Being Brickner : December 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our Christmas Eve & Day

Just like every other year, I can't believe that Christmas has come & gone so quickly.  While part of me is looking forward to things slowing down for a little while, most of me is as sad as Waverly, who walked down the stairs yesterday to find no tree & said, "where is Christmas?" in the saddest voice.  Sweet girl, she loves holidays as much as her mama. :)

Christmas Eve is always busy for us, we went to my grandparents early for dinner, to my in-laws afterwards for an open house, & then back to my house with my family to open presents from each other.  It's crazy, but so much fun, Waverly loves seeing everyone & this year, LOVED opening her presents more than ever before.  She would squeal with every gift she opened (no matter what it was, sometimes even before she saw it), I wish I could just bottle that up & save it forever.

We had been reminding Waverly all day (& for weeks) that Santa was coming, which I think just ultimately scared the hell out of her.  It's no secret that she isn't his biggest fan yet, so as we walked down the stairs Christmas morning she held on to me so tight I was convinced she thought he was sitting in our living room waiting for her.  Yet as soon as she saw what he brought her, she was super excited.  She adores everything we got her, especially her tee-pee just like I thought she would.  Yet no doubt, the biggest hit was definitely the chapstick (from the dollar bin) we put in her stocking, it hasn't left her sight in a week.  Figures. ;)

We rounded out our holiday by hosting Christmas dinner at our house, which is my absolute favorite. Both sides of our family are so big that we rarely can be with everyone at the same time, but this is the second year in a row that we have been able to host everyone.  Other than the fact that we were passing around sicknesses, it was perfect. The food was delicious, the weather was randomly warm, & most importantly, Waverly had so many of her favorite people there.  It really was such a special day, so magical & so memorable, we truly are beyond fortunate.

I hope you all had the most amazing Christmas of your own, & of course, HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Cheers, drink one (or a couple) for me. ;)

Monday, December 29, 2014

18 Weeks

Size of Baby Brickner:  A mango!!

Maternity Clothes:  I feel like the bump has BUMP-ed this week, I don't know where little miss came from but she is getting big! I have completely embraced it with more form-fitting clothes, I am loving non-maternity maxi dresses with fun jackets or scarves (this one is from H&M).  I also got a couple more leggings & maternity tanks from Target for Christmas, & want to live in them!

Best Moment This Week:  Christmas, it was so much fun watching Waverly understand more this year! She may even like Santa a little more now after she saw how good he was to her, hoping that means she will actually be willing to sit on his lap with little sister next year! ;)  I can't wait to share pictures soon!

Miss Anything:  First, I have to say that I still love being pregnant & feel lucky beyond measure to have this baby girl growing in my belly!!  Yet also, I have to keep it real, this pregnancy has definitely been way harder than the first. The cold I got a couple weeks ago felt like it got better & then got worse again, it made for some really exhausting, plus congested, days.  I hate that I don't feel like always feel like myself with Waverly right now, it's pretty much the worst mom guilt ever.  Yet then, I remember how much I am giving her, right around the same time I feel the little lady move in my belly.  So of course, it is MORE than worth it - but for the record, I will appreciate a z-pack much more after June.

Movement:  I got paranoid because I hadn't felt her much recently, & then the last two days have felt her more than ever!  Hands down, best part of pregnancy! 

Cravings: I finally feel like I can handle some sweets again, which makes me so very happy!!  Waverly & I have been celebrating with fudgesicles. :)

Queasy or Sick:  Other than the cold, most of the nausea is still gone!  I did have some heartburn this week, which I don't remember ever having with Waverly.  

Looking Forward To:  Now that Christmas is behind us, I am suddenly getting really excited to start cleaning & purging to get ready for another little person in our house!  I am also really excited for a low key New Year's & another week off at home with Waverly Maye. :)

I hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas Eve & Day, happy week ahead!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Our Holiday Photos

In honor of Christmas week, I am super excited to finally share some favorites from our 2014 holiday photos!!  We had these pictures done taken back in October, which now feels like forever ago, we (I) have grown so much since then & we have officially found out who the newest member to our family will be!! :)  Looking at them makes me so incredibly happy, they capture Waverly Maye's vibrant personality so well & even though our littlest lady is still in my belly, I love that they are our first family photos as a family of four.

All of these images were captured by the amazing & talented Brooke Tucker, who I really can't say enough about!!  This was the first time we worked with her, the minute I met her I knew she was the perfect fit for us & as someone who truly appreciates good photography, that made me so happy.  She is a mom (of a two-year old!) herself and it showed, she was so patient & great with Waverly, who fell in love with her just like we did.  We can't thank you enough Brooke, we have already filled our walls with these & can't wait to work with you more in the future! :)

It was so hard narrowing down the many pictures she sent over for this post, & even harder to pick just one for the cover of our Christmas card.  I chose to use Tiny Prints again, we adore the quality of their cards & their amazing customer service, they never disappoint!!

On a final note, before I sign off for Christmas Eve & Day, I want to wish you all the HAPPIEST of holidays with your loved ones.  You all constantly inspire me, support me, & make me a better mama, for that I am forever thankful!  Enjoy your time celebrating, you deserve it!  XO

Waverly's Headband - Sadie Sky Boutique
Waverly's Dress - Zara, Past Season
My Dress - Free People, Past Season
My Shoes - DSW

Monday, December 22, 2014

17 Weeks

H&M Shirt, Non-Maternity

Size of Baby Brickner:  An Onion!

Maternity Clothes:  I've been in maternity pants for what feels like forever now, mostly H&M brand which I have found to fit the best for the most affordable price!  I am really, really looking forward to Christmas (for lots of reasons), but I think Santa might be bringing me these JBrand jeans. They are definitely a splurge for maternity, but I think a necessity since we have a few more months of winter ahead.  Is it maxi dress season yet?!

Also, I feel I should point out why I very purposefully left off the weight gain category on these weekly bump-dates.  As much as that would be great to look back on for any future pregnancies, to put it bluntly, I honestly I have decided not to care.  Like at all.  I eat really healthy when not pregnant, but with both pregnancies, haven't even found that an option.  Most of my normal go-to foods are total aversions now, & I happen to be starving all day, everyday, just like round one.  I gained about 40 pounds with Waverly, but between breastfeeding & being consumed with a newborn, lost most of it within a few months.  So I've decided not to stress it, I mean, would that be good for the baby?!!!! ;)

Best Moment This Week:  Sharing the baby GIRL news!!  Most of our family was convinced that this babe was a boy, so it was so much fun to surprise everyone with the fact that Waverly was getting a sweet little sister!  We had dinner with each side of the family & let them each open an ornament, they were an odd number of blue or pink so they had to wait to see which one there was more of!  So much fun!

We also got our blood test back, which obviously confirmed the girl news, but also showed that our girl passed her other tests (down syndrome, cystic fibrosis)!  SUCH a good feeling. :)

Miss Anything:  Sleeping on my back.  You really don't realize what a luxury that is until you can't do it anymore.

Movement:  Pretty much the same!  So excited for my husband & Waverly to be able to really feel soon!

Cravings:  Cereal & potatoes, which is exactly what my major cravings were with Waverly.

Queasy or Sick:  We are still feeling the last of the sickness, Waverly & I passed it on to my husband so it feels like it has been with us forever.  Hoping it's all behind us so we can enjoy the holiday!

Looking Forward To:  CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!  I can't believe this week is actually here, it definitely came out of nowhere this year but we are so excited! We had our first round of celebrations this weekend with family, Waverly loved it so much & it was so much fun watching her really understand more now.  I cannot wait to see her face Christmas morning! :)

Hope you all had the best weekend full of hustle, bustle, & holiday happiness!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Fun

First, thank you for all of the sweet comments, emails & text messages on our baby GIRL news!  I'm still in shock that we are actually going to have two little ladies to call our own, but am beyond thrilled!  As usual, your sweet support makes this exciting time that much more special, so thank you.

In other news, is Christmas really only a week away?!  Other than a mommy & daughter sickness that finally looks like is behind us (fingers crossed!), holiday fun is going non-stop our way!  Our advent calender has been the best, it's such a great way to make sure you fit everything in during this busy time of year!!  Some of Waverly's favorite activities so far have been painting Christmas pictures for the grandparents, going to see holiday lights, & her biggest highlight, the Christmas tree farm!!  Running endlessly through a random field of trees was totally her thing, such great toddler entertainment!!

We also got to play Secret Santa with some of our favorite blog friends, the cutest package from sweet Lex came in the mail last week & we couldn't have been more excited!!  Not only are Waverly & Lex both little fashion-lovers, but they are both going to be big sisters to little sisters in the next few months!  A match made in blog-heaven! :)
Waverly got the best gift, the CUTEST, most festive tutu & matching nail polish!!  She wore her new tutu to her kids holiday party, we love it & will definitely be wearing it all week long, then passing it down to little sister when she is old enough!!  The biggest thank you to Erin, Lex, & Kenz! :)  We were so excited to send a gift over to Noah, you can see what we got him here!!  Meghan & Noah, we hope you liked your gifts!

The next week is definitely going to be packed, but we are so excited!!  Tomorrow is my last day of school (of 2014!), then on the weekend agenda we have a few holiday parties to attend & a date night to get last-minute gifts with the hubs!  Tis' the season, have a MERRY weekend!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's A ...


It's official, Waverly Maye is getting a baby SISTER & we are over the moon excited!  Based on the heartbeat at my last routine appointment, my doctor predicted it was a girl & then later last week, the ultrasound confirmed the news.  Even still, I am in (the best kind of) shock.  From day one I was convinced this babe was a boy, which makes me the worst "gender predictor" ever, since I also thought Waverly was, too.  We would have been more than thrilled either way, but the reality that this little person in my belly is a girl just makes my heart SO very full.

I am looking forward to so many things about having two little ladies, but more than anything, am beyond excited that Waverly gets to experience how special having a sister is.  My own sister & I are so close, it's really the best relationship.  Nothing makes me happier than the fact that my girls will have each other for life!!!!

Waverly is so excited, she got to see little sister on the big screen during the ultrasound & then on the way home, kept saying "my SISTER!" while smiling as big as I have ever seen her.  As for my husband, who is as manly & "all guy" as they come, he is thrilled!  He has rocked it as a girl dad to Waverly Maye for the past two years & I know nothing will change when it comes to our next daughter.  Plus, he was quick to point out how much money we will be saving since we do have some girl clothes I am sure big sister will be willing to pass down. ;)

Let the fun begin, can't wait to share some nursery (& matching!) ideas soon!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

16 Weeks

Size of Baby Brickner:  An avocado, which is fitting, since that is definitely one of my cravings these days!!

Maternity Clothes:  A few of my dresses from Asos that I purchased over Cyber Monday came in this week, I love them & can't wait to wear them for a few holiday events we have coming up!  I definitely recommend their maternity section, the pieces are accommodating to a growing bump while still being fashionable, which I definitely feel is hard to do. The dress above is from Target, another of my favorites for maternity clothes.  It's a little big but I bought big so hopefully it will last, I looked at picture of my last couple months with Waverly the other day, I can't believe I actually think this belly is big now!!

Best Moment This Week:  Our gender ultrasound!!!!!!!  After having a big gender reveal party with Waverly Maye, my husband & I decided to go a completely different route this time & find out completely on our own, with only us two plus big sister (of course!) in the room.  It really was the best, most special moment, & no doubt one I will remember forever.  We shared with our families over the weekend & are SO excited to share with everyone else, but we decided to wait until my blood work comes back to confirm.  It should be here any moment, so stay tuned ... :)

Miss Anything:  Medicine!  I've been sick for a few days now, it has pretty much put me down & taken all my energy away. Hoping to feel better very soon, sick while pregnant is no joke!

Movement:  About the same, the ultrasound technician said my placenta was anterior (I think?), it is the one where you feel movement more & more quickly.  And I love that. :)

Cravings:  Still the same, all salt & hungry all the time!  Getting excited for Christmas events with lots of good food soon!

Queasy or Sick:  Up until getting sick, I really have been feeling so much better!!  So thankful that most of the nausea is behind me, fingers crossed!

Looking Forward To:  Other than sharing what this babe is, I am so excited for Christmas break with my girl! Today we kick off the last week of school, then it's two weeks off!!!  Because of the way the days fell this year, we have extra-long & I am not complaining at all!

Hope you guys had the best weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Sneak Peek & A Giveaway

With all the craziness (plus excitement!) of this fall, I set myself a goal to have our Christmas cards done & mailed out by December 1st.  So they are out, & finally, I am so excited to share a sneak peek of our fall pictures!!  It feels like we had these done forever ago (& with way less of a belly!), but we really are so in love with them!  We worked with a new photographer & she was the absolute perfect fit for our family.  Brooke, we are so thankful for these & can't wait to share more soon!!! :)

Image By:  Brooke Tucker Photography
Waverly's Headband:  Sadie Sky Boutique
Also in exciting news, I have teamed up with the adorable (plus also pregnant) mamas, Jess & Erin, to bring you a fun little giveaway! We come from total opposite ends of the country - from Maine to Virginia Beach to sunny California - so winter has a different meaning to all of us, but one thing we have in common is that we love to be cozy! We decided to do a little giveaway of our favorite products that keep us warm when it's cold outside (even if Erin gets to wear shorts at Christmas)!

We are so excited to be giving one lucky lady a Starbucks mug that gets you a free coffee every single day in January, a yummy Candle from Urban Outfitters, this gorgeous (sold out) Buffalo Check Blanket Scarf from Heart and Home.  Even more, a gift card to Amazon so you can pick your favorite book to cuddle up with at home this winter!

Baby It's Cold Outside Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway begins now & will end next Tuesday.
Good luck & happiest holiday weekend to you all! XO

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our Weekend & Waverly's Wish List

Each year since Waverly was 5 months old, we have taken her to Santa's Wonderland at a Bass Pro Shops about 45 minutes from our house.  It's so much fun, there are tons of holiday activities for kids plus a huge aquarium with fish to look at while you wait.  I look forward to it each year & love that Waverly is getting old enough to really take part in all the fun now, she was so excited to go!!

Waverly had the best time riding on the "reindeer" carousel, my husband & I took turns going with her while she waved to the other.  The cutest.  Of course, it was all fun & games until it was our turn to meet Santa.  After last year's disaster, we had been telling Waverly about how great Santa was for weeks, reading Santa books & singing Santa songs every single day.  It didn't work, I got a sweet "no, thank you" when I told her we were going to sit on his lap & then a giant clutch around my neck (plus meltdown) when we actually tried to put her down.  There's always next year?

Still, it was the best day & worth the trip, if you ask Waverly now she loved Santa & told him all about how she wanted a new puppy for Christmas. Her imagination. ;) 

We spent the rest of the weekend wrapping gifts & getting holiday ready, then ended Sunday night in the sweetest way, driving around looking at Christmas lights while drinking hot chocolate & listening to holiday carols.  The best, we all loved it!!

 I also wanted to share what Waverly will find under the tree this year, I have been brainstorming about what to get her for a while now & we finally have most of her gifts ordered!  
Tee-Pee, Book, Old Navy Hats, Pots & Pans Set  
I try to stick to the "something you want, something you need, something to wear & something to read" philosophy, it helps keep me in line & also, I feel like Waverly already has so much that we don't need to go overboard.  I really wanted to get her one big gift so for her want, I ordered this tee-pee on Cyber Monday.  I know she is going to adore it!!  Lately she has been all about her kitchen (we have this one), we play with it almost every day so I feel like these pots & pans will be great for her.  Plus, I consider them a need, I walked in on her putting her baby dolls in the microwave & oven the other day.  I feel like I need to give her an alternative before she thinks that's normal, especially with a new babe on the way!  To wear, I got her & baby brother or sister matching hats, my heart could explode just thinking about it!!

Hope you all are having a great week so far!! XO

Monday, December 8, 2014

15 Weeks

Baby Brickner's Size:  An apple!  The belly continues to grow by the day (or the hour?!), one of my students walked in after Thanksgiving break, looked straight at my belly & said "you got huge!". Teenagers, it's hard to think I will have at least a couple of those of my own one day. ;)

Maternity Clothes:  I took advantage of Black Friday & Cyber Monday to stock up on a few Asos maternity dresses for the holiday season & beyond, I am always obsessed with everything I get from there so I feel like it's worth it.  Also in fashion news, me & my pregnancy brain somehow misplaced my new Gap maternity leggings.  Then me & my pregnancy hormones seriously almost shed tears, those babies are so comfy, I consider them gold.  Fingers crossed they show up soon!

Best Moment This Week:  Waverly looked down at my belly the other day & said, "that's my baby", while giving it a kiss!  I could have died, I cannot wait to see this girl with her baby brother or sister!!  Also, we have had lots of holiday fun lately, big sister (& her sunglasses!) wanted to jump in a few bump-dates this week.  We fit in a couple of pictures before going to the tree farm over the weekend.

Miss Anything:  Sleep.  I was so exhausted throughout the first trimester that I slept like a rock every night, yet now that it's to the point I can no longer sleep on my back, I am having major issues (I am SUCH a back sleeper!).  I use my pregnancy pillow most nights, but it's still so hard to get comfortable.  I keep waking up halfway on my back & freaking out!

Movement:  Still mainly flutters, but I have felt a few during the day now!  It's just my favorite, I can't wait for more & more!!! :)

Cravings:  Food in general, especially during the first part of the day, I am starving every couple of hours.  I finally have been able to add a few sweets back into my nightly routine, yet still mostly going for salty!  And totally random, but I love ketchup.  On everything.

Queasy or Sick:  Still feeling better, for the most part!!  I still have a few moments here & there but feel like a whole new woman after the previous couple of months!

Looking Forward To:  Our GENDER ultrasound scheduled for this week, we are hoping this babe plays along & we can find out if Waverly Maye is getting a baby brother or sister!!!!!  From day one, both my husband & I have had the same feeling what this babe is, then the past week, I have completely changed my mind.  Bottom line, we have no idea. ;) We truly will be beyond thrilled either way, I just can't wait to know, to be able to share it with Waverly, to shop, & to start nursery planning!

Wishing you all a lovely week ahead!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Our Advent Calendar

I can't even believe we are almost one week into my favorite month of the year!!  I have been looking forward to this holiday season for so long, now that Waverly is older I knew she would be all about some festive activities & experiencing all of the magic of Christmas.  Last year, I was inspired by Jessica from Little Baby Garvin's advent calender, I ordered this one for our playroom on clearance at the end of the season & put it on our chalkboard wall last weekend before December officially started.

I had so much fun planning different activities for us each day, many of them we already had planned so I combined those with other fun traditions I thought Waverly would enjoy.  I wrote them on little pieces of paper & put them in each stocking, each day we pull out the activity for the afternoon & so far, Waverly has loved it.  Also, a schedule totally is my love language, I thrive on plans & lists, I definitely plan to do this each year!!

1 - Set up & play with our felt Christmas tree.
2 - Go pick out a new Christmas book for 2014.
3 - Make (& eat!) Christmas snack mix ... Of course, this was Waverly's favorite so far, red & green sprinkles still cover our kitchen floor but it was worth it.

4 - Shop to pick out Bogger a new Christmas play toy.
5 - Pick out stocking stuffers for daddy!  Listen to holiday music while we eat dinner.
6 - Go see Santa ... it could go one of two ways, fingers crossed. ;)
7 - Pick out a Christmas tree!
8 - Go check on baby brother or sister & bring Christmas treats to our doctor.
9 - Paint a holiday picture for the grandparents.
10 - Go SEE baby brother or sister in our ultrasound - first time for Waverly Maye. :)  Stop to see holiday lights & eat dinner on the way home.
11 - Go to the tree farm & find out if it is a baby brother or sister!
12 - Kids Christmas Party at My Gym.
13 - Festive dinner with family to share what is in my mommy's belly!
14 - Go to Christmas party with friends Ella & Kayo.
15 - Drink hot chocolate & watch a holiday movie.
16 - Go pick out a toy for a little boy or girl, take to the Goodwill.
17 - My Gym class with friends, bring treats to my teachers!
18 - Bake & decorate Christmas cookies.
19 - Christmastown!  Our favorite tradition, hoping it is warm enough to go!
20 - Play with Glamma while mommy & daddy go for last-minute holiday shopping and stocking stuffers.
21 - Christmas Pancakes & bacon for breakfast.
22 - Go see Christmas lights at the beach.
23 - Annual Target trip for last-minute gifts with Glamma & Aunt Lex.
24 - Merry Christmas Eve!!  Open one gift today. :)

Not included on the list, supervising daddy putting up our Christmas lights last weekend.  Waverly had so much fun with this, although she kept telling him he was "silly" & "crazy" for being on the roof!!

Are there are any activities that I missed?!  What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?!
Happy holiday weekend, XO!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Waverly slept in until 7:30 Thanksgiving morning, about an hour & a half past her normal wake-up time lately, which I considered a holiday miracle in itself.  Then, after I told her the long list of family that she was going to see throughout the day, she looked right up at me & said, "mommy, today is going to be the perfect day".  My heart could have burst.

Since we knew we were going to my grandparents for dinner like we have for as long as I can remember, we offered to cook brunch at our house for my parents.  We had eggs, fruit, donuts & made cinnamon rolls into turkeys for Waverly.  She loved it, mostly the fact that there were extra people to entertain her & to watch her perform her moves.

The weather here was pretty rainy & cold, no fun, but we made the most of it.  We snuck outside in between some showers for a few family pictures before heading to my grandparents for dinner, followed by my sister-in-laws for dessert.  We ate a ridiculous amount of food, especially me, I really could go for a thanksgiving menu weekly these days.  Also, in my head, I made up for it by walking around Target later that night for a little pre-black Friday shopping. 

We hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving & are enjoying your holiday season so far!  On another thankful note, I wanted to extend my sincere appreciation to everyone who has been a part of the #littlethingslinkup over the past year.  Jess & I are constantly blown away by your positive feedback to a little idea we had last holiday season, I really cannot thank you enough or explain how much it means to me!  With that being said, I have decided to take a break for a while.  Documenting this pregnancy is important to me & at first, I thought I could fit in weekly updates along with regular posts plus the link-up, but it has just become too much.  I plan to link-up when I can, I truly love this link-up, sharing my own stories, & especially reading yours.  I am so excited that Jess is going to continue, I know you all adore her as much as I do & will want to be a part of this.  Contact her if you are interested & THANKS again!