Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year

I’ve been reluctant to write a New Year’s post this year.  Mostly because I can’t believe this year is coming to an end.  That just doesn’t seem possible and by delaying this post, I’ve been hoping to delay the arrival of a new year.  I wonder if every year going forward will feel like a blur with busy schedules and a full life.  I’m so thankful for this season of life, for a wonderful, mostly healthy husband, little boys that always make me smile, and a job that brings me happiness.  But I also need to remember to take a step back and appreciate each moment.  I have this nagging feeling that things won’t always be so great.  Apparently, I also need to work on being more optimistic. ;)

I looked back at my post from last year and the one word I used to describe 2014 was eventful.  I would describe 2015 as transitional.  Transitional in a good way.  But there were lots of changes that occurred for our little family.  The most obvious and most important was the addition of S.  The newborn days are hazy.  A new family member came with new challenges.  I wouldn’t change anything, but suffices to say that W had a difficult time with the arrival of S and still does in some ways.  We all had to adjust and find new routines.  S, though, he’s a dream come true.  And I often think we hit the baby jackpot with his happy demeanor and easy going nature.

W started preschool in late summer and that was a LOT more difficult than I ever imagined.  I’m happy we stuck with it and I’m relieved that we made it through, but those first few weeks months were very difficult for all of us.  3 and a half months later, I can finally leave W without experiencing any tears.

I started working from home a couple days each week.  This is one of those “seemed like such a good idea at the time” things and I’m happy that my job offers flexibility.  But working from home does come with its share of challenges – spotty internet in the quietest places in the house, a spotty phone signal in the basement (where I often work), a slow printer, a slow scanner, juggling meetings that occur at the same time as preschool drop off.  These are things I never really thought about and yet they make completing work a lot more difficult.

My favorite things from this past year: becoming a family or 4, W speaking in complete sentences, our trip to Maryland, summer Cubs games, working part time after S’s arrival.

I'm sad to say goodbye to 2015.  Here’s to 2016!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tuesday Thoughts - Just Because....

It’s so nice being at work when no one else is… So QUIET.  Ahhhh.

The boys received amazing gifts for Christmas.  If you have preschool boys, my recommendations are as follows:

Magna Tiles – a big hit in our house.
Floor Puzzles – W has mastered most of these.  I love that they are time consuming and require problem solving, shape recognition, and fine motor skills!
Street Rug – W has played on this for an hour straight.  He drives cars and trucks up and down the roads, builds garages, and sets up garbage bins (see below).
Garbage Truck with garbage/recycle bins – Little boys LOVE garbage trucks.  Bonus points if it comes with a garbage bin.  W lines up the bins and tells me it’s garbage day.  He then tells me the recycling has been picked up, but the truck needs to return for the garbage.
Little Tikes vehicles/accessories – We have a fire truck, police car, gas pump, and shopping cart.  All are played with extensively and loved!
Play food – Hape makes adorable play food.  W has made me several pizzas already. ;)

I’ve tried to keep my boys names anonymous on the blog.  I do share plenty of pictures (I didn’t at first), but there’s something about the world having access to both photos and names that makes me a little nervous.  Well, if you read my birthday post yesterday, you likely saw W’s name.  Ooops.  You see, I publish the boys’ birthday posts on Facebook first and then share them on the blog.  So yes, I forgot to remove W’s name.   It’s probably happened previously, but this is the first time I noticed. J

Ok, time to whine.  There’s this girl I know who likes to copy me and it’s been going on forever.  It stared at my first job.  She was my coworker and I noticed she would come in wearing the same exact clothes I had.  Then she had a Lia Sophia party.  Remember when those used to be really popular?  Anyway, she ordered the same exact jewelry I did.  She asked me for information on my wedding planner and ended up hiring her.  When I left my job, she applied for my old job (and didn’t get it – HA).  I posted on Facebook asking if any of my friends were doing Stitch Fix because I wanted to hear about their experiences.  So she signed up for Stitch Fix.  She applied at my current place of employment and asked me to help her get a job (which didn’t happen).  She saw a family picture and asked where it was taken so she could have family pictures taken there (I didn’t respond to her question).  And finally, she just shared a video of her son’s birthday party in which she had the same exact theme/décor as W's birthday party.   Like I found cups on Etsy and somehow she had the same exact cups.  That’s weird, right?  And I find it incredibly annoying.  Maybe I need to be more careful about what I share on social media.  There’s only one me…

And finally, because they're cute...

Monday, December 28, 2015

W Turns 3!!

My Dearest W,
Happy 3rd Birthday!! I can’t believe you are already 3 years old. Time certainly has flown by and yet, at the same time, it feels like you’ve been a part of our family forever.

This was a tough year for you in terms of change and transition. Adding S to our family in February definitely changed your world and I think you’re still adjusting. There are moments where you’ll tell me you don’t like S and there have been countless time outs for hitting and pushing, but then there are other times where you’ll bring S a toy, want to help feed him, and tell me that you love him. I suppose this is typical brotherly behavior and I hope the two of you become close as S learns to interact and play more.

You started going to preschool alone this year. This was incredibly difficult for both of us – lots of tears, lots of frustration, lots of Mommy questioning if we made the right decision in enrolling you. I can finally say, we’re in a really good place. You no longer cry when I leave (only took 3.5 months) and when I pick you up, we talk all about your day. I love getting your paintings and projects. They are proudly displayed throughout our house.

You are my best little buddy and the two of us share a special bond. You’re always up for running errands with me no matter what they are – bank, grocery shopping, mall. You sit with me at church, want to sit next to me at dinner, and always want to ride in mommy’s car. You often tell me that you love me, that I’m special and so nice, that you’ll miss me and think about me when I leave, and that you like me best. Whenever you need help with something, it’s always “Mommy will do it!”. You give the greatest hugs. I’m soaking it all up now because I know there will be a time when I’m not the center of your world and when hanging with your mom just won’t be cool. But I hope you know that I’ll always be here for you and I hope we’ll always be close.

Your personality has really evolved this year. You talk nonstop and even say things like “abominable snowman”, “actually”, “American flag”, and “passenger”. Your vocabulary has expanded so incredibly much. You love to sing and are keen on Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer at the moment. You also make up songs including, “The Breakfast Song”, “The Lunch Song”, and “The Supper Song”. You’ll often come home from school singing new songs. You love to make up stories and nearly every story involves Addie (Dee Dee). Dee Dee ran away and we have to go find her, Dee Dee is in the recycling bin because she is empty, Dee Dee is going to take a bath with you... You’ve always been a problem solver and that has not changed. You’ll offer verbal solutions to problems and think through situations… “Maybe the elf climbed the ornaments to get to the top of the tree?” In a physical sense, you’re really good at puzzles and building. You take tasks very seriously. You hardly cracked a smile while opening birthday presents – you had a job to do. You are sensitive and often ask why someone is upset or crying. You are thoughtful, logical, and stubborn. You’re an observer. You’re also a rule follower (outside of home) and your teachers tell me that you often repeat rules to the other kids.

People still comment on your red hair and someone approaches you nearly every time we go grocery shopping to inquire about your beautiful hair.
This year wasn’t an easy one, but at the same time it was amazing, wonderful, and fulfilling in every sense.
Happy, happy birthday! You are our everything and more.

S is 10 Months Old!

Dear S,
Happy 10 months sweet boy! Double digits!!
This month was a tough one in terms of health. You had two back to back colds. Fortunately, they didn't turn into anything worse and neither required a doctors visit, but you weren't yourself and had lots of trouble sleeping. You also added more teeth - your top two came through and you're working on a few others.

You weigh nearly 25 lbs and you're 29 inches long. 95th percentile and 77th percentile, respectively.
You continue to be a very happy baby. The only thing that really seems to bother you is loud noises.

You have this bashful routine where someone will say hello to you. In response, you flash them a big grin and then bury your head in the shoulder of the person holding you. Very cute!

You've started pointing to things and it seems like you're trying to talk, but I can't definitively say that you're saying words. You've looked at me and said "mama" and said "eee" while looking at the Christmas tree, but I'm chalking it up to coincidence.

You're obsessed with Wheel of Fortune. When it comes on, you refuse to eat until commercial break. You'll sit and watch contently while the letters are called. You love playing with the tv remotes and the other day you flipped through channels and actually stopped on Wheel of Fortune.

smile emoticon
You celebrated your first Thanksgiving this month and we're so excited for your first Christmas.
Happy 10 months! You are our everything and more, S.

Christmas 2015

I am sooo behind on posts.  It just occurred to me that I never shared S’s 10 month post and he’ll be 11 months in a matter of days.  I’ve had it written, I just never published it so I’ll attempt to play catch up on my lunch break.

We had a wonderful, albeit busy, Christmas.  The boys were spoiled beyond belief.  I really enjoyed having a week off with them, though there were more than a few crabby moments.  W definitely wants all of my attention.  I thought that would change by now seeing as S has been a part of our family for nearly a year.  Anyway, I digress.  Back to Christmas.  Christmas Eve was spent with my side of the family - many of whom had not met S.  Naturally, they all loved the smiley, easygoing, sweetness that is S.  That night, I was trying to get W excited for Santa’s visit and all he could focus on was Crispin the Elf leaving us.  He was more upset about the elf than excited for Santa.  Sigh.

 Christmas day started off with W and S coming downstairs to see what Santa had brought.  They were excited to find a bicycle for W and a Cozy Coupe police car for S.  Then, it was off to church.  After church, the boys opened one more present and we headed to Nani and Papa’s house.  Side note: I really wanted the boys to enjoy their gifts and wanted them to take time opening presents and appreciate that someone picked out gifts especially for them.  So we hardly opened anything at home and focused on playing with the toys they did receive.  At Nani and Papa’s house we had a delicious dinner and then all the grandkids opened presents.  We only purchased gifts for the kiddos and parents this year (not brothers-in-law or sister-in-law) and I loved it.  So much less stressful.  S, by the way, had zero interest in opening presents.

 The day after Christmas, A and I cooked a large brunch.  I made breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls and A made pancakes, bacon, and sausage.  We stayed in our pajamas and my mom came over for a bit.  We slowly opened the rest of our gifts and it was just a great, low key day.

I’m sad Christmas is over and I’m sad my baby is nearing 1.  His first Christmas was his last first holiday.  Haha – did that make sense?  Where does the time go??

Friday, December 18, 2015

Santa 2015

It started off ok....

And then we added S...

And it all went downhill.

Poor Santa. :)

I guess S made the naughty list.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


In the past couple days, my brother was admitted to the hospital (he's ok and home now), W has been a bit more “spirited” than usual, S no longer sleeps through the night, W bit his finger at Starbucks and was so upset that he gagged on the bagel that was in his mouth (sorry fellow Starbucks patrons), and I dropped my iPhone and cracked the screen (only a month away from my contract ending and thus being eligible for a new phone).  I thought my phone was fixed only to have it no longer charge - it is currently dead (traded one problem for another).  That meant I missed my morning meeting (which, if I’m being honest, wasn’t all that disappointing, but I did feel like a slacker).  Work has been crazy.  With the added phone repair, I didn’t arrive home until 6:30 yesterday.  A very long day.

And this is hardly worth mentioning aside from the sheer irony, but my fantasy football team made the playoffs only to have 3 players sustain injuries.  I don’t really care, I just wonder what the odds of a QB, tight end, and running back all going down in the same weekend are.

I know these are all minor issues in the grand scheme of things and I’ll resolve the phone problems even if that means shelling out a couple hundred dollars for a new one (on top of the hundred I already spent), but these haven’t exactly been my favorite days.

The boys visited Santa on Saturday and I’ll share those pictures soon.  It was… entertaining.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Thoughts

Can you believe that Christmas is just 2 weeks away??  I sure can’t.  People always complain about Christmas decorations coming out so early in the stores and I get that we need to focus on one holiday at a time.  BUT the Christmas season is so short so I also understand preparing early and celebrating for a longer stretch of time. 

We’re planning to visit Santa tomorrow.  My prediction: W will be fine, but S is going to scream.  W is also sporting a black eye right now so that will make for great pictures. :\

I had the opportunity to view a Blackhawks hockey game from the company’s skybox this week and it was pretty darn amazing.  I felt so important. J  The not so amazing part – I got about 3 hours of sleep that night.  I’m not complaining (ok, maybe I am).  But it was totally worth it to be able to watch the Stanley Cup champs from awesome seats.  On the downside, I feel like I’ve been trying to catch up on sleep (and failing) ever since.

Speaking of no sleep, S has decided he no longer wants to sleep through the night.  He had a rough period of colds and teething and he’s still teething so I think he just got used to waking up.  Not fun for A and me. :P

I also think S is going through a growth spurt.  He downed about 36 ounces of breast milk, purees, waffle, peanut butter toast, cheese, and turkey yesterday.  Holy moly!!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

W Says...

W Says:

Me: Would you like ice in your cup?
W:  I want ice!  Ice, ice baby!!

W: Why the fireman put out the fire?
Me:  Well, fires are very hot.  They can hurt people and they destroy buildings.
W:  Maybe they put the fire in the refrigerator?

W:  Mommy owl needs to be washed!!
Me: Uh oh!  What happened to mommy owl?
W:  She gots a booger.

W: There are lots of garbage cans still out.
Me: Yes, people need to move their garbage cans back into their garages.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Stitch Fix #5

Stitch Fix #5 was a good one!  I received this fix right before Thanksgiving.  I usually wait and check everything out with my mom and A.  I love getting their input.  But this time, A had conferences and my mom wouldn’t be at my house for a couple more days so I caved and took a peek.  I have no patience whatsoever and couldn’t wait 3 more days with that unopened box sitting around just begging to be viewed. J  My initial reaction was ehh… not that exciting.  But the more I thought about the contents, the more excited I got.

I waited for my mom and A to actually try items on with the exception of this scarf - hence the poor quality phone photo.  I requested a scarf to go with my green jacket from the previous fix.  In my mind, I was picturing a plaid scarf with red and green.  When I saw the blue, it totally caught me off guard because I was so sure I was getting something with red.  But I LOVE LOVE this scarf.  I love that it’s an infinity scarf and super soft.  Scarves always make me itchy, but not this one.  I had to wear it right away.  Octavia Chestnut Checkered Infinity Scarf - KEPT

I requested a blazer because I’ve seen some cute ones in others’ fixes.  Blazers are perfect work attire and also keep me warm – I’m the one who’s always freezing and keeps a heater under her desk.  This Le Lis Grenaa Knit Blazer was awesome.  The material was really soft and the length was perfect for my long torso.  It can be dressed down with jeans or dressed up with black pants.  I love it.  KEPT

I also requested plaid (lots of requests and my stylist totally delivered!!).  I adore the plaid top I got in fix #2, which is funny because I didn’t have anything plaid in my closet prior to that fix.  But I love plaid under sweaters and cardigans – it’s a perfect cold weather print.  I received this Colibri Plaid Printed Tab-Sleeve Shirt from Market and Spruce and thought it was really cute.  I love the colors and style of the top.  KEPT

And finally the Loveappella Berni Lace Detail Knit Top and Liverpool Anita Skinny Pant.  Both of these items were super comfortable.  It seems like Stitch Fix always sends tops and pants that are made from high quality materials.  The pants were flattering and the added lace detail on the top was enough to keep it interesting.  Again, I liked the longer length of the top.  KEPT and KEPT

So initially, I was convinced that I’d be sending a few items back and I ended up loving everything.  :) Kudos to my stylist!

And a big thank you to A for taking pictures - so much easier than trying to use the tripod and way better than my terrible selfies!! :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Weekend Recap

Another full weekend for us, but the highlight was W’s 3rd birthday party.  I can’t believe he’s turning 3.  I realize I’ll be saying that for the rest of my life… I can’t believe he’s XX years old… We went with a “things that go” theme because W’s love at the moment includes all the things that go – cars, trucks, trains, planes…  I didn’t get too carried away with the décor.  I made a table cloth out of paper to resemble a street and scattered orange construction cones through the dining room and kitchen.  For snacks, I dipped pretzel rods in chocolate and used red, yellow, and green m&ms to resemble stop lights.  I also put together fruit skewers with strawberries, pineapple, and grapes (red, yellow, green).  I made a car out of cheese and crackers and we ordered pizzas for the main dish.  W had a special shirt with his name on it to match the theme.  I also ordered a cake in the shape of a bus and cookies that were shapes as trains, trucks, airplanes, and the number 3.  Unfortunately, the cake did not taste good, but other than that, the day was perfect.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention...  I picked out some photos and A was able to make a slide show to W's favorite song.  That was one of my favorite parts of the party.  He even included some video of when W was a newborn, which definitely made me cry.

I haven’t uploaded pictures from the camera yet, but will try to remember to share them when I do. J

In addition to W’s 3rd birthday (party), S also turned 10 months on Saturday!!  His monthly post to come.  Where does the time go??

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend

Both boys have been battling colds for the past few weeks.  It seems like as soon as one is getting over a cold, the other is getting a new one.  S came down with cold number 2 Monday night.  It was strange – he went to bed just fine with no symptoms and then was up all night coughing and congested.  I was up from 1:30am off and on.  I think I slept maybe an hour from  1:30 to 5:30am.  Thankfully I worked from home Tuesday.  Both boys seemed better today, but I told my mom to call if she is concerned about anything.  Anyway, I wanted to talk about Thanksgiving before we get too far into December.

As I mentioned, I had 5 blissful days off.  I already detailed Wednesday.  Tuesday, I attended parent/teacher conferences for W.  My very first parent/teacher conference.  And as stupid as it sounds, I was actually nervous.  What if the teacher had concerns?  Would I hear something that would surprise me?  My worries were eased very quickly.  No concerns from the teacher whatsoever.  I asked if W talked much and his teacher told me W talked when he had something to say.  This is me exactly.  My teachers always commented that I was really quiet in class, but if I had something to say, I would say it.  W’s teacher said that W often repeated rules to the other students!  Yes!!  Love my little rule follower… now if only that were the case at home.  Ha.  But I’m very proud of him and so thankful that school is going well after getting off to such a rough start.

So on Thursday, we all headed to Nani and Papa’s house for Thanksgiving.  My mom and my brother joined.  It was awesome to have both of my families together.  W ate more turkey than I did.  He could not get enough and kept asking for more.  He was also a big fan of the red jello.  I think S was a little confused by the whole thing, but he also enjoyed some turkey.  All in all, it was a really great day with family and I stuffed myself silly.  Seriously, I LOVE Thanksgiving food.  Yum!!

Friday, my mom and I hit the stores.  We do this every year and we always have fun together.  I do the majority of my shopping online, but my mom doesn’t even have a computer so she gets a lot of her shopping done on Black Friday.  The stores weren’t super crowded and we found lots of bargains.  Also, I saw a lot of people criticizing Black Friday shopping on FB.  If you don’t like it, then don’t participate.  But condemning others for shopping is a little ridiculous.  Black Friday is beneficial to the stores and employees who work on commission and some people (my mom and myself) enjoy it.  So people can shut it with their judgmental comments.  ANYWAY.  We had fun and were done shopping by 12:30pm.  Afterwards, we met up with the boys at one of our favorite restaurants for pizza.  We headed home and W took a 3 hour nap!! And S took a 2 hour nap!!  AT THE SAME TIME.  That’s happened NEVER.  It was awesome.

Santa??  Are you out there??

Saturday was spent grocery shopping, putting up Christmas lights, and decorating the Christmas tree.  W was really into the decorating the tree and I loved every minute of watching him place the ornaments.  He keeps asking me to come look at the tree with him – we may leave it up until February (kidding… maybe).  I just LOVE everything about Christmastime.

Sunday was our usual.  A and I got lots done around the house and I began preparing for W’s 3rd (say what!?) birthday party that will be this Saturday.  It was so great to have 5 days together and I'm looking forward to more time off with my family as we approach Christmas.