Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmastime is here...and gone

The ubiquitous Christmas post. I'll try to keep it short and sweet since these things really aren't that interesting unless you're part of the action :)

For the first time in 9 years of marriage this Christmas was different. And even though its definitely not a good thing that my parents aren't in Des Moines anymore, it was great to have our Christmas spread out over two days instead of all crammed into one. We had Christmas eve at our house--it's become a tradition for Jon & I to host and we all eat soup and appetizers together after church. And since Christmas was on Sunday and John & Judie had to be at church, we had such a relaxing quiet morning letting the boys open their stockings (as you can tell we went overboard with the stocking stuffers! They didn't nearly all fit inside. But that's all we get for the boys since they have so many aunts & uncles and grandparents buying for them). I can honestly say I understand now why some families are adamant about being in their own homes on Christmas morning. We've always rushed off to my parents house first thing. This year that time with just us was the highlight for me.

I didn't even bring my camera to the Colyer's that afternoon! Shame on me. And I didn't take photos of the Ottley Christmas we had on Monday. I don't know what got into me. Oh wait, yes I do. A baby (literally). Getting the camera out probably would have meant climbing up the stairs an extra time or something.
Bennett and Dawson are beyond thrilled to have all of our family at our house. Bennett took advantage of Uncle Graham & Aunt Sarah and played lots of his new games with them (and since they don't have kids yet, they always seem to have endless energy for ours. They're so great with them).

A favorite gift this year: Magna Tiles (below). They're super expensive so I asked Judie to just compile the boys' money together after a close friend highly recommended them (Thanks, Kim!). They both absolutely love them and I can tell they'll be worth the money.

All four kiddos with Aunt Sarah:

I'm sure there will be more pictures soon on my sis's blog, newly titled, The Daily Be. Ok, too many late nights this week. My pillow is calling my name.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Big 3-0

Nope, I'm not 30 years old yet. But I did reach 30 weeks in this pregnancy! Amazing, huh? Its crazy how much faster it goes with each pregnancy. I can't believe we'll have a real live baby in just 10 weeks! I really can't wait. Although I do get panicky whenever I'm groggily feeling my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, thinking about the nighttime feedings. But aside from that, I'm so excited to have a newborn again and for Bennett and Dawson to have a new little brother. I just need to start petitioning now to have my mother-in-law move in for the first 2 months ;) How does a mom of 3 do it for the first 8 weeks without live-in help?? That's beyond me at this point, but I guess we'll find out soon enough!

Woops...I sort of forgot to take a pic for 7 weeks!

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, I really started feeling pregnant--in that way where its just hard to do anything involving bending or climbing stairs or lifting or getting up from the couch or bed (yeah, that covers 90% of the day). I honestly do not know why women complain about being pregnant in the summer. I would take that any day over wearing super annoying maternity jeans that have to be pulled up any time you bend over or sit down. Not to mention having to tie shoes...oy vey. Maybe I'll start pretending I'm Japanese and just wear socks with flip-flops.

And other than intense heartburn and Braxton Hicks contractions all the time (some are already super strong), I suppose I'm feeling as good as possible at this point. No back pain, thanks to visits to my wonderful chiropractor every 3 weeks and a memory foam mattress! Boy am I thankful for that right now. Last pregnancy I pulled our air mattress onto our bedroom floor and slept on that for the last couple months!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A small bite of the Big Apple

Jon decided it was time to part ways with his beloved BMW since it has passed 250,000 miles and with traveling every week, the constant repairs were getting too much. He needs something more reliable and could use something with much better gas mileage. So he started shopping around the US via Cars.com for his perfect match. He found his new lovely lady (an Audi A6) in NYC so lucky for us, we got to take an unexpected babymoon and spend a couple days together in the city. It was actually my first time there so we just hit the major highlights and then drove home over 2 days.

Jon was able to use his points from all his traveling to get a free hotel right in SoHo (yes, there are some benefits!). We had dinner at a great Italian place that friends recommended in Little Italy where everyone was named Anthony or Joey and brought dessert back to our tiny hotel room. It was so strange to walk out of our hotel the next morning into a city full of people. It really felt like a different world than little old Des Moines (and I noticed how out of place we were since I'm pretty sure we were the only ones in the city not wearing leggings or skinny jeans...or all black :)

We walked around Times Square and Rockefeller Center and then went to Chinatown for lunch.

We had Dim Sum (which we learned were "small bites" served in steamer trays that they just walk around offering to you one after another) at a very authentic Chinese restaurant. It was a fun experience. I enjoyed watching a four generation Chinese family at a table nearby with a little baby eating noodles off of her mom's chopsticks.

We went to the park near the statue of liberty that overlooks Ellis Island. It was amazing to think about Judie sailing into that exact spot on the Queen Mary when she was 7!

It was the perfect little short visit. We had so much fun together, like we always do when we have a little break from the rigors of parenting. It's always so refreshing to be able to focus only on each other and to still feel so in love with my adorable hubby! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Life, lately, according to my phone

Not too much to blog about here lately, so I'll do a phone dump (sorry for the grainy photos).

Family Movie night and Christmas jammie trial run. Notice Dawson--he proceeded to scoop the entire batch of popcorn out of the bowl while I was distracted taking a picture:

Making cookies at Nana's. (Thank goodness for grandmas...I don't have enough patience to cook with these two!):

Dawson reached a huge milestone recently. He actually learned how to smile for the camera!

Love Dawson's face in this one:

"Back off GiGi. I think you're forgetting I'm 2 and I do NOT need help!":

Forget the cookies. Couldn't you just eat him up??:

One of the best parts about raising more than one child: seeing all their differences. Pretty sure we didn't own a single hot wheel before Dawson was born: