Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The More the Merrier: Announcing Baby Noel #2!!!

I can hardly contain my excitement as I'm sitting here writing this post!  We are thrilled + feeling so grateful to announce that we're expecting our second baby in June 2017!!!!!

We found out the big news back in the beginning of October.  I wasn't "feeling pregnant" yet (i.e. not sick, tired, etc.) and really had no reason to think I was pregnant other than the fact that we were trying... but I guess that's reason enough?  Anyway, for some reason I felt like I had to take a test that day in particular and within just a few seconds, two pink lines showed up on the screen.  I was so happy, a little surprised but at the same time it just felt so right, like I knew it was going to happen.  It was a Sunday morning so Tyler was home with us and I had Ellie bring the test out to the living room to show him.  He looked up and totally brushed it off as if she was just walking around the house with a pregnancy test in hand (I guess her rummaging through the bathroom cabinet isn't that unheard of), but gave it a second glance after I told him to actually look at it. We were SO excited!  I was so happy that I took the test that day when he was home - the immediate reaction + emotions are just the best, right?!

We shared our news with our family + close friends over the next couple weeks and I had my first doctor's appointment + ultrasound the beginning of November.  My doctor confirmed that I was nine weeks along at the time and that my official due date is June 7th!  Of course we will be finding out the gender because neither of us are patient enough to wait and the suspense has already been killing us!  I would love for Ellie to have a sister since I loved growing up with mine so much.  Plus, I really wouldn't complain about getting another use out of Ellie's (somewhat extensive) wardrobe. ;)  I would also love to have a little mama's boy and get to see Tyler experience life with a son - I'm pretty sure baby would be born with a football in his hands. :)  We will be more than happy either way and absolutely cannot wait to give Ellie a sibling!!

Our babies will be about 25 months apart in age, depending on whether baby #2 decides to arrive early like big sister did.  I have a feeling that I would be saying this if we had our second earlier or later too, but the timing just feels right for us.  We're happy that they will be close in age, but that Ells will won't be so little when baby #2 arrives.  We know that she will be a big help as she already is with herself quite a bit! :) Of course, I wouldn't mind if she was sleeping through the night before June comes around though.  You've got six months, girlfriend. ;)

Yes, this is definitely another reason (probably the bigger of the two) that this space has a little bit more quiet than usual.  Selling our house has been time consuming but getting through the first trimester exhaustion while keeping up with a toddler is no joke.  I totally took for granted the opportunity to snooze away weekend afternoons when I was pregnant with Ellie! ;)  For the most part I've been in bed shortly after Ellie has been, which is really the only time I have to get over to this space.  Thankfully nausea has been pretty mild considering what it could be, just as it was with my first pregnancy.  I've had my fair share of saltines + ginger ale with a handful of food aversions that I can't even smell without gagging (coffee, tacos + chili to name a few), but there are still many things that I wouldn't mind eating in extra large quantities (and usually do). :)

Lastly, I do plan on putting together weekly bump posts again!  They will likely be a few days behind each week since the weekends are really the only time Tyler's home in daylight hours to take my picture (at least at this time of year), but I love having them from when Ellie was in my belly so I knew I had to commit to doing it again for round two.  Cannot wait to share this experience with all of you again!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend 2016

We had a great Thanksgiving over here and hope you did as well!  It was a busy day and I didn't get too many pictures, but we got to see lots of family + eat lots of good food.  So many things to be thankful for this year (and always!).

 SO obsessed with that little sweater dress (similar can be found here!).

The day after Thanksgiving means it's full-on Christmas mode in my mind.  I got about 90% of my shopping done online on Black Friday and was so excited to get some awesome deals!  We decided to use our fake tree instead of getting a real one since it's super easy to pack up and put away - as evidenced by the three times I took off all the ornaments + re-decorated.  A little OCD?  I do miss having a real tree and the whole Christmas tree farm atmosphere, but I have to say that not having to vacuum up pine needles every day is pretty nice.

All of my dreams came true when Ellie sat down and helped me decorate the tree.  I was gently reminded that she's only one year old so she might not care about decorating the tree as I had it built up in my mind that she would, but she was as into it as I could have imagined and I loved every second of it! ;)  I finished hanging the ornaments while Ells napped on Friday and she was so excited to see the tree all decorated when she woke up - possibly the sweetest thing in the world.

My favorite ornaments are these ones from Terrain, they're perfect if you're trying to do a colorful tree!  I also bought this set back in October when the Anthro Holiday stuff came out and the warm copper set is even prettier in person!  I had planned for Ellie's Elf on the Shelf to visit and bring her a baby tree (like the white or gold ones from Target) to decorate put in her room, and thought these ornaments would be perfect for it.  We decided to wait until next year instead when we aren't trying to pack up our house, and I'm pretty sure she's going to love it.  I was tempted to add them to our tree this year, but in the box they will stay. :)

The rest of the weekend was mostly spent relaxing in our pj's.  I came to the realization that we only have two weekends left in our house after this, which feels totally crazy.  Also, we should probably actually start packing, yes? ;)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Week + Wish List

We attempted our mini-Thanksgiving dinner over the weekend - attempted being the keyword.  Ellie was asleep by the time we sat down to eat and the food was getting cold.  Ironic since the day before I had said that all I wanted was for the three of us to sit down together and have a nice dinner without the usual mealtime bouncing off the walls shenanigans.  In Tyler's words, or maybe they're Ellen Griswold's, "you set standards that no family activity can live up to." ;)  We'll be headed to visit family on Thursday and I have a feeling that it'll be a little bit more successful.  It'll be a busy day but we are so excited to see everyone!  The rest of the weekend will probably be pretty low-key.  I'm looking forward to our Black Friday tradition of watching Christmas Vacation + we will also be getting a (likely very tiny) Christmas tree, contrary to Tyler's wishes and really any common sense.  Baby tree will be riding shotgun in my car to it's new home just three weeks later! ;)  I would also love to make a dent in our Christmas shopping this weekend... from my laptop in my pajamas. :)

Since there's not a whole lot that I actually need (read: nothing), I don't plan on doing much Black Friday shopping for myself but thought I'd share a few things that have been on my wish list anyway.  I can't really call this a gift guide since it's really just a list of things that I personally would love, but maybe it will help you cross someone off your list or pick up a present for yourself! ;)

I hope you all have the best Thanksgiving week + holiday spent with the people you love the most!

Monday, November 21, 2016

The No Nap Ninja

The No Nap Ninja has struck two days in a row at our house.  And by that, I mean absolutely no nap - not a wink of shut-eye between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday was the first day of Ellie's life that she didn't nap even for just a very short period of time.  I was a little bit frustrated because I obviously had things I wanted to get done during her nap time like I usually do.  Today, I kept my expectations low and a day without a nap really didn't seem that bad.  Surprisingly enough, Ellie was in a really good mood the past two days. She usually gets pretty moody around dinner time, but if anything it seemed like she was happier than usual - she listened to me better than she usually does and didn't cry when I shut off her precious TV when it was time for it to "nap" or "go to sleep" at night like she normally would.  Instead of her afternoon nap, we had quiet time and read books + colored in her color books.  On Saturday when we tried to put Ells down for her nap, she had hands-down the biggest meltdown she's ever had.  She was completely inconsolable even after we had totally given up on trying to get her to sleep.  She actually ended up napping for two and a half hours after falling asleep while I read one of her favorite books (which never happens).

Most of you reading this probably already know that Ellie has never been the greatest of sleepers - no, she still didn't sleep through the night even without any sort of nap.  The fact that she didn't nap two days a row slightly frightens me because she almost seemed like she didn't need it... and she is way (WAY) too young to be giving up nap time completely already.  Plus, if you're a mom, there's a 99.99% chance you'll agree that a little daytime snooze is kind of essential to your sanity, right? ;)  Like I said, Ellie was actually really well-behaved without a nap so I almost feel guilty saying that... maybe there is such a thing as an eighteen month sleep regression?  Maybe this is just a phase?  Either way, tomorrow is a new day and I am keeping my fingers crossed for an hour or so of peace + quiet to fold laundry and pick up crushed up cereal off the living room floor before the Ellie-nado rolls through again. :)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Exciting News!!

I'm excited to finally be able to share some details of our move!  Next month, we will be headed HOME!  We aren't just moving back to my hometown, we're buying my parents' house - the house that they built when I was just a few months old, the house that I grew up in.

We had planned to move back home before we had kids who were ready to go to school, but after Ellie was born we really wanted to head back sooner rather than later.  My parents' are building a new house just a few minutes away from their current place, and we will be about twenty minutes away from Tyler's family.  We couldn't be happier to have family close by + be back in our favorite place!

Don't even get me started on getting to mark Ellie's growth chart on the basement wall right next to my name or putting her on the school bus on the first day of Kindergarten at the top of the same driveway that I waited for mine.  Yes, there will totally be tears. We have so many great memories in that house already and cannot wait to create more as our own little family!

Speaking of tears... there's a 200% chance you will find me reaching for a box of tissues while packing up our current home.  While the excitement of moving outweighs the sadness, it is definitely bittersweet to be leaving this place.  This little 1,050 square foot house of ours has been our home for just about three and a half years.  Tyler and I bought it before we were married and had no idea all of the amazing times that would be in store for us over the next few years.  I cried packing up our rental house that we lived in before this (and that we couldn't wait to leave), so perhaps I have some attachment issues but I think we can all agree that goodbyes are never easy.

This move has been in the works for longer than you could probably imagine (with a few bumps along the way), but we will officially be moving mid-December after being away for about nine and a half years.  It's certainly going to add a little bit of chaos to the Christmas season... but also a lot of cheer, right?! ;)  I also only have seven more work days left at the company I have been with since junior year of college, which feels very surreal at this point.  We are so excited for this next chapter and cannot wait to see what the future holds for our family!! :) 

Home is where the heart is — one cliche that is absolutely true.:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Christmas Gift Guide for Toddlers

As promised, today I'm sharing some of my favorite Christmas gift ideas for toddlers!  These are things that are either on Ellie's wish list this year, things we already have + love, or things that I'm going to keep in mind as future gift ideas.  I also wanted to share some gifts that you might not necessarily find walking the aisles of Target or Toys R Us - there are so many awesome toys out there, but I love finding fun, unique gifts too that don't necessarily require batteries!

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen // fourteen

Ellie will be getting a play kitchen as her big gift this year.  We've been picking out some accessories + food to go with it (who knew there was so much to choose from?!), including this very realistic coffee maker that I'm pretty sure is going to blow her mind.  I eventually would love to set up a corner of Ellie's playroom with a couple low hanging shelves to put the overflow of kitchen food + accessories on.  I think it would help keep things a little more organized and make us less likely to lose small pieces of play food in the ever-so-dangerous toy basket black hole.

We plan to have her kitchen put together + ready for her to play on Christmas morning, plus I think she'd be even more excited if her little fridge was already stocked when she opened the door. ;)  I want to have a couple things for Ellie to unwrap of course, so I'm planning on picking out a few small things, like books + puzzles, to complete her wish list for this year.

 I realize pajamas + a quilt might not be the most exciting gifts for a toddler to open on Christmas morning, but I do like the idea of gifting something kids need as well.  Everything else I've included I think would be child-approved though!  That play table is ridiculously cheap (perfect if your kid is a little crayon-happy like mine) and there are tons of makeover ideas on Pinterest - this one wins as the prettiest in my book!  Plus, how adorable is that deer stuffed animal?!  I'm the biggest sucker for "different" stuffed animals and the deer just seems extra festive for the occasion.

I am so excited, or maybe I should say curious, to see what Ellie's reaction is going to be on Christmas morning this year.  It's still a little tough since she can't tell us what she wants, but I'm also kind of enjoying just being able to pick out whatever I think she's going to like best!  Ells was eight months old last Christmas (you can find last year's wish list here), and if I recall correctly, she required a nap halfway during present-opening Christmas morning... so, her reaction this time around has got to be a little more excited than that, right? ;)

If you have any fun gifting ideas, I really would love to hear!! I've been anti-pressing the "checkout" button on so many things because I've had such a hard time choosing what to get.  The struggle is very real.  Next up is stocking stuffers, which I'll be sharing soon.  Happy shopping, Santas!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Thanksgiving Toddler Style

We’ve had a busy couple weeks getting through the home inspection process, which has been a little bit more of a headache than we ever anticipated (to say the least).  Good news is that the inspections are all done and we are starting to see a tiny bit of light at the end of the tunnel. :)

I looked at the calendar today and couldn’t believe Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away! I'm finding that it's a little bit harder to get in the holiday spirit when there’s just so much other stuff going on, but we do have lots to look forward to this season so I'm trying my hardest to be in a holly jolly mood!  I've been working for literally months on Ellie's Christmas list (crazy lady over here) and plan to share some of my favorite finds soon, but in the meantime I'm trying not to completely blow off Thanksgiving since it’s Tyler’s favorite – food + football, what’s not to love? ;)  Since Ellie is kind of an eating queen, I’m excited that she’ll be able to indulge in all of the good food this year.  She was only seven months old at Thanksgiving last year, so she mostly just ate squash and mashed potatoes.  I have a feeling that dessert will be her favorite this time around!  Mine too, girlfriend. ;)

We're currently (and for the next fifteen years or so, give or take) on a shopping ban at our house except for playing Santa of course, but you know I can't help but look around a little. ;)  In the Turkey Day spirit, today I'm sharing some of my favorite festive styles for your littles!

lace dress // pink flats // tights // sailor bow // layered dress // boots
pullover sweater // cords // gingham shirt // driver cap // lined sneakers

Hoping to get back into posting more often very soon! For now, a little throwback to last Thanksgiving and the cutest tutu bum I've ever seen.  Oh, the days when I could just lay Ellie down to take her picture. ;)

Hope you're having a great weekend! :)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Eighteen Months of Ellia

Our big girly turned eighteen months old at the end of October!  It's kind of strange to think she's now closer to two than one, but at the same time her first birthday feels like it was forever ago.  I thought I'd do a little Ellie update since I have her stats + her next doctor's appointment isn't until the big T-W-O - thank God! ;)

Age:  18 months
Height: 32 3/4 inches, 75th percentile
Weight: 25 lbs 9 oz, 70th percentile
Clothing size: 18-24 months and 2T
Diaper size: 5
Eating:  Ellie is a huge snacker and really just grazes all day long.  She likes pretty much anything we give her, but as I mentioned before, might eat something like it's going out of style one day and spit it out the next.  She is constantly on-the-go, so sometimes just getting her to sit down and eat a meal can be a challenge.  Still, girlfriend loves her food!  I'd have to say her top favorites lately would be cheese (mac + cheese the most!), yogurt, strawberries, watermelon, cookies + condiments - never passes up extra ketchup!
Sleeping:  I feel as though we regressed a little bit in this department as I can only think of one night in the past month (plus) that she has actually slept through the night. Oy.  Generally speaking, she wakes up once or twice and goes back down pretty easily so it's not so bad; however, Ellie still has the occasional worse-than-a-newborn sleeping kinda night which makes us all want to cry.  She goes to bed around 8 p.m. and wakes up around 6 a.m.  We usually get one nap out of her a day - for me, it's usually just after lunchtime and lasts 1.5 to 2 hours... sometimes the occasional 3! ;)
Favorite toys:  Her stuffed kitty is her sidekick, for sure!  She loves playing out in the yard, kicking or throwing balls around.  She also loves books, especially ones with animals.  Of course, her slide is still up high on her favorites list as well!
Loves:  Kitties + barnyard animals, bath time (still doing two a day and loving them!), snacks, watching TV, playing outside, her binkies + jumping on the bed.  She also loves to do whatever we're doing and never passes up an opportunity to help cook, put laundry away or vacuum! ;)
Least favorite things:  I'd have to say that being told "no" is at the top of this list.

Ellie is the sweetest little thing but is also a little bit of a handful! I swear she lives to keep us on our toes and if I turn around for one second + don't see her, I can either find her jumping on the bed or chillin' in the empty bathtub.  She babbles quite a bit but doesn't say a ton of words just yet.  We know it will be coming soon and are just bracing ourselves because we think she will totally be the child who just does not stop talking! ;)  She loves pointing out her body parts, and while her belly might be her favorite, she is also obsessed with doing a little "head, shoulders, knees + toes".  She has been teething for what feels like forever and is up to 16 teeth last I knew.  Ells has a big heart, gives the best kisses + never turns down an opportunity to share her food.  She is very strong-willed, a little bit wild + braver than I will probably ever be!

Happy 18 months, Ellie girl!  We love you! XO

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloweekend 2016

I will admit that our "Halloween season" wasn't exactly all that I had dreamed it would be this year.  We just have so much other stuff going on, life has been a little chaotic but we did manage to get in some Halloween fun this weekend anyway!

We did "trick-or-treat" at my parents' house on Sunday.  I had originally planned months ago for Ellie to be a deer and even made her some ears already, but decided to change her costume the day before to a piggy!  Why a pig?  Well, first off she seems to really like them and has perfected her piggy snort like a champ.  Secondly, we were watching Charlotte's Web on Saturday so it might have inspired me a little bit. ;)  I really wanted to try to put together a costume from things we had on hand already, especially since she's not yet at the point where she gets excited about dressing up as something.  The dress and shoes we already had, so all I had to do was make some ears and a tail!  For the ears, I used leftover felt from Ellie's birthday party and the tail is the same just wrapped around a pipe cleaner and safety-pinned on the dress.  It was definitely the easiest costume on the planet to put together, but I think she looked pretty darn cute! :)

In the end, I was glad I held off on the deer.  I was hoping to put a little deer-esq face paint on her to seal the deal, but after she excitedly sat down for me to put a kitty nose + whiskers on her only to decide after one line of black eyeliner down her nose that she was completely all set, it was clear I made the right choice. ;)  Maybe next year!

The rest of our weekend was pretty quiet.  We gave Ellie her very first cup of chocolate milk and half-carved a pumpkin one morning before we had to head out the door.  Halloween morning was spent at the doctor's for Ellie's 18 month well check - arguably the scariest place on earth in her mind.  We spent the rest of the day cuddling on the couch while Ells pointed out her boo-boos from her shots nine hundred times for me to kiss them and we indulged on a few treats we got the day before.  Turns out Ellie doesn't care for Junior Mints... luckily I know a girl who does! ;)

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!!  And a big, warm welcome to the most wonderful time of the year!

© Life as a Noel. Design by FCD.