Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Check out my BLING!

Each day, I become a little more like my mother.

Please observe...

I absolutely love them!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Monday!

Aren't these dudes the cutest? I just love them!


Notice the new bedspread... brightens up the room for spring (which I am ready for). And, notice the nicely packed suitcase behind Benton... we're all ready whenever he is!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Picture-Less Post

J is sick, I'm getting sick, I'm not sleeping much at all, things are not so exciting in the Brown house right now BUT I do think that the whole nesting thing has completely kicked in. I made a to do list by ROOM and I've been tackling it for the past three days. My to do list was over 4 pages long when I started. It's less than two at the current moment... not too bad. By the end of this weekend I think I'll be pretty much caught up and the nursery should be completely set-up. The only thing I have left to do in there is pre-wash the diapers and put up some toys.

One thing that has taken forever has been decorating that silly shelf in the bathroom! I want it to be functional but asthetically pleasing. I think I finally had an idea this morning so I should be all set with it tonight. Finally.

I'm also decluttering our "launch pad" -- do you have a launch pad? This is that space in the house that clutter and piles just CLING to. This location is on a bench in my kitchen just as you walk into the house from the garage. Let me tell you, you don't leave things there, they get up and walk there all by themselves. Each night I do a little bit more in this space...moving things to the appropriate location, sorting and purging things, filing other things away, etc. It looks a lot better than it did, but I still have along way to go. I'm thinking that by mid-day tomorrow it will finally be ready for the re-cluttering to begin. That's the thing with launch pads... it doesn't take long until they're right back in that original state.

Have you seen the movie Courageous? We watched it last night. I liked it but not as much as Fireproof. Probably because little man isn't here yet.

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend. Oh, and in case you're wondering, someone turned on the snow at precisely 9am today. 7 inches accumulating by 7pm! Sounds like a cozy night in to me!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

37 Weeks -- FULL TERM!

I am so excited to be full term. This little fella can just come on out whenever his little heart desires. I am so ready to meet him! People keep commenting on how my profile keeps growing so rapidly! He's nearly 7lbs so he and I are both running out of space. :)

Our biggest to do is organizing the hospital bag and getting it in the car... that is on the agenda for tonight. I realize that we're already a few weeks late on having this done. It is all piled in our bedroom and half of it is in a suitcase, it just currently has no order. 

The nursery is basically all set to go. We got the new pictures up on the wall and we're waiting on the baby bucket from Indiana (see below) to put the changing table items in and then we should be all set!

How far along? 37 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 21 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yes, of course, even some of those are starting to creep up my belly.
Sleep: Exhausted again. Last night I took a nap for an hour after work and still managed to burst into hysterics when J made me get up for our church obligation. Lovely. Not a proud moment.
Best moment this week: Having our 5th and final baby shower this weekend and spending the day with some much loved family members!
Miss Anything? Iced tea! Someone better bring me a sweet tea once he comes out... breastfeeding or not! 
Movement: Absolutely... although it's to the point where J can't tell if I'm having a contraction or he's kicking the crap out of me.. apparently I make the same sound with both.
Food cravings: Chicken -- don't ask!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out? Flat!
Wedding rings on or off? Nope, although I did manage to wear my wedding band on Saturday.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, excited, giddy! Ready to meet my newest little man! I talk to the dogs about their little brother all the time!
Looking forward to: His arrival! I'm so anxious on when and how it will happen. I just can't wait to hold him.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's a new, fresh year!

Days are getting longer and the new year brings ideas of springtime!

This year I'm decluttering and reading my bible (Eat This Book -- if you want to read along). Since the baby is on the way, I've been decluttering in tiny ways. For instance, I reorganized, decluttered and purged our bathroom drawers (which really needed it). I also decluttered some cabinets in the kitchen which allowed for baby item storage... bottles, baby bullet, etc. It may not be a lot but I've been aiming at one area/place a week and the small impact has been really nice.

J and I, along with about 5k+ other people in Madison, are reading our bibles every day. So far, we're in Exodus. Our entire church for the entire year will Eat This Book and all of our messages and Life Groups will follow along as well. It is great to have the support. This is something I've tried to do each year since I've gotten married and every year I get to about March and I fizzle out. I'm hoping that this year the habit sticks.

What new years resolutions did you make? Technically our resolution is to be good parents but these two activities are helping us be better people, so its a win win.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I had a three-day weekend but Saturday took so much out of me that I spent the majority of Sunday and Monday sleeping and relaxing to catch up from my Saturday. We had baby class, a baby shower, a family holiday party and about 3 hours of travel time. Being awake (and pleasant) from 6:30 am until mid-night was quite the achievement and while I was so proud of myself, I woke up Sunday utterly exhausted.

On Sunday, we managed breakfast with a friend, streaming church on TV and running some errands but other than that, I really slept quite a bit and relaxed at home.

On Monday, we had an ultrasound (all is well) and we went to lunch. I did a few things around the house, but not much. I did manage to get the MamaRoo hooked up and running along with the baby swing. I also put my new "prize" from the Brown Family Bacon Bash onto Owen's big bear. He will always know how much his Uncle Nick loves him!


Hopefully, this week will be equally productive. We're getting things done day-by-day.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bathroom Update

Sorry this is late, doctor's appointment this morning and lunch with my main squeeze held me up. I should've set this to publish early, but I forgot! Sorry!

Our bathroom redo is still in progress, but here are some updated pictures!

I still need some ideas of what to put on the shelf. There is one thing I want to put up there, but I can't justify spending any more money... dilemma! Oh well, hopefully you all have some ideas for me!

I think it looks a lot brighter in there... I'm ready for spring!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

36 Weeks -- Come out, come out!

My best friend gave birth to her healthy babies at 36 weeks and my sister gave birth to my healthy nephew at 36 weeks... so in my mind this baby boy can come out anytime now! I am so ready to meet you!!!  

Please disregard the pjs and haggard appearance below. You've been warned. 

How far along? 36 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 18 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yes. Really feeling frumpy regardless of what I wear...
Sleep: Still uncomfortable but I seem to be getting up more often and when I do I have a harder time going back to sleep.
Best moment this week: Celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary and learning all about labor and delivery at our class on Saturday!
Miss Anything? Lots of things this week but nothing too much.
Movement: He's a shifter and he has quite an arm! He's super strong!
Food cravings: Ice cream and veggie-sausage patties. Weird.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out? Flat!
Wedding rings on or off? Nope.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Ready. I am happy, but ready.
Looking forward to: The big Brown family get-together on Saturday and another ultrasound to see our little guy next Monday -- coupled with the day off -- double awesome!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bathroom Artwork on the Cheap -- DIY

I needed some fresh artwork for the guest bathroom but I encountered two problems.

1. I didn't want to pay much of anything for the art.
2. I couldn't find anything that I even remotely liked.

Both could be an issue.

I decided that I should just make something myself. I wanted it to be slightly whimsical, fun enough for an infant but grown up enough to still fit into place as our guest bathroom. You see why nothing seemed just right... everything I found was too juvenile or too mature.

Anyway, I started brainstorming ideas and phrases that I could use to make into art. I liked, "Bath Time," "Splish Splash, I was takin' a bath" and "Wash Brush Floss Flush." I decided to start there and see what happened.

So here's what I did.

I logged onto Picnik and uploaded a blank image so that I could do whatever I wanted. You could upload an image if you knew you wanted that as your backdrop.

Since the program is meant to just overlay things on a photo, you have to trick it to do what you want. I added a square sticker and enlarged it to cover the entire area. Then I changed the color of the sticker. Over it, I added my text. I played around with the size, color and font type to get it just how I wanted it.

Once it was how I wanted it completely, I saved it to my computer and sent it to a photo lab (my preference is Sam's Club).

For under $2, I had new artwork in the bathroom that I don't ever have to feel guilty about changing. It isn't overly juvenile, but it isn't too serious either. We both really like it. Full bathroom reveal Friday (hopefully).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ball Jar Soap Dispenser -- DIY

When I was in Arizona over Thanksgiving, I almost spent $20 on a ball jar turned soap dispenser. I'd seen them before and I really wanted one but I just wasn't in the mood to try it on my own. J saw it in my hand, saw the price tag, did a quick Google search and made me put it back.

Well, a month later, I have my very own ball jar turned soap dispenser.  I think it took him all of 5 minutes and it was done. It happened so fast that I don't have any pictures of it at all.

 The blog he reviewed before doing it can be found here. They have pictures and instructions, I do not. Sorry!

But trust me, it's really easy and it looks really cute in our guest bathroom.

It's a little unexpected item in there and I like that!

Monday, January 9, 2012

One Month and Counting...

We are exactly one month, just a mere 31 days, away from our due date! We couldn't be more excited, more ready, more anxious, etc! I can not wait to meet you little man! I'm not even nervous about the pain of labor, it is all going to be so worth it. We are just unbelievably excited.

Of course, we still have plenty to do to be "ready" but in life you don't always get to have everything just so.  So, we are trying to make sure the last "big" things are done and ready to go and if the smaller things don't get done, they just don't get done.

Here's my running list... some things are quick and easy, some not so much...
1. Email our pediatrician about our vaccination schedule and circumcision questions.
2. Add GHC phone numbers to J and I's Google phone books.
3. Sign up for an infant CPR course ASAP.
4. Call St Mary's and give them my new insurance card information.
5. Load my L&D playlist onto my IPod.
6. Finalize our baby "email" list.
7. Finish stabilizing the cradle.
8. Move the cradle into our bedroom.
9. Work on the baby crafts -- particularly the burp cloths.
10. Install a baby gate with a foot opener outside of the nursery.
11. Finish child-proofing the nursery.
12. Wash the diapers. Repeat.
13. Pack our bags for the hospital!
14. Pack his diaper bag.
15. Call two day care options about additional visits.
16. Finish nursery: decorate curtains and lampshades with ribbon, put up few last clothing items, add artwork into frames, etc.

Whew... see, a lot going on! But the list is a lot shorter than it was on Friday, so that's a plus. And some things aren't a big deal if they don't get done, other things would make more of a difference, so we're working on it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Our Journey -- 5 Years in the Making!

When you say "I do," you make a commitment, a vow, to join together in holy matrimony for the course of your lives together. In life, much like my roadtrips, the journey itself is the destination. 5 years ago, I wouldn't believe where we are today but God has known all along. I can't wait to see where he takes us next.

Got married!
Went on 3 honeymoons in 3 months!
I got baptised and we joined Fairview Presbyterian Church.
Bought our first home in Carmel, Indiana!
Adopted 5 fish.
Adopted Oliver.
Adopted Benton.
We became God-parents.
Adopted Phinneas.

Started our MBAs.
Added 2 fish to our family.
J got a new job.
Bought a new home in Madison, Wisconsin.
Moved away from "home," to create a new one.
We both started new jobs.

Started attending Blackhawk Church.
Joined a Life Group of Young Married Couples (who would become our family in Madison).
Got acclimated to a true Wisconsin winter, including the necessary purchase of a mammoth-sized snow-blower.
We learned about "tri-podding" or Benton's favorite pose when he's freezing but won't come inside.
Visited my parents in Arizona for a few vacations.

Enjoyed being content. 
Went to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for a 10-day Central America adventure.
This was the year of weddings... lots and lots of weddings!
House-hold renovations started.

Did some major renovations -- all new floors in the entire house, created a new office, new kitchen appliances and countertops, etc.
Found out we were expecting!
Became God-parents, again!
Bought a new-to-us car to fit our growing family.

Celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary and welcome our little one to the world... then see where else God leads us!

Here's to the next 5! I love you and our journey together. I am home wherever I am with you.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

35 Weeks -- Baby Boy has My Nose!!

I'm the Queen of the Remote! My ankles, feet and legs swelled quite a bit last night which was surprising after a few day hiatus so J ordered me to my chair.

And here is the lovely mobile!

How far along? 35 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 18 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yes.
Sleep: Really getting fatigued but struggling with getting comfortable at night.
Best moment this week: Maternity pictures with a FANTASTIC photographer (see a sneak peek here) and seeing our little guy again from a 4D ultrasound! So fun. He has my nose!!!!

Miss Anything? Same ole' story... I miss bending over, rolling over, painting my toenails, sleeping on my belly, etc.
Movement: He's moving quite a bit still, more shifting than flopping anymore.  
Food cravings: Dairy and eggs.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out? Flat!
Wedding rings on or off? Nope. Nada. Zilch.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, excited but overwhelmed!! I could really use my mom or sister for even a weekend!
Looking forward to: Our 5th wedding anniversary tomorrow. Where have these 5 years gone? Wow!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What do you get?

What do you get when you have old and nearly rotten bananas....

.... and a new muffin pan you got for Christmas that you're aching to use?

Homemade dog treats!! You can find the recipe from when I made these last year here.

The dogs went nuts over them, per usual. It is just about their favorite treat I make. It is so good, in fact, that Benton snuck into the kitchen and somehow managed to eat 4 of these things without us noticing!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Benton -- the Swimmer: Take 2

Benton has had two more water aerobics classes since I last posted. He's getting increasingly comfortable in the water and the technician said we may be able to try the pool again on his next visit! 

You can see on his face that he likes it a lot and he really is pretty calm that night and the whole next day after he has his class.

Here he is at visit #2...

 And again on his way to visit #3...

Here he is in the water tank! Look at that smile and wagging tail!

I love this guy. I can't wait to be the one to take him to class (J normally gets the honors).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, Fresh New Look!

Take a look around! 
What do you think of my new look? 
I thought it was time for some sprucing up!