Friday, June 28

36 Weeks and 5 Days. (Not that I'm Counting...)

So we really like picking fruit at our Orchard.  We swung by after Finley's swim lessons to snag some peaches and they were delicious.  I also took this as an opportunity for Sol to take some pictures of this baby bump--although at some point calling it a "bump" is really no longer appropriate... it's bigger than a bump.

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This was before I turned into a sweaty mess. It was hot. Let's see... baby update. Well, I have a new OB and this practice doesn't induce until 41 weeks. Not my favorite bit of news. I feel like I've had some contractions that might possibly maybe be real ones when I over exert myself--painting, lifting children, attempting to swim... So once my mom gets here I am going to swim until I sink. Or something.  Unlike the first two pregnancies, I have NOT been running.  And honestly, my feet have never looked better. They are soft and not gross. Well, a little gross.  Unfortunately, I haven't been swimming either--it's tough to get to the pool. This is only concerning because I'm signed up for the Philly marathon and apparently training started yesterday... I'm considering switching to the half or taking a run a mile/walk a mile approach, because I am confident I won't be in any shape to run it anything close to decently. And I'm ok with that (said like Michael Bluth.)

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I just realized that they way these pictures above are put together, it looks like Braden is walking through them. Heh. Finley understands about the baby and likes to put his hands on my belly and feel the kicks.  And sometimes he tells me he'll protect me from the kicks. He's sweet. Braden will tell you there's a baby in there, but he is in for a rude awakening.  He just really loves me. And peaches.

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I'm feeling pretty good. The heartburn has gotten a little better. My back still hurts a lot from sciatica and just general life, but our new bed actually has helped me sleep a lot better. Our plan is to have the baby sleep in our "sitting room" when he gets here until he's sleeping well... and the boys will all shuffle rooms. Baby #3 will either move in with #2, or #2 will move in with #1. We shall see. Sadly, I've not allowed myself to make this fella any nursery bedding--just a quilt. I don't think he'll mind. I"m focusing my energies on having the house unpacked--I think that's probably of higher importance.

Anyways, we picked some peaches. And the boys (Sol included) couldn't keep their sticky hands off them.

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I love this smirk. And I really just love that we popped over after going to the pool--they still had wet pool hair.

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They were both kind of smirky fellows.

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And this picture reminds me so much of Finley and Edmund two years ago--I love revisiting activities we've done before and seeing how much they've grown!

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We also were the only ones on the tractor.  Yay for Sol's weird schedule and picking fruit on random Thursdays.

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And a question for all you peachy people out there--what should we do with the peaches? I'm tempted to just do freezer jam because it's easy and yummy... but have considered a pie. Although I'm not sure I've ever made a pie. Maybe peach cobbler? Or freezing them and tossing them in the Vitamix to make some ice cream?

Tuesday, June 25

Day in the Life

A while back I posted pictures throughout a day in Virginia--and here's a random day in Pennsylvania. Currently no day is typical--we're still not really settled in and Sol is on a different schedule every week.  This week he's working nights--so he came home during breakfast and slept until dinner.  Poor guy!  Braden requested pancakes this morning for breakfast--which he pretty much always requests.

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Luckily, Sol makes extra on the weekends so I just pulled a few out from the fridge for him.  They were messy.

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If you've ever even once read this blog... you probably know that Braden likes trains just a little bit. We have a ever-evolving line up of trains that go everywhere with us.  Yesterday, it was Thomas, "train cars" and what he thinks is the Polar Express.  (It's really a train named Arthur. I'm sad I know that.)

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Finley didn't eat breakfast with us, because as part of my plan to be mother of the year, I've been leaving a bowl of dry cereal out for him at night for him to eat the next morning so he'll let me sleep.  He thinks he's so big eating breakfast by himself. Jokes on him! His favorite activity is building stuff with his Duplos--probably because he can make the Duplos be whatever his current obsession is.  He LOVES LOVES Mickey and the Beanstalk--so he was building a beanstalk and the little dudes were cast all his characters. Sir Topham Hatt was Mickey, the Police Man was Donald and the Firefighter was Goofy. I can not tell you how many times I've acted the story out with him. I think he mainly likes it because the beanstalk breaks Mickey's house, and he really likes to be destructive. BOYS.

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Finley is in swimming lessons currently--and is doing pretty good!  He's a cautious fellow but is (mostly) participating in his class and trying out what they tell him to do. This was the only even close to decent picture I got of him during class.  I do not have a bright future as a paparazzi.

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As I mentioned before--the pool is pretty neat. Aside from being in an Orchard, they have a splash pad, three baby pools, a medium pool, super high dives and a big lap pool. It's awesome. Braden loves that fountain.

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Technically the baby pools weren't open yet... but they let kids play in them because it was SO HOT. The boys just had a blast running through the fountain water.  Which was good, because I couldn't really take pictures of them if they were in the baby pool.

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Finley is getting a lot braver about the water--this weekend we made some big strides with him going down a pretty good sized slide into a pool and retrieving those diving stick things from the bottom.  He was also willing to wear floaties and kick around without holding on to us. Progress!

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Braden is pretty fearless--which scares me.  Maybe because he's second and has a big brother to keep up with--but I'm pretty sure his swimming skills will catch up with Finley quickly.

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They really love snuggling in their towels and warming up. Cuties.

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Because I'm the world's biggest sucker and have INTENSE ice cravings... I took them to Chick fil a after swimming.  I tell you, once I start thinking about ice I just have to have some. And Chick fil a's is PERFECT. I recently went in and ordered two large cups of ice and that's it. But that's another post.

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Lunch took an entertaining turn when Braden decided to wear Finley's sunglasses.

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He thought he was pretty hot stuff.

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And then we went home. In our van.

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Braden took a nap when we got home. Finley is not allowed to nap under any circumstances--or he won't sleep at night. We watched a little Veggie Tales (upside down?) while I did some cleaning.

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And then he begged me to help him make a recycling truck... which is really hard because he has a very specific idea in his head that he has a hard time communicating. But we got there.

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This is his Optimus Prime Transformer truck. The second picture is him "smiling" and the third is his Optimus Prime face. Whatever that is.  I just really love how creative he is with the Duplos! He had all sorts of things set up that I wasn't allowed to touch and were very specific. Silly.

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And then we read a little--he can kind of somewhat sort of read a few of the BOB Books--but is sometimes hesitant to try on his own. But he's decent at sounding out and really likes to be able to successfully read something! Since the boys shared a room in Virginia, Finley isn't used to having a "rest" time but I really need to institute some sort of quiet time for an hour in his room... because I think I'll really need the break when there's three knuckleheads here. I think I'm going to try to collect independent activities and special toys to keep in his room--suggestions? Please?

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In the middle of Braden's naptime was a massive freak hailstorm.  It was so strange because of how hot and nice it was this morning! We collected a little hail to show Sol and I managed to refrain from eating any. I did feel a bit like it was God sending me my own personal manna from heaven. I mean doesn't that look DELICIOUS???

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I really didn't want to make dinner and seriously wondered if the boys would care if I didn't feed them.  And then Braden requested cereal and I rejoiced. For the first time ever, I put milk on his cereal and gave him a spoon.  I have been so lazy about giving him the chance to learn how to use a spoon and now he has no idea how to do it and he's two. Whoops.  I just really don't like cleaning up messes... so we need to practice spoon skills. Fun.

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Finley had a few smoothie pouches--I bought these reusable little bags that are like the little applesauces  my children love so much.  The bottom zips shut--so I made a little banana/cherry/raspberry/spinach smoothie and tricked them into eating them. Heh heh heh.

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Sneak peek of Finley's room! Our days normally end with all the boys in Finley's top bunk, reading books. Copper was terrified of the storm and refused to be away from us all day... so he apparently had to be under everyone during reading time.

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Braden has this book practically memorized. Finley and I both actually have it memorized. We have like seven of these books--they are so catchy and the boys love them. Here's Sol and Braden reading... spoiler alert: it ends in disaster. Braden's favorite thing (aside from trains) is watching videos of himself on YouTube... so for his viewing pleasure...

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We lost power in the middle of that video (you can hear random beeping of things alerting us) and it derailed my night significantly. Time where Sol is awake and the boys are asleep is rare and valuable... and losing it because there's no light is FRUSTRATING. It's really hard to get much organizing/unpacking/cleaning done in the dark. Even with our nifty headlamps.  And, of course, the power came back on right as I decided to give in and go to bed. Luckily, I edited these photos while the power was out and then stayed up a little later to upload them all... so you get a long, picture-y blog post. You are welcome.

Thursday, June 20

Copper's Home + The Doctor Is In

Copper had a lovely vacation with Sol's parents--and he came home to us a few weeks ago.  He's pretty much settled in and figured out the lay of the land.  We opted to get a new fangled wireless fence... which he's terrified of and is doing a great job of staying with us and not running away.  He's been a bit clingy since he's been home--probably because he thinks we're going to leave him again.  That's the only explanation for why he let Finley "play doctor" with him for a half an hour.

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Whenever people ask me how Copper does with the boys, I always tell them he tolerates them.  He doesn't love them (I'm not entirely sure he loves anything--our running joke is that the French lady who used to walk Vic's dog Belle once said, "Belle... she is ok. But Copper... he is depressed." I claim that she actually said THE BEST but we'll never know.) Either way, he tends to tolerate the boys and when he's fed up with them he kind of harumphs away. I really think he says, "HARUMPH." as he walks away.

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Finley's become much more of Copper's "master" since he's been home. I think this is partially because he is starting to understand Dug the Dog's relationship with Mr. Frederickson from UP. Thanks, UP. But he's very concerned about Copper running away and tries to get Copper to play with him more than he did before. Poor Copper actively tried to sleep through his examination.  Finley wouldn't have it.

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Obviously, a hair cut is one of the most important parts of any doctor visit.  Luckily, Finley did not inherit Sol's preferences on the length of Copper's hair.  I love how wary and then resigned to his fate Copper looks.

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Here are my little doctors--wearing their Thomas the Train shirts. We're still deep in Thomas detox. Braden really isn't interested in watching the show--he just wants REAL THOMAS and tells me all the time that he hears Thomas and that Thomas is coming.  And cries a lot about Thomas.

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For some reason he was in a silly silly mood for these pictures--which is pretty much how he is these days.  He's either giggling and being adorable or he's demanding Thomas and crying.  It's fun! TWO!

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I told Sol this was Braden being a Southern Baptist and saying "PRAISE THE LORD!" but it's not. I wish it was.

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And this may be the only instance of in between his highs and lows--sweetly doing something on the floor. With his curls.

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Tuesday, June 18

Day Out With Thomas

Many months ago, I bought tickets to a Day Out With Thomas.  Thomas the Tank Engine tours around the country, bringing delight to lots of small children. It's ridiculous. We traveled out to Strasburg, PA--which is the middle (or maybe the edge, who knows) of Amish country. It was crazy to pass horse drawn carriages and see people farming with horse drawn plows. I wish we had more time to explore!

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As you can probably guess, the boys loved it.  I was nervous about Braden because there's a direct correlation between how much he loves something and how much it makes him angry--and HE LOVES THOMAS. But he did really well. No screaming. In fact, in most of the pictures he looks like a zombie because he was so mesmerized by it all! We started off "meeting" Thomas--or taking a picture on a bench in front of him. I paid $18 for this ding dong dang picture because somehow, both of the boys looked at the camera and their hats weren't in their eyes. And I'm counting those as smiles. MIRACLE.

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And then we rode Thomas. And by "rode" I mean we sat in one of like 8 coaches that Thomas pulled and rode around for 20 minutes. The boys loved it.

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Braden kind of thought we were on the Polar Express and has been rather confused since then. He tells me several times a day, "Thomas is coming!" and I can't tell if we're pretending or not...

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They really did have a good time. And I'm sure it was Sol's ideal pre-Father's Day activity. He obviously loves Thomas too.

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There were a few other activities as well--train tables, tattoos, movies and tons of stuff to buy--but the boys were pretty content to walk around and look at the trains. And they were somewhat willing participants when I made them sit on the train for pictures...

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The whole Strasburg Railroad area was pretty neat--there was a hotel where instead of renting rooms, you can spend the night in cabooses. That sounds almost as bad as camping to me--but I know two boys who would love it.  There was a toy train museum and a ton of stuff to do at the actual railroad. (Carrie, we should take all the boys!)

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And in case you want to watch a minute long video of Braden saying, "Tickets, please!" I posted it for you.  You are welcome or I am sorry, depending on which camp you fall in.

Wednesday, June 12

Babies + Sewing

My dear friend Megan had a little baby girl six weeks ago (baby shower here)--and we finally made it out to Charlottesville to see them!  It was an extremely productive few days and as much fun as these two girls can have. We pretty much look like the second picture all the time.  Aside from LOTS of sewing, we managed to sneak away to FINALLY see The Great Gatsby.  As two of the biggest Moulin Rouge fans around (We saw it approximately six times in the theaters and went to Walmart at midnight to buy it when it came out on DVD. I'm not proud. Kidding, I totally am.) ANYWAYS. If you'd like an in depth comparison/analysis of MR vs. TGG, we are your girls.  Oh Baz.

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(Do you like how my belly is literally eclipsing Megan? And do you like how she does not at all look like she had a baby 6 weeks ago?)

Our big project for our time together was making pillows for Piper's nursery. We made four awesome ones--which was quite a feat since we were using Megan's grandma's sewing machine and Megan hadn't sewed in ten years... and since she performs surgery on a regular basis she might have cut the fabric a little slower and more precise than your average sewer. So it took us awhile. (Piper's crying in these pictures because it hurt her feelings that Braden kept calling her Baby Diaper. Words are hard.)

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We made three super cute bow pillows out of my new fave fabric--Sarah Jane Out to Sea.  I bought a whole slew of it in red and blue to make Finley's big boy room and a few things for the new baby. I'm obsessed. Megan made these three pretty much by herself--I told her what to do and she followed directions very well, which is impressive because we are both kind of bossy. :)

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My crowning achievement in, like, all of my life was making this map pillow. It helps that the fabric is adorable--but the really impressive part is that I MADE THAT PINK PIPING AND SEWED IT ON ALL BY MYSELF WITH A LOT OF HELP FROM THE INTERNET. Sorry about the caps.  I may do a tutorial on it because I'm so proud of myself and smitten with how it turned out. Love. I made the super cute chevron quilt while I was living with my parents--because I don't know how to bind quilts and rely on my mom's help with those. I can only do so much.

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We're looking forward to our super fun family vacay with Megan's family in September--beach time five weeks after you've had your third baby is a great idea, right? Adventure! I love Megan and Baby Piper and all the things nautical. The end of this post.
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