Brunch with Santa


Last Sunday we joined my parents at their country club to have brunch with Santa. It's a really fun tradition, that I grew up going to, so I was so excited to take Leo there for him to enjoy it - and get to go to as a mom too. 

When we got to brunch, we said hi to some friends, ordered a round of drinks at the table, and then after about 15 minutes, decided to get in line to go meet the big guy. 

I thought for sure Leo would be ok sitting with Santa since he did great with Mrs. Claus last week, but as we got closer and closer to our turn, Leo's grasp on me got tighter and tigheter. 


When we got up to Santa, Leo had zero interest in sitting on his lap alone, and I really didn't feel like forcing him, so we kept our distance as Leo received a present from Santa. 


Funny enough, Leo had no issue with Mrs. Claus. He went right up to her, started chatting and was happy to sit on her lap and tell her all about his "elf" RoRo. 


We had been practicing with "What does Santa say" for weeks and Leo had it down pat - but when we left our little meet and greet, Leo kept telling us that Mrs. Claus says "Hi Sweetheart".


We opened our little presents back at the table and let me tell you, the Melissa and Doug water wow paint book was a huge hit. I have another one coming so that we can keep one at home and one can come with us to all restaurants now. It's brilliant and Leo is obsessed.  

Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! Activity Book, 3-Pack - Animals, Alphabet, and Numbers 

It allowed us to have a long, delicious brunch and all week all Leo has wanted to do is "paint". 


We had such a fun, special morning and I'm excited to add this to the list of new holiday traditions for our family. 


Bumpdate: 37 weeks

How Far Along? 37w6d

Gender: GIRL

Weight Gain: 30lbs, 27lbs at doc

Maternity Clothes: I've got a few comfortable "outfits" and I'm re-wearing them often.

Nursery: Let's call it done. There are a few things I'd like to add; a. something for the wall behind her crib and b. different baskets and storage for toys down the road - but they're not necessary for now so we are done! My mom hemmed the drapes this past weekend and the room is really, really lovely. Leo and I play in their a lot, and I can't even imagine what it's going to be like when baby sister is in there with us too. I'm hoping to share pictures in the next week or two.  
Movement: A ton and it's crazy when her butt and head pop up at the same time. I love laying in bed for an hour at night before I attempt sleep and just watching and feeling her move.
 Symptoms: A new symptom for this week, and for me ever (since I didn't have this with Leo) is chest and rib soreness. It almost feels bruised. My doctor said it's really normal and that I'm lucky it hit me pretty late in pregnancy because it can effect people much earlier. 

Otherwise, I'm having some mild cramping, and overall last weeks of pregnancy feelings; tired, hungry, and tired ;)
Sleep: On Friday night I literally pulled an all nighter. That sucked very hard, but otherwise this week I've slept fine I suppose.

Joel: Got his stuff packed in our hospital bag this past weekend, is starting to get his work ready for his time away from the office, and seems to be getting really excited.

 Workouts: Sad to report...none

Mood/Mental State: Surprisingly calm for the most part.

Cravings: Salads. I think I'm getting so sick of food and sweets, that my body is wanting some healthier fare - and I'm trying hard not to ignore that and get in as many salads as I can.

What I Miss:  Being able to put on shoes by myself and not being uncomfortable standing.

Random Things: Bags are packed and this is the most pregnant I've ever been since I had Leo at 37 weeks

Best Moment of the Week:  A perfect 38 week doctors appointment. Everything is looking great, growth for baby and me is right on track, heartbeat sounded good and the doctor estimates the baby to weigh 6lbs14oz when she is born (Leo was 5lb14oz).

Next week, for my 39th week, my doctors appointment is at the hospital when my doctor is going to deliver this baby (!!!!!!!!!). I cannot believe it. I'm scared, excited, anxious, and ready to be on the other side.

Looking Forward To: Having a healthy, perfect baby in my arms.


Our Decked Halls

Last Thursday I had my neighbor/girlfriend come over so that our babes could decorate gingerbread houses and it finally proved to be the perfect excuse to tidy up and take some pictures of our Christmas decorations! 


This is the first Christmas in our new house, so I had fun playing around with our current holiday decor and trying to decide where everything should go. 


We ended up getting a new Christmas tree for the family room - as well as a few pieces to light up the outside of the house, and that's where the majority of my Christmas decorating budget went. 

For the most part, I was able to use all of the decorations we've accumulated over the years and the house feels cozy and festive and I'm pretty sure will be looking like this until March.







Christmas Festivities

We've had a bustling December so far - but between getting ready for baby, we're really filling up our days and weekends with fun Christmas activities.  

We started the month off celebrating my mom's birthday. We had a great dinner with my parents before they jetted off to Mexico with my sisters to really celebrate the best mom and Coco there literally ever was. 


Leo's school calendar for December is packed with fun activities - gingerbread house making, present making activities, etc. - but they kicked off the month with a birthday party for Jesus (catholic school perks ;) 

This past weekend our sweet friends had a perfect Christmas party for the adults and the kids. It was at 4pm, a dinner full of appitizers and desserts, and all of the kids picked each other's names for a gift exchange.


What could be better?

Then, on Monday afternoon, our local library had a special story time with Mrs. Claus. A bunch of my girlfriends and I got tickets weeks ago, and so all of the little guys were amped up for the big event! 


The library did a great job of having a few songs, a few stories that high school students acted out, and then some arts and crafts while we waited in line for our turn with Mrs. Claus.


Tonight we have our neighbors coming over to decorate gingerbread houses and then this Sunday we have brunch with Santa. I sort've felt like I wanted to get a good amount of the major Santa/Christmas activities in as early as possible in case baby decided to surprise us - and I'm so glad we've gotten a chance to really celebrate with just Leo.  


Bumpdate: 36 weeks


How Far Along? 36w5d

Gender: GIRL

Weight Gain: 28.5lbs

Maternity Clothes: I'm re-wearing a ton, but the finish line is officially in sight so I don't really care.

Nursery: It's about 89% there. Not too much else needs to happen. Drapes need to be hemmed, I need to find some baskets for her closet, and then a few additional items need to go up on the walls and we're going to be in business. I'm keeping it really simple for now.

This weekends big task was to get the mirror gallery wall up on the wall, and both Joel and I were both kind of dreading it. Somehow, it turned out to be much easier than we expected and the whole thing was done in just a little over an hour. I love the way it turned out.

Movement: She is getting so big, I can just feel it. She feels very sideways to me, even though at my last doctors appointment my doctor said she was head down. I love feeling her and I know I'm going to miss the feeling when she is on the other side.
 Symptoms: This week was actually tough. Today, I'm feeling great, but it's the first day in like 6 or 7. I picked up whatever cold Leo got, could not breath, had bad sinus pressure all over, and just felt fresh out of jokes. 

A humidifier next to my bed really helped a lot of the symptoms, and the last few nights I've slept so well. So I'm really thankful to be feeling just pregnant and not pregnant and sick. That was getting to be a bit too much.

Last night, I was watching The Santa Clause for probably the 100th time in my life, and when Joel came upstairs, it was just ending and I was a sobbing mess. Charlie was reminding me of Leo, and how fast they grow up, and blah, blah, blah. Joel found it to be very hilarious.
Sleep: Well it had been hell, but the last few nights have been so much better and I really think the humidifier has helped a lot too.

Joel: Got a ton of stuff done this weekend. We have the car seat installed, swing built, gallery wall up, bottles ready to go, and a few other things that I had on my to-do list. I think we both nested a bit this weekend and it started to get us in the "ok, we're ready" mode which is a nice feeling. There are still a few things, but nothing major.

 Workouts: For the last 36 weeks, I've worked out twice a week with these two girlfriends that are also expecting their second babies in 2018. It's been SO much fun to have them and we've all motivated each other the entire time. My last week at the gym was bittersweet!

Mood/Mental State: Emotional, Sad and down, but now feeling better and starting to have glimpses of true excitement and true fear!

Cravings: Coffee cake. There's a particular kind that my Papa used to bring over to our house all of the time. It's SO unhealthy for you, probably worse than a donut, but the last few months, I've grabbed them on Sundays to take to my parents while my sisters are in town and all of a sudden I'm like obsessed with them. I had to buy one this weekend and I really hope I can restrain myself from doing that again.

What I Miss: I missed Dayquil this week.

Random Things: Lots of baby prep this week - and Leo officially knows Baby is coming and probably coming soon. He has recently been very "mommy" and wants to be held a lot, and is also being realllllly clear about what is "Leo's".

It was really cute though on Sunday when we were working in the nursery, he was playing in the baby's closet and kept pointing at things "that's for baby ____", and "that's for baby____". 

Best Moment of the Week:  Feeling better, celebrating my mom's birthday this week, and getting ready to bring a baby home.

Looking Forward To: Lots of Christmas activities this week. We're really trying to fit in as much as we can so here we go!


What We Got for Baby #2

Leo and his baby sister will be 2 years and just shy of 3 months apart when she arrives, so for the most part, I feel like I just had a baby! 

With that being said, there wasn't tons of stuff that we needed but all of a sudden, the list did get a little longer than I expected. 

This time around though, I had the insight to know where I felt like we should splurge, where we felt like we could borrow from friends and family, and the times I felt like we could really could get away without needing (like 100 swaddle blankets).

My mom and sisters hosted a baby sprinkle for me a few weeks ago, and a few guests asked what they could gift us that we really needed. It prompted me to create a wish list on Amazon of some "necessities" - plus we did take advantage of the completion discount - so I thought I would share that with you. 

For the most part the "supplies" that I really feel like we need this time around don't require much explaining (like a new, pink crib sheet), but then there are other things that I just didn't need with my California baby that I will need with this winter Midwest bambino (like the JJ Cole Bundle Me for her car seat). 

Lots of items on this list, I used with Leo and wanted again - Zutano bootie slippers, a new humidifier, Vitamin D drops since we plan to breastfeed, breastfeeding supplies (like storage bags and microwaveable cleaning bags), as well as pacififiers, baby hangers and a car mirror/ipad holder for her side of the car. 

Probably the only new baby item I'm going to give a try is the Boppy lounger. I never had one with Leo and lots of my friends that have had babies in the last two years have said that it's a must-have item for the first few months, so I went ahead and registered for it and I'm excited to give it a try (except, I really wish it was a softer material). 

As for the stroller, we decided to go with a Double Bob. For our lifestyle, I really only need a double stroller (I think), for long walks around our neighborhood, to the beach/pool/zoo, etc. and don't anticipate using it for grocery store visits or what have you. What will I do with two babies in the grocery store? I'm not totally sure, but I plan to wear the Ergo a lot, and just figure it out. We also have the single UppaBaby Cruz and a few double umbrella strollers as well, so we should be ok. 

Also, I did buy one of these Ikea carts so that we can have a moveable command station on the first floor.

New Mom Essentials. The IKEA diaper changing cart with a list to all the necessities on the blog here.

My sister-in-law (and mother of 4), was also super generous of letting me steal a lot of her baby supplies that she is done with (extra Rock and Play's, swings, and bouncers), and my neighbor brought over like 30 newborn sleepers that were in like pristine condition. 

For the most part, I feel like we are set. I know that once she comes I'll be putting in a large order at Amazon, but for now, this is what we've stocked up on.

Do you have any Baby #2 must haves? Anything I should plan to get before she arrives?

Letterfolk letter board quotes


Bumpdate: 35 weeks

How Far Along? 35w6d

Gender: GIRL

Weight Gain: 26lbs

Maternity Clothes: Whatever is comfortable - which is leggings.

Nursery:  It's starting to come together. Joel added one additional shelf in her walk in closet, which allowed me to get all of her clothes hung and off the floor. I need some baskets for bows, shoes, bibs, etc. but then her closet it pretty much set. This weekend we are going to hang her new drape rod (this nursery's never ending saga), attempt to hang like 10 gold mirrors, and start putting out the swing/rock and plays/installing car seats, etc.

Movement: Lots and lots. I've tried to capture a good video and I just can't seem to which bugs me but she is a mover and a shaker pretty much 20 hours a day.
 Symptoms: Hanging in there but I know these last 3 weeks are going to be tough. Heartburn is pretty much showing up everyday, I'm moving slow and I'm tired all the time, I don't like bending to put on shoes, holding Leo for too long is becoming tough, and I'm super emotional and hormonal.
Sleep: I fall asleep quickly but I'm up (for good) by 3am almost every night. I've tried what my doctor has recommended.....unisom, baths before bed, cutting water by 7pm, exercise, body pillows, sound machines, sleep masks, essential oils, etc. etc. etc. and for the most part, it just is what it is.

Joel: officially has a really pregnant wife and all of the lovely parts that come along with that. After being so tired after a really packed weekend, Sunday morning I was up at 3am and fell asleep in our chair in our bedroom at like 9:30am. He decided to take Leo to Menards with him and just let me sleep. When they came home, he had brought me home a latte which was so sweet, and I just sat in the living room a balled my eyes out.

 Workouts: No workouts at the gym which was sad and no turkey trot. Leo has been working through a pretty gross cough and so I didn't want to take him in the cold before our long day. I ended up doing an almost 3 mile walk with my dad the morning of Thanksgiving, and it was tough but I was so glad I did it. We also snuck in 2 other walks this past week, but for the most part Leo and I are walking about a mile to my parents house and that's about it.  This is my last week at the gym, so I'm going to get in yoga and kickboxing for one final week and then I'm putting my membership on maternity leave.

Mood/Mental State: Emotional

Cravings: Not much actually, but I'm getting pretty hungry pretty regularly at this point. 

What I Miss: cold Champagne! I honestly think I made like 6 La Croix mocktails on Thanksgiving just to keep a champagne glass in my hand!

Random Things: Just trying to focus on my blessings this week because there is SO much to be thankful for despite the uncomfortable that I'm experiencing. I am so thankful to live so close to family this pregnancy, it takes an ENORMOUS amount of pressure off of me since I know Leo and Roscoe will be so well taken care of and would be taken care of at a moments notice by both my parents and Joel's. I am so thankful to have had such a healthy pregnancy, be growing a healthy baby, AND enjoy these last 9 months at home with Leo. Our relationship is going to change, our whole family is, but having him as my constant buddy and being able to have so much 1 on 1 time has been a huge gift to us both.

Best Moment of the Week:  A great Thanksgiving, tons of time with my sisters who Leo just adores, seeing family and cousins, and coming home to a festive house and lit up Christmas tree.

Looking Forward To: We have a few Christmas activities starting this week which thrills me! Plus, I'm really excited to see the finishing touches go up in the nursery!



::: Well, I'm feeling really pregnant. It is fitting though, I'm 36 weeks tomorrow, so I guess that comes with the territory. I can really feel myself slowing down in all areas. I'm not sleeping well at night which means by 1pm, I'm about down for the day. Thankfully Leo has been a trooper and since we've never really been homebodies, its been kind of fun to just be home. I do wish I was a touch more productive in my "nesting" stage, but, thankfully Joel is super helpful on the weekends and we're getting there.

::: The only crazy black Friday/cyber Monday sales we took advantage of was finishing off my "registry" and ordering Christmas cards. A blog reader asked what I ordered/bought for baby the second time around, and so I'm going to try and see if I can create a little post for it for this week.

::: And speaking of Christmas cards, I've always been so loyal to Minted, but I took advantage of a 50% off sale on Tiny Prints and spent literally half what I have been spending in years past. I'm hoping the quality is pretty close but I'll report back.

::: Beyond that, the over the top consumption actually makes me a little crazy and totally overwhelmed. Because of that, I end up turning the other way and not doing a lot of shopping. I know that I probably missed a ton of great deals, but it's just so over the top I can't handle it. 

::: Christmas gifts around here are going to pretty sparse too. On my Christmas list? New slippers, lounge clothes, and alcohol (not kidding)....and Joel has a pretty short list too. Leo is getting just a few items from Santa that will mainly keep him busy for when little sister arrives and that's about it. Joel and I have to get a plan together for our brothers/sisters/parents/nieces/nephews....and I would love to get that wrapped up, no pun intended, in like the next week or two since if baby surprises us......gifts are going to be quite delayed! 

:::: And back to baby business.....I really need to think about putting together a hospital bag soon. I've been delaying because it makes it feel a little too real. Looking at the suitcase will give me major anxiety, so I'm thinking about waiting 2 more weeks to do it and then basically hiding it until we need it

:::Plus, this time, I pretty much know what I'm bringing. I brought a blanket, pillow, and sound machine when we had Leo, and all three of those will be coming back with us this time too. Along with a cozy robe, nursing tanks and bras, cozy sweats and a long sweater to arrive and leave in, plus a a pair of slippers and that's about it. The baby will have a few sleepers, maybe her stocking for an announcement picture, and a paci, and that's about it.

::: I wanted to take pictures of my fall/Halloween decor and just never got to it, so I'm realllllly hoping I can get some pictures taken around the house of all of the Christmas decorations we have put up. It's been really fun decking the new halls, and for as much fun as I have had inside, Joel really loved doing the outside too - and it looks awesome. 

::: I've missed blogging, and my lack of blogging has also meant that I've been lacking on taking pictures! The good part of that....I'm less attached to my phone...but the bad part is that I really haven't been capturing all of the fun activities we've been up to. 

Thanksgiving, The Festival of Lights parade in our local downtown, a family cocktail party, a freezer meal day, and lots of nursery updates filled our long weekend - 



Bumpdate: 34 weeks

How Far Along? 34w5d

Gender: GIRL

Weight Gain: 25lbs - but I feel like its more. I just feel heavy and large at this point.

Maternity Clothes: Whatever is comfortable - which is leggings.

Nursery:  We are making progress!! We hung 3 long floating book shelves that I'm obsessed with, have started to really organize all the baby things, and have a plan for the rest of the room. 
I'm eager for the drapes to go up, but Joel is waiting for a piece in order to support the heavy fabric.
This week I'm hoping we can add the gold gallery mirror feature, get the drapes up, add 1 built in shelf to the closet, and get an idea of how I'm going to store all of her clothes!

Movement: Tons and according to the doctor, what I'm feeling is the baby's butt up near my ribs.
 Symptoms: I still feel pretty good considering this is the final push. Sleep isn't great, I do experience some mild heartburn, and I just feel freaking pregnant.
Sleep: I toss and turn most of the night which is not fun. It adds to me being tired during the day, but it's just such a vicious cycle. I'm so ready to get into bed at night and SO ready to get out of bed in the morning.

Joel: Has been working tons lately. He isn't sleeping much either since he is working so late at night, and then I feel bad keeping him so busy during the weekends with my long "honey do" list. Having a baby in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas is just slightly chaotic.

 Workouts: Made it to yoga and kickboxing this week and got in a 2-3 mile walk with my mom. I'm going to walk the Turkey Trot 5k on Thursday so I wanted to get a little practice in. For whatever reason, I would SO much rather take an hour long kickboxing class with jumps and running and what have you, then walk for an hour.

Mood/Mental State: Right now, amazing. I had a great doctors appointment this morning and that just makes me feel so thankful for a great report, it's a huge sense of relief - added even more so because I get so nervous before the appointments.

Cravings: Candy Cane Hershey Kisses

What I Miss: Sleeping through the night - and pants.

Random Things: I'm so excited for thanksgiving and all of the fun holiday cheer that is among us. These next 3 weeks (before my next docs appointment), I really want to focus on enjoying the season and just relishing in the calm before the storm.

Best Moment of the Week: A great doctors appointment. The C-section is officially on the books, baby is in head down position (even though that doesn't matter this time around, but it's notable because my doctor in California told me that would not be very likely......), her heartbeat checked in at 139bpm, and the doctor commented that she was already of substantial size. Pretty much everything an expecting mother would want to hear, and I'm very, very thankful.

Looking Forward To: Thanksgiving and the long weekend with my family


Five on Friday

::: 1 ::: 
Last weekend my girlfriend Shelby came to stay with us from LA. She helped host my baby sprinkle and was able to attend our mutual friend Jenna's wedding.When we lived in LA, Shelby lived on the first floor of our building, so we have a friendship that is just so real, and authentic, and she is truly one of my soulmates. I miss her all the time being in Chicago and it was so nice to have her at our house for a few days and catch up like no time has passed. 

::: 2 :::

Have you ever seen a more gorg bride? One of my best friends got married in Mexico a few weeks ago - and it is the 3rd wedding I've had to miss due to pregnancy or just having a baby - but thankfully had a local celebration that I was able to attend. It was such a fun night, such a special occasion, and my entire family was there which made it so much fun too.

::: 3 :::
Ok, I'm FINALLY feeling the bug to get the nursery done! My goal is to have it totally done in the next two weeks so I'm putting a major push on it. Once we finish the nursery, we have plenty of other things I'd like to get done before the baby comes, along with Christmas - so it would really be in my favor to hustle. 

As you can kind of see in the picture, I'm picking up a lot of gold - which is all over my house - so clearly I'm drawn to it. I  went to Ikea with my mom yesterday and bought some white floating book shelves, I have the nightstand (just need to get a new one for Leo), and would like to find a few gold dipped baskets for toy/blanket storage. I need to find some type of storage/dresser for the closet, get clothes hung and organzied, and then call it a day. All of a sudden five weeks is not feeling like a lot of time!

::: 4 ::: 

Image result for bad moms 2
I saw Bad Mom's 2 this Wednesday with a group of 7 other moms on Wednesday. I love a good excuse to go see a movie with friends during the week, and while this movie was no where near as good as the first one, it was overall enjoyable (while still totally overdone and quite a bit eye-rolly). 

::: 5 :::
"Anyone can do something when they want to do it. Really successful people do things when they don’t want to do it." Dr. Phil McGraw #quotes #motivation #inspiration Soooo true!! 

The big tasks of this weekend are: 
1. Get working on the nursery
2. Put up Christmas and find 2nd Christmas tree along with purchase outdoor Christmas lights/decorations
3. Celebrate a friends baby shower on Saturday night and host and hang with one of my besties who will be in town from Colorado for the night.

Oh, and about 68 other little things!  

Thank Goodness for Ice Cream ;)