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This year, I was talking with a friend and we decided to meet at a little pumpkin stand that had several little props put out for pictures.  The plan was to bring our cameras and take pictures of each others families.  To get Matt a little more on board for the picture taking, I told him that this will be instead of paying a professional photographer to take maternity pictures. There was no wagon ride (at 30 weeks pregnant, no thank you) but it was just perfect.  And we got the best pictures.

 

Starting off with my favorite picture of my family to date.pumpkin1

Are these two not the two most handsome men you have ever seen?  So in love with my boys!  And in plaid! pumpkin2

I actually whipped up this plaid scarf the night before.  I’m so glad I did, I love it!

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Oh that smile just kills me!

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My mom was right when she said he’s the cutest little pumpkin in the patch!

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He is growing so big so fast!  Over 3ft tall!

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Haha, I’m getting so big so fast too.  30 weeks!

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Tomorrow I will be posting a blog post of my friend Shannan’s family so stay tuned for that. Until then, here is a sneak peak of their photos. Oh yeah, did I mention that Shannan is also pregnant with a boy? Her due date is 3 weeks after mine and our boys are best friends.

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Shannan and I are so lucky to have so many handsome guys in our lives!
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Parker is seriously one of the sweetest little boys I know, and just look at those gorgeous blue eyes!

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After we were done with most of the pictures the boys each grabbed a wagon and got to work.  They were so busy loading up their wagon with pumpkins (and unloading them onto the hay bales). It was so cute, they were so serious about it and working so hard!

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Right before we left, Sebastian spotted a few four wheelers and had to test one out.  I wanted to include this picture because he looks like he’s 5 here…and this photo reminds me of James Dean.

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I’ll be back tomorrow with more photos of Shannan’s sweet family!

 

Category: Personal, Sebastian

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Since Matt and I work all day, Sebastian goes to a daycare (not a preschool).  I’m really not sure how much they do in the way of preschool activities there in the twos classroom.  Being a teacher and it being fall (fall has the best preschool/kindergarten themes), I’ve recently decided to start doing a home preschool with Sebastian.  There is about an hour or so after we get home before Matt gets home.  I’m trying to find ways to use that time wisely (not just sit on the couch and watch tv).  The first 30 minutes we do these activities and the other 30 minutes, I let Sebastian watch a show while I start dinner.  This post says week 1, but we spent a couple weeks on this theme.  Some of these activities we did a couple times.  (*Click on the underlined words in the heading for the source).

 

We went to the apple orchard (one of my favorite things to do all year) so I thought it was fitting to do the first theme as apples.

1. Making apple sauce and apple pie

Sebastian loved using our apple corer, slicer thing and was much better at turning the handle then last year!  He did like 25 apples before getting tired.

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2. Apple pie play dough and mats

First we made apple pie play dough.  Then I grabbed these mats I printed from Pinterest and laminated.  We made ‘apples’ out of the play dough, put them on the tree and then counted them as he put them into the baskets.

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The second day we got this out we made the apples, put them on the tree and then counted to 14 as Sebastian put the apples into the baskets.  Then, he started smashing the apples and then I made apples for him to smash for a while. Nothing lasts long with this kid before he goes into destroyer mode.  Just look at that mischievous smile.
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3. Apple tree letter matching.  

Sebastian did amazing with this.  He actually only needed a tiny bit of guidance on letters like C and U.  I was so impressed with him.  When I’m coming up with activities, I’ll pull things out that I’m not sure if he can do or not and so far he has surprised me smart little boy!

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4. Apple tree painting

Sebastian loves painting and with some guidance, he painted this apple tree.  I printed the paper on card stock so the paper could handle the paint better.  Just look at how hard he is concentrating.

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5. 10 apples up on top activity

We really enjoy Dr. Seuss’ 10 Apples Up on Top book.  I found some apple die cuts in my teaching materials and figured they would be perfect to use in counting to 10.  We put them on top of our heads just like the book.

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6. 10 Apples up on Top dot markers

Sebastian loves using these dot markers and you can see that he is concentrating.  In fact, after we finished with this, I went onto Pinterest and printed a bunch of fall themed dot marker pictures and Sebastian did about 4 of them before losing interest.

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7. Apple tree stamping

The last activity we did was apple tree stamping.  I cut an apple in half, grabbed some paint, painted a trunk on a big piece of construction paper and let Sebastian stamp the apples on the tree.  After we were finished, I got a blank paper so he could do more stamps.

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Some of our upcoming themes include Brown Bear, Brown Bear, fall leaves, pumpkins and Halloween.  Stayed tuned in the next couple months for posts about those.

Category: Personal, Sebastian, Uncategorized

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A few of the blogs I read participate in a weekly confessional Thursday link.  I’d thought I’d give it a try this week as I have quite a bit on my mind.

 

I confess…

 

…that I’m so mad I have now let two movies I really wanted to see in the theater slip by me and they were both out of theaters before I had a chance to go see them.  At least Me Before You can be rented on Amazon Prime for $4.99 (going to try to find some “me” time to rent that this weekend) and Bad Moms will be coming out soon enough.

 

…that now that I have decided to start working out more, I get annoyed when I have a meeting or an appointment after work which doesn’t leave enough time for working out before getting Sebastian.  It’s really making me lose motivation which is too bad because it’s such a great stress reliever (and not to mention good for me) since starting back at school.  It also gives me the energy I need to be a fun mom for Sebastian after school.  Wish there were more hours in the day.

 

…that I’m dreading Matt going on a couple work trips between now and baby.  I’m not going to specify when or how long for safety reasons but I’m not looking forward to being a single working (3rd trimester pregnant) mom.  I’m trying to make the best of it, but it’s going to be hard and I’ll have limited help.  Not to mention how much it will break my heart to see Sebastian miss his daddy.

 

…that I hate not getting to see Sebastian in the mornings on week days.  I leave the house by 6:30ish and he is still sleeping.  It’s hard putting him to bed at night knowing that I won’t see him again until after school. BUT I will have to say leaving the house in the mornings is a whole lot easier not having to say goodbye.

 

…that I love getting to be the one to pick Sebastian up at daycare.  Once he sees me, his whole face lights up and he exclaims “mommy!” and runs towards me.  Melts my heart every time.  There’s also no better feeling then holding your child in your arms at the end of a long day.

 

…that the other day in my head I thought, I can’t wait to get this baby out.  Then I realized I have 3 months left and it’s way too early to be thinking that.  Trying hard to enjoy this pregnancy and not wish it away so quickly.  I’ll be ready when you are little Sawyer, take your time.

 

…that I’m getting frustrated that I can’t play with Sebastian like I used to.  We can’t wrestle on the floor.  Standing around while he plays outside is getting tiring and sitting anywhere outside is too uncomfortable.  Also I can’t sit on the floor for long periods of time.  At least all this is just temporary!

 

…that everyone says girls are way easier to potty train but Sebastian seemed pretty easy.  And I’m thinking it may be easier to have boys because they can pee anywhere.  Pull off on the side of the road to pee, no problem.  Stand up to pee in public bathrooms because ew, public bathrooms, boys don’t have to touch anything.  At a cookout and needs to pee?  Find the nearest tree.  Also I’m just so proud of how well Sebastian did with potty training and it’s soooo much easier then diapers!

 

…that I wanted this week to be over before it even began.  Nothing really big or crazy busy is going on but I have my formal observation at school (really dislike being observed, even though observations are really no big deal) and my glucose test is also today.  With Sebastian I didn’t pass the first one and had to do the 3 hour test which was the worst.  Really hoping I pass!  At least this week is almost over!

 

Category: Personal

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Hello 3rd trimester and 12 weeks left until baby!  This middle part of pregnancy went pretty quickly and now 12 weeks doesn’t sound like a lot of time left. I am starting to get a little nervous about labor (especially since I know what it’s like), but also getting super excited to meet this little guy!  (Picture taken at 27 and a half weeks)

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Weight Gain:  Thankfully it seemed to have slowed down a little but I haven’t been weighing myself much so I don’t know.  My 28 week appointment is later this week.

Symptoms:  My heart burn has pretty much gone away.  I think part of this is that I’m eating better, but I also remember only really have heart burn in the second trimester with Sebastian.  I also have a pretty achey lower back by the end of the day which sometimes makes hard to find a comfortable position to sleep in.

Cravings/Aversions:  I really haven’t had any specific cravings or aversions.  My appetite isn’t quite as crazy as it was either, thank goodness!

What I am missing:  Starting to miss alcoholic beverages a little.  Could really go for a glass of wine or a margarita!

Size of baby: Baby is the size of an eggplant.

Sleep:  I’m actually doing better with this one despite my early wake up time for school.  I’ve been able to go to bed at a decent time and get pretty good sleep during the night.  I still wake up once or twice to pee though.

Workouts: I did a really good job working out at the local gym for a couple weeks but last week I had 3 meetings after school and then lost the motivation the other two days.  This week I plan to pick the working out back up with a friend (who is also pregnant) after school.

Clothing: I’m pretty much cycling weekly though maternity black pants, black leggings, white capris, blue pants all with various shirts, jeans and a couple of dresses/skirts.

Gender: Sweet Sawyer James.  Can’t wait to meet you buddy!

Sebastian’s Reactions:  Sebastian is definitely excited and talking about Sawyer a lot.  They way he says Sawyer’s name is so stinking cute I need to get it on video asap.  He also kisses and cuddles with my belly.

Best moment the past couple weeks: Getting to see Sawyer again on the ultrasound.  The lady printed tons of pictures out for us and got the best picture I can’t quit looking at (see below).

Looking Forward to:  Still looking forward to cooler temperatures although it has gotten slightly better.  Instead of 90+ we’ve been getting 85-88.

Movements: Sawyer still moves a lot especially at night when I lay down.  As soon as we lay down he goes crazy and Matt’s been getting to feel all sorts of crazy movements.  It’s been one of my favorite parts of my day.

You can read the 13 week update here18 week update here, 20 week update here, 24 week update here.

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I shared this comparison shot on Facebook last week.  My belly has grown a lot!

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Category: Personal

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This past weekend we went on our third trip to the Sky Top Apple Orchard about 2 hours away.  It’s kind of a hike, but so worth it.  You can find the two past trips to this apple orchard here.

 

What was supposed to be a 2 hour drive took almost 3 hours.  We got off to a rocky start.  Had everyone loaded in the car and had to jump out 3 times for things.  Once to put the chickens back in the coop, once to grab Matt’s sunglasses and I can’t remember what the third thing was.  Then we got a little ways down the road and realized we need to stop for gas before getting out of town.  It wasn’t until we were almost there that I realized we didn’t have any sunscreen (and the orchard is on top of a mountain with lots of sun).  We ended driving 20 minutes out of our way to a gas station that was closed and then another 20 minutes out of our way to a CVS.  In the end, I’m glad we got the sunscreen. Totally worth my baby not getting burned.

 

We finally got there and while Matt was slathering on the sunscreen I went to go stand in the donut line (that took 30 minutes last year).  This year I was like 3rd in line so we got them really quickly.  Not sure why there was such a huge line last year and none this year but I was grateful!  We found a table in the shade an enjoyed 2 apple cider donuts each.  Then Matt and Sebastian went to play on the playground while I went to wait for a wagon and grab a map.

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The apples we wanted were at the bottom of the orchard.  When I say bottom, I mean down a huge hill/mountain?  We trekked down knowing that it would be a death hall on the way back up.  We ended up picking tons of Jonathan apples, yum! (and a few granny smith).

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We even managed to get some decent family pictures.  I remembered my tripod, but forgot my clicker so we had to set the timer on my camera.

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Even though it was hot, and I’m pretty sure Sebastian didn’t feel 100% (he had some congestion from a bug he picked up at daycare), we headed up the hill and managed (with just a bit of whining) to get Sebastian all the way up without being carried.  At 7 months pregnant, carrying him was out of the question for me and Matt was pulling the apples.  We were also trying to calculate how many years it would be before we had a kid who wouldn’t whine walking up the hill. (I tried to tell Matt that next year would be better).  I think we came up with like at least 10 years.  I’m pretty sure 12 year olds still whine when they are hot and made to walk up a mountain.

 

The thing that got Sebastian up the hill was the playground.  We talked about it all the way up and he couldn’t wait to go play.  Matt went to pay for the apples and buy some apple cider and Sebastian and I played on the playground for about 15 minutes.  Then Matt and I were ready to go home, but Sebastian kept wanting to play.  We drug Sebastian to the car and he was asleep within the first 10 minutes of the drive.

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We stopped at Mellow Mushroom for pizza on the way home in a town 30 minutes from our house and somehow Sebastian still had a ton of energy to be his goofy self and despite being there for about an hour, behaved pretty well.

 

Once we got home we played outside a little bit (seriously, where did Sebastian get all this energy?), then took him in for a bath and Sebastian and I watched a movie (I snoozed) while Matt mowed the lawn.

 

I’m eating one of the Jonathan apples right now, mmm, so good.  We plan to make a couple apple pies and have already made some apple sauce to can for winter.

 

And now for the progression photos.  I’m definitely going to have to start an apple orchard scrap book.  This just may be one of my favorite traditions we do out of the whole year!  Can’t wait until next year when we can add Sawyer to that little wagon.

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Me and my boy(s).

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I love my little family so much!

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Category: Personal

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If you missed it, I posted about our beach trip for Labor day weekend yesterday.  Today I’m going to share with you 5 tips I found useful for a short weekend with kids.  I’m also going to apply these for next time we make it to the mountains.

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1. Prepare as much food ahead of time as possible.

For breakfast we had sausage patties, english muffins, eggs and cheese and made little breakfast sandwiches each morning.  Super easy and super yummy! For lunch we prepared chicken salad ahead of time and brought a package of tortillas. We also brought cheese, crackers and sausage which we ended up eating on the drive home.  For dinner, we went out one night and had prepared a tuna noodle casserole for the other night.  All we had to do was pop the casserole dish in the oven.  For a little treat, we packed a pre-made roll of chocolate chip cookies and cut off 3 at a time to bake and eat.  This always gave us warm cookies and ensured we didn’t eat more then one at a time.  We also had apples, carrots and other healthy snacks.  We didn’t have to spend any time cooking or nearly as much cleaning.  It was perfect.

 

2. Bring plenty of toys for the beach and pool.

We had sand buckets and shovels as well as dinosaurs and trucks for Sebastian to play with on the beach.  (He also enjoyed some seagull chasing). For the pool we had balls and water sprayers.  Keeping the little one busy is key!

 

3. Ugh, sunscreen.

Put on way more sunscreen then you think is necessary.  We put sunscreen on Sebastian twice while at the beach from 11:00 to 2:30 and thought that was enough.  It wasn’t.  He ended up getting a little burned under his eyes.  We should have applied at least one more time then we did. Lesson learned. At least he didn’t seem at all bothered by it.

 

4. Buy a souvenir for the kids.  

On our way out on Monday we stopped at Wings (huge beach store) so Sebastian could pick out a little present.  He ended up getting a $2 toy alligator.  He played with it for a lot of the way home, took it into his bath with him that night and even we to bed with it.  I’m pretty sure NC doesn’t have alligators, so it really has nothing to do with our trip, but he was pretty excited about it so that’s all that matters.

 

5. Try not to get stressed if things aren’t going your way.

I was so bummed/stressed at work on Friday afternoon because I was worried that the hurricane was going to ruin or only “vacation” as a family this year.  The weekend turned out to be just fine and even if the hurricane had caused more problems, we still could have made the best out of it.  Also getting there and unpacking the car and a cranky child can make things stressful.  It’s important to keep your cool and not snap at your partner.  I felt myself getting frustrated at little things the first morning and glad I was able to reel it in.  Getting mad at the beginning would have put a bit of a damper on the rest of the trip.

 

Now, I want to go back.  Good thing we are heading to another beach in NC with my parents in about a month!  Of course my tips for traveling with kids (and their grandparents) is to let the grandparents plan everything…

Category: 5 on Friday, Personal

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I love living in North Carolina for a lot of reasons, but one of them being you can easily head to the beach (or mountains) for a long weekend. We went to the beach Memorial day weekend last year, but since the water was still a bit chilly to swim in, we decided to wait until Labor day weekend this year.

 

Because of Hurricane Tropical Storm Hermine, Friday during work, Matt and I were watching the weather fairly closely and trying to decide when to leave for the beach.  We planned to leave Friday after work but weren’t sure if it would be worth it with the storm coming.  We thought about waiting and leaving Saturday morning. We went back and forth on the decision and finally decided to leave town and headed out around 6:30 pm.  We drove through rain pretty much the whole way there and once we got there, a few roads were flooded, but nothing we couldn’t get around.  We arrived around 11:30, parked, grabbed a few essentials and made our way to the condo and settled in for the night.

 

Saturday morning we woke up to just a little bit of spitting rain and I was anxious to get out of the condo so we made breakfast, put some rain jackets on and headed down to the beach.  The waves were huge because of the storm, but the water was incredibly warm.  We walked through the surf a little bit and chased the waves and then after Sebastian accidentally sat down in the water getting his shorts all wet we headed back in.  The rain cleared out by noon but it was still a little chilly so we played in the indoor pool for a little while then took Sebastian in for a nap that lasted 2 and a half hours.  After he woke up, we got ready and headed out to dinner.  All 3 of us had a pretty early bedtime.

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Sunday we spent most of the day on the beach.  The weather was perfect and the waves were calm.  We played in the sand for a while and then finally convinced Sebastian to go into the ocean.  We hung out in the ocean for probably close to 45 minutes, Sebastian loved it.  We played on the beach some more and then Matt ran to the condo to grab lunch to eat on the beach.

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A little bit of bird chasing.beach6  beach7

This kid.  You can’t make anything without him instantly destroying it.  He loved stomping on Matt’s sandcastles.

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One of his favorite games was running back and forth with the surf.beach10  beach11  beach12  beach13  beach14  beach15  beach16

He really did love the ocean!beach17  beach18

Trying to be like daddy.beach19

Someone was getting sleepy.

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After the beach we decided to head to the pool for a little bit.  We just love the condo complex we’ve stayed in the past two years.  It’s right on the beach, has an indoor pool/hot tub in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.  The pool is awesome, it has a shallow end Sebastian can walk around in as well as a really deep 8 foot section.  It has a really fun water slide, a playground, a big open grassy area (that was flooded when we first got there), and even a little putt putt area.  It also seems to be mostly families with young children.  I see us going back to this place again and again.  It’s just perfect for our family!beach21  beach22  beach23  beach24  beach25

After the pool, we headed in for nap (another 2 and a half hours).  While Sebastian napped (both days), Matt and I played games, sat on the balcony, listened to music and just got some great (rare) quality time together.  After nap, we heated up pre-made tuna noodle casserole for dinner.  Once dinner was finished we showered, got ready and headed back out to the beach for some pictures.  We barely made it out in time as the sun was already almost all the way down, but we managed to get a bunch in before the light was gone.  We even got some pretty cool silhouette ones once the sun was down.

 

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Sebastian and I recreated this shot from last year.  We are both just a little bit bigger this year…

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Sebastian has changed so much!
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Monday morning, we woke up, made breakfast, cleaned and packed up.  We checked out of the condo and then spent about a hour and a half at the pool before heading home.

 

The trip was way too quick and once the kids get older, I’d like to start making the beach trips longer then just a 3 day weekend.  We will be heading back to the beach for another 3 days weekend with my parents in early October so we are looking forward to that!

 

 

 

Category: Personal

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1.  First week of school in the books

The first week of school is over after today!  The week went smoothly.  Since I’m an ESL teacher I haven’t started teaching kids yet, instead I spent the week testing a bunch of new kindergartners and doing a lot of paperwork.  I’m excited to teach kindergartners and second graders this year!  I already know the second graders from teaching them last year so excited to pick up where we left off and continue building those relationships.  I’m also glad this is my second year at this school.  It’s nice not being a newbie anymore!

 

 

2.  Keeping up with goals

I made it to the gym 2 times this week and plan to go today.  I had planned on going Wednesday but forgot my tennis shoes.  I also had my outfits picked out and lunches ready to go the night before.  Most of the days after school, I didn’t turn on the tv, instead Sebastian and I did puzzles, played with play dough and read books.  We also followed our meal plan we made on Sunday and didn’t have to worry about what to fix for dinners.  All of this made the week go by so much smoother.  Hopefully I can keep all this up as the year goes on!

 

 

3.  Fall/Winter wardrobes

Last year around this time, Sebastian fit exactly 2T in clothes.  So for the fall and winter I started getting him 3T stuff.  Most of it fit even though it was a little big, but a lot of the pants were way too big.  Well this year, he fits exactly a 3T so most of his wardrobe is already complete.  However, I did take advantage of a sale at Old Navy and ordered a few more long sleeves shirts.  Several of the items I got for under $5!

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1. Red Bear Shirt 2. Blue Waffle Knit Shirt 3. Baseball Tee  4. Animal Print Pajamas 5. Color-block Sweatshirt 6. Orange Dinosaur shirt

 

4.  Sawyer’s Nursery

Since we are having another boy, we are leaving the nursery exactly the same way it was for Sebastian.  That left us the ability to be creative and spend the money on Sebastian’s big boy room (which they will eventually share).  I spent some time this summer after we had all of Sebastian’s things out of the nursery, doing laundry, cleaning, organizing and nesting.  I wanted to prepare as much as possible before school started.  Here’s a sneak peak at his closet.  Oh how I loved going through and organizing all of Sebastian’s old clothes.  I can’t wait for little Sawyer to wear them all.

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5.  Heading to the beach

We are heading to the beach this evening for the long weekend!  The first time we took Sebastian to the beach was memorial day last year. We loved the condo complex so much last time that we are staying in the same place.  I can’t wait to play in the sand and water and just get away for a few days.  Hopefully the weather is nice and the water is warm.  If not, at least there is an indoor pool at the condo and an aquarium nearby.  Right now at least one of the days is calling for rain, so we’ll see.  This is basically our only ‘vacation’ together as a family this year so I’m going to fully enjoy every minute of it!

Category: Personal

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I’m technically 25 weeks this week but I want to start updating every 4 weeks so I’ll be going back in time a week for this post.

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Weight Gain:  A lot.  Like I’m not even going to share numbers any more.

Symptoms:  Heart burn has been increasing.  I’m almost through a whole bottle of tums that sits on my night stand.  May have to start bringing a bottle to school.

Cravings/Aversions: No specific cravings or aversions.  I just still really like food and a lot of it.

What I am missing:  Being able to lay down comfortably.  I’m fine sitting or standing, but as soon as I lay down gravity takes over and I just feel uncomfortable.  I’m also waking up most days with a lower back ache.

Size of baby: Baby is the size of an cantaloupe (seems huge).  1 and 1/3 pounds.

Sleep:  We just started back to school this week so that means 5:30 am wake up times.  It’s going to get really hard to get 8 hours of sleep in a night.  Thinking I may be even more tired then usually these next few months.

Workouts: I have decided to start working out at our local recreation center. My plan is to work out on the days we don’t have meetings after school.  So far I worked out on Monday (low impact cardio machine), had an after school meeting yesterday, and have my bags packed to go again today. I’m hoping that this gives me a little extra energy to get through the evening without crashing on the couch.

Clothing: All maternity except a few non maternity dresses and flowy shirts

Gender: Another boy!

Sebastian’s Reactions:  Sebastian now refers to the nursery as the baby’s room and will talk about the baby in my belly.

Best moment the past couple weeks: Spending the last few weeks of summer with Sebastian.  I really cherish my summers now that I have him and was sad to go back to school.

Looking Forward to:  Sebastian has yet to feel Sawyer kick and I can’t wait for that moment!  I’m also looking forward to cooler weather. We’ve had 90 degree days pretty much every day for the past couple months. The bigger I get, the hotter 90 degree feels!

Movements: Sawyer moves like crazy all day long.  I can always count on him to move after I eat and once I lay down in the evenings.  I love feeling his moments and some of them are getting a bit crazy.

You can read the 13 week update here18 week update here, 20 week update here.

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