Life Lately

So here we are, already at the end of April! These last few months have flown by and it stresses me out greatly that this baby is due to arrive in less than 2 months!! We literally have nothing prepared. The other day I walked up to the attic to grab something and I saw our rock and play, sitting there in the corner collecting dust. “Oh….I should probably grab that to wash….” I thought to myself, as I turned around and walked back down the stairs. And that’s basically been the extent of my prep work. I have, however, bought a few gender neutral newborn outfits to bring to the hospital and to get us through the first week or so, if baby is a boy, before we will need to buy new clothes. I have not, however, even considered washing them yet so….baby steps. πŸ™‚

unnamed1Here is the last bump picture I snapped at 30 weeks (tomorrow marks 32 weeks). This pregnancy has definitely been my most uncomfortable pregnancy. I was talking to my sister-in-law the other day and I was saying how, with each pregnancy, you feel the same discomforts, they just start earlier and earlier. So like with Leah, I only felt super uncomfortable the last month or so. And then with Claire those same discomforts started a little earlier, maybe around 32-34 weeks and with this one, by 30 weeks I was definitely extremely uncomfortable. This baby literally feels like he/she is trying to burrow deep into my belly button so I feel like I have a knife stabbing through my stomach for most of the day. My belly button, which is definitely a bit deformed after Claire, is stretched to it’s limit and is constantly bruised from being ripped from the inside.

Complaints aside, (I know, pregnancy is tough…who would have thought?! πŸ˜‰ ) I am feeling relatively good! I am still working out at the gym 3x a week and the days I don’t go to the gym, I try and take a 2-3 mile walk. Basically my goal for each weekday is to hit at least 10,000 steps and 30 minutes of activity. I love having a FitBit so I can see exactly what my activity level is for each day! And then on the weekends I take it easy and am not as strict about my steps.

unnamed2So a few weeks ago I told Brett that I really wanted to do one more overnight away before the baby came. We started looking around the area for places to stay when we heard that his aunt and uncle, who had bought a house about 2.5 hours north of us, were bringing up a truck of furniture from Brett’s grandparent’s FL condo, which included a few mattresses that we wanted. Brett’s grandparents have owned a vacation condo in south FL for over 30 years. Last summer Brett’s grandpa sadly passed away and his grandma lives in a care facility with Alzheimer’s. A few years back they had bought all new mattress for their vacation home (including a new king and a few twin mattresses) and we told Brett’s mom that, when they sell the condo and start getting rid of the furniture, we would be happy to take those new, barely used mattresses, off their hands!

This was perfect timing because we had been thinking about switching Claire to a big girl bed before the baby came. We already had her bed frame (we had bought a matching frame when we bought Leah’s, knowing that they would be sharing a room) and we just needed a mattress. So, we decided, instead of a baby moon, we would take a mattress moon!! I found the CUTEST B&B (pictured above) about an hour and a half north of us so we drove up Friday, spent a lovely night exploring this quaint little town, eating a delicious Italian dinner, and staying at the most adorable bed and breakfast I have ever seen, before heading the rest of the way up to Brett’s aunt and uncle’s new house on Saturday to grab the mattresses.

unnamed3unnamed4unnamed5The girls were SO excited to take down Claire’s crib and replace it with her new big girl bed!

unnamed6unnamed7I would say there was a bit more getting out of bed on Claire’s part those first few nights (she loved climbing out of her bed and into Leah’s bed) but she is starting to get better and better about staying in her own bed, although I still find her in the strangest positions (and rarely on her pillow/under the covers) when I come and check on them at night before we go to bed.

unnamed8Last weekend we had Brett’s brother and his family briefly visit us for a quick 2 nights. They were coming back from a spring break on the coast and decided to swing through Asheville before flying back to New York. This was their first time visiting and the girls had a blast! Nothing excites the girls more than spending time with their cousins. One thing Brett and I LOVE about living in Asheville is that there is always so much we want to show people (not to mention places we want to eat at!) when they come to visit. Asheville is seriously amazing and it’s always hard to pick and choose what we should do when company visits. Hopefully we gave them a fun little taste of Asheville that will entice them to come back for a longer visit!

unnamed9unnamed10unnamed12unnamed11(And yes, my sister-in-law and I are both pregnant!) Her first is 7 weeks older than Claire and now her second daughter is due 9 weeks after our baby. So fun!)

unnamed12We had a fun and busy Easter! The girls were Easter egg-hunted out by the end of the weekend! We went to our church’s Easter egg hunt on the day before Easter and then on Easter day my parents took them to an Easter egg hunt at the Biltmore Estates and then we had a hunt in our yard after dinner. Lot’s of fun for these girls!

unnamed14unnamed15unnamed16unnamed18They were very excited to find that the Easter bunny had left their favorite candies in their Easter eggs; marshmallows, jelly beans, and Easter Bunny poo! (M&M’s). πŸ™‚

unnamed18Leah started swim lessons this week!! Although she is super confident in the pool with a floaty on, she hasn’t yet learned to swim independently so we felt like it was finally time to learn! She was so excited, yet so nervous, for her first class. When we got into the pool and it was loud and echoy and kids were crying, she totally panicked and wanted to leave, but with a little encouragement and a little ignoring (if she looked at me with panicked eyes I had to look away and not make direct eye contact so she couldn’t tell me she wanted to get out of the pool!) she relaxed and she ended up doing great! This girl really does love the water and I think it will be no time at all before she’s swimming around like a little fish.

So there you have it! Some Becker happenings over the last month. πŸ™‚

Some Florida fun before we go…

The clock is ticking and we are down to our last 2 weeks in South Florida!! We have been up to our eyeballs with stress these last few months; dealing with selling the house, coordinating a move, starting a new job…all amidst having a new baby and a toddler who, let’s be honest, demands attention like no other. But even though we have a lot on our plate right now, we wanted to make sure we tried to enjoy these last few weeks in Florida as much as possible. Since we moved here 4 years ago, we’ve been talking about taking a weekend trip over to the west coast of Florida to spend some time on Sanibel Island. It’s almost happened a few times…once for Brett’s birthday and once for our anniversary, but every time the idea crossed our mind, something else happened which made us put the trip off once more.

So, once our move was decided, I looked at how few weekends we had left and I was afraid that our dreamed about trip was never going to happen. But low and behold, Brett chose a weekend and off we set! I had been to Sanibel as a kid, but Brett had never been, so I was excited to see how much I could remember and spend one more relaxing Florida beach weekend on the gulf before the packing craziness began.

The awesome thing about Sanibel is that it’s kept its quaint island feel over the years. There are no major hotels and resorts on the island, just beach front inns, bed and breakfasts, and rental cottages. We stayed at Captiva Island Inn and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the island! We had a great, huge room, with a patio overlooking the pool and a full size family room and kitchen right outside the room, which was shared with 2 other rooms on the floor. (Which made me think how fun it would be for a few friends to reserve the whole floor and have all that great space to use together!) The inn was just steps from the beach and we spent the weekend hanging out at the pool and the beach and eating a great meal (and left over cake!) at The Bubble Room, which is a fun, crazy decorated restaurant that me and my sisters LOVED when we were kids.

It truly was the perfect weekend to bring our time in Florida to an end. As Brett and I relaxed on the beach we talked about how blessed we were to live in this gorgeous place for 4 years, but how excited we were to see what adventures come next. One thing is for sure though, Florida will always hold a very special place in both our hearts! Some pictures from our little getaway weekend….

^I have a picture of me and my sisters sitting right here when I was about 10 so I just had to get one of the girls as well!!

^This orange crunch cake (not actually orange flavored) is The Bubble Room’s famous cake. It is a moist, buttery, delicious cake with brown sugar and almond crunch between the layers and a light, amazing cream cheese frosting. I told Brett we had to order it and he was all “Eh…I’ll probably just eat a bite or two…” And then we ordered it and he inhaled half the slice. It’s just that good.

^The outside of our B&B. They also had a few cottages across the street.


^Next time we come, I’m totally renting this house! Cute, huge front porch, and about 10 steps from the beach….Perfect.

^The beach on the gulf is so much different than ours! The sand is full of crushed pieces of shells and is not that smooth, silky softness that we are used to on our side. The water is also so much calmer with barely any waves. Leah liked it MUCH better, since the waves still freak her out a little.

^On my Sunday early morning run, I just had to stop and take these pictures. Nothing makes a run more enjoyable than watching the sunrise and then running along side the beach for 3 miles….

^Got back from my run and this little girl with an endless pit of a stomach couldn’t even wait for me to rinse off so it was right off to breakfast for this sweaty mommy….

^This cracked me and Brett up, so I just HAD to take a picture. Since it is March, there were a LOT of college spring breakers and Leah particularly had her eye on this group of girls and guys who were playing with a soccer ball (Leah is obsessed with soccer balls-much to my soccer playing husband’s joy…) So she was watching the guys kick the ball back and forth and she kept turning to me and Brett and asking, “Can I go play with those guys!?” and we said “Sure!” thinking there was no way in heck our little 2 year old girl would have the guts to approach the college kids and ask to play. Low and behold, this girl started inching up to the group slowly but surely, until she was standing right next to them. Then, as soon as they turned their backs for a second, she snatched up their ball. One of the girls turned and noticed her and started playing a little game of kick the soccer ball back and forth, until she realized that playing with a 2 year old was not as fun as flirting with boys, and she left our daughter broken hearted and returned to her group. And then we had to convince Leah that she really DID have to give the boys their soccer ball back….But Brett and I got a good laugh at how brazen this little girl of ours is! She goes after what she wants!!

And, with that, we loaded our sandy bodies back in the car and drove the 2.5 hours back home. Perfect weekend for a farewell to Florida trip!

 

Cousin love

Back at the beginning of the month my sister and her family came to visit for a week and we had so much fun. Even now, weeks after they left, Leah is still asking “Hey, can we go to the pool (or beach, or playground..) withΒ  Millie!?” And when I tell her (yet again) “Honey, Millie went back to her house!” She gets sad all over again and grumpily responds, “But I don’t WANT Millie to go bye-bye!!” Me neither kid. Me neither. We fit a lot into their 5 day stay and we had a blast. Since they were escaping the cold, snowy, Vermont weather, we made sure to fit in plenty of beach and pool trips and just spent a lot of time outside in the sunshine. It’s crazy to think that last March when they were here, Millie was Claire’s age and Claire was just a thought and a hope and now, one year later, we had 2 toddlers and 1 little babe playing on the beach. πŸ™‚ Leah absolutely LOVED playing with her cousin Millie and it made me excited (yet again) for when Claire is old enough to play because I just know they are going to be the sweetest little friends!! Some pictures from our visit with cousin Millie and family…

^There was lots of cute hand holding between Leah and Millie (although some of it may have been just a bit forced on Leah’s end…) and it melted my heart!

 


We had so much fun with Aunt Lauren, Uncle Evan, and cousin Millie!! One of the most exciting aspects of our move north is that, because we will live right by my parents, we will get to see all my siblings and the cousins every time they come into town to visit grandma and grandpa. See that guys, we are saving you money so you don’t have to make two separate trips to see us and the grandparents, so now you can do even MORE trips to see us both!! Although I think they may be a bit bummed to lose their Florida spring break trip every year….
One thing’s for sure, we sure can’t wait to see them all again soon!!

Leah bakes

So, for the month of December, my mother-in-law had the cutest idea of sending us an Advent calendar for Leah. Each day contained a different small gift and/or activity which was awesome, not only to get her excited for Christmas, but also to make her feel special since she was dealing with this brand new baby in the house. One of the gifts at the end of the month was a box of funfetti cake mix and frosting so she could bake a cake with mommy. But, you know, with a new baby and all, we ended up ooing and ahhing over the cake mix before promptly sticking it in the cabinet for “later.” And then a month went by. Whoops. So yesterday I decided to pull it out and let Leah go crazy with some cupcake making. Now, I tend to be somewhat of a neurotic baker. I like homemade desserts, I like cleanliness and I like when my desserts look pretty. I knew Leah’s cupcakes would be none of these things. But, I also knew that little miss independent would have a total blast if I just let her at it alone, so I tucked away my type A personality and I let her take charge. She measured, she dumped, she stirred, she even cracked the eggs (which, did end up giving the cupcakes some extra “crunch” with some fallen in eggshells. C’est la vie). She poured the cupcakes into the tray, resulting in some cupcakes being overflowing mondo cupcakes, and some being 1/3 filled mini cupcakes. Obviously the girl had a plan. Then, once they were baked and cooled, she frosted each and every one, some with just a small dollop of frosting, while others had a large mountainous clump. And of course, every last cupcake got a healthy dose of sprinkles. Half of the container of frosting ended up in her own mouth, which made my teeth hurt just watching her. But, every time she took a nice, big lick, she would give me this sweet, shy smile like she truly couldn’t believe she was getting away with this, and that alone made me keep my mouth shut. And once those cupcakes were all done, we poured a glass of milk, picked the best cupcake, set it on her table…..where she promptly gave it one lick, drank her milk, and said she was done. Alrighty then! And now for some pictures, because this little baker really is just too cute.

^^Lucy is all ready for any frosting droppings….

This sweet girl makes everything so fun and I have been so proud of her since her little sister has gotten here. She is seriously such an amazing big sister and I was happy to be able to do something (as small as this was) to make her feel special. We love you so much, our Leah Grace!

Life lately (according to my Iphone…)

Brett went out of town for a few days and Leah and I enjoyed some mommy and me time. We went on fro-yo dates and I made her sleep with me every night because I’m a baby and I was too scared to sleep alone.

Leah has developed a new “cheeeseee!” face and pictures will never be the same again. I am loving her little smile and poses in every picture we take these days.

Big news for South Florida-we finally got a Trader Joes!!!! Well, technically we’ve had one for awhile now, but it was all the way down in South Miami and as much as I love TJ’s, I couldn’t justify driving 45 minutes to grocery shop. Now, however, we have one only 15 minutes away and we take full advantage of the closeness!! Leah is obsessed with pushing the kid size grocery cart around and mommy is obsessed with the dark chocolate peanut butter cups…and cookie butter….and cowboy bark….and maple cookies. It’s like every pregnant woman’s dream in there.

The cat lady has enjoyed visits with the neighborhood cat. This cat (blacky? Shadow? I can never remember) isn’t exactly owned by anyone, but one of our neighbors lets it sleep in their garage and our other neighbor feeds him (her?) treats, so the cat basically belongs to the street. She has taking a strong liking to Leah and will follow us up and down the street when we go for evening strolls, rubbing up against Leah’s legs until she bends down and pets her. And our little animal lover here is obsessed with her and is so sad anytime we go out and the kitty is no where to be found (which isn’t often). And I just love how Leah has the sweetest little heart for any and all animals!

My child life co-workers threw me and the other pregger child lifers (Katie and Shannon) the CUTEST “Three Peas in a Pod” baby shower at work!! It was so incredibly sweet and all the food was delicious!! I had to leave in the middle to run and pick up Leah, but she came back in time to help me open gifts and snack on cake pops, so she wasn’t complaining!

Fall is coming to Florida!!! (maybe?) The last few days have brought “chilly” mornings and highs of only low 80’s which has made being outside and going on long walks MUCH more enjoyable!! The other day I decided to walk the 3 round trip miles to the grocery store with Leah to get a few necessities and I quickly learned that 83 degrees is still VERY hot for an 8 month pregnant lady pushing a stroller full of groceries, but I just can’t help it. The cool breeze is giving me hope that this hot, hot season is over!!

Lately Leah’s art projects look a lot like this. Who am I to question her artistic genius, even when it spreads itself all over the kitchen floor!? On that day she told me that she was drawing “pumpkins.”

Some of my very best friends took me out to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate baby girl’s soon-to-be arrival!! We had a blast and they spoiled me with an amazing dinner, flowers, and baby gift. I’m so thankful to have these girls in my life!

My friend Katie, however, missed that dinner because she was busy in the hospital GIVING BIRTH to her beautiful baby boy, Colby!!! He was born last Thursday around 2 pm and I am in love with the little squish. I spent much of my morning on Friday up on the mother and baby unit holding that little guy (I mean, working hard for any co-workers who might read this!! haha) and then I just had to go back on Saturday as well before they were discharged. Colby is seriously the cutest little chub muffin in the world (8 lbs 10 oz at birth!!) and yet, still so teeny and I just soaked in his sweetness. I held him over my baby bump and told him that he would be meeting his girlfriend soon!!

 

A trip to the zoo

As we get closer and closer to baby’s due date, Brett and I have been talking about things we should do with Leah to celebrate her last few weeks as an only child. One thing we definitely wanted to do with her was take her to the Miami Zoo, which is one of the largest zoos in the country! Although it’s only 45 minutes away, we have never been there and we figured that Leah was now at the age where she would love seeing all the animals so last weekend, once the weather finally started to “cool down” (at least by Miami standards!) we set off in the morning to explore the zoo. Our plan was to get there right around opening time to beat both the crowds and the hot weather and it worked out perfectly! We were there until about 1:30 pm, leaving right when it was just starting to get hot and crowded.

Leah had an absolute blast the entire time. She would run over to look at an animal, yell hello to whatever it was “hello zebra! hello!” before running down the path yelling, “what else are we gonna see?!” We brought the umbrella stroller because the zoo is over 3 miles around and I didn’t think she would ever be able to make it around, walking the whole way. Well, this child of ours never slowed down. A couple of times I would ask her “Leah, do you want to take a rest and ride a bit?” and she would always answer, “no mommy, I walk!” And walk (and run!) she did. We continued walking around the entire zoo and Leah quickly made her favorites known (the gorillas, or as she called them, the monkeys, were her hands down favorite). Finally, after 3 hours and 2 1/2 miles, this 8 month pregnant woman was ready to be done. So we stuck Leah in the stroller to get through the last 1/2 mile a little faster, which was NOT a popular decision with the walking queen. I was so shocked (and proud!) that she was being such a good walker, but it was getting hot and I was hungry and we just needed to get back to the car already. πŸ˜›

On the way home we stopped at Trader Joes to stock up on some of our favorite items (which, side note, never go into TJ’s when you are hungry and 8 months pregnant. You will end up buying everything in sight, to the alarm and dismay of your husband…) and this picture cracks me up:

Leah INSISTED on carrying the animal crackers and the chocolate peanut butter cups. Obviously she knows what’s important and she wasn’t about to let those tasty treats out of her sight!

Overall, we had a blast at the Miami Zoo and I am so glad that we were able to take Leah before her baby sister arrives. As excited as I am for the new baby, I am trying to soak up these last few weeks with Leah as an only child. She is such a good girl, and my very best little buddy, and I want to enjoy all these precious remaining moments with just her before it’s too late!

A baby shower

I hosted the cutest little baby shower for one of my best friends and her sweet baby boy-to-be! It’s a little insane right now-with three babies due back-to-back-to-back, but I’m so glad we got to pause everything and throw Katie a shower for her little Colby, because she sure does deserve it! We had a blast decorating bibs, playing a few games (Anyone ever done The Price is Right, Baby Edition? I think it’s one of my favorites!) and eating wayyy too much delicious food. Leah was hilarious the whole time, thinking she was just one of the girls, as she sat there and quietly decorated her bib and then watched Katie open all of her gifts. I love that sweet little girl of mine! Now we are just counting down the weeks until November 3rd! Can’t wait to snuggle that sweet little boy of hers!