Monday, August 31, 2015

Leland's Birthday!

This past Saturday was Leland's birthday! We had a lot of fun celebrating him. We had free passes to Seven Peaks so we went there first. 

Leland had fun going on the "extreme slides". I stuck to the more mild slides. We did take Esther down this one a few times. She seemed to like it even though she got a little splash in the face at the end. 

Haha here is a little zoom in of their faces. Her tongue out is just too cute. 

After Seven Peaks we came home and let Esther nap. For Leland's present I got him another controller for the Xbox one. He loved it. He has always wanted to play two player mode on minecraft so we did while Esther napped. Then we headed to Red Lobster for dinner. Leland loves seafood and I am not a fan so we never go to any seafood restaurants. Since it was his birthday we made an exception ;). I got a caesar salad and he really loved the crab. 

After dinner it was the adult session of stake conference. Since it is hard to get a babysitter we switch off who gets to go each time. This time it was my turn so Leland stayed home with Esther and got her to bed. It was a nice little break and he got to spend some extra time with E. 

On Sunday we had stake conference in the morning and then in the afternoon we continued the celebration. Leland's brothers Kent and Alex and a friend came over for dinner and cake and ice cream. We had fun with them and Leland loved playing team chess with all of us. He definitely enjoyed it more than the rest of us but it was his birthday so we all obliged him haha. 

I am so grateful for Leland. He is the best dad and husband ever. It was good to treat him after all he does for our little family. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Hunt for a Double Stroller

*see what I did there?

Ever since I found out we were expecting another baby (and, let's be honest, way before that) I've been researching double strollers. Since we already have pretty much all baby items we need this is the only big thing we need to buy. So I've been investing a lot of time into figuring out which stroller we should get. The things I am looking for are:

-Price: We don't have a ton of money to spend on a stroller. And it seems today strollers are so expensive! Leland and I have a bit different ideas on what affordable means when it comes to strollers. But since I know we will use this stroller so much, and for many years with all our kids I'm comfortable investing a little more into something that will last longer. 

-Carseat: I want something that can fit the Graco carseat we already have. I know some people don't like hauling the carseat around, but I loved using the carseat in the stroller when Esther was tiny. 

-Seat Recline: I want both seats to be able to recline so that both kids could sleep at the same time if they need to. This probably won't happen very often but for all day outings it is a necessity to nap on the go. So this automatically rules out a sit and stand stroller. 

So here are the 3 strollers I have narrowed it down to. 

1. Graco DuoGlider $135 on Amazon

-cheapest option that fits our criteria
-no additional adaptor needed for our carseat
-snack trays/cupholders for both seats and the parent

-snack trays are hard to remove making it difficult to get kids in and out
-front seat is small and slanted slightly forward, looks hard to sleep in
-I wonder if the baby in the back would be able to see out?

2. Contours Options Elite $299 on Amazon

-I love all the different seating options with this stroller!
-Removable seats makes for a smaller folded size
-Both seats recline fully, plus the canopies make it great for naps
-Comes with the carseat adaptor

-No snack trays
-No parent tray/cupholder

3. Britax B-Agile Double $359 on Amazon

-Side by side, but still narrow enough to fit through standard doorways
-Both parent tray and child trays can be bought separate
-Can be used for jogging?
-Best recline for infants and napping

-Car seat adapter must be bough separate ($35) 

So after reviewing our options I really don't know which one we will go with. My favorite is #2 and Leland's favorite option is not buying a double stroller. So will we compromise with #1? We shall see. Probably the only way we would get option 3 would be if we could find it used for a good price.  Are there any other great double strollers out there that I'm missing?!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Museum of Natural Curiosity

Today we met up with my good friend Calee and her family and went to children's museum at Thanksgiving point. They had a deal where admission was only $2 so it was a steal. But it was also super crowded. We still had a ton of fun though! I really want to come back when Leland can come with us too. 

Waiting outside:

Esther found many fun things to keep her occupied while we waited haha. 

Inside the museum there were exhibits for all ages. There were a few blocked off areas for kids under 3. I loved these because then Esther couldn't run off lol. They were very crowded though. Esther loved "feeding" these bunnies. 

A blurry picture but Esther also had fun in the music room. 

She has learned to look at the camera and this is the face she always gives me lol. Her favorite part was definitely the water!

I had seen pictures of this water table and I knew Esther would love it. She was occupied for a good 20 minutes and probably would have been happy a lot longer!

I'm glad we got to finally check this place out. Thanks Calee for going with us! We had a great time!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Life Lately

Not a lot has been going on here lately. Esther was sick this past weekend, throwing up. It was sad. We are glad she is on the mend. She loves to cuddle when she's sick though. We love it when she will sit still for a little while :)

Also this past week our a/c went out. Maintenance came to fix it and told us we will need a new unit that won't be here til next week! They gave us a giant fan to use until it's fixed. Not.The.Same. We are burning up all the time over here. Esther especially. Every time she sleeps her entire head is drenched with sweat. No where else on her body just her head. We have a fan on her in her room, plus the giant fan in the living room, but she still sweats. She has always sweated a little in her sleep but this is extreme. Does anyone else's kid do this? We are both a little worried. Sleep has been horrible for all of us, especially my pregnant self who is hot with the ac on. Needless to say we are all REALLY looking forward to it getting fixed. Also I really don't know how anyone survived in the summers before air conditioning. 

Sometimes you just gotta snap some selfies :) Esther is finally getting the concept of holding still for pictures lol. 

Leland has been playing on a team with his work for the "corporate games". They play all kinds of sports against other companies in Salt Lake. Last week they played Netflix in kickball. A few days ago they played volleyball. Esther and I go and watch his games when we can. Esther mostly enjoys running on the field and pointing out all the balls she sees :)

Thats pretty much all that is going on with us. We are really looking forward to fall and the cooler weather. We have Leland's birthday coming up, and only 2ish more weeks until we find out the gender of the baby. We are so excited!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Esther at 17 Months

It's been a while since I've bombarded you with info about Esther so here is an update. Esther is getting so big. Everyday it seems like more and more of her babyness is gone. It makes me a little sad but she is so smart and so cute,  I love seeing all the new things she does too. 

At her last Dr.'s appointment she was in the 97th percentile for height and the 50th percentile for weight. So she has lost most of her baby chub. Now she is our tall and skinny toddler. When we go out people usually assume she's older than she is because of how tall she is. She wears 18 month and 2t clothes so her clothes align more with her age now. 

Esther loves to explore and hates to sit still. Church, Dr.'s offices, the stroller and car drives are all practically torture for her. The only time she sits still is if she is strapped down or for TV. I was originally very gung-ho about her not watching TV until she was two. Then morning sickness came along and that all changed lol. Her favorites are Monsters Inc, Dumbo, Teletubbies and Little Einsteins. I used to feel super guilty for letting her watch tv but now I try not to let it bother me because sometimes you just got to do what you got to do. I do usually limit it to no more than 30 minutes a day, which is still a lot but oh well. 

She is learning things so fast these days. She uses words more and more and the rest of the time she still talks in her baby gibberish, which I think is so cute. I'll be sad when she stops doing that. Her favorite words are Baby, Ball, Dada and Outside. But she has about 20 or so words. She just doesn't say them all that often. 

This is probably my new favorite picture of her. 

She has been weaned now for a month. Surprisingly I wasn't too sad, because I know I'll be nursing again soon and because she still snuggles tons before she goes to sleep. She sleeps like a champ. Ever since we got back from Texas she has been sleeping in til 9:30 everyday. It has been great. I think it was a combination of her teething and catching up on sleep after the trip. 

She still likes books but not as much as she used too. She does love them when she's tired and wants to cuddle though. I hope she likes them  more again once her attention span gets longer. 

She has become a bit of a picky eater (teething?) and it is frustrating when she will only eat a handful of goldfish for dinner. The things she likes are constantly changing. One day she'll love strawberries and the next week she won't eat them at all. Hopefully she grows out of it.

My favorite things about Esther right now are: her curly/crazy hair, her obsession with brushing her teeth, her obsession with fries and ketchup, her love of all babies and dolls. She has to take her baby doll with us everywhere and she will bring the baby + blanket to me for me to swaddle the doll. I also love how she lays her head on my shoulder when she is tired. She never used to do that before. 

Every day when Leland goes back to work she stands at the window and waves and says bye-bye. I need to get a picture of that. She also understands so much more of what I say now. Probably 75%. If I say we're going bye-bye she runs to get her shoes. Or if I say she is going to go on my back she runs to get the baby carrier haha. 

Her little social personality shows more and more now. She warms up very quickly in new places and thinks everyone is there to play with her. She will bring anyone toys/food. She definitely didn't get that from either of her parents haha. 

I'm glad I finally caught this face on camera. She makes it all the time haha.

We sure do love our sweet and crazy Esther. It feels like you have been in our family for much longer than 17 months!

Monday, August 3, 2015

15 Weeks with #2

These past few weeks have flown by! I can't believe that I'm 15 weeks already. It is definitely true that the second pregnancy goes by much faster. I am enjoying my last months alone with Esther being my baby and although I'm excited for the new baby, I'm not in any huge rush for him/her to get here like I was with Esther's pregnancy. 

Today I had my 15 week doctor appointment. Leland wasn't able to come so I brought Esther with me. We were able to hear the baby's heartbeat right away. It was 147 bpm, a girl according to the old wives tale. I feel like the baby is probably a girl but I honestly have no idea. We could technically find out the gender already but we are going to wait until 20 weeks. I have my ultrasound appointment set up for the first week of September. 

I haven't felt any real-for sure- baby kicks yet. I sometimes feel things and think "was that the baby?". With Esther it was the same way and I felt her first undeniable strong kicks at 17 weeks, so it should be soon!

The morning sickness is finally gone! At least in the mornings. It is so nice to wake up feeling normal. I still get queasy sometimes but it has definitely decreased. I still haven't gained any weight yet, but neither me nor my Dr. are worried. I am sure I will more than make up for it once I hit the third trimester. 

At my appointment today my belly was measuring 19 weeks. 4 weeks ahead just like with Esther. This time I won't let them try to scare me by telling me my baby is huge though! I am definitely showing. I wear maternity clothes most the time because they are just more comfortable, most my old clothes do still fit though. Here is a little picture from Esther's pregnancy for comparision. I am wearing the same dress and I am 16 weeks. I am a lot bigger this time around! I also think I am carrying a lot lower than last time, but I guess time will tell. Don't worry, there will be plenty more comparison pics :) 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

2015 Texas Trip

I'll preface this post by saying I do not know how people travel with kids on a regular basis. When Esther was a tiny baby it was easy enough, but now that she's mobile, and only sleeps in a crib this trip was pretty chaotic. Maybe other parents are more easy going than me, or maybe they have more docile kids than Esther. Either way this trip was a ton of work. But I'm glad we did it. It was fun for Esther to meet all of her cousins she's never met, and for us to catch up with all of Leland's family that we never see. I'm sure we'll look back on this trip and only remember all the best parts.

But for posterity sake (and to remind myself to never fly with a toddler again) here is all the things that went wrong in the first two days.

-First our flight out of Salt Lake was delayed FIVE HOURS! Do you know what it's like chasing after a toddler in the airport for 5 hours who refuses to nap? Not Easy.

-Then because of our delayed flight, we missed our connecting flight to Dallas. Instead we were given the option of rerouting to Austin or waiting the next day for a flight. There was no way I was going back home at this point so I choose to fly to Austin. 

-Once Esther and I finally arrived in Austin (at 11:30 pm) my bags weren't there. Apparently they got lost when I got rerouted. We talked to the people at the baggage claim forever, borrowed a car seat and got a bag of toiletries then we were finally on our way. At this point Esther was beyond tired but luckily she slept as soon as she hit the car seat. 

-Leland had already left (driving) two days before. The plan was for him to pick us up in Dallas and for us to stay at his mom's house two hours away. Since I was now going to be flying into Austin we decided to just get a hotel there to spend the night. Leland reserved us a hotel, but because of the lost bag fiasco, we weren't able to check in until after midnight. Apparently this hotel gives away it's reservations if you aren't there by 12. So we tried to find another hotel. Every hotel we went to was full. We seriously tried like 8 hotels.I guess there was a Texas heatwave that had everyone flocking to the hotels. By this point it was 2am and I was throwing up. (I guess because I was so tired + hadn't eaten enough that day, morning sickness is weird). Finally I started calling around to hotels and we finally found a super overpriced hotel.We took it because #desperate times. We got there and slept and slept. 

-By this point our troubles were mostly over. We had to go back to the airport because my bags were supposed to be there. (They weren't.) While I was again talking to the baggage people, Leland was chasing after Esther all around the airport. While she was running she ran into someone and got knocked down. She bit her lip and had blood streaming out of her mouth. I got there in time to see Leland holding her and panicking. I took her to the information desk and asked the lady if she had a first aid kit. She didn't so she just called an ambulance instead lol. This was the first time Esther has really got hurt so I was freaking out a little myself. But about 2 minutes later she stopped crying and bleeding and I could see that the cut in her lip wasn't that bad. She even wanted her binky so I figured she was fine. But the lady insisted that we wait for the EMTs. It was a little awkward when they kept asking if we were sure we didn't want to go to the hospital (yes), and how far she had fallen from (the floor). Once everything calmed down we just wanted to get out of there. And Esther and I now had blood all over the only clothes we had. 

Two days later I finally got my bags back, we were in a nice hotel, spending time with family and going to the beach. Our trip got much better from there. The beach was really nice, warm and a lot of fun. The first day we went (purple swimsuit) Esther was a little hesitant, but the second time we went (rash guard swimsuit) she had a blast playing in the water.  

What we had to do to keep E contained while eating since we didn't have a high chair.

Waiting to go to the beach. 

After our time at the beach we headed back north to see Leland's Granny, Esther's great-grandma. Sadly I didn't get a picture of that. We spent time there, then went to see some of Leland's other aunts and cousins. It was a good time with a lot of great food and a lot of playing with toys for Esther. After that we still had 4 more hours to drive to get back to Leland's mom's house. (There was a lot of driving on this trip). The next two days we hung out with friends and cousins and then headed back to the airport.

The flight back was much less eventful. Luckily Esther was so good on all the flights. She didn't cry or scream at all thanks to snacks, dollar store toys and lots of Monster's Inc on the tablet. 

As fun as vacations are it's nice to be back home. Now if only we had another week free to recover from it all :)

Images by Freepik