Sunday, September 27, 2015

2 Year Update

Oh my little Taylor Tot, I cannot believe that two whole years have passed since you came into our lives. It seems like just yesterday I was pregnant with you, and now here we are about to embark on this journey all over again with your brother or sister. You have come a long way in your 24 months of life, constantly trying new things and expanding your little world day by day. You never cease to amaze us with your humor and sass, and you melt us all with your endless hug and kisses. In honor of your birthday, here are a few of your current favorite things:

1. You love to talk and do so nonstop. You yammer on about anything and everything (half the time we can't understand you), but you can successfully count to 10 and name all of the primary colors. You love to say each of our names (Mommy, Daddy, Taylor) multiple times in a row. You love barn yard animals (your favorites being the "moo's" and "baa's"), and you love to exaggerate their animal noises every time we read a book that has one in it.

2. You love to EAT (a girl after my own heart)! It seems like you are always asking for a "nack" of some sort, with your favorites being applesauce, fruit snacks, and sharing bananas with Daddy. You love pasta, grilled cheese, tuna, mac & cheese, blueberries, strawberries, pears, and peaches, but really there isn't much that you won't try. You have recently discovered desserts and you will drop everything for a "tookie" (cookie) or "eye keem" (ice cream). Your papa would be so proud!

3. You love the song "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes" and can name all of your body parts with ease. You have a particular interest in sticking your fingers in your mouth (or my mouth) whenever we ask you where it is located.

4. You love to twirl and sing, especially "Happy Birthday," "The Wheels on the Bus," and "Do You Want to Build a Snowman." You sing at maximum volume no matter where you are or who's around you.  It's like you just can't express how happy you are so you have to shout it for the world to hear. Even your babysitter has mentioned how you randomly start singing at daycare, "We can be in the middle of story time and she'll just burst out into song." I tried to act surprised but really it made me so incredibly happy and proud. Go on with your bad self, girl.

5. You love to play in the dirt and are completely fearless when it comes to climbing things entirely too tall for your small size. You try your best to keep up with the big kids, trailing a couple of steps behind but always making it known that you are present. Your'e loud and bold and it makes my momma heart so very happy.

6. You love to shower with Momma, mostly because I let you color all over the walls and play with foam soap (all while singing at full throttle, of course). When we're finished and you're ready to get out, you yell "Daddy, where are you?" or "Daddy, I need you" and your dad and I laugh every time.

7. You enjoy all parts of bath time except washing your hair/body, getting out, and getting dressed. You have really come around on brushing your teeth, and by that I mean you like to suck the toothpaste off the bristles and turn your electric toothbrush on and off about 10 times before saying "all done" and handing it back to me.

8. You love to play dress up in my closet and will randomly come out wearing the most bizarre outfits. You love hats and jewelry but only when they are for play.  You've become much more vocal about what you wants to wear, so I always try to let you pick when possible. You also love to put on your shoes by yourself, occasionally on the wrong feet but for the most part you get them on correctly. If we accidentally leave your closet door open, you immediately put on your rain boots and throw a fit when we make you take them off. I'm certain you would live in them if we'd let you.

9. You love your daddy to pieces and are most definitely a "daddy's girl," constantly asking where he is even if it's just the next room. You love when he hides or sneaks up on you, when he tosses you around like a rag doll (in a playful way only, nothing harmful), and when he tickles you until you can't breathe. You even added a new verse to your beloved "The Wheels on the Bus" to include: The daddy on the bus says I love you... which is the sweetest thing ever. Your bond is one of a kind and I couldn't possibly love it more. I'll gladly take a back seat if it means watching the two of you in action, because the love that pours out from each of you when they're together just melts me.

10. Don't worry, you also love your Monster Momma, especially when it comes to ow-ies (you seem to need a band-aid for everything), illnesses, and pre-bedtime snuggles. I guess moms are just better at things like that. ;c )

So there you have it, 10 things that make you, you. And we love you for each and every one of them. We are so proud of the little girl you are turning into and can't wait to watch you over the next year as you continue to learn and grow and take on the role of big sister. I'm certain you'll be the best ever!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Week 16 Update

Sorry for the worst lighting ever on these photos. They're taken in our kitchen, which is the only room in our house that gets any natural light. Perhaps when I have more energy I'll get dressed up on the weekend and take a beautiful photo outside with the changing leaves, but for now it's a quick pic snapped on Jake's iPhone before work on a weekday morning. At least my make up is fresh and I don't look like I've been hit by a semi-truck like I do at the end of the day. Just keepin it real, folks!

Size: An avocado (tasty!)

Gender: After realizing just how impatient we are, we decided to go ahead and have a gender ultrasound this Friday. The results will be e-mailed to Jake's mom, and she will send a package revealing baby no. 2's gender which we'll unwrap with my family next weekend. I can not wait! #girlforthewin

Maternity Clothes: Oh man, the work wardrobe is getting smaller by the day. As you can tell above, I am stretching my non-maternity clothes as far as they will go, but I'm seriously going to have to do some shopping soon. This bump has taken on a life of its own!

Sleep: I'm having a real issue getting comfortable at night which means that instead of getting a full night's rest I'm basically napping in spurts throughout the night. I know it's entirely too early to be feeling this way, so I'm looking into body pillow options since my old one just isn't cutting it. Recommendations are welcome!!

Best Moment This Week: Opening up the windows and enjoying a relaxing Sunday at home. Jake let me sleep in then made waffles for breakfast (he's the best). I cleaned the house then we spent the afternoon playing and napping. It was perfect and definitely needed!

Miss Anything: A clear face! My skin has been breaking out non-stop since I became pregnant, something I never experienced with Taylor. I never realized how much I took a clear complexion for granted, but I miss it and want it back!

Movement: None yet but I am so anxious for it. I just know it's going to come out of nowhere one day while I'm typing away at my desk or standing in line at the grocery store. I am feeling a whole lot of round ligament pain though! This belly is definitely growing by the day.

Cravings: I've officially reached that point where I'm starving all the time! Things like applesauce, Cheerios, chicken nuggets, and mac & cheese always sound good. Being pregnant is basically the equivalent of being a toddler. Same cravings but larger portions. ;c )

Sickness: It's finally gone! Hallelujah! I'll take tired over queasy any day of the week.

Looking Forward To: This week is full of birthdays in our house! Mine is today and the tot's is Sunday. Saturday, my mom, sister, and I are having a girls day and taking Taylor and her cousins to see Disney on Ice. I cannot wait to see the look on her face - I just know she is going to have the time of her life! Then Sunday, we are having a small celebration with close family and a few of her friends. I still have some shopping and lots of wrapping to do, but, honestly, I could give her a handful of rocks and a bag of cookies and girlfriend would be over the moon. Don't think both options haven't crossed my mind at this point. #motheroftheyear

Monday, September 21, 2015

An Idaho Vacation (Part 2)

Tuesday morning we woke up without any plans, so we decided to meet Jake's younger sister for lunch and then check out a local playground, which was awesome. Seriously, why didn't stuff like this exist when we were kids?

 After we wore the kids out at the playground, we grabbed some ice cream and went to visit Gigi (Jake's maternal grandmother). Since it had been nearly 3 years since we had been back to visit, she was excited to see Jake and I - and even more excited to meet Taylor for the first time!

That evening, we headed to Shoshone Falls for a picnic with the family. Unfortunately, there wasn't much water running off the falls, but with a view like this we didn't really care. The sun setting over the river was absolutely gorgeous, so we made sure to capture some family photos before it went down. 

Wednesday morning, we set out for the south hills in search of an adventure. Our girl loves being outdoors, so we knew she'd have a blast exploring whatever we came across. We set up camp, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for lunch, then stopped at a creek to play before heading back to town. The creek water was so cold, but Taylor and Will (and Jake) had a blast splashing around regardless. We headed home with rosy cheeks, dirty feet, and tired bodies, all signs that the day was a success.


That night, Jake and I enjoyed a kid-free dinner at a restaurant overlooking Snake River Canyon (thanks again, Mindy!). The food was good, but the view was definitely the best part. After dinner, we walked around the edge of the canyon and couldn't help but take a terrible selfie to capture the moment. Later that evening, we met up with Jake's aunt and uncle and his youngest sister and her husband for ice cream at Dairy Queen (a long-standing family tradition) where Taylor entertained the entire table with multiple rounds of "Let it Go" and by being her typical off-the-wall self.

Thursday was a pretty low-key day. We spent the majority of the morning walking around the canyon, touring the visitor's center (where Taylor was quick to find herself a souvenir or two), watched a few base jumpers jump off the Perrine Bridge, and then made our way to the Love Lock Fence where we added a lock of our own and then threw our key into the canyon for good measure. For anyone in the Idaho region, my sister-in-law has an awesome blog, The Idaho Bucket List, that follows attractions all throughout the state. She's an extremely talented individual, so I highly recommend checking out her site. You won't be sorry.

That evening, we had dinner with the family at Maxie's, a local favorite, and then headed down to Centennial Park to snap a few more photos before the sun went down. With a background like this, how could we not?


And then Taylor showed off her brute strength and burned off some energy at the playground. She is seriously one freakishly strong child.

Friday morning, we packed our bags, said our goodbyes, and made the 3 hour drive back to Salt Lake. We spent the night with our good friends again and then began our journey back home entirely too early the next morning. Saturday made for a long day of travel, but it was all worth it once we finally pulled into our driveway around 9:00 that night. We put the tot straight to bed and then melted in the couch, leaving our suitcases and piles of laundry for another day. Overall, our trip was a huge success. The tot did much better than I ever would've imagined but constantly being on the go wore all of us out. In fact, I'm still recovering.

Thanks for the memories, Idaho. It was so great seeing everyone but next time you all come to us!

Friday, September 18, 2015

An Idaho Vacation (Part 1)

Last week, our little family of three made the trip out west to visit friends and family. Due to the vast distance between Missouri and Idaho, we decided to save everyone's sanity and fly, avoiding a 20+ hour drive with a toddler who hates her car seat and a husband with a bladder the size of a pea. No way in hell was that happening. So, we set off for the airport bright and early Saturday morning with smiles on our faces and the highest of hopes for a meltdown-free day of travel. Taylor was over the moon when she found out we would be riding a bus from the parking lot to the airport and couldn't stop pointing and saying "I on a bus!" the entire time. Once we arrived at the terminal, we checked our luggage and zipped through security, Jake slung the car seat over his back Ninja Turtle style, and we were off to grab a bite to eat before boarding our first flight. Taylor was so excited to be in the airport, waving and yelling "hi" to everyone from her stroller. Boarding the plane was a huge relief as we were finally able to gate check the stroller, car seat, and Taylor's suitcase (that I wasn't about to check due to a bad track record with lost luggage). Traveling with a toddler definitely requires lugging more junk around than you ever thought possible, but we were infinitely glad to have her stroller when hoofing it through the airport and around all of southern Idaho. We could've rented a car seat from the car rental company, but I was happy having our own knowing that it was in a clean and safe condition.

Our first flight from St. Louis to Denver went rather smooth despite it being the smallest plane I've ever seen. Since Tay is technically still one, the airline did not require us to buy a ticket for her which meant that one of us would have to hold her on our lap during the flights. Imagine my expanding body, my 6'4" husband, our squirmy toddler, and an overflowing diaper bag shoved into 2 seats with little to no leg room. My knees touched the seat in front of me, so I have no idea how Jake even managed to sit in his seat. Add a toddler (and all of her flailing limbs) and you end up saying 100 "I'm sorry's" to the person in front of you and secretly wishing you could roundhouse kick whoever designed this horrible contraption in the face. But alas, fruit snacks and Frozen to the rescue! Taylor was completely oblivious that she was even on a plane except for the take off and landing (both of which she loved).

Flight number two from Denver to Salt Lake wasn't quite as easy due to my already queasy stomach and a lot of turbulence. Jake was a lifesaver, holding the tot on his lap and playing videos on his phone to distract her while I attempted not to hurl. Uh, it was horrible. To make matters worse, as soon as we landed Jake turned on his phone to find a message from the airline informing us that a piece of our luggage had not arrived. We quickly deplaned and headed straight to baggage claim where we discovered that Jake's bag had arrived unscathed while my suitcase was on a flight to Chicago. Awesome. Thankfully, our plan was to stay with friends in Salt Lake that evening and then drive up to Idaho in the morning. After being assured that my suitcase would be delivered some time that evening, we made a quick exit to the car rental company only to find that it was located about 15 minutes from the airport. Another bus ride made for a happy tot, but schlepping all of our junk (minus my suitcase) was starting to get old. We made a quick trip in and out of the rental company, loaded up our Volkswagen Passat, and got the hell out of dodge. We were all ready to be done traveling for the day.

That night, we stayed with two of our very favorite people, one of Jake's best friends from childhood, his awesome wife, and their dog, Collie. Taylor instantly took to Collie, following her around and saying her name over and over - it was so adorable. We had purchased a camping cot for the tot to sleep on during our travels (mailing it to their house prior to our trip was maybe the smartest thing we've ever done), so we were anxious to see how she'd do on it. As always, she was amazing and stayed on it the entire night as if she'd been sleeping on it her entire life.

The next morning, we woke up to a phone call that my suitcase was out for delivery. Giant sigh of relief.  At that point, I was determined that nothing else could go wrong, so we quickly got ready, grabbed breakfast at a local cafe, and headed north for Twin Falls, Idaho. A short three hours (and two full viewings of Frozen) later, we pulled into Jake's mom's driveway where we were greeted by lots of family. We feasted on shrimp, corn on the cobb, potatoes, and iced cream sandwiches then sat around the kitchen table playing cards and watched Taylor climb in and out of the dog door. Cheap entertainment at its finest!


Later that night, tired and sore from a long afternoon of travel, I headed back to Jake's sister's house to put the tot and myself to bed while Jake went out to meet up with some friends from high school. Jake's sister and her family were nice enough to put us up for the week, so we were nice enough to pay them back in toddler laughs and by staying out of their hair as much as possible. Thanks again Curt and Mindy - we appreciate all of your hospitality!

The next day we were up early to head to the Twin Falls County Fair where we made noises at every barnyard animal, ate lots of yummy food (fair corn dogs are a pregnant lady's dream), and watched the tot ride her first pony and a couple of rickety carnival rides with her cousin, Will. The fair is basically every kid's fantasy - you can get as dirty and sticky as you want, run around like a crazy person, and still fit right in! Taylor was no exception.

Obviously, she had a great time, because she spent the rest of the afternoon like this, drool and all, which was much needed because that evening we went to a friend's house for dinner where there were an abundance of little girls for Taylor to play with. They had a blast pushing baby dolls in strollers, jumping on the trampoline, and having their own hilarious conversations at the dinner table while the adults stayed outside. She was in heaven running around with the big girls, so we seized the opportunity to catch up with friends we hadn't seen in far too long. It was such a great night, and I'm so glad we were able to see them while we were in town!

Well, that's probably enough for one post (plus it's getting late). Stay tuned for details about the rest of our trip as well as another picture overload!