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Holiday Wrap-Up

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The 9YL family wishes everyone on the internet a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Ours was fun but exhausting…

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Unwrapping at home

We spent Christmas Eve and Day at home just hanging out. Baby2 discovered a love for wrapping paper. As we unwrapped her gifts with her she stared with wonder at the paper. Even after her gift was uncovered she reached for paper first every time.

Kiddo1 got the 3DS XL that he’s been wanting and saving up for. Mr. Handsome wrapped a box in a box in a box so Kiddo1 had to unwrap a few boxes to get to it. Although I don’t agree with the practice it was fun to watch Kiddo1 get a little frustrated and then SO excited when he saw the actual gift.

Kiddo1 had some, what I’ll call, “milestone” interactions with his younger sister as he handed her presents and said things like, “this one’s for you, [Baby2],” and said them while looking her in the face. This is a milestone as he doesn’t tend to acknowledge her much. I really need to write a whole post about this subject because it is interesting how Kiddo1 makes little baby steps toward interaction with his sibling. I have heard that it can take most kids (and I’d think especially older kids) at least six months to start really acknowledging the new family member. I’m trying not to pressure him too much because I don’t want to do any damage but at the same time it’s like, dude, she’s not going away get over it already. But that’s not fair. Ugh, I could really get going but I’m saving it for another time.

Anyway, Mr. Handsome and I spent the rest of Christmas Day preparing for our annual trip to Phoenix to visit family. My parents and his parents live there, as well as my only living grandparent, my only brother and one of Mr. Handsome’s two brothers, although none of us is actually from the area (Kiddo1 was born there though). It’s always good times seeing our family, and this year was especially sweet to re-introduce people to Baby2. Babies change so much in such a short time; she’s so different now than when they saw her as a newborn!

This was Baby2’s first trip away from home and logistically it was great. We traveled with cloth diapers and I gotta tell ya, it was super easy. I don’t know if cloth diapering is so easy for us because I pretty much refuse to acknowledge that disposables exist at this point or if we’re just really lucky. Baby2 still being exclusively breastfed probably helps a little, too. We took about 15 diapers with us and did diaper laundry three times during our five-day stay. My carry on bag (backpack) was about half full of diapers, but honestly there’s not much else I need except for my wallet and water bottle.

Of course breastfeeding simplified things a ton because we never had to worry about when Baby2 was going to eat or how she would get fed. One less thing to plan for us to worry about, thank goodness. I did take my pump with me and I’m glad I took the whole big electric pump instead of just my manual one. I worried about putting it in our checked luggage (what if it got lost?! Or damaged?? The horror!!) but everything turned out fine. I strapped it in our checked car seat for some extra security. I was able to donate all the extra milk that I pumped during our trip so I didn’t have to hassle with bringing it back and I met another very sweet mama of an adopted baby girl who was grateful for a little extra milk.

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She loves the peanut packets!

Baby2 did very well during her first trip. The flights were fine (direct on the way there, one connection on the way back) and the altitude change didn’t seem to bother her sweet baby ears at all, although she was eating during take off for each flight so I hope that helped. She made what she probably considers the greatest discovery of her life so far when she saw the airlines packets of peanuts. I’ve never seen her so excited or grab an object so quickly. We asked for extra on the flight back and we now have a couple sitting around just in case she needs a major distraction. They’re shiny and crinkly! What’s not to like?

Kiddo1 is a seasoned traveler and was not at all phased by the extra family member during this trip. He’s been handling his own bags for years so we were free to manage everything else. There’s one of the major benefits of having kids several years apart – you really only have one “wild card” kid at a time. Baby2 could (potentially) freak out at any moment but Kiddo1’s behavior is fairly constant at this point.

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Baby2 watches Mr. Handsome play in the water from her warm and dry Ergo

Wearing Baby2 through the airport and during all our “site-seeing” worked wonderfully. We had hands free in the airport to mess with bags and check in. You don’t have to take off your baby carrier when you go through x-ray which was great (although they do an alcohol-swab test on your hands for explosives which only takes a second). We could walk through the tiny terminal stores and restaurants without getting stuck – a stroller would never make it through some of those spots. My mom  had bought a stroller for us to use while we were there (even though I asked her not to) and we didn’t use it at all. Anytime we went somewhere we either held Baby2 or used our Ergo. It worked out quite well.

All in all it was a good trip for everyone. We were super grateful to return on New Years Eve at around 11 so we made it home and snuggled in to watch the ball drop just before midnight. We counted down the seconds left of 2012 and cheered in the new year together. Then we finally had a good night’s sleep in our own beds. I’m sure I can speak for everyone in the family when I say it was so very wonderful to sleep in our own beds again.

Happy 2013, internet!

Four Months Old!

Baby2 has really been coming into her own lately – in just four short months she has grown and changed so much. This is Mr. Handsome’s and my second time watching a baby become a little person and we still can’t believe how amazing it is. Here are some of the things she’s been working on…

She has the sweetest smile. Ever. When she wakes up in the morning she is just the happiest thing that has ever lived, smiling and giggling and batting her adorable eye lashes. She grunts and coos and squeals. She squirms her little body all around and clenches her fists in excitement. It is very fun to watch.


She’s all smiles at home but she seems to be a bit weary of strangers lately. In the last month, we’ve had a couple events out and and about and she hasn’t been too excited about them. I think being around a lot of people is a little over-stimulating for her at times, especially if she’s being passed around. Too many faces for her or something.

Baby2 starting recognizing and zoning out on her hands sometime around six weeks I think, but this month she has started to have a bit more control of those little hands. She can get her thumb in her mouth with fairly consistent success.

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She reaches out for things that she wants badly enough. Her concentration is palpable: she stares at the object, she shakes her arm as her little hand starts to move, fingers moving, trying to get all the needed parts working together to achieve her goal of grabbing her toy. She’s started to enjoying “playing” and she seems to show some excitement when shown a familiar toy. Her eyes get wide, her hands shake a little, maybe she lets out a little squeal. Adorable!

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She rolled over this month from front to back. She can get from her back to her side very easily so I’m sure it won’t be long until she is rolling from back to front, too. She is also quite good at rotating her body around when lying on her back. Most nights she’ll fall asleep in her crib with her feet pointing one direction but by the time I come back and check on her she’s rotated around so her head is where her feet were. Now she does it when on her play mat which is quite fun to watch as she moves her little legs and pushes around.

She’s started to get much better at napping. As I type, Baby2 has been asleep for almost two hours and is on her second extended (meaning more than 45-minute) nap of the day (of course she just woke up). Mr. Handsome is feeling very happy about this as her naps either enable or distract from him getting to accomplish much during the day (he’s a SAHD).

As far as night-time sleep, just does pretty well. I’ve stopped giving a shit about all the “rules” I had established for sleep. My methods worked so well for Kiddo1 but with Baby2 I feel differently. I’m just kind of rolling with the punches now. She wakes up sometime between midnight and two or three am. I don’t pay attention to the time at all, I just pull Baby2 in bed with me and relax. She probably wakes up two or three times per night but I hardly notice. She eats, we sleep, it works out pretty well.

Eventually I’d like to get back to having her in her crib all night, but I have time. I also want to make sure my breast milk supply stays up and I recall that once Kiddo1 started sleeping through the night my supply dipped pretty fast and breastfeeding was over. So I’m trying to prevent that this time around by keeping up the night-time feedings. It may be establishing the wrong sleep routine but I suppose I’ll tackle that issue once it actually becomes an issue. Again, I’m going with the flow rather than trying to keep over-thinking things.

Finally, we did celebrate Halloween this year, even though I didn’t write a post about it at all. I leave with a few snapshots.

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Pumpkin farming

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Baby2 and her little punkin

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Kiddo1 trick-or-treating with friends (he was a zombie)

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Baby2 and I in our homemade two-peas-in-a-pod costume

4th Fun

Why don’t I ever take the 5th of July off work? Every year I struggle to get going on this day. I’m not even hungover this year! It was just a late night last night, as Kiddo1 pleaded to go see the downtown fireworks (honestly, I’m a big fan of the fireworks too!).

Yesterday was periods of busy activity mixed with lazy, lazy times (for me, at least; Mr. Handsome is nesting like crazy so he cleaned all day). First we went to a neighborhood parade, just a couple neighborhoods over from ours. We biked over – 4 miles, roundtrip! – and took our dog so he got nice and tired (he’s still super tired this morning, he feels the July 5th drag as well). Some photos of the parade:

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After we got home I rested since we had to ride uphill to get back. I made it up all the hills but I was a slow one! Kiddo1 shot up them like lightening; it was rather impressive actually! Mr. Handsome proceeded to clean and organize the entire laundry room and I read a book. Then he threw a bunch of excellent meat on the grill. The restaurant he’s working at has a small but fantastic butcher shop and he gets 50% off! Amazing meat at this place, we are so very happy about it. We He grilled up a flank steak and a ribeye plus a burger for Kiddo1 (the only thing he’ll eat off the grill, silly child) and some asparagus, too.

After some more afternoon lounging it was time for fireworks! We were trying to think of a good place to go all day. We couldn’t go down to a park we’ve been to in the past because there’s only one road in and out which made Mr. Handsome very nervous if I were to go into labor (he’s so protective, awww). We didn’t want to go all the way downtown either because it’s just crazy. We thought we’d wing it and go near his old work (which, up until this year, had a big 4th party with a nice fireworks viewing area).

Luckily when we got there a big parking lot had opened for free parking so we scored a fantastic spot. We didn’t have to walk far out of the parking lot to get a good viewing spot, too. We lit some sparklers and only waited about an hour for the show. Plus we ran into another family we know and the boys ran off some energy together, which was much needed for Kiddo1. Lately he’s had a lot of what Mr. Handsome and I can only think is nervous/anxious energy.

After the fireworks started, he proceeded to take several hundred photos of them with my phone, which was pretty cute. It’s hard to get good fireworks photos! But it was an amazing show this year, much better than any that I remember in the past. It started with a huge bunch of very loud and bright blasts all at once – it made me instinctively move my hands to my belly to protect it! I think Baby2 wasn’t too bothered. I felt her moving down a bit but not violently kicking in protest or anything.

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It only took about 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot and then 10 minutes home, which is pretty damn amazing considering our luck in years past. We shot off a couple of our small, legally purchased fireworks (no big ones this year, just not up for it), even though Kiddo1 was dead tired he insisted. We all made it to bed about midnight, Kiddo1 was out in an instant I’m sure.

Wow, our last holiday as a family of three. Kind of strange, but awesome!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day! This weekend we’ve been doing a few fun things for Mr. Handsome. We started off the weekend with a very fun baby wearing class. You know you’ve got a good dad with you when he’s willing to not only go to the class but also try out all the carriers they had to experiment!

We ate lunch out in the sun, went for some mini golf, had a quick bike ride to the library, and grilled some yummy meat on his new gas grill (poor guy has been grilling on charcoal for years, with a very impatient and hungry family not making it easier in him!).

He deserves so much more then what we’ve been able to give him, but here are a few photos of the fun.

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Mr. Handsome’s favorites: cereal!

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Mini-golfing at this crazy black-light place

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As we were leaving the library on our bikes (we don’t normally bike on the sidewalk!)

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Grill time! You can kind of see our old charcoal grill behind him…

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s Mother’s Day AND it’s exactly two months until the date Baby2 is expected to arrive! Dual causes for celebration!

Here are some images of my Mother’s Day weekend, which doesn’t even include the awesome date night and morning Farmers Market visit with Mr. Handsome (okay, well the crepe is at the market) and Kiddo1’s final soccer game of the season. With those omissions in mind, enjoy!

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A crepe from the Farmers Market with eggs, bacon and greens. Mmm…

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Flowers from the market.

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The wrappings of Kiddo1’s present.

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He decorated a pot and grew a plant for me! (But he forgot what it is! Any ideas?)

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Flowers and strawberries that I sent to my mommy.

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Spinach linguine from the market, made into pasta bianca for my lunch!

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Mr. Handsome’s offerings: chocolate, a magazine and a Starbucks card so I can feed my hot chocolate addiction.


Tie Tuesday

Check out this post to learn more about Tie Tuesday.

This week you’ll notice a couple things:

  1. It was St. Patrick’s Day last week so I wore green all week in keeping with my annual tradition to do so. Green is my favorite color so I own a lot of green clothes. It only seems natural to me to wear them all during one of my favorite weeks – I love when everyone wears green! Of course, though, on St. Patrick’s Day itself I forgot to wear green (it was on Saturday). What’s that all about?
  2. You’ll see that the wall decor that serves as my background has changed. I framed this poster last week and it is loosely hung for now (I need to install a better hanging device on the frame and put some actual nails in the wall – right now I’m using push pins so I only have the frame up when I take my picture!).

Let’s get to it!


It’s been a while since I’ve broken out the long sleeve shirt and scarf combo, which was known as my lazy outfit. I guess I haven’t been feeling all that lazy lately, so I haven’t been using this combo!

This felt really comfortable though. This long sleeve shirt from Old Navy is getting a bit short (in fact, it just made it into “the box of unfittables” over the weekend) so I put a white tank underneath just to make sure the maternity band was covered all the way. It weirds me out when the band part of my jeans starts peaking out. It’s like people know I’m cheating or something…

These jeans are from Old Navy. They’re the under-the-belly style so they have about a five-inch wide band of stretchy fabric that sits under my belly. This is by far my favorite style of all the maternity bands on pants. I don’t really like the constraining feeling of the over-the-belly bands. But I have friends who swear by that style, too, so it’s just a matter of preference.

My Rocket Dog flats finish it off!


I’m so happy this Banana Republic skirt still fits! I come back to it every third week or so and I’m shocked every time I can zip it up. This is probably the last wearing – it’s starting to pucker in the back a bit because it is not meant to be worn so high. It probably isn’t used to my new bubble butt either!

I actually pulled this green Gap shirt out of “the box.” It is far too short to wear anymore but with this high-waisted skirt it totally works. Yay!

I got this necklace on clearance at Target. At first I wasn’t sure about it – the black pieces are kind of sparkly which normally I wouldn’t do – but it works just fine I think. Not too back for $8.

Another thing I wasn’t sure about were the fishnets I’m wearing. Usually I don’t feel like wearing fishnets to the office. I know there’s nothing wrong with it I just couldn’t do it all the same. For some reason I felt differently on Tuesday and took the plunge. I think they worked out pretty well with these Report wedges!


I feel like I just wore this green sweater, even though it was nearly a month ago on my birthday. So I put this black Banana Republic blazer over it to make myself feel better. I suppose it works out pretty well. It’s been cold here lately, too, so the extra layer was pretty nice. Luckily it’s a lightweight sweater so it wasn’t too bulky.

These are my $6 Forever maternity jeans. I finally went to a tailor over the weekend to get them altered so I don’t have to roll them anymore. The alternations cost $20 which is more than I’ve paid for all but one of my four maternity jeans (and that one pair is Rock & Republic and was $80 so I guess it all evens out). I don’t get the jeans back for two whole weeks though! I hope it is worth it!

I wore this sort of bronzey necklace that I got from Target a couple months ago so I thought it would pair nicely with these bronzy/goldy shoes that are also from Target (pairing due to color, not store. hahaha).


Yeah this cardigan is waaaay too short but I didn’t really care on Thursday – I needed something green to wear! I probably could have worn it open but I felt like it made my belly look like it was way sticking out so I didn’t. However wearing it closed kind of made my belly disappear a bit… only a bit though! I can’t hide the belly anymore even if I wanted to.

I can’t believe these non-maternity jeans from Forever still fit (they’re my black $10 ones, as opposed to my regular blue $10 ones that no longer fit). I’m down to just these and one other non-maternity pair. I’m so happy these do still fit, mostly because they’re my only jeans that are a color other than dark blue. I miss my gray jeans so much, I even thought about trying to find a cheap pair of red jeans or something and having them altered to maternity (although if hemming alone is $20 then altering to maternity is probably not worth it). When you wear jeans to work it is important to have options!

Of course a week can’t go by without these black Rocket Dog flats.


This is one of my favorite dresses, mostly because it is green. I wanted to wear it on my birthday but I found a small stain on it (it nearly ruined my morning!). Luckily I was able to get the stain out! Thank you, Shout Stick. Yay!

I was so unsure about the tights with this one – I think I changed tights like three times on Friday morning. I would love to start going without tights (especially since I have to wear them so low so that they won’t constrain my belly). It’s just too cold here still in the Pacific NW to do that, at least for me. I like warm legs, what can I say? Hopefully in a month or so I can start going bare… Anyway, I suppose these tights worked out fairly well, I just felt like there was a lot of black going on this whole week I guess!

This is another necklace from Target (I’m having a Target accessories week I think). I like it better than the one I wore Tuesday. It’s a less sparkly and less flashy all around. I tend to like relatively simple accessories, for the most part. Anyway, thanks to Target for being my accessories wing man this week!

New week: probably no green at all! But no guarantees…

My Funny Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day! I love the chocolate holidays, and this one is a great one! That and Halloween, Christmas, Easter – oh Easter candy is the best! Robins Eggs are my favorite. But I digress…

Today Mr. Handsome traveled allllll the way out to my workplace via bus AND train (because we are a one-car family and I drive the car to work because the bus/train takes 90 minutes, one-way) to meet me for lunch! He works Valentine’s Eve at the restaurant (it’s easy money – too good to pass up!) so I coerced convinced invited him to come out and spend a long lunch with me.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppI got Mr. Handsome some flowers (guys like to get flowers, too. Maybe not all guys, but I think deep down, yes, all guys like flowers or, at the very least, they like that you thought of them enough to get them a nice token like flowers) and he also received two very green boxes of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies which are his favorite (thanks to the co-worker who delivered them to my desk just yesterday!). Part of his cookie gift was the fact that I did not bust in to the boxes myself for a whole DAY AND A HALF. Big deal for this one, pregnant or not. They are now in the freezer waiting for him (because they are even better frozen!).

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppMr. Handsome got me some flowers too! They just happened to arrive at my office while we were pulling up to the lunch restaurant. They called Mr. Handsome’s phone and it was a little awkward. He was just kind of like, aw man you ruined the surprise! It’s hard to retell the story – you just had to be there I guess… but it was cute.

So we had a nice lunch, he gave me more chocolates and a card (I’m so bad at getting cards) AND a Babies R Us gift card. Awww! He says, “We can go shopping together for some nice baby stuff.” What a softie. Hehehe.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppTonight I’m hanging with Kiddo1. We’re making some dinner and I planned to take him out for ice cream but he says, “We have ice cream here. Let’s just stay home.” Honestly that’s fine by me. I’m pooped!

Finally, later tonight, after Kiddo1 goes to bed and Mr. Handsome isn’t quite home from work just yet, I plan on scarfing down chocolates while getting my What Not to Wear fix. I thought about catching up on The Daily Show, but you know, Mr. Handsome likes that one too so I think I’ll save it for him. That’s just what love is all about!

Happy New Year!


Happy last day of 2011! I for one am very excited for 2012: there’s so much going on next year! So I am determined to celebrate, even though I can’t “celebrate” like I usually would with my yearly glass or two of real, honest-to-goodness, straight from France Champagne. Instead, I will trick myself into debauchery with one of these tasty, guilt-free “champagne” cocktails.

I’m also going to (really, really try to) dress up as if I was going out and sit with Mr. Handsome and Kiddo1, playing games and waiting for the ball to drop in NYC – promptly at 9pm as we live on the West coast – followed by glorious sleep. Mmmmm.

2 or 3 white peaches puréed (you can use yellow peaches, if white are not available)
1 teaspoon raspberry puree or Grenadine
1 bottle sparkling juice or non-alcoholic “champagne”

Place the ripe peaches in a small blender and purée until totally smooth. This can be done well in advance and then kept in the fridge. Spoon one and a half tablespoons into chilled glasses, along with two or three drops of the raspberry purée and slowly top up with the bubbly, stirring as you pour. The raspberry purée adds a delightful blush to the drink.

Choose Your Own Adventure (pictured at left)
PhotobucketA little bit of your favorite juice cocktail (like cran-apple)
1 bottle sparkling juice or non-alcoholic “champagne”

This one is cool because you basically just mix some non-sparkling juice into your sparkling juice. It adds color, flavor and overall excitement. Mix until your heart’s content or the balance of sparkling/non-sparkling is to your liking. This is a good one for kids too because my son doesn’t like a lot of “spicy bubbles,” as he refers to carbonation, and you can control just how much “spicyness” they get.
Garnish with something pretty like a raspberry, a small slice of apple or a teeny orange wedge. Cheers to your creativity!

Finally, if you want to make your own non-alcoholic champagne, here’s how you do it:Photobucket
Non-alcoholic Champagne
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons grenadine syrup
28 ounces chilled ginger ale (about 2 1/3 soda cans’ worth)

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil and boil ten minutes. Cool. Add sugar syrup to grapefruit and orange juices. Chill thoroughly. Add grenadine and ginger ale just before serving. Makes about 1½ quarts.
Best wishes in 2012!

Merry Christmas!

Yay, it’s Christmas! I made myself this present. They’re for the baby too! Hehehe…