Making Space for Baby

One of the most common questions I keep getting from people is where the baby is going to sleep. We have an extra room downstairs, but no one wanted to move downstairs and I didn't want to be schlepping up and down the stairs at all hours of the night with a baby, so I decided to set it up in our room. 

I scored a minicrib off facebook marketplace that fits well on my side of the bed. I fixed Callum's old mobile that the kids broke like a year ago and hung it above the crib. And the blanket, well I had bought that when I was pregnant with Callum, but it totally still works. A friend passed on a dock-a-tot that I plan on using in our bed, as I am sure that even though the minicrib is right next to me, the baby will still end up in our bed a lot! But, the good news is the minicrib is on wheels, so I can pull it right up against the bed if I want. 

We set up a little changing station for the baby in our closet, which the entrance is next to my side of the bed. Ian thought the dresser that I had used for Callum as a changing table was too rickety (after all, my mom picked it up on the side of the road for free!), so I stalked the Crate and Barrel warehouse until I found one. Which, if you are local and have never been, you need to check it out! It's basically a scratch and dent store for Crate and Barrel furniture. I have scored many a great deals there. We hung a piece of pegboard over the dresser, which Lowes so nicely cut to size for us. And I got one of those newfangled changing mats that doesn't require a cover and you just wipe down. I'm excited about it.

That's about it for baby. Most of my nesting urges have been put into the rest of the house, given I didn't really have much to do for baby. I've filled nail holes and touch up painted. I've hung shelves and redecorated things. So all that random hormonal energy is at least being put to good use! 

^^ I took this picture imagining doing the same one with a baby laying there...eek! I'm so excited...for the baby, not the labor and postpartum parts so much. 

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Ice Cream for Lunch

I've become really good at blogging like maybe once a week. Alas, I will trudge on, as this is how I keep our memories going. After we went to the Pacific Pinball Museum (a little over a week ago!), we crossed into San Francisco to go to Salt and Straw. This was the reason for the trip anyway. And it was obviously destined for us because first there was literally no one at the toll booths to get on the bay bridge. I've never seen it like this before. It was crazy. Then, we head to an ice cream shop in the middle of San Francisco and manage to score street parking right in front on the first pass through. WHAT?! The ice cream was obviously meant to be!!!

Even though it was past lunch time and no one had eaten yet, we basically used ice cream as lunch because, well, everyone got a lot of it! The ice cream itself was quirky and fun. I got a gingerbread cookie dough one and it did not disappoint. All the flavors were quirky and sometimes things like that can throw the kids off, but they liked it. Of course, I think the ginormous waffle cones Connor and Isla got helped! They ended up with ones way bigger than me somehow...all because they "split flavors". Apparently the 50 cent up charge for splitting flavors for a single scoop really is code for getting two scoops. It was kind of crazy.

It was a fun little stop in a cute area of San Francisco - Hayes Valley. We've never been to this particular area before, but would definitely go back and explore more as there were just so many cute shops all around there.

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Pacific Pinball Museum

This past weekend was Ian's last holiday off until the end of busy season. It felt appropriate to do something fun as a family. We were going to go to the snow, but found out the snow level was rather high and decided to scrap that...we were hoping more for an experience like last year. Which apparently, now looking back on that, it was in March. So there is still hope for a really good snow for us to go play in. But I digress. Ian and Isla had read about a new ice cream place in San Francisco recently and we decided to go there instead. Except, driving to San Francisco just for ice cream seemed a little bit wasteful. So, I started searching for something fun to do. We have done tons of Bay Area activities over the years, so I was kind of looking for something we hadn't done yet. That's when I stumbled across the Pacific Pinball Museum

To be honest, I wasn't sure how much the kids would like the outing. They always seem rather bah humbug about leaving the house. But they were actually on board...even though I'm not sure they were fully aware what pinball was. When we got there, they were totally excited. You pay a flat fee to get in, then all the pinball machines are free play. They start with the oldest machines, then get newer as you wind through the museum. The old ones are pretty neat because they are wood and you actually have to load your own balls. They also apparently used to have some gambling involved as well and say "minors not permitted" on them. The last room with the newest pinball machines in it was just crazy busy. Too busy for me, even though I did want to try my hand at the Monopoly and Back to the Future machines. But the added chaos (my kids were enough for me already!) just wasn't worth it. So we stuck to the other machines. And to be honest, I was plenty entertained by all the other machines and so were the kids. 

We stayed at the pinball museum for a couple hours before heading to get ice cream. But I could totally see going for a couple hours, then leaving and getting lunch or something, then going back in, as they have in and out privileges. It was a fun stop, one I am sure we will hit up again sometime, as the kids really enjoyed it. 

^^ My kids are total and complete suckers for those souvenir penny machines and of course walked away with a couple. 

^^ Callum was by far the most animated about the pinball machines. Which the museum had step stools for the kids, which was awesome. 

^^ Callum was very serious until the ball went in at the bottom, then would get super excited. 

^^ Loading the ball in one of the old machines.

If you are looking for something unique and entertaining to do with your kids, I highly recommend the pinball museum. 

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35 Weeks

^^ This photo cracks me up because it shows that apparently there are still ab muscles there somewhere...and they obviously work when I laugh

35 weeks. I'm feeling better now than I did like a week ago. I felt so done and so over being pregnant then. I also had my first meltdown over clothing and having nothing to wear. It was awesome. Not. But, if I could get away with leggings and Ian's sweatshirt the rest of my pregnancy, I wouldn't complain. 

The baby completely shifted what side of my body it is on. It had been hanging out on the right, but is now on the left. But, it is head down and that is fantastic news. They haven't mentioned anything about size at any of my appointments, so I have no idea how big the baby may or may not be. My appointments are switching to every other week (well, I guess for just one time, haha!) then weekly for the last two weeks of my pregnancy. I only gained two pounds from my appointment four weeks ago, which I was happy with, as I was certainly piling on the pounds in the beginning. 

I find myself slowing down more and more. I need to sit more often and take breaks. But, even if I am exhausted in the evenings, I have been struggling going to sleep. This is kind of a bummer because I know I need the sleep. Also, I have never gone into any of my labors well rested...they have always started at night, when I had yet to sleep at all. And just the thought of that makes me tired! 

I spent a bunch of time over the kids Christmas break getting the house organized and ready for baby. Of course, most of the organization had nothing to do with baby, but it puts my mind at ease knowing the things are done and I don't have to worry about them later. I have a running list of things I still need to buy or do, but will hopefully accomplish it all before the baby arrives. The one thing I really wanted to do was pull out the car seat and wash it, which I did. I figured it was the only thing Ian wouldn't do should I go into labor early. So, I just wanted it done. Now it sits in our entry, as I am not quite ready to rearrange everyone in the car to get the car seat in. There are a couple more little things I need to pick up, but all of it is for me and that awesome postpartum phase, so I guess I haven't been too excited to buy all that stuff. I also still want to make the mobile for the baby, so need to get around to that. And I want to buy the baby a blanket, but I am going to wait until after it is born because I was definitely liking more gender specific ones. Now, a girl could totally use a boy one, but all the floral ones were so pretty and I am thinking if it's a boy, he wouldn't appreciate the floral. 

I managed to ramble on more than I thought I would. But, here is me, at 35 weeks. Almost done, but feeling like the finish line is also so far away.

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Family Pictures Through the Years

We have had family photos taken every fall, starting in 2009 when I was pregnant with Connor. These photos are something I cherish. Although I love taking photos of my kids and our adventures, the one thing I struggle with is getting in the actual photos. So it's nice to have a set of family photos done every year where we are all in the frame. It's also pretty much the only day of the year that I force my kids to wear what I say. Otherwise, that's not a fight I think is worth fighting. Anyway, here is a shot from every year leading up to this year. 











Also, a few things about the photos.  The first two years were taken while we were living in Scotland. I am pregnant in three of the years (2009, 2011, 2018) of photos. In 2015, I decided to have our family pictures taken right after Callum was born. Like he was six days old. It was a stupid decision on my part for so many reasons. I did it so I could send out a family photo with him in it. But no one is feeling their finest at six days postpartum. Not to mention, it was freezing outside. And Callum literally screamed through the entire session. There are only pictures of him with his mouth closed because he had to stop to breathe sometimes. Pretty much every year, I walk away from our photo session feeling like we are a circus and there is no way a decent family photo was captured. But, if somehow by magic, there are always good ones. So the yearly family photo tradition will continue on, whether my kids like it or not!

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6th Annual Christmas Card Challenge Winners

Let's be honest, this contest is the only reason many of you send me cards every year! And, you know what, I don't really care. I still like it! One of the winners is going to be pleasantly surprised they stuck with sending me a card all these years. Another one has won in another category welcome back to the winners circle ;) As a reminder, the winning categories are as follows
  1. first card to arrive
  2. best handwritten note
  3. best photo(s)
  4. best update
  5. best overall

A few things I would like to point out. Card number two was completely hand made. It was beautiful. And talk about impressive artistic skills I don't have! Number three may just be the best picture I have ever seen. Like literally the best. It makes me want to drag my kids to do the same. Number 5 was a beautiful card, with foil overlay and a fancy envelope to boot. I am all about the whole package! Also worth noting is this is the third year I have gotten New Years cards. I almost made an honorable mention category just for that. It's fun that the holiday card season is being stretched out, with me generally always getting my first one before Thanksgiving and my last one around New Years. Now for the winner of the bag of Bean Counter Coffee Roasters Coffee...

Let's be honest, with a family photo like that, a bag of coffee is well deserved!!!

Next I set aside every locally sent card I received for the month of bread from Alchemy Bread. If you're local and have never tried her bread before, I HIGHLY recommend looking her up. Your life will be changed. Her bread is THAT GOOD. The irony in the winner of this is I am pretty sure they gave me a card just for the bread. Well didn't they luck out!!! Everyone else who sent me a card just to win the bread is crying, alas there can only be one winner. 

Also ironically, card 21 was also the card that won category two above. They should consider themselves having a really good day today!!! I mean, winning the bread AND a category. Pat yourself on the back! 

And can we discuss that the random number generator picked both odd numbers? Or am I the only person that noticed that? I just thought it was funny. Alright, if you won a prize, I'll be contacting you. If you won a category, well done!!! I'm so proud of you :) Thanks to everyone who sent a card this year. I loved all the happy mail. 

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Let's take a walk all the way back to last year. Ok, so Christmas was like two weeks ago. But I still want to document it so I remember it. We stayed home all day on Christmas and it was amazing. The above photo is the kids sitting on the stairs waiting to go see their presents. I didn't put any of their presents out until Christmas morning because Callum was really having trouble leaving presents alone under the tree. I did a video of the kids running into the living room from the stairs. Connor shoved Callum out of the way and went running in all excited, then stopped and said, "Oh." Apparently it was slightly underwhelming, haha! 

Connor's favorite present was his Harry Potter stuff, Isla's was her caboodle and makeup and Callum's was his work bench. Callum walked around in his construction vest for almost the whole day. It was really cute. Actually, I feel like I should throw in a caveat that the kids actual favorite thing on Christmas day was the candy in their stockings. I bought them the good candy that I know they like and it was a HUGE hit. 

Connor "bought" us all presents from his class store and it was really cute seeing him so excited to give them to us. And he really put thought into them, even getting Isla and Callum presents he thought they would like. Isla made two presents in class for us. The decorative wrapping that she drew she did not want thrown away. I forgot to take a picture of her presents, but one was this adorable ornament that had her hand print on it and contained a ribbon that was as long as she is tall. I thought it was incredibly thoughtful and I eat up sentimental presents like that. 

Later in the day, my parents, brother and aunt and uncle came over for dinner. The kids were spoiled with presents from everyone and enjoyed staying in their pjs and playing with their spoils all day. 

^^ We heard SO MUCH HAMMERING on Christmas day. I have since moved the work bench out of the living room, helping all our ears immensely. 

And because I can't resist matching pjs or a family photo on a holiday, here is us all match-matchy. 

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