It's A...

Sunday, December 28, 2014
Now that the news has had time to settle in, we wanted to announce to you that baby numero dos is a GIRL! A girl! Another girl! Picturing our little family with two little ladies running around is everything I thought it would be and we couldn't be more excited.

Our 20 week ultrasound was scheduled for December 23rd. We decided that we wanted to find out the gender of baby #2 in a more intimate setting, so we opted to have our ultrasound tech write the gender on a piece of paper and place it in an envelope. That night, I made two ornaments (one boy, and one girl) and asked Matt's aunt to place the ornament in a box for us which we would then open Christmas morning. We invited our parents down to find out the gender with us, and tears immediately filled my eyes once I saw the tiny pink ornament sitting in the box.

We didn't find out with Parker, so this was a completely new experience for us. I was annoyingly indecisive about finding out the gender, but ultimately knew that our hands would be extremely full after the baby is born so we'd take the time we had now to design a nursery, pick out a name and all the other fun planning that goes into welcoming a new baby.

Out of all of the perks of having little girls, I am most excited about Parker having a little sister to walk through life with. I grew up with brothers so I never really got to experience a sisterly bond, however I lived vicariously through my friends, all of whom had sisters. I know there will be lots of screaming melt downs over toys, blame games and eventually clothes, but know that having a best friend for life will far outweigh any struggle along the way.

Our Christmas Card!

Thursday, December 18, 2014
This year I can say with confidence that we were definitely on our Christmas game. Years prior we would typically wait a week or two before Christmas to get our tree, finish shopping the week of and rush around to get our Christmas cards out just before the 25th rolled around. This year I was bound and determined to have all of those things finished if not before December, then very soon thereafter. 

Since we didn't have a family photo shoot this year and I thought it was too late in the year to use wedding photos from May, I decided to tackle holiday pictures in the comfort of Parker's nursery (it just so happens that this room always gets the best afternoon light). Although I loved the idea of including a family picture of the three of us, I was sure we'd run out of time. I knew that I wanted to spotlight Parker and her new sibling so I placed a couple of lit trees in the background, threw one of my fave hats on her and went to town. Here are a few of my absolute favorites!

Ultimately we decided upon one of the ultrasound pictures and I am so happy with how they turned out! We used the printing company, Minted for the first time and I think we'll be repeat customers. I love the quality of the cards and fell even more in love with the option of foil pressed lettering! This has been my favorite Christmas card yet, and I'm already imaging the chaos cluttered cuteness of next year's! ;)

Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How far along? 17 weeks, 4 days
Total weight gain: 4 lbs. Tracking along at about 1 lb per week
I'm living in: I'm at the stage now where my bump can still comfortably fit into most of my normal clothes, however I've had to resort to the hair tie trick with a some of my jeans a time or two. Otherwise I dip into the hubby's tshirt drawer and throw on my favorite pair of Under Armor leggings.
Bellybutton in or out? I can tell it's starting to making its way out, but remains an innie for now
Sleep: I am sleeping great but have a feeling that I'm going to need to invest in a body pillow soon.
Food urges: Smoothies and big, warm, starchy, carb-y cinnamon raisin bagels!
Food aversions: Aside from ground turkey, nothing really at the moment. My appetite has done a complete 180 this week so I am constantly hungry. 
I really miss: Any sushi roll with spicy tuna. Typically when we get sushi I am limited to shrimp tempura or vegetable rolls, which were cutting it up until I saw an amazing looking roll on Instagram the other day.
Movement: Lots of little squirms this week! We have our ultrasound the week of Christmas so we can't wait to see our little mover and shaker in action then.
Gender prediction: Girl even though I've been having an oddly large amount of boy dreams lately.
Best moment this week? Parker being over the top adorable with my belly! Some nights she will rub it and say things like 'what you doin', baby... what you doin'?' or she'll kiss my belly and say 'I love you, baby.' Melt my heart!
Looking forward to: We're taking Parker to see Santa for the first time this year. Matt and I are both up in the air about how we think she'll handle meeting the big man lately, but we've been prepping her a bit and pointing him out whenever we see him in books or in movies. She seems to be enamored with him and since she's a sucker for old men (true story), I'm feeling optimistic about her encounter! More to come next week...

Our Weekend

Monday, December 8, 2014
Last week proved itself to be one of the longest weeks I've had in a while. It goes without saying that it also made the weekend more than welcomed. We have the majority of our Christmas decorations up in the living room so automatically it's now where we spend most of our time. With candles burning and Elf on in the background, there's just nothing like it. We had a pretty busy day planned for Saturday (which we'll get to in a second) so a low key Friday night at home was just what the doctor ordered.

There's little this girl loves more than her puppies.

Speaking of love, my biggest preggo craving lately has been cinnamon raisin bagels. All last week I craved needed them, so naturally after Parker's gymnastics we made an emergency run to Wegmans to stock up. Of course I'm sure the large tub of cream cheese wasn't necessary, however this craving is serious and I can be held accountable for about a handful of my actions, at best. 

Before things ramped up for the day, I took a timeout to look over prints from our wedding.  Each time I go through them, I am instantly taken back on one the best days of our lives. These two photos are among my favorites as they completely capture all that I love most about the hubs!

That night, my mom and I took Parker to a holiday festival in a nearby town. I haven't been since I was a little girl so it was kind of like going with a fresh set of eyes. It had been 30 degrees and rainy all day, so I packed prepared for the worst. I thought for sure Parker would be all about riding in her stroller down the main street of the festival cozied up with her Sherpa blanket, but as I'm finding out each day, Parker had other plans. She insisted on walking 'like a biggail' which she did for four blocks up and back. 

We set up shop in one of my favorite cafes for dinner and set back out to watch singers, see the lights and do a little bit of shopping. Parker received the most adorable little infinity scarf from my friend's boutique and she couldn't have been any cuter strolling downtown with her little shopping bag.

We got home an hour past Parker's bed time so I was hopeful that she would sleep in. 730 was the best she could do, so the only thing to do at that time is make a small batch of pancakes and prep for a cozy day inside, pajamas, hot chocolate and all. Along the way Parker's maturity level aged 15 years. I'm guessing it was somewhere between her coloring her legs with markers and her constant responses to of 'yes, motherrr' to anything I would ask her. 

We wrapped up the weekend with some bath time and book reading in bed. Spending weekends with Parker and seeing her personality blossom is such a reality check for how time really does fly. I am going to take advantage of the time we have together as our own little team before we add another into the mix. 

Pregnancy Update: 16 Weeks

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How far along? 16 weeks
Total weight gain: 3 lbs.
I'm living in: A few of my favorite shirts are beginning to fit a little on the awkward side so I picked up a couple of Liz Lange maternity tank tips for layering, that I've heard a couple of ladies raving about. So far they've proven to be one of the best purchases I've made in a while. They're longer in  length but still fit snug so they won't compromise outfits. They're also really soft and comfortable, I find myself grabbing for them more often times than not.
Bellybutton in or out? In for now, but looking different with each day.
Sleep: It's still one of my favorite times of the day. Although I've graduated from the 8/830 time frame, I'm usually exhausted by 930. Baby steps.
Food urges: Salads and Panera's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Food aversions: I still can't stomach soups with lots of chunky ingredients.
I really miss: The gym. So far this week I've woken up headache-free two days in a row (this hasn't happened since the beginning of November!). If they subside for the remainder of the week, I should be able to get back into the swing of things soon.
Movement: Those cute little kicks seemed to have slowed down a bit this week, however every now and then I feel little jabs.
Gender prediction: Hi, Switching Sally here. Changing my guess back to girl!
Best moment this week? Decorating the house for Christmas has done wonders for my mood. Also, I've kind of become obsessed with waking up Parker to find her elf of many names. So far she's named her Cassie, Kayley, and Gross.
Looking forward to: As I've mentioned before, Parker's new big girl room is fully painted. All that is left to do is install the new floors, get curtains, an area rug and some things for a cute little reading corner. I'd love to have everything done by the end of December so that we can do a big reveal on Christmas day. It's an ambitious time frame at best, so we'll see!

Our {Long} Weekend

Sunday, November 30, 2014
I hope you all had a wonderful few days enjoying time with family, friends and good food! We are officially ready to kick off the Christmas season in our household with the tree fully decked and decorations around the house (except really only in the living room and entryway). This post is coming to you from the comfort of Parker's anywhere chair next to our tree in our living room that smells like a pine forest. Pure heaven. The past few days seem like such a blur to me but the highlights include:

1. Successfully baking a pumpkin pie from scratch. Although, I was a slave to the pie dough for a couple hours, the final product was well worth it. I'm not joking when I say that I felt like I was being bullied by the pie crust process. I even had my expert baker of a mother come down for mental support.

2. Thanksgiving! We've sort of fell into a tradition last year when we took our time waking up, made a breakfast casserole which we ate while lounging around watching the parade. Such was the story this year, and after we played with Parker for a while and she eventually went down for a nap. That's when we started getting around for an evening of family and friends. Parker woke up from her nap around 3 and we were off! First stop was to Matt's aunts house, followed by round two of dinner up at my parent's. My grandparents were able to make it to dinner, which always makes me so happy. Parker has been fascinated by my grandfather, Doc since she was a couple months old so it brought tears to my eyes when she walked right up to him, put her little hand on his and said 'Hi, Doc' with a sweet little smile. Probably my favorite moment of this Thanksgiving.

The rest of the weekend was spent decking our halls and the premier of our Elf on the Shelf. We are totally embracing this stage because Parker can grasp the concept of Elf on the Shelf, but at the same time, it doesn't take much to impress her. So far we've placed the elf (whom Parker quickly named Cassie) in her 'potty treat' bowl and hanging from the fan in our living room. Both days she was floored. The best part was probably hearing the things she would say to it. It was a lot of 'I went peepee on the potty, ELF!' and 'What you doing, ELF?!'. Always pronounced with an emphasis on 'ELF'.

We also got our tree on Saturday and had it completely decorated before sundown. It took us only a few minutes in the tree nursery before it was packed up onto the top of our car, making it's way into our home. It's definitely the prettiest tree we've had yet and we made a few last minute ornament purchases that made a HUGE impact on the appearance. 

It's always tough to get back into the swing of things after a few days off, so may your coffee be strong, and your Monday be short!

Pregnancy Update: 15 weeks

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

(Soon we hope to have the chalkboard actually hung so that the hubby doesn't need to stand in for a makeshift wall)

How far along? 15 weeks, 4 days
Total weight gain: 2 lbs.
I'm living in: When I'm not at work testing my pants to extremes, my typical lounging at home wardrobe consists of crop leggings or sweatpants. On the weekends when visiting or running errands, I tend to turn to my favorite skinnies (with stretch), a simple tee and a long cozy cardigan.
Bellybutton in or out? In
Sleep: Still sleeping like a baby, aside from my new habitual midnight bathroom trips
Food urges: A warm cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows or chai tea lattes from Starbucks
Food aversions: Believe it or not, soups are turning me off lately. I find this extremely odd because 'tis the season for soups! 
I really miss: It's happening already. I miss the nights where I could comfortably sleep on my stomach. Any time I apply any pressure on that area (let alone try to sleep on it) I can feel my bump pressing into my guts. It's side/back sleeping from here on out. In other sleep related news, I am coveting this body pillow. I just can't decide which print to go with. They're all so cute!
Movement: I can officially say that we have kicks! I have been feeling them about two weeks earlier than it did with my first pregnancy. All this week I have been feeling faint little jabs that bring me right back to feeling Parker's first karate chops.
Gender prediction: I have been carrying pretty much the same as I did when I with Parker, so I'm thinking girl. We have one more month before we find out!
Exercise: Not much of anything lately. My daily morning headaches put a damper on all of my motivation. The doctor hopes that they subside over the next few weeks, so hopefully I'll be able to get my sweat on soon.
Best moment this week? Thanksgiving! When we first found out we were pregnant in August, I was so excited that this pregnancy coincided with the holidays.
Looking forward to: Getting Parker's big girl room ready! Her walls have been painted, we have to install wood flooring and finish some shopping! The bed is scheduled for delivery right before or after Christmas so we are hoping to have her room ready before the new year. After that, it's operation nursery (my absolute FAVORITE part of pregnancy).

I also wanted to say that I am thankful for all of you who regularly read and leave such sweet comments. I love having a space that allows me to share a small part of our lives with all of you. I hope everyone enjoys the next couple of days surrounded by family, friends and good cheer and keep those who aren't able to be home with loved ones during this holiday season in our hearts.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Weekend

Sunday, November 23, 2014
Matt had been traveling off and on for work the past couple of weeks and just returned from a trip on Saturday afternoon. Our daily schedule is totally thrown out of whack on days when he isn't here, but at the same time it provides some serious mama daughter bonding time.

Friday night we settled in and made ham and cheese paninis and snuggled in my bed watching Elf. Regardless of my 'plan' of Parker falling asleep watching movies in bed, I found myself drifting off while she played with remotes and sang songs. Before I completely zonked out, I decided to take her to her nursery and tuck her in for the night. She went down without a struggle. Parker and I have an unwritten rule that she gets the best nights sleep when Matt is out of town. 

The next morning we had a jam packed day full of gymnastics, lunch at my parents, naps and addressing holiday cards all before Matt's flight arrived at 330. We surprised him at the airport which is always one of my favorite things to do. Parker gave Matt a huge hug and didn't want to leave his arms. She had a mini melt down when he went to get his car from the parking lot so naturally we had to switch vehicles so he could drive her home due to her daddy withdrawal. 

Since my parents asked to have Parker stay over with them one night this weekend, we took advantage of it and used that night for a long overdue date night. We went to one of our favorite restaurants, sat in the bar area and enjoyed some appetizers and later on took on a steak bigger than Matt's head ;). I could only bear a few bites but the leftovers made for some amazing brunch material the next day. Don't worry, I made sure to save room for dessert. 

It's finally the week of Thanksgiving which means friends, family and pumpkin pie! I'm making my first ever pumpkin pie and decided to go with this pie crust recipe with this filling. My friend mentioned that she uses a recipe that calls for melted vanilla ice cream. It blew my mind. We also have a baby appointment this week, so we're looking forward to that. It's always fun hearing the heart beat and hopefully I'll get some ideas on how to kick these daily headaches. 

Pregnancy Update: 14 Weeks

Saturday, November 22, 2014
First and foremost, we want to thank you all for the out pour of love and good wishes as we enter our second round of pregnancy! We have family and friends all over the country (and world for that matter), so we are going to use this blog to try to keep everyone up to date with our antics during this next chapter of our lives. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am starting to track my ever growing bump on a weekly basis. Also, I love hearing the fun details of other women's pregnancies so this will allow me to share all of the nitty gritty with those of you who are interested.

How far along? 14 weeks
Total weight gain: 1 lonely pound
I'm living in: Right now I'm starting the stage where my bump can easily be mistaken for a big lunch at Chipotle. I can still button my jeans but the comfort level is being pushed to it's limit with each day. My most comfortable pair of jeans that I find myself turning to are one pair of Joe's skinnies. I found that all of the stretch is really working with the changes my body is going through and the dark wash is consistently flattering. On other days when I'm feeling less ambitious, I typically turn to Lululemon crops.
Bellybutton in or out? In for now
Sleep: Sleeping great. I'd say from 7 weeks up until 12 weeks we got into the routine of putting Parker down for bed around 730-745. You could bet that I wouldn't be too far behind. This week I am starting to get my energy back (I'm actually blogging while Parker naps instead of following suit), which means I get to dedicate a lot more time to Matt and socializing with friends.
Food urges: Smoothies and french fries with honey mustard
Food aversions: Turkey - this is especially surprising to me because we live off of turkey burgers and ground turkey dishes.
I really miss: (I'm trying to figure out how to word this without sounding like a lush...) but mocktails just aren't cutting it. I went out the other night with a group of my girlfriends for dinner and the bartender attempted to turn my beloved cocktail into a non-alcoholic version with all of the flavor. It was delicious, but I was definitely missing that zing.
Movement: Any sensation I feel in my stomach, I automatically think is the baby kicking so this subject is debatable.
Gender prediction: In the first months I thought boy, but just recently switched my guess over to girl.
Exercise: For the first 7 weeks I kept up with my exercise regimen, but totally fell off the wagon once morning sickness rolled in and set up shop until 12ish weeks. Now that I feel like my old self (and once Matt's work travel slows down), I am ready for some 5:00 am gym time.
Best moment this week? Making the big announcement to the world! I can't stress enough how much every word meant to us! It makes us even more excited for this pregnancy (which we didn't think was possible) and I'm excited to see what's to come in the next few months.
Looking forward to: If you've spent any time with me the past two weeks, you will know how much I'm looking forward to the holidays this year. It snowed the other day and I almost did a back flip into my hot cocoa. I am just so excited to be surrounded my friends and family and watch Parker soak up the fun of the holidays.

Big Changes are Coming...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Matt and I have been throwing around some ideas around for the past year or so around some big changes being made to our household. The list contains a master bedroom/bathroom remodel, a much needed closet redesign and a big girl room for P. Check out the video below to see more of what's to come in 2015!

Parker's Two Year Update

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
How we even got to two entire years, I'm not sure but if my two month postpartum self could see how great these times were now, she wouldn't be sobbing at the thought of her baby growing up. It's been a while since we've done a Parker update so let's get to it...

Words: These past couple of months have been such a game changer. Parker is either talking, singing, 'reading' her books out loud or yelling 'baby yoga!' then proceeding into full on downward dog. Our little chatter-box is non-stop and we wouldn't want it any other way. I am extremely excited about this stage because I discovered the other day on the way home that Parker is starting to memorize song lyrics. We now have 'All About that Bass' duets in the car on the reg. She also is quick to say thank you, I love you or my all-time favorite 'bless you, mama' whenever I sneeze or cough. We started a new favorite nightly ritual of mine, where we all cuddle up in bed and read a few of her favorite books. Sometimes we get her to take the wheel and she'll read to us which is beyond hysterical. She memorizes books in minutes flat and we are flabbergasted at what she can retain.

Sleep: I am also thrilled to announce (and more than likely am jinxing myself when I say) that we have finally found a struggle-scream-cup-throwing-pacifier-chucking-tears-galore-FREE bedtime routine. It has been a serious struggle for us since she was an infant so getting to this stage feels beyond amazing. We would have our good stretches, but you can bet they wouldn't last long. Have it be teething, a cold or her being overtired, there were so many nights where Matt and I were both stressed out trying to find a routine that flowed for not only Parker but for us as well. We tried every method in the book and the only real tweak that accounted for success was that we started putting her to bed around 7:30-7:45 each night. Before we would shoot for 8:30 but since we started putting her down earlier, she's been asking to lay down in her crib, letting us know that she's tired, and eventually will go down without a peep. For the past two years I read so many articles and know that it can be one of the biggest pain points for parents, so have faith when people tell you that it will get easier. You will find a method that works for both you and your baby, and that day will be glorious. She is still sleeping in her crib, but we are already in the works of putting together her big girl room. 

Food: Parker isn't too picky when it comes to food, however I have a feeling that that stage is right around the corner. Typically for breakfast I'll throw together scrambled eggs with fruit and toast or a waffle. Other days she's in the mood for cereal and milk. She loves 'tune-off' (tuna) sandwiches and can do some serious damage when it comes to blueberries, grapes or clementines. Whenever she asks for a snack, we typically throw some berries in a bowl and she is a happy camper. Luckily, she doesn't HATE vegetables. For dinner she typically eats whatever we're eating and she loves a side of vegetable medley. Don't get me wrong, some days she is running on straight carbs, hummus and cheese but when we are stocked in the fruits and frozen vegetable department she goes pretty hard. :)

Potty Training: On to potty training... we took the approach of letting Parker first show interest so for the past few months she's been sitting, but the train stops there. However, with a little candy bribery (thank goodness for Halloween candy) we've been seeing results! Today we introduced actual underwear so we'll see how that pans out for us. I have a feeling it's going to be a long road but we're definitely not magicians so we're well prepared. 

I could go on and on about this little girl. About how her booming personality cracks us up on a daily basis, about her favorite songs, her favorite activities but we'd be going on a pretty long blog post. This has just been the most fun age and I just can't get over how much she grows each day. The older she gets the harder it is to believe that I'm lucky enough to be called her mama. She amazes us each day and we can't think of a life without her spunk, sweetness and giggles.

Autumn Bucket List

Monday, October 13, 2014
Seasons have a tendency to slip away from me before I come to the reality that they ever happened. All too frequently, I get caught up with the every day tasks and plans for upcoming seasons that I rarely take the time to appreciate the one that we're in. So, with that being said I decided to come up with an Autumn 'bucket list'. This way I can appreciate the small victories of fall and at the same time, get out and enjoy this time of the year with the little one. Let's get started.

1. Get lost in a cornfield maze

2. Coax Parker into jumping into a giant leaf pile

3. Eat a halloween'ed up doughnut

4. Carve pumpkins

5. Get together a stash of Halloween books and read them to Parker at night

6. Sit down with enough time to watch and enjoy Hocus Pocus

7. Whip up a seasonal dessert

8. Accompany said dessert with a warm drink of some sort

Nothing too ambitious but perfect given the last few weeks before the snow hits. 

These doughnuts were ridiculous. Parker and I could have camped out at the food stand all day.

I love the sugar all over her face. Her mother's daughter ;)

This past weekend we were able to cross off one of the items on the list. Parker had her first visit to a pumpkin patch and we unsuccessfully took on the cornfield maze. Apparently the wagon is where its at so she was less than thrilled walking through an area where everywhere you turned, was nothing but corn stalks. I'm sure in a few years I'll be chasing her through them trying to keep track, but for now we'll move on to the next item. A leaf pile is waiting in our front yard as we speak. 

Parker's 2nd Birthday

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Our little pipsqueak turned two last week! 

Since her birthday landed on a Wednesday this year, we decided to keep that day pretty low key and celebrated with our small family. We started the morning off with a breakfast party with a few of her bffs. I whipped up funfetti pancakes with bananas, which might have kick started a new birthday tradition. 

What's a second birthday without some terrible two sass?

Next we headed off to 'school' to play with her friends while I got some things done at work. Matt and I stopped over to her classroom after their nap time  with cookies and blueberries in tow. A definite hit for 2-3 year olds. Later we invited our parents over for dinner and cake (the main event), and finished the night off with a frosting covered and sugar high toddler in the tub. 

Parker has been on a mermaid kick for the last few months so naturally a mermaid themed birthday party had to happen. Have you ladies seen the party kits that you can buy off of Etsy? I almost did backflips when I found a customizable mermaid themed kit with invitations, water bottle labels, signs, food labels, etc. etc. etc. It's such an easy and cost effective way to tie a party together. 

I mentioned before that Parker has been obsessed with birthdays, so the highlight of her birthday and her party that following weekend was having everyone sing 'happy birthday' and blowing out the candles. I've never seen her face light up as big as it did in those moments. Seeing her so happy,  surrounded by those whom she loves and love her right back makes a mama's heart so proud. I always seem to hold it together until I see her looking at her candles about to blow them out. It's just the sweetest thing seeing her get more and more excited about these events in her life with each passing year.

Happy birthday, Parker! You have made each day of our lives so extraordinary with the smallest things you do. I know these days will one day seem impossible that they ever happened, so we are soaking in every bit of your tiny self watching you grow into the most hilarious, caring, daring and above all happiest girl we know. We love you so and can't wait to see what the year ahead holds for you. XOXO!

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