Friday, February 28, 2014

Five for Friday

Happy Friday! I hope you had a fabulous week and are as excited about today being Friday as I am! Here are my top five for this week:

[ONE]
Twinkle & Bing. My parents,  or as the grands call them Twinkle and Bing, are here this week and we have had so much fun! Our days have been a happy balance of exploring nearby areas and eateries as well as spending time at home playing and laughing with little Parker Bear! (More to come in a separate post about all the fun we've been having!)

[TWO]
Restful Mama. Speaking of my parents being here, I haven't so much as lifted a finger this week! (Lifting a 24 lb baby onto my hip, yes, but a finger, no.) My mom is such a great help with cooking, cleaning, folding, picking up... And my dad is too! He has been in charge of the dogs, cranking the car so it can warm in our frigid temps, and I even caught him vacuuming. So thankful for their giving hearts!

[THREE]
Cash & Truman. Cash's brother Truman belongs to my parents and so of course he is here visiting too. Cash loves his brother Truman sooooo much and we have so enjoyed watching them play together all week long!

[FOUR]
Little Walker. Parker is so very close to walking! Our goal of course is to have him up on his own before Baby Grant makes his debut. Go Parker!!! 


[FIVE]
Baby Shower. Tonight some sweet neighbors are throwing a baby shower for Baby Grant and me. I can't wait to celebrate him with my fellow Army wives and Kansas friends! As an added bonus, my mom will be going with me!!

I hope you had a wonderful week!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG


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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Before and After Parenthood

Has your life changed since becoming a mommy? Mine sure has! It's certainly true that nothing changes the perfect little bubble of your life in so many amazing, unbelievable, and even surprising ways like having children. Here are just a few of the ways that my life has changed since becoming a mommy:

Going Out - 
Before Parenthood... Putting on an outfit you know you look hot in, strapping on your favorite heels, going out with your husband, dining, drinking, dancing, and then coming home whenever you feel like it.

After Parenthood... Putting on something that is clean and matches, preparing the children's dinner, reviewing pages of notes with the babysitter, alerting your neighbors that you're going out and they are the emergency contact for the sitter, going out to eat, talking about the kids the whole time, skipping dessert, then rushing home in time to sing to your littles and lay them in their beds.

Mornings - 
Before Parenthood... Rolling over to say good morning followed by coffee and conversation in the kitchen with your husband.

After Parenthood... Passing each other, warm mugs in hand in the hallway, quickly kissing good morning while changing a dirty diaper, followed by warm baby-sandwich-hugs and silly antics to see early morning smiles from the little.

Leaving the House - 
Before Parenthood... Checking hair and make up, adding at least two pieces of jewelry, grabbing car keys, and leaving.

After Parenthood... Crank car and turn on heat, make sure coats, hats and scarves are in car, grab diaper bag complete with extra diapers, change of clothes, snacks, sippy cup, and toys, hope that you look somewhat presentable, use the bathroom since you won't have a chance to go without a little on your hip again for a while, strap everyone into car seats, distribute paci's, books, and toys, and go.

Making Dinner - 
Before Parenthood... Turn on Pandora to favorite station, pour wine, chop, mix, stir up a delectable dinner, clean the kitchen as you go leaving very little mess to tend to afterwards.

After Parenthood... Learn to maneuver around your entire kitchen without moving one of your legs as your little as pulled up and is bear hugging your leg while you prepare dinner, sing Itsy Bitsy Spider or the Wheels on the Bus while checking dinner in the oven, have a completely in depth conversation using a combination of sounds and words about the truck magnets on the refrigerator while simultaneously setting the table. Oh and returning much later (after bath and bedtime) to the surprisingly large mess left after preparing a rather basic dinner.

Meals - 
Before Parenthood... Talking. Eating. Drinking. More talking.

After Parenthood... Surprisingly very little eating actually takes place. Lots of talking. Even more laughing. Much discussion of animal sounds and locating body parts. Followed by cleaning of fingers, faces, ears, and sometimes shoes.

Car Rides - 
Before Parenthood... Epic rock concerts to all your favorite music, stopping as you wish to get gas or a snack, rolling the windows down, and having endless discussions about everything and anything.

After Parenthood... Listening to your rock-a-bye/Baby Einstein/Sunday School songs on repeat in the disc changer, planning every stop around naps and diaper changes, adjusting the temperature to keep the back seat from getting to warm, handing toys, sippy cups, or books to the car seat in the back, and either discussing the children or singing along to Old McDonald Had a Farm... again.

Just a small list of changes. I'm sure when Baby Grant makes his debut our lives will change again as we adjust to life with two little ones.

Despite their differences it's amazing how much I love this life. How no one could have told me of the happiness I'd find here. I'm thankful to have lived the before parenthood life and now find such simple pleasure in the day-to-day of after parenthood.

Tell me mommies, what would you add to this list?

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Bump Date: 30 Weeks

Since when do I only have ten weeks of this pregnancy left? A friend of mine once shared that she feels as though every one's pregnancy's fly by except hers. Well I can say without question that I do not share that sediment! It felt like my first pregnancy flew by and this one is no different. Ten weeks to go just seems so unreal!
How Far Along: 30 weeks; Baby Boy #2 is due May 10th (although little chance of going that long)
Weight Gain: About 12 pounds (no weight gain since my last appointment!)
Baby Is: 17 inches long, 3.1 pounds
Cravings / Aversions: I love little tiny oranges (cuties, clementines, yes please!). I have one every night as my "bedtime snack". And yes it's sugar-y but better than ice cream right? I am also eating a lot of boiled eggs and avocado, and still loving a good, crisp, dill pickle. So typical! The only aversion that I have overcome is bacon! A few weeks ago I could not stand the smell of bacon cooking on the stove but this weekend I not only smelled it without issue but I ate some too!! 
How I'm Feeling: Good! I mean I'm tired. And I feel like I weigh a metric ton. But overall I'm feeling pretty good. But no real surprise here... I am one of those women who actually like being pregnant.
What I Miss: Still just wine. But it isn't something I think about much. There will be plenty of time for wine. And after all, growing a baby is important. Oh and I miss my waist.
Getting Ready: So. Much. Happening. Parker's big boy furniture is scheduled to arrive next week! He will start taking his morning and afternoon naps in his new big boy bed and after a few weeks we'll move him in there for night time sleep as well. I'm working on a few things for his room but don't plan to do too much in the way of decorating since we'll only be here in Kansas for a few more months. We're picking out a car seat, adding a second camera for our monitor, and just generally making plans for changes. I'm learning that there is a lot that goes into having a baby join your family when you've already got a baby!
Best Part: We have a name!! Naming our baby boy is a major milestone. Whew! We love using his name and we can't wait to meet Baby Grant Henry.
Worst Part: Ugh. My Spider Veins. They are so bad in my lower legs that I can't even stand up out of our bed until I have compression socks on my feet. I make a point of sitting with my feet propped up at some point during the day. Mainly because if I don't, I regret it later in the evening. The silver lining is that as soon as Grant Henry is born, these spider veins of mine will start to disappear. Thank God! I can't take them much longer!
What Parker Thinks: That Baby Grant is in his belly.
What Honey Thinks: He is so excited about having two sons! He has a brother and knows what a special relationship that is. Plus now he'll have two hunting buddies!
What Cash Thinks: Having done this baby thing one time before, Cash knows we have to rest up. He has decided to join me each and every time I stop and put my feet up. Cash never missed a diaper change or night time feeding with Parker. I have a feeling he will be the same way with Grant! (Such a good big dog brother!)
So excited to meet our baby boy and still unable to believe that moment will come within the next ten weeks!

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Silent Sunday

Keeping it quiet around here today with Silent Sunday, a collection of a few pictures taken over the last week or so...

My husband is taking great pleasure in teaching Parker Bear "boy" things like licking the lid of the yogurt. Oh, what can I say? I kind of love it.
This little love has been such a ham lately!
Every diaper change he takes the opportunity to catch up on some reading...
I posted about Baby Boy Snowden #2's name this week and there has been a lot of excitement about that around here. First of course, Parker shared his baby brothers name...
And then Honey spotted this sign while driving around our post! We were impressed that there was already a street named after our baby! (I'm kidding.)
Most nights while I make dinner Parker is such a great helper! His job is to show me the truck magnets on the dishwasher and refrigerator.
He's also been doing a lot of this lately with a toy we have on loan from some sweet friends.
Our weather has been ALL OVER the place. The snow is finally melted and we got to enjoy a few days of 55 degree weather! These two photos were taken on the same day...
Parker is still taking two naps a day but if he skips his morning nap altogether, we usually have a nap/snuggle session before lunch. I love the way he curls around my growing belly!
He was such a little cut up at my doctor's appointment this week. He entertained the staff by laughing hysterically as he crusied around the furniture and showed them how to "sniff" the fake plant in the waiting room.
And me? Well, I'm almost 30 weeks!! (30 weeks?!?!) Can't wait to meet little Baby Grant!


Have a great Sunday!!

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Omaha Zoo: Catch Up Post

I mentioned recently that I'll be posting a few catch up posts since I took a blogging hiatus from Oct - Dec. Oops! My blog is a virtual photo album of our lives so I hope to update on those months over the next few weeks.

This year for the first time ever, ever, ever, ever, I missed Thanksgiving with my family. Because we are here at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for one year for Honey to attend school as required by the Army, we are at the mercy of his school schedule. And that of course limited our options for traveling "home" for Thanksgiving.

So we decided to use what little time we had to take a family trip to the Omaha Zoo. (Oh and I cooked my first ever Thanksgiving feast for us to enjoy! More on that later...)

The Omaha Zoo is unrivaled, except maybe by the San Diego Zoo, as the best zoo in the country! And it was hands down the most amazing zoo experience I have ever had!

We left on a Tuesday afternoon and drove 2.5 hours to Omaha, Nebraska. 
Of course Cash came with us, he always goes where we go whenever possible!
My little seasoned traveler...
Shameless selfie...
We stayed in downtown Omaha at a surprisingly chic dog-friendly hotel. Honey made our accommodations and he knocked it out of the park!! I was super impressed with not only our hotel but the whole downtown district of Omaha. I wish we could have stayed longer! We went to a fabulous restaurant in the adorable downtown square.
Our hotel was very kid-friendly as well and gave Parker a travel bath toy set!
Parker loved how the door to the bathroom (right), bedroom (middle), and coat closet (left) were all in this little hallway and he showed Honey and Cash how to open and close each of them.
The next morning we were SO excited to go to the zoo!! We had a quick pancake breakfast, one of Parker's favorites, and then we headed out!
The zoo was amazing! iBecause it gets very cold in Nebraska during November, the zoo is equipped with indoor and outdoor exhibits. All of the animals have indoor enclosures for this time of the year so we didn't miss a thing!

First up was the rain forest. Parker was so overwhelmed he didn't know where to look first!
The animals were not in cages so they were all around us! It was like we were in their world. (The dangerous ones were safe distances away.) We saw all different kinds of monkey's, birds, bats, anteaters, and crocodiles. The walls and ceiling of the massive enclosure were camouflaged like an actual rain forest. It felt so real!!
There were plenty of fish and turtles in the rain forest exhibit too.
We spent most of the morning in the rain forest and then quickly made our way to lunch.
We ate in a restaurant perched at the top of the rain forest exhibit so we had a great view of the monkeys playing in the tops of the trees! (Parker also took a quick 30 minute nap in my arms. After that he was ready to go again!)
After that we headed to the gorilla enclosure. It was unbelievable to be so close to these massive creatures. The large male was very curious about everything and came very close to us several times.
Parker loved watching them! There was one young gorilla who was putting on a show for all of us! He even got in trouble by his mommy and then made up with her. It was amazing to watch them interact!
It seemed like the gorillas were Parker's favorites.
We were thankful for the indoor exhibits. The high was in the upper 20's so we had to bundle up when we walked outside!
Another incredible exhibit was the desert! It was a huge dome enclosure. Once again many of the animals and birds were not caged in so they ran freely around us!

There was a sign at one point encouraging visitors to "feel the desert sand" which of course I gladly did. Then I asked Honey if he wanted to feel it (it was so soft!). His reply... "No thank you. I've felt enough sand like that to last me a lifetime." I guess any veteran would say that huh?!
Parker was so curious about everything! We loved watching him.

We saw so much more that I didn't include here... the big cat exhibit was one of my favorites! There was a group of year-old lion cubs playing while the pride of adult lions watched. Beautiful tigers and leopards, pumas and cheetahs. So beautiful! The bear dens were another great exhibit. The polar bear seemed very happy in the frigid temps and came nose to nose with our Parker Bear! We also loved seeing the giraffes. We got very up close to them and were just amazed at their size. The night kingdom was really neat. The exhibit is "switched" so that it is dark all day for all the nocturnal animals that live there. The lights are on at night when these animals sleep. After our eyes adjusted, we were blown away watching all the night critters play and swim!

We left just as the zoo was closing after a very full day. Parker slept most of the 2.5 hour drive back home. We are so thankful for the time we have here in Kansas to explore a part of the country that we would most likely not be able to see otherwise. The chance to visit this amazing zoo was such an incredible experience for our little family! We will surely never ever forget it!

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