Monday, December 31, 2012

A new year + 31 weeks

We have never really been ones to celebrate New Years. It seems like for as long as I can remember hubs and I have done nothing more exciting than go out to eat, come home and be lazy! I know for a fact that 2 years ago, when I was pregnant with Max, we were both asleep by 11:00.

This year we had a very low-key celebration...just us three, dinner, movies, couch snuggling, and pajamas. And it was perfect! I couldn't think of any other two that I'd rather bring in the new year with.

Even though we keep it simple for New Year's Eve, the idea of starting a new year has me pretty excited. I feel motivated, happy, and optimistic about this coming year! There is a lot that will change, and there is a whole lot to look forward to.

With just 9 weeks between us and Drew's due date, of course I can't stop thinking about what life will be like as a mommy of two boys (and I'm sure none of you are surprised to hear that...yet again). I think a lot needs to change around here to make all of our lives easier (maybe it's the new year, maybe it's nesting). I don't have resolutions, because resolutions don't get kept...but there are a few things I'm excited about doing in 2013!

Learning to cook- I know, I know. I say this all the time, and I say it every time a new year comes around. But seriously...I'm really motivated, and it is necessary at this point in our lives. I can't be a mother of two growing boys and a wife to a man with a large appetite and not be able to cook! We got new pot and pans for Christmas, along with some new bakeware...and I can't wait to use it all!

Getting organized- I've been on an organizing spree here lately, and I plan on keeping that up. I think it will really make things easier, especially after Drew gets here.

Take a ton of pictures, and learn to use my new camera- Hubby got me a DSLR camera for Christmas, and I have a lot to learn about it. I want to take way more pictures of our everyday life, not just when we do something special.

Take time for just Nick and I- we really need to go on more date nights this year. I think we have only been on three "dates" since Max arrived almost two years ago.

My favorite? Become a momma of two! I can't wait to teach Max to be a big brother, learn to have a little balance between my boys, snuggle with a sweet newborn, and love them every single minute of every day.'s to 2013! I hope it is wonderful for us all :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

30 weeks

Christmas is over, our house is a disaster area, and there are only 10 weeks or less until Drew joins our family. I knew this would happen...I have been extremely calm and not at all worried about everything we need to do. Up until now.

I knew that Christmas would go by quickly, and that as soon as it was over I would have a sense of urgency about getting it all done. I'm still not freaking out, and hopefully I won't ever get to that point, but I do feel like there is a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it in.

I think it's really important to stay as far away from stress as possible during pregnancy, especially towards the end. This is part of that whole "attachment patenting" philosophy that I definitely believe in. If my due date was tomorrow, I know everything would be fine. We have everything we NEED, and everything is ready in a way. So...I'm continuing to not stress out about it. The only list I have made is of things that HAVE to be done. I'm keeping the rest in my head, because I know writing it down will make it worse!

Drew is continuing to grow, and so am I, of course! My next appointment is in a week. I have to have my platelets re-checked because the last time they were checked they were abnormally low. If they don't come up on their own I will have to be on a steroid regimen for the remainder of this pregnancy, and I may even have to see a hematologist. The reason platelets can become a problem is that they have to be above a certain level in order to receive an epidural during labor/delivery. Please be praying that my platelets will have come up on their own by next week! I would rather not have to go through all the steroid treatments if it can be avoided. But of course I am thankful that treatment exists and that I really don't have much to worry about!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We sure did...I will be posting about ours soon!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dear Max

My sweet, sweet boy,

Oh how your momma is loving this season with you!  

Last year, Christmas was wonderful, but this year has been even better!  We love watching you learn to love Christmas and everything about it.  We took you to Tanglewood to see the lights a few weeks ago, and it was so much took it all in, and said "wow" the whole way through. The sense of wonderment you have had with this entire season is truly incredible, and it has made it more fun for your daddy and I, too!

I can't believe how big you have gotten.  I know I say it all the time, but lately I can't help but wonder where my baby went and how I ended up with this amazing little toddler in my life.  I keep telling Daddy, almost every day... "look how big he is! Look how big he looks!"  You are learning so fast and changing every single day, and I just hope that I am soaking it all in as much as possible.  It seems like you have a new word to say each day, and you are even starting to put words together occasionally.  You have started saying "please" every time you want something, and I love it.

  One of the funniest things we have realized lately is that you have one of your favorite books ("I Love You Through and Through") partially memorized!  As I am reading it to you, you get ahead of me and start saying words that are on the next page, and it really is quite hilarious.  

Speaking of love reading with me lately.  We read all of your favorites at least twice each every day, and your list of favorite books seems to be expanding like crazy.  You are also loving to play with cars and trucks even more lately, if that is possible.  

I hope you are starting to understand this whole "baby" thing...your little brother will be here so soon!  You fall asleep with your head on my belly each and every night, and you are completely obsessed with babies.  If we ask you where baby Drew is, you point to my belly and say "in there!" You give him kisses, and we talk about him every day.  I just know that you are going to be a great big brother.  I can't wait to see you two together, and I am so glad that God has blessed me with two sweet boys.  

Your Daddy and I love you so very much and we are so proud of you!



***ps...this is the first of many "Dear Max" letters I will write, and I wish I had started sooner!  Hopefully someday he will be able to look back and read them, and in the mean time I will love writing them (and looking back on them to see how he has changed).


 Our family LOVES husband seriously had the icicle lights up on our house on NOVEMBER 3RD. In all honesty, I was slightly embarrassed, but he absolutely insisted.  We have some old family traditions that we love to participate in with our extended family, and we also love starting new traditions of our own.  Nick and I did these sorts of things and loved Christmas even before having Max, but this time of year is even more fun when we get to see it through his eyes.  Last year was amazing, even though he was only about 8 or 9 months old...but this year? Fantastic. In every single way.

Every time we go out at night he points out the lights, he loves dancing to Christmas music with me, and he just has this sense of awe and wonderment that is contagious to us all.  He points out decorations and wrapped gifts and calls them "pretty," and he has loved helping to pick out gifts for all the people on our list.  

One of the traditions we started this year is an advent calendar, and it's not exactly the typical way of counting down to Christmas.  We got a traditional advent calendar from Target (the reusable kind with a door for each day), BUT rather than having a piece of candy to eat each day or a little trinket being inside each door, we have a note in each door.  Each note has an activity for us to do as a family that day.  Some days we have watched holiday classic movies like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and others are things like Christmas shopping or "family Starbucks date."  It has been so much fun and Max has LOVED it.  I highly recommend doing this!

Just 10 days until Christmas, ya'll!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

27 weeks

How is it possible that we are in the last week of the second trimester??? Monday marks the start of the third trimester, which is completely insane. AND there is a ton of stuff we have to get done before Drew's to do list seems to be getting longer instead of shorter, and ranges from figuring out plans for Max once labor starts, to painting our bathroom, to Christmas shopping.

As far as the pregnancy goes, everything is fantastic! We had an ultrasound last week and all is well in Drew's world. I also had my glucose tolerance test and passed it! Such a relief.

I have started to feel some of those "third trimester symptoms" even though I'm technically not in my third trimester. Swollen feet/ankles, back pain, abdominal muscle pain, trouble sleeping? All normal to me at this point :) but there are so many things I love about this point in pregnancy. For example, feeling Drew moving pretty much all the time is amazing. That reminder that there is a little miracle growing in there that we get to meet in just 13 short weeks is one of my favorite parts of pregnancy, even if the jabs in my ribs don't feel so great.

Life is so good, y'all. I just love being a momma to my two sweet boys :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Welcome to the family, Bo!

So we went away for a week for Thanksgiving, and we came back with a puppy! My grandpa, or Poppy, as we fondly call him, has been on the hunt for the perfect dog for us for a few weeks now...and we are so happy for this sweet lab mix puppy to join the family.

Meet Bo. He is around eight weeks old, and is so much fun. He and Max are already best friends. They love running around the yard together and tackling each other, and of course snuggling up together for a movie. We have all really enjoyed having a dog around. I can't wait to start taking him along on our neighborhood walks!

Friday, November 23, 2012

light up downtown!

So, every year on the Friday before Thanksgiving, North Wilkesboro has a celebration downtown to light up the Christmas lights.  There are bands, dance groups, singing groups and the like for entertainment; hayrides; and of course Santa!  There are also vendors selling food, and the shops have a contest for the best window decorations.  Nick and I took Max and joined my parents and sisters...and we had a blast. We started off by visiting our favorite coffee shop in the world (which also happens to be in downtown North Wilkesboro)- Talia Espresso- and then we walked around and enjoyed the lights and entertainment.  The biggest hit with Max, however, was the North Wilkesboro Fire Department allowing him to check out one of their trucks.  He got to sit in the driver's seat and explore a little on the outside of the truck, too.  We all had so much fun!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

24 weeks and counting!

I'm opting out of answering those sam old dumb questions that we all already know the answers to, probably from here on out. I just wanted to post a picture, and let y'all know that everything is still going great!

I am still just loving being pregnant and enjoying every moment. If you follow me on twitter or Instagram (username allynbrown), you have probably seen me post various things with the hash tag #pregnantladyproblems but this is all just for fun and games. I just think it's interesting to point out all the random things that you have to deal with when you are pregnant! Things like stains on the belly part of your shirt, "cankles," taking 5 minutes to get up off the floor...I find it all a little amusing this time around!

This week has been fun...starting to feel especially huge, but in a good way. There have been hardly any people at all (that I don't know) that have mentioned the fact that I am expecting. It's sort of a relief (I hated being constantly questioned when I was pregnant with Max), but it's also sort of odd to me that nobody says anything. Other than feeling ginormous and craving raw vegetables and Greek yogurt, this week has been wonderfully normal!

I remember how much fun it was to be pregnant during the favorite time of the year! Max and I are leaving tomorrow to spend a week at my parents for Thanksgiving, and I will probably eat way too much good food while we are gone and gain too much weight. Again. Regardless, I am so very excited to be spending some time with my family over the next week. I hope you all have a spectacular Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

23 weeks

-How far along? 23 weeks
-Maternity clothes? yep.
-Cravings? peppermint anything. Which may have something to do with Chick-fil-A having their peppermint milkshakes starting yesterday, and Starbucks having peppermint mochas back now.
-Food aversions? Still meat, always meat.
-How do you feel? I feel wonderful this week, so far! I have noticed that my belly is getting in the way a bit more lately, but that's not a big deal, of course!
-Anything interesting? Not a thing new going on with Drew this week, at least not that we know of.  Max is so funny though...if you as him where Baby Drew is, he points to my stomach and says "in there." It is possibly one of the cutest things I have ever seen. I am so excited to be the momma to these two boys and watch them both grow and learn like this every day!

fall family days

We spent the afternoon outside on Saturday, working on our landscaping and just having fun! Family days are my favorite!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall Zoo Trip

Oh, how we love the zoo!  The NC Zoo in Asheboro is pretty close to us, so we have a membership and go fairly often.  Max loves the animals, but Nick and I might love seeing them just as much :) We love to take day trips and have a "family fun day" exploring and learning.  Our last trip was a couple of weekends ago (yes, I am super behind on blogging. oops).  This was something that was on our Fall Bucket List.  If you have never been to the zoo in the Fall, you definitely should! The animals are usually much more active when it isn't so hot outside, not to mention that it is more comfortable to be walking around outside when it isn't 100 degrees!
learning about elephants...Max is showing Daddy its eyes!
these two are my world...

Max loves riding the tram back to the car at the end of the day
tram fun :)

Happy Halloween!

I had no idea how much fun Halloween was going to be with Max this year!  Halloween has never exactly been my favorite holiday, but I have always enjoyed and/or politely endured it, depending on the year.  If for no other reason...simply because after Halloween is over my favorite month(s) begin! 

My husband, however, loves Halloween.  And all other holidays for that matter!  He insists that we decorate and celebrate and enjoy every second of it.  I actually really appreciate his helps me to get the most out of a holiday that would normally get put on my back burner.  If you asked him about it, he would probably say its another one of those things with us that is sort of like "the olive theory" (for those of you who watch "How I Met Your Mother"). 

This year was wonderful!  We decorated the house a few weeks ago...nothing crazy, but certainly cute...and of course dressed Max up and took him trick-or-treating last night.  We all had a blast! I love seeing Max experience new things.  It is definitely one of the many perks of being a parent.  

We originally planned that Max would be Batman for Halloween, but it turned out to be much colder than expected, and we opted for a farmer costume instead so he could stay warm.

on our way to go trick-or-treating in Aunt Gretta's neighborhood
he got a treat bag from Aunt Gretta! complete with buddy fruits!
already liking Halloween
he wasn't really sure about trick-or-treating at first
trick-or-treating at Aunt Gretta's
so excited to have a bucket full of candy!
Max definitely wracked up. His pumpkin bucket was full!
by the time we got home he was completely tuckered out, and almost slept through me changing his clothes!

**ps...some of the pictures are from my camera and some are from my phone, so excuse the mix of quality!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

quiet moments

It is so hard as a stay-at-home momma to take a minute to just be still and quiet and do nothing.  Usually, if Max is napping I am cleaning the house, cooking, organizing, or something else of that sort.  When I start to sit down and relax I notice the pile of laundry in the corner that needs folding or the sink full of dirty dishes and I can kiss that quiet moment goodbye.  Even when I lay down at night to go to sleep, I tend to make a list in my head of all the things I need to do as I am trying to sleep (if you have ever seen the movie "I Don't Know How She Does It"...I seriously make lists just like Sarah Jessica Parker's character does in that movie!).

So, today Max fell asleep on me when he was having a snuggly moment right around his nap time.  Nick was asleep on the couch after working third shift last night (training the new night shift manager), and the house was completely still and quiet.  Rare, when you live with a rambunctious toddler!  I was sitting in the chair, looking around at the mess of toys and snack leftovers and shoes and clothes that covered our living room floor and it took over my thoughts.  I wanted to go lay Max down in his bed so I could get up and clean that mess! But then, thank goodness, Drew started kicking away and it made me stop.  I am so glad I did.  I decided that I was just going to sit there and soak up the goodness in that moment.  Max draped across my belly and chest, his sweet little face still looking like a baby's (it only looks like that when he is sleeping these days). Drew dancing so that I can feel every little move he makes.  Hubby sleeping peacefully on the couch.  And of course a nice view out the window of the beauty of the fall leaves.  It really was perfect.

I am so thankful for all that we have been blessed with, but I feel like I don't ever just take a minute to soak it up and thank God for all this beauty. As a stay-at-home mom, your job never stops.  You are "at work" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  I realized today how important it is to just slow down.  You only have that day for one day, and tomorrow it will be over.  Even though tomorrow is sure to be fun and exciting, we will never get today back.  And when you have a toddler that is learning and changing so much each and every day, each moment is so very precious!  I know I keep saying "soaking it all up" in a lot of blog posts in the past, and this is exactly what I mean.

I am going to make a conscious effort every day to slow down and take in every moment and LOVE it all.

This is how Max insists that Nick sleeps when he comes home from working third shift.  He is always snuggled up to him, rolling cars on his head. Golly, I love these boys!

Monday, October 29, 2012

22 weeks

-How far along? 22 weeks, of course :)
-Maternity clothes? Of course! I'm not understanding how some people go until the last couple of months without wearing maternity shirts!
-Cravings? boring.
-Food aversions? Still meat, always meat.
-How do you feel? My allergies have come back with a vengeance today. Which is unfortunate since I can't really take any medicine at all. But other than that I still feel fantastic! It's definitely getting harder by the day to do some things (getting down in the floor to play with Max and things like that), and I'm not sleeping so well. BUT I would still say I feel great. I love being pregnant.
-Anything interesting? I went to the doctor for our regular appointment and everything is going wonderfully! The only unfortunate part was hearing about the weight I have out on since my last appointment! The doctor came in the room and said "did you take those cowboy boots off before you were weighed this morning?" So embarrassing. I have gained a whopping 11 pounds since my last appointment (which was just 4 short weeks ago). He says I shouldn't worry, but that I should be aware. In my defense I was technically underweight before I was pregnant with Drew, so I'm trying to tell myself that it's my body's way of catching up to where I should be. I'm going to try to be even healthier for the remainder of this pregnancy to make sure I don't continue to gain weight like that.

My next appointment is November 26th, which will be for a glucose tolerance test and an ultrasound. After that I think we will start going every 2 weeks!

This is going by so quickly, and it will go even faster during the holiday season, I'm sure! So exciting...

Hope you all have a great week and a great Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

21 weeks

-How far along? 21 weeks!
-Maternity clothes? Yep! It's mostly maternity from here on out I believe!
-Cravings? Nothing this week...
-Food aversions? Still meat, always meat.
-How do you feel? I feel big, but great!
-Anything interesting? This week has been pretty boring! An I un-eventful week is a good week in pregnant land though :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Halfway to Baby Drew!

I can't believe I am halfway through this pregnancy already! It is flying by. A dear friend of mine called me earlier today and we were talking about what life will be like for me with TWO boys, and now that is all I can think about. I love it so much! Drew strapped into the carrier most of the time while I continue my mommy duties with Max- playing outside, hunting for bugs, playing with cars, reading, cooking. Watching my husband fall in love with another sweet baby (while I fall even more in love with the man whose hand I get to hold for forever). I imagine Max's second birthday party...whih will be Drew's first family birthday party experience! Then later on...watching them play baseball and cheering them on from the bleachers...oh, I could go on for days! I know so many people were hoping we would have a girl this time around, (and I might like to add a sister to the bunch later on down the road), but honestly, being a mom of boys suits me. I love it so much already. We are blessed beyond measure, and I know this is going to be perfection.

How far along? 20 weeks
-Maternity clothes? Yep. Almost none of my regular clothes fit. I bought a few new maternity things at Old Navy yesterday, but they had almost nothing in my size. It was a pretty frustrating shopping experience. I hate maternity clothes, y'all.
-Cravings? All I can think about today is strawberry shortcake. Haha...
-Food aversions? Still meat, of course.
-How do you feel? Today I feel tired and disgusting. Mainly because I have a sinus infection and can't take any medication for it at all. Pregnancy-wise? I feel fantastic :)
-Anything interesting? Baby Drew has been quite active lately and I am feeling more movement every day! I love this part. I feel like it won't be too much longer until we will be able to feel him moving from the outside...maybe a few more weeks. I remember feeling that for the first time with Max, and I think I was somewhere around 23 weeks. I can't wait to see what Max does when he feels his little brother moving for the first time! Oh, and the belly button is officially "out," which is much earlier than last time. So strange how different things can be between pregnancies!

So...back to pajamas and snuggling up with my sweet boys (trying to feel better so I can get on with my life!)...hope you all have the best Monday!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Boy? Girl?

I am so excited to be sharing this news with you guys!

Turns out, everyone was WRONG! We will be welcoming another sweet boy in the end of February or beginning of March! 

Say "hello" to Andrew Tate Brown!  He is named after his Daddy, whose middle name is Andrew, and we will call him Drew.

The ultrasound went perfectly! So far there are really no abnormalities at all.  He weighs a whopping 8oz right now, and was so very active during the was quite entertaining!  Max got to go with us to the doctor today, and he loved being able to see his little brother on the screen.  It was amazing to see.  I love these boys so very much!

Thank you all for your prayers today!  They really mean the world to me, and I was much more at ease because of them, I am sure!

Monday, October 1, 2012

DIY T-Shirt Scarf

I have been wanting to make a T-shirt scarf for a long time, but somehow I just never got around to it...until today!

Another rainy, cool day, stuck inside with nothing to do.  I needed a project (even though I SHOULD be cleaning my house).

I pulled out a couple of old T-shirts that I haven't worn in probably a year or more.  I haven't parted with the purple one yet just because I bought it and then only wore it once or twice.  I felt a little bad about just getting rid of it.  The orange one I have had for probably 6 years!  It is the softest thing in my closet, but is has a few holes now, and doesn't fit the way I'd like it to anymore (even when I am not pregnant, obviously).

So this is what we started with!

The first scarf I made, with the purple shirt, is a fringe infinity scarf.  The first step? Cut the shirt across under the arm pits.  I was going to cut underneath the button detail, but decided to leave part of it for some added interest!  You will also need to cut across the bottom right above the seam...this piece can either be thrown out or saved for another project (I plan on making a headband or headband embellishment with the leftovers of this project).  The cuts don't have to be straight at all!  Just eye it, and do the best you can...but it really does't matter that much.

Step two?  Cut up from the bottom of the shirt about 3-4 inches to make fringe (more or less if you choose).  Each piece of fringe should be about half an inch wide.  Again, not important if the cuts are straight!

Step three? Pull each piece of fringe away from the bulk of the scarf and roll them between your fingers.  This will make them roll up a bit, and makes it look much better, in my opinion.  I didn't get a picture of this step...sorry!

Now all that is left for this scarf is to wear it!  I am a little afraid of fringe, but I am loving this scarf.

AND here is how I made the orange scarf...
Step one? Cut right below the arm pits straight across, just like in the purple scarf tutorial.  Then, cut strips across (about half an inch wide) all the way to the bottom.  You should have a lot of loops of fabric.  The one that is cut from the bottom with the seam on it? Cut it so that it is just a plain strip (not a loop) and set it aside.

Step two? Pick up all the loops at the same time and stretch them out so the roll up.  You should now have something that looks vaguely like the picture above.

Step three? Line up the seams on the loops however you would like them to be.  I just spread them out randomly, but so the would show.  The other option is to try to hide them under the wrap you are about to create.
Step four?  Take that strip you made from the seam on the bottom of the shirt and tie it where ever you would like the wrapped up part of the scarf to go.  The only thing I tried to cover was a seam that still had a piece of the tag under it.

Step five? Wrap that piece of seamed fabric around your loops until you have something that looks like the picture above.  I wrapped it until I was about halfway to the end of that strip and then wrapped back over it again.  Now...just tie the end of the strip to the wrap and weave the end underneath (I used a crochet hook for this, but I am sure you could do it without one if you don't have a crochet hook).

The orange one turned out a little more like a necklace, but I love it.  If you used a mens size shirt I am sure it would be big enough to wrap around twice, more like a scarf.  

You should really give these a try!  I made them both in 30 minutes or less...definitely worth it :)

PS...sorry for the terrible pictures of me wearing them. I could not get a good one with my "real" camera so I opted to use my phone (believe it or not these are better than the ones from my camera).

Hope your rainy day is fantastic!