Monday, February 25, 2013

{Birthday: Anders Turns 2!}

Anders turned two years old this weekend.  That fact seems impossible to me, but I know my perspective is a bit skewed.  Regardless, he's now fully capable of informing you of his age if you're lucky enough to find him focused and in a cooperative mood.  In other words, don't count on it.

On Saturday, we started the celebration weekend off right, which is to say we ate donuts for breakfast.  This was probably the only day in my life where two donuts did not provide the amount of sugar I required as fuel.  Truthfully I could have wheeled around a glucose IV bag all day and still probably would have passed out before sunset.  Being 35 weeks pregnant and hosting a two year-old's birthday party, no matter how low-key, is not for the faint of heart.

This year we took our party theme cue from Anders and embraced all things Elmo.  The house was complete with Elmo birthday banner, Elmo gift bags, and an Elmo welcome sign at the door.

We wrapped the kitchen table in butcher paper, set out Elmo coloring pages and crayons, and provided pre-cut materials for the kids to make Elmo masks complete with googly eyes.  This casual setup was my solution knowing we would have kids in a pretty wide age range to entertain at the party.  

And of course no party is complete without food:  Elmo noses (clementines), goldfish in honor of Elmo's goldfish Dorothy, Twizzlers, apples, and grapes to represent Elmo's favorite color red, chocolate dipped marshmallows, and cupcakes! Oh yeah, we also had Elmo's favorite food, pizza, but apparently I didn't get a picture.  The pizza boxes weren't part of my cute display ;)

We sang happy birthday, which required pulling out a lighter more than once since Anders believes blowing out candles is the coolest party trick ever.  

And we unwrapped gifts, which at this age is a collaborative effort.  It's so funny to see all the kids huddle up and attack the tissue paper together.  I should also take a moment here to thank our friend Page.  Every time Anders picked up a new gift, he ran to sit in Page's lap (see green shirt in the lower picture) for help unwrapping.  Thank you Page for happily playing along!

Anders took the opportunity to model some of his gifts...

...including an excited dance in these Justice League big boy underwear

...and some cuddles in this awesome, handmade, hooded towel.

Thank you to all our sweet and crazy generous friends who came to play and sing and celebrate.

The day was awesome, Anders had a fantastic time, and I could barely keep myself awake long enough afterward to make sure my family got a nutritious dinner of cold, leftover pizza.

Sunday was Anders' actual birthday.  After a botched attempt at pancakes for breakfast (I spilled an entire shaker of salt before realizing I didn't have Bisquick, butter, or buttermilk), we settled for cereal.  The rest of the day included church, a delicious lunch with new friends, family naptime, and dinner at Blue Mesa. Overall it was a great, relaxed day enjoying one another's company and thanking God for what a blessing Anders is to our family.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

{Bump Watch}

I'm sure many of you were disappointed that no 33 week update showed up on the blog last week (wink).  Hopefully the thrilling Valentine's Day content was enough to tide you over.  In reality, I feel a bit narcissistic every time I put together these Bump Watch posts.  I assure you, however, that putting pictures of my giant belly on the internet doesn't do much for my ego.

So here we are at 34 weeks.  My super, scientific baby app* tells me that my 'baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds'.  Based on my previous sumo baby (Anders was 9 lb. 6 oz.) and early predictions from my sonographer, Baby Vang is probably closer to 6 pounds these days.  Truth be told though, I can't see a difference in belly size when I compare the last few bump photos.  

I can't believe we get to meet this baby boy so soon!  Maybe I'll really challenge myself and start a new regular photo series once he's actually here.  There's no shortage of pressure ideas thanks to Pinterest.  Stay tuned!

*I use the babycenter My Pregnancy app on my iPhone

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

{DIY: Valentine's Treats}

Like many people, Andreas is not a huge fan of Valentine's Day.   For him it's too fabricated, too forced.  And so, like any good wife, I taunt him.  I tell him I can't wait to receive my heart-shaped box of chocolates and singing bear on the 14th (which, in case you are missing the sarcasm, is a total joke).  Although if heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and singing bears are your thing, more power to you.  This year I've even been referring to February as the Month of Love.  So, I wanted to do something special for Andreas to build up to Valentine's Day, any excuse to make 'Month of Love' references really.  Obviously since this was to be done in love and jest, it couldn't break the bank.  These little treats are quick and easy to put together.  I've been having fun leaving them around the house for Andreas to find.  With a little tweaking you could make them appropriate for any loved one!

Hope your Month of Love is off to a good start!

Monday, February 11, 2013

{10 on 10}

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to take more photos.  Yes, I want to improve my photography skills, but the goal was set primarily so that I would get better at consistently documenting our life.  I saw a cute idea here and here where the bloggers posted 10 pictures from the 10th day of each month.  It seemed like a fun way to keep it real, so here goes nothing.  This could possibly be the most boring thing you've read all day.

1.  I could have taken this picture at least ten times throughout the day.  I've been nursing a seriously sore throat, and my rigorous treatment plan has consisted of hot coffee, hot tea, and hot cider.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

2.  Seriously a kid after my own heart, drinking the milk after finishing his morning cereal.  We can't be wasting any of that organic stuff.  Judging by the price, it's made from golden calves.  Just a little Old Testament humor for you.

3.  We set up this vintage (that's the cool way to say old these days) barnyard set for Anders while Andreas and I showered and got ready for the day.  Don't let the picture deceive you.  This lasted about 30 seconds before Anders got bored and got to work ripping all the curling irons, nail polish, and hair products out from under my bathroom sink.  

4.  Morning snack for bigs and little.

5.  This is what Sunday's naptime looked like.  I worked on my Exodus homework for Women's Bible Study (see golden calf reference in number 2) while Anders slept.  Oh wait, he's not sleeping.  He's destroying his room and playing with his toys.  This is pretty much his naptime M.O. these days.

6.  This picture is just depressing.  This is the third pacifier my baby has bitten through in a week.  I wasn't ready to break him of the habit yet, but if this keeps up we'll have no choice.

7.  Weekly list-making, accompanied by cookies.  And catching up on some correspondence that I've been meaning to do the last couple of months.  Aren't the cards pretty?!

8.  After naptime, Anders 'helped' Andreas work on the gutters for a bit.  It's only the beginning of February, and we are already having to prep the yard for warmer weather!

9.  This is Anders saying cheese and smiling for the camera.  I couldn't resist including the picture because I think his cookie mustache is just adorable.  

10.  We ran a bunch of errands yesterday.  Since we were already out, we decided to hit up Freebirds for dinner.  They have a 'Kids Eat Free' deal on Sundays after 3!  That's code for 'Mommies and Daddies Can Share An Entree and Eat All Their Son's Chips and Salsa' deal in case you were curious.

Friday, February 8, 2013

{Bump Watch}

This Tuesday, I hit the 32 week mark.  My BabyCenter phone app sweetly reminded me that I'm gaining approximately a pound a week now.  As if any woman at 32 weeks needs a greater reminder of her weight gain than the simple task of getting dressed every morning.  

Speaking of getting dressed, I'm not exactly sure how it happened that I'm wearing a pink, striped shirt two weeks in a row for my 'bump' shots.  Coincidentally enough, these happen to be the only two pink shirts I own.  Maybe it's all the estrogen pumping through my body.  Maybe it's my way of dealing with becoming even more outnumbered as the only girl in the house.  More likely it's the fact that I have ten or fewer shirts that are still acceptable for me to wear in public.  Odds are you'll be seeing at least one of these again if I can keep these weekly posts going.  

And even though I can't detect much belly growth when comparing last week's photo to this week's, there is at least one obvious change.  I got my hair cut!  You see, as soon as Anders entered the world, my hair started falling out.  Thank you, hormones.  It continued falling out for about a year, and then the baby hair fairy paid me a visit.  Neither phase has been all that flattering.  I have no idea what's in store for me after baby #2 is delivered, but it was time for a change.  For me, this was a big change, the shortest my hair has been in over ten years.  And bless my stylist's heart.  Cutting a pregnant woman's hair must be a thankless job.  Even though I would say that I'm a pretty level-headed pregnant lady, nothing induces emotional instability faster than a drastic hair cut.  I maintained my composure during the appointment, but I'm pretty sure my stylist-friend could read my poker face.  Thankfully, it didn't take me too long to really appreciate my new reflection.  I will admit that my husband's sweet and approving comments helped me get there faster than I would have on my own.  But here I am, happy in all my short-haired, big-bellied glory.  

Happy 32 weeks, baby boy.  Can't wait to meet you soon!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

{Week in Review}

Last week was a blur.

We refinanced the house, and as exciting as that was for us, it wasn't much of a photo-op.  A representative from the title company, or whoever is responsible for the stacks of paperwork that accompany closing, actually came to our house.  Hello convenience.  For someone who unloads and entertains a toddler during multiple errands a day, this was a priceless service.  Yes, it's weird to have a stranger sitting at your kitchen table minutes after you finish eating dinner, but the awkwardness was worth it.

Anders and I had a playdate with my MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at the Ark, and apparently I was too busy playing with my kid catching up with the ladies to take any pictures.  I would totally recommend this fun and free indoor playground to anyone with a preschooler in the area.  

Other unphotographed events this week included me getting into a fender bender and hosting a Super Bowl get-together at the house, although obviously not at the same time.  For the record, the fender bender was not my fault, and all parties involved walked away unharmed.  As for the Super Bowl, it should come as no surprise that I found the halftime show to be the most entertaining part of the game.  Beyonce's got moves.  Not family appropriate moves, but moves nonetheless.  

I did manage to capture a few quick images at the park with Anders the other day.  It's been such a warm February this year, and we are both always grateful to get outside a bit.

One of Anders' favorite things to do at any playground is feed the mulch through equipment slats.

The only drawback to playgrounds in the wintertime is the static.  Anders is shocked constantly, and each time he looks at me with such surprise.

Static, what static?

In other news, I'm pretty sure I have a future Olympic athlete on my hands.  I don't think we'll be ready for Sochi next year, but keep your eyes peeled.

Basketball?  Discus throw?  Soccer?  We'll have to wait and see!