Sunday, December 21, 2014

Maggie's Christmas List

I can't believe Christmas is just a few days away!  We still have a few gifts to send off but we are pretty much done.  Ryan's sister and her husband just got into town so we have lots of fun things in store over the next few weeks.  Though, we are taking the time to do lots of holiday cooking and baking.

Maggie's Christmas List

I wanted to share some of the gifts we got for Maggie this year because I want to remember what she was interested in at this age.  Anytime she is around another kid's play kitchen, she is completely glued to it.  So I knew right off the bat that her "big" gift would have to be a play kitchen.  We also got her some pots & pans, play food and Meme got her some dish ware.  I was also looking for a nativity set that Maggie could play with, and I found the one above.  We gave it took her early and sat it under the tree.  She LOVES it.  Anything to do with little people, she's obsessed with.  She also currently loves the show Doc McStuffins and singing into anything that resembles a microphone.  So those were obvious gifts for me.  I also saw the book above where the story is personalized to your child's name.  I thought that was so cute, especially since we are still trying to get Maggie to say her name!!  :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Card 2014

I can't believe that Christmas is just a week away!  Where did the time go??  We are getting ready for Ryan's little sister, Sally, and her husband to come visit us this weekend for a few weeks.  It's definitely hard living so far away from family during the holiday season.  So I am very thankful they are coming!  Plus, with me being so large these days, I couldn't really travel anywhere.  ;)

I really enjoy giving and receiving Christmas cards every year.  I debated what we should do this year since we are living in England, and I wasn't sure how we were going to get all our cards out from here (without spending an arm & a leg).  Luckily, my mom is an angel and helped us out.  I was able to order them through and have them mailed to my mom.  She then stuffed them and mailed them out for me.  This year I had the addresses printed on the envelops so it would be less of a hassle for my mom.

I saw this design on and thought it would be perfect for our situation!  It's supposed to look like a little travel tag.  I think they turned out so cute! 

The picture on the top left is from when we revealed we were having another girl.  The one of the top right is from our trip to Greece, and the bottom one was from my maternity photoshoot.

Can't wait to see everybody else's cards!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Maggie Meets Father Christmas

I'm trying to get back into blogging again!  Ever since I got into instagram I've kind of neglected this little space.  I have a lot to catch up on but thought I would start with a sweet little outing we had last weekend to see Santa Father Christmas.

I had a hard time trying to locate a Santa near us to get a photo taken with Maggie.  Apparently, he goes by Father Christmas here, and he comes to visit kids in his Grotto.  That sounded a little creepy to me!  I had never heard of Father Christmas' Grotto before.  I'm still not exactly sure what that is.  Well, we figured we'd give it a go. (Look at me using British lingo!)  There is this really cute town near by called Hatton that has an adorable shopping village and adventure world for kids.  I found out that Father Christmas would be there so we booked our tickets and headed out.
That day ended up being the coldest weather we've had so far this season.  I think it was a high of 40 degrees.

Despite the look on her face, she insisted on stopping here first before heading to the Grotto.

Once we peeled her off the cow we were able to distract her with some real live reindeer.

She was just a little scared of them.  I mean it was the first time she's ever met one.  ;)

Just from that experience I should have known how meeting Father Christmas would go...

Luckily, we got there early enough that there wasn't too much of a line.  Everything was really dark inside so that the Christmas lights would show up, which made it hard to get good pictures.  Maggie seemed to enjoy all the decorations while waiting in line.

Waiting in line with a toddler who has little to no patience can be a challenge, but we made it out alive.

When it was our turn we walked into a really dark room (so creepy!) to meet Father Christmas.  This was definitely something I've never experienced before!  We were in charge of taking our own pictures which was fine with me so I didn't have to pay a crazy amount of money for one photo.  But it was a challenge to get a good photo with it being pretty much pitch black.  Maggie started off a little hesitant in mommy's arms.

So we tried to the "rip the bandaid off" approach and chucked her into Father Christmas' arms.  That didn't go over so well...  Hopefully next year she will understand what's going on a little better, and I can prepare her ahead of time.  ;)

He was super sweet and kept saying "oh bless her" (another British saying).  This "Santa" gave out golden keys for her to go pick out a special toy from his workshop.  I thought that was pretty clever and the shop actually had quite a few toys to pick from.  Maggie ultimately decided on a baby doll (of course) that you can bathe in it's own tub.

Afterwards, we decided to check out the rest of Hatton's Adventure World and meet some more animals.

Over all it was a great experience.  It did go over a little better last year though.  I am definitely looking forward to seeing Maggie meet Santa again next year when she's a little older, and she will have her baby sister with her.  :)

This was Maggie's picture from last year.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

32 Weeks Pregnant

I'm a week late posting this update.  Better late than never!
32 weeks 2 days
(Sorry about the bad lighting!)

32 Weeks photo 32Weeks_zps9bd085e7.jpg
Last time when I was pregnant with Maggie.

How far along: 32 weeks

Size of Baby: 16.7 in & 3.75 lb

Fruit/vegetable comparison: Large Jicama

Total weight gain: 8 pounds (Last time at this week I had gained 23 pounds!  I attribute the less weight to chasing a toddler around, not sitting at a desk all day, not having access to my American junk food, and I'm still getting sick from time to time.)

Sleep: Is not so great.  I get up at least 2 to 3 times a night to use the loo, and every time I reposition I usually have to pop a tums because my heartburn will kick in.  Luckily, all I've had to take are tums so far to keep it in check.  Over the last month my left hip has been bothering me off and on (like last pregnancy).  I finally broke down and took some Tylenol (Paracetamol here) a few weeks back and magically I haven't had to take it again!  Hopefully that was the end of that!  Also, I feel like my mind is always racing so I have a hard time settling down and falling asleep.

Movement: This little lady definitely moves way more than Maggie ever did.  She is getting more cramped in there so her movements aren't as big as they were last month.  But she definitely knows how to throw a party in my belly!

Unglamorous body changes: Still getting out of breath easily.  I've also noticed after walking a short distance (like from the couch to the restroom) my leg muscles will burn like I just walked up several flights of stairs!  So strange!  It's definitely getting harder to bend over and pick up Maggie's toys.  Luckily, the swelling hasn't kicked in yet.  I know I had already started swelling at this point last pregnancy (as you can tell from the picture above).

What I miss: Getting around easily!

Best moment this month: Seeing our little girl on a 3D ultrasound.  We had to go twice because the first time she was breech and had her hand over her face.  The second time she was head down (ya!) so we could see her a little better.  She was already pretty low so one part of her face was smooched by my uterus and the other side was smooched by my placenta.  But we did get a couple of good looks and from what I can tell she totally looks like her sister.  She definitely showed off her pouty lips!  
Earlier in my pregnancy they noticed my placenta was a little too low but at this last ultrasound it looks like we are in the clear!  Woo hoo!  Finding out she was head down was great but now we just need her to spin from posterior to anterior.  :)  
We have a name!  But we are keeping it under wraps until she's born.  It will be a fun surprise!

Looking forward to: All the Christmas activities and getting all the last minute things before baby sister arrives.  We are also super excited for Ryan's little sister, Sally, and her husband, Evan, to visit us over Christmas & New Years.  

We are in the home stretch!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

28 Weeks Pregnant

So sorry I've been MIA lately!  Life has been the craziest it's ever been since getting back from America.  So much to share and some exciting things coming up!  I promise to try and get my act together one of these days.  :)

Now on to the bump update (now that I'm almost 30 weeks!).

I delayed this post because I was trying to find a time where I was dressed and Ryan was home to take my bump picture with my nice camera.  Alas, the stars did not align this month so my good ol' trusty iPhone picture will have to do.

28 weeks photo 28weeks_zpsa20e869d.jpg
Picture from when I was pregnant with Maggie.  I look a little puffier in the face!  Yikes!

How far along: 28 weeks

Size of Baby: 15 in & 2.25 lb

Fruit/vegetable comparison: Chinese cabbage (If you don't know what that is like I didn't click here.)

Total weight gain: 5 pounds.  This is less than a third of what I gained at this time last pregnancy!  I guess you can tell that it's been a rougher pregnancy this time around.  I am starting to eat more so that's positive!  I also attribute it to not having access to American food.  Ha!

Sleep: Not too bad.  I wake up a lot but am able to fall back asleep pretty quickly.  I usually have to pop a few tums, run to the loo once or twice and/or baby girl's kicks will wake me up.  :)

Movement: Oh My Goodness... This girl is constantly on the move.  She is always kicking, jabbing, hiccuping or pressing outwards.  I'm really worried because she doesn't seem to sleep, and I'm scared I will be in for it when she is born!  I definitely don't remember Maggie moving this much or moving so much across my whole belly.  I feel her super low, way up high and clear into my sides (almost to my back!).  My stomach is already getting sensitive in certain areas where she pushes out a lot.  I don't remember that happening with Maggie until the end!  Periodically, throughout the day she will push out on my stomach so hard that it hurts!  Like she is trying to come through!!  Not sure how the rest of the pregnancy is going to go!!  Fingers crossed that it might get a little better when she doesn't have as much room to move around.  The midwife said that she's currently lying sideways in my belly.  Hoping when she turns down I'll feel more relief.

Unglamorous body changes: Heartburn and sore belly.

What I miss: Not getting winded every time I exert any energy!  Ryan called my Darth Vader the other day because I got out of breath just sitting on the couch.  Yikes!

Best moment this week: We had a 3D ultrasound of the little lady done this past weekend. Since she was not head down yet, they weren't the best pictures but it was still fun to see her.  We will go back in a few weeks to hopefully get a better look.  We also put up her crib and her room is starting to come together.  It just needs the finishing touches to bring it all together.  It's kind of hard to decorate when you are not allowed to put any nail holes in the wall!

Looking forward to: We have a really busy few months coming up.  I'm looking forward to wrapping up a few things and trying to get more settled in the new home.  Plus, we are going to try and make a Thanksgiving meal here in the UK.  We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

24 Weeks Pregnant

I'm posting this from America so my picture is kind of blurry.  Ooops!

24 Weeks photo 24Weeks-1.jpg
When I was pregnant with Maggie.

How far along: 24 weeks

Size of Baby: 12.5 in & 1.25 lb

Fruit/vegetable comparison: Corn

Total weight gain: 1.5 pounds (Last time at this week I had gained 8 lbs.)

Sleep: Not too bad.  We are still a little jet lagged from flying over to America.  This little one does wake me up every now and then with some kicks if I've rolled too much onto my belly.

Movement: Oh yes.  This one is a mover and a shaker.  I've felt her hiccupping a couple of times.  One time she even had the hiccupps at the same time as Maggie.  It was too funny.  You can definitely see my belly moving around now when she's making bigger movements or harder kicks.

Showing: I think I've officially "popped".  I feel like I am really pregnant now, and have even had a few strangers ask me when I was due.  Looking at the pictures above I think I'm carrying this one slightly lower than I did with Maggie.  It definitely feels that way at least.

Food cravings: American food.  :)

Best moment this week:  Seeing all our family and friends on our visit home and showing off Maggie & baby sister. ;)

Looking forward to:  I've finally started to order a few things for this baby.  It will be so weird to see another car seat and baby items arriving at our house.  We are still trying to nail down a name.  So hopefully that happens soon.  I want to start ordering monogrammed clothing.  Ha!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Maggie 18 Months

Tomorrow we leave for the States to visit family and friends for a few weeks.  We figured this would be the best time to do it before I get too large and in charge.  ;)  Our house is pretty much all packed up as we are moving into a new house when we get back from our "holiday" to America.  We are moving because the construction is pretty bad (because of the fire) and the need for a 4th bedroom (expanding family).

In the midst of all the chaos, our little girl turned 18 months old!  I can hardly believe that she has now lived half her life in America and half in England.  It really has flown by.

It's been awhile since I've done a monthly update, and she has changed so much over the last few months.  Her spunky and silly personality always makes us laugh.  She is gaining more independence, becoming more curious and surprises us with how smart she is on a daily basis.  And the tantrums have started...

Age: 18 Months
Clothes: Wearing mostly 18-24 and some 2T.  She still lets me dress her in whatever I want.  I'm just waiting for the day when she starts to have an opinion of her own...  Hopefully not for a long time!  She is wearing size 5 shoes (I think).  I need to get her remeasured while we are in the States.  The sizing here is different than in America.  She actually loves to put bows in her hair.  She is always trying to place them on top of her head, and she will hold still for me when I'm trying to put one in.  I hear that's pretty rare.  So I guess we got lucky with her!

Favorite Foods:  I feel like this changes on a daily basis.  For example, one day she will love cheese and strawberries and the next day she wants nothing to do with them.  That pretty much goes for anything except, she will always go for yogurt, humus w/ pita bread, chips and she actually likes to eat steamed veggies!  She's definitely becoming more curious with everything we are eating.  So we have to be more careful if we are eating something around her that isn't the healthiest.  I guess it's time we save our snacks for after she goes to bed. ;)

Favorite Words:  Animal sounds, uh-oh, buh-bye, "nana" (banana), what's that, three (we always say 1-2-3!!! when we are throwing her so she goes straight for "three!!"), wee, whoa, thank you, boo, yalalala (belly button), ball, bubble, baby, "tickle, tickle" and "let's go!".

Favorite Activities:  She is really getting into drawing (on anything).  She loves markers on the white board, chalk, crayons and painting with water (Melissa & Doug's Water Wow or Aquadoodle.  If she sees that I have a pen in my hand making notes on something, she has to grab it out of my hand and find the nearest piece of paper to draw on.  This can create a problem as you can imagine.  She loves her Magna Doodle and Crayola My First Touch Lights.
She absolutely loves to play outside especially swinging on a swing.  She's been known to throw a tantrum or two if we try to get her out of a swing too soon.  Loves to play in her teepee, read books, dance & sing.  She has really gotten into "jumping" lately as well.  She likes to "help" mommy put away things or pull the laundry out of the washing machine.  And unfortunately, this girl loves her TV shows.  I usually only allow her to watch a show in the in evenings before Ryan gets home, and I'm trying to cook.  But all day long, she is bringing me the remote controls because she wants me to turn on the TV.  The little stinker has even figured out how to turn the TV on from the back but luckily still hasn't figured out how to turn on the cable box.  Whew.

Favorite Things:  She loves her baby dolls, pink monkey and stuffed bear.  She also LOVES her pottery barn kids chair.  She is always diving into it and climbing all over it.  Right now she is really into throwing balls as well and anything that plays music.  She really likes anything with a good beat.  :)  Another signature Maggie toy is her pull behind alligator.  She is always dragging that loud, clanky thing all over the house, but it's so cute I don't care!

Signature Moves:  Dancing, singing and running around in circles.  She likes to give kisses and randomly give out some hugs.  She will even kiss characters in books and inanimate objects.  Ha!  Smelling flowers (even if they are drawings in a book) is another fav.  She's also really into pointing out body parts.  She especially loves yelling "eyes!" and then poking your eye out immediately afterwards.  My heart about melts every time she tries to put on Ryan or I's shoes.  This girl loves her footwear.  Last but not least, she loves to try and swipe mommy's makeup when she's getting ready.  She loves to pretend like she's putting on makeup herself.  It is the cutest thing!

First kiddy ride!

Other Milestones:  She is really working on trying to use a fork and spoon.  It's pretty cute watching her try and balance a piece of food on a spoon and then trying to get it to her mouth.  When my friend watched her the other day for me over lunch, she mention how she sat at the little kids table and ate her lunch.  I couldn't believe that she sat still for that long to eat at a little table!  She's pretty obsessed with sitting on little kid's chairs so I should have known.

Playing peek-a-boo with a random boy at the park.

I can finally put her hair back into a ponytail!  She looks so much older!

I can't get enough.

This has definitely been my favorite age by far.  Her personality is really shining and sense of humor is blossoming.  Even though the tantrums have started, this has still been such a fun age.  I'm starting to do more research on the whole disciplining thing.  I feel like there is only so much I can do at this age because I don't think she fully understands still.  But, I do think we will be there in a few short months.  Eeek. 

I don't have her stats quite yet but she is going to see a doctor in the States on Monday so I will come back here and post them when I get them.  She is definitely getting pretty heavy for me to carry, especially with a growing belly!

Wish us luck on our long flight home tomorrow!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Nana's Trip to England - Part 3

Ok, so I am finally finishing up the posts on my mom's trip to England!  I thought it was about time since there have been other visitors, trips, and we are now about to leave for a trip to America.  ;)

On the last leg of Nana's whirl wind tour of the UK, we spent a few days in London.  I seriously think this is my favorite city in the world.
Nana & I

Another shot of Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament and River Thames.

This my mom's first time to London and our first time riding the London Eye.

Nana, Maggie, Ryan & I

Maggie had a blast socializing with everyone riding in our compartment.

Giant Blue Rooster in Trafalgar Square.  We were trying to partition The City Girl Farm gals to use this fellow as their inspiration to make their next chicken.  :)

Maggie, Nana & Ryan in front of the Tower of London.

Little did we know that the weekend we were visiting London was the Trooping of the Colour.  That means it was the weekend they celebrated Queen Elizabeth II's official birthday (even though it wasn't her actual birthday).  We just happened upon the celebration and joined the crowds of people trying to get a picture.  This pic is blurry because it was so zoomed in.  Once they are done there, they parade down a street called The Mall to Buckingham Palace to finish the big celebration.

I got a snap shot of Camilla, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry.  We actually saw them the day before randomly driving past us with Prince William!!

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (super zoomed in)

Maggie absolutely loved watching the parade.  I think her favorite part was watching all the horses.
Here is a short video of some of the action which includes seeing the Queen, and Maggie's reaction to her (about half way through).

That night my mom was sweet enough to let Ryan & I out for a date night on the town.  I've been dying to see the musical Wicked for awhile, and Ryan surprised me with tickets!

The show did not disappoint!  I would definitely see it again.

I'm pretty sure Nana & Maggie were having a grand old time back at the hotel.  They kind of love each other. :)

On a side note, the last day we were there I lost my wallet somewhere in London.  I didn't realize it until several hours later, which at that point I knew it was gone forever.  I was pretty devastated because it had my whole life in it, and I was kicking myself for carrying around so much valuable information!!  It kind of put a damper on the weekend for me.  After a last ditch effort to try and find it, we called it quits and headed back to the hotel.  Low and behold, I realized my cell phone had turned off because the battery was dying.  I decided to try and turn it on, at which point I saw I missed a bunch of phone calls and voicemails!!  My phone's battery lasted long enough for me to get the message that a taxi cab driver found my wallet and write down his number!!  Miracle I tell you!!! This sweet, sweet man drove all the way to our hotel to return my untouched wallet with everything still in it!! He said he found it on the side of a curb.  I must have dropped it getting out of another taxi earlier that day!!  Needless to say, this man got a big tip from us!!!

The next day we headed out to explore Stonehenge since it was sort of on the way to Bath, England.  Unfortunately, Maggie came down with a pretty nasty virus that day so it was just a quick trip here, and we had to skip Bath to head home.

I'm glad we were able to see this place since it's kind of in the middle of no where.

Listening to the commentary was pretty fascinating but basically experts still don't know why it was built or what it is exactly.  Ha!

I just can't believe how old it is!!

Well that pretty much sums up my mom's trip!  She is coming back in January to help out once our second baby girl is born.  Looking forward to that!