Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Life with a 1 year old!

So far, I'm finding that life with a 1 year old is very exciting, super fun, a bit exhausting and challenging and totally wonderful.  

Life with a 1 year old means...

 ...loving being outside!  She's even driving already!
 ...enjoying and exploring the play place at the mall!
 ...checking out the animals at the zoo (and actually caring that there are animals at the zoo rather than just riding around and watching people)!
 ...EATING.  A LOT!  She is such a good eater.  She doesn't eat like this every night but I'm thankful that, so far, I don't have a picky eater.  (I'm totally aware that this could change tomorrow!) shoes!  Since she's walking more now, it was time for some shoes.  She got 2 pairs that came in the mail the other day and she was so very excited.  She tries to put them on all the time.
 ...a new bed!  This actually just happened to be the best Craigslist deal in the history of Craigslist.  We have been trying to decide what to do with the little man when he comes (bassinet? pack and play? crib?) and I came across this crib that converts to a toddler day bed and then to a full size bed for a really, REALLY good deal.  So, really nothing got figured out for little man but this was too good of a deal to pass up since it was soooo nice.
 ...I can't take my eyes off of her for more than 2 seconds.  I literally turned around to grab something out of the freezer case and when I looked back, little Miss Monkey had gotten herself into this predicament.
 ...lots of talking!  Lots of walking!
 ...sweet smiles!

Thankful for our healthy, sweet and fun 1 year old!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sleepy girl

Today was a funny day around here.  I had a doctor appointment this morning (more on that below) so I asked my friend Carla if she wouldn't mind having Lainey over to play with her kiddos for a little while so I could go to my appointment alone.  Lainey woke up a little early this morning so I was a bit concerned that she'd be a little cranky when I dropped her off, since it would have been about the time I'd be putting her down for her morning nap.  Thankfully, Lainey barely noticed when I left and had the time of her life playing with Kaisa and JJ.  She seriously could have cared less when I came back quite a while later too!  I don't leave Lainey very often so I was very thankful she had so much fun with her little friends.  By the time we got home it was mid morning and I decided not to try and put her down for a nap, but rather keep her busy until her normal afternoon nap time.  During lunch, she was really zoning out while eating her turkey wrap, grapes and crackers... and then this happened...

HOW CUTE IS THAT?!?  Seriously one of the cutest things ever.  I had secretly been hoping that this would happen one day because I think it's so funny when kids fall asleep in their high chair.  Poor thing.  She still ate every bite on her plate even while falling asleep in between.

Lainey took an okay nap, definitely not long enough to make up for both though, so we had a bit of a long afternoon.  We always look forward to 5pm and especially did today!  Jed has been taking Lainey for a ride in her new push car (THANK YOU GRANDMA AND GRANDPA!!!) every day when he gets home while I finish getting dinner ready and pick up the house.  A little while later,  I peeked out the window to see this coming down the sidewalk...

HA!  Jed said she fell asleep around the block the next street over.  SO FUNNY!  I'm thankful she is an easy go-to-sleep-er and that she doesn't fight it and meltdown instead.  Needless to say, Lainey went to bed a little early tonight! :)

Lainey sure keeps me busy but it's getting hard to forget that there's another little one on the way as the weeks pass and my belly grows and grows...  I am 28 weeks now!  Welcome 3rd trimester! Wahoo!  I can't believe I'm that far along already.  Heartbeat was good and strong and I'm measuring right on track.  For awhile I was feeling like maybe little mister was a tad bit of a lazy baby ... he wasn't moving nearly as much as his big sister did but that has definitely changed in the past few weeks - what a wiggle worm!  I can tell he's growing and testing out all of his limbs.   We're also busy narrowing down names... I am finding boy names much harder than girl names!  We're getting so excited to welcome him into our family.  November still seems so far away to me but as the weather is changing and gets cooler and cooler (LOVE IT), I know August is almost over and fall is right around the corner!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fair time!

Sunday afternoon we headed to the Iowa State Fair for EXTREME Sunday.  I'm not sure why they call it that but that will forever be the day we go to the fair, since admission is half price and footlong corn dogs are *only* $5 instead of $6 :)  Last year, I was a little bit busy having a baby, staying in the hospital and then figuring out life as a new mom so this was my first trip to the fair in a few years.  And, it was Lainey's first trip EVER.  It was an eventful day and the weather was AWESOME!

 Lainey and I shared a corn dog.  Loved it!
 Outside the DNR building they had a little pond with ducks, geese, a swan and turtles!  
 I was overly excited about the ducks.  We had been walking for quite some time and I was thinking Lainey was getting bored so I tried to amp up the excitement level.  Didn't work obviously... she's looking at me like I'm nuts.
 The Animal Learning Center was our favorite building.  We saw these baby chicks, sheep and lambs, goats and kids and turkeys!  
 Lainey's a little farm hand in the making.
 One reason Jed was excited to attend the fair on this particular day was that Boyz II Men was performing on the free stage (mostly to be funny, I don't think he'd actually say he was a true fan... maybe I'm wrong).  We didn't really think we'd end up staying this late, but we were having such a great time so we headed over that way right when the concert was beginning.  It was bonkers - thousands and thousands of people- but we caught a quick glimpse and let Lainey rock out a little to their sweet jams.... She just really likes music!
After walking almost all the way to our exit, Jed's search for cheese curds was coming up empty but as luck would have it, Lainey fell asleep in the stroller so we were able to walk ALLLLL the way back to the cheese curds without a meltdown (YAY!).  By this time too, the sun was going down and the crowds were clearing a bit so it wasn't so crazy.  I'm not going to lie, I enjoyed a few cheese curds as well :)

My 28 week pregnant self feels like I got hit by a truck but it was totally worth it!  The Iowa State Fair - Nothing Compares!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lainey's 1st birthday!

Lainey turned ONE on Sunday!  This is something that EVERYONE says but I truly cannot believe how fast the past year has gone.  I think part of the reason it seems to have passed so quickly is because babies just change SO much as they grow from birth to one year, especially the latter half of that year.  From just being enamored by watching her open and close her eyes, to her coos and babbles, to sitting up and playing, to squealing, crawling, saying real words, taking steps, etc. --- it's such a miracle.  I've spent a lot of time over the past week or so reflecting on the past year.  When I think about the excitement and anticipation of the days, hours and moments before her birth, I tear up.  When I think about the moment she was born and our time getting to know her in the hospital, I tear up.  When I think about taking care of a tiny (well, not that tiny),  helpless infant at all hours of the night, changing all of those first few diapers, her first few baths, her time on the glow worm blanket to deal with jaundice, I tear up.  You get the picture ... maybe blame it on the pregnancy hormones I guess, but I think it's just more that being a mom, being Lainey's mom, has changed my life and my heart in amazing ways.  (And to think that the love I have for my child is not even comparable to how God loves us ... I love Lainey very imperfectly, but God loves us perfectly.  Wow.)

I think I'm also realizing that now is when the REAL work begins.  I'm not saying that diapers, nursing, nap times and all of the other baby stuff isn't work, because it is, but now we have the job of raising a real little human being.  Now, we have to teach her and train her to be kind, polite, compassionate, patient, caring, obedient, etc. and if the last few weeks are any indication, it will not be easy!  (Her preferences and personality are really beginning to come to light!)  Very thankful that I do not have to do any of it in my own strength but I can seek God for wisdom and guidance in how to best love Lainey.

To celebrate the past year, we had a birthday party for Lainey on Sunday.  The more and more I thought about it, the more I worked on plans for it and the closer it got to Sunday, I was really excited.  We were totally and completely BLESSED that BOTH of our families were able to be there.  In fact, every family member who came had to travel and sacrifice quite a bit of time to come celebrate with us - it meant so much!  From Knoxville, Cedar Rapids, Wisconsin, Minnesota and even North Carolina...!  Lainey is one loved little girl.  Not only did our families come, but many of our good friends as well - our Des Moines family!

Since Lainey is the SWEETEST we thought (and by we, I really mean I, Sarah) a party full of SWEET treats would be most appropriate.  Pinterest helped me with ideas and inspiration for Lainey's ice cream parlor themed party, which was actually a relatively easy and fun way to go.  Below are some pictures of how the great, great day played out...

The decor and food...

 (I'm not going to lie - I'm pretty proud about those cake pops.  I found the idea here and I think they turned out fabulous, both looking AND tasting!!)

Lainey's two oldest cousins are just a few months apart and had a great time playing together!

Little Miss is SO SO SO SO SOOOOO close to walking.  We've actually been saying that for about 2 weeks.  She is so incredibly cautious when standing and lowering herself down to all fours to crawl... we think she's waiting until she is extra confident.  She'll take one unassisted step and then sloooolwy bend down and crawl like a maniac wherever she wants to go.
 Lainey's birthday cupcake ... she's thinking it looks mighty tasty...
 But first we had to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

 She was pretty much just eating the frosting and sprinkles.  She's so silly.
 Our family and friends were WAY too generous with gifts for Lainey!  She had lots of little helpers with the presents - she didn't really get what was going on.

 Look at that sweet 1 year old!

My mom always makes sure that we take a family picture :)  Love it!

Emily and Bud are expecting their #2 in February!  Eeeee!  (Me at 27 weeks and Em at 13 weeks)

My sister and I and our girls ...  we only really know how to do GIRLS in our family so far so I'm kind of hoping Emily is having a boy too so we can figure it out together!  Also, it was a really big deal that the Thomas clan got to join us for the weekend - they made Iowa their last stop after their vacation to Minnesota and headed back to NC today.  They are the BEST!

Lainey's Great Grandma Charlotte (where Lainey gets her middle name) got to come visit 12 hours after she was born in the hospital AND got to come celebrate her 1st birthday with her.  Also, she is the sweetest.   I only grew up knowing my 2 Grandma's - her and my Grandma Carey in Minnesota so I'd say Lainey is pretty blessed to have 2 sets of awesome grandparents AND 2 Great Grandma's!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to our family and friends who helped celebrate Lainey's birthday with us.  So totally BLESSED.  So thankful!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July Days...

I could hardly believe it this morning when I looked at the date and it read AUGUST 1st!  AUGUST!  Where did July go?!  If you live in Iowa and you're anything like me (a serious wimp about the heat AND pregnant) then you also spent a lot of time indoors during the month of July.  The record high temperatures were about driving me batty.  One day it was LITERALLY the hottest day of my life, the hottest day on record since 1983.  We've been cooped up quite a bit - not exactly how I imagined spending the majority of the summer but thankfully, Lainey isn't too demanding about where and how she plays and isn't really mobile enough to REALLY enjoy the outdoors. 

Here are a few Instagram pics of what we've were up to this last month....
We spent A LOT of time on our front porch in July watching cars and waiting patiently for Daddy to come home!

Some days we beat the heat at Target!

I feel like this picture shows just how steamy some of our trips to the splash park were.  Since the water is so shallow, it stays pretty warm when the temps are 100+ for so many days in a row.

USA! USA!  I officially have Olympic fever!  I don't know why I love it so much, I just do.  I VIVIDLY remember watching the women's gymnastics team win gold in 1996 and watching them earn the gold last night was SO exciting to me!

The heat FINALLY broke a bit and we've been able to enjoy some blanket time in the front yard again!

Miss Lainey is SO close to walking on her own.  She sure loves scooting around pushing her stroller.

We've also been working on saying lots of new words and pointing out different things since we've been inside so much this month and she is really catching on to a few things.  Here is a video of her doing some extra cute and adorable stuff...

I wish I had a good picture of Lainey with Simon because these two are A-DOR-A-BLE together.  If you've ever met Simon, you know he has A LOT of energy and can be pretty wild.  He is SO patient and gentle with Lainey, it's truly amazing.  And it's a good thing because she is a bit rough and tough with him because she just loooooooves him so much.  I should really count how many times a day I hear her say "dog" or  "Hiiiii dog!"  She really tries to play with him and pet him and always shares her snacks with him, which he is more than happy to accept.

Since August is actually here that means we are about to celebrate a certain someone's FIRST birthday!  WOW!