Bring on the pink!

After a miscarriage and trying for a year, we are now 14 weeks pregnant with a baby girl! We are so excited and I feel so lucky.

My NT scan was on Liam’s first day of preschool and sadly, my husband couldn’t make it. The only appointment they had was in the afternoon, so I had to take Liam with me because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pick him up in time, and I didn’t want him to be at school that late on his first day. I was nervous about him coming with me, but he was such a good boy and he loved seeing the baby and especially listening to her heartbeat.Even though it is still considered early to determine the sex of the baby, the ultrasound tech said she was 100% positive it is a girl. She could clearly see between the legs and she said if there was a penis, she would have seen it.

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DIY Ruffle Lamp Shade

I never knew I’d care so much about a silly lampshade. I mean, it’s a lampshade, for crying out loud! But there I was, staring at a normal shade to sit on top of an old Eiffel Tower lamp I’ve had for ages, and I knew “normal” just wasn’t going to cut it. So I took to Pinterest to see how I could spruce an old shade up a bit.

And then I saw it: my inspiration for the lampshade.

The blogger answered questions about the project in the comments, but didn’t really give any directions in the post, so I had to wing it. Luckily, it was super easy and didn’t have any sewing involved. I took pictures along the way just in case you want to make something similar. Oh, and you can definitely make this during nap time; I think it took me around 30 minutes once I had everything together!

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2 year / 4.5 year update

So much has happened since my last update (6 months ago! Or, now that this post is getting written super late, almost 8 months ago!). We bought a house, packed up and moved (to the town next door!), summer started and the kids were in daycare only part time (3 mornings a week) and home with their aunt part time. I went through a huge project at work and life is only just starting to settle down now. But here we are, with a 2 year old and a 4.5 year old. Life is just as hectic as ever, but so much fun, too!

L I L  M I S S  W A G O N
2 Year Stats
Height: 35 in (78%)
Weight: 30 lbs (91%)
Head Circumference: 19.75 in (98%)

It’s quite clear that LMW is staying on her growth curves and is still quite a big girl for her age. With her being so big for her age and Wagon Jr. being so small, people often assume they’re twins. She’s definitely growing out of her clothes that are 18-24 month and fitting nicely into 2T items.

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Building an Emotional IQ

What, exactly, do you say to your child when she hangs over the back of the sofa, tears streaming down her red face, fists clenched, trying desperately to understand why her friend no longer wants to be her friend? Meanwhile, said friend calls over, “I have better friends than you. They’re nicer. I gave you two chances. Now I’m not your friend anymore.” Ellie turns to me with a look of painful desperation. “See? See? She hates me!” And off she goes. Who knows where. That’s just what Ellie does when her feelings are so strong she just can’t seem to share space with anyone else.

My heart was shattering into a million pieces. Meanwhile, my head was in a million places at once. “I hate Susie. We should never have invited her over in the first place.” If only Ellie would learn to apologize without looking like a warrior ready to ambush. Her ‘I’m sorry; let’s be friends again’ picture might have gone over better if she hadn’t hurled it at Susie’s head… Children are mean. Good thing we’re homeschooling– no more kids for us. We will just be our own, lonely, sane unit.

I was feeling so much. Angry. Worried. Disappointed. Sad. Frustrated. I know Ellie was, too, but she was having a hard time approaching Susie in a way that would mend the disagreement. I had tried to gently coach her through an apology. “Why be nice?” she asked me, incredulous. “Susie’s not being nice. She said she hated me. And she does. So now I just want her to go home.” Ellie was smart enough to direct many of these statements towards me, but, like most seven-year-olds, wasn’t quite emotionally intelligent enough to realize that her words, even when not directed at her friend, were hurting her just the same.

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Scallops with Bacon Cream Sauce

Mr. Chocolate and I recently celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. In honor of that I decided to try to make a special dinner and chose this Scallop and Fettuccine dish with a bacon cream sauce. I don’t cook much with seafood honestly so I was a bit nervous about it, but I thought it would be a nice special treat for us on our anniversary. This was Juliet’s first taste of scallops and she loved every bite!

The original recipe called for fennel as well but Mr. Chocolate hates the taste of fennel so I omitted it. It still tasted delicious to us!

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coral, mint and gold nursery on a budget

I love Pinterest and how easy it makes collecting inspiration.  I started pinning ideas for the nursery weeks before we knew what we were having.  I was really fixated on two prints that I found, one for a girl’s room and one for a boy’s.  Both gave me inspiration on the direction I wanted to take the nursery.  The first print, by Joni Lay, had flaminogs… and I decided I had to make a flamingo themed nursery. For a boy, I found a vintage race car print on Etsy and just knew that if we had a son, his room had to be vintage car themed.  But, that’s the funny thing about inspiration… once you start putting ideas together, they inspire others, and so on and so on. In the end, we designed a watercolor nursery in our original color scheme for a girl: coral, mint, navy and gold.

We reused and re-purposed as much as possible in this room.  We had it painted when we bought the house in 2009 and I love the color so much.  I didn’t want to change the paint color (it’s Benjamin Moore Stone Castle color matched by Sherwin Williams), but we did put new laminate flooring in all our bedrooms this summer.  The carpet was old and gross, and it had to go.  This room is very small – maybe 10×10 – and we knew we had to maximize space.  Since this room is so small we bought new furniture in white to make the room look larger.  The laminate flooring helped make the room look bigger and brighter, too.

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Liam’s Preschool Book

As Liam’s first day of preschool crept up closer and closer, I started to feel very anxious about this big change in his routine. I have left him home with our beloved nanny since he was 4 months old, so leaving him somewhere while I went to work wasn’t new for me. The difference though in leaving him at home, in a place where he is comfortable, and leaving him somewhere new with lots of other kids and teachers, seemed huge to me. My biggest worry was that he would feel lost in the afternoon, when he had to switch classrooms and teachers, as some kids go home  at noon and the school combines the remaining children into two groups, based on age.

I asked some other Bee mamas for advice about this transition and they were so helpful. Mrs. Stroller suggested talking to Liam about his new routine, going over the different parts of the day several times before he actually had to live the new routine. Mrs. Twine pointed me to something called Social Stories, where you create a personalized story for the child about his or her new routine. It is recommended to use real pictures of the child doing the things in the story, but since I didn’t have any, I just used clip art. If he has a problem with any particular part of his routine after he starts, I’ll ask his teachers to take some pictures of him in school and use those to create another story. For now, though, this has been working out great! Social Stories are designed to help kids with special needs, namely autism, adjust to new routines and expectations. However, as I’ve learned in my training and experience as a teacher, what works for kids with special needs is beneficial for all kids. Here is Liam’s story!

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