Monday, June 29, 2015

Sweet Buddy

This is our little mister:

We got to see him this morning and I love him so very much. 

His nose and little profile looks just like Ellie's did at 20 weeks and I am beyond thrilled about that. He had his little ankles crossed and he seemed like he had plenty of room to do all of his activities. They tell me he weighs a little under a pound, so he's still just a little guy. 

I feel him everyday, getting stronger and stronger. 

He doesn't have a name yet, because when you are married to the most thorough decision maker in the history of all decision makers (a man who takes an hour and a half to pick out a Christmas tree) then you know going into a 9 month long pregnancy that the man will probably take his dear sweet time. 

We were 7 months pregnant before we settled on Ellie, and she was in my arms in the recovery room of the hospital when I looked at him and said "WHAT IS HER NAME" since the middle name had not been solidified.  I said, "I like all the ones we've discussed. I really don't think we can go wrong. Just pick." He got real quiet for a few minutes, and then said "I think it has to be Ellie Paige." At least when he comes to his final decision, it's a good one. 

So this little buddy will get a name. At some point. One can't rush these things. 

For now, he's little brother. 

And I'm very thankful for him. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ballet Shoes and Fevers

It's early and a cohesive narrative is just not something in the cards for me right now. I'd like to write but I need to be lazy about it. Commence numbered paragraphs:

1. Yesterday we had lunch with friends and Ellie and the girls played in a giant sandbox. She had a blast. She came home with sand in her hair and her clothes and her everywhere. I put her in the bath as soon as we got home. She still has sand in her hair. And there's sand all over the bottom of my tub. Is it all going to go away, ever? I mean, she had a ball so it was worth it.... but the sand. Wow.

2. For the last 3 days, an awesome team of painters has been in our home! Once we get drapes up and wall hangings in their proper place, I will post pictures. Everything is a lovely Benjamin Moore color called "Revere Pewter" and I am in love. The home feels so fresh and bright. In the words of our sweet painter, Abraham, "it's clean." Agreed. 

3. If I had to wake up another morning and walk into that rust orange bathroom, my days would've started with tears. Orange ain't my cup of tea.

4. Yesterday a woman on our neighborhood Facebook page was offering to give away her daughter's old ballet and tap shoes to a good home. Ellie is starting classes in the Fall, so I jumped at the chance. The woman said she would leave the shoes on her porch and gave me her address. Turns out after a quick look at the Google Maps that we are backyard neighbors. We share a fence! She just met me at the fence and tossed 'em over :) Ellie was thrilled:

5. Ellie woke up way too early this morning, hollering from her big girl bed that she needed to go potty. I walked up the stairs with full intention of telling her that she could go potty but that we needed to go back to sleep because OUR DAY DOES NOT START AT THIS HOUR. Poor darlin, bless her heart, as I helped her out of bed I felt immediately that she was burning up. I checked her temp and sure enough... fever. 


She quickly said "Mommy? I need to watch Baymax."

Motrin has broken the fever and she is okay but I'm pretty sure we're going to have a lay-on-the-couch-and-watch-movies day and I'm not too upset about that. I hope the fever stays away. I hate it so much when she's sick. 

Also, don't ever even think in your head "Man, it's been awhile since my kid has been sick! We've had a few months of healthy!" Don't even think it in your head. Cause the next day, that kid will be going down. 

Off to watch Baymax.....

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ellie's Big Girl Bed

Why do kids have to grow up and get bigger and stop being babies?!

According to my Timehop this morning, 3 years ago today I was 35 weeks pregnant with my girl and proudly showing off my giant belly and puffy face. And then this morning I somehow walked into her bedroom and got her out of her big girl bed.

Sob, sob, sob.

Ellie has never tried to climb out of her crib. Not sure why. But she has stayed there and happily slept there for almost 3 years. However, as my belly gets bigger I am having a harder time pulling her out of the crib, not to mention that little brother will be needing to take over the crib in a few months. We just felt like it was time to get her into a big girl bed.

Thankfully, we had the perfect choice for a bed. Grant's dad, PaPa, slept in a double bed growing up and somehow we were blessed enough to have it passed down to us. Grant spent last weekend sanding it down and this weekend painting it white, and now she has the most perfect little bed I ever did see.

It is a double, which is a bit bigger than your average bed for a 3 year old, but she is a big time roller so I felt like it would give her more room to roll around, plus provide more sleeping space when cousins and friends come to spend the night as the years go by!

Yesterday as Grant took her crib apart, she started getting really nervous. "Oh, NO! My crib! My bed! Oh no Daddy, I miss my crib!"

But as we started to bring the freshly painted white bed out of the garage and into the house, she slowly started realizing what was going on. We've been talking about it for a few weeks but I don't think it had ever clicked. All of a sudden she started saying "It's MINE?! It's for ME?!"

I had bought the bedding a few weeks ago and it was all washed and ready. The bedding, throw pillows, and sheets are from a combination of TJ Maxx, Kohl's and Target. I picked it out because it had lots of turquoise in it which worked well with her existing decor.

She was so anxious to go to sleep! She told me she just couldn't eat dinner and she just couldn't take a bath. But somehow she powered through and happily jumped into bed. We read a bedtime story and gave hugs and kisses and said prayers.

Here she is before we turned off the light!

I watched her on the monitor, and it did take her awhile to fall asleep. She wasn't jumping or playing or anything like that, just not falling asleep right away. We did have to go up there twice in the night to "fix" her as she was upside down with her legs on the wall or things like that. She sleeps like a crazy person. But we surrounded her with pillows and put cushions on the floor in case she fell, but she never did!

Around 5am, I heard her stirring, so I looked at the monitor to see what she was up to. She sat up, looked around, rubbed her eyes, and said "Big girl bed..... big girl bed...." and then laid back down and went to sleep.

And when she was ready to get up this morning, she just hollered for me like she always does. She never got out of the bed until I was up there getting her out. I hope it stays that way!

Now we just have to see if she cooperates at nap time.....

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It Was a Very Rainy Day

Tropical Storm Bill hit Houston this week. 

And by "Tropical Storm Bill hit Houston this week" what I really mean is "we had a rainy day in Houston this week."

Look, I'm not complaining. And I'm glad we all heed the warnings. If you've lived in Houston for the vast majority of your life, you've experienced some WHOA THERE storms. One day I'll have to share the story of the night of Tropical Storm Alicia in 2001. And I remember the WEEKS without power that we went through after Hurricane Ike in 2008. I take this business seriously. When they say a Tropical Storm is on its way, I do the proper, Texan thing to do and I hunker down.


The only problem is that sometimes you hunker down on a Monday night in preparation of this giant storm to hit, and then it really never does. And you cancel your plans for Tuesday because the storm is coming, and then it never does. And you sit alone in a house all day with your little girl and you don't go outside or drive around because a big storm is coming. And it never does. 

And then Wednesday rolls around and it finally does rain. Not torrential storms, but it rains. It rains and it rains and it rains. And you go out and drive in it anyway. And you join the rest of the mamas of Katy, Texas who can't take being in their houses anymore and go see "Mary Poppins" for a dollar. 

Side note: Mary Poppins is a magical, wonderful movie.

Side note: Mary Poppins is about 1 hour too long for a not-yet-3-year-old. 

One thing that was accomplished this week was that Ellie chose "Bikini so Teeny" by Essie for her Summer toe color.

There was also a considerable amount of time spent in a tutu. 

And also a substantial amount of snuggling and movie watching.

That's Ellie and her little brother, right there. 

The thing is, it's been nice to sit at home and not do much. But let the record show that we are ready for some activities over here. I read 18 different books to her yesterday. Keep in mind that some of those books were read upwards of 6 times. 

I'm ready to take her to a playground. The child needs to RUN. 

To complicate things, Grantley has been in California all week for work so I have been flying solo. Let's just say that I'm ready for him to come home.

Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow!

Friday, June 12, 2015

What a Week

Monday morning, my sweet Grandmother went to be with Jesus. This was long expected; she's had Alzheimer's for all of my adult life. She's been "gone" for quite some time, but in the last few weeks she had one of the fastest physical declines I've ever seen. On Saturday, our family was able to gather around her bedside and sing and pray and tell her goodbye. It was such a special time. In the early hours of Monday morning, while she slept in the same room as her husband of 61 years, she quietly went on to glory. I'm so happy for her.

Here she is with my Dad

My Dad is a very well-read man and he has often shared with me that he knows that his love of reading was a gift from his mom. He had a library card at age 4. Books were something she greatly encouraged and provided. I love that now when I go into his office there are stacks of books everywhere. Teach them young! 

Yesterday was the burial and memorial service. It is so nice to be with my family, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. It was a long day but everything was beautiful. I'm so thankful for the church I was raised in and the people that filled the rooms yesterday. It was a really sweet time. 

As for the rest of this week, it's been busy, eventful, and fun. We went swimming with Ellie a few times and had some friends over to join us. We've run errands and cooked dinners and dealt with our fair share of tantrums.

It's a shame she's not dramatic....

She really, really does not like to be told "no" and she also does not like when you scold her. It's all quite offensive and she does not appreciate it. She bounces back pretty quickly though. We've eaten a lot of popsicles this week because she's taken some great naps. She's been waking up about an hour earlier than usual though which is a little exhausting but all in all, she's a great kid. I'm thankful for that little Ellie Bug. 

Little Boy in my belly is growing and I'm starting to feel him! Little flutters here and there. I'm 18 weeks now and the belly is definitely getting bigger. Much bigger. I'm strictly in maternity clothes and I don't mind that at all. I'd love elastic waistbands for life! I'm getting hungrier too. I feel like I could eat all the day long and still want more. I'm hoping that that dies down soon because it is expensive to require this much food. Also, the more weight I gain, the more I have to lose, so....

As for the weekend, I'm hoping we get to spend a lot of it in a pool because IT IS HOT OUT THERE, Y'ALL. 

Happy Friday to you and yours....

Friday, June 5, 2015

The First Week of Summer

Well, folks, it's officially Summertime here in Texas. We know this for certain because some of us are already dying of heat stroke. I love the carefreeness of Summer and all of the activities, but oh my heavens, the HEAT. Sometimes I think we should bring back the whole fad of women carrying parasols to shade themselves from the sun. Except maybe now it could be the 21st century edition of a parasol that has a built in fan inside. You get shade AND you get a cool breeze. OOH! And MAYBE A MISTER!

If some inventors would like to invent a nice parasol that includes a cool breeze and a mist feature, I would be willing to spend probably one hundred American dollars on that. So go forth and invent, please.

So, Ellie doesn't have school this Summer, which means we are in danger of spending our every days inside watching movies and eating Goldfish. While this doesn't sound all that bad for me, I am pretty sure childhood development experts would frown upon this, so I've got to come up with some other things. I'm not going crazy with it or anything (I'm getting bigger with pregnancy every day) (at some point I'm going to be sitting on the edge of the pool like a beached whale) but while I can still function, I'm trying to have some Summer fun with my girly girl.

In the afternoons, she always convinces me that she needs to just sit and put her feet in the water. I say okay and I sit in the shade while she splashes. She always, always ends up getting totally soaked.

I have to go inside, get a towel, panties, and new clothes. Every time. But hey, I guess that's what Summer is for, right?

One night this week, Grant got home from the gym and jumped straight into the pool. Ellie was losing her mind with jealousy so we stripped her down and she swam naked. I had already gotten her dinner ready (frozen pizza) (it was from Whole Foods so I felt a little better about it) and we brought her pizza outside and she sat on the edge and ate her pizza and I was just so tickled with the whole thing.

We went to a splash pad for the first time this week and it was a hit! 

I did make a rookie mistake before we left the house that morning. When I was getting her into her suit, I decided it would be a better idea to lather her (and myself) with sunscreen before we left the house. I knew once we got to the splash pad she would have a pretty low tolerance to stand there and get drenched in SPF 50 for 10 minutes. So I pulled her into my bathroom and that's where we got all sunscreened up.



The floors are sooooo greasy and I can't get it to go away. 

Don't apply sunscreen indoors.


Another thing that has been going on this week is the lack of napping. I think I've mentioned that we took away Ellie's paci. For the most part, it has gone well and she's done just fine. The one thing that has suffered is nap time. And I really, really love nap time. She just plays in her bed for 2 hours and jumps up and down and will not even attempt to fall asleep, even if I know she's tired. 

When we got home from the splash pad the other day, I knew she had to be tired. But sure enough, after one hour of jumping on the bed and playing, I could tell she didn't think a nap was a necessary thing in her life. I walked up to her room, opened the door, and BEGGED her to close her eyes and fall asleep. She informed me that she could not do that. I told her that if she took a good nap, she would get a popsicle when she woke up. 

I do believe I will be using popsicles as a bribery tool throughout the Summer, thank you very much. 

Sometimes I am not interested in the heat of being outside and I choose to look for activities that involve cold drinks and an excellent air conditioned room. So, when my friend Tamara over at Katy Moms Blog posted a link to all the kids Summer movies going on around town, I printed that sucker out and highlighted all the movies we will be attending for $1 or less.

Yesterday, we went to our first at Alamo Drafthouse. 

We saw an old classic, Land Before Time, and Ellie really loved what she is now calling "Dinosaur Movie." It was a fun throwback for me too, as it's been decades since I've seen it. The nice thing about Alamo Drafthouse is that we can also order lunch and eat during the movie, which we certainly did. We shared a chicken tender basket with fries. And I also got a soft baked pretzel with cheese dipping sauce because that sounded amazing. 


As for today, it's National Donut Day, so my friend Olga is coming over with her sweet girl and she is bringing donuts and I am providing coffee. I'm not sure what Ellie and little Blythe will be doing, but the pregnant mamas are going to be enjoying ourselves some donuts.

And I'm pretty happy about all that. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

UK Trip 2015: Day 7 at Hampton Court Palace and Harrod's!

It's the last post in this series! I've loved recapping our trip and I'm so glad I will be able to look back and remember one of the greatest weeks of my life. I can't say enough how thankful I am for the opportunity and I'm so glad we did it.

One of the nerdy quirks about me is that I really have always loved history and have for whatever reason read several books about the Tudor dynasty and Henry VIII and all of his ridiculousness. So when I knew we were going to go to London, I knew that I really wanted to go to Hampton Court Palace, the residence of King Henry VIII and his gaggle of wives. Elizabeth I also lived there, as well as William and Mary.

Hampton Court Palace is outside the city so we had to take a pretty substantial train ride (comparatively to the other places we saw) but it wasn't bad. We took the tube to Hampton Court and then had to RUN to take another train out to our destination. We had lunch at this cute little cafe that was operated by 5 blonde sisters in yoga pants. They might have been quintuplets, we're not sure.

We took the short walk over to the palace. SO. COOL.

We were able to walk in to the Great Hall, where the feasts were held and entertainment was performed. William Shakespeare and his men even performed in that room. 

The Great Hall had some tables sitting out with some rules of the palace written on cloths for us to see.

There was another rule listed in what was the bathroom area that said you must cough when you relieve yourself. I just thought y'all would want to know that. 

Henry realllly loved himself. 

I really enjoyed going into the Chapel. We saw one of the original King James Bibles and the private balcony where King Henry would observe mass. The Chapel was really exquisite.

One of the coolest parts of the Palace was the outdoor gardens.

One of the most famous things about Hampton Court is its famous hedge maze which was originally planted sometime between 1689 and 1695. We did, indeed, get lost. But we eventually found our way and it was a great experience!

At some point during the walk through the palace I realized that I had yet to have tea in England, and I decided I needed to change that. 

We went to Elizabeth's Privy Kitchen and I had tea and scones. It wasn't high tea or anything like that, but at least I could cross it off of my list!

After we made it back to Kensington that afternoon, we made our way over to Harrod's!

It was pretty packed with people, but it was totally worth seeing. There was so much FOOD in Harrod's which I was not expecting. Chocolates and candies and coffee and so many restaurants. It was so cool. And beautiful.

We loved Shoe Heaven!

We also went to the Children's area and got Ellie a little happy from our trip. It was an overwhelming place but I can totally see how you could lose a day in there if you had some money to burn!

For our last meal, we went back to the boys' favorite pub, the Hereford Arms, to get another of what Grant has dubbed the best burger he's ever had.

If you're ever in Kensington, go to the Hereford Arms on Gloucester Road!

We woke up early the next morning and took the tube to the airport. (Side note: I found the tubes to be incredibly convenient. We never took a cab once!) We got ourselves all checked in, had one more English breakfast at the airport, and then headed to our gate.

During our whole trip, we never had a late flight or lost baggage or any kind of logistical nightmare, but our last flight was a little complicated.

Our flight was combined with two other flights for some reason, so it took some extra time to get all of those people's luggage on our plane, as well as additional food for the trip. Once we were on the plane, our pilot informed us that records showed that there was a piece of luggage in the cargo area that did not match anyone on our flight manifest, so they had to go through each piece of luggage one by one and remove the mystery bag. 

While this took over an hour, no one minded because HEY, GET THAT SUITCASE OFF OUR PLANE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

On the flight home I watched 3 episodes of The Newsroom and became obsessed with it. Grant and I had an empty seat between us so I spent some time sleeping which was just lovely. 

We got home, my dad picked us up from the airport, and immediately took us to Del Pueblo for Mexican food! Tiff's parents were there as well as my mom and ELLIE GIRL.

She ran and jumped into my arms and I'm telling you... she would not peel herself off of me for over 30 minutes. I ate my chips and queso with a child leached onto me like a monkey. But I didn't mind one bit.

Go to London. Go to Scotland. You won't regret it.

Previous posts in this series:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

UK Trip 2015: Day 6 at Westminster Abbey and British Museum

Thank y'all so much for all the love as we announced our big news on Monday! It was so fun to read all of your sweet words about your little boys and I can't wait to experience that kind of love here in this house. A lot of people are asking if Ellie knows or what she thinks about all this. She "knows" in the sense that we are having discussions with her about it, but I'm not quite certain that she is understanding. We'll keep working on it. I need to order some of those books that help a kid understand! Amazon Prime to the rescue!

With all that said, today is the second to last post about the UK trip! Y'all are almost done having to read through a day by day account of what happened, I promise. I'm so thankful for this blog though, so that I can document everything so I can always remember. (I made a bulleted list of what we did every day on the flight home because I was already forgetting things.) (While writing this series, I've had to refer to that bulleted list way too frequently.) (It's only been a week!)

Tuesday was one of my favorite days:


Can we just talk for a moment about the history of this beautiful place?! The coronations of the English monarchs have taken place at this site since 1066. That is not a typo. 1066, y'all! 16 royal weddings have been held there (including Wills and Kate!) and it seems anyone who is anyone in British history is buried there.

We could not take photographs inside the Abbey, but even the guys (who don't care too much about history) agreed that this was one of the highlights of the trip. Not only was it beautiful architecturally, but the whole place just kind of took your breath away. I had to stop for quite some time at stare at the place where Elizabeth I is buried. ELIZABETH THE FIRST, Y'ALL. It was so cool to be in that place. I even teared up a bit looking at the stone for C.S. Lewis. It was etched with one of my favorite quotes of his: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

Anyways, I can't really do it justice, but I do want to say that if you ever have a chance to go, you need to go. It is incredible.

And then we walked out and saw Big Ben!

After we had lunch, we spent the afternoon in the rain, navigating the streets of London, we found our way to the historic British Museum. 

The whole place was pretty cool, but by far the coolest thing was seeing THE Rosetta Stone live and up close:

Wanna know how old that thing is? It was inscribed in 196 BC. 

196 BC.

So, you know, not that old....

That night, after we rested up from our day of sightseeing, we had our one "nicer" dinner at a restaurant called Wildwood close to our hotel. It had yummy Italian food and we really enjoyed a nicer dinner that wasn't pub food! 

At the end of the day, we all agreed that Westminster was a top stop on the trip across the board. I'm so grateful I had a chance to see it!

Tune in tomorrow, for the last day! (and also one of my favorites!)

Previous posts in this series:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Another Curly Sue? Or Little Boy Blue?

We interrupt the ongoing series recapping our Europe trip to bring some very exciting information! It's time for the gender reveal, ladies and gents!

When we were pregnant with Ellie, I thought she was a boy, and Grant knew from the beginning she was a girl. It took me awhile after her gender reveal to wrap my head around her being a girl. Of course, now, I can't imagine our life without being parents to a curly, girly girl.

With this baby, I've not had a strong feeling either way, but the last few days I've felt strongly that we would be having another girl. I come from a girl house and know that Ellie would have such a special bond in her life if she has a sister. Grant has also felt during this pregnancy that this will be a girl. "I just can't see it any other way" he says. 

While I am a little larger this time around, I am carrying exactly the same as I did with Ellie. This is me on Friday night, headed out for a Mama's Night Out at 16 weeks and some change.

The heartbeat rate has been exactly the same as with Ellie and aside from the extreme fatigue in the first trimester, I haven't noticed any big differences in the pregnancies.

We went to the appointment this morning. I will still have a full anatomy scan at my 20 week appointment, but my doctor allows an elective gender screening ultrasound at 16 weeks for a small fee. I'm impatient so we elected to take advantage of the opportunity! 

The first part of the appointment was a little frustrating as our sweet baby was facing the wrong direction and had their little legs crossed. They were sleeping and it took some creative persuasion to get the little one to unfold those legs. 

And then it was quite clear.

Here's Ellie hugging her little brother.




We. are. shocked.

Ecstatic. Ready for this whole new world! I'm a little intimidated but thrilled to be joining the boy mama club. Grant is over the moon!

We can't wait to meet our little buddy.

And now, the naming game begins!