baby no. 2 bump update {24 weeks}

here’s what’s going on with baby no. 2 this week {from Babycenter}:

Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at about 1 1/3 pounds. Since he’s almost a foot long (about the size of an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he’ll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

how far along: 24 weeks + 1 day.

total weight gain: 5-6 pounds, if i remember correctly from my last appointment – but i head to the doctor again on Friday, and i’m trying to ready myself for some significant weight gain, because i feel so big!

report – recent prenatal appointment: as of my last appointment (at the end of July), everything looks great with baby boy Gillis no. 2; his heartbeat was measured at 130 beats per minute, and i finally have been feeling kicks – in fact, baby moves quite often, which is so much fun! i actually saw my whole belly move the other day for the first time this pregnancy :)

a bump picture:

Sara - 24 Weeks

what’s coming up: this Friday, i have another ultrasound to check on baby boy’s growth, and i’m so excited to see him in my belly again! my Mom and Dad will be accompanying me to this ultrasound, since Jord has an all-day staff meeting that day. then, that afternoon, i visit my regular doctor for a routine OB check-up – and, lucky me, i get to take the glucose test this Friday! ick.

food cravings: cake, cupcakes + chips ‘n’ dip!

what i’m looking forward to: seeing baby again on Friday, and enjoying one last “free” weekend before school officially starts on the 25th!

what i miss: sleeping on my belly and a cold beer at a baseball game :)

update on L and baby’s shared bedroom: as i mentioned here, i’m having a blast brainstorming decor for L and baby boy’s shared bedroom! since my last update, we’ve actually purchased a few things for their room, including a fun warehouse/industrial light fixture, grey and white geometric curtains, artwork for the walls, fabric for my Mom to make two changing pad covers, and custom crib bedding for baby {which is in the process of being made by an Etsy seller and should arrive via mail sometime this fall}. what’s up next: painting the ceiling and hanging the light fixture, purchasing twin-size mattresses and bedding for L’s new {old} bed frame that my parents are painting, hanging the curtain rod and the curtains, and purchasing brackets and hanging some custom shelving in the boys’ room.

i’m also SUPER excited to reveal that Tiny Prints and i will be collaborating on the boys’ shared bedroom, and they are generously providing monogramed pillows and a metal photo print/wall hanging for the room – i can’t WAIT to share more details about this partnership as the items arrive!

next appointment: august 22nd for another ultrasound + OB check/glucose test!

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state of the family: canine edition.

hi all! you may have noticed that Jord and I have been rather mum on the topic of our Yorkie, Wyatt the dog, as of late, and there’s a very good reason why: Wyatt is not part of our little family anymore. instead, Wyatt the dog is on his way to finding a forever home, as part of a terrier fostering and adoption program in a nearby state.


the back story: after we moved in to our new home in August 2013, Wyatt began to show signs that he wasn’t his typical happy self, including various instances of acting out. while he never was aggressive towards us or towards L – something that we never, ever would have tolerated – we began to feel concerned that our little dog’s unhappiness may not be easily remedied by extra loving and the feeling of being settled in a home.

so, after much deliberation and thought, my parents kindly offered to take Wyatt into their home on a trial basis, to see if he was happier in an environment where there were two people to love on him that weren’t distracted by new jobs (me), by getting settled in a new home (all of us), and/or by a growing child (again, all of us). for a while, this situation seemed to be working for all parties – i know that my parents enjoyed aspects of caring for Wyatt – he truly is a good-natured dog with a loving heart – and i know that Wyatt enjoyed receiving lots of attention from his beloved grandparents. during this time, we kept the door open to my parents taking Wyatt in permanently – their offer! – while continuing to explore other options when it came to Wyatt. we still visited Wyatt often at my parents’ home, and he always greeted us with happy, excited barks and kisses (L included).


about the time that we learned that we were expecting baby Gillis no. 2, it became clear to all parties involved that Wyatt again was feeling unhappy. he again began to act out in my parents’ home at times, and after many discussions with each other and with my parents, we all decided that A) Jord and I were not comfortable with Wyatt returning to our home, either in the short term or the long term, due to his various episodes of acting out and the fact that we were expecting another little one that would, again, draw love and attention away from Wyatt, and that B) my parents were not comfortable with Wyatt’s presence in their home on a long-term basis, since he was again displaying his unhappiness, even in light of my parents’ loving care.

at this time, Jord spoke with one of his trusted coworkers, who is a dog-lover and has always offered helpful advice to us as “dog parents” to Wyatt. he explained our situation, and after doing some research of her own, Jord’s coworker recommended a terrier shelter in a nearby state that may be interested in taking Wyatt in and finding him a suitable home. we immediately contacted the terrier shelter, submitted an application for Wyatt, and he was accepted into their fostering program. and in mid-July, we met up with Wyatt’s foster mom (who, after discussing Wyatt with her via phone, and after meeting her in person, is just the kindest lady!) and formally submitted Wyatt into her care.

we feel so, so grateful that organizations like this exist for dogs like Wyatt – a dog who is kind-hearted and loving, but needs more attention that we can offer him at this point. we feel hopeful that this organization will help to find a new home for Wyatt in the near future, one that prioritizes his needs more than we could when he was in our care.


there are moments when I miss him, when I miss his snuggles or his kisses, but we feel confident that we did the best thing that we could for Wyatt – through the help of this organization, we are giving him the opportunity to find a forever home with someone who can love him the way that he needs to be loved.

as far as our future dog-owning days go, we’d love to add another canine to our family at some point far in the future, most likely when we are done having children. when we do take this step, we know that we’ll think much more seriously about a dog’s personality and his/her needs when considering how well a dog would fit in with our family’s lifestyle, and we feel confident that “parenting” Wyatt was a fruitful experience for both of us in helping us to understand how important it is that a dog complement our ever-changing family dynamic.

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housiversary no. 1 + listy mclisterson update.

you guys, guess what?! today is our first housiversary, meaning it’s been one whole year since we’ve moved in to our house! we can’t believe how quickly time has flown by – i guess that tackling DIY projects, working hard to make our stamp on our first home, raising a rambunctious two-year-old, and feeling gleeful about a baby on the way makes a year feel like a minute.


after just a year of living here, dear reader, nothing has changed about the way that we feel about our home – in fact, we still feel SO blessed to call this space home. if anything, we’ve fallen in love with our home base even more as we’ve made it feel more like “us” – plus, it doesn’t hurt that we’re growing our family in this space, which instantly gives us the warm fuzzes about this place.

anywho, in honor of our first housiversary, we thought we’d give you all an update on good ol’ list mclisterson {our house to-do list, as coined by Sherry and John over at Young House Love}. hang on tight – here goes!

overall look + layout of our home

- install crown molding in all rooms

- replace standard light fixtures/fans in all rooms in favor of lanterns and chandeliers

- eventually install hardwood floors in common areas, and install tile in kitchen + bathrooms

- eventually add a fourth bedroom in the lower level by closing off part of the large family room

- eventually repaint exterior of house in grey with white trim


- add some nice hardware to the garage doors to beef them up {like this}

- convert space in garage {just off entry way of home} to a mudroom; add a bench, cubbies/lockers/wainscoting with hooks {repurpose/reposition existing hanging shoe storage?}

- eventually replace garage doors with ones with windows/molding/character


front yard

- add a few planters in front of the garage

- paint the front door {Blue Lake}

- paint the exterior entry door{s} to the garage {Blue Lake}

- paint the storm door?

side/back yard

- build a pergola over {stained} concrete patio

- add Adirondack chairs in a fun color {red? coral?} to the concrete patio space

- DIY a sandbox for Lionel and future sibling(s)

- add potted tall grasses around perimeter of deck for privacy {multiple planters? one long bench-like planter?}

- add an outdoor table and chairs to the concrete patio {paint our old pub table + stools with outdoor paint? store inside the garage in the winter}

- plant lilacs

- plant a food garden

- eventually refinish the back deck in a light grey color; modernize/replace deck posts?

entry way

- add a bold stencil/wallpaper treatment

- paint inside doors: front door, garage entry door {Blue Lake}

- eventually add a fun lantern or chandelier

- add hooks for coats, art


- paint

- paint a chalkboard wall in the eat-in area of the kitchen

- spray paint {Mint? Coral? White?} and hang empty frames on chalkboard wall {write notes, quotes inside}; also add upside down drawer pulls to hold chalk; also draw a family calendar on the chalkboard wall

- add curtains/blinds of some sort to sliding glass door for privacy? Frost the doors for privacy?

- find a cute vintage cake stand and use it to hold soaps/scrubbers beside sink in the kitchen

- add vintage chairs in a fun pop of color

- add art, decorator items above cabinets

- eventually replace the sliding glass door with double French doors {unpaned} or a Dutch door

- eventually add a farmhouse sink

- eventually install tile flooring in a neutral tone

- eventually install subway tile in a neutral tone above counters? {white with dark grout?}

- eventually paint/upgrade to white cabinets {or a tuxedo kitchen, with white upper cabinets and darker {navy, gray, etc.} lower cabinets?}

- eventually take down some upper cabinetry to try out open shelving?

- eventually upgrade appliances to stainless steel?

hallways + stairways

- paint horizontal stripes on the walls {Gray Owl and White Dove? Behr Cracked Pepper and White Dove?}

- add decorator items in lighted nook above the upstairs hallway

- organize upstairs hallway closet: main use for upstairs hallway closet = linens and board games

living room {upstairs}

- add safety gate to stairway before baby #2 comes along {find a style that doesn’t damage the banister and/or is visually pleasing}

- paint

- add an area rug

- add curtains

- mount the television on the wall



- touch up paint in both bathrooms {upstairs is painted a terracotta color, while the downstairs bathroom is charcoal grey}

- paint {Hale Navy}

- add white beadboard to walls {make sure to use bathroom-safe beadboard + adhesive made for damp spaces}

- replace white waffle weave shower curtain in upstairs bathroom with a ceiling height curtain in the same style

- update linens

- add art

- remove builder-grade mirror in upstairs bathroom and hang heavy black mirror horizontally in its place {possibly dry-brush white/silver after painting the walls?}

- eventually replace tub in upstairs bathroom with a claw-foot tub

- eventually tile the entire back wall {behind the tub upstairs}

- replace vanities in bathrooms {repurpose vintage dressers?}

- install sinks with character {double “bowl” sinks?}

- install tile flooring in a neutral tone {grey? white?}

- install new lighting {pot lights above the tub/shower?}


- touch up paint in both bathrooms {upstairs is painted a terracotta color, while the downstairs bathroom is charcoal grey}

- purchase hand towels

- add art

- bring in a vintage dresser in each bathroom to utilize as vanities

- install sinks with character {white basin sink downstairs?}

- install tile flooring in a neutral tone {grey? white?}

- install a tiled {grey penny tile?}, walk-in shower

master bedroom {upstairs}

- paint {indigo}

- Craigslist/sell IKEA Hemnes bed + replace with a DIY upholstered headboard

- add accent pillows/recover existing accent pillows

- add end table

- remove and Craigslist/sell the ceiling fan; add a chandelier

- purchase vintage dresser in a fun pop of color

- add closet organizational system

- create a nook for Baby Boy No. 2

L and Baby Boy No. 2’s bedroom {upstairs}

- remove and Craigslist/sell the ceiling fan; add a warehouse-inspired light fixture

- add white vinyl decals (triangles?) to one wall to create a focal wall in the room

- purchase/make + hang new artwork

- order crib bedding for Baby

- paint big wooden rocker and little wooden rocker, both from my childhood {!!}, as well as a twin bed for L that we inherited from my Mom’s younger days {!!!} {my parents are again tackling the furniture painting for us, since my painting time is limited by the pregnancy; they’ve already begun the sanding + priming process – yay for progress!}

- personalize L’s bed with a monogram {wood? vinyl decal?}

- build, paint + attach a simple bed rail for L’s big boy bed out of 1x3s

- purchase twin mattresses, bedding, sheets + accent pillows/blanket for L’s big boy bed

- build + hang wood shelving on either side of the window {2-3 shelves per side} for additional storage

- purchase curtains

- hang another clothing rod in the closet for Baby’s clothes?

family room {downstairs}

- paint

- bring in TV {at least 55″} and TV stand

- add a wood accent wall behind TV {made of pallet wood?}

- add a sideboard/buffet {with doors for DVD/toy storage} under TV {Craigslist/sell 2×4 black/brown Expedit?}

- add large area rug near/beneath sectional

- add wood blinds, graphic curtains, art

- add built-in shelving {white} with glass doors above ledge

- add playroom for L and future sibling(s) – until fourth bedroom comes along…

- add leather armchair with nailhead trim, sheepskin, ceramic drum table, pillow; hang farmhouse lantern over the armchair {in red? yellow? teal?}

laundry room {downstairs}

- add drywall

- add a folding screen door to hide appliances {furnace, water heater, etc.}

- paint {White Dove}

- stencil a focal wall

- prime, paint {White Dove} and hang open shelving above washer & dryer to hold laundry soaps, baskets, etc.; use 12” shelves {with fun/large brackets spray-painted gold!}

- paint the floor {use Valspar Oil Porch & Floor Paint}

- place washer in a water-safe metal tray

- “build in” washer and dryer, add folding shelf made of MDF {or DIY a faux bois counter}

man nook {downstairs}

- mount two computer monitors on the wall

- mount/bring in a desk

- bring in Operation Nerd Mode PC and Xbox One

- create a cool way to hang/hold accessories, games, etc.

- find a cool chair

- address the drywall situation {while the space has been drywalled, it is need of sanding before painting}

- paint the room a light and airy color

- give some love to the concrete floor (paint it? add rugs?)

- add/build concealed storage furniture {for baby items, holiday items, etc.} in smaller space under stairway {beyond the “man nook” area}?

third bedroom {downstairs} – remember, this space will likely serve as a guest bedroom/be in flux until it becomes L’s big boy room in three years or so!

- paint

- bring in full bed, which is currently housed at my parents’ house

- DIY a headboard

- purchase fun duvet color, solid color Euro shams, colorful throw pillows

- replace light fixture with a chandelier/drum shade

- bring in a dresser, a chair/chaise

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the epic before-baby to-do list.

yup, it’s that time, folks – nesting has already set in {and i’m only 21 weeks along!}, and i’m all about checking off as many to-do items on this here house list as we can before baby Gillis no. 2 joins our family.

here’s what’s on the ‘ol agenda:

master bedroom

- finish DIYing our platform bed, as discussed here; even though we’ve been sleeping in our new bed for a few weeks now, we have a few tweaks to do to the legs of the bed and trim to add, then we’re calling this bed done-zo {as a reminder, our old bed – a black/brown Hemnes from IKEA awhile back – made its pilgrimage to my brother’s new bachelor pad; he also took possession of our matching Hemnes six-drawer dresser and our nightstand}.

- tweak the artwork in the room in preparation for an upholstered headboard {not ready to tackle this yet}, a big DIY mirror out of wood shims {still not done – i’m on a roll, i tell you}, and baby Gillis no. 2′s haven in our bedroom {see below}

- make a haven for baby Gillis no. 2 in our bedroom by adding curtain tie backs {for safety – the crib will be in front of the window}, a changing pad + diapering accessories {to go on our yellow dresser}, the crib + bedding/baby blankets/lovies to our room {back story: while we coslept with L, we’re going to attempt to have this little one sleep in his crib from the start. to make this process easier on ourselves, and to hopefully keep L on a relatively consistent bedtime routine – the two boys will eventually share a room – we’re moving L to a big boy bed later this fall and bringing the crib into our bedroom for the first eight to nine months of baby no. 2′s life.}.

upstairs living room

- drill holes in the wall behind the {mounted} television to conceal the TV cords behind the wall


- touch-up paint on interior and exterior doors {i’m still in love with the Blue Lake color, but after nearly a year of use, they could use a light sanding and a quick touch-up so they are good for the long haul. LESSON LEARNED: sanding before painting = a good idea.}

guest room

- ready the guest room {read: declutter + organize} prior to baby no. 2′s arrival, so my Mom can stay in there if we need/she wants.

Lionel + Baby’s shared room - see my Pinterest board for this room here!

- touch-up paint on walls {still in love with Palladian Blue – it’s the perfect minty blue!}

- paint ceiling?

- add white vinyl decals (triangles? arrows?) to one wall to create a focal wall in the room

- purchase/make + hang new artwork {the purchasing + making of the art is in process right now, and i’m having so. much. FUN.}

- order crib bedding for Baby {already in talks with an Etsy seller – she’s been wonderful!}

- paint big wooden rocker and little wooden rocker, both from my childhood {!!}, as well as a twin bed for L that we inherited from my Mom’s younger days {!!!} {my parents are again tackling the furniture painting for us, since my painting time is limited by the pregnancy; they’ve already begun the sanding + priming process – yay for progress!}

- personalize L’s bed with a monogram {vinyl? vinyl decal?}

- build, paint + attach a simple bed rail for L’s big boy bed out of 1x3s

- purchase twin mattresses, bedding, sheets + accent pillows/blanket for L’s big boy bed

- build + hang wood shelving on either side of the window {2-3 shelves per side} for additional storage

- purchase/dye curtains {i’m so inspired by Jenny’s post on dying her own curtains, and i’d love to shoot for a moody gray-blue color…}

- hang another clothing rod in the closet for Baby’s clothes?


- hem curtains in kitchen + downstairs living room

- locate, clean + bring in all baby gear, including swing, bouncy seat, baby bathtub, etc.

- wash all baby clothes, new {oh, the joys of having another boy in a different season = SHOPPING has been so much FUN!} + old/used {from L}

- purchase new swaddle blankets {we swear by the SwaddleMe brand with velcro!}, car seat {we’re going to try out an infant car seat this time – looking at the Chicco brand!}, diaper bag {need one for two kiddos!}, and cloth diapers {while we were satisfied with our Fuzzibunz experience last time, we really want to try BumGenius this time, so we’re looking to add about 18 BumGenius diapers to our stash with this baby}.

- purchase + wrap Christmas gifts in November {goal: no last-minute stressing after baby comes!}

i’m sure i’m missing like 100,000,000 things that we need to do before this baby comes {we’re due the first week of December}, but this is at least a start…

what’s on your house agenda? do you have an impending deadline like we do?

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last time i wrote in this space, i warned y’all that despite the fact that we’d likely learn {earlier this month!} the gender of our sweet baby on the way, that we’d be slow in updating this space with the news.

and guess what – i was RIGHT. so i’d apologize for that, except i’m totally on a high right now from being able to predict the future failings of myself and my dear hubby to update this here blog. WOO.

anyways, now to the real news…


that’s right, we have yet another boy on the way, and we couldn’t be more excited!

to be absolutely truthful, we’ve had a boy name stashed away since L was still fresh and new and swaddled up, and i CANNOT. WAIT. to bust out this name when our scrumptious boy arrives. how do i know that he’s scrumptious? well, he has his brother’s face profile, and we all know how darn cute our little L is.

i think that i’m still a bit in shock that come Christmas, i’ll be Mama to two boys, ages two and under, but i’m so ready to tackle this experience and all the challenges that come with it. plus, i’m having such a BLAST planning a shared room for these two boys of mine…can’t wait to show you what i’m dreaming up!

i never thought that a boy baby could weasel his way into my heart like L has, and i can’t wait to open my heart to even more snuggles {and cars and trucks and dirt}. we are SO blessed.

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baby no. 2 bump update {18 weeks}.

{if you missed our announcement, click here}

as i did when i was pregnant with L, i will {periodically} track what’s going on with baby Gillis no. 2 on this here blog. so, let’s go!

here’s what’s going on with baby no. 2 this week {from Babycenter}:

Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long, and he weighs almost 7 ounces (about the size of a bell pepper). He’s busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you’ll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they’re still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he’s born. If you’re having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you’re having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

how far along: 18 weeks + 1 day.

total weight gain: 2 pounds – seriously! although, if history shows, i’m due for a big weight gain between now and the next six to eight weeks!

report – recent prenatal appointment: as of my last appointment (at the end of June), everything looks great with baby Gillis no. 2; his/her heartbeat was measured between 130-140 beats per minute, and we could hear evidence of movement on the Doppler. i’ve felt a little bit of movement here and there so far, but nothing very consistent, so i’m looking forward to baby’s major growth and development in the coming weeks so that movement becomes more recognizable and frequent!

a bump picture: {these are from our recent family reunion – i was 17 weeks here}


what’s coming up: on july 17 {me and Jord’s four-year wedding anniversary!}, we will have our 20-week ultrasound to check the baby’s anatomy, including the baby’s gender! we are hopeful that this baby shows us “the goods” so that we can announce whether we’re having a boy or a girl {and so i can start shopping!}. after we tell our families and close friends, we’ll likely announce the gender {provided that baby cooperates} on social media sooner than the blog, so be sure to follow along with us on Instagram and Facebook by clicking the links on the sidebar!

food cravings: chips + queso from Qdoba and water with lemon slices + a TON of ice.

what i’m looking forward to: the 20-week ultrasound + our family trip to Omaha for L’s first trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo!

what i miss: red wine {especially when we eat spaghetti}, drinking as much coffee as i’d like {i’m drinking only one small cup per day, if that}, and sleeping on my belly.

what’s different between my pregnancy with L and this pregnancy, so far:

- i only had intermittent morning sickness {perhaps twice per week, usually on Sundays and Thursdays – odd, i know!}, compared to five straight weeks of morning sickness with L.

- i’ve only been to the ER once {around eight weeks, for pain associated with – what we learned – was a kidney stone}, as compared to two ER visits with L, both for dehydration.

- with L, i craved orange-colored food {think orange Jello, orange soda, Cheetos, etc.} throughout the majority of my pregnancy; this time around, while i still loved orange Jello and a Cheeto every now and then, orange soda made me sick, so i’ve stuck with pink lemonade and water with lemons + ice.

- i’ve felt round ligament pain later, but stronger, in this pregnancy. i’ve also had more back pain, despite my devoted use of a body pillow when sleeping at night.

next appointment: july 17th for our 20-week ultrasound!

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a newsy post.

hi all! it has been awhile since we have posted, but we have a great excuse…


that’s right – we are expecting baby no. 2! after writing this post on our (relative, of course) “struggles” to conceive this baby, i felt so grateful for the outpouring of support and love we received from readers, friends and family. and what is so magical – and what continues to amaze me about God’s divine timing – is that we were likely either pregnant or about to become pregnant when that post hit the web. that’s a God thing right there, i am convinced!

anyway, we are so blessed to be preparing to welcome another little Gillis to our family early in December. at this point (i am 17 weeks along), we are planning on a scheduled c-section for this birth, since i had a c-section with L (click here to catch up on how L came into this world). our 20-week anatomy scan is scheduled for our four-year wedding anniversary (how special!), which is just a few short weeks away, and we are so hoping that little Gillis no. 2 shows us “the goods” so that we can share and celebrate our little mister or miss on the way with our loved ones (and you!).

in other news, this little guy turned two recently:


we celebrated with an Elmo-themed bash that was a big hit with our little man, and we were so delighted to share our love for our firstborn with our family and friends!

we are also (bravely, we are told) taking on the task of potty-training this month. we have noticed over the past two months that L is proving his readiness to end his time with diapers. specifically, he has begun telling us when he wants to be changed and when he is pooping, and he has even started taking off his own diapers in favor of nudity (so much so that he needs to wear shorts/pants nearly all the time to prevent this!).

we plan to follow this potty training “boot camp” method (thank you, Pinterest, for helping me to find a wealth of sources on potty-training success!). last night, we took L shopping for “big-boy undies” and stickers for his sticker chart (he will “earn” a sticker every time he goes in the potty!). our potty-training efforts begin tomorrow (Thursday); in other words, we are using the long holiday weekend to our benefit to help L to grow comfortable with using the potty. we realize that this effort will be ongoing throughout the rest of the summer especially, but it is our goal to have L comfortably in undies during the day time at least (nap time and night time will be a bonus) by the time he returns to school (daycare) in mid-August.

one more thing on potty training: we wouldn’t even consider potty-training L at this age (25 months) if he hadn’t displayed a sense of readiness AND if his vocabulary skills and mental/emotional development weren’t so mature (his doctors’ words). in other words, while we are hoping that he is truly “ready,” we are more than prepared to wait a few weeks/months if this round of potty training doesn’t go well. we want this to be a positive experience for L, and we will work hard to make sure it is, which means following his lead this weekend.

now, on to some house things…

* we are the proud owners of a new (to us) vintage dresser. you might recall that we are selling our bedroom furniture (originally from IKEA – the Hemnes line) to my brother, and since one of those pieces is our Hemnes dresser, we have long been on the hunt for a piece with the personality and storage capacity that we wanted for the space.

and so, may i introduce our new (old) yellow friend, which we purchased from a local vintage store (Aviena Vintage, for you South Dakota locals) for about $270 beans:


the price was a bit more steep than we wanted to pay, but the quality of the piece is unmatched, and the color couldn’t be more perfect with our indigo-painted walls.


* this weekend, Jord and i plan to build our new bed for our master bedroom. we plan to be outdoors and/or on wipeable surfaces most of the weekend as we potty-train L (he loves being outside, and accident clean-up will be much easier outside/on tile), so we feel that this will be the ideal weekend for a little construction project. the bed is a simple platform bed without a headboard, since i plan to DIY an upholstered headboard for us in the near future. the plans we are following are these from the amazing Ana White’s DIY website.

* provided that L is able to grasp the potty-training concept this summer/fall, we plan to transition him from his crib into a twin bed sometime in late fall, before baby. no. 2 makes his/her debut. we feel so fortunate to have been gifted two wooden twin bed frames (headboard and footboard with side rails) from my mother’s childhood; we can’t wait to freshen them up with some paint (even though we won’t need bed no. 2 for a few years, why not paint it now?!), track down the perfect bedding, and update some of the artwork on his walls to complete L’s “big-boy” room.

- side note: we plan to reuse the crib for baby no. 2, of course, but we plan to move it into our bedroom to help L to continue his (stellar) sleep time (relatively) uninterrupted. (i cannot wait to carve out a personalized space just for baby in our room!)

- once we have baby no. 2 sleeping on a relatively dependable nighttime schedule (a concept which makes me laugh, because babies certainly have their own agendas and ideas, but we will sure try!), we plan to have L and baby no. 2 share a room for the foreseeable future (regardless of baby no. 2′s gender). our home’s third bedroom is downstairs, so our two kiddos will likely share until we are comfortable with L sleeping on a different level of the house than us. plus, shared kiddo rooms are fun to design and dream up (check out my Pinterest board for evidence!), and i look back fondly on the times when i shared a room as a youngster with my brother!

* other items on the house to-do list before baby no. 2 arrives include painting/touching up few pieces of furniture (two wooden rockers and the twin beds), which my parents have generously offered to help us complete. anything else that we complete (like a DIY sunburst mirror – made out of shims! – that i have been working on forever, the headboard for our bedroom, the pallet accent wall in our basement, and more…) will be a bonus.

alright, nap time is calling little L’s name, and since the days that are left for me to rock him to sleep are numbered (both because of the quickly evaporating summer and due to the kicking babe in my belly), i must soak up these fleeting moments with our first boy. back soon!

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a {rare} poem – mama’s owies.

Mama’s Owies
By Sara Gillis

I left a layer of skin
A sample from each arm
In the sand at Tut Hill Park

I went first
On the worn yellow slide
To show him it wasn’t scary
But it was

He saw my body splail
As my fingers gripped the sand
Stiffening myself to display a smile
When Mama crocodile tears threatened to fall instead

As I climbed atop the play set
Where his eager eyes were tracking mine
My face markedly grim, but concealed with a grin
I said, “Lionel’s turn?”
“No,” he said, without his usual crinkle in his eyes.

“That’s okay,” I replied.
I paused, just for a beat,
Before I spoke.
“Mama got two owies.”

His face wrinkled with concern
At the sight of my pathetic little wounds
One near each elbow, a matching pair.

And like I always do for him,
For the pretend ones and the real ones and every one in between,

His little lips brushed against my Mama owies
And he smiled.
“All better, Mama?”

My heart weakened
At the sound of his little voice,
His newly-minted two-year-old innocence slipping away by the second.

“Yes baby, thank you,” I choked out
As I pulled him in close, breathing in his sweet smell of apple juice, baby sweat and the lotion I’ve smoothed onto his body his whole life.

As his pudgy arms encircled my neck,
I wanted to bare them all,
All of my Mama owies,
From the scar that stretches across my abdomen,
Marking his arrival,
To the silly little bumps where his head meets mine a little too hard.

Because I know he’d make them all better.
He always does.

Instead, he toddled off
Across a bridge
To the steering wheel perched atop the structure.
He vroom, vroom, vroomed
As I, his Mama, watched,
Owies ceaselessly forming and healing in my heart.

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he’s two.

a letter to L as he turns two today:

Swimming L - June 2014

Dear Sweet Boy,

I can’t believe that you’re two. The past two years since your birth have literally flown by, and I struggle to remember what life was like before your independent little self joined our family.

Your Daddy and I were talking earlier this week about you, and we realized that while we can really see your sense of independence flourishing in toddlerhood, you’ve always followed the beat of your own heart, ever since you were born. When you were only a few weeks old, you rolled from tummy to back, even though you weren’t “supposed” to do that until you were older. Once you started eating solid food, you’ve always eaten what you want, when you’re hungry. Most recently, if you want to read a book, you’ll select the one you want and refuse to read another book that you aren’t interested in (even though it may have been your favorite book yesterday). You tell us what you want to eat for breakfast – usually, you want Frosted Flakes with milk, but you’ll be sure to let us know (typically by a very vocal “no” voiced with attitude) if that entree is not cutting it that day.

To celebrate who you are at this very moment, we’re taking you swimming today. You love playing in the water and exploring the pool with your Daddy, and Mama loves to take pictures of you splashing and having fun. We’re throwing you an Elmo Spaghetti birthday party tomorrow at our house, since your two most favorite things in the world (besides your green monkey, Gus) are Elmo and your Daddy’s homemade spaghetti. We’re so excited to celebrate your little self with our friends and family who love you so so much!

Oh Lionel Conner, we love you to the moon and back, and back and forth again and again.


Mama (and Daddy)

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I caught Lionel reading out loud to himself.

Summer has hit, we spend a lot of time outside, playing and doing all sorts of fun family things. Blog posting isn’t one of them. However, I leave you with this fun little capture. The boy is almost two!

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