Saturday, December 29, 2012

Recent Happenings.

With the year nearly over, I think that it's time for a little life update post. Lots of little things have been happening, and I'd love to share them. Specifically regarding my pregnancy, a death, and an adoption... we've got it all.

I will be 21 weeks pregnant as of tomorrow and I'm still feeling pretty good. Love that 2nd trimester. I'm wearing maternity pants, but still wear mostly pre-preg tops. The weight gain has stayed under control, but this is how it was with Dylan- normal gain until I hit about 5 months and then boom! the pounds started packing on at an alarming rate- 8 pounds each month for like three months straight. Yikes.

Unfortunately we have no idea what we are going to name this little guy. Any suggestions are appreciated! Our main requirement is that the name is something you've heard of- nothing too obscure. Also, nothing too trendy and NO ridiculous, Utah unique spelling. 

We haven't done much planning for this little guy's arrival, although I did make one baby purchase a few weeks ago:
Not to worry, though. I have big plans for Baby #2's nursery... the color scheme is already decided and will be discussed at length on a future post. My lovely mother is willing to make another bedding set, which I'm sure will look fantastic.

One sad thing that I shared on facebook but not the blog was the death of our sweet cat, Moo. He had been having kidney problems since he was just a year old, and after five years of special food, medication, sub-q fluids, and many vet appointments it was clear that his time had come. On November 5th we put him down. We told Dylan that Moo went to heaven to live with Jesus. He seemed ok with that, but Dylan has since changed the story and says that Moo lives at the airport in an airplane. I'll take it!

We thought about getting a kitten a few weeks after Moo was gone, since our other cat Oscar seemed pretty lonely and sad. On December 19th, Dylan and I went to the local animal shelter and adopted a little kitten and named her Stella. We all love her- especially Dylan. We've really been working on teaching him to be soft with her and there has only been one incident of him picking her up by the head : /

I want to share details about my birthday and Christmas, but that will have to wait for another day. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Baby #2 {The Details}

First off, thank you friends for all the Facebook and blog love following our happy announcement. Your sweet words are so appreciated. I thought that I would provide some details on our new addition, as well as share how our family has been doing with the news.

When am I due? I'm due on May 12 (Mother's Day!), which puts me at just over 17 weeks along. 

Do you know the gender? Yes! We found out that we're having another boy at my last appointment, just before Thanksgiving. We were really, really hoping to have another boy, so we were so excited when we found out. 

How am I feeling? Lately, I've been feeling great. Bless you, second trimester! My pregnancy symptoms have been almost identical to my pregnancy with Dylan- major fatigue hitting at 6 weeks, nausea hitting a little later, with both letting up almost completely by 12 weeks. Overall, it hasn't been too bad- I know that I'm lucky with this.

How are we doing with the news? Despite this pregnancy being planned, it's still terrifying to know that life is going to change in a big way and there's no turning back. Life has been so manageable over the past few years, and it seems a little crazy that we are intentionally turning it upside down. After, ahem, a few weeks of me being in slight denial about our great news, I have now completely adjusted to the changes coming our way. 

What about Dylan? We are doing our best to prepare him for what's coming, but he can only understand so much at this point. We talk about baby brother on the regular, and we make a big deal about him getting to be a big brother. I think that he'll start to get it more when my stomach is enormous. Either way, we know that the first few weeks (and months) of having a baby around will be tough on Dylan. He's so used to being the center of attention, and it will be really hard for him to see life change. 

Any name ideas? We don't have anything yet. We were so lucky with Dylan, since we both loved the name and were going to use it whether Dylan was a boy or a girl. We both felt so sure about the name that there was so time spent on looking at other sames. But this little one... we have no clue. We have a few names that we both like, but there's no clear winner. I'll keep you updated though.

Food cravings or aversions? This seems to be the only big difference between my pregnancy with Dylan. This time around, I can't drink soda (which isn't a bad thing to give up anyway), sugary candy (like skittles, sour patch kids, etc.), and a few other completely random things. What I have been craving has been really random- apples at room temperature (not refrigerated!), salads, pasta with just butter and Parmesan cheese, and pretty much any restaurant food. 

Showing yet? Yes, but not a huge amount. I would say that I'm showing a little more at this point than I was with Dylan, but not a huge amount more. I'm still wearing all my normal clothes, but it's looking like my pants won't be working for long. 

So there you have it- some updates and info on baby #2. I'm really going to try and get back in the swing of blogging, as I really want to document this fun (and crazy) time in our lives. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Biggest Debacle Ever {part 3}

Here we go, the grand finale of the biggest debacle ever. Hopefully you've read part 1  and part 2, otherwise you may not understand the full ridiculousness of the situation. 

Friday morning comes and I go to Draper to pick up the puppy. Dylan went to work with Ben, so it was just me picking up the puppy.

Everything went fine with the pickup- the puppy was adorable and sweet, and we headed straight for Ben's work so the boys could meet the puppy. As to be expected, both Ben and Dylan were elated with the puppy and declared it the best present ever. 

Meet Hogan.
A seriously cute ball of fur.

Dylan, Hogan, and I headed home to get Hogan settled in at our house. As to be expected in this pitiful tale, this is what happened five minutes after walking in the door:
That would be the glass top of our coffee table. Dylan was trying to throw a bone to Hogan, but his aim was a little off. 

Our first day with Hogan was great, but exhausting. Taking him outside every 30-45 minutes, keeping an eye on him at all times, etc... it was more stressful than I anticipated. Even so, I wasn't going to gripe- this was Ben's present, and taking care of this puppy was something I just had to do. 

Then came the night. Holy cow, I forgot how awful a howling puppy can sound. Ben and I (and Hogan) barely slept that night. 

The next day was full of taking Hogan outside every 2 seconds, more keeping my eye on him every minute (because the second I'm not looking at him he will pee on my carpet or poo in Dylan's room). It was not a restful time.  And then night came again. More howling, less sleep. 

I could go on and on about this, but the bottom line was this: Ben and I were both super stressed out by this puppy. We knew puppies were a lot of work, but it took getting a puppy to realize that we were not wanting to put the work into a pet.

So 48 hours after getting the puppy we came to a conclusion: Hogan had to go. We were both so stressed out by the puppy that we were miserable. We posted an ad for him on by Sunday night. I know! Worst pet owners ever! We couldn't even handle a week!

A few days later we found a great new home for Hogan and we said goodbye to our little friend. 

Luckily we sold the puppy for what I paid, and we also sold the new owner a bunch of the barely used gear and food. 

We've gone over the situation over and over again- What if we would have given everyone more time to get used to the puppy? What if we waited for Hogan to get used to sleeping in his crate?

Poor Dylan asks about "my Hogan" every single day. We keep telling him that he lives with his mommy and daddy, and we only babysat him for a few days, but he's not forgetting about Hogan. Sad.

That's the long, drawn-out story. The time I spent months planning the perfect surprise for my husband, ended up ruining the surprise the day before it happened, and watched the surprise backfire in our faces. 

Happy birthday Jesus Benjamin, sorry your party present was so lame.
(that's one of my favorite quotes from The Office.)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Biggest Debacle Ever {part 2}

An alternative title for this post could be "I have the worst luck ever" or "Of all the times and the places." Read on to see why...

Hopefully, you all have read part one of this giant birthday debacle. So you know that I have bitten the bullet and finally decided to get a dog for Ben, despite really not wanting one. The puppy was available for pickup on Friday morning, so on Thursday afternoon I made my way to PetsMart to pick up everything one could possibly need for a puppy. I paid for the whole thing in cash, because I needed to keep things secret- no way was I letting Ben in on his big, secret birthday surprise. 

I left PetsMart $200 poorer, and I was feeling like a pretty good wife. Ben was so excited about his darn surprise and he was going to die of happiness when all was revealed. I even had a grand plan as to how I was going to surprise him. I was going to put the puppy in a large box (ventilated, of course) and bring it to him at work. He would open the box and find an adorable puppy with a ribbon tied around its neck. Ben would then become teary eyed due to the thoughtfulness of this gift and declare me the best wife ever. Sigh.

Somewhere in the midst of my fantasizing I had left the store and began loading all of the stuff into my trunk. Without thinking (seriously- there was no intelligence in this action whatsoever), I ended up loading my purse into my trunk as well. I will call this Mistake #1. I then made an even bigger mistake (called Mistake #2) and shut my trunk. 

Yes, you read correctly, I shut my purse- which contained my keys and phone- in my trunk. I immediately knew the idiocy of my actions, and I may have started yelling, "No, no, no, no" in the parking lot. Maybe. 

A kind young mom saw me a few cars down and asked me if I needed help. I explained what I had done and she offered to let me use her phone. I weighed the options. I could either break into my car myself (which would involve me breaking a window- no joke) or calling Ben. I didn't want to pay for a new window, so I swallowed my pride and called Ben at work. 

This is how the phone call went:

Me: Benjamin, I locked my keys in my car. 

Ben: Ok, where are you? I'll come help you out.

Me: I can't tell you that. Can you just have one of your co-workers come out and help me?

Ben: Why would I do that? Where are you?

Me: I can't tell you. It would ruin the surprise. Can you please send someone out besides you? Pleaaaaaaase?

Ben: No way, woman. 

Me: You're horrible to make me ruin your surprise like this. Horrible. 

Honestly, if I had my phone I would have spent much more time bargaining with him. Since I was borrowing a stranger's phone, I had to give in. It was a soul crushing decision to be honest. 

Me: Fine. I'm in the PetsMart parking lot. Thanks for ruining my life. 

Seriously, of all the times and all the places in the world for me to lock my keys in my car for the first time ever, why did it have to be here? The one time in our marriage when I was being truly sneaky and I didn't want my husband to know my whereabouts?

A few minutes later, Ben pulled up and I immediately burst into tears. So much time and energy had been spent keeping this darn secret and now I had ruined it less than 24 hours before I was to pick up the puppy. Worst. Luck. Ever.

Ben isn't a dummy- he connected the dots in about 2 seconds and wouldn't stop asking about the puppy. In fact, here's a look at some of our texts later that day. Obviously I was still angry:

Really husband? I get you a puppy and the only names you'll consider are stupid golfy names? I think I just threw up. 

So there you have it. The time when I ruined Ben's birthday surprise. If you can possibly imagine, the story just gets more pitiful. Just wait. 

Part 3 is coming up.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ben Turns 30 + The Biggest Debacle Ever {part 1}.

September was a really big month for our family- Lake Powell, Dylan's birthday, and Ben's birthday. This year was a big one for Ben- he turned 30! Ben and Dylan's birthdays are just one day apart, so you know how exhausted and non-party oriented I was feeling for Dylan's birthday? I was feeling the same for Ben's. That didn't bother Ben much though- he made it clear that he did not want a party. And what my baby wants, my baby gets.... or doesn't get. 

Ben had a great day- special meals all day, some gifts, and this cake sent straight from heaven... or maybe it was from The Chocolate. No one knows for sure. What we do know is that it was amazing, and I was truly bummed when he took the remains to work a few days later to share with his co-workers.

Since Ben was turning 30, I wanted to do something big and fabulous for his birthday. I racked my brain for awhile to figure out a perfect present for such a monumental birthday. I decided that after nearly 8 years of begging and whining, I would get Ben a puppy. He has wanted one for our entire marriage, and I've always said, "Not now." 

Please don't think that I had a change of heart about getting a puppy. Still didn't want one at all. I figured that this was a true gift- a sacrifice even- if I was going to get Ben something that I really, really didn't want. Mind you, I knew that if we got a puppy it would eventually grow on me and I would love it. Just the idea of starting the whole process made me a little miserable. 

I had to be extremely sneaky about the whole operation, as Ben is a notorious snoop. All puppy research had to be done on my work computer. For months he asked about his surprise and I refused to give anything away. 

About a month and a half before his birthday I found a listing for the most adorable puppies- half golden retriever, half border collie. After talking to a million people and doing a lot of research, that mix seemed to be perfect for what we were looking for. I talked to the owner, paid for the puppy, and waited until Ben's birthday. 

The puppy was not ready to leave his mom on Ben's actual birthday, so I hyped Ben up for a surprise a few days after his birthday. Everything was going according to plan until the day before I picked up the puppy. 

That's when disaster struck. 

To Be Continued...
(and yes, you really want to know what happens next.... it's ridiculous)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dylan is Three!

Oh, blog slackerdom. It's overtaken me and this blog. Many apologies. That being said, let's discuss one of the recent events in the Harris home: Dylan's 3rd birthday . 

As you may remember, I may have gone big for Dylan's first and second birthday parties. This year, I decided to go waaaay low-key, since we returned from Lake Powell just two days before Dylan's birthday, and I knew we'd still be a little exhausted from vacation. I know that it's not necessary for Dylan to have a big party every year (or ever, for that matter), but I still feel bad that I didn't do more. Dylan didn't seem to notice not having a huge party, and he was thrilled with everything we did that day.

The day started with a balloon drop, an idea that came from Pinterest .

As expected, Dylan loved the balloons. When he first opened his door he just said, "Woooooooooow!" We spent the morning playing with the balloons in every capacity- soccer, volleyball, etc. 

Later that day, we headed to Thanksgiving Point's Farm Country, since Dylan loves to see all the animals. 

After Dylan's nap we had a few friends over for cake and ice cream. Again, super low-key, but Dylan had a blast.

Happy birthday to my sweet Dylan!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lake Powell {part 2}

Alright friends, here are some more of my pictures from Lake Powell. It really was such a fun week, and I now understand why people make such a fuss about this place. It's fabulous.

Did I mention that this vacation had a name? Yep, it was Chranksgiving. Thanksgiving+Christmas, of course. Carl knew that the whole family may not get all together for the holidays this year, so we had a week together pre-holiday craziness. Pretty genius if you ask me. 

Here you have the most amazing slip-n-slide fail ever. My father in law Carl brought along a 100 ft. plastic roll and a special hose all for the purpose of the coolest slip-n-slide ever. Unfortunately, things just didn't work out. No one really figured out why, but you could not move on this thing. Even with the slide being soaped down and taking off with a running start, you had to scoot all the way down. Bummer, because it was such a fun idea. 

Here we are! It was a week of no makeup or blowdryers, as you can tell. 

We had a birthday night on Wednesday, since there are seriously 6 family birthdays within 2 weeks of each other. 

Cool picture, right? This was on the way to Rainbow Bridge.

The whole family got mooned by Benjamin about 2 seconds after taking this picture. The husband has no shame. When we said, "Look at that view!" we weren't telling Ben that we wanted to see some skin!

Rainbow Bridge was gorgeous, but stressful- kind of like the Grand Canyon a bit, as there were no railings and about a million ways for kids to fall to their death. 

Aaaaaaand onto the hilariousness...

One night the adults participated in a While Elephant gift exchange. I lucked out with a box of Aveda hair product (SIL Ashley works for the salon- score!), and Ben ended up with Brokeback Mountain. The movie remains in its plastic case.

Senior citizen substance abuse. Not sure if I'll get in trouble for putting this on the blog, but a certain over-70 member of the family smokes a lot of pot. Rumor has it, this has been the case for decades. Nothing was ever smoked in front of anyone, but phew! we sure could smell it a lot. 

The family vacation was, without a doubt, absolutely amazing. We can't wait to get together for Chranksgiving 2013! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lake Powell {part 1}

Last week we headed down to Lake Powell for a vacation with Ben's family. I had never been to Lake Powell, so I had no idea what to expect. I had heard enough about the lake over the past 9 years that I knew it would be fabulous. And fabulous it was. 

Ben's dad rented a house boat for all of us- there were between 14 and 17 people there at a time, so it was a full house. Each family was responsible to do the cooking on their assigned day- we had Wednesday, so we made french toast for breakfast, sandwiches and chips for lunch, and pork burritos for dinner. Honestly, all of the food during the week was divine and I was seriously bummed to leave all the yummy meals. 

We left our house at 4 am on Monday morning, and got to Bullfrog by 9. After a few hours of chaos and unloading the ridiculous amount of stuff that we brought, we were out on the water. Prepare for a photo overload... Mind you, this is just post one of 2 or 3, so brace yourselves. 

My mother in law is amazing and had a daily craft to do with the grandkids. 

Joel brought his dog Atticus, and he was amazingly well behaved. 

There are no words for this one. I hope you all are sensing my eye roll. 

After playing outside all morning, the kids usually came in for a lunchtime/pre-nap movie. Dylan really wanted to watch from the floor, as you can tell.

More pictures coming soon! Also, here are way too many funny things to discuss- Brokeback Mountain, senior citizen drug use, slip and slide fails.... get ready!

Monday, October 1, 2012

A word from The Boss.

Sorry that my mom has been such a junky blogger lately... vacation and back-to-back birthdays have made life pretty busy. She promises to catch up soon!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hanson + Taylor Swift.

One thing that I absolutely love is a good cover song. When I found one of my oldest favorites, Hanson, covering Taylor Swift it immediately brought a big smile to my face. Whether you are a Hanson or Taylor Swift fan or not, a good cover is always fun.

What do you think of this one? What is your favorite cover?

Monday, September 10, 2012

And the winner is....

Thanks to all of you for entering this fun giveaway! I'm so excited that one of you will be getting one of these fun boxes of Skippyjon Jones goodies from Kohl's. 

Here's the winner:

Hooray, Sarah! I hope you and your kids love these books!

Again, thanks so much to my lovely friend Ale for making this giveaway happen!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

But Really...

While at Target yesterday afternoon, I found the perfect shirt for Dylan:

For those who don't already know, I'm telling you the truth- this shirt is perfect:

I'm thinking about going back to Target today to pick up this shirt in 4T and 5T- he needs it! Also, don't you think this is a fun perk of having a offbeat middle name? You'll never find a shirt that says "James is my middle name"... especially not pictured with flames and a motorcycle.

PS-You're running out of time! Enter to win a set of Skippyjon Jones Books. I don't care if you're a blog creeper- you deserve to win too! Click here to enter!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chair Facelift.

When Ben and I first got married, we were given a kitchen table and chairs for free. Free! It was wonderful, as we only had a mattress (on the ground, of course), a tv, and a love sac at the time. The only drawback? The cushions of the chairs were in seriously bad shape. 

Of course that didn't scare me away- that's nothing some new fabric can't fix. Seriously, recovering chair cushions like these is a cinch. All you need is fabric and a stable gun. That's it. 

I wish I had some real before pictures of the chairs- they used to be a light tan color, with a green and tan plaid fabric on the chairs. A few years ago we got sold the table and all but one of the chairs. It was an accident that one stuck around- I thought that we had gotten rid of them all. It really has been once to have that extra chair though- it gets used all the time.

Two year ago I decided to paint the chair a cool aqua color and cover the cushion with a bright, fun lemon printed fabric. It was lovely, but it wore out. I know that I had a picture of this chair, but it has mysteriously disappeared. Anyway, imagine worn out paint with lots of chips and a dirty, ripped cushion. Imagining? Ok.

I decided to give the chair a fresh coat of paint (we had an extra can of spray paint left over) and I found some fun fabric at Hobby Lobby for $4 per yard. 

Looks great, right? This project took only a few minutes of my time and cost a mere $4. My kind of project. 

Also, don't forget to enter the Skippyjon Jones giveaway- it's only open for a few more days!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hooray for a re-cap!

Dylan and I spent last week in Indiana where we had eight lovely days with family. There's way too much to post if I want to do a proper documentation of the visit, so please accept my photo collages with minimal blurbs... I can either keep it brief and get most things covered, or long and only cover 2% of the visit. I vote brief. 

As always, my visit was wonderful and went too quickly. Hopefully I'll be able to visit again soon!

1. Dylan giving his cousin Evvie the stink eye. Seriously. 
2. Digging for dino bones at the Indianapolis Children's Museum.
3. Holy cow, it's a digger. Dylan was in heaven.
4. It's Indy, so there has to be a race car to sit in.
5. Again in the digger. He was too excited for words.
6. Cousins in their matching pajamas... trying to get picture with smiles.
7. And now for funny faces.
8. Kiddos at the park, before Dylan fell and bit his tongue.
9. Another cute pajamas moment.
1. Family lunch on Sarah's bday. Where's Sarah?
2. Cousins swinging at the park
3. Yogurt at YoYo Mama- how cute is the decor?
4. Dylan on the motorcycle.
5. Dylan and Ashton were so excited to see each other!
6. Dylan on the carousel at the Children's Museum
7. Cake, ice cream, and cute paper products!
8. Screenshot of Ben's excited face- and Brent!
9. Cool artwork at Scotty's restaurant

Don't forget to enter the super awesome Skippyjon Jones giveaway! Comment here to enter!

Monday, September 3, 2012

A New Family Favorite + A Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I received an email from my dear friend Ale (who happens to work for Kohl's) to see if I was interested in reviewing some of the Skippyjon Jones books, which are featured as part of the Kohl's Cares program. This program is amazing, because 100% of the profits from the featured products go straight to support kids' health and education initiatives in communities nationwide.

Of course I jumped at the chance to review these cute books- in fact, just a few days before hearing from Ale I was at Barnes & Noble and came thisclose to picking up one of the books. I had heard that they were really cute books, and I definitely wanted to read them to Dylan. 

Honestly, I was just expecting to receive one book in the mail, but instead I received this amazing spread:
That's right- 5(!) Skippyjon Jones books, 2 darling stuffed animals, 2 fabulous cook books (Busy Family Recipes and Campbells Best-Loved Recipes), Eat This, Not That for Kids, and the cutest shipping box I have ever seen. Amazing.

I've read the books to Dylan, and he just loves them. They revolve around a big-eared Siamese cat named Skippyjon Jones, who pretends that he is a Chihuahua. The books have the cutest rhymes and with some Spanish and Spanglish mixed in. 

His favorite was Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones, because he's in a major dinosaur phase right now. The illustrations are adorable as well, and Dylan wanted me to keep reading the parts with the "scary" dinosaurs over and over.

These books would be great for any kids, from preschool through elementary school. Don't have kids? Already have a few of the books? These would also make such a great gift. Really, these books are fabulous and would be a great addition to any child's book shelf.

Here's where this gets really great for all of you:

I'm giving away the assortment of Skippyjon Jones books and the other goodies featured above! Hooray!

Here's all you have to do:
Leave a comment on this post, and tell me your favorite book from childhood.
(I loved The Berenstain Bears)

One entry per person, and the givaway closes at on September 9, with the winner announced on September 10.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Photo dump.

1. Dylan fell in love with the display dog at Old Navy.
2. Playing dead on the big boy bed.
3. Swings at the nearby park.
4. Oscar fighting the cat in the mirror.
5. Fun at Thanksgiving Point's Farm Country. Yes, that's a backwards fireman hat.
6. Fun with the train that grandma sent.
7. Craft time.
8. My freakishly great hair day... had to be documented.
9. Happy boy with his ice cream.