Five on Friday | Halloween edition

31 10 2014

Happy Halloween! Linking up for Five on Friday ~ Halloween edition

one | Potty-training is really happening. After virtually no progress over the summer other than establishing a routine, we put the brakes on training before the baby arrived. And then E just figured it out on his own! We still need to work on overnights and public places. I found this article about potty-training travel bags last night, but I think I may look into this travel seat instead. And I’ve read mixed reviews about (similar). Any recs?? He’s been using both his toddler potty and his Elmo potty seat on our regular toilet.

10-30-14 E potty chart

Rewards – we quickly filled the Thomas chart I printed online, but the school counselor in me wanted something more “chart-y,” so I whipped one up that helps with teaching colors, days, and numbers while allowing me to keep better track of how many times he’s going, and when. He loooooves his sticker chart (and candy incentives) and screams happily after every success! Just in time to pass his cloth diapers down to baby.

two| Fall books! E begs to go to the library almost every day (we try to go once a week or so while I’m on maternity leave), but I also love collecting seasonal books for the boys. Plus our library only lets us check out 3 seasonal books at a time, although it may be different for me since I’m a teacher.


three | On Wednesday, E woke up begging to bake what we call “pumpkin scrum,” which is really just pumpkin bread. So we did. Yum! That evening, we carved our pumpkins – polka dots, Goofy, and Batman.


four | I took advantage of some good deals at Old Navy last week (sales, coupon code, and Ebates* cashback), buying up a few things I’d been eyeing earlier this season. I tried to buy everything one size up for next year, but just had to order the green plaid shirt (similar) in his current size to wear now. (When I saw it in the store, it was $18, but I got it for $7.) I paid $3 for the other shirts, $7 for the pants. I usually buy E’s clothes on consignment, yardsale, or from a friend, but these were too cute to pass up.


five | Now that my little bitty is a month old, I finally sent out birth announcements! And printed one in the newspaper. I am bound and determined to fill in my second child’s baby book just as thoroughly as my first!

announcement blog edit


 |four week pictures |


S - one month


s -one month

Linking up for Five on Friday with DarciChristinaApril, and Natasha, and oh hey, Friday with Karli and Amy


Ebates is the only link I used in this post where I’m compensated for the referral.

Halloween Costume Party!

30 10 2014

Happy Halloween! Linking up with Julie for a Halloween costume party!

After debating whether to have matchy-matchy brother costumes (you know, one as the Man in the Yellow Hat and the other as George, etc.), I decided on individual costumes.

My 4-week-old ended up with enough costumes to wear a different one to each Halloween event – a peapod, a pumpkin, Mickey Mouse, and a giraffe. (I made the Mickey costume themed around a beanie my sister gave us, and we had all the others.)


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E, on the other hand, needed a new costume, or he’d have to be a kangaroo again. So I got to work making this Peter Pan costume, which I knew would be adorable on my redheaded toddler. With a newborn at home, I tried to avoid a trip to the store by only using things we had around the house. I even borrowed a sewing machine, which our family friend dropped off in exchange for newborn cuddles.


I told my husband I needed a piece of green fleece, and he let me cut up his (nice) fleece blanket for the tunic. I freehanded some patterns, which I then cut from felt pieces I already had.

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I then sewed it all together, which took 2 days’ worth of nap times to accomplish. I accidentally snapped one of the needles in half, so we did have to invest a few dollars for new needles.

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Aaand the finished costume. I secured his hat with bobby pins, since it seemed to shrink a tad when I sewed it all up. I bought the sweatpants from Wal-Mart and threw a green shirt under the tunic for warmth. I ended up hand-sewing parts of the belt and knife, which I prefer to using a machine. (I spent my childhood working at Colonial Williamsburg, learning how to sew all sorts of projects by hand.)


So far, we’ve paraded in our costumes and trunk-or-treated in them. We’re excited for Halloween tomorrow! Here’s a flashback of our last two Halloweens:


Halloween 2013


Halloween 2012

Countdown to Halloween: parades, parties, and peak leaves

28 10 2014

Linking up with Sweet Turtle SoupThe Chronicles of WeCocktails & Carseats, and Tickled Pink for Countdown to Halloween!

Sweet Turtle Soup
We enjoyed so many seasonal traditions this weekend. I’m glad we’ve been able to get out and about with our 4-week old! We’ve been so blessed that he’s healthy, our toddler is adjusting well to his new brother, and I’m feeling great – I wouldn’t want to miss out on my favorite season!
On Friday, we participated in a parade put on by the local toy store. I sewed E a Peter Pan costume and put together a Mickey Mouse costume for the baby. After the parade, we stuck around for storytime in the dark, followed by goodie bags and glow sticks!
On Saturday, we were up early to join my husband’s family for a hiking/camping trip! Witnessing the fall foliage peak while driving through the mountains was breathtaking! I missed this trip last year to run a half marathon at the beach but am so glad I could go this year!
Our campsite, blanketed by a canopy of colorful leaves, overlooked the river.
I mean seriously… can we move here??
The glassy water was ideal for rock-skipping, which we did while watching a wedding on a nearby dock.
Letting him throw acorns and leaves over the waterfall. Mom-of-the-year.
On Sunday, we headed to church for our annual Harvest Party. This year the theme was Dr. Seuss! They really go over-the-top, complete with bounce houses in the sanctuary, cake walks, photo booths, trunk-or-treating, train rides, and as much <free> fried food as you can stomach!
harvest party
^borrowed photo… just one of the many decorated areas!
My family made snickerdoodle cupcakes to donate to the church’s cake walk. Later, I actually WON A CAKE! (This was a big deal for me because while I’ve always been lucky at winning stuff, I never won the cakewalk in elementary school so it was kind of a bucket list thing for me.)
Holding on to the last week of October while it lasts!

Halloween PJ Party Link-up!

27 10 2014

Halloween Pajama Party Linkup - The Good Life Blog 650

Linking up with Darci for a Halloween Pajama Party Link-up!


Just born

10-13-14 Halloween clothes

at 6 days old


Our baby is one month old TODAY!!

Stats: Loves milk. Loves to sleep. Loves the baby carrier. Loves his Wubba.

Wears cloth diapers. Aggressive nurser. Rolls from tummy to back. Loves being held.

Owns an extraordinary amount of Halloween outfits – and FOUR costumes*.


*Join me tomorrow for Countdown to Halloween and a peek at the costumes!

Countdown to Halloween | Scary pumpkins and 300 sorority girls…

21 10 2014
The Chronicles of We

Linking up with Sweet Turtle SoupThe Chronicles of WeCocktails & Carseats, and Tickled Pink for Countdown to Halloween! Today I’m recapping some fall trips we’ve made as a family. :) We’ve visited a pumpkin patch and our local fall craft festival, and we added two festivals over the weekend.

On Saturday, we spent the day at our Christian radio station’s fall festival. Our plan was to stop by, drop off a food donation, meet the sweet DJs, then head out to visit a local farm. Our toddler wasn’t interested UNTIL we started leaving and he pointed back at the face painting tent and said, “I want to do that.” So we figured we’d wait about 10 minutes in line, get his face painted, order from the food truck, then finish out the afternoon at the farm.

UMMM… TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF WAITING IN LINE LATER… his face was painted, the food truck was gone, the festival was over, and the farm was going to close soon. Luckily we had friends waiting in line with us! We drove through Chick-fil-a on our way home, he fell asleep (thus ruining the face paint), and we called it a day!

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I think it was supposed to look like the skin being pulled off and a pumpkin was underneath…

After church on Sunday, we made it to the farm, which is considered an “agritourism” destination and is an attraction for field trips, families, and apparently, as we learned on Sunday, sororities. There were at least 300 sorority sisters there. They waited in line for hours at the one food truck, had a chapter meeting, then left. A lot of them also got little pumpkins. (We look pictures.)

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We spent the day riding trains, visiting the animals, sliding down a 60-foot hay bale chute, braving the longest, fastest  carousel ride EVER, visiting “Pumpkin Hollow,” playing in a corn kernel pit, gallivanting on the playground, eating yummy snacks, and watching pig races. The only thing we skipped was the corn maze because after everything else, our oldest was ready for a nap. Plus, last year, the corn maze took us 2 hours.

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Baby’s first official ride. If you don’t count Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, BTMR, et al. at Disney while I was pregnant.


I wish we could do these things year-round!

oh hey | Five on Friday

17 10 2014

Linking up for Five on Friday with DarciChristinaApril, and Natasha, and oh hey, Friday with Karli and Amy

one | Last night, the rain finally cleared and I was able to take the boys out for an evening photoshoot and a romp around the park at sunset. The weather was perfect, the sky was spectacular, and the leaves were nothing short of stunning! And now I have hundreds of photos I need to go through!








two | On Saturday, we braved a misty morning to attend our town’s annual fall festival, where crafters line the downtown area and food trucks set up on the plaza.

10-11-14 Fall Foliage Festival

three | Ever since I started my maternity leave, my husband has been coming home for lunch to help out. It has been sooo nice to be able to pop out for a quick errand or two while he stays with our kids! Errands like picking up contacts I ordered from the eye doctor – which could take all day with kids – take about 10 minutes roundtrip. I did, however, successfully take both kids to the pediatrician this week unscathed.

10-13-14 pediatrician 1

At all of his little brother’s appointments now, E has to get checked for ear infections.

10-13-14 pediatrician 2

Up over a pound in 2 weeks!

four | One rainy morning this week, E and I made pumpkin mousse! The recipe was pretty much identical to the pumpkin dip recipe I followed a couple weeks ago. Oops!

10-15-14 pumpkin mousse

five | I’ve also taken some indoor pictures with the baby this week and will be sifting through these pictures for a loooong time!

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10-14-14 Sage 9

10-14-14 Sage 10

10-14-14 Sage 11


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Sage 10-14-14


Happy Friday! I’m planning to enjoy another gorgeous fall day outside! :)

October 15

15 10 2014

The constant rain this week has, for the most part, kept me inside with my little ones, which is fine with me! We’ve been enjoying not only the meals dropped off every few nights by dear friends, but more importantly, the (albeit brief) fellowship of having friends and family in our home in the evenings and introducing them to our sweet baby boy.

Our newborn, S, hit the 2-week mark this past weekend, and I’m constantly worried that one morning, I’ll wake up and he won’t look like a newborn anymore. I used yesterday’s rain as an excuse to stay inside with him and take pictures to capture his precious newborn features.

Sage 10-14-14 - 2Sage 10-14-14

In comparison, today was rushed – with both boys off to the pediatrician, S for his 2-week appointment and E for a nasty cough he’s been fighting. Getting the car loaded and both boys in and out of the doctor’s office in the torrential downpour was a fear I’ve been anticipating since I found out I was pregnant with my second. Once at home, naptime was a juggling act with both boys wide awake – the baby kept E from falling right to sleep, which resulted in E stalling for the next 3 hours by claiming he needed to use the potty (which he has successfully been doing this week, the only reason I let him cry wolf). The battle of wills was finally over when E literally fell into the potty, a feat so traumatic for him that he begged for footie pajamas, his flashlight, Mickey Mouse, and blanket, then promptly went to sleep in his crib.

I could have let this drive me crazy. (It did, a little bit.) But I also know that these are the moments that count.

October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. An annual reminder or day of awareness for some, but it represents a precious life I think about every day. An ultrasound image I never asked my tech to print. That doctor’s office I never returned to. That first baby I never held. My first pregnancy I lost.

Camp Dragonfly 2011

Grief camp 2011

Camp Dragonfly 2011 - 2

Balloon release

Camp Dragonfly 2011 - 3

Grief camp

Remembrance Walk 2011

October 15 Remembrance Walk

Remembrance Walk 2011 - 2

In my Life Group, we’ve been reading “The Circle Maker” (participant’s guide), and I’ve been reflecting a lot on answered prayers and God’s timing. I am happy in this place, and the hindsight of God’s timing in my past gives me faith in His plans for my future.

Oct 12 2013

Running in the autumn rain – Oct. 12, 2013

Psalm 126:5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

Related articles:

The Other Quiet Mom

Countdown to Halloween | Linkup

14 10 2014
Sweet Turtle Soup
Linking up with Sweet Turtle Soup, The Chronicles of We, Cocktails & Carseats, and Tickled Pink for Countdown to Halloween! Here are snippets of all the whimsical fall festivities we’ve enjoyed so far this October!
Dressing the Part
10-13-14 Halloween clothes
Having a baby born at the end of September pretty much guaranteed that we’d get all sorts of adorable Halloween newborn outfits… too many to even picture! He has 3 pumpkin hats and at least 3 Halloween costumes already, plus a crocheted pumpkin onesie and several of Old Navy’s Halloween graphic onesies.
Comfort Foods
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We’ve been so blessed by our friends who have dropped off meals all week so that we could savor extra cuddles with the baby in the evenings. Other than their delicious meals, we’ve been partaking in pumpkin bakery items, food trucks (2 of them), and brewed-at-home pumpkin beverages. We’ve also made pumpkin bread and pumpkin dip, as well as warm comfort foods – pork tacos, stuffed peppers, chicken/broccoli/cheddar soup, and more!
(Running season will commence on November 10th!)
10-14-14 Halloween crafting
Most of our crafting lately has been spent making sweet baby keepsakes and Christmas ornaments while the baby is still teeny-tiny, but we have squeaked out a few seasonal projects – I made an autumn burlap wreath and my kids painted their handprints on (fake) white pumpkins that they’ll add a new print to as the years go by. I also finished my maternity Shutterfly photo book and my fall bucket list (middle picture) and have been keeping the baby book up-to-date (no 2nd-child syndrome here!)
I’ll save fall decorations, festivals, costumes, and seasonal books for another week!

oh hey | five on friday

10 10 2014

Happy Friday! I am loving every minute of my maternity leave! I am so lucky that my boys seem to be on the same sleeping schedule. One day, they both napped for 5 hours (in separate rooms). Another day, they both slept in til noon! But when they’re awake, we’ve enjoyed getting out and about to take advantage of the fall weather.

Also, I’m linking up with darciaprilchristina, and natasha for their Five on Friday Fall Giveaway!

Five on Friday Fall Giveaway


one | This little guy turns 2 weeks old tomorrow! I’m doing a variation on the monthly sticker onesies that I used for his big brother and using this tree scrap (with rings) for size perspective.

2012 - 2014 E and S just born

two | I love having friends over to meet the baby! And one of my friends set up a Take Them a Meal site for us, so we’ve been blessed to have a handful of meals dropped off in the evenings. I’ve been reading Blue Eyed Bride’s 31 Days of Breaking Bread series, which has also given me a simplified perspective on entertaining guests and putting people at ease in our home.

10-8-14 dinner

three | While my husband was home last week (on baby leave), our family visited a local pumpkin patch. This one is really fun – you can load up a whole wagon for only $25! I’ve heard they sell out fast, so we went early in the season and on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Worth it. Recap here!

Pumpkin patch 2014 - 2

four | Wednesday, I took my boys to run lots of errands and do some Christmas shopping. I had both in cloth diapers and wore my newborn in a carrier. (3 stores in 3 hours.) That night, I attended a major Board of Supervisors meeting about whether the aging school where I work will be getting a new facility. The meeting was 3 hours long, and the baby slept in my Boba 3G for the entire meeting with just one bout of sleepy giggles and one squeaky hiccup. It was fun to see my coworkers again.

10-8-14 downtown shopping

five | Every month, I recycle 10 ink cartridges (that I purchase in bulk off eBay with my in-laws) and get $20 to spend at Staples. This month, I intended to pick up more fabric cube bins for toys in E’s new toddler room, but they don’t carry them anymore. One of the managers offered to sell me some cubes that were part of furniture floor models for $1.99 each! I wish I had bought all of them, but I only got 4. And here is the before/after, which will probably last about 5 seconds:

10-8-14 toddler room

Linking up for Five on Friday with Darci, Christina, April, and Natasha, and oh hey, Friday with Karli and Amy

Pumpkin Patch 2014

7 10 2014

Friday was the last day of “vacation” (baby leave) for my husband, so our family of 4 jumped at the chance to explore a local pumpkin patch on a weekday, sure to beat the October weekend crowds. It was perfect, and there were plenty of pumpkins and gourds to take home and only about 2 other people in the entire patch.

Pumpkin patch 2014 - 1

I’ve heard about this pumpkin patch for years but had never been. On an honor system, you can pick as many pumpkins/gourds as you can fit in the wagon they provide, and it only costs $25! We had a great time finding all sorts of novelty pumpkins, perfect pumpkins, and colorful gourds. I learned that pumpkin stems and vines are very thorny. My newborn slept the whole time, and my 2-year-old just about lost it and wanted to be carried most of the time when he wasn’t spotting pumpkins or loading up the wagon.

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My Boba 3G is perfect for carting my newborn around – I’m so glad he’s loving babywearing so far! I’ve worn him to church, out shopping and to get groceries, and on walks around our neighborhood. It feels so good to be out and about, and I can’t wait to beginning running again in November!

Eventually we’ll carve, paint, and/or eat some of these pumpkins, but for now I just set up little displays around the house since there are so many!

pumpkins 2014


Happy fall!!


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