Friday, August 28, 2015

& Baby Makes Four!

It's officially official (Facebook official). We are expecting another bundle of joy at the end of February 2016.

Here are the pregnancy FAQ's:

How far along are you? 15 weeks.

How are you feeling? Hungry.

Have you been sick? I feel better now, but the first 8 weeks were rough. Our trip to Yellowstone was actually a good distraction (I only threw up once on the whole trip - when I walked into an outhouse that had been DESTROYED by the previous occupant). Also, chewing gum when I start feeling queasy has helped immensely. 

Are you going to find out what you're having? Oh yes. Definitely. I don't do well with surprises. In fact, I usually find out every present I'm going to get beforehand because my brain can't stop the process of deduction. Also, I like being prepared, so not knowing if I have enough of everything will drive me nuts.

Do you want a girl or a boy? We all know how the game works. People with boys keep having babies until they get their girl. To be honest, I'm kind of feeling done with this whole pregnancy thing. I hated it the first time, and I hate it again this time. I also know what being a working mom does to me emotionally, and I'm not sure I can put myself through this too many more times. Therefore, if we have a girl, GREAT. We can call our perfect family done. If we have a boy, GREAT. We have everything we need for a boy, so I feel more prepared for a boy. And having been through the boy thing, we know how to do boys already (sorry folks, boys and girls are truly different by design, even though I was convinced otherwise before I had a boy). And boys are so much stinking fun. In answer to this question, I would truly be happy either way.

Do you have names picked out? Not yet, but I have a few ideas.

Are you craving anything? Right now it's tomatoes! Which is funny because I usually hate tomatoes. These days I'll take them any way I can get them. In fact, yesterday I bought four different types of tomato soup, and I made pasta with tomato sauce for dinner. Thank goodness tomatoes are currently in season because no tomato can compare to a perfectly ripe heirloom tomato. Preferably smothered in pesto. Or served with fresh mozzarella. Yummmmm. I could go on about tomatoes for days.

How much weight have you gained? I'm guessing 10+ pounds. I gained a lot in the first trimester with Everett, too. First trimester sickness is easier when you just keep eating, so I just keep eating.

Is Everett excited to be a big brother? Everett has no idea what's going on. We have been talking a lot about babies, and he always wants to check out babies we see in public. For now we just talk about how we will get our own baby in a little while. If anyone knows of a good children's book that introduces the topic, I am here to take suggestions.

I think that about sums it all up! Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Visiting the Grandparents

You guys, life is so dull. The daily grind brings you down, Thomas the Train is on repeat, mom's always trying to clean, and there's frozen pizza for dinner every night. Life. Is. Rough. Except when you are with your grandparents! Lemme tell you, Everett had the time of his life last weekend visiting Nana and Pop.

I have to admit, I was a little worried about the transition back to normal life. After the high of last weekend, Jeff and I are pretty boring people. I mean, why can't he always have French Toast for three meals a day?! Despite the absolute letdown of being home, he's managed to adjust to being back in his own special way:

Eating markers and drawing all over himself. Perfect.

One of Everett's favorite activities over the weekend was chilling with Nana's chickens. His favorite one was Gabby, which he proudly announced to everyone. She really was the friendliest though, so you can't fault him for good taste.

And what trip to the grandparents' house would be complete without riding in multiple motorized vehicles? He got a tractor ride, a boat ride, and even took his first tube ride (not motorized).

G'ma got to display her mad skiing skillz.

And the Captain. 

Overall, we were all pretty spoiled. We ate too much, got free babysitting for a day so I could buy too much at Lush (not sorry), and had an absolute blast.

This just in: the saga continues. His other grandma just took him to visit Uncle John. It's official. We are theee most boring parents in the world. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Around Here

This week has been a crazy one. I think my "favorite" moment this week was coming home to discover the freezer door had been left wide open all day (we don't have AC and it was 100 degrees that day). I had a pretty big mess to clean up.

In the midst of all the random craziness, I am always ever so grateful for my telecommuting days. It is a welcome sigh of relief to have a day where I can schedule work hours around my family. Between this week's telecommuting work projects, I was able to snap a few photos with my new camera!

As much as I hated spending so much on an object that is not important in the grand scheme of life, sometimes we just need to embrace our #firstworld problems and fork out hundreds of dollars on the things we love. The new camera is a million times better than my old one, and it has been quite the adjustment. I have always preferred shooting in manual mode, and this camera does much of the work that made my old camera difficult while taking manual shots. I still have a lot to learn, but I hope to get there soon. I think I finally have all the settings where I want them to be.

These were all shot with the 50mm lens Jeff bought me for Christmas a couple years ago. I love this lens! And it works far better on this camera than my old one.

I also wanted to capture a few indoor shots at a higher ISO. I think it still works great, even with a wiggling subject. 

Yesterday morning Everett broke out of the house, turned on the sprinkler, and started running through the water. I told him he needed shoes on if he was going to play outside, so he ran inside and attempted to put on a pair of shoes. He is such a funny little kid.

I am pretty darned proud of myself. I made my first ever batch of non-freezer jam (even though we now have plenty of room in our freezer). I had nightmares that all the lids popped up overnight, but when I woke up in the morning, not one had popped. This is probably because I had Jeff use his man hands to tighten them. Hopefully we will be able to get them open when it comes time to consume the deliciousness. 

Peaches for days!

We finally got some calls from daycares this week. We have been on waitlists for months! My little baby will be starting "preschool" soon!

Monday, August 10, 2015

New Etsy Listings!

If you have not been over to my Etsy Shop in a while, I have posted a few new listings. One of my favorite parts about traveling is getting to share images and memories from places I have visited around the world. That said, I recently added 2 photographs from our trip to Yellowstone. I hope you enjoy them!

Feel free to check out some of my other listings as well. I am always happy to take custom orders if there is something that tickles your fancy. Sometime soon I plan on sharing how I use these images around my house for decorating - that is, if life will allow me a few spare moments of time to take pictures, edit them, post them, etc.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Yellowstone National Park

Checking in after a little vacation from blogging! Sorry to all my social network friends who I have been ignoring. This summer has been crazeballz, and it was good to turn off the devices for a few days. We recently took a trip to Montana for a dear friend's wedding, and decided to throw in a trip to Yellowstone at the tail end of wedding season (I still have one more this weekend, then I am officially done). I am happy to report we are still on a high from our time away from it all. Despite the ridiculously cold nighttime temperatures, I am pretty sure this was one of our best vacations yet.

Since we tent camped and made most of our food on camping stoves, we really did not end up spending too much money on our adventure. I bought us a new tent and a few camping supplies for the trip, but I consider these as lifetime investments, and not trip-specific expenses. We also borrowed a lot of supplies from my dad, who is an REI hoarder.

Unfortunately, sometime between our attendance at the wedding and our arrival in Yellowstone, my camera finally decided to crap out. For this reason, I did not get many great photos of our adventures, not for lack of trying.

Shortly after I snapped this shot, a grizzly bear stood up and started walking toward us. I visited Yellowstone at least once a year as a child, and the one thing I learned was that if you stare long enough at any one spot in the park, eventually something magical will happen. Of course, I am a nerd and think seeing animals in their natural habitat is magical, so maybe the average human doesn't care.

Our friends H&E joined us for the first few nights of our stay. It was good to have moral support from others enduring the below freezing nighttime temperatures, and their presence was oh-so fun around a campfire. And Everett loved having extra people around who were willing to throw rocks in the water with him.

I'll pay anyone money to find me a replica of this stuffed sheep.

I mean, this was the view from our campsite. Who cares about the cold when you have this view?

We were all laughing because this deer clearly regretted her decision to walk across the hot terrain. She was literally tiptoeing.

Jeff, Everett, and I hiked up the hillside to watch Old Faithful go off from a different perspective. It was nice to be away from the crowds, but a little rough going up the mountain with a giant toddler on our backs.

This little guy was Everett's favorite part of the hike. Ev could not stop laughing at him (her?).

We also caught a few other geysers going off, and took many normal-for-us pictures.

My favorite geothermal site in the park would have to be the Grand Prismatic. It. Is. Gorgeous.

Someone lost their umbrella...

I love science.

After H&E left, we had some other special visitors arrive in Yellowston. My dad and step-mom came to help us adventure a little more.

We booked a private boat tour and went fishing on the lake for a couple hours. The experience was worth every penny. "Everett" caught 2 fish, but we had to throw them back to keep the native fish population safe. The fishing restrictions in the park are very green. You even have to use special hooks so as not to harm the fish in case you catch one that needs to be thrown back.

Here we are with our awesome captain, an accountant-turned-mountainman.

For anyone tent camping in the park and looking for a break from camp food, the Old West Dinner Cookout in Tower-Roosevelt is an excellent splurge. We opted to take the wagon ride, rather than horses for three reasons: 1) we had a 2-year-old; 2) riding in those horse lines is boring (I always prefer private trail rides); 3) it is significantly cheaper.

The meal is an all you can eat steak dinner with incredible vegetarian-friendly sides. The cornbread muffins with butter and honey were my personal favorite. Yummmm. There is a little stream running through the area, and Everett had a jolly time splashing around before and after dinner. I didn't take too many pictures of him doing this activity, as I was lamenting my crappy camera performance at that particular moment. Despite my personal strife, it was another experience worth every penny.

I believe the main reason our trip was such a success was due to the fact that I invested a lot of time making packing and to-do lists. I even took 2 days off work specifically to make last minute purchases and get things at home in order. I think we only forgot one thing: a tablecloth for the campsite - but I'm also not 100% sure I actually bought one...I just remember seeing it on the shelf at the General Store...and it wasn't even necessary. Too bad I can't find the receipt.

That is all for now. Hopefully you will be hearing from me about a new camera soon! And thank goodness for the weekend! Phew, what a week.

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