Friday, September 23, 2011

20 Months of Abel

20 month old Abel

I cannot believe that my baby is less than 4 months away from TWO! And that just a month after that, he will be a big brother! When I was pregnant with Abel, the end of my pregnancy flew by quickly since it came right after the busy holiday season. I don't know why it didn't dawn on me then that the last few months of every year would fly by for the same reason!

Abel's last check up was at 18 months, but at home he's weighing in at about 21.5 lbs which is still solidly in the less than third percentile. He is still sleeping through the night, usually getting a solid 11+ hours. Unfortunately in the past two weeks or so, he's been having nights where he won't go down very easily. I think he knows Mama and Daddy are still up, and wants to play! We switched him to a big boy bed about 2.5 months ago, and it was so easy. One night he was in the crib, the next night he was in the bed. Maybe God took pity on me since it took Abel a solid 13 months to start sleeping through the night! Abel never even gets out of bed, but rather sits up in the middle of his bed, waiting for us to come get him.

Before his 18 month check up, Reed and I counted and realized that Abel said well over 40 words. Now, his vocabulary has exploded even more! He frequently talks in 2 word sentences at home, though he is usually still very shy in front of strangers. Abel adores babies, iced passion tea from Starbucks, Elmo, searching for the choo-choo when we drive on Wards Rd., watching the rain from our front door, the vacuum, and wrestling with Daddy. He also loves to color now, and calls all crayons "chalk". His favorite foods are bananas, Greek yogurt, waffles, strawberries, pizza, crackers, and quesadillas. And the occasional fry. By "favorite foods" I mean "literally the only foods he eats". We'll work on it when I feel good enough to cook regularly again.

I love how snuggily my little guy is. He loves to cuddle. If Abel spots Reed and I nestled on the couch, he drops whatever he is doing to come join us. He pulls himself up on the couch and climbs over the two of us until he finds a good spot. Then he'll say, "I, Mama!" and "I, Dada!" over and over again. In Abel-speak, this means I love you. He's so sweet! Just a bit ago, when I settled Abel in for his nap, he called out to me from his room. I walked in to find him sitting up in the middle of his bed. As I got closer, he laid down, scooted to the side and said to me, "Bed? Other side? Mama?" so of course I joined him for a snuggle.

Abel is such a joy! I am trying my best to soak up this last bit of one on one time before the new baby joins us. This time with my Abel is so precious and so fleeting, but we're enjoying every minute of it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Autumn and New Couches

When we moved into this house year ago (can't believe it's been a year!) I began looking for a new couch and love seat. We bought our first set off of Craigslist when we moved to our second apartment, and I was ready for a change. The old set was not super comfy, the fabric was scratchy, and while I was thankful that the color was neutral and didn't stick out, I didn't love it.
I knew I wanted microfiber, because it can be spot cleaned and it's soft. I also knew I wanted brown or some kind of neutral tan. We certainly weren't buying new, so I returned to watching Craigslist for this new set too. Finally, I found a set that looked brand new (was only 2 year old, and owned by a single woman so it didn't get a lot of use) for only $350. Similar sets, even on Craigslist, have been selling for over $600. The woman's fiance even delivered it for us!
After having a few days with the new set, I love it even more. It's so cozy, just in time for fall. I set up my autumn decor the night the furniture was delivered, and I'm in love with the living room now!
Sorry that the color in these pictures is a little off... I need to get Reed to adjust the camera settings. The room looks better in person!

I bought a basket labeled "Harvest" for all of Abel's fall/Thanksgiving books. He has quite a collection! I'm reusing the coffee filter wreath from last year; I think it held up well! A pumpkin, set of pilgrims, and leaves stuck in my garland round out the mantel.

Abel's Thanksgiving play sets: the Mayflower, and feast table with Native Americans and Pilgrims.

I was overwhelmed by cuteness with I realized this mama had a baby on her back! Abel loves it too, and likes to kiss it and feed the baby the pumpkin.

Other side of the living room. You can't really tell, but I have fall vinyl decals on the mirror, and little pumpkins in the cubbies to the right. There's also a pilgrim couple next to the stereo, and a painting of fall leaves by a talented friend of mine. The comfy couch is a great addition! Love it!

These next two pictures are totally random. I bought a baby carrier for the new baby, and wanted to learn how to wear it. So to practice, I grabbed the nearest baby-size thing-- my 22 lb 20 month old. He loved it! Of course, many moms still wear their babies at this age, so it's really not too strange for him to be in there. But I haven't worn Abel since he could walk, because that's how he prefers to get around now.

As soon as I took him out, he said, "More? More baby? More baby?" He really liked being carried like a baby. So, I tried the newborn hold on him, hahaha:

He was very content in there! When I sat down with him still wrapped up, my sweet little boy just about fell asleep.

Other than pregnancy-related migraines making their presence known, that's about all that's going on over here. I'm so thankful for this beautiful time of year, and all the yummy Starbucks drinks that go with it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pickles and other Confessions

I just ate nearly a whole jar of pickles. Not just any pickles, but these bad boys:

Reed likes to argue that Claussen's aren't really pickles since they're not shelf stable. I think I hear all about his pickle theory every time I eat or buy them. I don't really care what they are, but all other pickle type products are inferior.

However, I must admit, that I can only eat a pickle that has had it's ends cut off. I use to only cut off the vine end (thanks for that quirk, mom) but have recently taken it to the next level and began cutting off the other end, too. Reed usually eats my ends, possibly just to spite me, since I'm not even sure he likes pickles (or, as he calls them, seasoned cucumbers).

The pickle also must be dried off with a napkin so that very little external moisture remains. I'm serious. In the show Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray once says that the pickle is the perfect snack, because it is both a food and a drink.

This disgusts me. My pickles/flavored cucumbers must only be a food.

In other confessional news, I realized that during the day I only go to the bathroom in the dark with the door open. If I close the door, or turn on the light, Abel will stop whatever he's doing to stand at the door and scream. He gets so mad that when I come out, he continues his tantrum. It's just not worth it. I came up with the no door/no lights thing after I got tired of him coming in with me, and trying to throw toilet paper into the toilet while it was in use. Oh well, at least there is a window in there, so it's not too dark!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fall 2011 Front Door Wreath

Last fall, the coffee filter wreath ruled blog land. Everyone I knew and didn't know posted their own version, with different color filters and dyed or painted filters. Then coffee filter wreath's little sister, cupcake liner wreath, made her debut around Valentine's day on many blogs. I even tried to make a few of the coffee filter version myself:

The fall 2010 mantel I threw together right after we moved in, featuring my unbleached coffee filter wreath.

My 2010 Christmas mantel, featuring a wreath made of bleached filters that had been dipped in red and green paint.

Even though it's early in the autumn season, I'm already seeing a new trend. Ragamuffin wreaths have already taken over Pinterest, and I know they'll soon take over the decorating blogs! I'm jumping on the bandwagon, and here is my first attempt:

Most people begin with a wire hanger, but I didn't have one. So instead I made a wreath form out of foil that I rolled up.

I bought remnant fabric from Joanne's, and my total was under 4 bucks. I cut them into strips about 1.5-2" thick, and 5-7" long.

Once all the strips were cut, I began tying them onto my foil.

My goal was to totally cover the foil with my fabric strips.

Once all four colors were tied on and the foil was totally covered, I used some leather cord to hang the wreath on my front door. I love the finished product!

If you're in need of some wreath-y inspiration, check out all of the other wreaths posted over at The Nester's "You Made A Wreath Out Of What?!" linky party.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

15 Week Survey

How far along are you? 15 weeks today!

How big is Baby? The average baby at this stage is 4 inches and 2.5 ounces, about the size of a naval orange.

Weight Gain? I've lost 2 lbs so far :)

Gender? I wish I knew!

Maternity Clothes? Yes, in pants for sure. Most of my tops aren't, but I'll need the extra length soon. I wear lots of long length tanks under my shirts now.

Stretch Marks? It's such a mess on my tummy from bruises (from the injections I have to take) and previous stretch marks (from Abel) who knows what's new :)

Sleep? I'm waking up a lot at night.

Symptoms? Headaches are taking over the nausea now. I still (since about week 5) have had both, but in the earlier months the nausea is worse... they're beginning to trade off.

Movement? I've been feeling flutters since 12 weeks. Not too often, and they're not super strong, but they're there :)

Food Cravings? Ugh, no

Labor Signs? Thankfully, no. Let's keep it that way.

Belly Button in or out? Still in

What I miss? It's hard for me to accept the fact that I can't do all the things I usually do. I haven't cooked in a very long time, and my poor husband is surviving on quesadillas (the one thing he can make). I'm ready to be able to cook again.

What I am looking forward to? Feeling baby move more often, finding out the gender.

Best moment of the week? I told Abel there was a baby in my belly, and he ran to bring me a Cabbage Patch doll.