Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Getting Ready for the Baby: Baby Names

The name game is over! Tal and I have picked out a boy name AND a girl name...but we're keeping them a secret until our gender ultrasound on May 19. We can't wait to share our good news in a few weeks!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy 6th Blogiversary!

Today Tal and I are celebrating our 6th blogiversary! On April 20, 2008, I started our family blog. Over the last 6 years, I've written 794 posts, which is an average of 132 posts each  year and 2.5 posts each week.

Below are the top 10 posts from the last 6 years (based on the number of pageviews):

10. Big Girl Bedroom: Juliette Tufted Headboard


9. Big Girl Bedroom: Ribbon Curtain Panels

8. Pink and Orange Elmo Party

7. Venus Teal

6. Big Girl Bedroom: Seaside Floral Bedding

5. Big Girl Bedroom: Gallery Wall

4. Beachy Burlap and Lace Bridal Shower

3. Turquoise and Pink Big Girl Bedroom: Reveal

2. Fireside Chat
Before

After

1. Big Girl Bedroom: Ikea Spice Racks as Bookshelves


Blogging has turned into one of my favorite hobbies. I spend several hours each week taking, editing, and uploading photos, as well as writing posts.

From the beginning, my goal has been to keep our family and friends informed, as well as to chronicle Savannah's childhood.

Each year I get our blog published and bound in a hardcover book, which I plan to give to Savannah when she's an adult. In the future, I hope the blog books bring Savannah fond memories her childhood, home, milestones, and vacations.

Happy Blogiversary!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Getting Ready for the Baby: Switching Beds and Nursery Ideas

Over the last three years, Tal and I have had two guest rooms. However, today we started transforming one of the guest rooms into the nursery to prepare for the arrival of baby #2.

First, we moved the queen-size bed into the "new" guest room, so guests will have a bigger bed to sleep on when they visit. Aside from some new paint and bedding a few years ago, this room has remained untouched. Someday, we'll get around to decorating the guest room:

Next, Tal and I moved the full-size bed into the larger bedroom, which will be the nursery/big kid bedroom. In a few months, we'll put the crib in this room, too:

Tal and I are excited to find out if we're having a boy or a girl, so we can start painting and decorating the nursery/big kid bedroom. If we're having a boy, then I'm planning to select bedding like this and this and decorate the room in navy, white, gray, and green...like the inspiration photos below:




I'd probably pair the big kid bedding above with the crib sheet and skirt below:



I'm still tossing around ideas for a girl bedroom, but these are my top bedding choices so far:



I'd probably pair the big kid bedding above with the pink crib sheets below from Target:



In the coming months, we'll see how the nursery/big kid bedroom comes together! 

Easter Egg Hunt

Last Thursday, Savannah had a great time collecting eggs
 during the Easter Egg Hunt at her preschool. 

Each student was allowed to take home 11 eggs, 
so Savannah counted the eggs in her basket to ensure that she didn't have too many eggs: 

Savannah with her preschool friends Claire and Claire:
 

After the Easter Egg Hunt, Savannah and Claire sat on the grassy hill and opened their eggs:

They received small trinkets, such as Play-doh, tatoos, and balls (but no candy):

Savannah and Claire are such sweet friends!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Second Trimester!

Whoohoo! I'm 14 weeks pregnant, which means I'm officially in my second trimester...and in the "safe zone."

Over the last few weeks, my energy level has picked up, and I'm not as queasy as often. With this pregnancy, I've been taking my prenatal vitamin at bedtime (instead of in the morning)...which has decreased my morning queasiness significantly.  Some foods (like oatmeal and yogurt) still make me gag, but hopefully I'll be eating these favorite foods again soon.

Our family is counting down the days until May 19 (the day after my birthday!) when we'll find out (hopefully) if we're having a boy or a girl. Tal and I have picked out a boy's name, but we're still working on a girl's name!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kids Museum

On Thursday, Savannah and I went to a children's museum with Grandma Judy.
The museum included dozens of realistic, hands-on exhibits, such as an ambulance, 
grocery store, and pirate ship, that Savannah could explore and use her imagination:

Savannah dialed 9-1-1 on the phone and talked to the 911 operator:

At the grocery store, Savannah handed her money 
to Grandma Judy to pay for her groceries:

Savannah turned on the oven:



Making eggs for breakfast:

Shopping for groceries:

Savannah cooked dinner on the stove:

Playing with trains

Grandma Judy used a pulley system to lift Savannah:

Getting Ready for the Baby: Childcare

Yesterday Tal and I lined-up full-time childcare for our baby starting in February 2015. A woman named Hiroko, who takes care of teachers' children in her home, will be watching our baby as well when I go back to work after maternity leave.

Why did Tal and I start looking for childcare 8 months ahead of time? Well, we decided to explore other childcare options after we discovered that infant care at Savannah's preschool is booked through January 2015 and costs $1,400 per month.

There were three main reasons why we selected Hiroko to watch our baby:

1. Several teachers from my school highly recommended Hiroko because she takes care of/has taken care of their children. My colleagues rave about how loving, structured, and organized Hiroko is.

2. I can drop off the baby at Hiroko's house at 6:50 A.M. and still get to school on time. I have to be at school by 7:10 A.M., and it has been extremely difficult to find a daycare that opens before 7 A.M.

3. Hiroko charges $30 per day, which is significantly cheaper than other in-home and daycare centers that Tal and I researched.  Plus, we don't have to pay for childcare when the baby is sick or on vacation.

Tal and I are thankful to have such an important decision taken care of!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Backyardigans: Part 16 (Laying Sod)

Earlier this week, Tal removed the sod in our backyard:

Today Tal and I have a new lawn in our backyard!

At 9:30 this morning, one bag of compost and 
one pallet/48 rolls of tall fescue sod were delivered to our house:

In order to have a good foundation for our new grass,
Tal shoveled the compost/soil/fertilizer mixture into the
 wheelbarrow and spread it in the backyard:


After spreading the compost, Tal, my mom, 
and I spent 1.5 hours laying 48 rolls of sod:

Tal did the hard work.
 He lifted every sod roll, put them the wheelbarrow, 
and dropped them into place for me and my mom:

I was glad my mom was here to help me unfurl the sod rolls and butt up the seams.
Unfortunately, in my pregnant state, I just wasn't able to lift the sod rolls 
and squat down easily like last year when Tal and I laid sod in our front yard:

Tal and I love our new lawn!

Over the next two weeks, we'll wait for our new grass
 to take root before Tal mows it for the first time:

In the meantime, we'll be watering our grass daily!  

Tal and I have saved $3,000 for our 2014 backyard makeover, and here's a breakdown of our expenses so far:

$1,600  Playset
   $400  Plastic Playground Border
     $60  Landscape Fabric and Stakes
     $56  Mulch (4 truckloads)
     $70  Sod Cutter Rental
     $15  Dump
   $446  Sod, Compost, and Delivery
-------
$2,647