Happy Halloween!!

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34 weeks

How Far Along: 34 weeks. I’m having this baby in less than two months…what the what?! I better get a move on the boys room! I’ve done…zero so far.

Fruit/Veggie: A cantaloupe.

Size: Weight: About 4 & 3/4lbs. Length: About 18 inches. (Both are per BabyCenter averages).

Baby changes: Gaining fat & filling out. Central nervous system and lungs continuing to mature.

Best Moment this week: Um, NOT game 7 of the World Series. {sigh} Going to the pumpkin patch with Hud was SUPER fun tho!

Gender: Boy. {Owen Paul Stone}

Movement: He is still pretty predictable. He is still rolls and pushes around. He still moves a lot more at night than during the day but he doesn’t really wake me up. He is still way up high and loving my ribs but I’m okay with it…I’m pretty sure way up high in my ribs is way more comfortable than way down low smack on top of my cervix.

Food Craving: Ice. Clementines. Sausage biscuit with grape jelly (which by the way McDonalds would NOT give me when I pulled into the drive through at 10:40. Seriously? 10 minutes past the breakfast cut off and you threw ALL the sausage and biscuits away?? I find it hard to believe. I just about cried…You can ask Jordan.)

Sleep: Eh. For 34 weeks I think I sleep pretty well.

Symptoms: My lower back/SI joints have been aching again off and on.

What I am looking forward to: My hubby is preaching this morning, I love getting to sit under his teaching! (I wrote this before going to church obviously…Jordan did an excellent job…I’ll post the podcast when it is up.) 

My belly: Ok people. Here you go. My big 34 week belly…

The Pumpkin Patch

Our “big adventure” this month was going to the pumpkin patch.

We went to the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm in Celina and LOVED it! It is only about 10 minutes north of where we are in McKinney and was a wonderful experience! If you are in the area I totally recommend it, it is open through November 6th…so go before it closes!!

It is $7/person (under 2y/o is free) and included in that price is: a small pumpkin, a cup of feed for the petting zoo, & a hayride.

They had lots of animals (cow, goats, & sheep) to feed & pet, a ton of pumpkins to pick from in the patch (I can only imagine how many there must have been a few weeks ago!), and the hayride around the farm was GREAT (that was our favorite part).

There are picnic tables available to use if you bring a picnic lunch, which we’ll probably do next year.

And the part you’ve all been waiting for…pictures!

Little best friends 🙂

Jayme & Saber 

Off to pick a pumpkin…

“This one Momma…”

“This one is the perfect pumpkin…”

We got to feed & pet the goats

Petting the sheep

Driving the tractor…sheesh…who said he could get so big??

Waiting for the hayride to start (& this is how they rode most of the time 🙂

Yay for a fun day at the pumpkin patch with our friends!

Hud conked out about 5 minutes after we got the boys loaded in the car…that’s the sign of a good time! 🙂

32 & 33 weeks

How Far Along: 32 weeks (was 32 weeks on oct 15)

Fruit/Veggie: A large jicama (if you’ve never tried jicama you should! peel it, cut it up, and eat it raw…it is a little sweet & crunchy and a very yummy addition to a veggie tray)

Size: Weight: Owen was measuring about 4lbs 3oz at our sono last Friday, which is pretty average per Dr. G, though it sounds a little big to me. It is a pretty rough guess via sono at this point though. Length: I don’t know what he was actually measuring on the sono, my BabyCenter email says 16.7 inches.

Baby changes: He has hair & nails & is working on getting fat 🙂 Baby’s gain 1/3-1/2 of their birth weigh from now until delivery.

Best Moment this week: Our sonogram on Friday. It was SO fun to get to see our sweet little man!!! He looks just like his brother.

Gender: Boy. {Owen Paul Stone}

Movement: He is still a rolly polly little guy, definitely more and more noticeable as he gets bigger. He is head down (getting ready!!) and definitely prefers to stay on my right side with his little feet under my ribs.

Food Craving: I’ve been craving ice lately, which I didn’t think was too strange but apparently it can be indicative of anemia (low iron). Most preggos are anemic because so much more iron is required due to the extra blood volume especially in the third trimester…but I’m going to increase my intake of iron rich/vita C rich foods between now and my next appointment and see if it helps. I’d prefer to avoid an iron supplement if possible because they can cause some tummy upset and constipation and I don’t need any help being constipated with a 4 lb human sitting on my gut + pregnancy hormones. Is that TMI? 🙂

Sleep: Eh. Not awesome but could be worse.

Symptoms: Nothing really new.

What I am looking forward to: We have a cold front coming in this week!

How Far Along: 33 weeks (as of last saturday, oct 22)

Fruit/Veggie: A pineapple

Size: Weight: 4+lbs Length: 17+inches

Baby changes: His skeleton is hardening, he is continuing to fill out, become less wrinkle-y, & gain some chubs 🙂 All his senses are present – he can hear, smell, taste, feel, see (his pupils constrict & dilate in response to light).

Best Moment this week: We had a fun weekend spending time with friends. Saturday night we had home group “girls night” and Sunday night we went to “Ghouls on the Lawn”, which is a big halloween festival in our friend’s neighborhood, and had a great time hanging out & then watching the Rangers.

Gender: Boy. {Owen Paul Stone}

Movement: Nothing really new to report. He is still very high and occasionally protesting the fact that he is running out of room to stretch out 🙂

Food Craving: Still craving ice, clementine oranges (I could eat a whole 2lb bag in one day, I love them so much!), grapes (purple), diet cherry vanilla dr. pepper from sonic, aaaaaand…the colonel chicken salad with honey mustard dressing from cotton patch…which my sweet sister-in-law brought me for lunch this weekend 🙂 So yum!

Sleep: Sleep is not great. We’ve had lots of FUN but late nights recently due mostly to the world series and hanging out with friends and (a) I can’t stay up like I used to. Period. (b) The shorter night is interrupted by multiple trips to the potty. (c) Small children named Hudson do not come with a snooze button and 7:30 feels really early some mornings!

Symptoms: My eye(s) have been twitching, it happens when I am tired. I’m still short of breath fairly often due to the small person living right under my diaphragm. I’m a little more achy as my body continues to loosen up and get ready for labor (but my hubs gives great massages!). I’m getting really excited to labor with and birth this sweet boy in less than 2 months (excitement counts as a symptom, right?!)

What I am looking forward to: We are going to the pumpkin patch tomorrow!

Belly: I promise to post one soon. Tomorrow soon. I know its been a while…but today has been far too exhausting to go find my camera and snap a pic and upload it…

Iced Coffee

*this pretty picture was taken by Ree, thepioneerwoman, not me. just so we’re clear.

Oh how I love coffee. Have I mentioned this before?

Lately I especially love iced coffee.

Maybe it was the crazy hot Texas summer or maybe the pregnancy hormones which cause my body temperature to run much much hotter than normal but at some point iced coffee surpassed regular old hot coffee for me.

A friend introduced me to Starbuck’s iced coffee – not a frap mind you, just an iced coffee with syrup. The yumminess & the knowledge that it is SO much cheaper than a “regular” drink at Starbucks quickly won me over.

Then I tried making my own at home. It was pretty good.

Then I tried making Ree’s recipe.

We’re on a first name basis you know, because I’ve been reading her blog and cooking her recipes for-EH-ver.

Mmm.

Perfection.

That Pioneer Woman. She never fails me.

You can click the photo or that link to find the recipe with Ree’s gorgeous step-by-step instructions.

It was super easy! I was a little nervous that I was going to end up with coffee grounds in my concentrate but I didn’t.

I halved the recipe (because I didn’t have a big enough container to hold 2 gallons and because let’s face it, 1 gallon should tide me over for a while).

I used a bag of Dunkin’s hazlenut coffee (12oz) and a gallon of water.

I put hazlenut (sugar free) syrup and half & half (fat free) in mine…because I’m trying not to gain TOO much pregnancy weight and I am going to drink the stuff every single day from now until eternity.

I’m not really sure how they make half & half fat-free and I probably don’t want to know.

I also drink it out of a big mason jar with a stripey straw. Which makes it taste even better.

So go make a batch! You won’t regret it.

31 weeks

How Far Along: 31 weeks

Fruit/Veggie: 4 navel oranges…why they chose 4 of something instead of 1 heavier item I do not know…

Size: Weight: about 3.3lbs. Length: 16+ inches

Baby changes: He is getting ready for a growth spurt…time to start plumping up before coming out.

Best Moment this week: We had a real long week around here. Hudson had a really bad cold – I thought it might be RSV, but thankfully it wasn’t – so we’ve pretty much been cooped up in the house since last Wednesday. I got out and ran some errands when Jordan got home from work on Friday to combat the cabin fever…I did some Christmas decoration shopping at Hobby Lobby, that was probably the highlight of my week.

Gender: Sweet baby boy. {Owen Paul Stone}

Movement: He is very active at night…in fact, I had a really hard time going to sleep last night because he was moving so much…but I don’t really mind. This morning when I woke up Jordan had his hands on my belly and was like, “are you feeling this? he is going crazy!” 🙂 Though, Owen’s version of “crazy” is “roll-y” not “kick-y” like Hud. It’s funny how they move so differently!

Food Craving: I got my chips & salsa this week … and it was so good!

Sleep: Eh. For 31 weeks I think I’m sleeping pretty well!

Symptoms: All the same. Occasional Braxton Hicks. I pee about 49 bazillion times every day. I think our toilet paper consumption has doubled. Otherwise I still feel really good!

What I am looking forward to: We go see Dr G on Friday and I have a sono scheduled – hooray! Hopefully we’ll get a pretty good look at this little boy!

Belly pic: I’ll get one eventually

 

Wordless {but not really} Wednesday

When Jordan gets home and I hear the garage open, I tell Hudson, “Daddy is home!” and he runs to the back door, looks out this little “window” and waits for him.

{it is really a pet door that the previous owners installed…but it is the perfect pint sized window for Hud}


This is Hud’s baby book. He really likes to look at pictures of himself/us right now.

Lately the weather has been perfect in the morning and I leave the backdoor open. Hud LOVES to be outside and he will come and go from the back porch. We spend a lot of time playing outside in the mornings.

This is how I found him the other day … {hehe} … nope, he didn’t fall down, he just laid down and looked outside for a long time. He has done it several other times this week. So sweet!

Finally, who says 13 month olds can’t help with chores!?

Please also notice the explosion of toys behind the hard working baby. This is what life looks like with a toddler…

And for those of you who want to see my belly at 30 weeks…here ya go.

Farm Month

“Farm” was our kick-off tot school theme for the month of September. It was a great one for us to start with! It was great because (1) Hudson loves animals (2) we already have quite a few farm related toys/books (3) the surrounding activities were very easy to plan.

These were a few of our favorite books. We own a couple of them and found the rest at the library.

The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

The illustrations are beautiful and I love the cadence & rhyme of Brown’s stories. I’ll definitely be buying this one.

*

DwellStudio Touch and Feel Farm

This was a shower gift we received before Hudson was born and I have to say, it has been his most favorite book EVER! He will sit and look at the pictures and feel the pages for a LONG long time. The different textures are really great: there is a soft sheep on the cover, the first page has a barn made with corrugated cardboard, then a suede pig, then a tractor with a bumpy plastic wheel, then a page with chickens who “run around” on the rough emery board/sandpaper ground, then lastly a cow – who is similar to the pig, but more velvety. 

*

Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton

Love this little book with its funny illustrations and do-si-do rhythm. 

*

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

This is beautiful as are all of Eric Carle’s books. It is about a spider who lands on a fence post near a farm and begins spinning her web. All the different animals come by and invite her to go and do something with them but she continues her web. It is great animal sound practice. The repetitive nature of the text would be great for older pre-readers to anticipate what is coming next.

*

Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig

Super catchy & fun about a farm full of animals – starting with the chicks – who can’t sleep because they’ve “got the beat.”

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Our big “adventures” were going to a local farm with a great petting zoo and going to the Ft. Worth zoo which also has a fun petting zoo area (plus all the other zoo animals!)

Here are a few pics from our trip to the petting zoo…Jayme & Saber and Liz & Willa came too! So fun!

Hud loved getting to touch the different animals.

This horse loved Liz & Willa

The boys really liked this goat

The big piggie

More goats.

There were also some cute sheep and a very mean donkey!

***

Daddy adjusted his schedule a little so that he could come to the Ft. Worth zoo with us, having him along makes everything even more fun! We went on a Wednesday morning because Wednesdays = 1/2 price admission ($6/adult, children under 2 are free always, I don’t know about prices for kiddos over two…I didn’t pay attention since I don’t have any!).

It was definitely worth $12…but I don’t think it would have been worth regular price admission…but I am frugal & that is just my opinion! So you can take it or leave it 🙂

The zoo was really pretty and all the exhibits seemed really well maintained. The only bummer was that the lions weren’t out for some reason…but we got to see pretty much everything else.

There is are lots of trees in the zoo which keeps things nice and shady and cool which is nice.

We walked the whole zoo in about an 1.5 hours which was perfect with Hudson. He was really engaged and liked looking at all the animals but I don’t think he would have lasted much longer than that. The petting zoo area was ok…the baby calf was really sweet…all the others were sleepy so they didn’t really want to come close enough for Hud to pet.

Our runner

He was smiling at the bear

Who I guess was shedding, because his coat was all weird


Cute little baby calf

Gorgeous white tiger who we got to see up real close

I love these guys!

Yay for family day at the zoo!!

🙂

Tot School

So I can’t remember if I mentioned it already but I started doing “Tot School” with Hudson last month.

Basically tot school = fun, intentional play-based learning.

I’m a big believer that developmentally learning at Hud’s age (and for the next couple of years) is done through play. Some people might say, “Why even plan anything if all you are doing is playing?!” However, a little bit of structure & intentional planning makes our days of play SO much more fun, productive, and smooth for both of us.

I had already been brainstorming about doing some more intentional play with Hud (more for my own sanity that anything!) when I started coming across lots of blogs of momma’s much more creative than I am, who share their fantastic ideas. One of my favorites is this one. That is where the name, “tot school” came from, though the concept is pretty universal…momma’s providing intentional FUN learning opportunities for their little ones.

Anyways, it has been great! It has been super fun for all of us!

I pick a different theme for each month. Last month (September) was “Farm Month”  and this month (October) is “Apples & Pumpkins.” I’m working on planning out through February so that after Owen is born we can keep it up/keep things somewhat normal-ish!

Each month contains the following elements, I keep track of my plans/ideas/other people’s ideas (so i can give credit where it is due!!) in a Word document. I’m sure I will change and adapt things over time as Hudson changes and I get better at this…but for now here is my “template” for each month.

* The specific letters for the month*

This month, “A” for apple and “P” for pumpkin, I focus on the sounds the letters make more than the identification of the letter itself.

* Memory verse*

This month our verse is, Isaiah 9:3: “They will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest.” This month I picked a verse more related to our theme, but this is a great resource for learning verses as you learn the ABC’s.

* I make a laminated highchair placemat*

Here is this month’s.

It has our letters, our memory verse, and some fun images. I did 3 different colored apples, and 3 different sizes of pumpkins, so there are a lot of things to talk about (identifying apples and pumpkins, colors, sequencing, letters/sounds). It is great! It occupies Hud while I’m getting his food ready and because it is laminated I can just leave it on the tray with his food and wipe it off when he is done.

FYI: I use construction paper, glue on the images and laminate it at Mardel. It is $0.25/foot to laminate.

* I make a morning worship playlist on Grooveshark for us each month*

Here is this month’s. I turn it on in the morning while we play in the living room. We sing and dance to it and I leave it on repeat for background music. Side note: I want to start collecting different instruments & such for our morning worship time so Hudson can pick one to use for the day (bells, tambourine, shakers, etc.)

I think I’ve said it before but I ADORE the Seeds Family Worship albums. We listen to them ALL the time. It helps me hide the Word in my heart and I know that it won’t be long before Hudson is singing the songs with me.

* Our family worship songs relate to our theme (usually)*

We do family worship after dinner. Jordan plays his guitar and we sing while Hudson runs around. Don’t get a picture perfect image in your head or anything! Occasionally Hud is really engaged but most of the time he is just playing with his trucks, but it is great for all of us regardless and it is helping us establish a pattern/habit. It takes about 5 minutes to sing 3 songs and pray.

This month we are doing: Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation; He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands; and the Doxology.

* I find (or make up) songs & poems*

I’ve found a ton of options when I’ve google searched.

If you do a similar theme with your little one and needs some options just email/leave me a comment and I’ll send you the ones I have.

* I plan a bunch of fun activities/games/crafts*

These involve different sensory/motor/language skills. For the most part they are all very simple to put together and execute. Some days we don’t do any and some days we do a couple, it just depends on what we’ve got going on. My goal is to do at least one a day. I’ll try to document several that we do this month and do a tot school update…maybe once a week so you can see what we’ve been doing!

I find a lot of ideas that will be SUPER fun when we rotate through the theme again and Hud is bigger, so I just stick them in my Word document and mark them for the future.

* We read lots of books*

Our library has lots of great children’s books so I check a whole bunch out that relate to our theme and we read at least one or two a day. Hudson doesn’t really sit still to read at this point in his life, so what works for US is to get on momma & daddy’s bed and I read to him while he rolls & crawls around on all our pillows. He comes and looks at the pictures and listens WAY more than if we just try to sit down on the floor or couch and read together…but that is just my crazy kiddo…I know other babies his age who will sit and read and look at pictures for a long time.

The library is GREAT because obviously it is FREE…I just keep a list of my favorite titles from each theme that I want to purchase for our own home library. I’ll try and post my favorites on here for reference.

* We go on at least one big “adventure”*

Sometimes more. Last month we went to a farm in the area that has a petting zoo and we went to the Ft. Worth zoo

{pictures to come}

This month we are going to a pumpkin patch and MAYBE an apple orchard.

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So, there you go…that is the basic rundown of our tot school!

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