Tuesday, November 25, 2014

29 weeks

Week 29:  Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like an acorn squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

The bump:

How far along?  29 weeks
Symptoms:  No new symptoms. Thankfully the leg cramps weren't bad this week.
Maternity clothes?  
Oh yes. Unfortunately some of my regular stretchy clothes are getting uncomfortable around the lower belly area. I'm just going to deal with it, though. Not going to buy any new clothes when I'm getting so close to the end. They'll work.
Stretch marks?  None yet!
Belly Button in or out? 
I think it's officially partially popped. Very curious to see what will happen these next 11 weeks (give or take).
Sophia had a terrible sleep week, so I've been pretty exhausted. Also woken up with a little back soreness a few times.
This little guy is much move active than his sister was. He's given me several very slightly painful moves lately. I think he actually might have moved head down. Might be what I was feeling. The kicks seem to be up higher now, rather than on the side.
Labor Signs:  No, thank you!
Food cravings: 
Looking forward to all the yummy Thanksgiving food this week!
What I miss: 
Hmm, nothing in particular this week.
What I am looking forward to: 
Hopefully starting to feel hiccups soon.
Best moment from last week: Not completely baby related, but we upgraded to a van! Now I have plenty of room for both car seats with lots and lots more space!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving DIY Projects

In my last post I shared my Thanksgiving decor and had mentioned that I did a couple DIY projects recently. I thought I'd share some more information about them in case anyone was interested.

First, my monogram ribbon wreath. This was my original inspiration picture, found on Pinterest of course.

Source: Etsy via Cassie on Pinterest

I went into Michaels and while browsing for supplies I discovered this great monogram wreath. My plans instantly changed. I had to make something with this. I knew I could still do the ribbon idea around it and then decided I could wrap the letter (like I previously did with Sophia's yarn letter). I knew I already had some extra yarn at home I could use, so I just needed to pick up the ribbon.

Here's what you'll need:

I lucked out and chose pretty much exactly the right amount of ribbon. I had some extra of two colors of ribbon at home that went with my new ribbon colors, so I used those as well. The thick yellow ribbon I ended up cutting in half, because the knot was too thick. I still used two yellows in a row to make it stand out more. The only one I ran out of was the multicolored pattern ribbon. I had to skip a few spots of it. Otherwise it came out to being nearly perfect, with just a couple leftovers.

So your first step, the most time consuming, is to wrap the letter in yarn. It took me a little while to get it figured out, with the curves of the S. I ended up doing two layers to help even out the curvy areas that had extra layers. I also had some trouble with the serifs. I still don't love the way it ended up, but thankfully the ribbons helped cover up the uneven areas.

The next step is to cut 9" lengths of ribbon and simply double knot them onto the wreath. Pick your color pattern and continue all the way around the wreath. I chose to have solid colors in between my pattern ribbons. Like I said earlier, I used two yellows next to each other. I also used the solid orange twice, other than a few spots when I started to run out. I seemed to have more of that color.

And the final step is to use some of the yarn (or you could use ribbon) to tie a loop to hang the wreath on your door.

I'm really happy with how it turned out and how it stands out from the street!

My next DIY project was the leaf mason jar candle holders. I also found my inspiration on Pinterest.

After reading her tutorial, I realized it wasn't going to work since she said specifically not to use Ball mason jars since the modge podge wouldn't lay evenly over the ridges. Of course that's what I had. So I changed things up slightly and used hot glue instead.

Here's what you'll need:

This project ended up being really cheap for me, seeing as I already had the extra mason jars, raffia ribbon, and my leaf garland on the mantle was extra long so I just cut off some from there.

So all you need to do is pick out the leaves you want to use for each jar. I ended up using three on each, but you could use however many you'd like. Simply hot glue them on in whatever pattern you prefer.

Then cut your raffia ribbon to tie around the top. I believe I cut 18" long sections and then trimmed them down after tying them on. I then cut some slits in the hanging ribbon, just because I liked the way it looked a little better.

And finally, add in some candles. You might notice I picked up some new ones since my last picture. I think these taller ones (pumpkin spice!) look much better than the tea lights I had in my last post.

I linked up this post at the DIY Inspired and Found & Foraged link parties, where you can find tons more amazing DIY projects!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Decor

I finally finished my last DIY project, so I can now show you my Thanksgiving decor up around the house.

First, the mantle. I kept several things up from my Halloween decor, just switched a few pieces out.

I found the free "thankful" banner here. My one new purchase here was the Gobble Til You Wobble sign, found at Hobby Lobby. It was too cute to pass up. Then I found some prints online and added them to some picture frames I already had.

I had to also share this picture from over the weekend. We finally had our first fire in the fireplace! It was so nice. I grew up with a fireplace, so it brought back a lot of memories. Looking forward to plenty more this winter!

Then the entry way table. I, or should I say Sophia, found that little turkey at Meijer last week. It was the final piece I was missing here and I think it looks perfect in the little shadow box shelf.

My favorite new piece; DIY ribbon monogram wreath for the front door. I'm working on a tutorial for this, although it was super easy so there's not much to it.

And finally, the dining room. I had really hoped to have a real dining table by Thanksgiving, since we're hosting, but it didn't happen. So I made the best of what we had.


I got the burlap table runner from Amazon. The pumpkin basket, pine cone filling, and fabric garland are from Michaels. The glass jars were another DIY project that I just finished up. I only had tea lights at home, but I think I need to pick up some taller candles for them. But I really love how the table came together!

Monday, November 17, 2014

28 weeks

Week 28:  By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (the size of an eggplant) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of his head to his heels. He can blink his eyes, which now sport lashes. With his eyesight developing, he may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. He's also developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

The bump:

How far along?  28 weeks
Symptoms:  The charlie horses returned this week. Two different nights I woke up twice with them. I could even feel them yet the whole next day. So not fun!
Maternity clothes? 
Stretch marks?  None yet
Belly Button in or out? 
Still in, b
arely. It never popped all the way out with Sophia, but I'm thinking it might this time. Part of it is getting close already.
With the leg cramps and Sophia having a couple bad nights of sleep, It was a rough sleep week.
Oh yes. Funny story, one day last week Sophia was sitting on my lap leaning back against my belly and he must not have liked that. He was really kicking away right where she was. I asked her if she could feel brother but she was too absorbed in her show to care.
Labor Signs:  No
Food cravings: 
Nothing new this week.
What I miss: 
I miss feeling rested. But I know better than to think that I'll ever feel really rested again. At least until all my kiddos are in school. I will sleep again one day! haha
What I am looking forward to: 
Maternity pictures on Sunday!
Best moment from last week: Reaching the 3rd trimester!  I still can't believe how fast this is going and how soon he's going to be here!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thursday, November 6

Our last day of vacation, and we wake up to rain... :(

We went down for breakfast at the hotel and then had a big decision to make. We had hoped to take Sophia to the Exotic Petting Zoo today, but of course that wasn't going to work. Even if it did stop raining before the afternoon like predicted, I'm sure it would be too muddy. I unfortunately hadn't planned ahead for a rainy day. After some quick searching online, we decided on a day trip to Knoxville.

Our initial plan was to drive up there (about an hour drive) and first go to the mall. We figured they would have an indoor play area where we could let Sophia run around and play a bit. This trip didn't allow much of that for her (Gatlinburg wasn't the most ideal toddler vacation spot). Then we would grab lunch there at the mall. Andrew has this thing about eating in mall food courts. So many options! lol

We had noticed they had a children's museum, so we planned on going there after lunch. However, on the drive to the mall we passed an exit for the Knoxville Zoo. After some debating, we decided we'd go there instead. And I'm glad we did! Since it was a little cooler out, it was practically empty. We had a great time! Since there was no crowd, Sophia was down walking around for most of it. She loved it! Here are a few of my favorites from the day.

Sophia's favorite part was definitely the goat petting area. They even gave her a little brush. So cute!

After spending a couple hours at the zoo we headed back to Gatlinburg. It was still early for dinner, so we relaxed in the hotel room for a bit. We really debated about where to go for dinner. We didn't feel like driving back to Pigeon Forge, and there isn't a ton of choices in Gatlinburg, but we finally decided to try Johnny Rockets. Big mistake. The food was good, but our bill with tip ended up being almost $50! For diner food that's just outrageous. So we won't be doing that again.

We had one last stop before calling it a night. We still had our free Ripley's pick 2 ticket to use. We decided on the Guinness World Record museum. This ended up being pretty neat. It was a little small, but since we basically got it as a free extra, it was neat to get to see.

So although the day ended up disappointing seeing the rain, it ended up being a great last day of vacation!

Friday we thankfully had an uneventful drive back to Andrew's parents, spent the rest of the day and part of Saturday with them, and then finally made it back home. As much as I love going on vacations, it's always so nice to be home again!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wednesday, November 5

Today we did my favorite activity; the Ripley's Aquarium! We got there as soon as it opened, so it wasn't crowded at all yet.

Sophia loved checking out all the tanks. She wasn't quite sure what to think of this guy, though.

They had an underwater viewing area for the huge tank. You could stand on the moving walkway, but we were first waiting for the shark diving show.

A shark swimming right over us.

After that was a kids exploring area. They had a sting ray touch tank, but she didn't want to get too close to them. They had several tanks that you could actually crawl under and stick your head up into the tank. And then several areas to play.

They had several other exhibits to look at, and then came my favorite - the penguins!!! I love penguins!

They also had an area here where you could get a close up look at the penguins. I'm not sure what happened here, but apparently it was really funny!

She loved the penguins as much as I did. This is her hugging the glass saying "aww"!

Then we got to watch the penguins get their lunch. One eventually came right up to the glass and sat in front of Sophia for the longest time. It was so cute!

After the aquarium we walked across the street to No Way Jose's Mexican Cantina. Unfortunately, as cute as the place was, the food just wasn't that great. But, I'm not as big of a fan of Tex Mex. Once we finished lunch we walked back to the hotel for nap time.

When Sophia was up again, we decided to drive back over to Pigeon Forge to check out The Island. It's a large outlet shopping center with all different kinds of stores and restaurants. But when you first arrive, you see this large beautiful fountain that every so often the water "dances" to different songs. It was so fun to watch!

 And in case you were wondering, yes, she tried out every single chair. Multiple times.

After some store browsing, we stopped at Bojangles for dinner (one of our favorite fast foods whenever we're in the south). Then we drove back to the hotel and walked around to find some ice cream for dessert. The rest of the night was spent relaxing in the hotel.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tuesday, November 4

The next morning we decided to go out for breakfast, since Sophia gets up so early and most places aren't open until 9 or 10 anyway we had plenty of time to kill. There was one breakfast place we really wanted to go to anyway, the Pancake Pantry. And I'm so glad we did. It was possibly my favorite meal of the trip. So yummy!

After breakfast, we walked over to the Space Needle. You get to ride an elevator up 407' to an observation deck with a 360 degree view of Gatlinburg. The best part is with your ticket you get to go up twice within 24 hours, so that you can get both the day and night view. So we took our day ride up and lucky enough we were the only ones up there the whole time! It was so beautiful up there!

After spending awhile up there, we rode the elevator back down. Our next stop was the Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditorium. Since we were also planning on going to the Aquarium that week, we were able to get a package deal that made it 3 attractions for the price of 2. The odditorium was just that. Mostly very odd. Not sure I'd say it was worth it, but since we got that deal it was okay.

Sophia really liked this thing, though. It was an interactive screen on the floor that played a few different games. The game she's playing here was that she had to catch the frogs jumping around on the lily pads. 

After walking through the rest of the museum, it was about lunch time. We decided to walk down to the Old Dad's General Store. It's an actual general store but they also have a small restaurant with burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc. Of course Sophia decided to fall asleep on our walk down there and then slept through lunch, so we had to pack up her pb&j to bring back to the hotel.

She woke up shortly after we returned to the hotel so we then let her eat her lunch. We decided that we'd next venture over to Pigeon Forge to go to the Titanic Museum.

This museum was so neat! When you first enter you're given a passport of a passenger that was on the Titanic that night. It has some history about the passenger and then at the end of the museum there is a wall with each passenger and you find out if you survived or not. We were even given one for baby Landon. All four of us survived!

Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take any pictures inside, but it was so neat. They first had some history on making the ship and then passengers arriving. They had some personal stories and even some pictures and items of passengers. Then they recreated the third class cabins. They even had a hallway that was blocked off and you watched the water rush down the stairs. Then you walked into the grand staircase. It was a complete replica from the ship. It was beautiful!

Upstairs they had the sitting room, pictures of first class rooms, and then a replica of the captain's bridge. In that room they had a man who looked exactly like the captain of the Titanic dressed up as him. He told us some stories from that night and about how he actually dived down to see the wreckage site, and then of course plugged his book that we could find in the gift shop. When you walked out of the bridge they had a room that was the exact temperature from that night. There was a huge iceberg ahead that you could touch and then water that was the temperate of the water that night. Brr was it cold! I don't know how people lasted even 40 minutes that they did. The end of the museum had video of some dives down to the wreckage. I'm really glad we stopped here at the museum!

After the museum we still had some time to kill before dinner. We drove through Pigeon Forge. I was amazed at what a tourist trap this city is! So many cool looking places, though. If only Sophia were about 5 years older. Lots of mini golf, laser tag, go carts and arcades. We finally stopped at a large general store. I saw they had live bears you could watch, but of course found out you had to pay to see them. We did find a cute piggy bank for Landon and I got some stocking stuffers and we couldn't ignore the fudge any longer. Everywhere you go in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg you will find fudge. Everywhere. And they almost all have some deals where you buy 2 get 1 free. So we went with Peanut Butter Pie, Oreo, and Reese's Cup. The peanut butter pie was definitely my favorite, not such a huge fan of the other two.

For dinner we decided on Mel's Diner. It was a really cute old 50's style diner. The food was really good!

After dinner we drove back to Gatlinburg and then walked over to the Space Needle to get our night view.

Then we called it a night and just relaxed back at the hotel.