Monday, January 26, 2015

Mattox ~ 32 - 34 Weeks

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Taken Sunday, January 11, 2015

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Taken Sunday, January 25, 2015
Wow, where did January go?  I know I haven't posted my weekly updates in a while, but time is going by so fast.  Not that I am complaining too much although the next month is going to be a little crazy.  It is just hard to believe that we will be meeting our little man in less than 5 weeks!  Our delivery is scheduled for Sunday, March 1st at 39 weeks if Baby M doesn't decide to come earlier.  We have been getting weekly NST checks, and Mattox just loves those.  Actually, that was a bit sarcastic because I actually think he gets a little attitude as he kicks and tries to move away from the monitor constantly.  Of course, we are just happy that he is so active.  Daddy started his new job over two weeks ago so he has been in Raleigh for most of the week although he does get to come home and go to appointments on Fridays.  Brody is especially excited about getting to hold "his baby" soon.  He tells me all the time that he (Brody) is mommy's baby and that Baby Mattox is "his baby."  We are hoping to find our new home in Raleigh this month and maybe even begin the process of moving before Baby M's arrival.  Not to worry, we will be hiring movers to do the majority of the work.  We have found several good prospects in the area we like but just haven't had a chance to go see them in person.  A good school district is an absolute must as well as a nice, safe yard for the kids and dog.  

Weight Gain:  Baby is growing great and starting to put on some adorable chunky baby fat.  I imagine he weighs around 5 lbs. now.   

Maternity Clothes:  Definitely.

Sleep:  Waking up more often to use the bathroom and to turn from one side to the other.   Brody has been sleeping with me in my bed a lot while Daddy is away, and he actually stays asleep most of the night so that helps me get more rest.  

Best Moment of this week: Mostly feeling how active our little man is.  We are thankful that Daddy will be staying home with us most of this week because he has a big conference taking place in Charlotte this week involving the U.S. Forest Service.  

Movement:  He's still pretty active, and since he is head down and lower, he can make mommy a bit uncomfortable sometimes. 

Food cravings:  Nothing really and my appetite has slowed down a little since I have significantly less room for food.  I was really hoping for a Pinkberry fix this month, but we discovered that our only Pinkberry closed.  Sigh.  I guess that will be one less thing to miss about Charlotte.  There isn't another one in the state or anywhere close to us so if you are lucky enough to have one close to you, could you enjoy a little for me please?  

Food Aversions: Nothing but reflux has definitely gotten worse lately.  Milk and Zantac do still help some, but it can still be a real pain.   

What I miss:  I think what I miss most is the peace of mind that comes with pregnancies when you have never suffered a loss.  Most people really take that for granted. 

Gender:  Another adorable and quite spunky baby boy.  Should be lots of fun! 

Symptoms:  Mostly just tiredness and some heartburn/reflux.

What I'm looking forward to:  Meeting Mattox in less than 5 weeks, finding our new home and getting settled, and just holding our sweet little baby in our arms and hearing those first cries! 

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Good news!  I finished Mattox's crocheted blanket!  I thought the gray border was a nice finishing touch. 

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And I forgot to post a picture of Mattox's cute little heartbeat bear we got at his 3D/4D ultrasound.  I know we will all cherish this little bear.  I do wish I had one of these for Mattie.  The crib bedding pictured was Brody's so we will likely be reusing that although I do plan to add some more personal touches to his nursery once we get moved and settled. 

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I have also crocheted Mattox a little hat and diaper cover set, and I may crochet some more things before the month is out.  It just gives me something to do since we won't be fully setting up a nursery until we get moved.   

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

B is for Bear & Building a Snowman

Brody and I have continued to try to stay busy with our preschool lessons although this week is off to a late start because of our "holiday" on Monday.  With all this gorgeous weather we are having, it was hard to resist being outside while Daddy and big brother were home with us for the long weekend.  After a week of cold, rainy, yucky weather, we are so glad to be getting this warm reprieve from winter although I am sure winter is not done with us yet.  This week, our letter was B so we worked on writing and coloring our B, making crafts with our letter, reading books about B along with some theme based fun projects.  We learned that B is for bear so we incorporated some bear lessons, stories, and songs as well.

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Our letter B verse was "Be kind one to another. Ephesians 4:32."  We also worked on reviewing the color green and the square shape.  

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Hard at work coloring his B green.

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His coloring sheet showed him that B is also for baby.

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Practicing writing his letter B.  I should have gotten a better picture of his shirt because I specifically put his Best Brother Ever shirt on him to go with the B theme.  

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And name writing practice. He is doing very well tracing. 
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Our letter B craft.  That color pattern was all him. 
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A couple of the bear books we read.
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Our B is for bear craft. 

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Then, we talked about how bears hibernate in winter, and we put our bear to sleep in his cave.  He colored this little teddy bear with his favorite teddy bear song from preschool on it.  
I liked singing this little song I found on Pinterest as we put our teddy bear to sleep:

Bear is sleeping, bear is sleeping
In his cave, in his cave
Wonder when he'll wake up?  Wonder when he'll wake up?
In the Spring!  In the Spring! 

Time to wake up, Time to wake up
Sleepy bear, sleepy bear
It is springtime, It is springtime
Wake up now!  Wake up now!

We waited until big brother got home one afternoon to build our marshmallow snowmen so he could join us.  We read this book about snowmen:

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Evan did his snowman by himself.  He wanted all matching green attire for his snowman.

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Brody and I used a few more colors for our snowman's hat, mittens, and buttons. 
And yes, both boys ate more marshmallows than they used in their snowmen!

This weekend, we decided to spend our Saturday exploring IKEA since we had not been in a few years.  Yep, we have really only been once since IKEA came to Charlotte.  Haha!  But really, that place is always crazy because this IKEA services several states since there is not another one within hundreds of miles.  Anyway, I mostly use IKEA for ideas, but I never really see that many things that I just have to buy.  It is fun to look around though.  I did buy Brody a cute little baking set for his kitchen.  I was actually impressed with the quality of the pieces in the set which included a baking sheet, a bundt cake pan, several cookie cutters, and a rolling pin.  This little set inspired me to get crafty because I wanted him to have some "food" to bake with his new tools.  I am not adept at using a sewing machine so I just hand stitched these little pieces to fit his tools.  I know they aren't "perfect," but he loves them.  I couldn't find anything close online that I could purchase, but it really was not a difficult project.

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Brody's yummy baked goods.  I actually used all materials I had on hand, including one of Daddy's old tan t-shirts and some left over batting material.  So these were "free."

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My little baker loves making me treats. 

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I just know he is going to be quite the chef some day. 

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I also made a little cake for his bundt pan.  It sort of looked like a doughnut so I decorated it with chocolate and sprinkles so he can use it however he wants. It does fit in his bundt cake pan though. 

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Little chef in training.  And he also encourages me to eat healthy.  He just brought me an "apple" to eat while I typed this.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Celebrating Our Daddy

Having a birthday in early January is probably about as bad as a December birthday.  I never feel like we can celebrate our wonderful Daddy enough on his special day.  The kids and I really wanted to do our best to make his day super special this year.  His birthday fell on his last week in his old career and the week before he began a whole new career.  And yes, it is definitely a big change for him, but maybe I can get him to fill in more details on that soon.  He just started his new job (in Raleigh!) yesterday.  Brody and I began our birthday preparations by making a special birthday card for Daddy.  Brody enjoyed getting to use finger paint for this craft, and he did an awesome job.  After our finger painting session, we got ready to meet Daddy for lunch at Chick-fil-a and then to buy a few more birthday necessities like balloons and cake ingredients.  I had discussed with Brody that we may make Daddy a special football cake (for his favorite sport), and Brody decided to spill the beans and tell Daddy at lunch that he was getting him a "soccer ball cake."  Haha!  He still gets his balls confused.  We then headed to pick Evan up from school so he could help us make the rest of the preparations.  We got home and prepared the cake.  While it was baking, I wanted to put together a little "gift" for Daddy from the boys.  He needed some recent pictures of his babies for his new office so we prepared a little picture collage with the boys' most recent school pictures and Mattie's and Mattox's pictures.  Daddy arrived home a little early, but he stayed out of the kitchen while we finished his cake.  I think he wanted to eat dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, but he decided we would go to Outback instead because he had a free birthday dessert.  So yes, Daddy got two desserts on his birthday.  He deserves it!

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Happy Birthday, Daddy!

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The boys gave me their quotes for why they love Daddy.  Evan's was because he tickles him and makes him laugh.  Brody's was because he gives kisses and hugs.  Brody loves PDA!  Mattie's was because he is her handsome Prince Charming.  Mattox can't wait for Daddy to sing him to sleep.  Daddy does a great job at that!  Evan's card told Daddy he was his favorite superhero.  Brody's had a bunch of his fingerprint balloons.  

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Evan was pretending to throw the football cake.  

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Daddy is #37! 

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Looking good for 37!  

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I hope he made a good wish for the coming year! 
Happy Birthday to my best friend and forever partner in this crazy roller coaster life!  We love you to the moon and back!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Our First Week of Home Preschool

With so many changes coming in the next weeks/months, I felt that keeping Brody at home with me for the time being was a better transition.  He has already gotten used to not going to school this past month during the holidays so we are going to stick with our new routine.  The next few weeks are going to really test us because Daddy will be gone for a majority of the week beginning his new job in Raleigh.  He is going to be super busy as his work calendar is already filling up for the month.  We hope he will be able to find some time to also house hunt a little for us, and I have been searching and sending him house listings to look into.  Part of the reason I want to keep Brody home with me is to allow me the opportunity to work with him on some areas that I just don't feel he is getting at preschool.  They do a wonderful theme based curriculum that is fun and teaches good social skills, but I think he has been missing some of the more basic early learning instruction.  He needs more practice learning to recognize and write his letters, including his name, and practice with his shapes, colors, and numbers.  I have been working to develop a dual curriculum where we will do some fun theme based lessons as well as some basic skill building lessons.  For our first week, we learned and gained more practice with the letter A, the color red, and the circle.

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I created this little board to help us keep track of our basic weekly lessons.  We talk about our calendar everyday and review our letter of the week, color, and shape.  Included in this lesson is a weekly Bible verse that goes with our letter.  Our first verse for A was "Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find. Matthew 7:7"

We read books about things that start with A like this book about Airplanes.

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We are going to try to utilize many of our own stash of books like this one that Brody got from his Scholastic book sale.  This will give us a good excuse to dig out some books that we haven't really read a lot.  Books tend to get buried and forgotten about. 
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Brody will also practice his coloring skills with some great free printables I found for each letter courtesy of Pinterest.  His coloring skills really amaze me as he is doing so well staying in the lines.  He also has a really good pencil/crayon grasp although when his hand gets tired, he will try to switch hands.  I told him that does not work very well. 
Brody also practiced tracing his letter A with some great "free" tracing worksheets that I also found on Pinterest.

Our first week's theme based curriculum involved discussing snow so we started with reading this beloved classic:

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I actually couldn't find my copy of this book.  We love this author and have several of his wonderful books.  This is definitely one of my favorites so I was very disappointed.  Then, I thankfully found it "free" online and a great video reading
One of Brody's favorite activities for the week was counting "snowballs."  He loves counting, and he really liked using his tongs to pick up "snowballs" (cotton balls) and counting out the number on a card.

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We also decorated snowflakes by gluing "snowballs" to cut out snowflakes.  Brody did such a good job using the glue by himself.

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Then, he wanted to hang them up by himself.  He wasn't quite tall enough though. 
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Our sweet little snowflakes made a great addition to the mantle after Christmas decorations came down. 
For extra special fun, we made Play Snow with just baking soda and hair conditioner.  It was a little messy, but it was still fun.  I kept adding more baking soda because my batch seemed pretty goopy, and our poor snowman could not stand up.  Brody still loved playing with it so I would recommend this little activity.  The mess was pretty easy to clean up since the ingredients sort of acted as cleaning agents themselves.  We did this project after reading "The Snowy Day" so we sort of tried to follow Peter's activities from the book.

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We made tracks in the snow like Peter.  This was Brody's stick like Peter's. 

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Superman helped us make some tracks too. 

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But our poor snowman just could not stand on his own. 
On Wednesday, we had a little "field trip" to take Cocoa to the vet for some shots, and on Thursday, our activities involved getting ready for Daddy's birthday, including making his birthday cards, meeting him for lunch at Chick-fil-a, and picking up some balloons and making him a football cake.  After we made Daddy's card with finger paint, we made a little finger paint masterpiece.  I have been hesitant to try "painting" at home for fear of the mess, but Brody really did so well so I think we will do more in the future.

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Finger painting fun. 

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He enjoyed trying out all the colors and then mixing them together. 

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He has to cheese for the camera. 

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Mommy made an A for apple. 
So our hope is that we can keep up this weekly preschool routine for the next couple of months and perhaps finish out Brody's 3rd year of preschool.  We also hope Brody will gain some necessary skills to help him excel in his future school years.

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