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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

What a wonderful Christmas our family had...



As I start to reminisce and think back on the last few Christmases I am blown away by how much has changed!


In 2010 My mom and sister MaryBeth moved from Sacramento, CA to Dallas to be closer to John & I. Their move was PERFECT timing because one week before Christmas I found out I was pregnant! December 23rd 2010 (the eve before Christmas eve) we surprised our family with the good news of Baby #1. A few weeks after Christmas I began this BLOG & I have been faithfully documenting our milestones & new adventures ever since. Here is a look back at my very 1st blog post Bun in the oven

Christmas 2010 (5 weeks pregnant)

Christmas 2011 was a blast! That was Josselyn Grace Alcala's 1st Christmas. I have learned that the holiday's are even more fun (which is hard to imagine) when little ones are around. Children have such a sweet way of bring joy to everyone around them. Even though Josse was only 4 months old last year she still brought so much joy to the Christmas season. In my blog  CHRISTMAS BABY I talk about how much joy Josselyn brought to us that Christmas.

Christmas 2011 (Josselyn Grace Alcala 4 months old)

 This year Christmas 2012 was once again a wonderful holiday full of some new experiences! Combine the last two years and that will tell you a little bit how this year was for me. I once again am pregnant on Christmas plus I have my baby girl Josselyn running around :) I did not realize Christmas could any more fun than last year but believe it or  not it did! This year Josselyn was very aware of all the fun festive things we did with our family & friends and she enjoyed every minute of it!

Christmas 2012 (Josselyn Grace Alcala 16 months old & mommy is 5 months pregnant!)
 
This year Josselyn loved all of mommy's Christmas decorations! It was a little difficult for her not to touch them all but surprisingly she listened quite well. Instead of touching the ornaments she decided to get as close as she could possibly get to the tree and wave at them all lol It was soo funny watching her wave at the different balls & figurines on our Christmas tree.

Trying hard not to touch the tree

This year Josselyn was definitely aware of Santa Clause (although she does not quite comprehend that he is the one who delivers the presents on Christmas morning). I think she just thought that he was a old, fat, scary man who seemed to appear everywhere she went lol She was not to keen on the idea of sitting on his lap (even though we tried twice!) She would however, wave at him from a distance but that was about all the love she was gonna give him this year. Hopefully she will warm up to the whole Santa Clause thing next year.

She would sit on the rocking horse but NOT on Santa's lap

 Josselyn loved going on our annual Couvdos/Alcala horse & carriage ride to see all of the beautiful Christmas lights in Deer Field. For the entire hour she pointed at the lights, made horsey sounds & was as wide eyed as could be. It was so much fun just watching her light up at everything she saw.

Josse loves horses!

Christmas Eve was such beautiful day. We always spend Christmas Eve with my brother & sister in law Joey & Stacey. This year we decided to spend the morning at the Dallas Arboretum. It was so breathtakingly beautiful there. We took some gorgeous pictures and more importantly we got to spend time with our family. Josselyn always has a blast when her older cousins Isabella & Alexandrea are around so she did her best to try and keep up with them! Who knows maybe Christmas Eve day at the Dallas Arboretum will become a new tradition! Every Christmas Eve we go to a Christmas Eve service. This year we went to the service at the Oaks Fellowship (the church Joey is now on staff at). Although it was a beautiful service Josselyn was tired, cranky & basically not the best behaved. Hopefully next year she will get a good nap in before the evening service!



 This year our little one definitely loved getting presents. She did not really understand the whole unwrapping thing (although she did like shredding & eating pieces of wrapping paper) but she definitely loved getting new toys! Christmas morning was a blast. When I brought Josselyn down stairs she was amazed at the toys by the Christmas tree. It was so funny because she was scared to touch them at first haha. It took her about 15 minutes to warm up to her new Sesame Street ball pit but once she mustered up the courage to climb inside of it she hasn't wanted to get out! It was so much fun to watch Josselyn play with her new toys Christmas day.


 John's 1st time playing Santa Clause on Christmas Eve

Happy girl Christmas Morning

 We were blessed with a white Christmas this year! Josselyn experienced her 1st snow and boy did she love it. You would think that a 16 month old would not want to be in the cold, wet, snow but Josse loved everything about the snow. Having it snow on Christmas Day really is a dream come true. Growing up in Sacramento I never once experienced a "white Christmas" so I am definitely cherishing this gorgeous Christmas Day gift from above!

The view in our backyard

I've been dreaming of a White Christmas
 
Not only did we have a beautiful white Christmas but we were able to spend the day with our beloved family. It is a tradition for everyone to come to our house for Christmas day lunch so after Santa, presents, etc everyone made their way to our house. John's whole family was able to come, along with my mom & sister and Ron & Cathy Pegg (Stacey's parents). I do wish both of my brothers could have been there as well but unfortunately it is not easy getting everyone together now that we are older & live in different states (maybe next year!). Anyways, Josselyn just LOVES having her whole family together & it was a real treat for her to get to spend some time with Gigi & Papa (John's parents) who she does not see quite as often. The older I get the more I realize how precious family is. Time is a gift and you never know how long you will have with your loved ones so it is so important to cherish the sweet times the Lord blesses you with!


  
2012 was a wonderful year for our family & I can not wait to see what God has in store for us in this next year. I can only imagine how different next Christmas will be with a 2 year old & an 8 month old! I am sure it will be quite an adventure & I am going to do my best to cherish every moment.






Until next time MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR

Love: John, SheriLynn, Josselyn & Baby #2









Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Halfway There...

I am 20 weeks Pregnant!



Which means I have reached the halfway point. In a way this whole pregnancy has just flown by but then again being in Mexico on Aug 26th (John's 29th Birthday) finding out I was pregnant seems like forever ago! This pregnancy has been full of both up's & down's.

We found out I was pregnant on a cruise to Mexico

There was the initial mind blowing shock of finding out I was pregnant! I am learning that some of life's greatest blessing's are those unexpected, unplanned, surprises lol and sweet baby #2 was most definitely a jaw dropping surprise!


Then there was the awful morning sickness. John swears I was way more sick with Josselyn but I don't know. There were definitely some rough weeks when I could not get dressed, brush my teeth or even shower. Thank God for my mom who would come over & get Josselyn out of bed and feed her breakfast because the smell of food literally made me vomit! I was so nauseous that I lost 7lbs my 1st trimester and that never happened with my first pregnancy!


Well, then there was the fun, anticipation of finding out baby #2 is a GIRL! I honestly felt like baby #2 was a boy becasue this pregnancy has been so different than my first, but apparently no pregnancy is the same. Yesterday, at my 20 week check up the doctors once again had a very clear shot that confirmed for the 3rd time that baby #2 was most definitely 100% a girl :) YAY for sisters!!!


My favorite part of the pregnancy so far has been feeling the wonderful 2nd trimester baby kicks. I just love feeling my baby girl kick and twirl all around. These adorable, pain free, kicks are such a wonderful, comfort that my baby girl is healthy, active and moving all around.


Currently, I am experiencing  one of the down's of pregnancy... which is out growing all of my current clothes :( Even though I  have only gained 1 pound so far (due to the weight loss I experienced in my 1st trimester) I am starting to not fit into my normal jeans & leggings. Ugh...that means that I am going to have to pull out all my old maternity clothes from the attic (Boo!) Anyways, all of these up's & down's make-up my pregnancy journey which is already half way over...


Now these next 20 weeks I will start to become very busy preparing & planning for the arrival of my 2nd princess. I have an entire nursery to decorate (right now baby #2's room is completely empty!) We sold all of the furniture that use to be in that room so I have already began the search for more baby furniture. I have to decide on a paint color, possible wall paper, crib bedding, decor etc. I also have to sell my beloved Bugaboo Chameleon stroller that was Josselyn's (I am so sad about having to sell my dream stroller) but I have to find a double stroller for both of my girls! I also have to think about possible maternity pictures, and then in May newborn pictures. And then I get to figure out what to wear to the baby shower (yipee!)


The empty nursery


I am looking forward to these next few months & I will be sure to keep you posted on all of the new up's & down's that continue to make up "my pregnancy story"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stretch Marks...

Ugh Stretch Marks...


Stretch Marks are one of the things I fear the most about pregnancy! When I was pregnant with Josselyn I prayed every night for 2 things. #1 that I would not get stretch marks & #2 that I would not have to get an episiotmoy/or tear.  Well, unfortunately only one of my two prayers were answered. However, I did go through 9 months of pregnancy and NOT get a single stretch mark (the episitomy/tearing is a whole other story). It is pretty amazing that I managed to stay strech mark free becasue I definitely gained a good 28 lbs during my pregnancy & my stomach went from flat as a board to huge as a beach ball! I am not completely sure how to avoid those retched marks again but I am hoping & praying that I somehow do!

There are tons of mixed tales & stories on stretch marks. Some people say that there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent stretch marks becasue they are genetic. I have read things & heard people say, if your mother had them you will have them, if your mother did not have them then you will not have them. My mom informed me that she stayed stretch mark free with her first 2 pregnancies however with her 3rd pregnancy she was left with a couple battle wounds (AKA stretch marks). I hope the genetic thing is the main factor because I absolutely do not want to birth another child out of my ____ (fill in the blank) after this one! I thought one time was enough and somehow I am doing it a second time! I can promise you that there will not be a 3rd biological child coming from me. Honestly, if John would've let me use a surrogate mother I would have been all for that for both pregnancies (seriously!) I absolutely adore the outcome of the pregnancy (the sweet baby) but I despise the 9 month process along the way. That may sound heartless, but oh well. Just because I am not a fan of pregnancy does not mean that I am not eternally grateful & thankful for my sweet baby blessings. Not everyone has to love pregnancy ladies, but luckily many of you do!  Anyways, back to stretch marks...I have heard you can help prevent stretch marks by not scratching your tummy, even when it itches!  I have also heard to avoid reaching high because a sudden reach & pull can cause them. Many people have recommended drinking tons of water (1/2 a gallon a day) that keeps you hydrated from the inside out plus it is very healthy for both mommy & baby! I have had freinds say that their doctors said steady, healthy, weight gain can help avid them. Online I read not to scrub your tummy in the shower too hard or dry too roughly with a towel because both of those things can contribute to them (hmmm?). Lastly, I have heard that if you douse yourself with Palmers Cocoa Butter (or some other cream) every day then your skin will not get dry and you will have a good chance of avoiding stretch marks.


My last pregnancy I used Cocoa Butter religiously and in the end I had no stretch marks! Needless to say, I am definitely going to do the exact same thing this time around. In fact I just bought my 1st bottle of Cocoa Butter last week! I have already began to rub it all over at least once a day. Whether or not it really helps doesn't matter to me (I am not taking any chances). I have also read about & heard of some others good preventative creams like: Vitamin E oil, Bio-oil, Bump Gloss, Clarins Tonic Body oil, Olive oil, etc. Who knows if those creams work but there are definitely some experienced mama's out there who swear by them!



Well, for now I am going to stick to using my Palmer's Cocoa Butter daily, drinking lots of water and hope/pray for the best! If you have any other tips on how to avoid stretch marks feel free to let me know. I am always open to trying new things; I have nothing to lose!



Here are some pics of the growing bump!



Monday, December 10, 2012

First Baby Kicks

I am 18.5 weeks pregnant (week 19) and last night I felt my 1st baby kick!


I have been feeling flutters & tons of movement the last 2 weeks, but last night I began to feel the first sweet, little, kicks. Who knows if the baby was kicking before last night, but thankfully last night I paused for a minute in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season and I just sat on the couch with my hubby and relaxed for the first time in I don't know how long! It is always in those still, quite, moments during the early stages of pregnancy that you are able to feel that little tiny miracle move around inside of you. John even got to feel a few little movements! I looked back at one of my old blogs  First Flutters, Nausea or Gas... and it was at this exact time when I was pregnant with Josselyn, that I began to feel flutters (but not actual kicks). It really is true that you can feel your 2nd baby move a lot sooner than your 1st! I guess you know what to feel for the second time around. It really is a spectacular thing and although I am still not a huge fan of the whole pregnancy process I do absolutely love & adore the sweet 2nd trimester baby movement.

Now, in about 4 months don't ask me how I feel about sweet baby kicks, because it will be a whole other story! I will never forget the kicks, I mean karate jabs that Josselyn gave me while still in my womb. Her long, skinny, foot or elbow would end up stuck in my ribs, or down im pelvic. She would jab so hard on my bladder that I would literally pee my pants (sorry TMI). Half of the time she would curl up on one side of my stomach and I would look like I had a deformed stomach with an alien baby inside. I know, I know, it doesn't last long and feeling the baby move (or do Tae bo) is a good thing becasue it means the baby is healthy & active, but it does not mean that it is comfortable or enjoyable for that matter. Anyways, like I said I love the teeny, tiny, 2nd trimester kicks & movements so I am going to treasure this time & enjoy it for the next couple months. I just know that before long my whole stomach will be shake, rattle & rolling with round house kicks, upper cuts & elbow jabs from this little princess!


I will be sure to keep you posted on our new adventures & milestones as they come along!





Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thanksgiving in New York City 2012

We spent this past Thanksgiving in New York City! 

Thanksgiving Day 2012



I will confess, I am a few weeks late writing this Blog but I couldn't let Christmas come around without at least mentioning our Thanksgiving vacation.
 
Amazing Times Square



This was the 2nd year that we have spent Thanksgiving in NYC. We have some dear friends, the Arrington family who have made Thanksgiving in New York City an annual tradition and every year they invite a large group of friends & family to join them. We had such a wonderful time with them last year, we knew we had to join them again this year when the invitation was presented!

Me & Josselyn with the beautiful Arrington girls

 

Last Thanksgiving Josselyn was only 3 months old! She had no idea that she went to the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Production, or that she strolled through central park & went ice skating! And she definitely had no idea that she went on a subway to China Town. Here is a look back at last year's blog post Thanksgiving in New York City 2011 Look how tiny Josselyn was!!!





This year was a whole other story! Josselyn was absolutely amazed by the bright lights & all the action that took place in the big city. One of Jossleyn's favorite things of the entire trip was the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Last year the parade meant nothing to her but this year she watched with wide open eyes the entire parade. Josselyn had a reserved spot on the window seal & she did not let anything distract her from the big floats & marching bands that went by.






After a delicious Thanksgiving lunch at the fabulous Essex House Hotel, we decided to take Josselyn on a horse & carriage ride in Central Park. Josselyn absolutely LOVES horses! She makes the most hilarious horse sound & she say's "Yee-haw" thanks to YaYa. Even though poor Josselyn had not had a nap yet & was beyond exhausted, she still absolutely loved the horsey ride.






Once again Thanksgiving evening we went to the amazing Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular! This year Josselyn did not join us (she stayed with a baby sitter from the hotel) but John & I had an incredible time and we were once again blown away by those phenomenal leg kicking Rockettes!





Black Friday would not be Black Friday without a little shopping and there is no better pace to shop than in NYC! John & Josselyn once again came along with mama & the girls to all the fun hot spots including my favorite spot Canal Street! I can not forget to mention that Josselyn had the most awful, smelly, disgusting poop explosion in the NYC Taxi Cab! Of course I did not have a change of clothes (and there was poop everywhere)! Basically that was not only the stinkiest, but the most expensive taxi ride of my life (we had to wait in the taxi while John brought a change of clothes for Josselyn from the hotel)




You can not go to NYC and not see one of the fabulous Broadway productions! This year we went and saw Phantom of the Opera. I just love that musical and like always I was blown away by the talent & excellence in the show.




I have been to New York a couple times but I have never been to the gorgeous Waldorf Astoria Hotel. We had the privilege of seeing the world famous Millionaires Magician show.  John and I were both speechless through the entire show and we still can not figure out how those mind-blowing tricks were done.




Another first for this trip was visiting the HUGE FAO Schwarz Toy Store.  Josselyn was in heaven the entire time we shopped around.  Out of all the toys in the entire store, Josselyn decided to bring home a pink toy car and a horse Christmas ornament.  I have to admit, John and I had quite a bit of fun in the store as well!






Our last evening in New York City, we eat at the delicious restaurant China Grill.  We all 3 loved everything we tasted, especially the dessert!

 


Flying can always be a little scary with a baby and the older Josse has gotten the less well-behaved she has become on flights.  However, Josselyn was a total trooper this time around.  She slept half of flight and watched Elmo on our iPad for the rest of the flight.  She may have annoyed a few people with her constant waving and occasional high pitched screams but hey, I'm not complaining.

  


That about sums up our 5 days in NYC.  We had the time of our lives and we will always treasure the sweet memories we made there. There is nothing quite like the holidays, family & friends!

Beautiful Central Park





Below is a Shutterfly photo album I made of our trip