Being Brickner

Friday, June 15, 2018

Strawberry Picking 2018

Aaaah, strawberry picking, forever one of my favorite activities!  I remember back when Joe & I were first engaged, driving out one day to the farm to pick, just the two of us!  Crazy to think that next year we will bring all three of our girls, who will be six, three, and about nine months.  Cannot believe it!

This time around my mom & brother came with me, strawberry season came right in them middle of the biggest renovations on our house so my husband was of course spending all of his extra time there, getting it ready for us as fast as he could.  Waverly loved it as much as every other year, she always takes it pretty seriously and works really hard to get as many as she can.  Avalon does not like strawberries, or really any foods that are not dessert at the moment, so she really could have cared less about the whole thing until we got bowls of ice cream at the end. 


Today is the last day of school and we are all so, so excited!!!  Bring on the summer adventures, hope yours is off to the best start! XO

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Waverly Maye's Dance Recital

It is officially the LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL and we are sooooo excited to officially kick off summer in just a few short days.  This time of year is always pretty chaotic, I looked in my planner yesterday to find approximately 1496 things we have going on this week, but felt a whole lot less stressed when I turned to next week and it was mostly blank.  I don't think I have ever been more ready for some slow, non-scheduled summer days than I am right now!

Waverly had her third dance recital over the weekend, it was seriously the cutest thing ever and I wanted to take a minute to document how sweet it was because we really are so incredibly proud of her.  We started Waverly in dance when she was two & a half, I was actually in the hospital after having Avalon on the day of her first rehearsal three years ago, and it's crazy how far she has come since then!  She has now moved up to the 6-8 class and does an hour & a half of tap, ballet, & jazz each week -- I was nervous that after a full day of school she would be too exhausted for all that, but she loves it and it's one of her favorite days of the week!  She was crazy excited for her recital this year, she kept counting down to her "big day" and must have practiced each of her dances 100 times.  Watching her on stage was the best, she was so into it and you could just tell how happy it made her, which of course made me so happy.  And emotional, I feel like I blinked and she went from being one of the babies in the show to one of the big girls, hanging out in the back between dances looking at her yearbook.

She told me yesterday, the day after her recital, "mama, I just wish I could stay on stage and dance forever and ever".


Also worth noting, for the memory book, Avalon has zero interest in joining dance.  When I asked her for the tenth time last week, she responded with the longest, most drawn-out story ever -- "mom, if I did dance I would have to twirl, and then I would fall, and then I would get boo boo's.  And mom, I don't want anymore boo boo's.  So that's why I don't want to do dance."  Not sure how I argue with that.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Avalon Elle is Three!

Our Avalon girl turned an entire THREE years old yesterday, I am not sure where the time has gone but goodness I am loving this age with her!  She was so adorable about her birthday, we had been working on holding up three fingers for a couple weeks now and she keeps asking "now that I'm free, I can do the monkey bars, right?!".  The girls will be having another joint birthday party this year at the beginning of July, so we celebrated with a laid-back birthday brunch at one of our favorite restaurants over the weekend and then yesterday with an afternoon at the pool.  Simple and sweet, just like her!


Some things I always want to always remember about Avalon Elle from this age.

She has the biggest heart and is just THE sweetest.  She never lets anyone leave without a hug, and if she knows someone is upset, will get to close to them to sure they know that she is there.  She especially does this with Waverly, she will go give her hugs and say "it's ok, sissy".  She already loves her baby sister and gives my belly multiple kisses every day, I cannot wait to watch her become a big sister soon.

She talks a mile a minute, once she is comfortable where she is, and has a northern accent that is so random but is seriously the cutest thing in the world.  She tells the most detailed & long, drawn-out stories and also finds a way to convince you to let her do most of anything, she's so dang cute when she asks that it's nearly impossible to say no.

Of all the places we go, she probably likes being home the best.  She will play in her playroom for hours, mostly with trucks and balls and anything Peppa Pig.  The first thing she asks when I pick her up in the afternoon is when we are going home, she gets so excited to put on her favorite pajamas and just lounge around with her family.

She looks up to Waverly so much, is always thinking of her and wants to do everything just like her.  The other night the girls were supposed to be sleeping in their joint room, we could hear Avalon talking so we went in there and she was sitting on Waverly's bed, right next to her under the blankets, reading her a book while Waverly was sleeping soundly.  Sweetest thing everrrrr, and so true to her little personality.

She is so silly and loves to make others laugh.  If she knows that we think whatever she is doing is funny, she will do it forever.  At the same time, she is super shy at first and very careful about what she chooses to do, but always remembers everything about anywhere we are at, and tells us all about it later.

I still remember the day she was born three years ago so well, after another crazy long induction and labor, she came out with the face of a little angel, looking just like her daddy and with the sweetest demeanor.  So much has changed, but so much of that is still the very same.  Happiest birthday, Avalon Elle, we love you to the moon and are forever thankful you are ours!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Summer Bucket List

Yesterday marked exactly two more weeks until all three of us girls are done with school for the SUMMERRRR!!  Gosh this is the most wonderful feeling every year, this time around is probably the best yet since most likely (unless she is really late), the next time any of us are back in school baby sister will officially be here with us!  Also my break will be super long, with summer plus maternity leave added on, I am going back to teaching next year but will take off until around Thanksgiving.  My due date fell within a few days of school starting, which obviously worked out nicely to get a long break, everyone asks if we planned it that way but she is our surprise baby & the timing was just complete luck!

With tons of house renovations still going on and a baby arriving in three months, I am going into this summer with plans to not make that many plans.  The girls are honestly just so excited to be in our new house and I know it's still going to take a while to get settled, so I am prepared to spend lots of days at home and that is exactly where I want to be. We have let some of our memberships go for this summer, spending multiple days in the heat at the zoo or aquarium or water park just really doesn't seem realistic for us right now - BUT our new house has a pool within walking distance so we just got a family membership there last week, which I am sooooo excited about!  It has a kids area and snack bar and does all sorts of socials throughout the summer, it's basically perfect for an incredibly pregnant mama and her two kids to post up at every day to take a break between nesting.  The only person who might be more excited about it than me is Waverly, she has been talking about it nonstop since we first went and when we asked her what she wanted to add to the summer bucket list this year, going to the pool was literally the only thing she wanted to do.

For all the reasons above, our list is super short this year but we couldn't go without one completely, can't wait to make these memories as a family before adding another little lady to the mix!

1.  Fishing with daddy.
2.  Our second annual lemonade stand (in our new neighborhood this time!).
3.  Camping in the backyard.
4.  Painting on canvases outside.
5.  Peach picking.
6.  Babymoon for the two adults only (most likely waaay laid-back, not too far away!).

Avalon really wanted to add "snow" to our list, and I really wanted to add about 5398 house projects, but we thought we would stop at six.


Happy June friends, and happy summer ahead! XO

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Second Trimester: Baby Three

Sharing some about this baby girl bump today, two more weeks until the third trimester officially hits!  That sweet middle spot of the second trimester is always my favorite, right before you are huge & uncomfortable (and peeing literally every thirty minutes throughout the night), but getting here also means we are closer to meeting her which still feels so, so surreal!

Dress
We had our fourth ultrasound of this pregnancy a couple weeks ago, this one was a follow-up to the anatomy scan since she covered her face the entire time and we also couldn't get a good look at her heart.  This time I was determined to get her moving and ate a pack of pink starburst the hour before, which worked, we were able to see everything (she measured perfectly!) and also her sweet face!  She looks so much like Avalon, at least from the images we got, and was just precious with her little hands on the top of her forehead.  She is measuring a little small, in the 25% percentile, both of the other girls did as well and I'm completely good with that since I am two for two on being very overdue and induced, and am really hoping to go into labor on my own this time.  I know there will be less chance they will want to induce me if she isn't measuring big, and am also 100% prepared to hold out for as long as I can (and that is safe for the baby), no matter how ready I am to meet her by the end! 

She still has no name, we have a few that we like but none that we have completely agreed on quite yet.  We didn't officially decide on Waverly's name until we met her, and knew Avalon's name the minute we found out she was a girl but waited until she was born to tell anyone.  This time around we also plan to keep it a surprise, even from the girls (who would tell everyone!).  I really love having one surprise since I'm too much of a planner to do the gender that way, and we also honestly don't want to hear anyone's opinions or thoughts on the name and know they won't do that once she's here. ;)  We haven't started her nursery yet, but plan to in the next few weeks, we have the prettiest wallpaper ready for the wall where her crib will be and I cannot wait to start putting it up!  The two big girls will be sharing a room and then hers will be the room closest to theirs, even though it's not even close to being started yet I love walking by it and seeing her sweet tiny baby things ready to be organized.

I am currently 26 weeks and have gotten the "any day now?!" comment twice in the past week.  Umm, actually no, 14 more weeks to go.  I really love my belly, bringing her everywhere with me and feeling her move all the time is just the absolute best and being pregnant will forever be one on the greatest joys of my life.  I mentioned in my last post though, this pregnancy has been hard on my body.  I struggle with how much to share without sounding like a complainer or ungrateful, but I also want to keep it real.  Pretty much every side effect that I could have, but didn't in either pregnancy before, I have had this time, including most recently some major sciatic pain that has been debilitating at times.  It got really bad about a week ago, so much so that my husband literally had to lift me out of bed & up the stairs because I could not do it on my own.  Since then I have been seeing a chiropractor and wearing back support while at home, which has helped so much, I am already feeling way better!  Ultimately I am just super thankful that she is healthy & growing perfectly in there, I would obviously pick me to have the issues instead of her ten times over.

Bag C/O Sage & Harper (Perfect for Packing Light for the Babes!)
Our next big milestone will be the start of the third trimester, looking forward to sharing more as we spend our last few months before we are officially a family of FIVE!  XO

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Baby Three Things

I was at my monthly check-up for baby girl last week and realized we only have one more appointment before I come every other week until the end, and oh my goodness, we are having another baby!!  We still have so much to do before she comes, but now that we have moved into our house she officially has a room and I have also been able to finally pull out some of the things we have been collecting for her which is always so much fun!  Tiny baby things have my heart forever & ever.


She is due September first, and if she's anything like her big sisters will come sometime (most likely a long time) after that, so I am loving shades of mustard & greens for her during that time of year.  Soft, lightweight muslins are such a must-have for us, we use them for everything, bonus points if they are extra pretty and can be used for decor as well!  I've rounded up all the other items pictured below, these will all be new to us this time around and I am so excited to use them for our littlest sister.

Dock-A-Tot -- We started using this for Avalon when she was about a year & a half (we used the Grand, found here, and you can read about our experience here).  When I started thinking about things we would want for baby three, the smaller version of the one we had before was one of the first things I put on the list, this products is just so good.  It really does have a huge impact on sleep, which is obviously life-changing!  We also used this on a few different trips and when the girls would stay overnight with the grandparents, which was so helpful as well.  It's really worth the money, I cannot say enough good things about it and it will forever be one of my first recommendations for anyone expecting!

Ollie Swaddle -- This will be our first time using this swaddle and I am so, so excited about it!  I remember having about 1567 different kind of swaddles (and sleep suits and everything else) when Waverly was a newborn and honestly didn't really love any of them, most likely because I couldn't figure most of them out.  The reviews on this are amazing and I also love that it's designed to transition the baby when she is ready to have her hands out and starting to learn to self-soothe.  I chose the prettiest shade of grey, it's super neutral and so soft.

Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock -- I have been eyeing this forever, it's completely one of those products that I wish I would have thought of myself, best idea ever!  I already have a hard time fitting groceries into the cart with two kids, I don't know how I ever would have done it with three.  The idea behind the hammock is that it easily clips into most carts, and then hangs elevated so that you can fit your groceries underneath.  There are a ton of prints & colors to choose from, we got a floral pattern and I can't wait to put her in it!

Lorena Canal Basket -- We have worked with Lorena Canal before on a rug for Avalon's nursery and this time around, got the prettiest basket for baby girl's room!  I love all of their items so much, everything is so versatile and well-thought out to use in a space for kids.  I chose the rose & natural basket, which honestly could be used in any room in the house, I plan to put some of her blankets, books & little dollies in it (if her big sissies don't try to take it first!).

Hope this was helpful to anyone else expecting, cannot wait to share more about our plans to prep for our littlest lady soon!  Just THREE months to go!  XO

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mother's Day & Move-in Weekend

Over the weekend, we celebrated Mother's Day and we finally MOVED INTO OUR HOUSE!  I really cannot even put into words how much of a relief it was to finally get to call it home, or even better, to have all four of us under the same roof again.  We had closed on our first house at the beginning of April, and since then, had been living between both our parents houses, while my husband spent most of his time in between working his full-time job doing work on the renovation.  

It was hard.  Since they don't have kids there anymore, both my parents & in-laws have downsized quite a bit and just didn't have room for both girls.  We lived out of tote boxes and I would keep one girl with me each night and pack for the other, who would go stay with my husband at his parents.  I hated that so much, the girls missed each other and us, we missed them and each other, and I have never craved routine and normalcy so much in my life.  BUT we made it through, and are forever thankful for our parents putting their life on hold for five weeks to help us and to embrace all the craziness we bring.  I've said it so many times, it takes a village and we literally wouldn't have made it out of this one without ours.

We still have a ton of work to do, we definitely aren't out of the woods yet but everyday it feels like we are a little bit closer to what we had envisioned for our family at this house.  The floors have been refinished and walls are put back in, as well as electrical work complete, so it's livable enough that we can stay there while everything else is getting done.  Doing all of this with two kids, pregnant, is no joke, and there have been times that I seriously questioned what the hell we were thinking, but overall I know this is exactly this is exactly what we are supposed to be doing right now and exactly where we are supposed to be.  We took a walk on our street the other night, as a family, looking around at the beautiful area our girls get to grow up in and the only thing I could feel was so, so thankful.

A few pictures of the girls over Mother's Day weekend, we were moving (or at Lowe's) during most of it but stopped to attend a fun event in Richmond and also for brunch at one of the places right down the street from our new house!  Three things I always want to remember from this Mother's Day:  (1) waking up in our new bedroom for the first time ever, next to my husband for the first time in five weeks, with my big belly, (2) the girls running down the hall from their brand new shared room, they had slept on mattresses on the floor but made it through the night without escaping, something I was worried about, and (3) Waverly's pure excitement and joy to read me all the cards and gifts she had gotten me, including an old red striped pen she had found and wrapped from my mother-in-law's house and was so proud of.

Girls Outfits
Hope your Mother's Day was absolutely wonderful, and wishing you the happiest weekend ahead!
XO