Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Baby Bump Update: Week 28

Week of Pregnancy: 28 weeks, 4 days

Baby size: Baby is about the size of a large eggplant this week!

Baby is almost 15 inches long from head to heel and weighs around 2 1/4 pounds. In the funnier, Dad-to-Be Edition of How Big is Baby?, baby is as big as a kid's lunchbox this week! Wow!

A fun website, babysizer.com, also states that the baby is the size of a 1 pound basket of wings, a Nintendo, or a baseball cap!

Appointment Notes: Everything looked/sounded great at my OB appointment on Friday. Baby's heartbeat was strong at 148 and I was measuring right on target for 28 weeks. Now it's time to start bi-monthly appointments. It's starting to get real!

Symptoms: Back and hip pain are still probably my biggest complaints. Trying to turn from side to side at night brings much pain. My back is also getting worse again, with sciatica kicking in - pain shooting down my left leg (funny that looking back, it was my right with Amos!), and making it difficult to walk at times. Ugh. Also a big complaint, heartburn. I'm taking maximum strength famotodine twice a day right now, and that sometimes isn't enough. :( One of the midwives at the OB office suggested her home remedy of a shot of 1 part baking soda to 2 parts water. I've tried it once. Whew! It was rough, but is now my back-up plan if the OTC meds can't keep up. I guess it's comforting to know that I was experiencing these same things at this point in my pregnancy with Amos, nearly 4 years ago. So, I may be "elderly" now, but apparently not any worse than I was at that point. ;)

Food cravings: I have been wanting fruit and salads! Say what?? Yep, I often find myself reaching for a bowl of cherries when I'm hungry now. I've also been wanting salad more as a dinner option. As my belly expands, my desire for dinner decreases. How much longer now??

Food aversions: I can't believe that I still don't want hot coffee in the mornings, but I guess it's probably better that way. When I do get my caffeine fix with an iced drink, it unfortunately doesn't help to keep me awake during the day...just at night, when I'm trying to sleep!!

What I'm excited about: The boys heading back to school this week, so hopefully I'll manage to start tackling some baby projects around the house!

What I've done to prepare for baby: Still nothing, but I think I've finally decided on a color for the nursery walls. Yay! And, I think I'm going to risk it and use a beautiful fabric that I have to make the curtains, bedding, etc. for the room. It's a girly print/colors, so I guess my backup plan will be to purchase an alternative set if it's a boy, and sell the girly items!

Funny moment: The other day, Amos noticed my belly button sticking out under my shirt and he pushed it and called it my baby button! He wanted to push it to make the baby come out. Oh how I wish! He also informed me today that the baby is a boy. Because "Ethan is a boy, Noah is a boy, I am a boy....the baby is a boy." We shall see!!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Noah's {Mad Science Themed} 6th Birthday Party

I'm pretty sure this is the quickest I have managed to post about a birthday party!! I'm so excited to share this one though - it was so fun!! When I asked Noah what he wanted for his birthday party theme for his 6th birthday, he told me he wanted a mad science party. The inner geek in me squealed with delight!!  Away I went planning an adorable mad science party for my little guy. I tend to go "all out" for Noah's parties. I think this is because 1) they are in the summer, so I have more time to plan and execute, and 2) having a summer birthday myself, I know what a bummer it is to not be able to celebrate at school like most kids do. So, all out I went! ;)

First on the agenda, the invitations. We needed to pass these out before school let out in May! I actually found inspiration from some party balloons and test tubes that I found on Etsy, from NerdyWordsGifts. Noah picked three colors he wanted for the balloons (aqua, blue and red), and I based the rest of the party design on the design printed on those! I also couldn't resist a few of the "Helium" balloons that she offered as well. Too cute! I ran with the element theme for the letters and used these for multiple aspects of the party. Since we were handing out the invites at school, I made labels of each child's name like I did Noah's on the invite. So fun!!  I had the invites printed at my local Office Depot store. They have a nice thicker cardstock that looks great printed on their laser printer. I also printed "Come have a BLAST!" labels to seal the envelopes on Avery's 2" glossy round labels. Those print beautifully right at home!

After the invitations were delivered, I started brainstorming (aka, browsing Pinterest and Google) ideas for the party. I made a custom banner that read "Happy 6th Birthday Noah" using the same element letters.

Here's an example of the banner letters, close-up. Each letter was an element, except for a couple letters that I combined because it worked out ("Ir" and "Th"). I used tiny clothespins to hang the letters on jute rope.

My friend, Sarah, made Noah's birthday T-shirt. It was perfect! Check out her shop on Etsy - All in Good Font!

For the dinner menu, we chose:

  • A HOT DOG bar, where guests could create their own style of dog:
    • All American Dog (ketchup + mustard)
    • BBQ Dog (BBQ sauce + peppers)
    • Chili Dog (chili + cheese)
    • Fiesta Dog (salsa + cheese)
    • New York Dog (spicy brown mustard + sauerkraut)
    • Surf Dog (pineapple salsa + teriyaki sauce)
  • DNA pasta (homemade white cheddar mac 'n cheese using rotini pasta noodles)
  • Fruit molecules (grapes + berries)
  • Petri dishes (strawberry Jell-O with "bacteria" sprinkles)
  • A BEVERAGE lab, where guests could mix their own creations:
    • Cranberry juice
    • Blue Hawaiian punch
    • Lemonade
    • Pineapple juice
    • Sprite
  • Bottles of H2O
  • An ICE CREAM SUNDAE bar, where guests could choose their own toppings:
    • Salted caramel
    • Hot fudge
    • Maraschino cherries
    • Peanuts
    • Sprinkles
    • Strawberry syrup

I used mason jars for the beverage lab and added kraft paper straws with some cute, personalized straw flags to complete the look. This is a great way to "label" drinks when you have 15 kids at a party and don't want to mix everyone's drinks up!! ;) I love Avery's water bottle labels. They print beautifully and don't smudge as the bottles sweat! What better way to label water than by using it's chemical name? ;) The kids had a blast using funnels to fill their jars with their own drink concoctions!

After everyone filled up, we moved on to the experiments. I browsed through a couple kids' science books (365 Awesome Science Experiments and Pop Bottle Science) and picked 6 experiments that I thought would be fairly easy and fun for 5/6-year-olds to do:
  • Drop It: will a full bottle fall twice as fast as a half-full bottle?
  • Metal Boat: can you make a metal boat float?
  • Acid or Base?: make colors change as if by magic!
  • Gas Balloon: an acid and a base make gas
  • Corny Goo: make a goo with strange habits
  • Squishy Ice Cream: make your own ice cream!
I created my own science lab notebook that included detailed instructions for the experiments we were conducting. Each child received one of these. For Noah's party with friends, I had the kids pair up and work together, making 7 groups. Each group had a pan full of the supplies they would need to conduct the experiments.

I think it went pretty well, aside from most of the parents having to complete the ice cream experiment for the kids by the end of it. ;) In their defense, they were distracted by the large amount of ducks in our backyard, and they were all more interested in feeding them at that point. Haha!

Noah requested a Reese cake this year for his party, so to tie in to the theme, we made it "explode" with Reese's pieces when you cut into the cake! I made a cake topper to put in the top.

I also ordered these adorable cookies from my friend, Amanda, of Sweet Hadley B Cookies. She is the best!!!

For the party favors, I bought plain white paper bags at Michaels and assigned an element that represented each child attending (i.e. Ra = Radium = Rachel, Am = Americum = Amos, Lu = Lutetium = Lucas, etc). I made a personalized ID badge for each child to wear, using these badge holders and lanyards. Each child also received a pair of safety glasses for the experiments, the notebook with instructions for the 6 experiments we conducted at the party, a pen, another Science notebook (from the Target dollar spot!), an atomic bouncy ball, and a test tube full of sixlets candy.

Here are some pics of the birthday boy enjoying his parties!! :) 

The final item to take care of was the thank you notes. I made a simple flat 4" x 6" card to go with the theme. Because who doesn't love getting something sweet in the mail instead of bills? ;) 

It was an adorable, FUN party! Happy 6th Birthday to our little middle!

If you're interested in purchasing any of the Mad Science printables, please visit my website at www.kreationsbykristydesign.com, or contact me via my Etsy shop. Don't forget to check out Sweet Hadley B Cookies (she ships cookies all over the U.S.) and custom vinyl t-shirts by All in Good Font!


Monday, July 3, 2017

Baby Bump Update: Week 24

Week of Pregnancy: 24 weeks, 3 days

Baby size: Baby is the length of an ear of corn this week!

Baby is about a foot long from head to heel and weighs around 1 1/4 pounds.

A fun website, babysizer.com, also states that the baby is the size of a package of Oreos, Mr. Burns' teddy bear, Bobo (the Simpsons), or a Philly cheesesteak. Yuuummm.

Appointment Notes: Everything looked/sounded great at my OB appointment this morning. Baby's heartbeat was strong at 142 and he/she was actually weighing in at 1 lb 12 oz by U/S, so a "healthy" 76th percentile. ;) They were able to view the heart vessels this time and all looks good there as well. I also had my glucose testing this morning and managed to just squeak through that one! Whew!

Symptoms: Hip/pelvic/low back pain is my biggest complaint right now. It's hard to get comfortable most nights and trying to get up from sitting on the floor is probably quite amusing for others to watch. Sigh. Heartburn is still mostly under control now with OTC meds. Hoping it stays that way!

Food cravings: Still cereal!

Food aversions: Still coffee. Sigh. I'm fine with the iced stuff, but still zero interest in hot coffee!

What I'm excited about: Passing my glucose test! I was so worried about failing it this time that I'd even had dreams about it this past week. I needed to stay below 130 mg/dL, and I slid in at 121. Probably means I should be a bit more careful about my diet now though.

What I've done to prepare for baby: I think we may have names picked out?!? Pretty solid on a girl's name, but boy's name may still be up for debate...I'm still trying to get maternity workouts in as much as I can handle. I've been seriously exhausted this past month though. Lab results today also showed I have some pregnancy anemia, so that may be the culprit! I think I've found a cute gender neutral bedding set that I like at Target. Surprise! With an aqua, green, yellow and gray patchwork design, it will be cute for either a boy or a girl. Part of me still wonders if I want to wait until after baby is born to pick, so I can go super girly if that's the case! ;)

Funny moment: Looking back at my pregnancy with Amos, Ethan had wanted a little sister and was sad when we found out it was going to be another boy. This time, all three boys are wanting yet another brother!!

Here's a fun look back at each of my pregnancies at 24 weeks! Definitely bigger with each baby, except maybe a tie between the last two?? My weight is actually quite a bit more than it was at this point with Amos though. :( I'm just going to say it's due to the increased muscle I had built up before this pregnancy. ;) Right?!? I guess it's the added four years (you know, in my elderly pregnancy state now, haha) that are making this one even rougher than the previous pregnancies on my body. It's going to be a long 16 weeks!

Happy 4th tomorrow!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Baby Bump Update: Week 20

Week of Pregnancy: 20 weeks, 1 day

Baby size: Baby is the length of a banana this week!

Baby is about 6 1/2 inches from head to bottom, and 10 inches from head to heel. Baby weighs between 1/2 and 3/4 pound.

A fun website, babysizer.com, also states that the baby is the size of a pint of root beer, or a red Swingline stapler (yay Office Space!), or a fat stack of cash. Haha.

Symptoms: It appears that the nausea may have finally subsided within the last week. Whew. I've definitely had some nice long stretches where I haven't needed to chew gum at least. It's still iffy after dinner most nights, but much better during the daytime now. Yay! Hip/pelvic pain is probably my biggest complaint right now. I guess everything is getting roomier to get ready for delivery already and it kind of feels like it's being ripped apart some days. Fun stuff. I've been battling the acid reflux with some OTC heartburn meds. That, and using 2 pillows at night, has helped a lot.

Food cravings: Still cereal and now cookie dough ice cream!! Fortunately, Halo Top makes a pretty decent one, so when I eat a pint (oops!), I don't have to feel quite as bad. ;) I was in a bad habit of buying Kroger's soft top cranberry-orange cookies every week at the store, but have since traded those in for my Shakeology shakes again. Chocolate PB and chocolate-covered cherry are my favorites. Fortunately, those are pretty much satisfying my sweet tooth now, with only the occasional need for other desserts. ;)

Food aversions: Still coffee. Sigh. I have had some iced caramel macchiatos and I do fine with those, but I'm still not wanting anything to do with hot coffee. By this point with Amos, I was drinking it again, so we shall see. My body has actually adjusted to no caffeine at this point, so it may be best to save it for when I'm not sleeping much at night once baby arrives! Haha.

What I'm excited about: I had my ultrasound last week at 19 weeks! I actually kept my eyes closed for almost the entire time, and only peeked when she told me it was safe. I wanted to be sure to not accidentally see any parts that would reveal the gender! Baby Seeley #4 looked great and weighed in at 10 ounces. The only anatomy they couldn't get a look at were the vessels coming out of the heart, so I'll have another quick ultrasound at 24 weeks to be sure those aren't transposed. The doctor thinks they are probably fine given there were no defects within the chambers of the heart, but they like to see them just to be sure. I'll also get to do the fun glucose test at that appointment. Hopefully, I pass again, so I can enjoy my birthday sweets later that week! ;) I love that they did some 3D ultrasound at this visit. Check out that adorable baby yawn! Swoon.

What I've done to prepare for baby: I'm still trying to decide how I want to decorate the nursery. Once I choose fabric/bedding, then I'll decide on wall colors and hopefully start painting. I'd love to have the room done before I get super huge! I have done a pretty good job keeping up with my maternity workouts. I'm hoping that is helping my body feel better this time and will make for a super easy delivery! A girl can dream, right?

Funny moment: Earlier in the week, Noah was doing my maternity workout with me and during a boat pose, he was making me look bad with how easily he could do it. I told him I was struggling to hold my legs up that long and he responded matter-of-factly, "Probably because they're heavy. Daddy's are even bigger and I have trouble holding them up with both arms." LOL. I can always count on Noah to tell it like it is. ;)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May the Fourth be With Us

I originally wanted to wait until today to make the big announcement...I mean, what would have been more perfect than announcing on May the Fourth, aka Star Wars day?!?

But, I couldn't wait another month, so I had to announce last month to family and friends! Haha!

I'm due October 21st, so I will be 16 weeks tomorrow...time for a bump update! :)

Week of Pregnancy: 16 weeks

Baby size: Baby is the size of an avocado this week!

baby is size of avocado

Baby is 4 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and weighs ~3 1/2 ounces. 

A fun website, babysizer.com, also states that the baby is the size of a can of pop, or a can of SPAM, or a duct tape cardboard roll. Haha.

Seriously?!? I'm 35...

Symptoms: Nausea hit me hard just after week 6. Ugh. What's more fun than a Caribbean cruise while you feel sick to your stomach 24/7?? Pretty much anything. So, not the vacation I had in mind, but we still managed to have a good time. I never actually get sick when I'm pregnant, but sometimes I think that would be easier than feeling sick all day if it would make that nausea go away! So I tried both Phenergan and Zofran, but neither provided much relief. Jolly ranchers helped some, but continually popping those all day got old. Ginger beer wasn't bad, but not something I wanted all the time either. Finally, Ethan's teacher gave me the idea of chewing gum (she's also preggo - due today!!)! I don't know why I had never heard of that one in my 3 previous pregnancies, or tried it, but I'm so glad she clued me in. I've been chewing gum pretty much non-stop since then and that has been the biggest help! I am finally getting to the point now where I don't feel like I need it all the time, but I'm still chewing my fair share. Hopefully, complete relief will come soon as I progress farther into this 2nd trimester. The 1st trimester left me exhausted as well. I don't remember being so tired with the others, but this time I was going to bed by 9 pm and still needed an afternoon nap daily! I guess given my "elderly" status this time around, I shouldn't be surprised. Hahahaha. Fortunately, I have more energy now and I'm not requiring as much sleep. I even started my maternity workouts again today! Go me! With most of the nausea and exhaustion behind me, I'd like to start eating better again and working out more regularly. I still have my Beachbody on Demand membership, and Autumn has a great Active Maternity workout. I'd love to go into this delivery in better shape than I usually do. Here's hoping I can keep it up.

Food cravings: Cereal. Cereal. Cereal. This seems to be a trend for me while preggo, but even more so this time around. With Amos, I craved eggs, over easy in the mornings, but this time, I just want a big ol' bowl of cereal. Preferably LIFE right now. I normally crave the sugary kids stuff (i.e., Captain Crunch, Apple Jacks, Sugar Crisp, etc), but this time, adult cereal does the trick. Haha. Add to the list fruit, especially grapes, and all things lemon (I craved lemon with Noah and Amos, too!). I've had to start avoiding the bakery section at Kroger. Their soft top cranberry-orange cookies are my weakness. I'm trying to do better now. I love a glass of ice cold milk with dinner (it literally needs ice cubes in it) and a glass of grape-orange juice at night before bed. A glass of lemonade during the day is awesome, too. Need to work on that sugar intake before gestational diabetes testing time...

Food aversions: Coffee!! :'( So, so sad. I went from drinking my fair share every day to none at week 6. I can't even stand smelling Josh's coffee brew in the morning. Ten weeks later and I'm still not interested. I guess that's good for baby, and I seem to have adjusted to the lack of daily caffeine. With the others, I was still good with my favorite, iced caramel macchiatos, but this time even those don't sound great. I also despised water at the beginning. Not good. Finally a couple weeks ago, I was able to start drinking it again without issues. It just has to be very cold. :)

What I'm excited about: Meeting this little guy/gal! Despite my sister's lack of faith in my ability to go this entire pregnancy without finding out the sex, I am determined. We found out for all 3 of the boys, and with this definitely being our last, it's my final chance to be surprised in the delivery room, so I want to do it. It will probably drive the OCD planner in me insane, but hopefully I'll manage. :)

What I've done to prepare for baby: I've purchased a few gender neutral clothing items. Given the fact that I donated all of the newborn and 0-3 month baby clothes I had (when I thought I didn't want any more babies, sigh), we will need to get some things. Oops! Fortunately, my sister still had all the bigger items that Amos had outgrown, so I'm holding on to those now. ;) I guess it won't matter if it's a girl, but I have a gut feeling this is boy #4!

Funny moment: Amos's preschool teacher let me know that Amos has been talking about being a big brother and that he was going to get the baby out of my belly for me. He's been pretending to get babies out of bellies at school, too. I guess I don't need that midwife. Amos will be a pro after practicing for another ~5 months! LOL.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Amos's {Burlap and Bowties} 1st Birthday Party

Wow. So, looking back through my posts, I see that I never posted about Amos's 1st birthday party!! #thirdbabyproblems  In my defense, it all went down not long before Josh left to work in VA, leaving me with the 3 boys by myself during the week for the next 4.5 months. I don't miss that! I guess I should probably post about this one before I post about his 3rd birthday...it appears I had most of it ready to go, so I'll fill in the blanks now! :)

Now that I've updated you about Amos's 1st year, it's time to talk about the party!! On my 3rd boy now, I decided it was time to finally do a "little man" bash. So, away I went planning an adorable navy blue, aqua, and lime green "little man"/bowtie-themed party for my little guy. I decided to incorporate burlap to the theme, too, for a "burlap and bowties" party. First on the agenda, the invitations.

I love including photos of the birthday boy on the invites, and I thought it might be fun to make this a 3-D invite, so I added the bowties (made from lime green grosgrain ribbon) with hot glue. :) I also decided to mount the invites on pieces of burlap, to complete the 3-D effect. I was very happy with how they turned out!

After the invitations were mailed, I started brainstorming ideas for the party. To decorate the house, I bought some navy blue, aqua and lime green latex balloons (inflated with helium and hi-float) at the local party supply store. I also bought a 1st birthday balloon and lucked out that the colors coordinated fairly well! I made a custom banner that read "Happy 1st Birthday Amos" using the same bowtie/color theme. I used aqua baker's twine to string together the pendants and made the bowties from burlap. It worked well and looked great! I also made a coordinating banner for his highchair that read "I am 1".

From the mantle, I hung a string of pictures from Amos's first year - the monthly pics I took throughout the year. I decorated this banner with more bowties and put it on a burlap background. I also framed the print I made summarizing his first year.

For the party favors, I bought little burlap bags (from Michaels) and added personalized tags to them. Inside the bags, I added little bags of bright blue, aqua and kelly green chocolate candies (from Fresh Market). I also made clip-on bowties for the boys and bow barrettes for the girls, and added these to the bags. To help decorate the room, I set the bags on our bookshelves and tied a balloon to each one.

This year, I made cake bites for the party guests and a small smash cake for Amos. I used aqua blue candy melts for the vanilla cake bites. I purchased the lime green cupcake liners, to hold the cake bites, from our local party store. All of the plates, bowls, napkins and utensils were purchased at our local party store. I wrapped the utensils in a napkin, then taped a piece of ribbon around the middle to make them look like bowties. For the tables, I used dark blue plastic tablecloths, then draped pieces of burlap on top as table runners. I placed more of the colored chocolate candies in candle holders to make for a colorful centerpiece.

For the dinner menu, I chose:
  • Burger Bites (beef patty sliders on Hawaiian sweet rolls)
  • 'Lil Smokies ('Lil Smokies cooked in Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce)
  • Sweet Tator Tots (homemade roasted sweet potatoes cubes)
  • Caprese Skewer Bites (cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls and basil)
  • Bowtie Pasta Salad (bowtie pasta, Italian dressing, mini pepperoni, roasted red bell peppers, shredded parmesan)
  • Bowtie Pasta Crunchies (fried bowtie pasta with roasted red pepper hummus)
  • Mini Fruit Pizzas (mixed berries and homemade whipped cream in deep dish sugar cookie)
  • Baby Carrots (served with ranch dressing)
I wanted the food to go with the party theme, which is why I chose the "little" items for our little man. :) Thanks to my sister for helping me get all of the food ready, as usual! We also had homemade vanilla ice cream (courtesy of my dad!) to go with the cake bites. Yum!

Here are some pics of the birthday boy enjoying his day!! :) I sewed the suspenders and bowtie to his plain white onesie for his party outfit. He also wore it for the one-year pics that we had done.

The final item to take care of was the thank you notes. I added one of the professional pics to a simple thank you note matching the theme. Plenty of room for a sweet thank you for friends and family!

It was an adorable, fun party for my tiniest little man!

Happy 1st Birthday, Amos!

All items you see above are available for customization and purchase. Please contact me via my Etsy shop.