Saturday, October 27, 2012

Let the Radio Silence Commence

I need to take a blogging break to focus on my kiddos right now.  Hopefully it won't be too long and I will be back with some Halloween posts and hopefully another 101 list post.  For now, here are some photos of some of my family with Brody after he was born.

My kiddos with their Aunt Meme (or soon as Kayla can say that...although now it's probably stuck.)

Great Aunt MEM checking him out.

I know I say this a lot but how lucky are my kids to have 7/8 great grandparents alive and well?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

101 List Failure

So I copied and pasted what I wrote at the beginning of June about what I wanted to do this summer with my 101 list...I'm not gonna lie...I was sort of a failure.

Things in italics are new since June...

"In Progress" Goals:
#70: Read 10 books recommended to me by friends.

  • The Hunger Games
  • The Girl on Fire
  • Mocking Jay
  • Game of Thrones Book 1
  • 50 Shades of Grey
  • 50 Shades Darker
  • 50 Shades Freed
  • There's Cake in My Future
  • Where We Belong
  • Bloom (amazing it, read it, keep it!)

So I did read 5 books this summer, not necessarily all recommended by friends, but still 10/10 books read.  I guess that's not a total failure.  P.S. Skip the 50 Shades series...they are terrible.

#89: Document each task completed on my blog (with photos as appropriate.) This is continually in progress.

#101: Back up all my photos and music.  Definitely still working on this.  I need to and want to reopen my smugmug account for this purpose.

"Summer To-Do List" Goals:
#7: Eat at 5 restaurants I've never been to. 
      Hoping to make a list so I can focus this goal a little more.  

#8: Don't complain about anything for a week.
      Fail, big giant fail.  I didn't even think about this at all, and I was pretty complain-y when I was overdue again.  I need to try again, maybe this holiday season.

#10: Learn to cook 10 different dishes.
I've been trying to figure out a way to make some dishes that Kayla will eat and we will enjoy as well.  It's turning out to be a huge project.  Thinking about buying the Weelicious Cookbook...anyone have this?
#13: Learn to sew (hems, holes buttons.)
Not yet, I need to have my mom teach me or something.  :)

#27: Make a list of 10 places to see before I die.
These simple lists and I didn't even do those...again maybe these will be new winter goals.
#42: Write done 100 things that make me happy.
See above.
#51: Go to a concert.
I didn't do this over the summer, but tickets to Brian Regan (comedian, I guess that's not a concert.) and potentially Maroon 5 with my cool older sister. :)
#52: Meet a new mommy friend.
Success!  I started my own meet up on and met a couple people through there, a few I've kept in touch with and now I have a group of mommy friends on facebook.  So excited about this!
#54: Take Kayla to the zoo.
Ugh, I hope to do this soon.  We went to a pumpkin patch last weekend and next weekend we may be going to the Shedd Aquarium, but no zoo yet.
#67: Plan weekly meals for 3 months.
#68: Make a list of friends to keep in touch with regularly.
#73: Visit a friend out of state.
Fail...unless you count a wedding, which I don't. :)
#79: Shop at a farmer's market.

Fail, but considering the farmer's market this weekend with fun Halloween festivities.

Tomorrow night I will probably write a quick updated "Hope To-Do" list for the remainder of fall/winter and I have actually checked at least one off.  Sorry no photos today, but I did post yesterday semi-secretively. :)  Go check it out.  I'll be back with Halloween posts, including a DIY kids costumes post. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blog Update

I desperately need a blog update.  At least the header.  I need to enlist the help of Aunt Megan probably.

For now, enjoy these photos of Brody's first bath.  Don't let him fool you, he loves it now and hardly ever cries. :)

Yes that is a stream of pee. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kayla Marie: 21 Months

My little girl turned 21 months old today.  (I bet you forgot my goal to write every Monday, Wednesday, Friday didn't you?  Well it was just hard during the day with my babies today.)

Last weekend I weighed her at Aunt Lolo's house and she weighs about 23.5 pounds.  She's seriously a peanut, but she keeps growing upwards.  This is evidenced by the fact that we keep having to move things out of her reach.  I really can't believe how quickly these little people grow up.  I know everyone tells you that but you really can't grasp it until you experience it.  I've been really taking in all my time with Brody; making sure even in the middle of the night I try to cherish our time together, relishing in his little baby toes and his chubby cheeks.  I've found myself tearing up because my little girl isn't so little anymore.

Kayla has been slightly irritating the past couple days.  Not sure if it's lack of sleep or just plain toddlerhood, but I'm finding myself having to count to 10 in my head and give her the benefit of the doubt.  Despite all this, she constantly makes me laugh and smile throughout the day.  She is talking so much, putting very short sentences together and actually making sense!  It makes me smile every time I'm on the floor with Brody and she is playing, then all of the sudden she decides she wants something and she skillfully maneuvers her way around the obstacles on the floor and runs down the hallway and comes back with her nap blankets or stuffed animals.  And seeing her sprint to the door when she hears daddy unlocking it after work just melts my heart.

We are working on counting to five.  Right now it goes something like my saying "one" then asking what comes next and she says "two" and puts two fingers up.  Then when I say what comes next, she says, "ffffffffffffffffff-five."  Every. Time.  I think she actually probably knows exactly how to count to five but does this because it makes me laugh every time.  We are thinking about trying potty training around the holidays.  We are considering changing her crib to the toddler bed this weekend to see how she does (I'm hesitant to alter her awesome sleep habits and I'm just sad to move her out of her crib, just another way she is growing up too fast."

She makes it clear whenever she or Brody (or Daddy) "toot"s.  She also likes to tell me when she and Brody are poopy and need new diapers.  It amazes me how smart she is and how quickly things change.

I love you, Kayla Marie, even when it may not seem like it. :)

I forgot to mention how she loves to do everything I do with Brody to her baby doll.  She "nurses" her baby doll with my boppy pillow (because you can't nurse without it obviously), then she burps her baby complete with burp cloth over shoulder, then she changes her baby's poopy diaper with mommy's help.  Today she put her baby in the bouncer.  She is going to make one great mommy one day far from now. :)

This smile makes it all worth it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Brody 1 Month Update

Brody turned one month old last weekend.  Time really flies.  We had his appointment with Dr. H on Tuesday.  Here is some info on our little "big" boy. :)

Weight: 12 pounds 6.9 ounces (93rd percentile...only :) )

Length: 23.5 inches (100th percentile)

Head Circumference: 39.5 cm (95th percentile)

Dr. H was very impress with his growth thus far, as am I.  She joked that I must be making cream instead of milk since they expect about a pound of weight gain in 2 weeks and Brody gained almost double that.  What is crazy to me is that he isn't chubby, he's just thick, and strong.  She was also super impress with his motor abilities thus far.  I've been a little worried about the baby acne.  He has had it on his face since he was 2 weeks old and I don't remember it lasting much more than a couple weeks with Kayla.  He also had some reddish bumps all over his chest and upper back and both arms.  I was concerned it was some sort of rash, but Dr. H assured me it was all baby acne and it could come and go until about 2 months.  So I guess my little guy has the worst case of baby acne ever (at least I think so.)

Kayla is doing pretty well with him.  This morning she heard me talking to him about learning to roll during tummy time and it must have sunk in with her.  Before we left the house today, Justin and I were on the hunt for a gift card and Brody was just content laying on the floor, in fact I think he was sleeping.  All of the sudden I hear Justin say, "What are you doing, Kayla?  Rolling him over and over again?"  Apparently, Kayla was trying to teach him how to roll, by rolling him like a barrel along the living room floor.  Sigh, one day she'll learn to be gentle with her brother.

Physical milestones:  I remember Kayla being strong early on and having a feeling she was going to be an early walker.  I'm thinking Brody is even stronger and may also be an early walker.  He presses up onto his elbows and lifts his head easily during tummy time.  Dr. H said this was about 3 month level.  I can't remember all the milestones we learned in school but that seems pretty low level for a 3 month old, but maybe I'm just used to Kayla.  I guess says that lifting head and shoulders during tummy time is an advanced skill for a 2 month old.  Looks like I may have another early walker on my hands, but we'll see.  Maybe he'll be content with sitting still, unlike Kayla.

He looks so excited to be able to see stuff. :)

Tummy time is serious business!

Eating:  Being a big baby, Brody is a good eater.  Some days he nurses from only one side, some days from both.  I never have to feed him less than 3 hours apart, and he sometimes goes longer stretches than 3 hours without fussing at all.  He is generally a much more content baby than I remember Kayla being.  I'm glad I haven't felt super full too many days with breastfeeding and I'm not leaking much at all.  Things are much smoother this time spitting up blood yet.  He also doesn't spit up much at all.  There have been a few days he's been spitting up at Kayla levels (like today for instance) and I think this correlates with him eating too much.  He's a fatty so he doesn't know when to stop himself when he's full.  If it's there is going to eat it.  Justin joked after I told him what Brody weighed this week that he is going to have to get a second job just to keep the fridge stocked with this little guy.

Sleeping:  Brody has been sleeping pretty good for us since he was born.  I'd say that most nights, he goes at least one four hour stretch and usually a little more (closer to 5 sometimes 6).  And we generally only wake up twice to feed him/change him between 8 pm and 7 am (the third feeding sometime between 7 and 8 am.)  There have been a couple nights that have been worse, but I don't think it's because he eats more on those nights.  I think those are the nights he has a lot of gas and wasn't able to get it all out before going to bed.

For naps I've been trying really hard to put him in the pack 'n play.  1. So that he can avoid the noise that is Kayla, and 2. so he learns to sleep there instead of on me or in the bouncer/swing (which he doesn't seem to care for anyways.)  He actually is a pretty scheduled baby.  We follow an eat, play, sleep routine, so he eats every 3ish hours and stays up for about an hour from start of the feeding and then we go down for a nap.  I have been able to swaddle him and rock him a little bit then put him in the pack n play sleepy but awake and for the most part, he is pretty good about putting himself to sleep. I hope this keeps up, I'm going to keep pushing it for now to make it a habit.

I know the sleep thing can change so drastically, as we experienced with Kayla.  But Brody seems like such a different baby than Kayla was.  He falls asleep just laying on the floor pretty often, which Kayla pretty much never did.  He just seems more content staying in one place.  He's had a few real smiles, but I can't wait until they come more frequently and easily.

Here are some 1 month photos.  I don't have the stickers (yet) like I did with Kayla so I did something little in photoshop.  I may still get stickers or maybe I'll just stick with this easy (cheaper) way.

I love my blue eyed babies. :)  (Thankful I feel in love with someone else with baby blues/greens :))

He loves to stick his tongue out. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Big Sister

I was so worried how Kayla would react to have a new baby around permanently, but she has been so awesome!

First of all, and most importantly if you ask me, her sleeping habits haven't changed one bit.  In fact, she may be sleeping longer in the mornings.  She still goes down easily for naps and sleeps for a good 2.5 hours on average.  Bedtime routine is a bit more difficult but I'm pretty sure this mostly has to do with being almost 2 and defiant (and stubborn like me.)  But she still goes to bed easily and hasn't once woken up in the middle of the night (crossing fingers and toes I'm not jinxing myself.)  She did wake up once very early on when Brody cried and I heard her in the monitor, "Baby!"

At first, I think I said the word "gentle" about a million times a day.  I am still saying that pretty often but she has gotten so much better, and a little less interested in her little brother.  At first she wanted to give hugs and kisses all the time and she wasn't exactly the softest kisser/hugger.  She still loves giving Brody hugs and kisses, often when he is sleeping, but she's doing much better at being gentle.

She has a keen sense of hearing for when Brody cries after a nap.  She always runs to me and says, "Him!" and points frantically at the bedroom.  She always runs to him if she can reach him to put his "fier" (pacifier) back in his mouth if he is crying.  (She's getting better at this too, often she's a little too rough shoving it in his mouth.)  She loves to help me by getting diapers and helping me wipe his bum when changing him.  And she isn't shy about telling me when he's dirty, "Brody poopy!"  (She actually likes to tell me when I'm poopy too, "Mama, poopy."  No Kayla, Mama not poopy.)

She wants to "hold" him all the time and sometimes tries to smother him while hugging him when he laying on the ground.  But her biggest fault is that she just loves him too much, if that's even possible.

We have taught her that he likes to have his toes tickled and kissed in hopes of her staying away from his head.  Now she says "toes" all the time around him.  Generally, I feel so lucky to have her.  She's been so great and more cuddly than normal, which I'm mostly enjoying.  I always say that as my first baby, she has taught me so much patience, but she continues to teach me about patience and tolerance.  Often, when I'm trying to put Brody down for a nap, she is talking non stop and making a bunch of noise, saying "toes" over and over and "night night" over and over.  I know she just loves him and is trying to help, but sometimes it's so frustrating I have to practice breathing techniques and remember she is a toddler.

I can't really give any advice on how to make this transition as smooth as ours has been, since really I think I just have a pretty good kid.  I don't think I did anything special at all, she is just special.  How is having two kids so much easier for me than when I had one??  I guess because I just have good kids. :) I got super lucky!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Weekend Recap

We had a VERY busy weekend.

On Friday, Kayla and Brody and I trekked over to Gigi's house because Brody had a pretty bad night of sleep.  Therefore, I thought I could use some help or some distraction that day.  We talked with Lauren and Liam on Skype for most of the day.  It was fun to get some adult time and do some research for Lauren's wedding.

Saturday morning, we got ready to head up to Wisconsin for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary party.  We left early and stopped at the House abode to spend some time with them and just get up there early enough to not feel rushed and so Kayla could take a nap.  Justin and I managed to get a nap in as well, which forced us to be rushed anyways trying to get to dinner.

I spent quite some time on Friday night trying on dresses and texting my mom and sisters.  I still feel pretty big and unattractive.  I ended up wearing the dress I was hoping too, but it turns out that was really the only one that fit anyways.  I know it's only been a month, but it's still hard.  I had every intention of getting a photo of my outfit and my family that night, but Brody and Kayla had other ideas.  Brody was asleep in the car seat when we got there, but when we took him out for pictures, s*** hit the fan.  He was SO overtired and wouldn't stop screaming.  Kayla refused to be held by anyone but Gigi or Meme (Aunt Megan) and if we even tried to take a family photo she ended up in toddler tantrum tears.  My mom says it's always worse for the parents, but I felt like my normally so well behaved and awesome kids were really determined to show off their bad sides.  Things settled down and it was very nice to see my family.  We did get some professional photos done so whenever those come back I'll post them, if I approve. :)

We got home Saturday night at around 10 and put the kids to bed ASAP because we had to get up at 5 to get ready to go to Gigi and Papa's house since I was going to do the Color Run Chicago 5K with my mom and sisters.  The early wake up was not great but the run was so fun.

We dress up like witches, pointy hats, funky glasses, green and black striped thigh high socks, and we had all white sweatsuits.  My mom also got some bandannas and Halloween webbing to cover our hair.  We were a hit!  Everyone kept making comments to us and one guy at the end even asked to take a picture with us!  The Color Run is such a fun experience and we are already planning our entry in future years!  I wasn't feeling 100% but we walked the 5K and it wasn't really as bad as I thought it might be!

Frankly, it was nice to just be kid free for a couple hours.  As much as I love them, some alone time is nice, even for this Mommy who loves to be around people.

Here are some photos from Sunday.

The Color Run - Before

The Color Run - After

Best Buds.  I'm so glad our little boys will grow up together!
My grandma made it a point to urge me to write on my blog more since it's a great way for her to keep up with us.  So I'm making myself a goal to write at least three times a week.  My blogging/photography/mommy idol Kelle Hampton writes on M/W/F.  I think I can probably manage that and then it shouldn't be too hard to think about subjects to write about.  So hopefully, I'll be back on Wednesday! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

3 years, 2 kids, 1 million memories later...

2920 days ago, I accidentally threw him the little volleyball at our game.
2917 days ago, we went on our first date.
2914 days ago, he asked me, "So what are we?"
1561 days ago, he asked me to marry him on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
1096 days ago, I married my best friend. 
627 days ago we had our first child, Kayla Marie.
27 days ago we had our second child, Brody Lawrence.

Countless moves, numerous trips, and too many memories to count.

I have loved every second (well maybe not every second, but definitely the majority :)).  There is no one I would have rather spent the last 2,917 days with.  I couldn't ask for a better father to my children.  I wouldn't have dreamed of anyone better for me.

I love you, Justin, and can't wait to see how many more memories we can make in the next trillion days (or more.)

From this:
Our first photo together.

To this:
Our proposal

From this:
His cousin's wedding

Friend's wedding (VA Beach)

Friend's wedding (NH)

His old volleyball coach's wedding, the last week attended before he proposed. :)

To this:

From this:

To this:

From this:
Honeymoon in Hawaii

To this:
Hawaii with my family

And finally this:

To this:

And so much more: