Saturday, December 27, 2014

Plans... let me laugh about that one

Remember Wednesday when I wrote about our Christmas Eve plans? We were going to go see Santa and have breakfast at Drew's office and spend the evening at my aunt and uncle's house.

Yeah, none of that happened.

Fynn had a cough on Monday, that developed into a cough and fever on Tuesday and on Wednesday she was still a mess. We thought about going anyway... she wasn't that sick, but about 5 minutes down the road we realized that we were being stupid and turned around to come home. Fynn was heartbroken. All she wanted was to go to Daddy's work and see Santa, but she really was just too sick to go. She and I spent the morning cuddling and resting and at noon Drew came home with a gift from Santa who missed seeing her, but hoped she was feeling better soon.

That didn't happen either.

We decided not to go to Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncles in an attempt to get Fynn to bed early and get a good night's sleep.

Guess what? That didn't happen either. 

She was up half the night coughing, fussing, and just feeling miserable. We felt awful (and tired) but there wasn't anything we could do except try to make her feel comfortable and get as much sleep as we all could. 

Christmas day was a mix of great and not-so-great. Some times she was her usual self, and then she was hacking away, grumpy and tired. Christmas night was the worst. She was up most of the night coughing and miserable. At 1:30 she woke up starving and we desperatly tried to find something for her to eat. She hadn't eaten much over the last couple of days, so we weren't surprised that she was so hungry, but she wasn't interested in eating anything we had. An hour later we snuggled back in bed again, but the rest of the night was anything but restful. 

Friday morning she woke up in a much better mood, which is where we're at now. She's been her usual self, though a little grouchier than usual due to being tired. She's been eating more and more and playing. I'm hoping that this turn around will continue, there's nothing worse than a sick kid. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

December Ipsy 2014

With the move, I was a little afraid my Ipsy bag wasn't coming. I had changed my address on the account, but I didn't know if I had done it on time. Luckily, on Monday it arrived!

BWC (Beauty without Cruelty) Premium Aromatherapy Cleanser (~$2.80 for a 2 oz sample size)

I had never heard of this brand before, but I always like trying new cleansers, so I'm psyched about this one. It smells very... clean. I can't think of another way to describe it. It's not really unscented, but it doesn't smell like chemicals or other cleaners, so I don't know how else to describe it. I'll be curious to see how well it works.

NYX Butter Lip Balm in Marshmallow ($4) 

Love this lip balm! It's super smooth feels great on. It's supposedly marshmallow scented, but I'm not smelling it... it doesn't really smell like much of anything which I'm glad about because over-scented lip balms are too much. I also really like that it's not tinted. Most of the lip balms I get through Ipsy are tinted and not always the most flattering of colors. It's nice to get one that I can wear whenever without having to think about it. The other options for the month were tinted ones, so I'm glad I got the color I did.

tarte- Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-one Mascara (~$10 for a .10 oz tube)
Perfect timing on getting this, because I just ran out of my last mascara tube from Ipsy. My favorite part of Ipsy is that I haven't had to buy mascara for the last two years... and it's the one makeup item I wear just about every day. I keep getting expensive mascaras from them, that'd I would never actually buy on my own. I've loved all the other mascaras I've gotten from them, so I'm hoping this is just as good.

Coolway Boost Hair Repair Treatment (~$3.74 for a 1 oz sample)
This smells amazing. It claims it can repair damage from hair products and heat, so I am looking forward to using this since I tend to use my hair straightener on a daily basis (okay, on work days... weekends and vacations are for messy buns and skipping showers). I'm sure using my hair straightener so much is not doing any favors for my already limp and fine hair.

Pixi by Petra Fairy Dust in Brightening Bare ($10)
Not sure about this one... it seems like Fynn should be using fairy dust to play with more than I need it for make up. It's a "glimmer eye dust" that I will most likely never use- unless I decide to attend a middle school dance. 

Not a bad Ipsy month- 4 out of 5 products are things I either already love, or I'm really excited to try. The items in the bag were worth about $30.54, as always, way more than the $10 a month I pay for my bag and well worth it since I get to try all kinds of new make up- and never buy mascara :) 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

I'm still like a little kid on Christmas Eve; I don't sleep. I still get too excited about the presents and the excitement... only now it's Fynn's excitement and presents that have me excited. Imagining her expression when she sees her gifts, her joy in all the attention, and her excitement about new toys. Being a parent is way better at Christmas than getting gifts for myself. 

Today begins the whirlwind of excitement. We're going to Drew's office today to meet Santa, see the people he works with and have breakfast in the office cafeteria. After that I'm sure she'll take a great nap this afternoon and will in no way be a beast when we go to my aunt and uncle's house for lots of food, ridiculous yankee swap gifts, and even more excitement. Luckily the ride home will be the perfect length for her to pass out, and hopefully get a good night's sleep before all the excitement tomorrow.

Even if she's exhausted, I hope the next two days are fun for all of us!

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

30 Weeks Pregnant with Boo # 2

As you saw yesterday, 30 weeks is freaking me out a bit. Here's what's been going on this week:

  • My hips are killing me. Sitting, laying, standing, there is never a time where I don't feel like my hips are tearing apart. This fact alone has me worried that Bentley will be a mid-February baby instead of an early March.
  • B is the size of a cucumber this week- 15.2-16.7 inches long and 2.5-3.8 pounds.
  • According to my calculations, I've gained about 27 pounds (eek!) so far, according to my doctor on Monday, it's 21... I like her number better.
  • Heartburn continues to be my constant (unwelcome) companion. I'm sure it's only going to get worse as he gets bigger.

  • Sleep is pretty non-existant. Between the hip pain and the heartburn I spend 90% of the night trying to get comfortable and the other 10% giving up on any level of comfort.
  • He's becoming more of a squirmy worm this past week- fewer jabs and kicks, lot's more wiggles and rolls. I'm not sure if this is because he's getting bigger or because he's just a more mellow baby than Fynn.
  • B LOVES Sam Smith. Anytime I play one of his songs he gets to jamming out in there. Sam Smith is the only artist that gets a consistent reaction from B.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Time is running out...

You know that time when you're all 5 weeks pregnant thinking about how there are 35 weeks to go and that's forever and a day away?

And then all of a sudden, you're 30 weeks pregnant and thinking that holy crap you have 10 (or fewer) weeks left until you're going to have another tiny creature demanding all your time, energy, and attention.

That's this week. 30 weeks is like the tipping point of pregnancy. That time when you're entering the realm of single digit countdowns and (if you're me) the daunting realization that this kid has about 4 outfits, no diapers, and a crib in 6 pieces as the only furniture in his room. I'm torn about this. Part of me thinks, meh, grab a pack of newborn diapers at the grocery store in about 8 weeks and I'm sure he'll get at least a couple of outfits for Christmas from family, and honestly, he's going to sleep in the co-sleeper in bed with me for the first weeks/months. What's the hurry? Then there's the anxiety and guilt ridden part of me that wants things in place for this little boys. That's the part that knows he deserves to hear when he's 5 about how we took the same pains and time to prepare for his birth as we did for his sister and that just because he's the second born doesn't mean he's not just as loved, wanted, and cared for. See my issue?

I'm on vacation the next two weeks (the second-best perk of teaching). So I'm thinking I'll use week 2 of vacation to do some work for this kid...even if that just means a little shopping to put my mind at ease. Maybe I'll even be able to convince Drew to set up the crib... just so I can feel like he has something in his room ready for him. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

29 Weeks with Boo # 2

Hey, want to know something cool? I actually wrote this post at exactly 29 weeks pregnant. Go me! Here I am, officially in the 3rd trimester. Part of me is anxious to get this kid out, while part of me is shocked how quickly it's gone by. It's this weird mix of emotions, but since this is most likely the last time I'll ever be pregnant, I'm trying to enjoy every little but that I can... not always an easy task though. Here's what went down this week:
  • Still more heartburn. Always the heartburn.
  • Much more hip and back pain. Just walking is actually pretty painful and I have a very distinct waddle going 
  • This week I had a couple of days where I had really hard belly pains. I'm not sure of they were contractions, Braxton Hicks, or just Bentley moving funny, but it was really painful and a little scary for a bit. I think that they're done (knock on wood)
  • I also had a sharp searing pain in the front of my belly one morning when I was trying to pick Fynn up. Honestly, I thought I had ripped my ab muscles apart. I'm not sure what really happened, but the pain stopped by that night, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't my muscle tearing. I guess that just reaffirms why I'm not supposed to pick her up... but you try explaining that to a 2-year-old (or finding another way to get her in the car when she's throwing a temper tantrum in the driveway at daycare)
  • At my 28 week check up, I found out I've gained 24 pounds... I may have teared up a bit when I saw that number on the scale. I haven't been paying attention to weight gain (mostly because I don't even know where our scale ended up in the whole unpacking game), so this was a bit of a shock for me... it also lets me know that I'll mostly likely be gaining more than the 33 pounds I gained with Fynn.
  • At my check up, my doctor also said I need to take it easier. She said very light exercise, if I exercise at all, and to put my feet up as much as possible
  • Baby B is the size of an acorn squash this week; 15.2-16.7 inches long and 2.5-3.8 pounds. 
  • Sleep eludes me most nights. I find myself desperately trying to get comfortable, and as soon as I'm comfortable I pass out, only to wake up a little while later because I've rolled over or that position just isn't comfortable anymore. I got an offer this week to do a review of an awesome looking pillow on here and I can't wait to get it and maybe sleep a little better. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Our attempts at Elf on A Shelf

In case you're new around here, I'll just spell it out. I am in no way one of those Pinterest moms... you know. Those ladies who manage to perfectly decorate their house, keep everything organized in adorable matching baskets, make their kids balanced meals cut out into cute kid-friendly shapes, while wearing the perfect outfit. I'm lucky if I can find matching shoes and my kid doesn't have snot on her face when we go out in public. What I'm trying to say, is that our version of Elf on a Shelf does not involve elaborate scenes... heck, I'm proud of us if we manage to actually move the elf every other day. However, Fynn enjoys it, so we're making the effort (some of the time) and enjoying her joy in the magic. 

We started with reading the book (of course) and I was surprised that she was able to sit through and listen to the entire book. She even pointed to the page and talked about the elf as we read. Somehow (I blame Drew) our elf was named Donkey. Whatever, let's be honest, she won't remember the name by next year and perhaps we can get a better name out of her then. 

The next morning she found her elf on top of the tv, since we knew she would find it there right away... yeah, that says a lot about our family, doesn't it? She was so excited, but tried to touch it, and I had to remind her that if we touch the elf it takes away the magic. Clearly the message stuck because the next day she was very careful not to touch the elf and even told me not to touch because it would ruin the magic. When she told her grandmother and babysitter about the elf, she told them why we don't touch either. I was pretty impressed that it made sense for her... though that did make it hard last Friday when the elf was on her stuffed dog. She was all upset because she wanted the dog, but we couldn't touch the elf. Finally I convinced her that Mommy could move the elf just this once, and the elf would be fine... I don't know how much she believed me, because she said something about being mad at me if I ruined it... she is so my child. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

28 Weeks Pregnant with Boo # 2

The closer I get to the third trimester, the more uncomfortable I get... I remembered that from last time, but last time it wasn't quite so uncomfortable so early and I wasn't so busy. Here's what went down week 28:

More work bathroom selfies since
 I don't have a good bathroom mirror
 to takemy belly selfies in anymore
  • Heartburn is pretty much the constant state of things. So much so that I don't even bother with my tums half the time because they don't stop the burn.
  • My hips are killing me constantly and I'm finding as many excuses as I can to sit down during the day. As much of my teaching as possible is done from my desk and when I need to look at students' work, or they need help, I have them come visit me at my desk, rather than circulating around the room like I usually would. Thank goodness I have an amazing class. They are so good to me!
  • Baby B is so different than Fynn was. I might have said this before, but Fynn was such a dancer and jerked around a lot more at this point. B is super chill and just kind of floats around or moves one part at a time. I'm so hoping this chill attitude extends beyond the womb :)
  • This week Baby B is the size of an eggplant- 13.6-14.8 inches long and weighing in at 1.5-2.5 pounds... that seems both crazy huge for being in my belly, and crazy small for how large I seem. 
  • Fynn all of a sudden realized the other day that this baby is actually going to come up of my belly soon. We were driving home from daycare and I mentioned something about playing with the baby. Fynn goes "he gonna play with me?". I said "Yes Fynnie, when he gets big enough, he's going to come out and play with you." Her response? "Hooray! She likes me" (we're still working on pronouns... in Fynn's world, everyone is a "she")

Monday, December 15, 2014

The name game the second time around

Naming a second baby is WAY harder than naming the first. With the first, you just have to think about the one kid and how their name sounds. Kid #2, you have to consider how the name sounds with the first name and you have to make important decisions like whether you'll have a theme with your names (just me?). 

We played around with F names for a bit, to go with Fynnleigh, but we didn't find a single boys' name that started with an F that we would even consider. I got stuck on Irish sounding names for a bit, and wanted something like Sullivan or Callaghan. Drew hated both of them. He wanted to do something more like Lucas (which I couldn't stand).

There was, however, one name we could agree on. Therefore, Boo #2 will officially be named Bentley Ryan. Bentley was the one name we could agree on. And Ryan is Drew's middle name, so it's a nice father-son connection. Fynn is so cute saying it, it sounds more like Bentey when she says it. If you ask her about her baby though, she'll tell you the name... now at least. 

Before we told our families, she kept her little mouth shut. Drew and I were shocked. Every time someone asked her the baby's name (because they knew that she knew what it was) she would say "I not talkin'" or "Daddy said no talkin'". Even on Thanksgiving, when we told her she could tell, she refused to say it until my sister bribed her with Sour Patch Kids. Even then, they couldn't tell what she was saying and thought she was saying "Minty" or something. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

27 Weeks Pregnant With Boo #2

I'm only writing this post about 3 days late... not bad for me lately!

And this week's belly selfie comes
from the bathroom at work
  • This week we moved! Which was exhausting, and hard. It's hard not to be able to do much, but since I can't lift anything more than 30 pounds and most of our boxes weighed more than that, I spent a lot of time standing around and watching other people do the work... doesn't sound bad in theory, but it was really boring and it made me feel useless.
  • This week baby boy is the size of
  • We told our families baby boy's name on Thanksgiving and they all liked it (or at least pretended to!). 
  • I have been sooooo wiped out this week! Moving, Thanksgiving, Drew gone a lot to finish up stuff on the old house... meant no time to just sit for a bit and take a break and I definitely felt it. I had a LOT of back pain this week and a lot of hip/cervical/pressure pain as well. I know it's from overdoing it, because sitting down always made me feel better, but it's hard to take a break when you have a 2 year old running around getting into everything.
  • The heartburn is still a major beast. I have a feeling that the bigger he gets, the worse it's going to get. 
  • Know what's scary. When you all of a sudden realize that not only are you suddenly in the 3rd trimester (at least according to some calculations of it) you also have only about 13 weeks left before your kid is going to be born... yeah, yeah, it shouldn't be a surprise, except it totally is. If I didn't have my pregnancy app, I would honestly never know how far along I am. Which is awful. With Fynn I could tell you down to the minute and with this kid I'm never even sure how many months along I am. Poor second child. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Driving past the old house

One of the ways to get to the new house from work involved going past our old neighborhood. And, of course, the day we closed on the old house, I just had to take that way home. I knew it was stupid. I new that the buyers were moving in that day... but I still did it. I didn't drive into the neighborhood, but from the road, as I drove by, I could see all the outside lights on at what used to be my house.

And I lost it.

I sobbed the rest of the way home. Someone else was living in my house. MY HOUSE. People who wouldn't care that we had spent our wedding night there. Brought home our little dog when she was only about 3 pounds. They wouldn't care that they were in the house where I found out about both our babies. The house where we brought our first baby home and spent more than 9 months in a state of zombie exhaustion. They wouldn't care how carefully we had selected paint colors or that the nail holes in the living room are crooked because I clearly can't see in a straight line. The wouldn't appreciate the time and love that went into remodeling each room over the last five years and making it a home.

Worse, they're probably going to change things. Maybe even big things. In order to make it their home. And that just breaks my heart.

I know it shouldn't. We've moved on. We have a bigger house, in a great neighborhood, that is a better fit for our soon-to-be family of four. I'm happy with this house, and I know it's going to be a better home than the old house ever was... but there's a part of me that is mourning the loss of our old home.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

26 Weeks Pregnant with Boo #2

Better late than never, right... right?

I'm writing this two weeks late, so I'm trying to be as accurate as possible as what happened during week 26... we'll see how that goes.

  • Baby's name is 100% decided upon. We're still playing with a couple of middle names, but I'm pretty sure I know what we're going with.
  • Fynn knows baby boy's name, but she can't really say it well which is both funny and good, since she won't be able to spill the beans before we're ready!
  • This week Boo is the size of a head of lettuce: 13.6-14.8 inches long and 1.5-2.5 pounds
  • He's definitely getting bigger and stronger. His movements are a lot more forceful
  • The heartburn has gotten ridiculous this past week. I get it if I eat, if I don't eat, if I eat too much, if I don't eat enough. Basically I constantly feel like I've swallowed battery acid. The worst time is when I brush my teeth, after that I always take a few tums... which probably defeats the whole purpose of brushing my teeth. 
  • Sleep is also a beast. Give how tired I am, you would think I'd sleep like a log, but I can't manage to get comfortable (even with my 9 pillows)and I end up waking up all night long if I move funny or just if I hear Fynn moving in her crib. This last week was conference week, which left me feeling even more drained than before... and next week is moving week... so it looks like there won't be a break anytime soon. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

eShakti Giveaway!

Remember my gorgeous eShakti dress from last fall? Okay, so you probably don't. For a reminder, click here. Otherwise, just know that it's gorgeous and was tailored to fit me perfectly... we'll me back then, not the me that is 28 weeks pregnant.

Anyway, I was contacted by the awesome people at eShakti are offering a $50 gift card to their site for one of my lucky readers, so you can get your own, awesome dress, just in time for the holidays... or you could get a dress for the spring, or even the summer. Check out their awesome new arrivals like this beauty:

Whatever floats your boat. Entering is easy, but is only going on for the next week! Also make sure to check them out on Facebook and Pinterest to see more of they're gorgeous clothing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The last couple of weeks

have been crazy, exhausting, and overwhelming... mostly in a good way.

In the past two weeks we moved, during a snowstorm, cleaned out our old house and finally closed on it. 

Fynn unpacking in
her new play room
We closed on the new house November 4th, but decided to wait to move until Thanksgiving week because that was the next time Drew and I had some time off and we wanted to move in at a slower pace. In the three weeks in between closing and Thanksgiving we did a lot of work to pack up stuff at the old house and move it to the new. By the day before Thanksgiving, we had moved pretty much everything except day to day essentials and the larger furniture. 

Unloading into the garage
to avoid the snow

The day before Thanksgiving we rented a u-Haul and had our awesome brothers, my mom, and Drew's dad over to help us move. Of course, then the snow started. That was fun. The u-Haul ramp got slippery, the guys all trailed snow and dirt into the old house and stuff got soaked. Then the drive to the new house (which is usually less than 20 minutes) took almost an hour with icy roads and people driving like little old ladies because it was the first snow storm of the year... seriously people, we live in Maine. Snow is expected. for some reason it's always this huge shock during the first storm and people either drive painfully slow or like complete fools and end up in a ditch. 

Anyway. We got in that day and got all the big furniture set up where we wanted it. There was still plenty of stuff left in the old house that needed to be cleared out, but the majority of our stuff was here, so it was a big relief. Because of the snow, Drew had to leave around 2:30 the next morning to plow, so we didn't exactly unpack much. Really, we didn't unpack anything. On Thanksgiving day we drove back to the old house to shower (because we hadn't had a chance to clean the new showers here yet). 

As I'm writing this post, we've lived in the new house for a week and a half... and it's been an interesting week and a half for several reasons:
  1.  Lots of work left to do at the old house: meaning Drew has been gone a lot and Fynn and I have been left to our own devices. Not a huge deal, but exhausting nevertheless... not to mention missing him!
  2. No refrigerator. We discovered a week before we moved in that the one here had died. We bought a fridge a few days after we moved in, but it was going to be two full weeks before it could be delivered. Monday is delivery day, and I could not be happier. We've been using our mini fridge from college which holds a gallon of milk and a few little things; not enough to keep a picky toddler happy and definitely a nuisance because it meant daily or at most every other day grocery store trips.
  3. No working oven. The stove top works, but the oven isn't quite right and Drew has to fix it (he claims he can, we just haven't had time). That means no fridge AND no oven... making dinner just got exponentially more difficult 
  4. No dryer- we took our washer and dryer from the old house, and were able to set up the washer right away. However, the dryer vents were FILLED with lint/hair, so we needed to clean them before setting them up. In the meantime, I did a couple of loads of laundry in the washer and just hung things up to dry all over the upstairs. The hook up was done yesterday. I've never been so happy to be able to do laundry before! 
  5. No cable or internet for the first week- The cable was no big deal, we watched some movies and were fine. Internet was another story because my grad school class is all online and I had a bunch of homework due. This meant some trips to my parents house to mooch some wifi and get my work done! 
  6. Unpacking... while almost 7 months pregnant. Means I can't lift most of the boxes and I'm exhausted after just a short time working. Progress has been slow... painfully slow. Thank all that is holy for my family. My mom, dad, and sister all came over for the day yesterday and helped us out a ton. My mom and my sister also came the day after Thanksgiving to help with a ton of unpacking and cleaning. While the house is no where near ready, it's ten times more than we would have been able to do on our own.
  7. Yesterday, we discovered that the dishwasher is broken as well. We thought it was just dirty, but when we tried to run the cleaning cycle on it today, it leaked water everywhere. Drew's hopeful that it's just a broken waterline, which would be great because we can't afford a dishwasher right now on top of everything else! 
So yeah, that's a long list of things to be dealing with these first couple of weeks. Thankfully things are settling down and falling into place. We still have a lot to work on, but the new house is starting to feel more and more like home. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

For the hair styling impaired: as close to idiot-proof as it can get

*Disclosure: I received a free sample of the Kiss InstaWave Curling Iron in exchange for my honest review: all thoughts, ideas, and pictures are my own.

I'm one of those hair style impaired people. My usual style is a pony tail or messy bun because they're just about the only hairstyles I can manage to do without hurting myself. I am, however, related to the hair queen who manages to actually style her hair on a daily basis. I don't know whether this fact should make me proud of my baby sis or annoyed that I didn't inherit that gene and she did. Either way, she was psyched to help me with this review and I was hoping just to escape with all my hair intact since my experience with curling irons consists of multiple burns, smoking hair (and not in a good way), and that horrible yanking that you have to do when you manage to tangle a huge chunk of hair all over the place and you're pretty sure you're about to burn it off. Yeah, I'm that person. 

According to the product description "The revolutionary KISS InstaWave is a fully automatic tangle-free curler that instantly creates beautiful, long-lasting curls with ease (No Need to be a Pro)." Good thing, since I'm clearly not a pro.

Abby came over last Saturday, and we decided to break this bad boy out of it's package. Please note that she did her hair, to come to my house to do her hair... I'm not even sure I showered that morning. Are we really related? We plugged it in... and it made a weird noise. Like a high-pitched buzzing noise. Weird, but Kiss says it's the circuit that drives the motor and isn't a safety issue. Good to know, still kinda weird. 

We tested it out on my hair first, since, you know it can't look much worse. There was a final check of directions. There are two heat settings, with the curler heating up to 420 degrees. We did it on the higher temperature, but I honestly don't know the difference between the two settings.

A few seconds of panic, and then Abby went to it. She, of course, had no issue with it and was able to curl my hair with ease.

And check out that belly- seriously
And then I tried it myself. The first couple of times I got it all tangled up, but once I got the hang of it, it was really simple to use. How the wand vertically next to your head, put a strand of the hair on the curling rod, hit the left or right Curl Dial direction and the wand automatically winds the hair into place. Even if you mess it up, it can get the hair back in place for you to create effortless curls. Hold it for 5-10 seconds, the longer you hold it, the tighter the curls.Then you just pull the wand down vertically and, done! 

The final results.
 After I did it on my own hair, Abby got brave and let me curl her hair too. Not going to lie, I did a pretty awesome job! The curls lasted all day, and I've even used it on my own a couple of times before work this week. While I'm still getting the hang of it, I actually really like it! The Kiss Instawave retails for $59.99 and can be found at Target, Ulta, and I'm not a hundred percent sure I'd spend almost $60 for a curling iron, just because I don't usually style my hair much, but the ease of this actually makes it worthwhile. If I were someone who regularly did my hair, I'd probably have an easier time spending the money on it. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

25 Weeks pregnant with Boo #2

I keep meaning to do a side-by-side comparison of pix from this time compared to last it will probably happen when this kid is 2. 

  • I've already explained the epic fail that was this week- all of which just lead to more exhaustion than I was already experiencing. Needless to say I feel like a zombie, but the second I lay down in bed at night, I can't sleep. It's a great combination.
  • Heartburn has been rearing it's fiery head on a daily basis now. It's worst around dinner time and when I'm trying to fall asleep, Tums are my new after-dinner snack.
  • Speaking of snacks, I want snacks all the time, but I don't really want meals... little bits of food throughout the day just make me feel better, but is sometimes hard to manage. 
  • 99.9% positive we have a name for this little bugger. While I've been calling him Teddy since I was about 6 weeks pregnant, he now has an official name... first AND middle... but we're not spilling yet :) Mostly because we got too many comments and suggestions about Fynn's name when we made that public.
  • This week little Boo is the size of a cauliflower this week, measuring at 13.6-14.8 inches long and 1.5-2.5 pounds of baby goodness. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

The House Deal

I've mentioned here and there things about moving and selling our house, but I never really wrote about how this has all gone down.

Well, here it is:

Since, well, as long as I've known Drew (so 13+ years) he's been all about finding deals. I lovingly refer to him as Peddler Drew since he's the only person I know who can buy trucks, drive them for 2-3 years, and then sell them for more than he paid for them... yeah, I haven't figured that one out either.

Our house was a prime example of Peddler Drew at work. We bought our first house at auction 5 years ago for a lot less than it was worth. Since then, Drew's been keeping his eye on real estate in the area, especially more auction deals.

Which brings us to this July. In July he found this house. We went to see it, and I fell in love. The rest of the summer was spent in putting in offers, getting turned down, and eventually deciding it just wasn't going to happen.

Then, the first week of school, Drew texted me in the middle of the day to tell me the bank had accepted her offer. I actually laughed because I didn't think it was really true. Then there were more issues because it was a bank-owned property which comes with its own set of headaches, but Drew prevailed again and we finally closed on the new house two weeks ago.

With everything going on, we didn't put our house on the market yet. So the day after we closed, we put our house up. Six days later it had sold (at asking price) which was music to my ears. Have you ever tried to keep a house show-clean... with a two year old? No joke, we would finish cleaning the entire house, turn around, and there'd be a trail of food/milk/randomness all over the floor. Being told we didn't have to do that anymore was amazing... not to mention the whole sold deal.

Right now we're under contract, with the close in the beginning of December. Our plan is to move during Thanksgiving week since our family will all be here and those lucky guys have all been volunteered to help us move. If all goes according to plan, we should be good and settled before Boo # 2 makes his grand appearance! 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

24 Weeks Pregnant With Boo # 2

Unlike last week, week 24 was rather busy.

  • This week we closed on our new house, listed our old house, and had multiple showings and an open house lined up. What does this have to do with my pregnancy, you ask? Great question. EVERYTHING. Constant cleaning, stress, and packing has lead to major exhaustion and back pain. All those things that are tough under normal circumstances are exponentially worse when growing a human being.
  • Fynn is still super upset that I can't pick her up anymore. I try to avoid it as much as possible, but I end up picking her up more than I should (since I shouldn't at all...)
  • Somehow I just ignored the scale the last few weeks and came to the startling discovery this week that I've gained 18 pounds... a very sobering number in my opinion. While I'm glad to have "caught up" to the expected weight gain at this point, the fact that I did it so quickly freaks me out because I REALLY don't want to be (more of) a blimp. There's still 4 months to go, and they're the 4 months of rapid weight gain as it is.
My belly-pix photobomber
  • This week Baby Boo is size of a cantaloupe: 10.5-11.8 inches long and 12.7-20.8 ounces... somehow those numbers are exactly the same as last week when Boo was the size of a grapefruit... not quite sure how that works.
  • Fynn seems to finally get that the baby is a boy. She says it's a boy when I ask and she'll rub my belly now and say "he loves me". He gave her a good couple of kicks in return the other day. When I explained to her that we won't be naming him Milk, she responded that his name is Mickey Mouse... 0 for 2 on the Name Game Fynn, but kudos on the attempt. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

The universe will find a way to kick you in the butt

Last week was a crazy week of ups and downs and proves to me that the universe likes to keep a balance, thus my week:

Monday: Almost passed out at my glucose tolerance test will giving a blood sample and ended up (just barely) getting enough blood for the test. I was told I had to come back later in the week to give blood for an additional test. Universe: 1, Amanda: 0

Tuesday: Our house sold, at asking price, just 6 days after putting it on the market. Universe: 1, Amanda: 1

Wednesday: Was observed by my superintendent, who then went to my principal to sign my praises. Met with my assistant principal about an observation he did several weeks ago, got further praise and assurance of my awesomeness. Universe: 1, Amanda: 3

See the current imbalance? The universe was well aware.

Thursday: On the way to work, got rearended by a creeper at a stoplight. Sketchy guy got out of his car and said "I don't even know how that happened". Umm... dude, you were too busy playing with your cigarette to realize your foot fell off the break. As I'm looking over the back of my car, he goes "Aw, man... is my car all right?" My reply?: "I really don't care, you hit me." And then I left because my car was fine and he was giving me the creeps. I wrote down his license plate number just in case, but there's not a scratch on my car (thankfully). Universe: 2, Amanda: 3

The universe was not done with me on Thursday

Thursday afternoon I went back to the doctor's office to take care of the other blood work I needed done. Was assured by multiple nurses in the office that the lead phlebotomist would have me out of there in no time, because she's amazing... clearly the universe was not having it. She couldn't use the "good" veins in my left arm because I had a ton of bruising from Monday's fiasco, so she made an attempt at the right... and hit a nerve. Cue sharp, shooting, fire down my arm pain. I think I screamed, but she said it would be okay and that she just hit a nerve. You think? I started to feel light-headed, so she stopped, gave me some juice, and assured me that we'd "just try it again".

So I started crying. Because I'm a baby. Oh yea, and it felt like my arm was on fire. But, I pulled on my big girl panties, stuck my arm out again, and told her to just do it. Thank all that is holy (and the universe for realizing I had enough at that point) she got the blood she needed. And I got a big old bruise, sharp shooting pain for about 3 hours after and an on-again, off-again numbness in my forearm for the entire night.

Universe, you win. Thursday earned you big with the final score being Universe: 10 million, Amanda: 3

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Spreading the cost on kids' toys

Today's post is brought to you by ICM Enterprises (uk) LTD Team

When it comes to spreading the cost on kids toys it is good to hear that it actually is a lot easier than you think. You see, here in the UK there are so many companies out there that offer alternative finance agreements that means your kids can get what they want without you having to fork out too much money at the one time. Sound intriguing? Well, it should be.

You see, we are fortunate in that there are two main ways in which you can get those toys. First, you have the age old way of shopping via a catalogue with the likes of Littlewoods leading the way. Here, you can clearly see in the listing how much a certain toy is going to cost you over a certain number of months and at least you can then budget accordingly.
There is of course an interest fee applied, but there is always more than enough information in the catalogue to allow you to work out the total costs. Please do be aware that the interest rate will be higher than your average credit card, but it will still be manageable. Payment options are also very flexible as well, so you can pay it off earlier if you can afford to do so and there will be no penalty to pay either. For more information on the best UK catalogues visit

However, the one thing that you need to be aware of is that you will have a credit limit when shopping with a catalogue, but you will often start off with a minimum of £100. If in any doubt, then their customer service is often very good and a quick call is all that will be required.

For people that prefer to shop in person, then there are still a number of options available to you. One option is to go to a store such as Brighthouse. They offer products in much the same way as a catalogue, but you deal with them in person.
Basically, you get a credit limit, choose the toys, and you will then pay a set amount each month via direct debit until everything is cleared. How much credit you get depends on your credit history and present financial circumstances, but most people are accepted and you can then purchase those toys in a more manageable way.

Finally, you also have one other method and that is via specific store cards such as those you will see at Argos. What happens here is that you can choose from different payment options over a number of months when you effectively borrow a certain amount of money.
You do so through their company and, just as with the catalogues, you can pay a small amount each month although interest is obviously included. Rates are mainly higher than most credit cards, but it is still an effective way of getting those toys without breaking the bank.

As you can see it is very easy to spread the cost of buying toys for your kids if you just know where to look. From the point of view of a parent it is certainly well worth it when you see the look on their face, so at least give some thought to these options and see how kinder they are to your finances.

October Reads

Sadly I only read 4 books in October, though two of them were quite long. Diana Gabaldon is a great storyteller, but she isn't exactly concise in her writing... I think that's why I love her books though! 

5. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
The second in the Outlander series, Dragonfly in Amber was just as thrilling, romantic, and captivating as the first. I had the hardest time putting it down, and ended up reading every spare second that I had (and even putting off things I needed to do just because I really wanted to keep reading). I was a little confused in the beginning because the time period shifts and I couldn’t figure out what had happened (I mean I could… but it didn’t make sense with how Outlander ended. In the end though it all makes perfect sense.) I love the deepening of Claire and Jaime’s relationship in this book as well as the further development of historical events. While I know not all the events in the book are true to history, there’s enough historical fact in it to make me feel like I have a better understanding of the time period. Prior to this, my only historical understandings of the 1700’s involved the American revolution- so clearly I had a lot to learn.

6. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyle
I’ve seen the movie before, but for some reason I still decided to read this even though I knew the depressing ending. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book. It’s depressing and hard to digest, but so well written and historically significant that I can’t help but see the beauty of it as well. The main character, Bruno, is just so young and na├»ve that at points I wanted to shake him for being so clueless, but at the same time I wanted him to keep that childish innocence that protects him from the horrors of his father’s involvement in the Holocaust. The use of a child’s perspective for this book was both a risky move, but also a significant one. The author wrote a note in the end about how it was the only way to write authentically about the time period since he was not a part of it.

7. Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon
While I was waiting for my turn with the 3rd Outlander book, Voyager, I stumbled upon a mini-series also written by Gabaldon about one of the minor characters that appears in Voyager. Since I hadn’t read the book yet, I really had no idea who Lord John was, but I decided to read anyway. Clearly I should have probably waited until after reading Voyager. While it’s explained on Gabaldon’s website as being able to stand alone, there are several parts of this book where it was clear I was missing something in not knowing Lord John’s background. It was an interesting enough book, but didn’t make total sense to me until after I read Voyager. That said, there are several other of these shorter books available that I plan to read along with the rest of the Outlander books.

8. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

This is the third book in the Outlander series and very different from the first two. **Spoiler Alert** At the end of Dragonfly in Amber, Claire ventured back through the rock circle and back to the 1960’s. In the beginning of the book it has been 20 years since Claire left Jamie. She begins the search to find out when and where Jamie passed away. She then has to decide whether or not she should go back through the rocks and try to find Jaime again, 20 years after she left him right before the battle of Culloden. At first I didn’t love this book. It was so sad and lonely seeing where Claire and Jamie were during the 20 years they had spent apart. The second half of the book was more interesting, though things got really complicated and in some part confusing. Without the impending battles that were prevalent in the first two books, the story took a very different turn and that affects the writing style and the focus. I enjoyed it a great deal, and had trouble putting it down for the second half, but I wasn’t as enthralled by this as I was with the first two. That said, I have the 4th book waiting for me at the public library to read! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

23 Weeks pregnant with Boo # 2

Late again... I mean in posting, but well... it works two ways here I guess.

  • Week 23 was pretty uneventful. I went the chiropractor for my monthly adjustment and found out that my alignment was off way more than it's ever been... which explains why I felt so uncomfortable! Unfortunately only two days after my adjustment I felt awful again
  • The heartburn has begun! Every time I eat it's like food hits baby and baby kicks stomach acid up into my throat... to graphic of a description for you? Try living it!
  • Sleep also stinks. I've got my nest going with 9 pillows including a body pillow and a boppy, but I'm still up at least ten times a night to readjust and get comfortable. 
  • This week baby is the size of a grapefruit, 10.5-11.8 inches long and 12.7-20.8 ounces. 
  • Names are starting to come together. Drew and I have one name that we kinda, sorta, maybe agree on, but we're not sure if it's "the one". We're playing with it and some other for the next couple of weeks to see.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

That time I almost passed out at the doctor's office

Yesterday I went in for my 24 week glucose tolerance test. I was dreading it as it was because I hate needles more than I can ever adequetly express. Need proof? My entire reason for going with an all-natural childbirth with Fynn (and planning on doing the same with Boo #2) is to avoid needles. No lie. I'd rather deal with feeling every second of expelling a human being from my body rather than a needle. That's how intense my hatred of needles is.

I digress. This post totally isn't about my fear of needles. Well, it is, but it isn't. (How's that for clarity?)

Anywho. I headed in around 4 yesterday, fresh from a scintillating staff meeting about math fact fluency and downs my 8 ounces of glucola- or as I refer to it, I drank the Kool-aid. I then went in, had a great appointment with the nurse practitioner who assured me that I'm absolutely perfect (duh) and then had 40 minutes to spare before they could do the blood draw. I used the time well by working on my grad school homework and was feeling pretty damn good about myself. I wasn't even that nervous about the blood draw.

The phlebotomist who usually does my blood work had already left for the day, but the woman who was still there was super nice and we chatted about our kids... and then it all hit the fan. She was having trouble finding a vein, which isn't unusual for me (and probably exacerbates my fear- I'm a hard stick). She finally got one, but couldn't get any blood out. And then things got a little fuzzy. I felt the stereotypical tunnel vision, my ears felt like they had cotton balls in them, the room got really hot, and I felt like the whole office was spinning around me. I knew the phlebotomist and one of the lab techs were talking to me, but I couldn't figure out what on earth they were saying. One of them put my feet up on a chair while the other put a cold compress on my neck and gave me some water. After a few minutes (I think) things started to come into focus. I still felt woozy and really, really shaky. 

I agreed to try the draw again because I really didn't want to have to do the whole thing again. Unfortunately, they still had a hard time getting the blood. Finally they got enough for my glucose test, but not enough for the CBC they wanted to do to check for anemia... so now I have to go back later this week to get more blood taken.

I'm not sure if it was the Kool-aid or the blood draw that caused the near-fainting, but as I'm writing this (three hours later) I still feel like crap. When I did the glucose test when I was pregnant with Fynn I felt awful afterwards, but nothing like this... I'm really, REALLY hoping that this isn't a sign I'm about to fail the test. Gestational diabetes does not sound like fun, and not something else I want to have to worry about for the next 16 weeks.

Monday, November 3, 2014

30 LBS

Fynn officially weighs 30 pounds... which means I can't lift her until March. Easier said than done.

Let me backtrack a second. Due to my back and hip issues, I was put on a strict 30 pound weight limit at my first OB appointment. Last time they advised it, but this time they were adamant that I not life anything over 30 pounds. Back in July that sounded like no big deal, Fynn was about 27 pounds, so I figured by the time she weighed too much I wouldn't have the energy to lift her up anyway.

That time came this weekend. I'm trying, really I am, but do you know how hard it is not to carry a 2-year old? Let's put aside the emotional piece for a second, and just look at practice. What do I do when she's flipping out and I need to move her? Or when she she needs to get in an out of her crib? Or she refuses to walk someplace? Yeah, there are going to be plenty of times when I have to scoop her up.

Then there's the emotional pull. She's still my baby. I still love cradling her in my arms. Or snuggling close. Or just playing games where I swing her around. Feeling like I can't do that, even though it's for my own good, is really hard. The other night she was reaching for me as we were putting her to bed, and all I wanted to do was take her into my arms and snuggle... instead I settled for hugs and kisses while Drew held her- it was not the same thing. 

I've got 17 weeks left... I'm going to do my best, but I know I won't make it a full 17 weeks without lifting her up.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A moment of triumph

A couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail saying my superintendent wanted to observe my classroom. Apparently he's working on getting into everyone's classroom over the years and I'm next on the list.

Ensue all-consuming panic and the frantic scouring of my schedule to see which class period would be best for him to see.

And then I realized, I was fine. I have this. No matter what class he wanted to come into or subject he observed; I'd be okay. For the first time in my 6 years of teaching I feel completely on top of things. Yeah, I have my bad days and bombed lessons, but overall I'm doing a great job. My classroom management isn't flawless, but it's effective. My lessons are dynamic, intersting, and my kids are engaged. More than that, I'm comfortable and confident enough in my curriculum (even our brand-new writing curriculum) that I feel like I could rock it out any time of day. That's a first. And a really amazing feeling. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How my kid eats a cupcake

I don't know if I should be proud, or embarrassed. Awesome mom that I am... I'm leaning towards proud.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

King of Christmas- Win an artificial Christmas tree!

This post is brought to you by King of Christmas

Here's the debate; real or fake? I'm talking about trees here. Every year I have this internal debate because, while real trees are gorgeous, they're pretty much a pain. Artificial Christmas trees always just seem so much easier and they look so pretty now, it's hard to tell that they're not real! We always end up with pine needles, water, and sometimes sap all over the place. It's a mess and a headache, but we keep going back. I'm not sure if it's because we're gluttons for punishment or because they can be so expensive. However, King of Christmas is doing an awesome giveaway for a 7 foot artificial Christmas tree WITH LED lights (which means you don't have to play the Christmas light game). The second place prize is a $100 gift card for which will go a long way towards a tree. 

Sound like a good deal? I thought so too. Head over and enter right away though, because their giveaway ends soon! Want to enter? Here's the link.

22 Weeks Pregnant

This week was a big week for us. And yesterday I had the startling realization that 22 weeks means only 18 weeks left. Which is mind blowing. It's going by fast, but this time it doesn't freak me out like it did last time. Maybe it's knowing what's coming or just how busy we've been, or just the fact that we have all the "stuff" we need for this kid, but I'm not stressing about this little one's arrival like I did with Fynn.

  • I'm feeling better again this week. Still a little nauseous, but at least I'm not getting sick again
  •  We had our 20 week ultrasound (at 21 1/2 weeks) and this beautiful little boy looks awesome and healthy and super active- and I totally called it when I said he was all over my bladder. The ultrasound tech even commented on how uncomfortable it must be.
  • The morning after the ultrasound I had my first "mutant belly" moment. Baby Boo flipped over and stick his little butt out right right under my rib cage. Up until that point I had plenty of kicks, but no major whole-body rolls. It was cool, but also a little freaky- and just a hint of what's coming.
  • Baby is the size of a papaya this week; 10.5-11.8 inches long and 12.7-20.8 ounces. Getting bigger! Last time at Fynn's 20 week ultrasound they gave an estimate of how big she was. They didn't this time, and I forgot to ask, but at my next check up I'm going to see what they thought, just because I'm curious about how big he is compared to his sister at this point. 
  • I'm noticing a difference in the activeness of Boo #2 compared to Fynn. Fynn was very aggressive in her kicks and made me VERY aware of her presence. This kid is more laid back and the movement is more swirly and lighter kicks. I'm hoping that means that this little boy will be a little less rambunctious than his sister... or at least sleep a little better. Now that I've put that out there, it probably won't happen. 
  • Sorry about the awful blurry pix. I'm not sure if it's my phone or the case, but half of my photos are coming out awful lately. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The 10 Healthiest States in America

Brought to you by Annie Davis

Obesity remains an issue in the United States, one that you hear about a lot in the news. You get all this information about the worst states to live in, or the unhealthiest states, but sometimes you come along information about the "Healthiest" states, and you have to wonder; what makes them so healthy? How are they different from my state? Or, if you're lucky, you get to gloat about your state being on the list. Sadly, Maine isn't on this infographic from UIC Online for the 10 Healthiest States in America, but there are several other New England states on the list... so I guess we have that going for us? The rating scale for this infographic came from obesity rates, percentage of sedentary adults and the average life expectancy. It's interesting to see the difference between Hawii at #1 and New Jersey at #10. It would have been really cool if all 50 states were included, but I guess that would be a LOT on info in one graphic. Regardless, it makes me really interested to see the numbers and rankings for Maine and see where we stack up in the scheme of things. 

A Prego's Dream Come True

Drew's office is pretty sweet. He works in the pricing department of major supermarket chain which means he often comes home with product samples and free food. Sometimes it's tried and true items, and sometimes it's products they're thinking of selling. 

5 Minutes Later
My favorite day of the year at Drew's office is cake sample day. That's right. It's amazing as it sounds. Vendors bring in all the cakes that will be sold in their stores for the following year. Which means Drew brings home entire cakes. This year the winner was a scrumptious red velvet cake that fulfilled all of my pregnancy-cravings dreams. Needless to say, we've been having cake every night for the past couple of nights. Even better? Drew being the awesome guy that he is, even brought home an extra cake for one of my friends who is also pregnant. How thoughtful is he? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Team Pink or Team Blue?

I had a couple of awesome followers weigh in on my Facebook page, all of them were sure Baby Boo # 2 is on Team Blue. I originally thought blue from the beginning until a couple of weeks ago when I started to doubt myself. I constantly referred to baby as "he" and jokingly called him Teddy... even though we wouldn't be using Teddy as a name if it ended up being a boy. Fynn was sure it was a girl. Several friends were sure it was a girl, but two friends from work were convinced boy. Drew wouldn't really weigh in. Right before the ultrasound he said he had no idea. 

Last Monday was the big day. We went in, the tech asked if we wanted to know if she could tell, and we started measuring. We measured belly, looked at the heart, then got to the legs and without any warning the tech said "it's a boy!". In a way I was surprised, but in a way I wasn't. Part of me knew it from early on. 

We are sooo excited, though Fynn was a little disappointed because she said it was a girl and we were going to call her "Milk". 0 for 2 kiddo! That said, the name game can now commence. Right now we're just throwing out suggestions, but there's nothing we're seriously considering or in love with (though I do have one name I'm loving... but we'll see if the infatuation lasts). 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

21 Weeks Pregnant with Boo # 2

Ugh, I've fallen into posting late again. Still without a computer. Which makes blogging rather difficult! However, here's what went down during week 21:

  • I've been super sick this week again... I really thought I had gotten past that point, but I've had to pull out my Zofran again just to keep things down.
  • I've gained two pounds this week, bringing my grand total to just eight pounds. Pretty sure that's about half of what is expected weight gain at this point. Not that I mind not being a whale yet, but I just worry that being sick again is going to keep this little nugget from getting what he/she needs.
  • Monday is our big 20 week ultrasound and I'm super excited to see baby and find out whether it's a boy or a girl. I've been thinking boy from early on, but Fynn's convinced it's a girl and the only names I've found that I love are girls names. I guess we'll see on Monday.
  • This little bugger is a-moving and a-shaking these days. Kicks are getting stronger, and are all super low which makes sense because I feel like the kid is sitting on my bladder.
  • Drew informed me the other day that I'm not as wide as I was last pregnancy... I guess I'm supposed to take that as a complement? 
  • Baby Boo is the size of a pomegranate this week; 10.5 inches long and 12.7 ounces.

And now I must attempt to upload pictures to this post. I apologize in advance for any funky formatting that results.
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