October 31, 2012

happy halloween

Before we get to this year's Halloween costume, why don't we take a look at the past two years.  You know you want to :o).

Ryann's First Halloween, 2010 - Tinkerbell

Halloween 2011 - Penguin

And for Halloween 2012... Ryann was changing her mind all the time about what she wanted to be.  Doc McStuffins, Izzy from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, a crocodile, a spider, a kitty, I'm pretty sure at one point a unicorn was on the table.  But she could never decide.  So eventually I just decided to go with pirate (a nod to Izzy of course) and got her hyped about it.  She claims she is Izzy, so please don't tell her she is just a plain ol' pirate in a tutu ok?  Ok.

For the record I think I will find a way to incorporate a tutu (or pettiskirt, whatever) into nearly every costume for as long as I can, simply because they are too freaking cute.

Halloween 2012 - Pirate

I'm not sure how we arrived at the decision to have her pose like that, but I am dead from all of the cuteness.  Seriously.  No worries, I'll be back tomorrow with a Halloween photo dump if that wasn't enough cute for you.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

October 30, 2012

the big bed transition

Transitioning Ryann to a 'big girl' bed has been a huge fear of mine for quite some time.  She first attempted to climb out of her crib at 21 months.  But I scared the crap out of her and she didn't try it again for a while.  So we put off the issue.  Then when she started to try and climb out again threatening to take away her sleep friends did the trick.  But with Baby Sister on the way, and no reason to have a three-year-old and an infant both in cribs, it was time to suck it up and get her in a real bed.

post last nap in the crib

About a month ago we ordered the Sleep Buddy training system.  We figured it would be good for when she was out of the crib, and at the time she was waking up butt early and wanting to get up for the day.  So we started before she was ever out of the crib teaching her that the Sleep Buddy indicated sleep time versus wake-up time.

Now the Sleep Buddy isn't cheap.  Just under $40 + shipping.  There are several similar sleep training products that cost a lot less.  But we liked the simplicity of this product.  The parent sets the sleep and wake up times on the under side of the light, there is no clock feature or pictures or anything for the child to look at.  When it is a designated sleep time, the light turns on.  When it is wake up time the light turns off.  You are able to set separate times for night and nap.  Some of the other products we looked at seemed as though it might be difficult for the child to differentiate between the two times.  This was incredibly straight forward.

awake time on top, sleep time on bottom

The Sleep Buddy system also comes with a little story you can read to your child, sort of describing the concept, as well as a rewards chart you can use to encourage staying in bed.  We have never used the rewards chart, but the story was kind of nice.  I think it helped Ryann grasp the idea a little better than us just telling her.  Granted at the time we read it she was still in the crib, and it is geared at actually staying in bed, but it gave her something to go with.

While Ryann was in her crib, we were hoping the light would teach her to be quiet when it was on, and try to go back to sleep.  Yeah, not so much.  She stopped asking for me at 5am, but was still having a party in her crib, which of course equaled me not sleeping.  But nonetheless, she stopped asking for me.  So even if I was just laying in my bed praying that the 23rd round of itsy bitsy spider would be the last, she wasn't needing my attention.  Sometimes as soon as the light would go off she'd stand up and yell to me, "Mommy!  It's wake up time!"  Eventually she stopped waking up so early, so I'm assuming that was just a phase (although her wake-up time does seem to be affected by how much she naps, if only she didn't nap so freaking well... what are you going to do, right?).

playing on her bed after we had it all set up

Well, back to moving her to a big bed.  We were still dragging our feet, so one afternoon I decided we were going to the mattress store and not leaving until we had purchased a new bed.  We found one that we all agreed was comfortable and was in a price range we were willing to pay, and placed our order.  The delivery date was set, October 23rd, and we had our 'deadline' so to speak.  The weekend before the bed was going to be delivered Ryann and I were staying with my parents.  So I thought it might be a good time to give the big girl bed thing a try (while I had someone to help me during the day and save my sanity if she didn't sleep).  They had a mattress on the floor in the room she slept on.  We got all pumped telling her "hooray!  you're big enough to sleep in the big bed!  woohoo!"  "No, I don't wanna.  I'll sleep in the baby bed."

Say what?  That wasn't what I was expecting at all.  For the last couple of months she has been begging to sleep in that bed on the floor.  We finally offer up the goods and she turns me down?  Well that scared me even more.  I was worried she was going to push back on anything involving being big, and try to stay the baby.  We decided not to push the issue and let her sleep in the pack 'n play that weekend (even though she doesn't really fit in the darn thing anymore).  The bed was coming and that was that.  I kept reminding her that her big girl bed was going to be there Tuesday.  We picked out sheets at Target, all that jazz.

Tuesday when the bed came around 4:00 in the afternoon, I tried to get her all excited for Daddy to set it up that night.  She wasn't interested.  When Christopher got home he wasn't sure we should do it.  He didn't want her to be anti the bed and really resist the transition.  But I had my mind made up and if we didn't do it then I knew we'd put it off more and more.  So I made him take down the crib.  Once we got the bed all set up (we just put the boxspring and mattress on the floor) and the sheets on we brought Ryann in her room to show her (we didn't let her watch him taking apart the crib because we thought that would stress her out).  And she was excited :o).  We made a huge deal out of how the bed was just her bed, not mommy's or daddy's or baby sister's.  Told her she could tell everyone about her new big girl bed and how awesome it was.  She started to get pretty pumped.


That night when it was time to go to sleep I could tell she was a little apprehensive.  But she pulled through and surprised the heck out of us.  It was funny to watch her trying to go to sleep, because she didn't know what to do with the sheets (I probably should have just started with a fitted sheet and a blanket...).  We could tell she was frustrated.  But eventually she got settled in, and stayed in her bed all night long.  Well, almost all night anyway.  We knew that she had dropped an animal or two out of the bed before she fell asleep, and when I went to get her in the morning they were back in the bed.  So she must have gotten down to get them.  And she slept in really late for her that first morning (7:30) so I'm guessing she was up in the middle of the night, but I didn't hear her.  Or the bed is just that awesome.  One of the two.

But really the transition has been a breeze.  The second night she sat on the edge of the bed for a while, swinging her legs, considering the possibility of getting out.  I could see the wheels turning while watching her on the monitor.  At one point she stood up on the floor.  I called into her, "Is the sleep buddy on?"  She scrambled right up into the bed and hasn't gotten out again.  And she stays in bed until the sleep buddy light goes off, sometimes after.  She has become pretty obsessed with her bed, always wanting to play on it and sit in there and read books.

love love LOVE having a video monitor so I can spy on her

Even while we were at my parents' house this weekend without the Sleep Buddy Ryann did great, not getting out of the bed until we came back in the room to get her.  So I'm not sure she really needs the Sleep Buddy, but I still think it is a great tool.  It is great for us to be able to reference it if she is having a particularly tough time settling down for bedtime or nap ("Sleep Buddy is on, do you remember what that means?").  It helps her to not have any wiggle room as far as when the appropriate quiet times are.

I love the amount of light the Sleep Buddy puts off.  Not too bright, but enough light to provide some security for those kiddos who might be scared of the dark.  We do still use a second night light in the room, because one morning when hers wasn't on and the Sleep Buddy went off, she freaked out because her room was pitch black.  So something to think about.

I frequently catch her sleeping sideways

Whew, that was a novel!  But I had a couple of requests for info on the sleep buddy and how the big bed transition was going.  Overall?  Way way WAY easier than anticipated.  I hope it stays this way!  I think between the Sleep Buddy, and the fact that she has been sleeping on a cot at MDO (helped teach her boundaries in the bed while she was sleeping) she was prepped for the transition.  So I'm glad we waited.  If you have any other questions about our experience so far ask away!

October 29, 2012

get the right shoes

Last week I mentioned that I got a brand new pair of my shoes for the half, and it made a huge difference in how my legs felt.  Then I was asked how you go about picking the right running shoes.  Best option?  Head into a running store.

If you go to a running store they usually will have you walk or jog in front of them, sometimes on a treadmill, depends on the store how 'intense' it is.  Then they will evaluate your stride and how your feet fall, and determine what type of shoe you need.  Me?  I need all sorts of support.  I have weaker ankles and my feet tend to roll in when I step or run (not a ton, don't imagine some weird crazy walk please, ok?  :o)  So I need a shoe that will help keep that from happening.  For the last 18 months I've been in Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12's.  The shoes work great for me.  The only downside is so far they don't come in any awesome cool color combos.

Yep, sometimes you have to pick function over looks.  I know it sucks to not be able to go in and pick the shoes you think look the best, but in the end it is better to have something that will work with your foot.  I love the look of Nike Free Runs, I have a pair in a neon orangish color.  So much fun.  But I absolutely cannot run in them, not more than maybe a mile anyway.  They just don't offer enough support and my legs end up KILLING me.  So they are strictly strength shoes or a pair of sneakers to wear around.

Something else to keep in mind when purchasing running shoes is to make sure you get them large enough.  I can wear a size 7.5 or 8 shoe.  But if I intend to run in them, especially for any sort of distance, I need an 8 or 8.5.  When you run your feet swell, and you don't want your toes pounding into the end of your shoe over and over and over again (goodbye toenails).  When they first told me I needed to go up in size for running distance, I was a little frustrated because I was having problems with the heel slipping.  But they were able to show me how to tie the shoes to prevent the heel from sliding around, while still having enough length in my shoes to keep all my toenails intact.  I believe I have at least a finger's width of room at the end of my shoe.

Can you get by just going into the store and grabbing a pair of shoes that you think will work?  Probably.  I wore a random pair of Nike's for probably the first six months or so that I was running.  But if you plan to work up to long distance running, I think it is very beneficial to go into the running store to have your stride evaluated.  Your legs will most likely thank you.  If you won't be going to a running store, I found this tool online that might help you pick the best shoe for you.

Don't forget shoes only last 300-500 miles, don't hang on to your shoes too long!  It sucks to have to buy new ones more frequently, but again, your legs will thank you!


Link up your health and fitness related posts below.  And please, link back, the more people that participate the merrier!

October 26, 2012

twenty-three weeks


written October 25th

I thought I was being all good remembering to take a picture before Ryann and I headed to my parents house for a bit.  Except I forgot that the gradient layer and 'weeks' heart was only on my main computer, not my laptop.  So I'll have to fix the photo later.  Oh well.

Also, I spent a chunk of time curling my hair because we were supposed to have family photos this morning.  But just my luck it was gray, raining and nasty out.  At least I was taking this picture so it wasn't a complete waste, right?

how far along:  23 weeks (compare to 23 weeks with Ryann)

size of babyaccording to the bump a grapefruit, between 10.5-11.8 inches long and weighing 12.7 to 20.8 ounces.  Basically it lists the same size as last week with a different fruit.  Who knows.  I'm terrified she is going to be huge, for not reason at all of course. 

weight gain:  8.4 pounds.  Considering the fact that I am still obsessed with all things unhealthy (but trying to avoid them, I swear!  kind of...) I'll take a .4 gain this week.

maternity clothes:  As much as I want to be super awesome and wear my regular clothes, maternity clothes are just easier.  Actually sweats are a lot easier.  :o)  I've had some coupons to Destination Maternity, so I've stocked up on some maternity stuff.  It works.

symptoms:  Just lots of movement from the little one, plus the urge to eat everything in sight.  I have been getting what I'm going to probably not so accurately diagnose as restless leg syndrome at night.  If I sit down on the couch for any length of time my legs just get uncomfortable and I want to move or go to bed and sleep so it will go away.  It isn't painful, just annoying and uncomfortable.

exercise:  Only three days of official workouts this week, but one of those was just a half marathon, you know.  :o)  I took two days off before and after the half to take it a little easier on my body.  Tuesday I went on a three mile walk, and Wednesday I went on a 3 mile run/walk.

cravings/aversions:  Still baked goods and Mexican.  A huge thanks to my pal Kenzie for joining me while I indulged in that Mexican craving.  It was so freaking good.  I've decided that I mostly have an aversion to cooking :o).  At home the thought of making anything seems kind of repulsive, and I just want fruit or yogurt or cereal.  But eating at a restaurant doesn't sound so bad.  I think I always have an aversion to cooking though...  Still want nothing to do with olives or pizza really.

movement:  Tons.  Some days are a little slower, especially if she has flipped with her limbs down (I'm assuming).  But a lot of times I am staring at my belly saying 'seriously!  calm down!'  I can't believe how uncomfortable some of the movement is already, I'm scared for when she is bigger...

sleep:  Not too shabby.  Even with Ryann in a big girl bed.  I'm knocking on every piece of wood I see right now.

gender: Girl.  Which is oddly still weird.  I don't know why, but it is weird that there is another little girl in there.

looking forward to:  Nursery decorating.  Being done with the half.  A trip to Georgia in the next month.  The holidays.  My house not being a disaster.  Lots of things.

worries:  That I'm going to be a hot mess with two kids.  I can't convince myself to keep up with everything right now with just one, how the hell am I going to do it with two?  Also Christopher and I are still having a hard time picturing another daughter.  I don't know if it would be different if it was a boy, but I just can't imagine another baby, especially a girl.  I can only picture Ryann.  I know that will change, it is just kind of weird.  Weird to talk about the baby GIRL in my belly, another daughter...

what's different this time:  I'm a lot more active.  That is all I've really got.

milestones:  not a clue

best moment this week:  Finishing the half marathon, and feeling good about it!  I was sore that day (but I think more chafed than anything...) but not really at all the next couple of days.  I kept waiting to be miserable but it never happened.  I trained the right way for this race and listened to my body and am I very proud of it.

To the anonymous commenter who claimed I was being selfish by simply doing the half to say that I did it while pregnant, I understand where you're coming from.  But that is not at all why I ran the half.  I ran the half because I really wanted to, I didn't want to sit out a race season if I didn't have to.  I enjoy running and the feeling of accomplishment when I cross the finish line.  Training for that race kept me active during a time when I easily could have given up and said, "oh I'm pregnant, need to just take it easy."  Thousands of women run while pregnant, and I completely trust my doctor and her opinion.  Between her opinion, my husbands' and me knowing my own body, I knew full well that I was capable of finishing the half without harming the pregnancy.  If for any reason I felt something that had made me think it wasn't a good idea I wouldn't have done it.  I have never once had a contraction, cramping or any spotting during this pregnancy.  Next time you want to call me out on something grow a pair and at least post your name.

To anyone who reads this blog in general.  There is a reason I don't offer advertising, nor am I trying to make a big blog name for myself.  This blog is for ME.  Me and my family.  And for friends and any mama's out there who enjoy this sort of community.  So if you don't like what you're reading, just move on.  I am completely open to a difference in opinions, no doubt.  This is the internet and it is my choice to post stuff for the world to see.  But at the same time I don't need anyone hanging around who will attack me personally.  Opinions on parenting, the best way to do something, things of that nature, products that you think are better, share away.  Opinions on me as a person?  Go ahead and keep them to yourself.

Ok, off my soap box.  Really it was a pretty good week :o).   

October 25, 2012

embrace the camera

This morning while instagramming (that is a nice verb, isn't it?) the baby bump, Ryann asked me what I was doing.

Me:  "Just instagramming a picture."
Ryann:  "Of me?  Or you?"
Me:  "Of me."
Ryann:  "Can you instagram me too mom?  With you?"

Absolutely little one.  Because that is totally awesome that my two year old just asked me to instagram her.  And since the pictures actually turned out to be pretty cute I thought I'd share them on here as well.  Especially considering Emily is embracing the camera today (and you should too).  We were supposed to have family pictures taken this morning, but wouldn't you know it is completely nasty outside.  We were hoping the sun would come out a bit, so I got all ready.  But of course I curled my hair for nothing.  Oh well, better luck next time.

photo 1(6)
photo 3(5)
photo 2(6)

No doubt she is my offspring.  Love her.

October 24, 2012

a day in the life - kelli

Well hello there Wednesday.  Currently days are flying by much faster than I am prepared for, and I am not getting near enough done.  Surprise surprise.

Today I'm happy to introduce you to Kelli.  Kelli and I danced at the same studio and have known each other for quite some time.  It is so fun and crazy to see all these girls I knew when I was younger all grown up and mamas to their own babies.  I mean it was bound to happen, but it is still surreal sometimes!  Anyway, I hope you enjoy a peek at Kelli's day!


Hi blogging world!  I'm Kelli, a wife, new mama and middle school counselor.  The hubby and I are the proud parents of a sweet 3 month old baby boy who is the highlight of our days.  My maternity leave just ended so I'm recently back to work full time.  Come along with us as we enjoy a typical Tuesday in our house.

5:30 am - My alarm goes off.  I hit snooze.  Twice.  I found out pretty quickly that if I'm going to get any play/snuggle time with E-man in the mornings, I have to get up and get partially ready before he does.  The 'partial' readiness is necessary since E is still pretty spitty.  Luckily we haven't had any real reflux, but he spits up enough that I would definitely go to work smelly if I didn't feed him in my pjs :)

6:15 - I go in to wake E up and feed him.  His paci is laying by his head which means he woke up while I was in the shower and daddy had to come in to give him his paci to keep him satisfied until I was ready. 

6:35 - E's done eating and we snuggle for just a few minutes until daddy is ready and comes to play.  It's going to be nice out today so E is sporting his aviators and black sweats.  Whoever says they don't make cute boy clothes is crazy.  I might be just a tad bit biased.

7:05 - Bottles are filled, bag is packed, breakfast has been eaten and Little Blue Truck has been read.  I am married to the most helpful husband/dad in the world.  Seriously.  We share parenting 50/50 (except for the feeding part - I'm breastfeeding.  He can't really compete with that).  And, if I'm honest, we share housework 70/30.  He gets the 70.  I'm not proud of it, but he truly deserves the credit.  He.  Is. Wonderful.  Anywho, Ryan takes E to daycare every morning by 7:15.  R has to be to work by 7:30 and I have to be at work by 7:45, but I work in a small town outside the 'city' so my drive is about 25 minutes.

7:15 - After the boys leave, I finish getting ready and getting my stuff together.  And, let's be honest, 7:15 is when I should leave.  But does that happen?  Rarely.  I spend my 25 minute drive listening to the first half of a sermon podcast from the pastor at our old church.  Rev. Adam Hamilton is one of the most gifted and intelligent speakers I have ever heard.  This summer he did a sermon series on the Olympics.  I'm still catching up on that series, so today's topic is on 'The Power of the Team.'  The amazing thing about Pastor Adam's sermons is his unmatched ability to combine theology with life-application.  This sermon uses Jesus' team of disciples as an example of the team we should surround ourselves by to serve and live the life God has called us to live.  You can find 10 years worth of archived sermons here.  They are worth your 45 minutes.  I promise.

7:45 - I'm at school and ready to start the day!  I am the only counselor at a middle school of about 325 6th, 7th and 8th graders.  This is my third year as a school counselor after spending three years as an 8th grade English teacher.  When I chose to major in Education I had every intention of being a high school journalism teacher, but my first job was in a middle school and I fell in love.  However, being in the classroom is a lot of work.  And it is HARD.  During those first few years of teaching I found myself frustrated that I didn't have the time to build the type of relationships I wanted with my students.  My classroom was a revolving door - 25 kids in and 25 kids out every 45 minutes.  Six times a day.  And when you work with middle school students academics is the least of your (and their) worries.  The social and emotional struggles of middle school kids consume them and I found myself more interested in helping them conquer those challenges rather than conquering the state tests. 

8:05 - The bell rings and all the kids go to class which means this is my chance to get caught up on everything from yesterday.  My responsibilities include meeting with students one-on-one, facilitating groups, teaching classroom lessons, talking with parents, advising our 8th grade leadership group and about a thousand other things.  Yesterday I was teaching in the 7th grade classrooms the entire day which means today I get to play catch up.  Big time.  On the agenda today: checking in on a 7th grade girl whose dad was in isolated chemo treatment all summer, talking with a 7th grade boy who is worried his parents will get back together (getting back together probably means more fighting...and the possibility of separating again- for the fourth time), meeting with a new student who just moved in with her dad (but now her mom wants her back), convincing a 6th grader that fighting is not the best way to solve his problems, figuring out why a sweet 8th grade girl has all of a sudden developed an uncontrollable temper, and, I'm sure, a little drama in there to keep me on my toes. Wow - that sounded pretty intense.  I guess it's just that kind of day.  Don't worry - my days are filled with plenty of laughter, goofiness, and joy working with 300 tweeny-boppers.

My leadership kiddos.  So proud of them!

10:30 - Mid-morning break.  Pumping has been the best thing that has happened to my professional development goals.  Being forced to sit at my desk without the ability to really do anything forces me to take a break from seeing kids, checking email and making phone calls.  I've spent most of my pumping time on school counseling blogs.  It's amazing what you can learn when you slow down enough to do some professional reading!

The next few hours consist of responding to teacher emails, setting up meetings and responding to parent phone calls.  I also need to work on the agenda for our Bully Prevention meeting tomorrow and update my school blog!

3:00 - Afternoon break.  More pumping.  I am lucky enough to have my own office with a door that locks so I don't have to sit in the bathroom or in a closet somewhere.  I've also had pretty good success keeping my milk supply up now that I'm back at work.  I know that can be a challenge for a lot of women, so I have been very diligent about pumping at work.  It is not always easy and there have been days where I only get one session in, but I do everything I can to pump at the times E is eating.

3:45 - Work day is done and a teacher friend and I head out the door for a quick run before I go get E from daycare.  At first I was very hesitant to stay 30 minutes after school to run, but I quickly realized that if it is ever going to happen it has to happen before I go home for the day.  And if I go get him right at 3:45 I usually interrupt a nap, so I figure this extra 30 minutes is good for both of us. 

4:45 - I've got E and we're headed home.  We are so lucky to have found a wonderful daycare provider.  She watches two other kiddos in her home - a 19 month old and a 4 month old.  It seems to be a great combination for E.  A friend who is a year older and a friend who is his same age.  He has already been caught trying to hold Mya's hand.  Uh-oh.  It will be fun to watch their interactions as they both grow!

5:00 - We're home and E is a happy guy.  This time between daycare and dinner can be hit or miss with him.  Sometimes he's happy and ready to play and sometimes he is cranky.  With a capital C.  I take advantage of the good mood - tummy time!  E has never been a fan.  However, a couple of weeks ago we had our first home visit from the Parents as Teachers educator.  She was wonderful!  R and I feel like we are relatively well educated, but we were so thankful to be able to glean some great tips from an expert who does this every day.  If you're interested, Parents as Teachers programs are usually run through the local school district.  In our area, anyone who lives in the school district has access to their free services, though some locations have income requirements.  Parents as Teachers provides a lending library of books, toys and educational resources.  They also have play groups for a variety of ages.  So far the service we've used is their in-home visits.  They send an educator to your home who basically plays with your baby for an hour while you ask questions and talk about your child's development.  Of course, she is playing intentionally with your baby modeling different age appropriate activities you can do when she is gone.  She is also checking for gross and fine motor development, speech and other developmental milestones.  She is not a doctor or occupational therapist, but she can make referrals if she sees anything of concern.  Last time she visited she gave us some tricks to help E with tummy time.  Essentially she just tucked his arms under him to use as a prop.  This helped him lift his head enough to figure out he can actually see the world around him.  Over the last few weeks we've been using this trick to work on rolling over.  He's got the tummy-back thing down...as long as his arm doesn't get in the way.  When he's on his back he will roll to his side (this is how he likes to sleep), but no rolling over yet.

5:45 - E is done with play time and wants to eat!  Daddy gets home while E is eating so we rehash our days while E finishes dinner.

6:15 - Mama and daddy's dinner time while E plays with his play gym.

Hands, eyes and feet.  Not sure if they're coordinated, but they're trying!

7:00 - We are all fed and the kitchen is clean.  R plays with the little man for a little while until it's pretty clear that E has had about enough for one day.  They snuggle a little then we get going on the bedtime routine.

Ooohhh - what have you got for daddy, E-man?

8:00 - Bath time - which the little man L.O.V.E.S.  As a water-baby, myself, I cannot tell you how happy this makes my heart.  I have spent a better part of my life in a swimming pool and I hope that is something I can share with my little boy.  Somewhere amongst the splashing and playing the little man actually gets clean.  Then of course there is the lotion, more giggles, and some oh-so-sweet footie pajamas.

8:30 - One more feeding, a book and prayers then we put E in his sleep sack, kiss him goodnight and put him down.  E has slept in his crib since the night we got home from the hospital and we have had a bed-time routine since day one.  This is the one thing we have been 100% consistent with and it is the one thing that E is 100% consistent with.  Makes me wonder how easy the rest of parenting would be if we could just be that consistent??  Ahhh, one can dream.

R and I spend the next 30 minutes catching up on a recorded episode of Big Bang Theory then it's off to bed for me!  I read for about 3 minutes until I can't keep my eyes open and I call it a day.  Getting to spend my days with two boys who love me unconditionally and 300 teenagers who make me sigh and laugh in the same breath is a pretty huge blessing.  I'm one lucky girl.

1.  What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?
 Honestly, I was most surprised by how easy it was to simply hang out with him all day long.  I have always been a person who is constantly on the move.  I have never liked it if there isn't some kind of outing or activity on the calendar each day.  However, when my sole purpose became to take care of E and help him grow, my own agenda went out the window.  Of course, we get out of the house, but it is on his terms and in his best interest.  It's amazing how quickly you forget your own routine and adapt to his.

2. What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?
I agree with all the moms that say 'do what works for you!'  Absolutely.  However, if I were to give advice it would be to read up on sleep training.  My husband and I did a lot of research on this subject before E got here and we were 100% committed to it.  We read "BabyWise" and "Baby Sleep Solution" by Suzy Giordano.  They both have a similar philosophy, but we preferred the latter.  It gives a more step-by-step plan for using sleep training and also gives a little more wiggle room when it comes to crying-it-out.   My advice is to read up on it and figure out what you believe about the topic.  The first weeks/months of parenting are so overwhelming you can feel like you are chasing your tail.  Nothing is going to work perfectly but having some kind of a plan can do wonders for your sanity and confidence in your parenting.

3.  What are your top three baby products?
- A bouncy seat.  Hands down.  This is where E hangs out, has play time, and, most importantly, naps.  He likes seeing the world around him and he's also a mover.  The bouncy keeps him upright so he can see, digest his food, and nap comfortably.  I'm not quite sure how my kid is going to take naps once he's too big for his bouncy.
- Mam pacifiers.  We used the soothies from the hospital, but they were so big he couldn't keep them in his mouth and we'd have to stay right by his side to put his paci in each time he spit it out.  We switched to the Mams and have really liked them.
- Medela Pump-in-style Advanced.  Now that I'm back at work, I completely rely on this baby to feed my baby.  My goal is to continue to breastfeed E until he can drink cow's milk.  I've got my work cut out for me, but having a good pump is going to help us get there!

Ashley, thanks for creating this community of mamas.  I have loved learning from other blogging moms over the last year or so and I am thrilled that I have finally been able to contribute!


Thanks for sharing with us Kelli!  And I love E's aviator onesie, too cute!

October 22, 2012

i survived {running a half marathon while pregnant}

On Saturday, at 22 weeks pregnant, I completed my third half marathon.  Woot woot!  It wasn't easy, but it wasn't miserable either, so I guess there is that.  I can't say I ever really want to run a half while pregnant again, but I'm glad I did it.


I definitely didn't sleep the best the night before.  I had been trying to stay extremely hydrated the couple days before, so of course after going to bed about 10:30, I was up at 1am and 3am to pee.  Then around 4am I started having nightmares about missing the race start.  So when my alarm went off at 5am I shot out of bed.  Peed yet again, made some toast, peed again, got ready, peed AGAIN and let my parents in.  Chris was working nights (boo) so they were in charge of the wee one.

Meg picked me up at 5:58am and we headed towards downtown.  We were in the area of the race by 6:15am but could not freaking find a place to park.  We tried a parking garage but it didn't seem like there were any spots.  Neither of us really know downtown all that well, and the places I sort of knew how to get to were blocked off because of the race.  We almost parked in one spot, because everyone else was, but there were no parking signs all up and down the street.  Eventually we found a random spot (not sure it was really a spot, but other people were parked there, we didn't see a no parking sign, and we were out of time to keep looking), and started getting our gear together.  Of course we realized then that there were no safety pins in our packets.  Gah.

We hopped out of the car and made our way to the start line, during which time I called our friend Jenny, who of course just happened to have four extra safety pins because she is super prepared like that.  Side note, Jenny rocked her first full marathon in 3:56.  Way to go girl!  And thank you for the safety pins!  Moving on, at this point it was probably after 6:55am, and the race started at 7:05am.  I really really wanted to pee again, and attempted to hop into some porta potties, but they were for medics only (LAME).  So I decided to just pray that it didn't really affect me.   They played the national anthem, I popped a couple of honey stingers and shortly after we were off.

I'm pretty sure the route was identical to last year's, but I did not remember the first couple miles having so many hills.  None of them were terrible, but enough to wear me down a bit.  And the first big hill is a BITCH.  Seriously.  I don't know how we made it through that one.  But we did, and getting to the top is such a relief.  We finished the first 5k in 33:25.  The next 4-5 miles are decent.  Some downhill, some rolling hills, flat sections.  We crossed the 10k mark in 1:06:49, and the 8 mile mark at 1:25:16.  I think I ate a couple more honey stingers around mile 8, and somewhere around mile 9 the urge to pee got pretty strong, but I didn't want to stop.  At that point in the game I was ready to be done.  I could feel the muscles in my belly starting to get tired an uncomfortable.

photo 2(5)

Miles 8ish-10ish are pretty much uphill.  It is fairly gradual, but still can take a toll on you.  I kept promising Meg that we were almost to the top.  At some point I'm pretty sure I was chanting "just keep running!  just keep running!"  I also kept repeating we just had to make it to the top, and then it would be smooth sailing.  Oh how I wish.  The downhill was a relief for my legs, but is much much harder on the belly.  I'm guessing because of the lack of ab strength now?  Plus I could tell Baby Sister was moving around shortly after mile 10.  At one point I got a sharp pain in the left side of my belly.  It was definitely muscle or ligaments, nothing that I felt I should be too concerned about, but it was painful enough that I absolutely had to stop and walk for a minute.  The pain must have been coming from however little girl was sitting, because I sort of pushed on my belly and moved her around, and when I started running again the pain had pretty much subsided.  It was crazy.  My lower half was definitely uncomfortable by that point, but bearable.

Shortly after mile 10 through the finish is downhill or flat.  I so badly just wanted to take off and get done, and even though we did speed up a bit, my body just wouldn't let me fly.  Thankfully the miles still went by pretty quickly, and it wasn't long before we rounded the corner to head toward the finish line.  We spotted Meaghan's Dad first, cheering us on.  It is crazy how much seeing someone you know can give you a little boost.  Shortly after was Meg's mom, husband, and a huge surprise to me, Christopher.  He had gotten off work and made it in time to see me cross the finish line.  At that point I couldn't stop smiling as we finished the last few hundred feet.  We made it.  I did it, I survived!

photo 1(5)

My dad was waiting shortly after the finish line.  Apparently Ryann waited until they were all the way down there to announce she needed to go to the bathroom.  So she and my mom missed us coming in.  Sorry mom!  Anyway, I stopped my run tracker on my phone and noticed that it said 13.87 miles.  Meaghan's had read something like 13.8 when she stopped it.  I know the course is measured from the inner most path, but man.  I didn't need to do an extra .6 or .7!  Our chip time was 2:20:08, but I am going to credit us with at least 13.75 miles.  So I am pretty damn proud to say that at 22 weeks pregnant I finished a half in under 2:20.  Personal best?  No.  But not too shabby, not too shabby at all.

I was surprised at how well I felt when we were done.  My body hurt, there is no doubting that.  But the last two half marathons I've done, when I was finished I literally felt like I was going to keel over and die on the sidewalk.  This time it was just the pain in my muscles and ligaments.  After some pictures and high fives and a big hug for Meaghan (way to go on finishing your first official half Meg!) we took off for some breakfast.  I inhaled my entire plate, plus some of Chris's pancakes.  I just couldn't get full!  iMapMyRun suggested I burned about 1575 calories, and I was definitely making up for it first thing :o).

photo 3(4)

Some things I want to remember... this is the first time I've gone to a race and not worried about a single person around me, or really how fast I was going.  Obviously I was trying to keep a decent pace, but I really just listened to my body and went with it.  It was tough, because I'm competitive by nature, but at the same time it was really nice.  I wasn't concerned with whether or not anyone thought I was going slow, what my finish time was going to be, anything.  I just wanted to make it.

Also, make sure your shoes are in good shape.  Just do it, seriously.  On Thursday I decided to go to the running store since my mom was in town.  I wasn't planning on wearing my new shoes for the race, but I wanted them ASAP afterwards.  Well at the suggestion of the guy who sold me the shoes, I ended up wearing the brand new never worn shoes for the half.  And I didn't have a single problem at all with my calves.  The supposed shin splints that have been plaguing me for the last few weeks?  Nothing, I didn't feel a thing.  It was crazy!!!  Do I suggest wearing brand new shoes?  No, probably not the best idea, but it was better than wearing shoes that were too worn down.  I thought as a rule of thumb running shoes were supposed to last roughly 500 miles.  I asked the sales guy how long those shoes should last, and he said 300-500 running miles, depending on if you wear them for something else.  I had worn my shoes for well over 300 running miles, plus walking miles.  Whoops.  Now I know, get new shoes more often.

Lastly, I didn't wear any headphones during this race.  I have never done anything over a 5k without music (as far as a race goes) but lately I've been training without.  Partly because I've been long running with Meaghan, so I have someone to talk to, and partly because I've gotten sick of dealing with the headphones.  There were some points where I wish I had some tunes to try and get my mind to wander, but ultimately I was happy with the decision.  Plus Meaghan and I stayed together the whole time.  Although I'm betting she was wishing she had her tunes too, when I seriously couldn't think of anything to talk about :o).

In the end, I would say if you want to do a long distance run while pregnant, try and make it between 15-18 weeks.  Some women can rock a marathon at 30+ weeks, some women's bodies won't let them run at all.  But in my opinion running was the easiest between weeks 12-18.  Before that and I was still in the thick of the first trimester nastiness (even though running often helped me feel better).  Now it is just hard on the belly.  But at about week 15 or 16?  I was feeling good.  And always, be sure to check with your doctor before signing up for any races while pregnant.  A lot of their opinions will be personal, with some doctors being more lenient than others, but listen to their advice.


Congrats to everyone else out there who ran this weekend.  Great work!  Write about your races (and any other health and fitness related stuff of course) and link up below!

October 19, 2012

twenty-two weeks

I think my cheeks are growing... the ones on my face AND my butt...

written October 18th

I had a doctor's appointment today.  Everything is still looking great.  She said I was measuring one week ahead, which of course has me paranoid that this baby is going to be huge.  Why I am terrified of that I have no idea.  Pretty sure I measured a week or two big with Ryann for a while as well.

At the end of the appointment my doctor was telling me everything looked great, so I said "So there isn't any reason I can't run a half marathon on Saturday?"  "Oh.  Um, forgot you were doing that... you've been training for it right?"  "Yep, I ran 12 miles less than two weeks ago."  "Well, no there isn't any reason.  But after that no more long distance ok?"  "Ok."  So I'm not sure what her reasoning is, or what her definition of long distance is (I didn't ask) but I guess that means 100% no 15K a month from now.  I'm sure it is a good thing, best choice for my body.  And takes the pressure off.  It isn't really my decision, my doc said no and Christopher and my mom both want me to stop running long distances, so I guess I'll listen.  Which means I really REALLY need to rock the half since it is going to be my last long run in a while.

I got to schedule my glucouse test.  Woot.  Can't wait to drink that orange crap.  Actually I scheduled all of my appointments through 36 weeks.  That is absolutely insane.  This pregnancy is going so fast.  Again, I know it will seem to slow down (I think, it will, right?) but it is crazy.  I'm not ready, not ready at all for this little babe to come yet.

how far along:  22 weeks (compare to 22 weeks with Ryann)

size of babyaccording to the bump a papaya, between 10.5-11.8 inches long and weighing 12.7 to 20.8 ounces.  Baby girl is starting to sleep in cycles, roughly 12-14 hours a day. 

weight gain:  8 pounds.  I uh, gained, ahem, 2.4 pounds this week.  Yikes.  I mean it is to be expected considering I only gained .2 last week.  But whoa.  It may or may not be because I couldn't stop eating m&m's this week.  It is taking everything in me not to go eat the entire pint of of cookies and cream ice cream in the freezer...

maternity clothes:  Mostly maternity, and sweats.  Sometimes regular.  Really just all over the place.

symptoms:  Pretty much just the baby moving, and the belly.  And round ligament pain after longer runs.  Oh I guess I have been having a burning sensation at the top of my belly.  Nothing terrible, and I can tell it isn't too deep.  I thought maybe it was stretching skin, but my doctor said she thinks it is probably the connection point of my rectus abdominous muscle being stretched.  Again, nothing that really interferes with my day, just annoying and uncomfortable when it happens.

exercise:  Only four days of official workouts this week.  Trying to take it easy before the half.  I covered a total of 22.7 miles including a 10.5 mile run.

cravings/aversions: Baked goods please!  I want cookies, brownies, bread, muffins... yeah.  Bring on the sweets!  I love them.  I'd say sweets and Mexican are my biggest cravings.  Aversions to olives and pizza gasp

movement:  This girl moves a lot.  I don't remember Ryann moving so much so early on.  And holy cow she gets up high!  Sitting is so uncomfortable because she gets pissed off or something and starts slamming around close to my ribs.  She is beating the crap out of me right now as I type this.

sleep:  For the most part I'd say sleep is pretty good.  I usually stay up to late.  But I walk this fine line, where if I go to bed too early I'm pretty restless.  But honestly, I'm surprised at how well I've been sleeping lately.

gender: Girl.  Which is oddly still weird.  I don't know why, but it is weird that there is another little girl in there.

looking forward to:  Nursery decorating.  Being done with the half.  A trip to Georgia in the next month.  The holidays.  My house not being a disaster.  Lots of things.

worries:  Um, surprisingly nothing really significant right now.

what's different this time:  Reading back through my 22 week post with Ryann it seems like a lot of the stuff is the same.  But thanks to it I really REALLY want some beer cheese soup... 

milestones:  not a clue

best moment this week:  Umm, hanging out with friends and going to the pumpkin patch I guess.  It was a pretty mild week, nothing terrible, nothing that made me completely over joyed.  But that is totally fine.  I was a lot less emotional, which I'll take :o).

October 18, 2012

project 366 {week 41}


Movies much?  We've gotten into quite the habit of watching part of a movie every night.  But the huge bonus is Ry is so freaking cuddly when we watch a movie.  Chris and I both love it (the snuggling) since she usually doesn't want to cuddle.

The food item she couldn't get enough of?  My mom's chocolate chip pumpkin bread.  Ryann loved it.  And she was a little bit sad that it was all gone.  We even sent grammy a video asking for more because she loved it so much.

And lastly, the 'date' picture.  Well, first of all, she insisted on wearing that pettiskirt all day.  We managed to keep it off her when we ran a few errands, but she wore it the rest of the day.  We had tried to compromise with a dress that had a tuelle bottom, but instead she opted to wear both.  That night Chris and I were going on our first date night in six months (seriously.), so of course I had to bust out the red heels.  Ryann wanted to go to the restaurant with us, and proclaimed she was going on a date too, while trying to get my heels on of course.  Too cute.

project 366 {week 40}


F.  Missed another day...

Ryann got her first haircut that week.  We went to the girl who cuts my hair, because she is awesome and I trusted her.  Ryann didn't really need a new due, but some of her hair had gotten to the length where we could lose the mullet.  Yes, she still had a mullet.  Thank God for curls.  You'd never know.  Jessie took off the tiniest bit of hair, but it seems so much shorter.  Ry was a little skeptical of the whole situation, but she did good.  And the promise of a sucker at the end was a big help too  :o).

October 17, 2012

a day in the life - laura

Morning!  Today my house is an absolute disaster.  We are having lots of drywall cracks repaired plus a few fixes done in our hall bathroom, so there is furniture all moved around, the curtains are all taken down, and everything is just a mess.  I'm going to go insane.  But then it will be better, right?

Moving on from me, today you get a peek at Laura's day.  Enjoy!


Hi there! I am pleased to be a guest on Ashley's blog again! I'm Laura and I blog at LookingAbove. I am so blessed to be where I am in life. If you want to read about how my life took a 180...you can read my family's story here. I hope you will be encouraged! Here is a pic of my family...I love my family.

I stay home with my three kids Brooklyn age 4, Natalie age 3, and Nathan age 1. It is crazytown over here sometimes...but it is great! I am documenting a typical Friday, which is basically a typical day for most days.

6:00 AM: My husband's alarm goes off. I never hear it. I just hear him get up and get ready for his work day. I go back to sleep usually, or just lay there. He leaves by 6:30...and then...my day begins.

by 7:00 AM: I hear Natalie walk into my room. She climbs into bed with me and quietly says "can I watch Curios George?". She gives me the remote...I find Curious George on the DVR and we are set for a little bit. I sleep for maybe ten more minutes and then Brooklyn sleepily comes to my bed and crawls in on my other side. I LOVE this part of my day. 15 minutes of snuggle time with my girls.

7:30: I get up and take a quick shower while my girls lay in my bed. I admit, this spoils me.( Kids are easier as they get older! ) I dry my hair, do my make up and get dressed.

8:00: I homeschool my girls (Just pre-K for now) and we usually do some sort of school activity each morning. However, today is Ballet school day for my girls. So I let them get their dancing clothes on (leotard, tights, skirt and shoes). I make their breakfast and they eat. They ask for oatmeal most every day. I boil water, pour them 1/3 cup of plain oats into a bowl, add a tablespoon of raw local honey, add the water, add a little milk, add their vitamin powder and call it good. I also give them some OJ. I fill a sippy cup about 2 inches full of OJ, add about 4 inches of water, 1 teaspoon of probiotics and they chug it. I sip my coffee during this time :) I do their hair while they eat. I also get a bag ready to take with us...filled with toys, snacks etc for Nathan. We are there for TWO long hours...it is not easy to keep my little guy amused for that long. Natalie on the right...is tiny for her age...although I think my camera angle is exaggerating it big time.

9:00: AM: I get my little guy out of bed (yes! He does sleep this late!! YAY). I get him changed, put him in his high chair and feed him his breakfast. He eats the same as the girls, but not as much. I feed him a banana and some kiwi. He doesn't like juice so I give him water. He used to drink milk, but we are transitioning out of the bottle, so he refuses it. Oh well...I know he gets calcium in all the other weird things I feed my kids :) Here is is standing on the fire place...he is quite the climber.


9:40 AM: I get all the kids in the car to head to ballet. Thankfully the girls can climb in and snap themselves in. I get Nathan settled in his carseat and then I tighten up the girls. Our ballet school is seriously a little over a mile away. It takes ten minutes to get there....only because of the stop lights.

10:00 AM: Brooklyn has her dance class. Natalie plays with other little kids that are there and Nathan is learning to play with them too. I like this time because I am friends with the other 5 moms who are there and it's like a little playdate for us all!

11:00 AM: It's Natalie's turn to dance. So Brooklyn plays with the kids and I talk with the mom's. Although, it is a new set of moms and kids because of the class switching. So I basically get two playdates in a row every Friday. I really like it! Although....by 11:30 Nathan has HAD it and he is cranky and ready to get out of there. So I try and keep him happy until we leave.

Noon: We load up the car and head home. We unload and head to the table to eat. For lunch we eat pretty simple. If you are looking for an amazing way to get your fruits and veggies into your kids try this. My girls call it their ice cream drink and it is SUPER healthy, super easy, and we all drink it every single day. When I give this to my kids I never worry the rest of the day because I know they got a super immunity, vitamin, mineral boost to keep them healthy! Seriously try it. Today we had yogurt, some left over baked chicken, and some banana muffins that I made. We always drink water. Here you see my girls, mine, and Nathan's (I mix with applesauce) "ice cream" drink. We make some for Daddy too at night :)

1:30 PM: After we eat, I clean the kitchen, the girls change clothes and Nathan runs around for a bit. I closed all the curtains and window blinds. This is a cue for my kids that it is rest time. My girls sit on the couch and watch Curious George again (they love that show) while I get Nathan settled for a nap. I change his diaper, rock him, give him a bottle of milk, give him his pacifier and put him in bed. Awake. I shut his door and he sleeps. Usually for 2-3 hours. He is a great sleeper at nap time. :)

2:00-4:30PM. My kids rest. Usually during this time I try to clean or do laundry. Today I am worn out from the day and I have a major, major headache. So today I decide to lay with my girls on my bed and we all three take a nap together. Hello. Heaven on earth.

4:45PM: i wake up, realize everyone else is still asleep. So I get up and straighten the house a bit. The girls hear me, so they get up and ask for a snack. I give them some almonds and a tiny bit of dark chocolate :) Just because they took amazing naps :) I hear Nathan waking also, so I get him up, change his massive poopy diaper, ugh, and the kids play together in the living room while I get dinner together. My husband usually gets home between three and five. So he showers, and plays with the kids. Lately it has been nice so they play outside...yay! I can make dinner in peace! :)

5:30 PM: We eat dinner. Tonight dinner is easy. Pancakes and fruit. I usually try to make something more elaborate, but since I took a nap I really didn't put much effort into dinner. We eat dinner as a family at the table every evening. Actually, we eat every meal at the table together. That is something my husband and I decided we would do way before we had kids. No TV on, no toys, just us. Usually the kids keep us entertained with their silly stories. They are hilarious :)

6:15 PM: Our family time is very special to us. Almost every evening we take a walk in our neighborhood. The girls (even though they are older) sit in our double jogger and Nathan is in the single. My husband and I each push one and we walk for about 30-35 minutes. This is my favorite time because Philip and I talk about our hopes and dreams for the future. We talk about projects we would like to do or vacations we would like to take. Our kids love it too. The air is good for them, they love socializing with other people as we walk by, and they sing songs and laugh at each other. This is the most recent pic of our family....taken October 7th...my son was not very happy :)

7:00PM. Bath time. I get the girls in the bath and get them ready for bed. Philip will bathe Nathan and get him ready for bed. I love that my girls can clean themselves, dry themselves, and dress themselves. So nice!

7:30 PM. The girls lay on our bed and we let them watch the Berenstein Bears. Tonight they also watch a DVD we have called "Praise baby". It is worship music with images and videos...sort of like Baby Einstein. I lay on our bed with them while Philip and Nathan chill in the living room. Sometimes we switch it up and Philip is with the girls and I am with Nathan.

8:00 PM: Nathan gets to go to bed. Ever since I quit nursing, Philip has put Nathan in bed. Nathan just responded better to him, especially with a bottle. So Philip rocks him in his room, gives him a bottle and Nathan goes to bed. Usually, it is pretty uneventful. Although lately, he has been crying when Philip leaves the room. and cries and cries. not easy!

8:15 PM: Philip and I each carry one of the girls to their bed (they share a room). They have twin beds so we take turns each night laying with each of them. We pray, they pray, and we give hugs and kisses and we leave the room. They whisper and giggle sometimes. They are really easy to put to bed. I think we have a nice bedtime routine.

8:45 PM: Philip and I will watch a show we DVR. We like "The Voice", "Up All Night", "The Office" and I like "19 kids and Counting" haha! (I think it makes me feel better about being able to handle my three).

10:00 PM: We go to bed. We go to bed together every night. We read. We talk. I usually fall asleep within 15-20 minutes. It was a great day :)

What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom? I never ever knew that I could love like this. After my first daughter, I cried ALL THE TIME because I was so in love with her. With my second pregnancy, I was afraid that I could not share my love. I was soooo wrong. My love grew. I love them so equally. When Nathan came along...I was scared because he was a boy...but this little guy stole my heart and he has it in the palm of his hand. I also realize how much I love my husband. He is so amazing and seeing him within my kids...is so beautiful.

What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas? If it is your first child your are pregnant with....go on as many dates as you can with your husband. :) other than that, just take care of yourself. Sleep when you can. Eat when you can. Just go with the flow. Love on your baby. Love on your husband. Do what you think is best for your family. Just enjoy it :)

What are your top three baby products?
1) If you are nursing, a breast pump and a good one. and a comfy nursing pillow.
2) a bouncy seat. My kids all had spit up issues and they all slept in the bouncy seat for probably the first two months! (buckled in and secure of course!)
3) A baby carrier. I loved mine. I didn't use it daily, but with three kids, there were times that I needed to "wear" nathan and use my hands to hold my daughters hands when we were out. Get a good one, it is worth the money.

Thanks for reading about my day! Thanks Ashley for letting me share!


Thank you, Laura, for sharing your day!

October 16, 2012

fall fun

me:  "Say cheese and you can have more doughnut."
ryann:  ohmyfreakinggawdmom "CHEEEEESE!" give me the damn doughnut

Sunday we decided to be ever so slightly adventurous, and headed out to a local cider mill and pumpkin patch.  I'm happy to report that unlike last year, there was no intentional dirt eating (probably some accidental though, see below).  The cider doughnuts and slushies were pretty tasty.  The pumpkin patch left a bit to be desired (especially at $8 per adult + the cost of pumpkins).  But we still had a good time.  Not sure we will trek out their just for the cider again though.

While we were there Ryann went through the kids version of the corn maze.  And was completely lit up by another kid charging through (in the wrong direction I might add).  Like her feet might have left the ground when the kid plowed into her.  Poor thing.  There were some tears, but she rallied.  And then she bit it in the pumpkin patch on the vines.  And I'm pretty sure she wiped out another time too.  Girl couldn't catch a break.

Because obviously that wasn't enough fall pumpkin fun for a 24 hour period, we met up with Sarah and the little boy she watches at Deanna Rose to visit their 'Pumpkin Hollow'.  Again, not the coolest thing we've ever done, but at least the $7 admission (for each of us) included a pumpkin, a hay rack ride to and from, and some other random activities.  And Sarah and I even got our pregnant butts (she is 8 montsh!) on one of those little bitty awkward tractor pulled trains.  Good stuff, I tell ya, good stuff.  Ry had a good time and that is all that matters.

I wasn't much in the mood for taking pictures, plus Ry didn't stay in one place for more than two seconds, but whatever.


Hopefully we can fit in some more fall activities in the next few weeks.  Crazy to think how different fall will look for us next year!