Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

We had a great Thanksgiving this year! 

First things first, we kicked off the day by watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on TV! Ella's favorite part was seeing Santa and the reindeer ("like Sven" from Frozen...seriously?!). 

Lulu hung out with my dad and several teethers pretty much all day. #teethingisfun

After both kids had a nap, I managed to get their picture before someone messed up their outfit. A Thanksgiving miracle!

Ella decided we didn't have enough going on in the kitchen, so she chose to color her heart out at the kitchen island. 

Trav and his dad smoked the turkey on our charcoal grill. It turned out really well!

All of the boys watching football :)

Usually my sister-in-law cooks pretty much everything for us, but she got stuck at work this year. So my mom, mother-in-law and I made pretty much everything (except the turkey, see above). 

Our menu (Trav suggested all of it--he's such a foodie--and I just looked up recipes for everything):
Mashed Potatoes
Broccoli casserole
Cranberry Blue Cheese Salad (I make this for every occasion ever and it is SO good!)

And then for dessert we had cheesecake and pumpkin cookies

Since I was stressing over making all of this food, I took the lazy way out when it came to setting the table...

We already have some Christmas decorations hanging on the light fixture. I bought cranberries and flowers at Trader Joe's and threw both in vases. I already had the chargers and napkins, so I just kinda made it work. Maybe I'll put forth more of an effort next year....but don't I always say that every year?!

Ella got to eat with her special placemat she had made at preschool, PLUS my mom made her this turkey shirt! There is a feather for each person who was at Thanksgiving dinner this year. 

And Lulu? He chowed down on some carrots, bath toys (no seriously, that orange ring is a bath toy) and rice cereal. Yum. 

He already told me he can't wait till next year when he can eat EVERYTHING!

After our meal, we had a little photo shoot!

And Lucas stared at our Christmas tree for a solid hour before going to bed. He loves those lights!

Later that evening, I had a panic attack about cleaning up all of the dishes. I am not even joking. There were so. many. dirty. dishes. I swear, my OCD gets worse by the day. Anyway, after the dishwasher finally finished the first load, we were able to run a second load (this is bringing back bad memories just typing it out, ha! I was literally freaking out about these dirty dishes. It was borderline complete insanity. #firstworldproblems for sure) and finish cleaning up the kitchen. My mom thought the best thing for both of us at that point was to do a little shopping, so we went off to Target at 10 PM! We've always shopped on Black Friday, but never Thanksgiving night. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess. 

All toys at Target were buy one, get one 50% off! My mom and I figured we'd scoop up Ella's 2 biggest presents (one from her and my dad, one from me and Trav) and split the cost. If you're curious, we were trying to get her this Frozen castle and this Lion Guard play set. Well...we get up to the register and guess what? The Lion Guard is Disney JUNIOR brand (not regular Disney, like the Frozen thing was), so it wasn't included in the BOGO 50% off promotion! Ugh! So we put both things back and just ordered them on Amazon. But it was not a complete least Lucas got a few presents! 
And don't worry...we were shopping again at the mall by 10 the next morning! 

So that was our Thanksgiving! Some ups and downs, but all in all a great day with our family! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Life with Lucas {week 27}

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This big guy turned 27 weeks on Thanksgiving, so here's a little catch-up on our lives during the pre-Thanksgiving craziness! 

Lulu got to come to the dentist with me last Thursday! 

Of course he was a perfect angel (no, seriously!) and all of the people at our dentist's office loved him!

When we came home, I attempted to do a little Christmas photo shoot!

We actually had this set up going on in our living room for almost a week! It took me 3 different "sessions," but I finally got enough pictures that I like! I'll share them with you soon, but here is one of my favorites in the meantime:

On Saturday (Lucas's official half birthday) we celebrated in Chapel Hill! He got to meet the real Rameses!! He was so excited (Ella too)!!

The leaves were so pretty this time of year in Chapel Hill! We did a LOT of walking that day, but I didn't mind since it was so gorgeous out!

Then it was game time! UNC was playing The Citadel, and it ended up being a pretty big blowout. 

We noticed mascot Rameses walking around near our section, so I took Ella down so she could say hi and get her picture taken with him. Unfortunately, Rameses wasn't taking pictures with anyone! What the heck?! Ella and I were both so sad...this is her "picture with Rameses" for this year...😢

By the time Ella and I walked back to our seats, the temperature had dropped like 20 degrees! It was insanely windy!

Thankfully UNC had a big enough lead that Trav was okay with leaving at halftime!

The next day, we celebrated Lucas's half birthday with the obligatory photo shoot in the yard...

...and I also tried to make a half birthday cake for him. I have no clue where I went wrong, but it was SUCH a disaster! The cake turned out super crumbly and wouldn't hold any frosting on it whatsoever. Sorry, Lulu...maybe Mommy will try again when you're 18 months and can actually eat the cake!

Later that evening, I was changing the sheets on Ella's bed, when I noticed this little situation:

Ella just started reading her Clifford book to Lucas! It was the sweetest thing. 

Last Tuesday, we were in full-blown Thanksgiving prep mode!

Lucas sat up top in the shopping cart for the first time! 
(We had to go to Lowe's to get supplies for smoking the turkey Thursday!)

And Ella came home from preschool that day with the most hilarious art! I especially love her big pilgrim head on that placemat!

That evening, I was nursing Lucas before he went to sleep, when I noticed on Instagram, a baby who looked way too similar to Lucas had died. I was so heartbroken! I had been following along with his story, because he was the same age as Lucas (less than a week younger) and he was just the cutest thing! If you'd like to read about his/his family's story, here is his mom's blog.

I just had to snuggle extra with this guy and enjoy those sweet moments when he should be sleeping, but instead is looking at me from his crib with his big eyes!

This is his new thing: look as cute as possible so I won't make him go to sleep! Precious boy!

Wednesday: coffee was so necessary! 

Ella is loving our new shopping cart arrangement, where she gets to be in the big part with all of the stuff we are buying!

We also had to stock up on wine at Trader Joe's!

Wednesday night, we went to the Panthers' tree lighting with Auntie Caitlin!

Lucas looks like he is not a fan...but I promise, he was really into the lights!!! 

I'll be back soon to share our Thanksgiving! 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Lucas William {Six Months}

Dear Lucas,

Someone hold me. My sweet baby boy is halfway to his first birthday. How did that happen?!? My little Lulu!!! But, you aren't so little anymore!!! I feel like it was just yesterday when I was racing up to the NICU to feed you! This is just flying by way too fast for my liking, and I'm going to need you to stop this growing and getting older business immediately. I know I say that every month, but I really mean it this time!

Height: 26.38 inches (28 percentile)
Weight: 18 pounds, 5 ounces (60 percentile)
Head circumference: 43.5 centimeters

Clothes: If I am really being honest with myself (which, I never am when it comes to clothing sizes, let's be real), you fit most comfortably in 9 month and 12 month (what?!) clothes. This is breaking my poor little Mama heart because most of your Christmas stuff is 6 months. Yikes. We are going to try to squeeze you into it next month and just pray nothing rips! You can kiiiinda fit into most 6 month stuff if I really try. (The onesie you're wearing in these photos is 6 months and it fits perfectly.) Your Polo rompers (aka my favorite things ever, which you wear almost everyday) are 9 months and they are getting really snug. Polo does run small, but still! As far as diapers go, we are finishing up our last box of size 2s (we have literally like 8 left!) and then you're moving up to size 3s!

Nicknames: Lou-Lou/Lulu, Lou-Ba-Lou, Lou-Bear, Baby brother, Luuuuke, Little Chub/Chub-a-lub, Joy Boy, Hiiiiiiii guy/little guy, buddy, sweet boy...Ella still calls you "Baby Woo-cus"

Milestones: The day after your 5 month "birthday," you finally decided to throw in the towel and roll over (belly to back)! Woo hoo!!! You were so proud of yourself and rolled over about 682 times in 2 days. Then you decided that was enough of that, and just flat out stopped rolling. Now, a few weeks later, you will still roll on occasion, but your big goal seems to be rolling from back to belly. You have been trying to get on your belly with so much enthusiasm lately! You are really close!! When you are on your tummy, you love to "go swimming," where you kick your feet and move your arms. You want to crawl SO BADLY! Your sitting has gotten much more stable in the last month and you love to sit and play with your toys! You have also been super drooly in the past week, so I'm thinking teeth might be coming really soon?

Sleep: Ehhhh. Still not my favorite aspect of your little life. It has improved somewhat from last month, but it's still not terrific. Let me start by saying you are an AWESOME napper. You nap in the mornings, only for about 45 minutes or so...but in the afternoon? Oh man. You love your afternoon nap more than I love coffee. Sometimes you even nap longer than Ella! Night sleeping is a little bit different. We've been trying lots of things to get you to sleep, and I really think we are almost out of this ridiculously long sleep regression. I've started waking you up around 11 PM for a dream feed and that seems to help you sleep longer. You will usually go from about 11:15ish until 6 AM or so, give or take an hour. When you get up then, I usually just plop you in bed with Daddy and I, so we can snuggle with you until Ella gets up at 7:30. So not too awful. Maybe I'm just being picky. I'd love to cut out that dream feed, so we may try that soon and see how you do!

Best Moment: You went on an airplane to California for your first big trip and you were the best little traveler!!!

Worst Moment: Those times when you think 3 AM is a perfectly acceptable time to begin your day. At least it's not every night anymore...but when it happens, I am not a fan. Sorry buddy.

Likes: Everything!!! You are seriously the happiest baby EVER!
But you especially love: bath time, your Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (especially helpful during this photo shoot!), laying on your tummy, your jumperoo, clapping your hands, when people blow raspberries on you, Christmas lights, eating, hamming it up for the camera/other people, and putting everything in your mouth.

Dislikes: Not too much! If you are hungry and/or dirty and/or tired, you get a little fussy. Oh, and I'm pretty sure you still dislike sleeping through the night ;)

Health: You have a little bit of a runny nose, but nothing the Nose Frida can't fix!

Eating: You are such a pig, and I mean that in the most endearing way possible. You down 1-2 full bowls of rice cereal every night; I have never heard of a baby enjoying such nasty, bland food as much as you do! You are also nursing every 3 hours, 5 times a day, plus a dream feed that I'm hoping to cut out soon. 

Lulu, you're my best guy!! You are so much fun and your joy is contagious! You are such a happy guy and everyone who is graced by your presence instantly falls in love with you. I am so thankful that I was chosen to be your mommy. I am also really thankful that I was given a child who LOVES getting his picture taken! Yeah!!

{And, just for fun...Ella at 6 months}

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Life with Lucas {week 26}

Can you believe we're halfway through these weekly posts for Lucas's first year?!? I certainly don't believe it; he's still like 3 weeks old in my mind! 

We have had the most random little week!

Some highlights: 
Paw Patrol watching you sleep (in Mommy's bathroom no less)

Being mesmerized by the Christmas lights at Target

And, fro-yo for being fantastic behavior at preschool for 4 days (2 weeks) in a row! 

On Saturday, I found out that Ella's favorite Paw Patrol pup, Marshall, was coming to a nearby mall! So of course we had to go!!!

First, we checked out the fire truck they had outside.

Lucas wasn't so sure about this whole thing...

...and he definitely didn't want to meet Marshall! Bless.

But Ella was SOOOO excited!!! She was on cloud 9. 

Personally, I thought Marshall was a little terrifying, but Ella was not scared one bit. She walked right up to him and gave him a big hug. Definitely made waiting in line for an hour (!!!) totally worth it! 

Sunday we had our family pictures taken with our wedding photographer, who is back doing photography again!!! 

As you can see above, Lucas was very cooperative and Ella was not cooperative at all. Standard. I am hoping Leslie worked her magic and got some good ones though! 

When we got home, I thought we should get out our smaller Christmas tree, since Lucas has an obsession with Christmas lights. This tree goes in the family room and has all of our "family" ornaments on it...from all of our trips and different memories (Ella's first Christmas, First Married Christmas, First Christmas in our new house, etc).

We will get our big {live} Christmas tree for the front window later in December!

We've got to get through Thanksgiving first! 

Love these turkeys!

They "helped" me tutor Monday night. And yes, Lucas had already pooped all over his turkey outfit, so he is on outfit #2 here. 

Tuesday, Lulu came with me to pack Operation Christmas Child boxes at Ella's preschool. He really liked these old VBS shirts we were putting in the boxes! 

Yesterday, we went to story and music time at our church. They have a little program every Wednesday and it is so cute. This week was about David and Goliath, and Ella was a great example of Goliath. ;)

Lucas loved that there were lots of babies his age there!

Told you it was a random week! :)
Happy almost weekend and go Panthers tonight!