Sunday, December 28, 2014


Sharing cookies with Santa. The man in red started out having three, but she made sure to save him one. 
"A portrait of my little lady, once a week, every week, in 2014."
I have loved using the fancy camera on a regular basis. I still have a lot to learn, but I have had a great subject to practice on and found inspiration from a lot of the other portraits in this project. I am hoping to continue in 2015, although with a new little one on the way I am going to give myself a little grace if things do not go quite as planned.
Here are some of my favorite images from this year.
Thrilled to be linking up with Jodi for The 52 Project.
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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas 2014

Sophia was a huge fan of Christmas and Santa this year. I lost track of how many times we visited with the Man in Red. 
Taken at The Little Gym before class.
I must admit that Santa has been on my side when it comes to encouraging potty training. Although she still needs reminders, we are getting there.
Our traditions continue:
We wear matching pajamas to bed on Christmas Eve, wear Santa hats, and stay in pajamas most of the day.
Sophia was less than thrilled about taking a picture before opening presents.
Gifts - tequila for Dave, a teapot for me, and a pandora charm for Sophia.
Handprint ornament.
A movie (prior to Sophia we would go see a movie at the theater. This year we settled for a mini Homeland marathon since there was little we wanted to watch).
Festival of Lights.
We ate yogurt parfaits before opening presents and then snacked on a brunch-y feast throughout the rest of the day. We dined on duck confit for dinner.
1. Spinach, Mushroom, and Feta Quiche
2. Sausage Balls (Double the meat. This time I made them with lamb and sausage seasonings).
3. Potato Pancakes (Dave's creation)
4. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
5. Andes Brownies (Tollhouse Brownie Recipe topped with melted chocolate and Andes Mints.)

We made cookies for Santa. Just like last year Sophia decided that she needed to sample the cookies. She left one for the big guy.
New this year: Driving around to look at the neighborhood lights and a Christmas story countdown. We didn't have enough books to start at the beginning of December, but having a new holiday book to read each night seemed to help Sophia keep track of when Santa was coming.
Some more pictures from our day.
I can't wait until next year when we have another little love to share Christmas morning with.
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Friday, December 26, 2014

Baby Sunshine: Week 33

Size; Baby Sunshine is about the size of a pineapple, weighing in at over four pounds and measuring over seventeen inches.

Total Weight Gain: 33 pounds (up three pounds from my weight gain with Sophia).

Maternity Clothes: Yep.

Gender: Only seven more weeks until we find out!

Cravings: All the sweet and salty things.

Symptoms: Very emotional this week. This week I also had major shortness of breath and general achiness. The worst was major leg cramps from all of the awkward bending over that I have been doing.

Movement: All.the.time. Just wish the little one would avoid my ribs a bit more.

Sleep: Not a good week for sleep. Thankful that I was only awake for an extended time one night. I did manage to fit in a few catnaps this week.

Moments of the Week: Celebrating Christmas with our little family and hearing that sweet little heartbeat at the doctors. I also got some peace of mind with answers to a few of my questions while at the doctors.

What I Miss: Being able to move around and bend over easily.

What I'm Looking Forward to: An easy week at home with my little love.

Big Sister: Sophia has been pretending to be a baby frequently and wants to be cradled and carried around like one. She got a baby car seat and new doll for Christmas so hopefully she will start playing mommy a little more.

Looking Back: Sophia's heartbeat was significantly higher than this little ones has been. I am still flip flopping as to whether I am carrying a little lady or gent. Read more about my pregnancy with Sophia here.
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

The 52 Project: Weeks 50 and 51

I can't believe that it is so close to the end of the year. I may not have posted all of my pictures in a timely fashion, but I am thrilled that I kept up with this project and had my camera out regularly.

Dreary winter weather has kept us inside a bit more than usual. We headed to our favorite trampoline spot to burn off some energy with friends.
"A portrait of my little lady, once a week, every week, in 2014."
We are using a holiday book as our bedtime story Christmas countdown. I love watching Sophia carefully tear the paper and then look through the book before we read it together. I hope she always has a love of books.
"A portrait of my little lady, once a week, every week, in 2014."
Thrilled to be linking up with Jodi for The 52 Project.
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Baby Sunshine: Week 32

My little sidekick chose not to join in on a picture this week.
Size: Baby Sunshine is about the size of a large jicama, weighing in at 3.75 pounds and is almost 17 inches long.

Total Weight Gain: Thirty-one pounds (up one pound from my weight with Sophia).

Maternity Clothes: Yes. Just wishing I had a little more variety in my winter clothes. Most of my sweaters don't fit around the bump and are a bit too short...only eight weeks left to make due.

Gender: Surprise! We find out in February.

Cravings: Chocolate and salty foods.

Symptoms: Lots of vein discomfort, shortness of breath, a belly button that is flattening out, and little patience.

Movement: Yes and I can tell it is getting much harder to move around in there since things seem to be much more pronounced.

Sleep: Pretty good this week. I am still waking frequently, but I am able to fall back to sleep quickly.

Moment of the Week: Lots of good moments this week, but nothing pregnancy related stands out. I am loving seeing Christmas festivities through the eyes of a toddler.

What I Miss: Alcohol. Enough said.

What I'm Looking Forward to: Our doctor's appointment on Monday. Can't wait to hear that sweet little heartbeat.

Big Sister: Sophia has been using my belly as a pillow and constantly wanting to feeling Baby Sunshine bump around. This week found her offering to hold Baby Sunshine frequently so that I could run with her and crawl around on the floor with her.

Looking Back: Sophia had hiccups frequently while I was pregnant, this little one has only had them a few times, but I love when they happen. The thing that stood out to me the most from our last pregnancy was just having Dave around to help tackle projects. Maybe after the holiday festivities I will have him around a bit more. Read more about my pregnancy with Sophia here.
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Friday, December 12, 2014

Baby Sunshine: Week 31

Picture taking was fun this week. 
Enjoying these last few weeks with my favorite almost three year old.
Size: Baby Sunshine is about the size of a coconut, weighing a little over three pounds and measuring over 16 inches long.

Total Weight Gain: My scale and I are not friends this week.

Maternity Clothes: Yes and I am still loving Dave's over-sized comfy clothes.

Gender: Surprise! We find out in February.

Cravings: Everything I see looks delicious. Salty foods and chocolate are still high on the list.

Symptoms: My patience is very thin. I have had to put myself in time out more than once this week. I had more cramping and some achiness. I think nesting has started. I am sorting through everything and currently have three bags of things to donate. I also seem to be moving like a turtle, which is not ideal when I am trying to run multiple errands with a toddler.

Movement: Yes. Yes. Yes. Baby Sunshine is still hanging out under my right ribs. Very comfortable.

Sleep: Not a good week for sleep (which might be adding to my crankiness) and I have been having trouble taking an afternoon nap, but I have been making time to rest.

Moment of the Week: I love having Sophia rub my belly and sing to the baby. She always wants to feel the 'bumps' but the baby doesn't seem to cooperate. I also registered with the hospital and signed Sophia up for her Big Sister class.

What I Miss: Fighting congestion with cold medicine (and yes, I know that some are safe when you are pregnant, but I choose not to take them).

What I'm Looking Forward to: Ten more days until we get to hear the heartbeat again.

Big Sister: Sophia has switched to thinking the baby is a girl and has consistently stated she is having a baby sister. She also made a decision on our girl name (if only Dave and I would finalize it).

Looking Back: When I was pregnant with Sophia I had just returned back to school after winter break at this point. I do not miss being in the classroom during the third trimester. I am useless enough at home. Read more about my pregnancy with Sophia here.
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A Festive Five on Friday

Happy Friday!
Linking up with April, Christina, Darci, & Natasha for another Five on Friday!


Sophia had so much fun decorating our tree. We have the most random assortment of animal ornaments and she spends time each day talking to the animals and playing with them.
I made Sophia a felt tree and she has had so much fun decorating and redecorating it. A hammer has become a necessary tool to put the ornaments on. Shortly after making it I saw a super cute version at Target if you want to get one for your little one.
Target felt tree


We made our second trip of the season to the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo. We took advantage of a warm evening when Dave had a night off. It was a bit crowded so we didn't get to ride the train, but Sophia loved looking at the lights from atop Dave's shoulders, riding the carousel, and visiting with the Man in Red.
 I am hoping to make one more trip this year - hopefully while snowing!


Sophia is a HUGE fan of Santa this year so we had to make a trip to the aquarium to see Scuba Santa. I wasn't sure what to expect, but Sophia really enjoyed herself. Before Santa arrived, she decided to be the pre-show entertainment.
She did a great job of sitting through the show and loved looking for the reindeer in the tanks.


One of my favorite traditions for Christmas is wearing matching pajamas to bed on Christmas Eve. I thought it would be a challenge this year trying to find a matching set, but Sophia picked hers out and made it easy for me to coordinate. Since I am pregnant I will be wearing men's pajamas this year (which are awesome since they have nice deep pockets). I already know which (super cheesy) sets we will be wearing next year when there is another little one to dress.
Let It Snow / Snowflake PJs


I will be making my favorite homemade hot chocolate mix this weekend. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups dry milk powder, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1.5 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, 1.5 cups white chocolate chips, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse until the chocolate is finely ground. To serve, mix 1/3 cup of the mix with one cup hot milk. Store in an airtight container.
I usually top my hot chocolate with an obscene amount of marshmallows, but I really want to try this peppermint whipped cream.
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