Update in Video Form

22 Feb

P’s has added a lot of new accomplishments to his resume this month so rather than write about them I thought I would just show him in action! It’s much cuter that way! The first video is the longest at one minute and actually a bunch are even under 10 seconds – so don’t get too overwhelmed that you need to sit down and pop a bag of popcorn or anything in order to enjoy them all!

These first two videos are actually from the end of December. In the first, he got this toy for Christmas and within in a week he had it figured out! Still one of his favorites! In the second Parker is showing off how he can click his tongue. He thinks it’s so funny and does it all the time and is much quicker at it now than he was in this video too.

All of the next videos below are from this month. Parker received blocks for Christmas and for the longest time all he would do is knock down towers we would build or clap them together. Now he has started stacking! 3 is the highest we’ve gone so far before he gets too excited and knocks them down.

Two days after his first birthday Parker decided he was ready to start walking and he hasn’t stopped since. Little booger could have done it the day before for his birthday party – but I forgive him ūüôā

Parker is obsessed with “lights” now and anytime I say the word “light” he immediately points up. So I had a little fun with him in this video even though he was cranky and ready for his nap!

For weeks I’ve been reading this book with animal noises and he would sit patiently and listen. One day the other week when I asked “What does a snake say” he randomly responded with a “hiss!” I don’t think I’ve been so excited. It’s always hard to tell if they are really paying attention when you’re trying to teach them something. Well since then we’ve added a few others and I finally got him focused enough to do a few in a row together (although you really have to listen for the snake sound as I’m talking over him a bit when he does it). We do need to work on differentiating the tiger and crocodile a little better though, haha.

Finally just this week he learned how to go from the sitting to standing position without pulling up on something. This has made him very happy because before anytime he was walking and would fall down he would start to cry/whine because he didnt want to crawl over to something else in order to get back up.

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for watching!!

1 Year Photo Shoot

18 Feb

No, sorry, this isn’t the monthly rundown – still working on that puppy (and the 11 month one, haha). Jennifer Soots Photography, who did our newborn and 6 month shoot as well, came over a couple hours before Parker’s birthday party to take his pictures. We decided to have her come the day of the party so that she would be there to take pictures of the party and the cake smash as well. Even with all the chaos of trying to organize the pictures and the party at the same time I’m so glad we did it this way so that I didn’t have a camera attached to my face the entire day. Below are some of my favorites and I’ll have more included in the rundown post of the party. So happy with how they came out!


Fun Fact: Jennifer arrived to take pictures 15 minutes early and I still hadn’t done my make-up. So I rushed into the bathroom and tried to hurry to pull myself together. Well when I clamped my eyelash curler on my left eyelashes I somehow lost my grip and the eyelash curler flung out of my hands and landed on the floor. I bent down and picked it up and as I went to put it back on my eyelashes I realized there was a huge clump of eyelashes stuck to it. Eric was in the bathroom too and I turned to him all wide eyed and he was like, “are you ok? holy cow, half your eyelashes are gone!” I immediately turned to the mirror and yes, from the middle of my eyelid to the inner corner of my eye every single lash was gone. I was stunned. Stunned because I didn’t know what to do when I was supposed to be taking professional pictures at any minute and stunned at how this whole episode didn’t hurt – like at all. My eye never stung or got red or itchy or anything. If the eyelashes weren’t left on my curler I wouldn’t even have known it had happened. Apparently it was a clean pull – so weird. I went into my bathroom closet and of course I had like 5 pairs of fake eyelashes but zero glue. Luckily I don’t have super lush eyelashes to begin with so after I did my make-up it somehow wasn’t that noticeable (eyeliner really helped) and Jennier joked she would edit in eyelashes on any close up. I swear this would only happen to me!

Mini Matto 2.0

17 Feb


Yup, that’s right, Mini Matto 2.0 has been cooking and is due to arrive August 23rd – although truth-be-told I would be completely fine with a 10 day early arrival like Parker! Hopefully, you’ll now forgive me for why I’ve been such a bad blogger. You see besides the all the busy-ness that surrounds the holiday season and planning/executing Parker’s 1st Birthday and working, I’ve also been dealing with first trimester tiredness and sickness. Any spare time I used to have (behind baby and work) would go to blogging and taking/uploading pictures but laying on the couch eating toast and trying not to vomit took up that space instead – my apologies. Thankfully I’m starting to see the light at the end of that tunnel. I will also say I’m thankful that honestly, overall, this 1st trimester was better compared to my 1st trimester with Parker. I was really nervous going into it not knowing how in the world I was supposed to take care of Parker while feeling like crap, but thankfully as long as I ate every 2-3 hours then the worst of my sickness wouldn’t come until evening after Parker was in bed and Eric was home to help.

But the dress is back! I debated whether to wear the same dress or not but I thought it would be fun to really be able to compare this pregnancy to Parker’s. The only difference is all my backgrounds may not be the same like before. I’m trying to make the picture taking as easy and low stress as possible so I actually keep up with it (and setting up the camera outside, at the right time of day with lighting and weather was problematic at times). Also, with Parker it’s much easier if I just take it in the house – plus it’s freezing cold right now and will be stifling hot during my third trimester so I’d rather stay indoors! I’ll have to do another post with a rundown of all my pics from my pregnancy with Parker but right now I do feel like I’m showing about a week or two earlier than I did with him. So not a huge difference – but definitely some. I gained a total of 36 pounds with Parker so I’m interested to see what this one brings. One difference is my pre-pregnancy weight this time was 10 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight with Parker so I’m not sure if that will make a difference in how much I gain in the end or not. So far I’ve gained like 6 pounds. Thankfully I really enjoyed being pregnant last time – so lets bring on the pounds!


So first, to clear the air, this baby was planned. Yes, we are those crazy people that actually decided to willingly do “2 under 2” because we’d much rather keep on rolling with the baby stage while we’re used to it instead of shelving it for awhile and coming back to it later. I would also like to use all my expensive baby items before they are outdated and/or recalled – haha. We also lucked out with Parker being a fabulous sleeper and overall good baby so I figured we better hurry and have number 2 in case he becomes a terror as a toddler and we change our minds. Of course I say my prayers daily that #2 is exactly like Parker and of course I also realize there is a fat chance of this and that we are probably going to get pay back for having an easy baby the first time – but I figure a little prayer never hurts.

I found out I was pregnant on December 17th, a few days before we left to go up to my parents for Christmas. I took the test while Eric was at work and immediately started scheming how I should tell him. I made this DIY Advent Calendar and so I thought it would be fun to put the test in one of the bags for him to open. The paper sacks I used on the advent calendar were all different sizes and it just so happened that the only bag left that the test would fit in was December 24th, Christmas Eve. We would get back to our house from my parents on Christmas Eve afternoon so I figured he would open it then before we left to go to spend Christmas Eve night with his extended family. So I took the test and put it in the bag. That night after Eric and I were already in bed my mind started racing and I started overanalyzing and basically became a crazy, worried pregnant lady. I all of the sudden got very nervous about holding onto this secret for almost a week. I couldn’t help but think, “what if something happened to Eric and he died never knowing he was going to be a dad again” and even “what if the world actually ends on the 21st?” So instead of completely hyperventilating I hopped out of bed and ran into the living room and took the test out of the bag and ran back into the room and woke Eric up and told him I had something to show him and I had to show him RIGHT. NOW. At this point it was still pitch black so I reached over to turn on my bedside light and handed him the test. I don’t even think he completely saw it before he goes “somehow, I knew that is what you were waking me up to show me.” So I very romantically told him I was afraid he was going to die and I would feel like a bad wife for not giving him the news to which he responded, “why do I have to be the one to die? Why couldn’t you be the one to die?” To which I responded, “Um, obviously if I died you would still more than likely find out that I was with child so it doesn’t matter if I’m the one to die.” After that sweet conversation we talked a litle bit about life with 2 (We need a bigger house! I need a mini van!) and went to sleep and kept our secret hidden all holiday season – which included me pouring a bottle of sparkling white grape juice into an empty wine bottle to fool all those we were celebrating New Year’s Eve with!


The timing of this pregnancy worked out to where I would be 11 weeks, 2 days at Parker’s 1st Birthday Party. Since all our closest friends and family would be attending we decided that would be a fun time to share our news. I definitely didn’t want to overshadow Parker’s day and be talking about #2 the entire party so we decided to wait until the end and have the last present Parker open be a gift from Eric and I and inside would be a shirt that says, “I’m the Big Brother.” The only downside with waiting until the end was that a few people did have to leave early – since obviously they didn’t know there was going to be a special surprise – so I felt bad that they were going to miss out. We had told Eric’s sister and her husband earlier in the week and so they were able to record the surprise for us and you can see the video below! I made sure to tell everyone before we opened it that it was a special gift from Eric and I to hopefully grab everyone’s attention in case they weren’t really paying attention (I mean watching other people open presents isn’t exactly the most exciting thing in the world – especially when Parker could really care less about what was going on). Needless to say everyone was surprised. In the video there is a good shot of Eric’s parents reaction. So much fun! Also, there is a mention of a vacation in the video. Eric’s mom was worried we would have to back out of our vacation this coming July to a beach in South Carolina but luckily we can still go – I’ll just be the 36 week preggo beach whale, don’t mind me!

And now here I am today – 13 weeks, 3 days and crossing my fingers for this morning sickness phase to officially end. Last week I had my second appointment with my OB. All went awesome!


Which timeout for a minute before I get back to my last appointment: at my first 9 week appointment I brought Parker (Eric wasn’t able to make it so it was just the two of us) and he was completely fine, even when I was sitting on the table waiting for the doc to come in, but out of nowhere he completely flipped out when the doctor had me lay down. He was in his stroller next to me – I could even hold his hand and the kid had cheerios – but he did not care. He did not like whatever it was the doc was doing to me and he was so scared and wouldn’t stop crying. I, of course, was slightly embarassed – like my OB must be thinking “you really want 2, eh?” – and I didn’t know what to do since Parker had never done anything like this before so I honestly didn’t know how to make it better except to pick him up but that obviously wasn’t an option. I was also a little sad because my OB then felt rushed and so I could barely see what was going on with the ultrasound and couldn’t hear the heartbeat at all over Parker’s cries so the moment I had built up of Parker and I looking lovingly at his little sister or brother was less than stellar to say the least! The sibling jealously begins! Luckily I did get a few picture print outs but for my 13 week appointment you can bet I left Parker with the grandparents!

So back to my 13 week appointment. I didn’t get another ultrasound (don’t get another one of those until around 20 weeks) but I did get to listen to the heartbeat and once he found it, it was an immediate relief for me to hear. The beginning stages of pregnancy are so nerve racking until you can rely on their little kicks to know everything is going ok. My OB even said, “Wow, this is one of the strongest heartbeats I’ve ever heard this early in a pregnancy – this is just great!” Which of course made me feel really good and reassured that everything is going as it should in there. Eric and I have decided (well actually I have decided and Eric is going along with it if it’s really what I want) to not find out the gender this pregnancy until delivery. Since this could be our last (we are going to have 2 before making the decision whether we want to go for 3) we may not have another chance to finding out this way and I really want to experience what it feels like to find out at birth. With our first pregnancy and everything seeming so overwhelming and new and surreal and unpredictable I just had to fill myself with all the knowledge and pre-planning I could with what was going on and that included knowing what we were having. The second time around I feel more at ease and am able to better wrap my head around what’s to come and so knowing the gender just isn’t something I feel the need to know. I also honestly would be equally as happy with a boy or a girl. Also, with Parker I had strong “boy feelings” and so I thought for sure I would have strong feelings one way or the other this time too, which would maybe make me want to find out early to prove myself right (or wrong) but I just really have no idea. All the major baby items we bought with Parker are gender neutral and with an August baby it’s going to be so hot the baby will only be in onesies anyway and Parker has plenty of gender neutral ones to get us through the beginning if it’s a girl so I’m not really worried about that stuff either. The only downside we’ve come across with not finding out early is then needing to be prepared with a boy and a girl name and so far that part is not going smoothly – haha. We have a middle name for a boy we like and a first name for a girl – so I guess we are getting there – but it’s definitely much harder than Parker!

Thanks for sticking around and hope to have more updates soon!


11 Feb











Our day will filled with some presents, food, fun and wearing our PJs all day! It was very low key since my extended family Christmas was the weekend before and Eric’s wasn’t happening until a couple of days after. I took a video of Parker Christmas morning hoping for something cute and smiley like normal but instead there were tears since he couldn’t touch the camera – figures! Maybe next year!

‘Twas the Weekend Before Christmas

28 Jan










Who doesn’t like reminiscing Christmas a month after it’s over? These pictures are from Christmas at my parents, which we celebrated the 22nd – 24th. Parker had fun opening his first presents and the toys he received he still plays with every day – no duds yay! He was quite the trooper with staying up past his bedtime and enjoyed all the quality time with family he doesn’t get to see as often (they live about 3 hours away). Next up….Christmas Day!!

Countdown to One!

20 Jan

I’ve been so M.I.A I apologize. I still have Christmas pictures I would like to share as well as an 11 month post but those will have to wait as I wanted to share Parker’s invitation for his first birthday which is rapidly approaching!

When thinking of a theme I jumped around a lot. I was having trouble finding something I liked that made sense for the middle of winter and having to be indoors. I debated a circus theme, ninja theme (with Asian cuisine) and woodland theme. I was pretty set on a winter woodland theme (with an emphasis on foxes) when as I was browsing Etsy I came upon an invitation for Where the Wild Things Are and a lightbulb went off. I’ve spoken before how Eric and I were both English majors and love books and how 2 of my baby showers incorporated a storybook theme so it only made sense I carried that on. As I did further research on the book and party ideas, I came across so much inspiration and I loved how a couple quotes from the book – “Let the wild rumpus start” and “I’ll eat you up, I love you so” could be incorporated. I also thought how neat it would be for Parker’s copy of the book to be the guest book and I plan to have all the guests write a note on the inside as they arrive. This also sparked an idea how I would like all our future birthday parties to be based on a book so that when they are older they have all the books signed by the people that came to celebrate them. I realize as kids get older I won’t necessary have a say in theme but my thought is even if they want like “batman” or “cowboys” you can always find a book to go with it.

So once the theme was set I moved on to the invitation. There were many on Etsy but I had a hard time finding one I loved. I really wanted something modern and clean looking. Everything I found had either too much going on (looked too commercial for my taste), was too simple (looked like something I could have made myself) or too expensive (many were digital files which was what I wanted but some the seller printed and you had to pay per invite which would have been like $100 or more – I don’t think so!) so I kept hitting dead ends. It got to the point where I almost switched my theme back to woodland because there was one fox invitation I kept going back to in an Etsy shop called BonjourBerry. I just loved everything about it. I was then browsing the rest of her shop when I noticed she would do a custom design for only $20! So I immediately messaged her and she happily accepted. I gave her a few ideas. My decor is still going to be woodland-esque since the book is set in the forest and I also told her what his smash cake was going to look like and she took it from there. The funny thing is she asked me if I had a color scheme and I didn’t at the time but then while I was waiting for her to send the design I decided I’d like to focus on red, gray and white and so I was pleasantly surprised when those were the colors she had decided on herself as well! I think it’s fun I can say Parker’s invitations were custom designed from someone in Australia! She was incredibly easy to work with and allows three proofs before she basically tells you “stop being so damn picky” ūüôā Luckily I was happy with proof one. The only thing I had her change was the hair color. She had it dark brown to match Max from the book but I asked her to lighten it up so it would look like Parker’s hair. After that she sent me the file and I went to Staples (with my own paper since its cheaper) to print. After seeing them printed I came up with the idea to buy red paper to place behind it as a border to fancy it up and make the invites thicker. I also had a little handheld paper punch to make the corners round – don’t even think for a second I did those freehand! In the end I put together and mailed out 34 invitations. I did a mini budget breakdown for those interested below. The envelopes were free because when we received our Christmas cards (which i really meant to blog about – dang it I’m so behind!) there was a printing error that wasn’t our fault and when they sent back the corrected ones they resent envelopes too so I had double the amount I needed. I really lucked out as they were nice, thick envelopes so I’m glad I didn’t have to buy any.

Invitation Design: $20
White Paper: $4
Printing at Staples: $9
Red Paper: $3

Total: $36 or $1 per invite

So not too bad for custom designed invites! I’m definitely going to keep BonjourBerry in mind for future parties and encourage others to check her out as well!

Of course I have lots more ideas and planning in the works but all that won’t be shown until after the party! We are going to do P’s professional 1 year photos right before the party so our photographer is going to stay and take pictures of the cake smash and decor for us too. Can’t wait!


10 Month Update

30 Dec


On December 1st Parker turned 10 months old! November was a fun month as we had my birthday to celebrate, his Aunt Jill’s birthday to celebrate, along with his first Thanksgiving.


One of his milestones I already blogged separately about – walking¬†with his push toy.¬† He also added “kisses on command” to his repertoire. They are sloppy and open-mouthed, but yet you still can’t help to ask for them over and over. He also keeps his eyes open which is creepy and hilarious. I told him just to keep it up – he doesn’t need to find a girlfriend any time soon and kissing like this is definitely going to keep him single. Another new talent is giving a high five. If someone holds up their hand and asks him to give them a “high five” he will clap his hand on yours, which is pretty cute.


This boy is also obsessed with climbing. He has no fear. Stairs are his best friend – which is funny that he is so good at them because the only stairs we have at our house are our¬†basement ones and since they are steep and not carpeted we never let him climb them so there have only been a couple times where he was around stairs and he couldn’t get enough. If Eric or I are on the floor he also prefers to crawl over our legs or body instead of around. If a toy or something is wedged up by the couch he will try and step on it so he can climb on the couch. I definitely have to keep my eyes open and ears alert at all times – which makes working from home rather difficult – but we manage.



A¬†downer of a milestone is that¬†we had our first cold. Luckily it wasn’t too bad. He had a stuffy nose that turned runny¬†and a cough but he never actually acted sick (still ate and slept fine)¬†or like anything was bothering him. So overall, not that bad of an experience, but you still feel bad when they are under the weather.


I mentioned last month how Parker loves electronics and on my iPhone and iPad I have several videos of Parker and he gets bouncing up and down excited when I show them to him. I feel like he realizes it’s himself – either that or he at least recognizes that it’s another baby, which is something else he gets excited about now when we’re out and about. He loves babbling to other babies¬†he sees in public.


Before going down for a nap I always change his diaper and then we sit in the rocker and I read the same book (which is seen in a couple of the pictures in this post, like the one above). I love this book because besides the message – I love you because you’re you – it is a cardboard book which means Parker helps turning the pages without ripping them, yet it is still a decent length and is bigger than most cardboard books.¬†He gets a huge grin when I start and sits peacefully through the whole thing and at the end I sit it to the side and rock him the rest of the way to sleep. I tried changing up the book once and it just threw everything off – so we keep with it!



As you can tell, he is a wild man – loves splashing, jumping and anything that gives him “butterflies.” He loves to be thrown in the air, flown all over the house, held upside-down, etc. Adrenaline junkie to say the least.



The one thing that was really helpful during Parker’s cold was the fact that he LOVES medicine. He gets really excited and a big smile when I bring the dispensor full of medicine. It’s like candy to him. He drinks it down easily and happily, which makes life a lot easier let me tell you – especially since this past month (which I’ll write more about in his 11 month post) he had an ear infection and fever that meant a rotation of tylenol and ibuprofen¬†for several days in a row¬†as well as amoxicillian in the morning and night. I can’t even imagine what kind of stress that would have caused if he would have fought me over taking it.


I always struggle coming up with dislikes because he just really is easy going. However he still doesn’t like diaper changes – or maybe it’s just the being forced to lay on his back on the changing table – either way that is still a fight pretty much every single time. I do have a handful of “toys” (i.e. comb, brush, wipes) that he doesn’t normally get that I’ll give him to help distract and that usually helps for a bit and sometimes singing to him works too, but overall he just does not like to be contained.



Having his first cold came with using what I call the “snot sucker,” although I believe the proper term is nasal syringe. It would take both Eric and I to hold him still so we could get the job done. We do have a Nose Frida, which when used works more efficiently than the regular bulb ones, however the Nose Frida doesn’t really fit up in his nose and so it was much harder to get him still long enough to use that so we stuck with the old school one.



Below are his stats:


Weight: 20 lbs (last month: 19lbs, 15 oz)

Height: 29″ long¬†(last month: 28″)

Head: 18.25″ (last month: 18″)

Growing, growing, growing. I pretty much don’t buy any clothes under 12 months. All PJ’s are at least 18 months. Shoes are size 2 or 3 depending on brand. Still in size 3 diapers.


I mentioned in his 9 month post how my milk was starting to dry up and so he was getting half formula, half my milk. Well near the beginning of November my milk completely dried up and so now he is all formula. I’ll admit, I was a little sad since I was hoping to make it to a year, but luckily he had zero issues transferring to formula which made the process a lot easier. And now that it’s done I can also say I’m really loving not to have to pump multiple times a day! I still would if I could (and will again for any future babies) but the freedom is oh-so-nice.¬† As for solid food there hasn’t been much change since he still only has the one bottom lower tooth. People say he will still eat just fine and that he’ll gum it, but I admit I’m a wuss and get too nervous about choking so I stick to foods that I know he can mush up easily¬†– like bananas, avocados, puffs, yogurt melts, eggs, etc. He still eats baby food too. I also still haven’t found anything he refuses so that’s a plus! He just likes food! I also dilute¬†juice (we’ve tried apple and pear so far) in some water and he is a fan. However, I learned quick that apple juice makes for multiple not-nice diapers so I’m careful with that now!


And finally, diaper count and an outtake. The outtake is another example of non-toys I dug out of my stash to make him smile and sit still. I don’t think we’ve ever used the giant grill baster when cooking, but at least it’s getting some action now. The black and white photo makes me laugh only because I think it looks like he’s about to start¬†“Tebowing.”




If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

22 Dec












Last weekend we had our annual cookie baking extravaganza. Last year we decided to switch from cooking at Eric’s Aunt’s home to using a church kitchen. You see, this isn’t your average run-of-the-mill cookie baking – you may as well call us Betty Crocker. There is a system. Aunt Mary is the Head Elf who makes all the dough a day or two prior and is in charge of the oven and making sure we have no burnt cookies. Mammaw is on sugar cookie decorating duty. Eric’s mom is on detail duty (adding eyes and noses to the mice and swirled chocolate on toffee cookies) as well as keeping up with the cookie count, Jill keeps us organized and makes sure all dough balls are created equal before being baked – she has a keen eye for diameter, that girl. Myself, Casey and Eric’s dad fill in where needed and Eric always pops in halfway through to screw up our cookie count by “taste testing” and eating the supposed “broken” ones and just generally making a mess before he is kicked out. Last year we made 1,343 cookies. I unfortunately didn’t see the final count this year since we had to leave to see Santa but I’m pretty sure we were on par with last year. We also add a new cookie every year. It’s a crazy day, but it’s tradition and you can’t mess with tradition.

Parker’s First Snow

21 Dec


At first he was not happy with the outfit. As soon as he tried to stand he lost his balance and fell backwards and then squirmed around Steve Urkel style as if to say, “help, I can’t get up!” Once he finally got his bearings and rolled over he couldn’t crawl at all. Part of it was the wood floors fault, but he was so angry. I, of course, was laughing because he looked like Ralphie from A Christmas Story. I was finally a good mom and saved him from his misery and took him outside. As you can see from the photos below he was in a better mood once he could watch the dogs chase each other in the snow.







He basically just sat there because he still couldn’t really move. After 5 minutes we were both over it and came inside to heat up. Hopefully more successful ones he’s older…or maybe we just need to get a sled to pull him around. I’m sure he would like that!

Dear Santa…

19 Dec





This past weekend we were invited to a Pancake Breakfast by one of our friends so our boys could see Santa! Her little guy is 4.5 months and both he and Parker did great – no tears! Parker just stared at him at first, but then I broke out “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to get him to smile. Then just yesterday I was out shopping and there wasn’t a line for the Santa at the mall so I figured “when in Rome” and let Parker see Santa again. He happened to be in the same sweater and the background was a little more holiday-ish compared to other one and Parker has just been so nice I figured he deserved to see him twice! Once again he just stared at Santa until the photographer shook some jingle bells and then once again “Itsy Bitsy Spider” got a smile out of him. I hope it’s this easy in future years! Something tells me he is going to get everything on his list and more!