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Monday, October 31, 2011

Mr. Potato Head Trick or Treats!

Jackson has been SOOO excited for Halloween!  I thought of the idea for his costume based on his love for his toy Mr. Potato Head, but he was on board right away!  He told anyone who asked that hew as going to be, "Tato Head!"  We bought him Mickey's Halloween Treat and started reading that on our beach vacation.  Jackson LOVES that story!  He was able to point out all of the dressed up characters right away.  Minnie Mouse dressed as a witch was his favorite! (For a while he kept telling me he wanted to be a witch!)  We also checked out How Spider Saved Halloween from the library.  Jackson kept telling everyone that I was dressing up as a witch and Josh was going to be an ant (like one of the characters in the spider story)!  LOL
My neighbor, Aimee, was SO nice and offered to let me use her sewing machine to make Jackson's costume!  She even taught me what to do--I've never sewed anything in my life on a machine!  It was SO fun, and Aimee was an excellent teacher :)  I'm quite proud of the stitching I did--we even added a tie at the back to enlarge the head hole and a ribbon at the bottom to cinch the bottom tighter!
  We started practicing the other day that we ring doorbells, say, "Trick or treat!", get treats, and say, "Thank you!"  Jackson had it down pat and was ready to go!
 Our first house was our neighbors: Miss Norah and Mr. Brian!
 While we were at the Walburgers' door, Jackson's glasses came detached from his costume :(  This was the right house for a costume malfunction since Aimee was quick with the tacky glue to repair the damage!
 Jackson had SO much fun, and lasted for a good portion of the neighborhood!  He loved seeing his friends dressed up.  I was a little nervous Jackson would get shy as the actual event was happening, but he said, "Trick or treat!" at each house and thanked them after he got candy :)  I was a little surprised that he didn't want to eat any right away as we were trick or treating, and he was happy with just one piece when we got home!  Excellent Trick or Treater :)
 Getting ready to share some Reese's Pieces!
The neighborhood didn't seem too crowded, but we did get a few waves once we were home.  Jackson stayed in costume and LOVED handing out candy!!!  After the first couple of doorbell rings, Jackson jumped off the couch and ran to the door to see the trick or treaters and hand out candy :)

FEMA at Its Best!

I’ve never really understood what it is Josh does.  Now its all perfectly clear.  Shennanigans.  All day

The Belly Report: Big and Mean Part 2

This is not a big and mean situation, but it is the first big crying breakdown I had this time around, so I thought I'd match it up with the first one from our first pregnancy: Big and Mean

On Sunday I was up in Jackson's room deciding whether or not his new big boy bed needed another coat of paint.  I forgot what set me off, but I started crying once Josh went downstairs.  Next thing I know, he's coming back upstairs WITH Jackson!  This is the tricky part of hormones this time: Jackson has no grasp of what's going on with me!  He came upstairs with a piece of pretzel Josh had gotten him and he came over to me and wanted to know what was wrong with me and gave me hugs and kisses.  He also offered me a bite of his pretzel.  Him being sweet to me makes me cry harder and then I choked on my bite of pretzel.  At this point Josh says, "That was HIS pretzel!"  I started crying harder telling him that Jackson shared, I didn't steal it!  Josh was putting a diaper in the Diaper Champ and wanted to know why it wasn't going in.  I started crying even harder and told him it was because it needed to be emptied.  I asked Jackson if he wanted to go downstairs to watch some TV (hoping I could then crawl in bed for a few minutes and compose myself), but Josh offered him TV in our bedroom so he could snuggle with me!  I explained to Josh at this point that that wasn't helping because I was trying to distract Jackson so I could have Josh's attention!  LOL  That sounds so silly, but I just wanted him to hug me while I cried.  So we all went into our room, Jackson watched TV, and I cried while Josh hugged me.  In the end I was crying because I was thirst.

OY!  This is going to be a long eight months for some male family members... ;)

P.S. I just realized that these two events both happened right around the 8th week of pregnancy!!!  WEIRD...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin-ing 2011!

We LOVE our Fall tradition of visiting Cox Farms!  We have gone there in 2009 and 2010.  (I like looking back at the pictures from the previous years, so I thought I'd share the links!)  I really enjoy that this is usually right around Jackson's birthday, so that's a fun perk!
 We were a bit rushed for time, but we still had a great visit!  Of course, the giant slides were our favorite activity :)  Jackson didn't want to go by himself just yet, but he LOVED riding with Josh and me (mostly Josh)!  Josh taught Jackson how to stick his hands up in the air as he slid down, so that was fun to watch!
 Nothing like a tongue slide...
 I think I was definitely the most excited one to visit Goat Village, BUT I remembered how much Jackson loved the goats before!  We also had talked about how he could feed them a snack in an ice cream cone.  He was really excited about that and talked about it a lot before-hand, but I wasn't going to be surprised if he got shy once we were there.  NOPE!  He held the cone like a pro and let the goats eat out of it.  We spread the food around for a few different goats...  We also were encouraged to feed the goats through the fence and then go in without food because the goats had been a bit aggressive that day...  Thanks for the warning!  
 Jackson especially loved the baby goats.  He really liked this little guy:
 Jackson was so brave and even climbed up on the goat bridge to visit a few of them!
 As usual, Jackson loved getting samples of apples and apple cider.  We thought this pumpkin guy was cute :)
 Carrying his sack all by himself!
 In line to go down THE big slide!!!  Doesn't he look SOOO old here???
 LOVE this picture!!!
 Jackson was so excited that this cow was accessible for petting :)
 Not a great picture, but proof that Mommy did ride some slides!
 I am SO glad I was able to capture this sign, the goat bridge, and the goat while Jackson and Josh slid under it!
 There was a fun station that we had never seen before (or was new?) with different farm chore activities to try.  Jackson was pretty good at pumping water!
 Scarecrow Jackson :)
 What is with the goofy smile???  Check out the HUGE pumpkins!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Post-Birthday Zoo Trip!!!

 The day after Jackson's party was his actual birthday this year.  To be honest, we had a pretty low-key day--we hung around the house, opened presents, went out for a special Happy Meal lunch, napped, played outside, and went to the Yanceys' house for dinner.  This low-key day was necessary because the Birthday Boy Party Animal was awake from 1:30am-4:30am the night of his party!!!  We have NEVER had a night like that!  I'm pretty sure he had a tummy ache from all of the M&Ms he MUST have consumed...  He spent some time in our bed and some time just being unhappy in his crib :(  He finally fell back asleep, but he was a little on the touchy side all day Sunday...

On Monday, Susie and I decided to take the kids to the Zoo while the guys played golf.  Jackson LOVES the Zoo!  But, I think he gets SO excited about an upcoming trip there that he wastes energy.  The last few times he have gone, he has melted down WAY before I would expect him to.  It's so weird!  This time was probably still a bit of recovery from his party...  We had a really fun time, though, and the weather was GORGEOUS :)
 Following the elephant footprints on the way to visit them!
 It was a day of VERY silly smiles :D
 Doesn't Jackson look like such a big KID???
 Not the best picture of Jackson, but none of him were that great, so I picked the best one of me ;)
I must say that this was my first time visiting the Zoo without Josh, and I think I did pretty well navigating us around...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire...

I just said to Josh the other day, "It's almost time for Christmas music!!!"  As much as he loves Christmas music, he rolled his eyes, and suggested I wait until Halloween is over...  BUT, it's not to early to think about holiday cards!!!  I LOVE everything about holiday cards: planning our family picture, writing a little update letter (a new tradition I started last year), writing out addresses, printing cute return address labels, buying festive stamps, checking the mail for cards we receive, and looking through old cards and pictures (yes, I do save lots of them from years past...).  Luckily, Shutterfly recognizes there are people like me out there--LOL--and started rewarding bloggers and early planners with some free cards!  Last year I participated in the Shutterfly Blog-a-thon and received some beautiful FREE cards!  They were even the fancy ones that fold in half!  AND, I got to add a printed message inside!  I used those cards to send to distant family members and printed a little update inside.  I ordered a different type of card to send to the rest of our friends and family.

You will probably not be surprised to hear that I think I have our pictures chosen for our card, and I just started browsing Shutterfly's card selection.  There are some SUPER cute ones this year!  It will be so hard to make a decision!!!  Here is one that I ADORE:
And...isn't this matching return address label cute?
I don't beleive there is an expiration date listed YET, but Shutterfly is offering 20% off on photo cards now!

Summer Reading Programs!

Yes, I haven't posted in many, many days.  Yes, I have actually had THIS post written and ready for a couple of months.  Ummm...sorry?  :)

Jackson participated in THREE reading programs this summer!!!  I LOVED doing these when I was a kid--our library always made theirs so much fun :)  I love that families are encouraged to involve their toddlers by doing read alouds.  

Of course, I signed Jackson up for the program at our local library: Prince William County Public Library.  The program was called Wild Reads, and he had to read 25 books.  Here are pictures of his log where I wrote down all of the books we read in order for him to meet the requirements:
Each week during Wild Reads, we were able to collect various Coupons of the Week.  The coupons were donated by local businesses and were for discounts at all sorts of local businesses.  The prize for completing the whole program was a baseball hat :)
While we were visiting Mimi and Bampa this summer, I went ahead and signed Jackson up for the reading program at the Skokie Public Library.  It was called A Midsummer Knight's Read.  The library looked fabulous all decorated in a medieval theme.  There was a large castle with a few dress-up items for the kids to play in.  After checking in after reading each set of 10 books (he had to read 40 total!!!), the kids got to choose a knight out of a small doll-house sized castle.  The color of the knight corresponded to a different section of the bookshelves, and one of your next books had to come from that section.  Jackson had fun playing in the castle, and coloring in his castle log page.   His prize for reading all 40 books was this super cute t-shirt and a coupon book for local businesses.
While we were in Evanston, Jackson also completed a reading log for Barnes and Noble!  Jackson read eight books and got a free Clifford book :)

I hope Jackson continues to love reading as much as he does, and looks forward to these programs each summer as much as I did!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Belly Report!!!

I'm keeping track of this pregnancy in a second copy of The Belly Book, and thought I would make my posts about this pregnancy a series called The Belly Report :)

We were in our 5th week when we found out we were pregnant: Tuesday, October 2nd!  I was SOOO excited to see the two pink lines show up on the test.  I was really nervous taking the test because I wanted it to be positive SOOO badly!  I felt such a sense of peace once I knew it was positive :)  It was so fun to take the test with Josh home when we found out we were pregnant with Jackson, but I NEEDED to know, and I knew taking the test first thing in the morning would be more reliable, so I did it on my own and then called Josh--he was equally as excited :D

I had suspected we might be pregnant while we were at the beach, but I didn't want to dwell on it and then remember the vacation as "the vacation when we thought we were pregnant..."  I had two very slight bouts of nausea during dinner two nights.  That was weird.  I also was really clumsy and dropping lots of stuff which was a pregnancy symptom with Jackson. Turns out my gut was right!!!

Post where we announced our pregnancy AND started this blog: Super Pregnant!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Belly Report: Dr. Confirmation!

We had our confirmation doctor's appointment on Monday!  It was fun to be back in the office to do this all over again :)  Dr. Hibshman was excited to see us and to show us our baby's little fluttering :)  Everything looked good on the ultrasound, and we talked about all of the dos and don'ts during pregnancy.  

We are due on June 10th, 2012!!!  I am a bit bummed about the complete opposite season thing for both maternity clothes and baby clothes (if we have another boy), BUT that's a minor inconvenience ;)  Lots of timing works out perfectly this time around (not that it didn't last time): the pregnancy doesn't interfere with Thanksgiving or Christmas travel (this has always been a fear of mine since I CRAVE my family at the holidays!), we have our gender ultrasound to look forward to after the winter holidays die down, I was planning to take Jackson to Chicago during March Madness again this year and I will still be able to travel, and we are due in plenty of time to make it to Minneapolis for Larry and Michelle's wedding!  YAY!

I remember when I got pregnant with Jackson, I was surprised how fast certain symptoms showed up.  This time, I am shocked at how early they ALL seem to be showing up: dropping things left and right, pregnancy brain, everything tastes really good (when I feel like eating), peeing a lot, tired!, bloating, snotty nose, nausea, sore boobs, back pain, acid reflux and hormonal crying.

I am craving pizza, pasta, cheese, gummy candies, and soup (does that count as a craving when it's the only thing that sounds good sometimes?).  I'm trying hard to be good, and I really need to get better, but right now I'm sort of just going with what sounds good...  Within reason???

I am LOVING going back and reading the corresponding posts of when I was pregnant with Jackson.  I thought it would be fun to add those links to these posts :)

First pregnancy pic: We're Growing a Lima Bean!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jackson's 3rd Birthday Party!!!

We went with an M&M themed-party because Jackson has always loved the M&M guys!  Whenever we were in CVS or the grocery store where they had a "life-sized" plastic M&M guy with a hole in his tummy for candy, Jackson would point and laugh!  I thought it would make a cute party theme :)
 I made M&M invitations: M&Ms melt in your mouth, not in your hand!
For party favors, I made this Pinterest idea: fill balloons with playdough to make squishy balls!
We attached a set of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and brown balloons to the mailbox out front!  The porch railing and columns were wrapped in red, yellow, green, and blue streamers, but they didn't pack quite as much punch as I had imagined...
Happy 3rd Birthday Jackson!
More balloons inside plus additional M&M circles on the walls.  This was totally Josh's idea!  It was a really good one, and he even cut out the additional circles and taped them up :)
 Goody bags!
 I LOVED stocking up on different flavored M&Ms in preparation for the party!  They were all labeled and I think the peanut butter ones were definitely the favorite!
 M&M cupcakes!  The cupcakes were Chocolate Chocolate Chip flavored, but with just store bought frosting, not the Nutella frosting in the link ;)
 Jackson knew he got three candles plus one extra for good luck.  He was ready to blow out all four!
 The table to the left had party hats and stickers to decorate them.  There were more M&M flavors on the tall table along with the photo books from Jackson's first two birthdays.
 Parading around the firepit!
 Josh, Joe, and Mark all matched!
 Mary Jo and Bobby hanging out with Lora
 We were more than happy to enjoy the Bloomin' Pizza Bread and Bloomin' Onion Bread!
Lora, Sara, Susie, Dana, Rachel, Jolene (and Owen), Mary Jo (and Bobby), and Stephanie!
Rachel, Ella, and Jackson "playing" Baggo ;)
 Lining up for Pin the M on the M&M
 There was no blindfold or spinning around.  They were excited enough about taking turns and using tape!
 Reagan and Avery were a hit with their matching outfits :)
 Dinner on the deck!  Josh grilled delicious burgers and hotdogs (as usual!)--YUM!
 Getting a little shy as it's time to hear "The Birthday Song!"
 Jackson blew out most of the candles with just a little help from Daddy!
 Not quite as messy-funny as the first couple of years, but still pretty good :)
We ended the evening with a fire in our firepit.  The kiddos got to wind down with a little Mickey Mouse.  A win, win situation :)

Jackson was SOOO looking forward to his special party!  It was really fun for us to have him be able to look forward to it in advance--for real, not just a few hours, or maybe a day.  He had fun shopping with me for all of the decorations and getting things ready.  He was particularly excited for the cupcakes and candles :)  We had a great time watching Jackson be celebrated by a great crowd of good friends--we are so blessed in that arena especially :)