Monday, August 22, 2016

this girl

Since our birthdays are exactly one month apart, Annabel and I decided to start a new tradition this summer that we've named, "Birthday Girls Day Out." For our first celebration we decided on cupcakes from Pearl's and then a pedicure. We had such a great time together but my favorite part of the afternoon came on the way home. We got in the car after eating giant cupcakes and getting polka dots and sparkles (I just got plain red but Annabel was much more adventurous) and started heading toward home when she suddenly said,"Mama, I am going to steal the ball from those footballers. Girls can play any sport they want and I am gonna play football. Do you like my polka dots?"

Oh this girl. She's the perfect mix of girlie and tomboy. I love how she refuses to wear anything besides a skirt or a dress and then wants to ride her two-wheeler as fast as she can down the street. I love that she wants to twirl around in a tutu and then play cars and legos with her brother. I love that she wants her nails painted with sparkles and polka dots and then declares that she's going to play football. How fortunate I am to get to watch her grow into the amazing person she's becoming.

We had so much fun on our first annual Birthday Girls Day Out and I'm already looking forward to next year. Happy five to my beautiful girl!

Monday, August 15, 2016

baby land

It feels like I blinked and we went from August 1 to August 15 just like that. I'm determined to continue to keep the "it's-time-to-start-thinking-about-school" thoughts out of my head for at least another week, but they have slowly been creeping into my mind a little more over the last couple days. We're planning to head to town sometime this week for new school shoes so we can at least cross that off of our list. Once that's done, I think the only thing to organize is a new method for school lunches. I'm hoping to prep a bunch of stuff on Sunday afternoons for easy packing all week. We'll see how long that lasts. Packing lunches is my least favorite chore. I may have to start making them pack their own this year!

Last week was our last full week away for the summer. Although I'm still hoping to sneak in one more day/weekend at the beach, we are done with our long trips. It's been a pretty low-key summer for us this year which was exactly what we all needed after a hectic end of the year last year. I'm looking forward to soaking up our down time before we jump back into the school year fun.

Since we hadn't been up to Pennsylvania for a visit in many many months, the kids and I hopped in the car and made the trip up to spend some time with family. I got to spend the ENTIRE WEEK with sweet baby Asher and I couldn't have been more excited. I had to wait 26 long days before I got to meet my new nephew and I was beyond ready to hold him and spend some quality time with him and Sommer and Dani. We had a great week with a mix of time with the big kids and time just with the baby. It was a great week and I'm already looking forward to our next visit in October! Here are some photos if you'd like to see.

Making s'mores

Pa went easy on Tommy in the beginning...

...and then couldn't come back! Tommy wins!

We love Bear and Uncle Robert!

Sweet boys

These kids love their GG!

Wishing you a great start to your week!

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1

I don't know about you but our summer seems to be flying by. I can hardly believe that today is already the 1st day of August. We suddenly seem to be staring September and the first day of school right in the face, which I can assure you, is the LAST thing Tommy wants to see in his near future. Lucky for us, we have another whole month to soak up the lazy days of summer, including a few days at the lake and a whole week visiting our sweet new nephew and cousin, Asher Matthew! We're so excited!

Today, on this first day of August, the kids and I set out to get a jump on the back-to-school shopping so that it doesn't come down to the wire at the end of the month. In case you were wondering, this is what it takes to send a kid to 4th grade and Kindergarten:

Pictured above is exactly 3 pencil cases, 1 package of paper plates, 3 boxes of Kleenex, 1 box of baby wipes, 3 boxes of assorted ziploc bag sizes, 4 packs of dry erase markers, 1 three-ring binder, 2 boxes of markers, 1 box of colored pencils, 1 package of paints, 2 red pens, 3 boxes of erasers, 2 highlighters, 5 boxes of crayons, 6 sharpie markers, 1 package of index cards, 6 pocket folders, 7 composition notebooks, 2 one-subject notebooks, 3 packs of wide-ruled paper, 3 containers of chlorox wipes, 30 glue sticks, 2 bottles of glue, 3 pairs of scissors, 1 lunch box and two water bottles.

One hour and $150 later, we headed home from Target with our haul. It really makes me wonder how everyone can afford all of this stuff.

I managed to fit it all neatly into a few grocery bags and have them lined up behind the couch in the livingroom. Although I'm glad to have that chore out of the way, I plan on moving the bags to the closet for the next month so we don't have to be reminded every single day that school is coming. Though admittedly, I am looking forward to some cooler temperatures!

Happy August 1st to you! Hope your last month of summer is off to a great start!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Baby Boy!

I am super happy to report that we welcomed our little guy, Asher Matthew, to the world on 7/12/16.  He was born at 1:15am weighing in at 7lb 15 oz and 18 1/2in long.

 He is such a sweet little guy and we all love him to pieces.

I learned a huge lesson during this pregnancy and labor/delivery and that one thing is that no matter how much we plan and hope and expect something to go one way, in the end, we really don't have much control over it.  Especially when it comes to something like this.  When I first found out that I was pregnant I decided that this pregnancy was going to go much differently than my first.  To make a long story short, we had to switch from a midwife group to a regular OB, ended up having a bunch of extra ultrasounds and after about 20 hours of labor, ended up having a last minute c-section when my plan was to have an unmedicated labor with very minimal ultrasounds and was hoping for a much easier labor and delivery than I had with Sommer.  
We also found out at our 20 week ultrasound that our little guy would most likely be born with bilateral talipes (otherwise known as clubfoot - a congenital deformity (present at birth) in which the affected foot appears rotated internally at the ankle - the foot points down and inwards and the soles of the feet face each other.) and it was such a huge shock.  We were scared and had no idea what to expect but after doing some research, reading a few blogs of parents who have been through this whole thing and meeting with a great high risk doctor, we started to feel somewhat prepared.  We spent the rest of our pregnancy going to doctors appointments, having ultrasounds and trying to learn as much as we could about clubfoot.  I'm hoping to share our story with clubfoot here so that anyone who finds themselves facing this as well, might find a little comfort in knowing our experience as well.  

When we met our little guys on July 12, sure enough, he did have clubfoot and when he was 8 days old, we traveled to Philly to see our orthopedic doctor at CHOP.  Our doctor is trained in the Ponseti Method of treating clubfoot - something we familiarized ourselves with before he was born and that day, he had a cast put on each foot and leg to start his treatment.   Our ortho will become our new best friend as we will be seeing him weekly to get new casts put on until Asher is ready for the next step in treatment.  We were so excited to find out though, that Asher's feet are a very mild case of clubfoot and he may only require 3 or 4 sets of casts.  

 Our first few days with casts were a bit difficult as I'm sure they are quite uncomfortable for our little guy.  By now, he seems to be used to them and can lift them and move them around quite well.   We head back to Philly for our second set of casts on Monday and an updated idea of what his treatment looks like as we move forward.  I can't wait to see his little legs again after 12 days behind those casts!!

 Baby leg warmers have been amazing to cover the casts this week!

 We have loved these first 2 weeks with our little guy.  Sommer has been the best big sister to him and can not get enough of giving him kisses and singing to him.  We could all truly sit on the couch and snuggle with him all day. :o)  He is the best addition to our little family and I can't wait to share more of our adventures with two littles over the next weeks, months and years.

Monday, July 25, 2016

the first nine holes

I realize that Carrie just wrote about playing golf last week but oddly enough, our family just played our first nine holes together over the weekend. Will is a pretty decent golfer and has been asking me to play with him for quite awhile now. We decided to go on a golfing date for our 12th anniversary which happened to be last Sunday, but he was really sick and in no position to play. So instead of trying to schedule another babysitter, we just decided to take the kids along and celebrate as a family. We had a great time! Here are some photos if you'd like to see...

We didn't exactly pick the best day to play - the high temperature for Saturday was a cool 100 degrees. Our tee time was at 8:58 so we did ok for the first hour or so but then it got ridiculously humid, and we started parking our carts in the shade whenever possible and taking a few less practice shots. But despite the sweltering heat, we all had fun and learned a lot. I never thought I'd like golf that much but I can see how it could become an addicting sport - I was already getting hooked on always trying to hit that little white ball straight down the fairway. I really enjoyed my first nine holes and am looking forward to getting back out on the course with Will again soon. This time though, we'll be sure to choose a cooler day!

Hope you had a great weekend! Happy Monday!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Christmas (in July)

I know, I know. Christmas? In the middle of July?

Yes. Christmas in the middle of July.

After all, it's never too early to get started on homemade gifts, mainly because it'll probably take me at least that long to finish the projects I'm dreaming up. And let's face it, it's entirely possible that I won't finish a single one, but the earlier I start thinking and preparing, the better the chances of finishing something. So let's talk about Christmas! Just a tad early.

Currently, my family is in the middle of what I like to call "all the celebrations." I think I've mentioned here before that between Will's family and my family, we have a span of 13 days in mid-July where we celebrate nine birthdays and two anniversaries, including my birthday and our anniversary. The only thing I can think of that I want for my birthday this year is yarn. We're in the midst of a big spring summer cleaning around here (more about this later) and are cleaning up and clearing out. With our newly cleaned shelves and surfaces, I know I don't want to invest my money in anything that will fill up what I've just cleaned out, and although yarn does, technically, take up space, it's not something that will stay forever. It will most likely end up being given as a gift (eventually) which will get it off the shelf.

So with that in mind, I took to Pinterest to find some Christmas gift ideas, collected my birthday money, and headed to our local yarn shop. Here's what I came home with...

Aren't they pretty?! I'm such a sucker for yarn. I'm so excited to get started on my projects and although I'd like nothing more than to tell you what I'm making, I think I'd better keep it a secret. You never know who's reading!

Are you dreaming of Christmas gifts yet? I know I can't be the only one! Happy Monday!

Friday, July 15, 2016

mid-week golf date

I made the questionable and mystifying decision to play in a corporate golf outing next Monday, so Wednesday night Robert took me to the driving range to get some practice. You guys, it's going to be really sad. But we had a fun time hitting a bucket of balls, putting & then eating Chipotle for dinner. I'm calling it a mid-week date.

[Total pro. Look at that form! (I know nothing of form.)]

[Rich Valley driving range]

[Trying not to "break my wrists" which only sounded mildly terrifying.]

[When you borrow golf clubs from your gramma, they come with a free head cover. 
In the shape of a beaver.]

[Somehow I managed to hit the ball for this video. No big deal.]

....wish me luck!