’re at church.
2015-12-09_19.07.45Helping me mail some packages at the post office.2015-12-11_10.45.11

I found this window clings at Target for $1 and bought them for Hudson to play with on the back door.  They weren’t as reusable as I thought there were going to be so they didn’t last very long but he had fun with them for a little while!2015-12-11_16.38.02

He loves helping me unload the dishwasher every morning.  2015-12-12_08.33.04

Boxes make good tunnels!2015-12-12_12.07.31For some reason he refused to eat his chicken and dumplings with a normal spoon and would only eat using this tiny plastic fork from a tea set that was mine when I was little.2015-12-14_21.11.38Ready to do some Christmas shopping with mommy!2015-12-18_09.42.52

I didn’t think he was big enough to operate the pop gun but sure enough he was!2015-12-18_17.57.59

He has a ton of books he loves but right now one of his favorites is this truck/vehicle book.
2015-12-21_10.10.34

Playing with magnets he got as a Christmas present.  Our fridge is stainless so magnets don’t stick but we discovered that they will stick to the dishwasher.  I was very glad to find a place for him to play with magnets because he really enjoys them!IMG_1709

Next year I will be budgeting to get family pictures done prior to Christmas so that we have a good picture to put on our Christmas card!  His 18 month pictures were his last professional pictures and he’s changed a lot since then (especially with his hair cut) so I didn’t have a good, current picture to use for the card.  I tried taking some out in the yard but I am no photographer so they weren’t anything fancy.  He did look awfully cute in his shirt and vest though!  Here are some of my attempts ;).IMG_1115IMG_1116IMG_1129IMG_1144