It’s a…….

BOY!!! I am still in shock. Last night we found out that baby #3 is a boy. I was sure we were going to have another girl. On Wednesday morning we had my 20 week ultrasound. The baby was healthy and everything looked great. We had the ultrasound person put the gender in an envelope for us again (like we did with Dannie) and we gave it to Chuck’s sister, Paige, to do something for a reveal. (I’ll tell you all about that after I upload the pictures.) We had the reveal party with family last night.

The end result of Paige’s game gave us blue playdoh and this cute little picture!

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I was really surprised and after having a day to sleep on it and let it sink in, I’m really excited! So wish us luck, and wish the little guy luck with two big sisters! Smile

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Dancing Queen

For the last couple months or so, Maddie has been asking (and asking and asking) if she can take a “bannerina” (ballerina) class. So I found a local place that had some summer sessions and signed her up. To say she was excited would be an understatement. 

Here are a few pictures. The parents can only watch through a window that has a sheer curtain on it, so I apologize for the quality of the pictures. (She’s wearing a purple leotard in all the pictures.)

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This dance studio has a nice play area for siblings during dance class. The first night we were there, Dannie played in it. Now she would prefer to sit next to me, watch Maddie and be silly.

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After her first night of dance class, we came home to dinner on the table and Daddy brought a treat home. He brought ice cream and toppings. It wasn’t just her first day of dance, she also started a sports class the same day (which I will blog about soon), Chuck got her a treat for trying two new things that day. She was pretty excited!

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Dannie was quite happy to enjoy Maddie’s treat, too. (And let’s be honest, I was the most excited of all when I saw Chuck got me Butterfinger ice cream!)

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Maddie has continued to like dance class. She’s gone for three weeks and has one more class this session. Then two weeks off and another four weeks. If she is still interested, I’ll sign her up for fall. But we will play it by ear. As long as she is having fun and wants to go, I’ll keep signing her up. I think she would be just adorable all dolled up for a recital!!!

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More Twitter

First, I will start by saying that I’m a bit of a freak. I knew that one day I would want at least three kids. So when I made a Twitter account for Maddie (@microhays) I knew that I should make one for possible subsequent children. Not knowing what the future would hold, I created two more accounts….One for “Maybe Baby #2”, AKA, Dannie (@nanohays) and one for “Maybe Baby #3”, AKA, Baby #3 (@picohays).

All this to say I added a link on the right hand side to the new baby’s Twitter feed and it will show the most recent post there as well, just like the other Twitter accounts.

So there you have it. I’m a nerd. The next name in the list of metric prefixes is “femto”. Not nearly as cute as the others, which is why I haven’t created another account. We will see how 3 goes. Then I can assess the possibility of any other Twitter accounts. Smile

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Covet

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For June, my book club did a “choose your own book”. Covet was my pick. This book is by Tracey Garvis Graves. She wrote On The Island and I really liked that book, so I had a feeling I would like this one as well. Here’s a little about the book:

What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.

Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop and runs into her again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.

Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.

First, I really liked this book. It was a fast and easy read. I felt like I could have been reading about anyone in my neighborhood. With so many stay-at-home moms who have husbands who travel, I could see them in this situation. It made the whole book more “real” in that way.

Second, I liked that Graves continued with her writing style of having different chapters by different characters. The main character, Claire, had the majority of the dialogue with some dispersed chapters that were a few pages long, from the view of her husband and her cop friend.

My one gripe, which I only noticed after reading the book, actually has nothing to do with the book at all. It’s the first sentence in the synopsis.  “What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?” POSSIBLE SPOILER. This was from the view of the cop friend. It originally led me to believe there would be more about this. But there really wasn’t. And I only noticed it later on. It just seemed strange to catch readers’ attention with this line when it really wasn’t the main focus of the book, in my mind.

Oh well. It really takes nothing away from the book. I just found it odd. Again, I thought it was a great book. I really like this author and I can’t wait for her to come out with more books. If you want a nice summer read, pick this up!

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Big News at the Hays House

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Yep! This is happening at our house! We are really excited!

And note that I cannot take any credit for the above photo. I slept on the couch while Chuck made this beauty!

I went to my doctor appointment yesterday. We had an ultrasound and confirmed that yes indeed, there is a baby in there (I never believe it until I see an ultrasound!). The due date I was thinking was November 30th. Since I have c-sections (here’s why), I was planning for a birthday the week of Thanksgiving. Maybe not ideal, but you don’t get to pick when you’ll have another baby.

Well, I went to the appointment and my doctor decided to move my due date up by 6 days (to November 24th), which would have a surgery date of the 18th (because that’s the day she does surgeries). Which means that we will have a very busy November….My birthday and our 10 year anniversary is on November 6th, Dannie’s birthday is November 13th and this one will be born the following week, then there’s Thanksgiving the week after. Phew!

So I’m now 13 weeks instead of 12. Nice little bonus there! There’s a small chance my doctor will call and adjust that date again, but she was pretty confident of the change due to the measurement of the baby.

Speaking of baby….what a little cutie! It is quite the little mover in there and I am still astounded that I can’t feel something that 3 inches long moving inside me! The baby had its hands snuggled right up by its face.

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So there you have it. A third baby is going to be added to our brood. We will be finding out if it’s a girl or boy the second week of July. We will probably do something fun again like we did for Dannie.

I’ll do what I can to keep some updates coming!

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18 Months

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I can’t believe how fast Dannie has been growing up. I feel like I blinked and BAM…she’s 18 months old. Wow.

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D has been trying to talk a lot more. She has a bunch of words and signs now and seems to be very happy that she can communicate with us better.

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She dotes on her sister ALL the time. She follows her around and wants to copy everything she does. It’s really sweet. Sometimes I need to remind Maddie that Dannie is always watching her and she needs to make sure she doesn’t teach Dannie bad habits…like standing on the picnic table or playing on the stairs.

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They love holding hands and I can tell that they are going to be such good friends. They also fight and bicker and Dannie is really starting to hold her own with Maddie (and other kids).

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Dannie is my little daredevil. She isn’t overly crazy, but she definitely takes more risks than Maddie did.

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She LOVES shoes. Not just a little bit. A LOT. She will bring our shoes to us, wear our shoes, put her shoes on, wear her sisters shoes over her shoes, etc. She is also particular about which shoes she wears. If I pick the wrong ones, I will get a big head shake and a toddler dashing off to find the ones she wants.

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Which brings me to the fact that she is getting quite the personality. She’s becoming strong willed and definitely has opinions on things. She is also as silly as they come.

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Dannie’s current favorite book is “Pout Pout Fish”. She really loves it. She wants to take it to bed and carries it all over the house it her. She walks around saying “blub blub blub” (which is a phrase from the book).

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She is the sweetest little girl and is my snuggler. She wants to be in my pocket a lot of the of time. She gives hugs to everyone. She gets so excited when dad gets home and runs to the door. And she will give her sister kisses and hugs.

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Happy year and a half birthday my sweet squishy face! We love you!

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Knot Genie

Maddie has really long hair. And I haven’t had the heart to cut it yet, so she still has some baby curls. This long hair can get quite tangled and she is very sensitive when I am trying to brush her hair. So I found a deal on a Knot Genie hairbrush. When I first bought it, I’ll admit I was a little skeptical about how well it would work.

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After trying it out on Maddie and not hearing any complaints and getting nice, smooth, un-tangled hair, I was sold. I use it with some detangling spray after baths as well as just on her dry hair. She doesn’t complain that it hurts and I’m happy I can get a brush through her hair without many complaints.

I did buy one from Target as well, so I could have one upstairs and one downstairs. I don’t remember the brand of it, but it works well, too.

Maddie does like to use it herself, too. She’s still a little young to do a very good job of brushing, but she is happy to try. Dannie likes trying to brush her hair with it, too.

Overall, If your daughter has long hair, a sensitive head, or you’re just tired of struggling with her to brush her hair, I highly recommend giving this brush a try. I have no promises you’ll get the same results as I do, but it has worked for me.

All of the opinions are my own and this was not a sponsored post.

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Kid Toilet Seat

Back when we decided to seriously start potty training Maddie, we decided to get this toilet seat for our bathroom on the main floor.

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I loved that I didn’t have an extra seat to put on the toilet, take off and clean and I never cared much for the potty seats where I had to empty and clean it out all the time. This seemed like the perfect compromise. The training seat has a magnet on the top to hold it up when adults are using the toilet and it easily comes down for kids to use. When you close the lid, it has a no-slam feature so kids won’t slam their fingers. You can also very easily take the whole seat off for cleaning if you need to by twisting the two screws that hold it on.

Overall, I have been extremely happy with the seat. The only downfall in my mind is the tiny pins that hold the training seat on are plastic and not very durable. Maddie broke one of the pins off and we ended up replacing the seat (for free with a warranty return). I still would have preferred not to replace it, but I was happy it was an easy process.  We did end up getting another one of these seats for the basement since I plan on that really being the kids’ space. Ideally, I’d love one in the jack-and-jill bathroom upstairs, but for now, one of the removable seats have been serving that purpose.

If you have kids that are potty trained or will be in the future, I recommend looking into these toilet seats. It saves on ease of cleaning up toilet “parts” and teaches kids to use the toilet. I know that being able to go right on the toilet instead of a potty seat helped Maddie’s confidence.

All of the opinions are my own and this was not a sponsored post.

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The Storyteller

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A couple months ago, my book club picked The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. If you have ever read a book of hers, you will understand how powerful they can be. If you haven’t read one of her books, you definitely should. First, here’s what the book is about.

Some stories live forever . . .

Sage Singer is a baker. She works through the night, preparing the day’s breads and pastries, trying to escape a reality of loneliness, bad memories, and the shadow of her mother’s death. When Josef Weber, an elderly man in Sage’s grief support group, begins stopping by the bakery, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Despite their differences, they see in each other the hidden scars that others can’t, and they become companions.

Everything changes on the day that Josef confesses a long-buried and shameful secret—one that nobody else in town would ever suspect—and asks Sage for an extraordinary favor. If she says yes, she faces not only moral repercussions, but potentially legal ones as well. With her own identity suddenly challenged, and the integrity of the closest friend she’s ever had clouded, Sage begins to question the assumptions and expectations she’s made about her life and her family. When does a moral choice become a moral imperative? And where does one draw the line between punishment and justice, forgiveness and mercy?

In this searingly honest novel, Jodi Picoult gracefully explores the lengths we will go in order to protect our families and to keep the past from dictating the future.

Let me start by saying I didn’t finish this the month we were reading it for book club. I was so excited to read a Picoult book again because it had been a while. But it was really hard for me to get into at first. By about half way through, I was hooked. I didn’t want to put it down and I HAD to know what happened next. I don’t feel like I am giving much away by saying there are flashbacks to the holocaust. The flashbacks were truly the most moving and gripping parts of the novel and it wasn’t pretty. This book and the images are going to stay with me for a long time. It was haunting to read and imagine being there. Yet so compelling, I needed to know more.

If you like Jodi Picoult, I think you’ll really enjoy this one as well. If you haven’t read one by her before, this might not be the best one to start with unless you are curious about the holocaust. It was a little slow moving at the beginning, so one of her others might be a better fit for a first time read.

Overall, I think you should definitely read this at some point. It wouldn’t be my pick for a beach read because I like those to be a little more “fluffy”. And I couldn’t read this one right before bed (I had some terrible dreams the one time I did that!). But the topic and depth of the story is something I would urge people to read.

Happy reading.

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Sharp Objects

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Sharp Objects is my Book Club’s pick for May, but I had already started it when we picked it. I just finished it last night and really loved it. Here’s a little run-down.

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

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Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

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As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

This was Gillian Flynn’s first book, but it’s the last one of hers I have read. I read Gone Girl first and then Dark Places. I love Flynn’s writing and when this one came available to me through the library, I dropped what I was doing and started reading. I can’t wait for Flynn to release more books!!

I love a good mystery. I love it when a book keeps me guessing. There were a number of times I thought I knew who did it (I’m pretty good at figuring out who did it early on in tv shows…it’s weird), then something else made me jump to someone else, then I was just down right confused. I didn’t want to put it down when I was getting close to the end because it was getting exciting, and all my questions were getting answered.

Overall, if you have read Gone Girl or Dark Places and liked them, you will like this one, too. Flynn makes some creepy, yet likable characters and tells such an eerie story that you just can’t stop reading.

Since I am done reading my book for May, I’m trying to decide what to read next. I have a couple books I have started that I may try to finish reading. But if you’ve read something recently that I should pick up right away, let me know!!

Happy reading!

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