Friday, November 29, 2013

countdown to christmas

This year we are going to start a new tradition with Pearson.  We are going to countdown to Christmas by unwrapping and reading a Christmas book each night.  I can't take credit for this idea at all.  I first got it from a friend in college, but since then it's all over Pinterest.
 This was an easy tradition for me to get started because I have an abundance of children's books from when I was a teacher.  I had way more than 25 Christmas books to choose from this year, however some of them are not the greatest.  Pearson won't care this year though.  He doesn't understand all of the stories we read to him, plus he mainly likes to just look through all of the pictures.  Each year I'm going to buy a new Christmas book to add to our collection.  I'd like to get more books that focus on the birth of Jesus.  I don't really have any since I taught in a public school.  I'm totally okay with having Santa books, but I'd like to have a good mix of Jesus and Santa books.  
This year our new book was a Search and Find book that I found at Sam's.  Pearson is totally into these books so I thought it would be a fun book for him to open on December 1st.  
 Here are a few of my favorite books from my collection.........

We  bought this book for Pearson last year and he absolutely loves it.  He calls it the "La La" book.  I love all of Leslie Patracelli books.  They are perfect for toddlers.  Quick easy reads!!
This book isn't totally a Christmas book but it is definitely Jesus centered.  It kind of has a little Christmas story part and an Easter story part, but it's a neat book so I threw it in the mix. 
This was always a favorite of my students.  Each letter has a page you open with a pop-up illustration to represent each letter.  They are all such neat pop-up and my kids always loved guessing what was behind each page.  While this book is really cool, we'll have to open it and then put it high on a shelf to only read with Mommy & Daddy.  It's a fragile book that I would hate to have messed up. 
This is just a good ole classic Christmas book.  I remember reading this book as a kid.  It's short and simple and I know Pearson will love it this year!
One of my very favorite Christmas books has gone missing.  I just might have to buy a new copy of it because the story is just so cute.  It's called How Santa Got his Job by Stephen Krensky.  It's all about the jobs that Santa had before he got his "real job" as Santa.
If you don't have 25 books to start this year, here are a few places you can check out before you go to Barnes & Noble and spend $15 per book.  

1.  Library
2.  Scholastic Book Orders
3.  Half-Price Books
4.  Amazon
5.  Facebook Garage Sale Sites

And also, I found this link on Pinterest that had some great ideas for Jesus Centered Christmas Books.  I will definitely be checking some of these out for our family in the future!!
What are some of your favorite Children's Christmas books?? I'd love to know so I can add them to my list for our collection!!

thanksgiving 2013

We switch off which family we spend Thanksgiving with each year.  This year we spend the day with my family.  It was a smaller crowd than normal because my older brother and his family were with his wife's family and one of my uncle's hosted his in laws at their house.  Pearson was the only little one there so he soaked up all the extra attention from my teenage cousins.  
I didn't get a picture of any of our delicious food but trust me, it was all yummy!! We don't set the table all pretty, have our food prepared in a fancy way, or eat on fine china, but my Mom and grandma's cooking totally makes up for it.  It's really the best!!  Plus, I couldn't care less about things being fancy.  The most important part about Thanksgiving to me is spending time with the ones I love.  

After lunch we had a little birthday celebration for my cousin Cole complete with presents, a pinata and ice-cream cake (on top of all the typical Thanksgiving desserts).
While some of the family spent the afternoon in a turkey coma, the rest of us just enjoyed the afternoon hanging out, chatting and watching the Cowboys play football. 
This silly ball provided hours of entertainment for Pearson.  My cousins would bounce him on it and he would roll around and fall.  We kept telling him to "be careful" because he would get really close to hitting his head on the fireplace.  By the end of the evening he would hop on the ball and say "I be careful".  It was so funny!!
We all had a good laugh when my cousin Kennedy played a little prank on my Uncle!!
We had such a fun day with all of my family.  I am so bless to have such a wonderful family.  I am incredibly thankful this year for my THREE boys.  I can't wait to have little Nash in my arms in February!!
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

my little turkey

We've had our Christmas tree up for about a week now, so in an effort to not skip Thanksgiving we did a few little Thanksgiving activities today.  This morning we went to Collin Creek Mall for the Chick-fil-A Tiny Tot Story Time and had a great time singing to turkey songs, listening to Thanksgiving stories, and munching on some chicken nuggets.  We even left with a fun little packet of Thanksgiving activities to keep us busy tomorrow!!

Daddy got home from work a little early this afternoon so when Pearson woke up from his nap we made an apple turkey together.  
 Daddy helped with the tail feathers and then I helped with the face.  
 He was so proud of his little creation when we were finished!!
I'm pretty sure he thought the best part of this activity was eating the marshmallows and cranberries afterwards.  He had never had marshmallows before so he was in heaven.  He ate every single on of them before he even got to the cranberries.  
Having a little one around the holidays is just so much fun.  I'm looking forward to spending the day with my little family three plus all my extended family tomorrow!! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

the trains at northpark

Yesterday Pearson and I went to check out The Trains at NorthPark.  I have lived in the Dallas area my entire life and this is the 26th year for the trains to be at NorthPark, but this was my first time to ever go.    Since Pearson loves anything moves, I had a feeling he would like it, but you just never know with a toddler!!  I was right though, he did really liked.  In fact I would say he LOVED it!! We had so much fun together looking at all the Trains then spending the afternoon walking through NorthPark.

He sat at this little window forever and watched the Thomas train go around and around.  Each time it would come around he look at me and say, "Mommy, Thomas again." He pointed to everything little thing he saw and recognized and was just bouncing up and down as each train passed. 
When we weren't watching Thomas the Train he would look at each train passing and say "look at dat choo-choo, Mommy" then "look at dis choo-choo, Mommy".  He was just mesmerized by all of the trains.  
While Pearson favorite part was watching the actual trains, I enjoyed all the scenes.  They were all so real looking and so neat to see.
If you were thinking about checking out The Trains at NorthPark this year, here is a little information to help you out!!

When: Saturday, November 23, 2013-Sunday January 5, 20114

Early Closings: November 27th-6pm, December 24th- 4pm, December 31st- 6pm, January 1st- 6pm, Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day; Open New Year's Day

Where:  NorthPark Center, Level Two, Nordstrom Wing between Sephora and Free People

Cost:  $6.00 for adults $3.00 for children (ages 2 to 12) and senior citizens (65 and older) Children under 2 admitted free  {Discount tickets available at Tom Thumb ($1.00 off regular admission)}

Disclaimer: I was provided 2 free tickets to check out the Trains at NorthPark; however all opinions expressed in the post are 100% my own.

Monday, November 25, 2013

meal planning monday

Monday:  Dinner @ My Parents

Tuesday:  Dinner @ The Havard's

Wednesday: Stew & Cornbread

Thursday:  Thanksgiving @ Nonnie's (Making Corn Casserole & Turkey Cupcakes)

Saturday Breakfast: Pumpkin Pancakes

Saturday Lunch: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Saturday Dinner: Turkey (or Chicken) Tetrazinni

Sunday Lunch: Out to Eat

Sunday Dinner: Lasagna, Green Beans, Garlic Toast

Sunday, November 24, 2013

baby no. 2 {27 weeks}

how far along? 27 weeks

how are you measuring? measuring right on track
size of baby? size of a rutabaga
heartbeat? 148bpm (at our 25 week appointment) 
total weight gain/loss? 16lbs........and they just keep on coming....ugh!!
maternity clothes? All maternity clothes except cardigans!
stretch marks? No new ones. I've really got to get better at lotioning up.  I forget most nights.
sleep? So much better this week.  Most nights I wake up to go to the bathroom at 1:30 and 4:30 which was exactly what I did with Pearson and then ended up being our nursing schedule for the first couple weeks when I had to wake up twice a night with him. 
best moment this week? Pulling out Pearson's old baby clothes and seeing how teeny tiny they were.  I forget how tiny new born clothes are.  I can't wait to have a teeny tiny baby in our home again!!
movement? Yes! I feel like he is going to be a really long baby.  He sometimes kicks me really low in the groin and the top my belly at the same time.  He also does not like to be squished.  If I slump over, bed over or have bad posture, he kicks me hard to let me know to straighten up.  He doesn't like his space invaded.  
food cravings? Milk Duds
gender predictions? BOY!!!! Nash Matthew Link
what i miss? Having a flat stomach and being able to bend over with a belly getting in the way.
what i'm looking forward to? The Christmas Season.  We put our Christmas tree up this weekend and Pearson is just in awe of it.  It's going to be so fun to see Christmas through his eyes this year as he starts to grasp some of it.
how are you feeling? So much better this week.  No Charlie Horses, no sciatic nerve pain and no hand or feet falling asleep.  Praise the Lord!! I feel great all day and get around just fine, but after Pearson's nap (which is usually after I've been busy working on some sort of project) I start to poop out.  By the time Matt gets home I am completely exhausted and my body just starts to hurt. I have Braxton Hicks contractions occasionally throughout the day, but they always pick up in the evening.  I end up spending most of my evening on the couch.  
comparisons to last pregnancy? Still no dark line under my belly and this was when it really started showing up with Pearson.  Way more Braxton Hicks contractions

Here I am 27 weeks with Pearson and 27 weeks with Nash.

Friday, November 22, 2013

five on friday

Look at this adorable Christmas shirt my Mom made for Pearson.  Who ever said there isn't anything cute for boys to wear never saw this!!  It doesn't get much cuter than this!!  The other shirts are for my nephew, Carson and my SIL's other nephew.  I can't wait until I dress my boys in cute little matching outfits like this!!

 I scored all 24 of these little Hot Wheels for Pearson for less that $3.50 at Dollar General.  They are regularly priced at $1.25 and I only paid 14 cents for each one of them!!  I'm all stocked up for a while! These will be great to put in his stocking, Valentine's gift, Big Brother Bag, Easter Basket, and to have on hand for Potty Training incentives!!  You can check out the deal here on Hip2Save, but hurry because it's only good through Saturday 11/23.

Today my Mom, SIL and I went to Sam's for their Thanksgiving sample day.  One of the sample's was Green Bean Casserole......mmmmmmmm!! Our family doesn't have green bean casserole at Thanksgiving but I love it.  I never make it because it's a big dish just for the three of us.  I found this recipe for a Chicken, Rice & Green Bean Casserole online that makes the yummy side dish of Green Bean Casserole into a meal.  I thought it was really good.  I will definitely be making it again as I love an all in one meal.  

For as long as Matt and I have been married we have always put up our Christmas tree the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I know, I know....we are those annoying people that "skip" Thanksgiving.  I normally knock out putting up our tree in a few hours but this year it's taking me forever.  I am so tired in the evening so I've just been getting a little bit done each day.  Tuesday we pulled it all out from the attic.  Wednesday I got Pearson's Christmas toys and books out.  Thursday we put the Christmas tree up and today I'm sitting on the couch (having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions) wishing that I could snap my fingers and have my tree decorated.  I don't think that is going to happen though so I think we are going to decorate it tomorrow.  

Instead of decorating our tree tonight we opted for Family Movie Night complete with popcorn.  Tonight we watched "Merry Christmas, Thomas".  Pearson loved it but Oh.My.Goodness. it was so dumb.  I guess I'm not a fan of Thomas the Train.  Thomas is not near as catchy and entertaining as the Disney train show, Chuggington.  Little Man was a happy camper so that was all that mattered!!  I'm looking forward to lots of family movie nights in the next few weeks with all the Christmas specials on TV.  We are going to have to get our DVR all set for all of the Christmas Classics.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

meal planning monday

Monday: Tator Tot Casserole & Baked Zuchinni

Tuesday: Chicken Parm, Fresh Veggies, & Garlic Toast

Wednesday:  Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Chips, & Fruit Salad

Thursday: Green Bean Chicken Casserole

Friday: Tortilla Soup

Saturday Breakfast: Chiloso $1 Tacos (hopefully!)

Saturday Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad w/ Poppyseed Dressing

Saturday Dinner: Fried Rice & Egg Rolls

Sunday Lunch: Last Sunday Lunch

Sunday Dinner: Biscuits & Gravy & Eggs

Sunday, November 17, 2013

baby no. 2 {26 weeks}

how far along? 26 weeks
how are you measuring? measuring right on track
size of baby? size of a head of lettuce
heartbeat? 148bpm (at our 25 week appointment) 
total weight gain/loss? 14lbs
maternity clothes? All maternity clothes except cardigans!
stretch marks? No new ones. 
sleep? Terrible this week.  Charlie horses, butt cramps, potty breaks, and not being able to get comfortable keep me up alot at night. 
best moment this week? Seeing Pearson sing in his music program. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen.
movement? Yes! He kicks so hard in the evenings and after I wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I love feeling him's really the best feeling in the world. 
food cravings? Nothing really specific.......still loving sweets, honeycrisp apples, hummus & chai tea lattes.
gender predictions? BOY!!!! Nash Matthew Link
what i miss? Having a flat stomach and being able to bend over with a belly getting in the way.
what i'm looking forward to? Pulling out all of Pearson old clothes out of the attic to starting to sort through what we can reuse.
how are you feeling? All sorts of cramps going on in my body.  I found out at the doctor that the cramp in my butt is my sciatic nerve.  Little man likes to position himself where he presses or pinches this nerve which gives me an awful shooting pain in my butt.  One night this week I woke up in tears it hurt so bad.......however the last two nights it hasn't bothered me at all.  Hopefully it is a thing of the past because it was quite painful.  I am having multiple Braxton Hicks contractions each day.   They aren't painful, just annoying.  My hands have also started randomly falling asleep.  Fun times!!   
comparisons to last pregnancy? I feel SOOOOOO pregnant already and I still have 13 weeks to go.  (And yes, I can do math, but my c-section is scheduled for 39 weeks) I guess with Pearson it was all so exciting and I just couldn't wait to see my belly grow each week.  With this one, I just know that with each passing week my growing belly will get more and more it's not so exciting.  Plus, wrangling a two year old with a belly wears me out.  I am pooped at the end of each day!!

Here I am 26 weeks with Pearson and 26 weeks with Nash.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

pearson {29 months}

I didn't do a very good job this month (or last month) keeping track of funny things you said and did.  I'll have to do better next month!! Here are a few little things I can remember

  • If we ask you if we can help you, your response is always "No, I help you"
  • I let you have juice boxes for the first time this month. Big mistake. You are obsessed and think you should have one everyday.  We ran out last week and I won't be buying anymore any time soon. 
  • You LOVE to sing songs but you do not like to perform for us. You sing the ABC's and Jesus Loves Me alot, but you are always buy yourself or where we can't see you.  You come home singing all sorts of songs from preschool.
  • Your favorite snack right now is hummus and pita chips.  You wake up some mornings asking for it.
  • We  turned your room into a "Big Boy Room". You are still in your crib but you have a little play area in your room now where the rocking chair used to be.  
  • We got Nash's bed and bedding all set up and sometimes when I put you down for a nap you tell me "No, dat bed."  You love to be in his room. 
  • Another phrase we here alot is "I dood dit" (I do it) or "My dood dit".
  • When sports are on the TV you usually say "Go Cowboys" or "Go Bay-Yer" (Baylor). Last week when Matt was getting really excited during a Baylor game, he looked at me and said "Daddy's so-wee" (silly).
  • You have started taking showers with us.  You think it is such a fun thing!
  • You won't let us change your diaper on the changing table anymore. You have to choose where you lay down now.  You are not interested in potty training at all and I am A-Okay with that.  I'm not ready for it.  After you poop, you promptly tell us "Diapa Change".
  • We have had to pretty much quit letting you watch TV.  It's such a battle with you after the show is over that it's not worth the 30 minutes of peace and quiet it give us to let you watch a show.  
  • You love to go to Chick-A-Way (Chick-fil-A) with Lolly & Pops on Tuesday mornings.  Some mornings when I ask you what you want for breakfast you tell me "Chick-A-Way wif Ya-Yi and Pops".
  • You still take a great 2-3 hour nap every day.  If it is not a school day you usually go down around 1pm. On school days you go down at 2pm and usually sleep until 5pm.  School wears you out. 
  • You have become an apple snob like your Mama! You never liked apples until I started offering you Honeycrisps. 
  • You have discovered that your pants have pockets and you call them your "Phone Pocket".
  • Anytime we pass a fire station you like to see if the fire trucks are out.  If the doors are closed I always say "Ah man, the doors are closed."  The other day as soon as we passed the station you said, "Ah man da doors are closed." It's so funny to hear you mimic what we say. 
  • You are talking in lots of sentences and phrases.  You amaze us with all that you can say now. You can really communicate well.  
  • At night when we say it's time to say our prayers you say "Talk to Jesus". You put your hands together and squint your eyes together where you can still see. Some days you will repeat after us and some days you won't.
  • A while back I told Pearson that he was going to have to start going tee-tee in the potty soon so we can give Baby Nash all of his diapers.  He quickly responded, "No.....Baby Nash go tee-tee in the potty."
  • You like to tell us what the weather is like each day (raining, windy, hot, cold, cloudy, dark).
  • All shirts with collars are coats to you.  When you wear a dress shirt you like to say "I handsome."
  • Funny words you say....
    • Smoo-Bee (Smoothie)
    • Tee-Bee (TV)
    • Ya-Wer (Water)
    • Bwank (Blankie)
    • Don't Truck (Dump Truck)
    • Es-Ta-Bater (Escavator)
    • Ro-Yer (Roller)
    • Yo-Gurk (Yogurt)

surprise sleepover

My friend Jenica was due to have her little boy on December 15th.  A few weeks ago we talked about a back up plan if she went into labor before her family got in town.  I let her know that she could call us night or day and we would take their little two year old in as our own until her family could come get her.

Well, last night I got a phone call from Jenica at 4am.  She was in labor.  Their sweet little girl came over in the middle of the night so her Mommy and Daddy could go to the hospital.  She did awesome!!  She slept in Baby Nash's room on her little nap mat.  When Pearson woke up he was so happy to see his friend.  Matt had already left to go play Top Golf with his guy friends so the little watched some cartoons in bed while I got ready for the day.  
 I texted Jenica to check in around 8am and much to my surprise Baby Jaxon had already been born at 6:02am.  
From her first contraction to the birth of the baby it was 3 hours.  I'm so glad we had a back up plan for Brynn to stay with us!! After I told Brynn the news that she was a big sister, we decided to bust out the birthday cakes and candles and make cupcakes for Jaxon.  They were so cute singing Happy Birthday to Jaxon!!
 The funny thing about all of this is that we had a Diaper Shower planned at my house this morning for Jenica.  All the Mommies and kiddos were coming over to play and shower Baby Jaxon while the Daddies played at Top Golf.  Obviously Jenica didn't make it to her shower, but we still had the shower and Big Sister Brynn represented the family!!  Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of the shower.  The kids kept us pretty busy, plus it was quite crazy with all the toys strewn about the living room!!  

After a long day full of lots of playing, Brynn's grandma came and picked her up around 4pm.  They were both absolutely pooped when she left.  We had a fun day playing with our sweet friend Brynn and having our first {surprise} sleepover.  
 It's crazy to think that the next baby to be born in our ABF is ours!!  Here's to hoping Nash stays a February baby and doesn't decide to surprise us in January!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

pearson's 2K music program

Last night Pearson had his Thanksgiving Music Program at his Preschool.  
 I had no idea what to expect.  You never know if your kid is going to be the one that screams, the one that sings loud, the one that just stands there or the one that goofs around.  Pearson did such a good job at his first performance and we are so proud of him. 

This was when he first spotted us on the front row! 
 When the 2K & 3K classes were singing he looked at the little girl in the red dress just about the entire time.  She knew every single word and motion to each song and sang it loud and proud. Pearson couldn't take his eyes off of her. 
 After the littles ones sang their songs, the Pre-K kiddos joined them for two more songs.  He had lots of big kids to look up to during those songs.  He was absolutely precious to watch.  It was fun to finally hear and understand the songs that we hear him coming home singing but can't understand.  He loves music class and his music teachers!!
 My Mom last minute asked me what we were doing tonight and I told her we were going to his Music Program at school.  I hadn't even thought about inviting grandparents, so she invited herself.  What was I thinking not inviting grandparents????  Mom fail, for sure. 
**Grammy & Grandaddy, I'm SO sorry I didn't invite you.  It wasn't just you guys I forgot, I forgot my own parents, too.  Matt caught it all on video for you though, so I hope you enjoy watching it.  I will let you know WAY in advance when his Spring music program is so you can see him in person.