Saturday, September 29, 2012

DIY Fall Decorations- Pressed Leaves

Today has the potential to be a terrible no good very bad day.  It is raining and cool (which I would normally love)...the cool part I adore, the rainy part...not so much.  I had plans to take a walk with the stroller and take Max to play at a near-by park, so obviously those plans are ruined.  Hubby has had to close down the store (he is a manager at Lowe's Hardware for those of you who don't know) or work an overnight shift to get ready for Christmas (yes, retail is insane) for a ton of days in a the getting ready for Christmas thing at work seems to have been a little stressful for him.  We were all a little sad when it was time for him to leave for work today, and we still have three more days of him working late ahead of us before he gets a day off....booooo.

So...instead of letting today be awful, I decided we would make it fun! Today will be full of Fall crafts, watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," and cooking yummy food (yet to be determined).

Our first crafty item of the day was to frame our leaves we pressed a few days ago! This is another thing off of our Fall bucket list, and I love how it turned out!  AND it was so beyond easy to put together...

I just used a really cheap plain frame that I already had lying around just waiting on something lovely to go in it...

We used leaved that Max and I found in our front yard a few days ago from a redbud tree.  They went on top of the book that says "Clinical Drug Therapy" and all the rest of the books went on top.  That may have been overkill on the amount of weight needed to go on top of them to get them nice and flat, worked. 

I cut out a piece of white cardstock to fit the size of the frame, the a smaller piece of burlap printed scrapbook paper that would go on top of the white paper.

Next, we just laid everything out the way we thought looked best.  I like the leaves hanging over the burlap-printed paper, and Max approved of this layout ;)  Then everything just gets taped into place! Super easy!

I cleaned the glass really good with window cleaner (do not underestimate this step!), let it dry, and then just put it all together in the frame!  We will probably make another one of these once we collect more leaves.  It is a great way to add some Fall decor to your house without getting tacky with it...I couldn't be happier with how it looks, and Max is so proud of his leaves!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I think I am going to try to blog about some of the things on our Fall "bucket list"...for one thing so it will give me some incentive to make sure I actually do those things, and for another thing, it is just a really great way to record our memories!
One of the things on our bucket list was to take more pictures.  I constantly struggle with this one! I always forget my camera, so I take pictures on my phone. And phone pictures just are not good enough! I have been doing better about it lately though...

These are just from the last couple of days...we are having so much fun soaking in the cooler weather and everything that goes with it!

Max loves to "help" in the kitchen

All I can seem to capture anymore is his running around! Busy boy...

Fall mornings in the back yard are the best!
So proud that he can do it himself now :)

Another thing that is on our list of things to do for Fall is to collect and press pretty leaves.  We picked up a few on this particular morning and Max was so excited about them! I know he is going to love this season :)
Running to show Daddy the leaf he found!
Still trying to get to Daddy to show off that leaf!

Monday, September 24, 2012

17 weeks

How far along? 17 weeks!
-Maternity clothes? I feel like the amount of non-maternity clothes that still fit is getting smaller every day.  I am still trying to make things work as much as possible, (let's face it...maternity clothes are both overpriced and usually unattractive), but I see some maternity shopping happening in the near future.  I HAVE to get some basics...tanks for layering, t-shirts...
-Cravings? nothing major this week...but I have been eating a lot!
-Food aversions? Still just the meat thing...oh well.  I have been trying to get protein in as many other ways as I can think of and trying to stay away from meat as much as possible.
-How do you feel? Today I am feeling especially wonderful! Maybe it's because Fall is finally here? But it's probably because Max slept late this morning (until 10!) and I have energy like I haven't had in weeks :)
-Gender prediction? No idea...I am just going to stop trying to predict it!  Everyone else in the world swears it's a girl...we will see pretty soon if you all are right or not!
-Anything interesting? 9 days until our ultrasound, y'all. That's right. Just 9 days! I am excited and anxious and nervous, of course.  Please continue praying for us about that...we just pray that everything will be okay, and we can't wait to know if our sweet new babe is a boy or a girl!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Brown Family's Fall "Bucket List"

Fall is by far our favorite season, and today is officially the first day of Fall (even though the high temperature here in Greensboro is 84).  I love everything about Fall.  Sweaters, soup, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin anything actually! Scarves, leaves, cool weather, name it, we probably love it.  Changes in the seasons and holidays are sure to be even more fun this year, since Max is starting to understand what is going on around him a little better, so I decided to make a "bucket list" of things that we want to do this Fall. We may not get to all of them, but it just seemed like a good way of trying to make the absolute most of every day! We will be adding to this, I am sure, and I will be blogging about all of our adventures :)

1- Collect and press pretty fall leaves
2- Make a new wreath for the front door
3- Host a football game night
4- Drink lots of pumpkin spice lattes (decaf, for Baby Brown of course!)
5- Take walks around the neighborhood as often as possible
6- Bake an apple pie
7- Bake a pumpkin pie
8- Practice gratitude
9- Teach Max to sign "thank you"...he has become quite good at sign language! I need to make a post on that.
10- Go to a pumpkin patch
11- Decorate the house, inside and out, for fall and Halloween
12- Eat s'mores
13- Make these fall trees with Q-tips and paint
14- Go to the park at least once a week
15- Take more pictures
16- Make pumpkin cupcakes
17- Watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"
18- Go to the zoo!
19- Eat lots of homemade soup and chili
20- Burn fall scented candles
21- Take family photos
22- Make breakfast one morning when Nick is off work
23- Tackle the landscaping issues in the front of our house!  It is a mess out there...
24- Go trick-or-treating with Max
25- Make these sugar cookies decorated like skeletons!
26- Watch "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
27- Go to the Blue Ridge Parkway

I can't wait to start checking things off this list!  Happy Fall, y'all!

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Shoes

Max has officially outgrown his favorite shoes...a pair of red converse low tops that he has had since the beginning of March! I'd say that is a pretty good run for a pair of shoes belonging to a boy this age.  Those sweet little shoes are still in great shape and will be passed on to his little brother or sister, and I know they will be well-loved by that little one as well :)

So, Max got new shoes today!  His Nanny Jill ordered them for him (thanks!), and UPS delivered them to our door this afternoon.  This kid LOVES getting packages in the mail and seeing what surprise is inside...too cute.

I had to include some pictures of the shoes themselves...they are too cute not to show off!  Max loves that they have fish on them, and I love the Dr. Seuss theme.

 PS- to any moms...Converse have been great for us!  The rubber toe makes them very durable, and they aren't thick and padded (making them hard for little feet to run and play and all that stuff) like a lot of sneakers are.  Max loves them...if we let him pick his shoes, which we do pretty often, he always picks them.  There's my two cents :)

An update... the belly department, since I didn't post a picture with my most recent weekly update! :)

This was taken at 16 weeks 3 days...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A sense of non-urgency???

When we were preparing to switch from "just the two of us" into family mode two years ago (was that really two years ago?!?!?!) when we were expecting Max, Nick and I both felt a sense of urgency.  So much to do, so little time to do it!  Within a week of finding out we were expecting, I had already decided where we would be registering.  And we HAD to register within a week of finding out if we would be having a boy or a girl, of course. I was panicking in December (Max was due on April 6th) when we still didn't have a crib. We had first and middle names picked out and agreed upon by the time I was 14 weeks pregnant, and I had already researched and decided upon almost everything that we would need as far as baby gear went.  The nursery was completely planned out very early on, and we started changing things around the house to make it more baby and company friendly within a few weeks as well!

I have come to the realization a few days ago that with the littlest Brown on the way, I don't feel that way at all this time.  We sort of have names picked out right now, but we aren't telling anyone...and I have been researching slings, but only because I ran across one that I loved on Pinterest.  It is kind of a nice feeling!

That "stuff" just isn't what is important right now.  Instead I am just enjoying every moment that we have with Max as an only child, loving being pregnant, and feeling like everything is going to be fine!  I have had people ask if we are planning to move, since we live in a tiny house with 2 bedrooms and 743 square feet, but no, we are not.  We have everything we need! Max's bedroom will be shared with the baby after the baby moves out of our bedroom.  Yes, his room is tiny, but with the right furniture and a little help from IKEA it will be perfect for the two of them!  We have a washer and dryer in this house (which we did not have when Max was born), and we love our house...size doesn't matter!

Another thing is, we already have all the baby gear we need for the most part, so I really haven't thought about that much at all.  It's nice...we already have a car seat, crib, cosleeper, and a wonderful carrier, plus all the little things babies need that start to add up the first time around.  We don't use swings or pack and plays, or any of the things that most people always think are completely necessary and take up a ton of room (which is one reason why a small house will work for us).  I seriously know of people who have moved or bought different furniture because their swing, pack and play, bouncer, play mat...(you get the picture) won't fit in their living room, but that is just not for our family :)

Max will get a big boy bed in a few months, and if this baby is a girl she will need some clothes. I am sure there are other things we will need, and lots of things I feel like I need to do later on, but for now I just feel so relaxed about all of that, and it is a great feeling!  Let's get real here, people.  Babies just don't need that much, and pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.

The only way I can describe it is...a sense of "non-urgency"...if that word even exists!

So, we will get around to getting ready for Baby Brown number two, but in the mean time I am just soaking up all these sweet moments, watching my family grow and change, and just not worrying about getting all that done. How nice!

Monday, September 17, 2012

16 weeks!

How far along? 16 weeks
-Maternity clothes? Now that the seasons are BEGINNING to change, I feel like my wardrobe has expanded massively! Fall/ Winter pregnancies are the best, yall, seriously. I can wear leggings under all my oversized and long sweaters, and even under some of my summer dresses with cardigans layered on top. It's sort of liberating, really. The rest of my wardrobe is pretty much the same...
-Cravings? Fruits and veggies...any and all of them!
-Food aversions? I think I should just be a vegetarian. While we were at the beach, my meat aversion came back with a vengeance.  As my mom said, I was pretty much unsatisfied with every type of meat served to me while we were at the beach (with the exception of her fantastic tacos and the yummy pizza we ate one night).
-How do you feel? I feel so good this week! I got a flu shot the last time I was at the doctor, and it kicked my butt.  I felt like I had been run over for most of the day on that Wednesday and even a little bit the next day! BUT I am really thankful that I only felt like that for a day, rather than having the flu later on this year for a week or more.
-Gender prediction? Unsure right now, but still thinking maybe girl?
-Anything interesting? Nope! Pretty boring this week...still feeling little bit move when I am being still.  No picture for now (I may add one later on though) because I just couldn't seem to get a good one...

Hope you all have a great week! 

"Francation" 2012

Every year about this time we go with my side of the family (my parents, my Nanny and Pawpaw, my 5 little sisters, my brother and his wife) to the beach...usually in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. We just got back, and it was so much fun!  My sister in-law, Chelsea, names this vacation "Francation" last year- Francis Vacation- and the name stuck. We spent 8 lovely days in a condo that was just a short walk away from either a pool or the beautiful NC shoreline, and just a short drive away from the Beaufort waterfront, NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, and of course Dairy Queen :) It was a wonderful trip!

Here are some of the pictures that I took...I honestly didn't use my camera nearly as much as I should have, simply because my mom has a much better camera and was taking pictures constantly.  I will put up more pictures once I can get her to email me some of the ones she took.

Max and Daddy on the beach
Amberlynn was buried in the sand, and Max was quite interested :)
Max loved digging holes in the sand, of course!
He was a little unsure about the sand on his hands OR feet...
So beautiful!

As long as Max had shoes on, he loved roaming around on the beach :)
Checking out the crocodile at the aquarium

Fort Macon
Hubs and I at Fort Macon

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

14 weeks

-How far along? 14 weeks
-Maternity clothes? Pretty much the same as the past week, of course. I am definitely growing, and there is an item of clothing a week or so that I can't wear anymore.
-Cravings? any kind of potato, Chipotle burritos, orange juice, lima beans.
-Food aversions? This week I really haven't had any! That is something to be thankful for :)
-How do you feel? Still feeling great! My only complaint this week is that I have been getting tension headaches about every night, but apparently that is completely normal.
-Gender prediction? Unsure right now, but still thinking maybe girl?
-Anything interesting? I am a few days late posting this because I decided to wait until my checkup today to post. Everything went great! I heard our little one's heartbeat again (154bpm) and scheduled our ultrasound.  On October 3rd we will be finding out if we will be having a boy or girl, and we will of course find out if everything is going well with this pregnancy. Please be praying for us about this...I am pretty anxious and nervous about this appointment just because of the weird stuff we had going on during my pregnancy with Max. I also have to have blood work done in two weeks to screen for things like spina bifida and Down's Syndrome.  I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy is going by so far!