Christmas at School + Our Teacher Gifts

I loved celebrating Leo's first Christmas at school. 

For weeks they would be pretty "secretive" about the songs they were practicing for their big performance - so I had a feeling something pretty darn cute was in the works. 

On Wednesday morning, my mom, Drew, and I, headed to the school to watch the cuties do their thing.

All of the kids did so great - they sang like 4 or 5 songs - and I was so excited and proud to watch Leo.

He wasn't the loudest, and was normally about a line or two behind everyone, but he did so great and was so proud of himself when it was over.



We took pictures, decorated some cute crafts, and then had snacks before the day was over. I brought little snowman cheese sticks which was a super easy, and somewhat healthy themed snack.

Image result for snowman cheese sticks

For the teachers, I worked with a local friend who pours honey to make them each little honey jars as a thank you for the year. 


Merry Christmas

From our family 

to yours!



 1 month ::: 2 months ::: 3 months ::: 4 months::: 5 months::: 6 months ::: 7 months ::: 8 months ::: 9 months ::: 10 months ::: 11 months
Weight: 19lbs 15oz (49%), 29.25" (43%), head is 45cm (48%)

Clothes: You are pretty much in everything that is 12mth and even a few shirts that are 12-18mth. Your shoes are a 3, and diapers are a 4.
Nicknames: Drewbie, Drewbs, and Drewbo.
Sleep: You were a great sleeper this month. I'm kind of ready to start thinking about dropping your morning, but we'll see when we commit to that change.

Schedule: Nothing major has changed.
6:55am - We wake you up most mornings with an 8oz bottle
7:30am - breakfast
  9:00am- nap
10:15am- Have to wake you
11am- Bottle #2 
10:30-1:00pm - play & lunch while we are out and about
  1:00pm - 3:00pm - Nap
3:15/3:30pm - Bottle #2.5 (trying to phase this out) but you're getting a half bottle for the time being
3:30-5pm - play/bath
5:30/6pm- Dinner
6:30pm-Bottle #3
7pm - Bed
Health:  You got a virus this month that I took you in for. I thought for sure it was the flu - you vomited, looked like CRUD, cough, runny nose, and high fever, but it wasn't....and you were back to yourself in just about 2 day. You've had a runny nose and cough this week too, but not really sick....just a little gross ;) 

Otherwise, we are so thankful for your perfect health sweet thing and I'm so glad to be going into winter this year with you as a 12 month old and not 12 hour old!
 Crying:  It remains true - you are the easiest, sweetest, happiest baby I've ever been around -BUT - you now know how to work your crying. When Leo swipes a toy from you, your go-to is to scream and cry - and it honestly works like a charm for you, so I can't fault you. 
Feeding: You've been a big eater this month. I try to balance out your meals with a carb, protien, fruit and veggie. Breakfast looks like eggs, bagels or bread with fruit or yogurt.

Lunches are often deli meat, cheese, avocados, berries, bananas, apple sauce and crackers.

Dinners are normally what we eat deconstructed - lots of beans, ground turkey, chicken, salmon, sweet potato, broccoli, or whatever else we are eating for that night.

You're still working on your sippy cup for water.
Likes: You like to get into trouble my friend. You like putting EVERYTHING into your mouth, climbing up stairs, pulling on drapes, pulling on toilet paper, trying to eat the dogs food and splashing in toilets.
Dislikes: Yous still don't like getting your diaper changed or your clothes changed and you HATE the nose frida. 
Milestones:  You are ready to walk, but seem a bit nervous. The most steps you've gone is about 6 or 7 and you did it about two weeks ago when we were at play group. Here and there since then you will do 2 or 3 steps. If we are holding your finger or both fingers, you are a strong walker. You love walking with walkers and standing up at anything you can. 
You learned "How big is Drewbie" this month, and will talk and repeat often. The noises you are making this month have been more and more clear and you are sometimes following simple instructions like "stop" or "Sit down". 
Places You’ve Gone: No where really but we made it down to the city for Lincoln Park Zoo Lights and celebrated your first Thanksgiving.
Postpartum: 2 pounds! I was really hoping I would hit the number by your first birthday, but I feel like I'm close enough, and I may just take a break from the scale and start hard at it again in the new year.
Leo:   The two of you are best friends - he told me the other day that you are his favorite girl in the whole world - and its true. You're both your happiest selves when you are together. 



Our Decked Halls (& our Christmas Baby)

Our Christmas baby is ONE.

HOW is this possible? 

To think back to last year at this time, checking into the hospital, having the IV placed like six times before they could get it, walking into the OR while Joel was still in the bathroom, having the surgeons sing me Christmas carols, to hearing the LOUDEST cry while my doctor told me Drew was officially here with a head full of dark curls.....and truly, since last year on December 21st at 7:59am, our lives were forever changed.


Drew has brought SO much joy. She was our missing piece and she is just the apple of all of our eyes. She has the sweetest energy, biggest smile, and overall love for people and life, and she makes everything better.

And now, somehow, SHE'S ONE! 


And since last year I sort of just went through the motions of all things Christmas (....see above!), this year has been even better. I love our house at Christmas time and I'm not ready to take all of the stuff down either! I wish we could keep Christmas decorations up until Spring! 

For the most part, I kept things from last year, the same - you can see last years here - but there have been a few changes to the house and furniture throughout the year, so a few things did switch up. 

So come on in! 


We did add garland on the second floor balcony which I really love. I like having some Christmas lights up stairs - and it's really pretty when you walk in the front door as well. 


Right when you come in, to your right we have our living room and dining room. 

We keep a tree in here where I keep some of our sparkly, nicer ornaments. 



I found this table cloth at Hobby Lobby that I have loved - it gives me a major Ralph Lauren vibe, and it hides the fact that our table top desperately needs to be refinished! 



I love having the Christmas cards displayed in the kitchen - just string and mini clothespins, and it's such a cute display. 

The kids each of Christmas books displayed in their rooms, along with mini flocked trees, and we put Christmas lights (and a felt Christmas tree) down in the basement, which I love. I actually think I'm going to keep the Christmas lights up all year down there....it adds a lot of light and coziness! 



Five on Friday

::: 1 :::


Last week I took both kids to the public library for story time with Mrs. Claus. Both kids did pretty well. Leo gets a lot of anticipation anxiety at ::events like that, but once Mrs. Claus was reveled, he was able to relax and enjoy the little performance. And thankfully, we meet a lot of my girlfriends so that adds to the fun. 


::: 2 ::: 

On Monday night, Leo was telling us that he wanted to sleep in his big boy bed. He's always had his big boy bed in his room (pictures to come....hopefully), but he's never expressed any interest in making the change. He's been SUCH a good crib sleeper, I didn't want to rock the boat, but since potty training didn't go great and everyone says for these big changes to "wait until they're ready", I figured I'd better capitalize on his request. The next morning, we went to Target to let him pick out his own pillowcase (Moana, of course), and we haven't looked back since. 
I'm hoping we continue this trend, but it's been a VERY simple transition thus far (Leo is 3y3mth) and just today I took his crib out of his room, so there is no going back.

::: 3 ::: 


I may have mentioned this in one of Drew's monthly updates - but this girl has a super not fun, oatmeal allergy. She violently throws up if she eats any trace of oatmeal or oat flour, so trying other flours was really scary for me. We started slow, with quinoa flower, and then brown and white rice, and recently went for wheat - and she passed with flying colors! 

::: 4 :::

Two weeks ago, Joel and I attended our first little charity event here in Crystal Lake - Christmas at the Dole. We went with my parents, some of my parents friends, and a lot of our friends and had such a fun night. I don't mind any excuse to dress up and indulge in champagne - so I was pretty easy to please! 

::: 5 ::: 

So, I try to not fall prey to too many things that bloggers shill - BUT, Liz Adams (from Hello Adams Family blog) posted about this Living Proof volumizing spray, and its SO good. 

Image result for living proof volumizing
I have really fine, thin hair and don't really know how to do hair all that well, but this stuff is MAGIC. It lifts, and holds, and it feels so good when you spray it on! I bought the travel size from Amazon for $11 to try it out, and for sure, I'll be buying the bigger bottle when this thing runs out. A really great stocking stuffer too if you need any ideas! 


Drew's 1st Birthday Party


I honestly have no idea.

If I thought Leo's first year of life went fast, Drew's went by quicker than the speed of light.

And since she is a Christmas baby (12/21), I decided to throw her birthday party a little early so that she could get the well deserved attention and love. She is an absolute delight, gem, and ray of light, and I'm so glad we decided to throw her a little party.

We kept it as casual as we could, while still putting a few touches out that really made it special for her (and me).



I've been very into hosting 10:30am birthday parties. It's perfect for families who have a morning napper, and perfect for families who have an afternoon napper (or both, like mine), it's not too early to have a drink, and the food is super simple (bagels, eggs, donuts, etc.).



We picked up coffee and bagels from panera, donuts from our local donut shop, Joel made two egg bakes, and his mom made some amazing cheesy potatoes. Fruit salad, snowmen cheese sticks, and lots of mimosas and bloody mary's and we called it a day! 


One of the best things I did was have our family babysitter come to hold down the fort in the basement. She came in the cutest little "santa's helper" apron, ran a few crafts in the basement, a couple of games, and made sure no one was going to crazy.

The parents were able to stay upstairs and enjoy and the kids had a ball in the basement - win win - and honestly was the best money I spent for the party!

My favorite part of the birthday party was when it was time to sing to Drew. She spent the entire song pageant waving to the 40 people watching her.





Then when she got her big donut, she really had no idea what to do with it. Six or seven of the big kids had circled around her to watch her eat it, and each one of them was trying to coach her how to take a big bite. Finally a few of the girls started breaking off little pieces for her to try, and then she got the hang of it, but it just melted my heart at how truly loved she is.

Our friend were so generous - especially during this time of year - and it really was the most perfect first birthday party for the most perfect little girl.