Monday, January 28, 2013

More jumps!

Anna wanted you to know that she can free-form jump outside of her crib as well ... something our weekly newsletter says most toddlers don't master until they are two years old (just sayin').  We've received a few notes home from school that mentioned her attempts over the last few months to master jumping and you can tell here that's she very pleased with herself for getting it down pat.  You'll also notice that she's multi-talented in that she can eat her after-school-pre-dinner snack (that she VERY LOUDLY DEMANDS upon first stepping foot in the house) and jump at the same time.  Also, please ignore my voice in these, this was day two of having barely any voice and I'm pretty sure this was as loud as I got for five days.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Who's the boss?

To start at the beginning, I'm married to one of the best men around!  I hear stories from friends and friends of friends and am thankful each day that I have such a great best friend to share my life with and to help raise our family.  I like to think that we're a partnership in parenting and love that Anna has big eyes for her Daddy.  Before I went back to work after my first maternity leave we talked and decided that I would spend time with Anna in the morning through breakfast and getting ready for school, but Mike would take her so that I could get to work a little earlier, leave a little earlier and handle pick-up.  This isn't set in stone and we play it by ear on days Mike is out of town or has early meetings, same with pick-up.  Long story short, here are a few pictures of why Mike is SO MUCH better at corralling our little Miss in the mornings.  Part of the reason is because I'm pregnant and it literally takes more effort to chase / convince Anna that clothing and school are a great idea, partly because I cherish every minute with her, but mostly because I'm a sucker for a good (and embarrassing) photo opportunity.

And she's off!
Clearly I've lost all control in my own home ...
Still pushing the limits after I managed to wrestle her into wearing clothing and putting on a coat : )

Friday, January 25, 2013

Baby Bump: 33 weeks

I've gotten a little behind in documenting this pregnancy, but better late than never to catch up, right?  I can't believe I'm six-ish weeks away from meeting this little girl, four-ish if she's like her big sister who arrived two weeks early. I saw my OB last week and everything looks great, I'm measuring right on track, my stats are perfect, and the baby is head-down and likely to stay that way until I deliver.  I pulled the "checklist" below from a blogger I read here and there and thought it would keep me on track so that when I'm bored in my 80s I can look back and  remember what it was like being pregnant with #2.

How Far Along: 33 weeks

Size of Baby: Approximately 4 ½ pounds, weighing as much as a pineapple, and approximately 17 inches long; we haven’t had an ultra-sound since 20 weeks, so these are just estimates based on the fact that I’m measuring right on track both belly-wise and weight-gain-wise. 

Movement: This baby girl is a just like her sister, a big afternoon and evening kicker.  I remember with Anna I was worried this would mean she would be a night owl, but we've lucked out with a great sleeper and hope the same rubs off with this little one.  She’s head down, and I didn't need my OB to confirm this last week, the constant pressure on my bladder and rib/lung kicks confirmed well before he did : )  Often times I’ll lay down to go to sleep only to be woken up by a really big kick or punch. 

Sleep:  Yeah, not so much.  I’m tired at the end of the day, but wake up 2-3 hours after I fall asleep wide awake and I usually spend a couple hours each night on the couch catching up on recorded shows or late-night infomercials.  Good practice for what’s ahead, ha.  It’s hard to get comfortable these days and the 3-4 trips to the bathroom each night don’t help. 

Cravings:  Nothing super specific ... just enjoying a few restaurants and foods I know I won’t be as apt to partake in when I’m trying to lose the baby weight.  

Symptoms: Fatigue at the end of the day, trouble sleeping, congestion, heartburn, the constant need to run to the restroom, and waddling.  Luckily (knock on wood), I haven’t had a migraine in weeks; I saw a neurologist a few months ago and he suggested a daily magnesium supplement; that’s either been helping or I grew out of that phase of this pregnancy.  I'm also not nearly as swollen as I was with Anna at this point, meaning my shoes and rings all still fit comfortably, hopefully this keeps up, with my other stats remaining in good shape, and there's no preeclampsia risk this time around.  

Best Moment This Week: Anna snuggling up with me after dinner and a few minutes later patting my belly and saying “Hi Baby!!” and then leaning over to give me a hug.  Priceless!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snow much fun!

After last year's very mild winter, Anna had her first snow experience last month and if the fact that we had to drag her inside was any indication, I'd say she liked it.  She must get that from her Dad's side, because I'm not a huge fan of snow .. don't get me wrong, it's pretty enough ... but only (in my mind) if you have the luxury of sitting inside where it's warm and enjoying from afar.  When it impedes my ability to get out and about and means that I lose my husband for an hour to shoveling  that's when I get a little huffy and start praying for spring.  That said, seeing Anna's reaction to her first snow reminded me of why I love being a parent, seeing the world through the eyes of a child is simply amazing and will never get old!

Bundled up and ready to go!

"Are you coming out Mom??"

Eating the snow was quite possibly the best part!

So much fun!!
Learning all about snow balls from Daddy

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Making our house a home: Anna's "big girl" room

For some reason pregnancy nesting means major room overalls in my brain ... we completed a total re-do of our study (nothing like painting at 28 weeks pregnant!) before we got down and dirty with furnishing and decorating Anna's "big girl" room.  Not unlike a couple of years ago when we decided to update one our guest rooms (now Anna's room) before completing the nursery.  The nursery will remain unchanged and neutral (click here and here for pictures), but we knew Anna needed a space that was bright and airy, girly and with plenty of pastels!  We had hoped to use the existing furniture, but ultimately just didn't feel that she (or we!) we were ready for her to be in a bed of any sort at 20 months old.  We lucked out and found a great deal on a convertible crib, dresser and bookshelf at a local children's store and this set-up gives us all peace of mind, and will grow with her through the years.  Overall, I love how this room turned out!  We've left plenty of room for Anna to make it her own as she grows, but in the meantime it's the perfect space for a sweet and adorable little girl!  Links are posted below because I really loved some of the products and vendors and think you might too.

Furniture:  Treehouse Kids and Ikea
Flower decal wall art:  Etsy (SUPER easy to hang!!)
Framed prints: Etsy
Storage bins: Target
Valances:  Target
Rug:  Pottery Barn Kids (outlet!!)
Mirror:  A local thrift store find, spray painted pink by yours truly!
Various knick knacks:  Home Goods and Ikea

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Anna loves to jump and it's become increasingly hard to get her out of bed in the mornings between the jumping, the conversations with her stuffed animal friends and fawning over the cats.  Although getting her up means that dropping her at school is just around the corner, it also means we get to share breakfast together first, which is one of my favorite parts of the day.  Watching her giggle and literally jump for joy is a very close second.  The video below was shot the morning after her first night in her new "big girl" room (picture post to follow this week) and I think it's clear that she was a fan of her new digs.  

And, because I probably haven't embarrassed her enough on the blog, here are a few posts of the little Miss first thing in the morning ... 


Perks right up when her BFF, Milo, comes in to say good morning

Monday, January 14, 2013

Letter to Anna: Month Twenty

Dear Anna,

You’re 100% toddler these days, but we’re dancing dangerously close to the terrible twos and “big girl” status.  Your personality develops more each day and I’m constantly amazed at how quickly learn and grow.  You’re also looking more like a little (big) girl than a toddler.  You got your first haircut this month (bye bye mullet!), and although you didn't love the process initially, by the end you were chatting it up with my stylist and impressing her with the knowledge of all of your body parts.  You not only look more grown up with your “big girl” haircut, you’re acting more grown up, too.  From eating your food in almost adult size pieces (no more baby bites for you!) to your expanding vocabulary, to the fact that you’re grown out of most of your clothing sized in months.  You do so much in one month that it’s hard for me to keep up and I’m challenged each time I sit down to write your letter. 

You’re not only developing a bigger vocabulary by the minute, but you also understand the context of most of the new words you are learning.  The flip side to this revelation is that you are now able to very verbally and physically let us know when you’re displeased or don’t agree by shouting out a “NO!” or running away in protest.  The fun side is that a few recent favorites include “uh oh!”, “whoa”, “yay” and “what’s that??” and it’s hilarious to hear you use them in context.  Just the other day you were extremely concerned about the missing crayon as we cleaned up and kept repeating “uh oh” in the sweetest ton ever as you looked under tables and in between cushions.  You've also started to impress us with two syllable words like “purple” and “outside” and use them regularly.  We've also become a big fan of “mine” this past month and you seem to think that it means “I want”, “I need”, or “you’d better give me that before I lose it.”  And, lost it you have.  We've seen a few tantrums over animal cookies ... you’ll get upset and flail yourself to the floor, kicking your hands and feet on the ground like a teeny tiny teenager.  The good news is that you can fairly easily be diverted at this stage, either with a new activity or a song.  Just today I made up a song about getting dressed for school and it was enough to make you slow down and actually let me put more than a diaper on you before we headed out in 30 degree weather. 

You’re only a few days away from moving into your “big girl” room and less than two months away from becoming a big sister.  You will occasionally refer to my belly as “baby” or “sissy” depending on your mood, but we haven’t pushed it much as I’m sure there’s no way you really grasp what’s going on.  What I do know is that you’re a nurturer at heart.  Before receiving two baby dolls at Christmas you loved to swaddle your other stuffed animals and “rock rock rock” them.  With the babies you are still a great swaddler, love to rock them, but also pat their backs, and will put them down to sleep.  You’re going to be one heck of an awesome big sister!  Will there be jealousy, of course.  Will you push your limits, absolutely.  But, I know that more than any of that, you’ll love this little girl with all your heart and will be her number one protector. 

You’re smart as a whip and I swear that I’m not saying that because I’m biased.  You love to learn and to listen, to read, to work puzzles and know almost immediately when we’re trying to pull a fast-one on you.  You received slippers from your cousin Leah at Gigi’s the day after Christmas and immediately needed to try them on for size.  Unfortunately they were about 3 sizes too big and we were all worried you’d twist an ankle.  As quickly as we could get them off of you, I hid them in a bag.  You stood there with your hands in front of you for a good 5 minutes trying to figure out where they’d gone.  You then impressed us all by working a new puzzle (stating it is for ages 2 and up!) within a matter of minutes, and completely it correctly.  You know all of your body parts (although I’d love if you could say “button” as a complete word; it’s going to be really embarrassing when you raise up a strangers shirt and declare “butt” to them...), the noises that pretty much any animal makes, know some colors, are a few letters into your ABCs and can work most puzzles with your eyes closed (you even love to test us by trying the wrong spot, but saying “nooooo” as you place a piece there). 

You had another wonderful Christmas with your family.  We decided this year we’d start the tradition of being in our own home Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.  You loved the Christmas Eve church service, but had a horrible time sleeping once we got home and felt a little warm overnight.  To top it off, I’d developed a stomach bug in the meantime.  Long story short, you slept with us Christmas Eve, which really meant that no one slept and we were all zombies the next day.  Our trip to Lexington to see your grandparents and other family was delayed a day while we all recovered, but we were able to visit with your Pittsburgh grandparents when we returned home.  A few days later we saw that you had all four cuspid teeth popping through, which completely explained the four nights of fussies you had and the mild fever.  The good news is that you’re done teething until those two year molars decided to break through; all 16 other teeth are in and accounted for, woo hoo! 

You love to dance.  A lot.  You’ll wiggle your groove thing to just about anything.  Right now your love a song on the radio with the lyrics “don’t stop the party” and I can’t tell you how fitting that is given that you truly believe your life is a party ... except for those instances where we won’t allow you to eat frosted animal cookies as your sole dinner entree.  My hope for you is that you keep this enthusiastic outlook on life, that every day you wake up thinking it’s a party.  You certainly make us feel that way when we walk into your room and see your smile, when you run over to give us a hug or when you put both of your little hands in the air and say “wee”, demanding we do ring-around-the-rosie with you that second.  Please keep your “glass half full” mentality and that toothy smile on your face.  And when you’re down and out, call your Mom and I’ll remind you that life is just a party waiting for you to arrive. 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

As cold as ice

One of my awesome co-workers sent me a holiday gift containing four pints of Jeni's ice cream from Columbus.  If you've never had Jeni's, think Graeters on crack.  It's awesome and that's all I have to say about it.  Their flavor combinations are amazing and at $4 for 2 scoops (you're encouraged to mix and match), I think it's a really great deal.  My first time trying Jeni's was during our girl's trip this past November and I thought I'd literally died and gone to pregnant heaven when I tasted the brown butter almond brittle.  My thoughtful co-worker knew ice cream was something I could enjoy immediately, unlike the usual bottles of wine she sends me after a challenging project.  As it turns out the dry ice included in the package made a fun and science-filled evening for everyone in the Kelly household.  Not pictured:  Mike's fascination with the dry ice as well, it really did keep going and going and going.  (Please excuse the dishes and oven mits on the counter, the delivery came as we were literally sitting down to eat dinner)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Craft Corner: Santa Hand Ornaments

My Mom sent me this idea way back in November and I filed it away thinking that we'd see if we had time before the holidays.  Due to a busy month of December and a crazy project for work, it wasn't looking hopeful that this would happen, but once school and work let out for the holidays, my crafty juices started flowing.  This was super easy, kid friendly, and will be something we'll cherish forever.  I did a dry run with one batch of the dough and then tripled it on the next round which yielded four hand prints, one for us and each set of grandparents (I wound up not using the first ornament, it was a little thicker than the others).  Acrylic craft paint and permanent markers made the painting easy and I sealed with a clear acrylic spray coat, although I'm nut sure that step is necessary.  I can't wait to think of some other ideas for next year's ornament!

PS - a friend sent me a link to this site which has a TON of cute craft ideas for young'uns.

Ho ho ho!  After drawing the "whiskers" on one ornament I thought it looked too cat/mouse-like, so I bagged it for the rest.

The finished product

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Self feeding ...

... but unfortunately not the self cleaning model.  She does love her yogurt, though : )  And, yes, she does favor her left hand for eating and other tasks, but is still fairly ambidextrous.

Monday, January 7, 2013

She works hard for the money

We updated our study last month and at first Anna loved the swivel function of Dad's new office chair, but that quickly became old news as she realized she was wasting precious working hours.  Being the professional that she is, she knew there were e-mails to respond to, presentations to create, and blog posts to help Mommy write.  Just look at that dedication!