Monday, September 30, 2013

Our Weekend

Technically it wasn't the weekend yet, but it's still worth mentioning.  My friend Laurie got FREE tickets to a Columbus Blue Jackets game, which is the local NHL team.  I had never been to one before.  Hockey isn't exactly my favorite sport, but any live sporting event is pretty enjoyable for me.  Plus, a free night out with a good friend?  Sign me up!  So on Thursday night I had a fun night out with lots of chatting, some cheering, and a yummy treat.  Unfortunately, we lost in the last 40 seconds.  The good thing is it was a preseason game, so it probably doesn't matter as much for the record books.

Friday was spent running all sorts of errands.  Thankfully, our evening was pretty low key.

We had a busy day on Saturday, though.
It started out at a local high school football game.  Both of these beauties (brother and sister) were in my first grade class.  They both claim, to this day, that I am still their favorite teacher. Their mom reminds me of this often. :)  Gabe is a sophomore, and is the starting quarterback for the JV team.  He also plays back up for varsity and has got in at the end of the game the past few weeks.  We opted for the Saturday morning game because of Olivia though.

One of the great things about teaching at a Christian school, is that the relationships formed last much longer and tend to go much deeper.  I probably have a dozen or more former moms on my Facebook page.  It is so fun to watch my little guys grow up into amazing teenagers.  My first group of first graders are seniors this year!!!  It's also so refreshing to see families who are just doing it right.  It is encouraging to me as a new mom. Dessy (a freshman) doesn't usually attend the games, but came because she knew I'd be there.

I love, love, love this family! This isn't the first activity of theirs I have attended, and I am sure it won't be the last.  It was fun to show up and have such a warm welcome.  Both sets of grandparents were there and they all knew exactly who I was.  They went on my field trips and attended activities in my classroom.  One of the aunts knew me too and was giving me an update on her son (who was not in my class, but whom I once tutored.)  I may not ever be in a formal classroom again, but I am reminded of the precious time I spent in one and the impact that I made.

Oh--and they won! :)

We left there and stopped for lunch.  Who did I run into, but another mom of a former student. I got to catch up on all that is going on with her and her kiddo as well.

Michael's cousin got married on Saturday night.  I meant to get a family picture since we were all dressed up, but it never did happen.  The wedding was at Franklin Park Conservatory and was beautiful.  Michael's other cousin Amy has two girls.  Ruby is just a few months older than Olivia, and Lena is 5.  Olivia is loving any time she gets to spend with them.  She especially loves Lena.  She freely offers hugs and says, "I love Lena" over and over.  If you know Olivia, you know how rare her hugs can be.  This is the only picture I snapped the entire night.

We had talked about heading to Oktoberfest on Sunday, but decided on a lazy day at home instead.  We have enjoyed so many outings since we've been here. It's nice to stop and relax sometimes too.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Graeter's Play Area

Since Michael is now home all day long, there are a lot of nights where he is just ready to get out of the house after dinner.  If for no other reason than to have a change of scenery.  Sometimes that means a walk to the park, a simple diaper run to Target, or something a little more fun.

One night a few weeks ago we went to a local ice cream shop.  Texas has Blue Bell (which we didn't really "get") and Ohio has Graeter's.  The nice thing about the one that is near us is that it has a built in play area as well.

After all that play it was time for ice cream.

We got Olivia her FIRST EVER ice cream cone!  She has been talking about a pink ice cream cone for weeks now.  We think it came from her play food.  So that is what we got her--a pink ice cream cone.
She wasn't sure about how messy it was.  She kept wiping off the melted ice cream on her chin.

 Then she would be disturbed with her dirty hands.

But overall she liked it.  We ended up putting it in a dish.  She ate all of the ice cream, but only part of the cone.  Boppa finished that off for her.

You can also take a self guided tour of how they make the ice cream.  We walked through it briefly.  
(You can take a guided tour with groups of 10 or more). 

It was a nice little outing with a yummy treat to top it off.  Sweet perfection.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Polka Dot Tots Sale

About a month before moving here I searched the internet for local kid consignment sales.  I put all of the dates in my phone so I wouldn't miss them.  I'm not going to be able to make it to all of them because of schedule conflicts, location, and the fact that I have Olivia during the day.  But I want to try to make it to a few.  If for nothing else to know which ones to hit up next time!

I went to a new sale last week.  I left shortly after Olivia fell asleep for nap.  It was a bit of a drive for me.  I pulled in to a not so great neighborhood and started second guessing myself.  Then I pulled into the parking lot and there were about 10 cars.  I literally said out loud, "I hope this wasn't a waste of my gas".  The sale started at 9 that morning and I got there around 2:15, so I wasn't sure if anything was going to be left.

Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.
Logan got 3 long sleeve onesie shirts, 5 pair of pants, one pajama, 3 outfits and a coat.  Again, I mostly stuck with newborn, 0 to 3 months and 3 to 6 months.

Olivia got 2 shirts, 2 sweatshirts, 1 dress, 1 pair of pants and a jacket.  I splurged on that Gap rain coat for $7! :)  I love it!

I also got myself a pair of black dress maternity pants for $3.50.  All that and my total was $59.50 (after tax)

There was a lot that I put back and even more that I avoided.  Some of the prices weren't that great to me.  I realize that some people paid $50 for a new outfit from Gymboree, but I'm not paying $10 for it used.  I can get a new outfit for close to $10 at Target, Carters, or Kohl's on sale.  The point of shopping at consignment sales to me is to get a DEAL.  Usually that means getting name brand items too. But I'm not stuck on the name brand like some are.

Friday, September 27, 2013


We have been here a month and people near and far are constantly asking me about the "transition" and are we "settled".  To me, that's a loaded question since we moved into someone else's house.  We are as settled as we can be.

Michael has probably adjusted the easiest/best.  This is his old home, his old neighborhood, and it is all familiar to him.  Not only that, but all he had to do was unpack a few computer boxes, set up a make shift office and voila. He's at work.  Transition made.

So far he is really enjoying working at home.  In Texas, because of traffic and the expected hours, he was gone from 8 in the morning until 6 at night.  That is a lot of time away from the family.  Now he gets to roll out of bed and he is at work.  Plus, with the hour time change he doesn't have to start until 9 and even then he has beat most of the Texas people to the office.  He is able to eat lunch with us, which is nice.  Olivia gets to see him much more and she loves it.  He stops and takes breaks sometimes.  He also pops out and gives me a hand with Olivia if needed (especially since I'm not suppose to lift her).  He's also done at 5:30.  He walks out of his "office" and we are ready to eat.  It's much nicer than waiting for him to walk in the door at 6.  It saves money on clothing, food, gas and more!  You may have noticed his beard has gotten a little crazy! :)  The only negative thing he has to say about it is that sometimes he misses being able to see and talk to his co-workers. He really liked them.  Although, he feels he can be more focused and get more done here, which is good.

I did live in Columbus for 8 years before moving to Texas, but on the complete opposite side of town.  I don't know this area at all.  Doctors offices keep asking me what my local pharmacy is and I have no clue.  I can make it to the grocery store, but that is about it.  I do know all of the fun kid things to do, but that is about the extent of my adjusting.  A lot of things that I loved about Texas just aren't the same here.  Also, my daily schedule has been completely turned upside down.  I want to get in a routine, but there are multiple hurdles to that.  My bags are unpacked.  We are signed up for classes and have a full calendar.  All the rest will have to come with time.  (It probably doesn't help that we did all this while I'm pregnant.  Just saying.)

Olivia is actually having a harder time than we expected.  Most people here probably can't tell that about her, because they weren't around her before now and she is behaving like a typical toddler.  But as her mom, I know.  She has always adjusted well to change, so I assumed this time would be no different. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of changes for her.  A new house, with a new person around, with new rules (many don'ts where she use to have free reign), a new scary room with a big (queen sized) bed instead of her cozy crib.... I think sometimes we forget that she just turned 2 a few short months ago.  She doesn't play with her toys anymore. At all. That makes me sad.  Some nights (and naps) work out alright and then some are just an all out battle for HOURS--which is not her.  She's been sleep trained since 7 months old and has given us little problems with going to bed since then.  So it's a balancing act.  We are trying to be understanding and extend grace, but we also don't want her to just all of the sudden get away with everything.  She has definitely been acting out and testing our limits.  Hopefully she'll be over this stage before Logan arrives!

On a side note, I always said that I'd keep her in her crib until it was necessary to move on.  We all know that she isn't a climber, so that would have probably been all the way until Logan needed it months after his birth.  There was already a queen size bed in the room she is staying in.  We were anticipating our stuff taking longer to get here, so we got a rail for it.  Once we got here, we decided to skip putting the crib up in exchange for some extra play space for her.  I'm not sure that was a good idea.  First of all, she doesn't even use the play space.  Second, she is having a harder time adjusting to the big bed.  I'm not sure it's the actual bed that is a problem. It's probably all of the changes mixed in and then having a big bed in a strange room is scary.  We have done what we could.  We bought one of those turtles that put the stars and moon up on the ceiling.  She has about 20 to 30 stuffed animals in the bed. Literally.  We have pillows under the blankets on all sides except for where the rail is.  One to make it feel smaller, but also for barriers.  We let her sleep with a book if it makes her feel better.  Even still, she is not sold.  Unfortunately, I think it's too late to go back to the crib.  So we will keep on trying to help her adjust.

So that pretty much sums it up.  We are here.  We are unpacked.  We are staying busy.  We are as "settled" as we can be for now.  It's definitely a much bigger learning curve than I was anticipating, though.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Sensory Box

Olivia woke up on Friday with a runny nose, so we skipped The Little Gym and stayed home.  (Luckily that was the worst of it.  Just a few days of a runny nose).  So in order to keep her busy and engaged, I broke out the fall sensory box.  Most of the items are still from last year, but I did pick up a few new items from the dollar spot at Target and from Hobby Lobby.

She has shown a recent interest in spiders (?), so I knew the sparkly spiders from HL would be a hit.

She searched the bucket for all 6.

Then lined them up.  I tried to talk about making a pattern, but she didn't get it.

She gave them a hug and a kiss.

Looking at a glitter leaf.

Shaking the acorn bell

She has naturally begun talking about big and small, so this was a good reinforcement.

Exploring same vs. different

She started lining up and counting the pumpkins all on her own.

She spent most of the 30 minutes just doing her thing and exploring.  I did try to ask questions about texture, alike vs different and sounds.  But I let her lead the exploration.  We will be visiting this box again over the next few months.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Columbus Zoo, Hanna-versary

Back to our busy weekend... normally I wouldn't plan for us to go to the zoo and the science museum in the same weekend.  However, both were having special events going on, so we rolled with it.

It is Jack Hanna's 35th year at the Columbus Zoo, so they were having a fall fest and "35th Hanna-versary".  They had all sorts of special activities, characters dressed up, animals bobbing for apples and more.

As part of the celebration you could get $3.50 off (a normally $10) wrist band for rides and such.  We decided to go ahead and do it.  It's not something we will normally get on our visits, so it was a special treat.

So the first thing we did was go on a pony ride!
I think she liked it. :)

The petting zoo is right next to the pony ride so that is where we went.
She has little fear when it comes to animals.

We went on a train ride too!

The weather was perfect for a day at the zoo.   One thing I learned over the years is that the animals are more active in the cooler weather.
The bears were a little sleepy though.
The polar bears weren't swimming either. :(

After we finished North America, we stopped for a quick lunch and then headed to a show with Jack Hanna.  He came out 10 minutes before hand to give out autographs.  I thought that was nice.
He talked a little bit about his story and the history of the zoo.  It was all interesting enough, but Olivia was bored.  He also brought animals out and talked about them. That (and a snack) sort of kept her attention.

As we were leaving we had to walk in front of the stage.  He came out to hand out more autographs and we literally just ended up in line, which was pretty cool.

Next up was the aquarium
She is slightly obsessed with Finding Nemo, so this was heaven for her.  She saw "Nemo" and "Dory" and was so happy!

She asked to see a sea turtle next
and one swam right by her.
She said, "Hi Crush! (from Finding Nemo) and some kid next to us was like, "His name is Buddy?!" and pointed to the sign. Ha ha!  She just kept on calling him Crush.

We walked around and saw a few more animals before riding the carousel.
Shortly after her ride she fell asleep in the stroller!

We ended up at being at the zoo for 5 hours.  I wasn't too sad that she fell asleep because my hips were starting to ache.  The good thing is that we now have a membership, so we can go back and check out the animals whenever we want.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

20 weeks, Baby #2

{{I wasn't feeling great yesterday, so I didn't even get out of my pajamas.  That means no picture.  I'll try to get one and add it in.}}

How far along: 20 weeks!

Size of baby: He is the size of a cantaloupe (I assume that means length?)

Total weight gain/loss: +6.8
With Olivia I had gained 12 pounds at this point and I was thrilled.  I am even more excited that I am half way and have only gained about 7 pounds!  I know you gain the most during the second half, but this makes me hopeful that I can stay within a good range.  I gained 31 with Olivia and was happy with that number.  My preference is 30 pounds or less!  (This also made me feel much better about the soda(s) I drank this week!) :)

Maternity clothes: Mostly maternity-- I might as well wear it when I can

Gender: IT'S A BOY!  Logan Michael is on his way.

Movement: Yes, and it's getting stronger!

Sleep: Once I fall asleep, I actually sleep pretty well.  Sometimes it's the falling asleep part that is rough.  Two nights this week I slept a 5 hour stretch!  That is amazing for me.  What wasn't amazing was how I felt when I got up to pee.  My body did not appreciate going that long without a potty break!

What I miss: not much

Cravings: None yet. Just like with Olivia, I'm thinking of making one up... :)

Symptoms: weird dreams! aching hips, easily winded, more emotional, excessive potty breaks

Surprises: none this week

Best moment of the week: I got my thyroid checked again.  My problems started with Olivia's pregnancy.  Although, with my family history it was sort of a given.  I have been on the lowest dose of meds since then.  Even so, pregnancy can get things out of whack, so I have to have it checked every trimester.  I got the results back that it was normal!  It wouldn't have been that big of a deal to up my meds, but I like that things are just staying as is.

Fun purchases: I went to another consignment sale! :)  Post coming.

Milestones: I'm half way! Yay! Technically, if things go similar to Olivia's pregnancy, I am more than half way!

Monday, September 23, 2013

COSI and Curious George

We had a pretty busy weekend.  We started it off on Saturday by heading to COSI (which is our local science museum).  They had a new Curious George exhibit opening up, along with the opportunity to meet George.  Olivia is really into Curious George at the moment, so we made it a priority to check it out.

I didn't get a ton of great pictures.  Mostly because it was SO busy.  COSI closes for a few weeks every September for a cleaning, so this was the first day open.  Also, it was raining outside.  Those reasons coupled with the new exhibit and people were out in droves.

We headed straight towards Kidspace.  You have to be 5 and under to play in this area.  They have changed quite a few things in the two and a half years since I've been gone.  Olivia had a blast.

She loved the barn and the food market.  Little hoarder!

We finally pulled her away and headed towards the other end...
We live close to the hospital, so we see/hear the flight for life helicopter often and she has gotten really interested in all the new forms of vehicles she is experiencing (trains, planes, helicopters).

Always stacking... perfectly normal, right? :)

Listening to the babies heartbeat

The water table!

We played with a few more things in Kidspace and then headed to Progress.

Then it was off to Gadgets

Then we finally got to the Curious George exhibit (we had to wait until it was open to the public at noon).
"Look Boppa, it's retractable!"  Yes.  She does know and understand that word.  Michael taught it to her a few months ago because of his work name tag/badge.

She did get to play with a few of the exhibits, but it was so cramped that I didn't take many pictures.

We headed to meet Curious George.
I'm so sad.  She gave him a hug (maybe even 2?) and high fives, but my camera was so slow that I didn't capture that adorable picture.  But she wasn't scared at all.  She loved meeting him!

When we were taking the family picture she said, "I will give you some books, George." :)

That was pretty much the end of our trip.  It was time to go home, eat and relax.  Olivia and I will go back on not so busy days though!