Friday, December 30, 2016

Farewell, 2016!

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!  We've spent the last week visiting family, fighting colds + playing with new toys.  We also officially closed on our old house, which is such a relief and a little bit bittersweet!  The way things worked, I thought I'd be going back to help Tyler clean but he ended up finishing it up himself (I know, rough life for me), so I never got to say "goodbye" to our little home.  We both agree that it's probably for the best as I'm sure it would have been filled with more of a walk down memory lane than anything... Remember when Ellie said her first word?  Remember when she took her first steps?  Remember when my water broke right here and shit got really real, really fast?  Remember when I woke you up by shoving a pregnancy test in your face + telling you that we were going to be PARENTS?  Remember when we spent a portion of our honeymoon back here because I (temporarily) lost my driver's license and we missed our flight?  We made so many memories in that house, which definitely makes it a bit sad to think about, but we are happy to close out our year by officially having sold our first house.

Things have certainly been a little bit crazy these past few months, 2016 wasn't perfect, not everything went as we had hoped or planned, but we really did have a great year with so many memories that I hope I can bottle up in my mind + keep forever!

There are so many things that we're looking forward to in 2017 - we've got lots of memories to make in this soon-to-be new house of ours and can't wait to watch our family grow.  Cheers (with my sparkling water) to a brand new year, a blank slate + so many good times to come! :)

Monday, December 26, 2016

16 Weeks

How far along:  16 weeks.
Gender:  Our guess is definitely boy!  We are pretty set on a girl name but boy names seem so much more difficult.  I may have thought of a winner this week though!
Belly button in or out:  In.
Maternity clothes:  Same as before, really just maternity jeans and leggings.
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  Not bad, but starting to get sore hips from sleeping on my side.  I remember feeling the same way when I was pregnant with Ellie.
Best moment of the week:  Watching Ellie play with all of her new toys on Christmas!
Worst moment of the week:  Sickness has been spreading through our house this week, which totally sucks.
Miss anything:  A giant grinder.  Extra pickles, please.
Movement:  Felt a few kicks this week!!
Cravings:  Nothing too specific this week.  Although, I wouldn't mind a nice cheese pizza all to myself at this exact moment.
Queasy or sick:  Feeling good.
Looking forward to:  My doctor's appointment this week - love getting to hear baby's heartbeat! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Week!

It's been a busy month for us, which might mean we haven't been able to fully enjoy the Christmas season, but that doesn't mean we aren't so excited for the weekend ahead!  While Ellie doesn't fully understand what's going on, I know for sure that she will be excited to see all of her new toys on Christmas morning and really can't even wait.  I am starting to wonder if she or I will wake up first to see if Santa came! That is, if we ever finish putting her play kitchen together in time to even get to sleep. ;)

We're also excited to spend time visiting family, especially those who we haven't gotten to see in awhile.  We're so happy to be back home and get to see everyone more often, but there's definitely something special about getting to share the magic of Ellie's Christmas with everyone we love! The thought of having another baby at this time next year is kind of crazy and super exciting!  We've already been talking about how fun it will be and all of the things we plan to do as a family of FOUR! :)

The past week has been spent saying goodbye to our old house and getting settled in here, which has been a much easier transition than I anticipated.  I assumed Ellie might need some time to adjust, mainly having trouble sleeping in a new house, but she has been doing really well.  She loves having her grandparents here and I'm sure she will be looking for them when they move out - luckily they will be just a few minutes away! ;)  I also wasn't sure if she would wonder why we haven't gone back to our old house.  I mean, I know she's only a year and a half old, but she doesn't seem phased by the move at all which is awesome and definitely a relief.  Also, all of our cats have been getting along much better than we imagined they would.  It's a little bit of a zoo, but there's definitely always at least one fur babe around to cuddle with if you're looking for them! ;)

I used to think holidays could only be fun if you were a kid, but I'm honestly not sure if I remember ever being this excited for Christmas morning to come!  I know that these years of having little kid(s) who really believe in the magic of the season will go by way faster than I'd like. Christmas will be over for another year in the blink of an eye, which always makes me a little bit sad so we will be soaking it up as best we can.  

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas + happiest everything from our family to yours! XO

Sunday, December 18, 2016

15 Weeks

How far along:  15 weeks.
Gender:  I had a dream that baby #2 was a girl and we even named her what we are about 99% sure we would name a baby girl, but last month I had a dream baby was a boy - pretty sure my dreams are more because I can't wait to find out than some kind of sign! ;)
Belly button in or out:  In.
Maternity clothes:  Just a couple things so far, though I honestly envision living in sweatpants and leggings most of the time when I'm not leaving the house.  Definitely wouldn't mind hibernating for winter!
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  Missed out on some sleep this week since we were up late packing, but nothing because of baby.
Best moment of the week:  Officially being moved HOME!
Worst moment of the week:  Packing, if that counts.  Also, driving home in a snow storm with a toddler + three crying kitties.  It was a long drive for sure.
Miss anything:  Not really this week - I think I've been too busy to really think about it!
Movement:  A few tiny movements here and there.  Really looking forward to feeling more in the next few weeks hopefully. :)
Cravings:  Food in general is good by me!  We ate at a few of our favorite spots lately and nothing disappointed.
Queasy or sick:  Finally feeling really good.
Looking forward to:  CHRISTMAS!  Can you believe it's a week away?!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Friday Favorites: Mid-Week Edition

It's moving week which means I will probably be signing off for a couple days after this, but we've run out of boxes so I'm off the packing hook until we get more tomorrow morning. ;)  That being said, I thought I'd pop in + share some Friday Favorites a little bit early this week!

Not trying to get too far ahead of myself here, but I did notice a few adorable new Valentine's Day arrivals at the Gap - loving these red heart print leggings in particular.  Also, these tights hanging out in the J.Crew sale section can be grabbed at a super steal with code HOLIDAY + free shipping!  I personally think they'd make a perfect stocking stuffer, AND you'd be planning ahead for the next holiday on the calendar! ;)

If you're a fan of Fancy Free Finery, you'll definitely want to join their Friends + Family Facebook group now if you haven't already - they're giving away five $50 store credits this Christmas season!  Instagram is great and all, but I always check to see if my favorite small shops have closed Facebook groups as well. FFF is probably one of the best ones I know of, but generally speaking, these types of groups tend to have FB exclusive giveaways, promo codes, sneak peeks, etc.  Definitely worth checking out!  Also, if you're part of a group that you think I'd like, please send the link my way. :)

I have yet to buy anything from Childhoods Clothing but have heard nothing but good things.  I always love their styles and have been a little bit obsessing over their Ski 1941 collection that comes out this Wednesday. Like seriously, how cute + cozy is this?!

These festive cookies look so good and I know Ellie would love them too.  She had her very first candy cane last weekend and chomped away at it like there was no tomorrow!

I loved reading this article.  Not saying that sharing the real meaning of Christmas isn't important, that you shouldn't give back this holiday season, or that you have to spoil your own kids like crazy... but, thinking back to that feeling of coming down the stairs to see all of the gifts under our tree when we were little is something I will never forget. The magic of Christmas definitely isn't all about the gifts, but I totally can't wait for the day when I get the "OMG" reaction from Ellie on Christmas morning.  I hope to create the same kind of special memories that I have for her and all of our future babies. :)

Lastly, Ellie in her heart sunnies that she randomly decided she enjoys wearing this week (preferably while listening to "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" so she can jam).  Crossing all my fingers + toes that she loves the "fashion glasses" Santa is bringing in her stocking! ;)  Way too much cuteness.

reindeer shirt // heart sunnies (old from last year, similar here)

Hope you're all having a great week!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

14 Weeks

How far along:  14 weeks.
Gender:  I went from thinking one thing to the other and now I'm back at my first guess!
Belly button in or out:  In.
Maternity clothes:  Definitely getting to that stage where a lot of my regular pants are too tight to button but my maternity pants are still a little too big.
Stretch marks:  I feel like my love handles are growing at the speed of light these days, so it wouldn't surprise me.  But no, nothing yet!
Sleep:  Had a few nights this past week that I had trouble sleeping, though I blame it more on everything else going on (or a tiny human who requests to be pushed in the stroller at 1 a.m.) and less on the baby in my belly.
Best moment of the week:  Friday at 4:15 when I was officially done working!! Also, getting to the second trimester!  I've seen a lot of people say 13 weeks is the start of the second trimester, so I did the obvious thing and googled it.  Apparently there's different methods of separating the trimesters, but I went with my Ovia app on this one and am calling 14 weeks the second tri!
Worst moment of the week:  See stroller shenanigans mentioned above.
Miss anything:  Well, I cried watching "The Search for Santa Paws" with Ellie this week (the girls get adopted, you guys!!!), so one might say I'm a little more sensitive than usual.  Definitely wouldn't mind taking that down a couple notches. ;)
Movement:  Still just tiny movements here and there.  One night I felt a few in a row which was the best!
Cravings:  I had Tyler grill me a bunch of chicken to make wraps with for lunch this week - the closest thing to a "real sandwich" (that I would love to eat), and they were SO GOOD.  Also, chocolate.
Queasy or sick:  Apparently snacking on baby carrots was a poor life choice.  Other than that, I'm good as long as I don't have an empty stomach.
Looking forward to:  Getting this whole moving business over with.  We can't wait to sign all the paperwork and get settled in!  Also, Christmas with my baby girl + my baby bump. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December Happenings

Clearly we've had so much going on lately, and the next few weeks will definitely be exciting! First off, this Friday marks my very last day of work!!  Well, for now at least.  I am SO looking forward to getting to stay home with Ellie for awhile.  It seems like the perfect opportunity to get settled into our new home + spend some time with my girl before baby number two arrives late spring.

We're officially moving in about a week and a half, which means we'll be up to our eyeballs in boxes + packaging tape all of next week.  I attempted packing a few boxes with Ellie's help the other day, and got a whopping four boxes taped together and one box filled in an entire day's time.  Luckily Tyler is taking a few days off from work before we move, so the plan is to hit the ground running + get it done as quickly as possible!  My parents' new house isn't quite ready yet, so we will be crashing with them for a couple(ish?) weeks.  It will be six humans + five cats in one house for Christmas - one might say a good old fashioned Griswold Family Christmas, perhaps?  As long as no cats get electrocuted, I'm totally okay with that.  Break out the moose mugs, people!

 If you follow us on Instagram, you might have seen that we had our very first snow fall of the season this week!  Ellie ended up being less than impressed with the chilly situation, but she looked so cute all bundled up!  I'm not the biggest fan of snow (it tends to linger well into springtime around here), but the first snowfall of the season can be a little bit magical, especially around Christmas time. :)

In an attempt to do something a little festive with my little girlfriend this past weekend, we bypassed the gingerbread house decorating this year and went with cookie decorating instead!  We will definitely be doing a little baking for Santa Claus, but I had to use my favorite cookie cutters one last time before we packed them away. It was messy but she seemed to have fun helping me out (and sampling).  One thing's for sure, Ellie takes sprinkle duty very seriously! ;)

I'm not trying to rush through the season, but at the same time I really can't wait for Christmas to get here!  We've been talking about Santa and watching as many Christmas movies + shows as Ellie will let me put on for her before she decides she's sick of them, so I can't wait to see if any of it seems to click when the big day comes. :)

Aside from all of that, we're also trying to soak up this last bit of time in our house.  We've got plans to hit up our favorite restaurants in the area one last time + are really just enjoying our time here.

So much to look forward to!  I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas season as well!

P.S. Ellie's love of lotion in my last post?  I wasn't joking. :)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers

Today I'm sharing some of the adorable stocking stuffers I've come across in my search this year!  I could totally fill Ellie's stocking with practical things like body lotion, toothpaste + floss and she would love it (maybe ketchup, peanut butter + a bag of chips too), but I won't include those here. ;)  Ellie will be getting a few of these items, others she already has and a couple I'm not sure she would quite be ready for just yet but I'm saving for future gift ideas!

Those kitty slippers were a no-brainer, as well as those glasses since Ellie is obsessed with mine and anyone else who wears them.  Ellie loves her play makeup to put on herself, me or even the cats. ;)  I really can't recommend it enough! That pom hat + a couple pairs of colorful tights were possibly my favorite Black Friday purchases of the year.  They help brighten up a winter wardrobe and will be perfect for when it still feels like winter but we're wishing it were spring!  Bath toys and art supplies seem like stocking stuffer staples.  Ellie will be getting a brand new pack of (washable) crayons since I have no idea where 90% of her current pack ended up.  A book and some fun hair accessories are also cute ideas to fill your little ladies stockings!  Lastly, those adorable undies have been on my Ellie wish list for months and I might have to snatch them up before they're gone.  She likes to do what we do, so I'm thinking some "big girl undies" would be a fun way to motivate her when we seriously give potty training a shot (sometime in the new year).

There are obviously tons of small shops who sell some awesome stocking stuffers as well - Etsy is the place to be! I snagged this mini doll-sized lovey from Stella & Lu (only $5!) that I am super excited about.  I'm not sure if Ellie will use it with her baby dolls or her stuffed animals, but she has been loving them all lately so I thought it was a perfect fit.

Options are pretty much endless and I feel like this list could have gone on forever + ever.  Stocking stuffers were some of my favorite things growing up, so I love trying to think of what Ellie would love to have in hers too.  Have any fun ideas for your cuties?  Please share!! :)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

13 Weeks

 How far along: 13 weeks
Gender:  Currently taking predictions! ;)  So far, I'd say about 80% of the guesses have been the same so I can't wait to see who's right!
Belly button in or out:  In
Maternity clothes:  Already mixing in a couple things with my regular clothes. Plus, I never stopped wearing my favorite leggings + tank from last time - just. so. comfortable.
Stretch marks:  Been slathering on Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter daily!  It worked well before so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Sleep:  Sleep hasn't been great for about two years. ;)  Trying to get to bed early as often as I can these days.  I am ALWAYS tired.
Best moment of the week:  Hearing baby's heartbeat for the first time! It's cool to see it beating during ultrasounds but there's something special about actually hearing it. :)
Worst moment of the week:  Poor Ellie getting sick.  I think we slept about two hours Wednesday night, meaning she was awake and miserable the rest of the night.  Luckily, she seems to be feeling much better!
Miss anything:  My patience, if that counts?
Movement:  The teeniest of flutters every once in awhile over the past week or so! This was hands down my favorite part of being pregnant so I'm definitely looking forward to feeling more soon.
Cravings:  Cravings this time around have been very similar to the first time, although much sooner in the pregnancy.  I'd say top ones lately have been anything sweet - from fruit to donuts and everything in between.  Looking back at the first trimester in general, I had one too many carbs, a LOT of clementines and what was possibly the best tasting Chinese food ever for Tyler's birthday.
Queasy or sick:  Good for the most part.  That car sickness feeling is still coming and going a bit at this point.
Looking forward to:  Dinner with my family tonight to celebrate my grammy's birthday and maybe trying to squeeze in a nap tomorrow afternoon.

I was 12 weeks the day before Thanksgiving and had to start taking pictures at the same time I did when Ellie was in the belly, so here's my 12 week picture. :)

See similar posts in 2014 and 2015 for chalkboard reference.

Good thing I didn't have my hopes up on trying to get Ellie in these weekly pictures, huh? :)

Also, thank you all so much for the well wishes!!! XO

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The More the Merrier: Announcing Baby Noel #2!!!

I can hardly contain my excitement as I'm sitting here writing this post!  We are thrilled + feeling so grateful to announce that we're expecting our second baby in June 2017!!!!!

We found out the big news back in the beginning of October.  I wasn't "feeling pregnant" yet (i.e. not sick, tired, etc.) and really had no reason to think I was pregnant other than the fact that we were trying... but I guess that's reason enough?  Anyway, for some reason I felt like I had to take a test that day in particular and within just a few seconds, two pink lines showed up on the screen.  I was so happy, a little surprised but at the same time it just felt so right, like I knew it was going to happen.  It was a Sunday morning so Tyler was home with us and I had Ellie bring the test out to the living room to show him.  He looked up and totally brushed it off as if she was just walking around the house with a pregnancy test in hand (I guess her rummaging through the bathroom cabinet isn't that unheard of), but gave it a second glance after I told him to actually look at it. We were SO excited!  I was so happy that I took the test that day when he was home - the immediate reaction + emotions are just the best, right?!

We shared our news with our family + close friends over the next couple weeks and I had my first doctor's appointment + ultrasound the beginning of November.  My doctor confirmed that I was nine weeks along at the time and that my official due date is June 7th!  Of course we will be finding out the gender because neither of us are patient enough to wait and the suspense has already been killing us!  I would love for Ellie to have a sister since I loved growing up with mine so much.  Plus, I really wouldn't complain about getting another use out of Ellie's (somewhat extensive) wardrobe. ;)  I would also love to have a little mama's boy and get to see Tyler experience life with a son - I'm pretty sure baby would be born with a football in his hands. :)  We will be more than happy either way and absolutely cannot wait to give Ellie a sibling!!

Our babies will be about 25 months apart in age, depending on whether baby #2 decides to arrive early like big sister did.  I have a feeling that I would be saying this if we had our second earlier or later too, but the timing just feels right for us.  We're happy that they will be close in age, but that Ells will won't be so little when baby #2 arrives.  We know that she will be a big help as she already is with herself quite a bit! :) Of course, I wouldn't mind if she was sleeping through the night before June comes around though.  You've got six months, girlfriend. ;)

Yes, this is definitely another reason (probably the bigger of the two) that this space has a little bit more quiet than usual.  Selling our house has been time consuming but getting through the first trimester exhaustion while keeping up with a toddler is no joke.  I totally took for granted the opportunity to snooze away weekend afternoons when I was pregnant with Ellie! ;)  For the most part I've been in bed shortly after Ellie has been, which is really the only time I have to get over to this space.  Thankfully nausea has been pretty mild considering what it could be, just as it was with my first pregnancy.  I've had my fair share of saltines + ginger ale with a handful of food aversions that I can't even smell without gagging (coffee, tacos + chili to name a few), but there are still many things that I wouldn't mind eating in extra large quantities (and usually do). :)

Lastly, I do plan on putting together weekly bump posts again!  They will likely be a few days behind each week since the weekends are really the only time Tyler's home in daylight hours to take my picture (at least at this time of year), but I love having them from when Ellie was in my belly so I knew I had to commit to doing it again for round two.  Cannot wait to share this experience with all of you again!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend 2016

We had a great Thanksgiving over here and hope you did as well!  It was a busy day and I didn't get too many pictures, but we got to see lots of family + eat lots of good food.  So many things to be thankful for this year (and always!).

 SO obsessed with that little sweater dress (similar can be found here!).

The day after Thanksgiving means it's full-on Christmas mode in my mind.  I got about 90% of my shopping done online on Black Friday and was so excited to get some awesome deals!  We decided to use our fake tree instead of getting a real one since it's super easy to pack up and put away - as evidenced by the three times I took off all the ornaments + re-decorated.  A little OCD?  I do miss having a real tree and the whole Christmas tree farm atmosphere, but I have to say that not having to vacuum up pine needles every day is pretty nice.

All of my dreams came true when Ellie sat down and helped me decorate the tree.  I was gently reminded that she's only one year old so she might not care about decorating the tree as I had it built up in my mind that she would, but she was as into it as I could have imagined and I loved every second of it! ;)  I finished hanging the ornaments while Ells napped on Friday and she was so excited to see the tree all decorated when she woke up - possibly the sweetest thing in the world.

My favorite ornaments are these ones from Terrain, they're perfect if you're trying to do a colorful tree!  I also bought this set back in October when the Anthro Holiday stuff came out and the warm copper set is even prettier in person!  I had planned for Ellie's Elf on the Shelf to visit and bring her a baby tree (like the white or gold ones from Target) to decorate put in her room, and thought these ornaments would be perfect for it.  We decided to wait until next year instead when we aren't trying to pack up our house, and I'm pretty sure she's going to love it.  I was tempted to add them to our tree this year, but in the box they will stay. :)

The rest of the weekend was mostly spent relaxing in our pj's.  I came to the realization that we only have two weekends left in our house after this, which feels totally crazy.  Also, we should probably actually start packing, yes? ;)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Week + Wish List

We attempted our mini-Thanksgiving dinner over the weekend - attempted being the keyword.  Ellie was asleep by the time we sat down to eat and the food was getting cold.  Ironic since the day before I had said that all I wanted was for the three of us to sit down together and have a nice dinner without the usual mealtime bouncing off the walls shenanigans.  In Tyler's words, or maybe they're Ellen Griswold's, "you set standards that no family activity can live up to." ;)  We'll be headed to visit family on Thursday and I have a feeling that it'll be a little bit more successful.  It'll be a busy day but we are so excited to see everyone!  The rest of the weekend will probably be pretty low-key.  I'm looking forward to our Black Friday tradition of watching Christmas Vacation + we will also be getting a (likely very tiny) Christmas tree, contrary to Tyler's wishes and really any common sense.  Baby tree will be riding shotgun in my car to it's new home just three weeks later! ;)  I would also love to make a dent in our Christmas shopping this weekend... from my laptop in my pajamas. :)

Since there's not a whole lot that I actually need (read: nothing), I don't plan on doing much Black Friday shopping for myself but thought I'd share a few things that have been on my wish list anyway.  I can't really call this a gift guide since it's really just a list of things that I personally would love, but maybe it will help you cross someone off your list or pick up a present for yourself! ;)

I hope you all have the best Thanksgiving week + holiday spent with the people you love the most!

Monday, November 21, 2016

The No Nap Ninja

The No Nap Ninja has struck two days in a row at our house.  And by that, I mean absolutely no nap - not a wink of shut-eye between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday was the first day of Ellie's life that she didn't nap even for just a very short period of time.  I was a little bit frustrated because I obviously had things I wanted to get done during her nap time like I usually do.  Today, I kept my expectations low and a day without a nap really didn't seem that bad.  Surprisingly enough, Ellie was in a really good mood the past two days. She usually gets pretty moody around dinner time, but if anything it seemed like she was happier than usual - she listened to me better than she usually does and didn't cry when I shut off her precious TV when it was time for it to "nap" or "go to sleep" at night like she normally would.  Instead of her afternoon nap, we had quiet time and read books + colored in her color books.  On Saturday when we tried to put Ells down for her nap, she had hands-down the biggest meltdown she's ever had.  She was completely inconsolable even after we had totally given up on trying to get her to sleep.  She actually ended up napping for two and a half hours after falling asleep while I read one of her favorite books (which never happens).

Most of you reading this probably already know that Ellie has never been the greatest of sleepers - no, she still didn't sleep through the night even without any sort of nap.  The fact that she didn't nap two days a row slightly frightens me because she almost seemed like she didn't need it... and she is way (WAY) too young to be giving up nap time completely already.  Plus, if you're a mom, there's a 99.99% chance you'll agree that a little daytime snooze is kind of essential to your sanity, right? ;)  Like I said, Ellie was actually really well-behaved without a nap so I almost feel guilty saying that... maybe there is such a thing as an eighteen month sleep regression?  Maybe this is just a phase?  Either way, tomorrow is a new day and I am keeping my fingers crossed for an hour or so of peace + quiet to fold laundry and pick up crushed up cereal off the living room floor before the Ellie-nado rolls through again. :)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Exciting News!!

I'm excited to finally be able to share some details of our move!  Next month, we will be headed HOME!  We aren't just moving back to my hometown, we're buying my parents' house - the house that they built when I was just a few months old, the house that I grew up in.

We had planned to move back home before we had kids who were ready to go to school, but after Ellie was born we really wanted to head back sooner rather than later.  My parents' are building a new house just a few minutes away from their current place, and we will be about twenty minutes away from Tyler's family.  We couldn't be happier to have family close by + be back in our favorite place!

Don't even get me started on getting to mark Ellie's growth chart on the basement wall right next to my name or putting her on the school bus on the first day of Kindergarten at the top of the same driveway that I waited for mine.  Yes, there will totally be tears. We have so many great memories in that house already and cannot wait to create more as our own little family!

Speaking of tears... there's a 200% chance you will find me reaching for a box of tissues while packing up our current home.  While the excitement of moving outweighs the sadness, it is definitely bittersweet to be leaving this place.  This little 1,050 square foot house of ours has been our home for just about three and a half years.  Tyler and I bought it before we were married and had no idea all of the amazing times that would be in store for us over the next few years.  I cried packing up our rental house that we lived in before this (and that we couldn't wait to leave), so perhaps I have some attachment issues but I think we can all agree that goodbyes are never easy.

This move has been in the works for longer than you could probably imagine (with a few bumps along the way), but we will officially be moving mid-December after being away for about nine and a half years.  It's certainly going to add a little bit of chaos to the Christmas season... but also a lot of cheer, right?! ;)  I also only have seven more work days left at the company I have been with since junior year of college, which feels very surreal at this point.  We are so excited for this next chapter and cannot wait to see what the future holds for our family!! :) 

Home is where the heart is — one cliche that is absolutely true.:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Christmas Gift Guide for Toddlers

As promised, today I'm sharing some of my favorite Christmas gift ideas for toddlers!  These are things that are either on Ellie's wish list this year, things we already have + love, or things that I'm going to keep in mind as future gift ideas.  I also wanted to share some gifts that you might not necessarily find walking the aisles of Target or Toys R Us - there are so many awesome toys out there, but I love finding fun, unique gifts too that don't necessarily require batteries!

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen // fourteen

Ellie will be getting a play kitchen as her big gift this year.  We've been picking out some accessories + food to go with it (who knew there was so much to choose from?!), including this very realistic coffee maker that I'm pretty sure is going to blow her mind.  I eventually would love to set up a corner of Ellie's playroom with a couple low hanging shelves to put the overflow of kitchen food + accessories on.  I think it would help keep things a little more organized and make us less likely to lose small pieces of play food in the ever-so-dangerous toy basket black hole.

We plan to have her kitchen put together + ready for her to play on Christmas morning, plus I think she'd be even more excited if her little fridge was already stocked when she opened the door. ;)  I want to have a couple things for Ellie to unwrap of course, so I'm planning on picking out a few small things, like books + puzzles, to complete her wish list for this year.

 I realize pajamas + a quilt might not be the most exciting gifts for a toddler to open on Christmas morning, but I do like the idea of gifting something kids need as well.  Everything else I've included I think would be child-approved though!  That play table is ridiculously cheap (perfect if your kid is a little crayon-happy like mine) and there are tons of makeover ideas on Pinterest - this one wins as the prettiest in my book!  Plus, how adorable is that deer stuffed animal?!  I'm the biggest sucker for "different" stuffed animals and the deer just seems extra festive for the occasion.

I am so excited, or maybe I should say curious, to see what Ellie's reaction is going to be on Christmas morning this year.  It's still a little tough since she can't tell us what she wants, but I'm also kind of enjoying just being able to pick out whatever I think she's going to like best!  Ells was eight months old last Christmas (you can find last year's wish list here), and if I recall correctly, she required a nap halfway during present-opening Christmas morning... so, her reaction this time around has got to be a little more excited than that, right? ;)

If you have any fun gifting ideas, I really would love to hear!! I've been anti-pressing the "checkout" button on so many things because I've had such a hard time choosing what to get.  The struggle is very real.  Next up is stocking stuffers, which I'll be sharing soon.  Happy shopping, Santas!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Thanksgiving Toddler Style

We’ve had a busy couple weeks getting through the home inspection process, which has been a little bit more of a headache than we ever anticipated (to say the least).  Good news is that the inspections are all done and we are starting to see a tiny bit of light at the end of the tunnel. :)

I looked at the calendar today and couldn’t believe Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away! I'm finding that it's a little bit harder to get in the holiday spirit when there’s just so much other stuff going on, but we do have lots to look forward to this season so I'm trying my hardest to be in a holly jolly mood!  I've been working for literally months on Ellie's Christmas list (crazy lady over here) and plan to share some of my favorite finds soon, but in the meantime I'm trying not to completely blow off Thanksgiving since it’s Tyler’s favorite – food + football, what’s not to love? ;)  Since Ellie is kind of an eating queen, I’m excited that she’ll be able to indulge in all of the good food this year.  She was only seven months old at Thanksgiving last year, so she mostly just ate squash and mashed potatoes.  I have a feeling that dessert will be her favorite this time around!  Mine too, girlfriend. ;)

We're currently (and for the next fifteen years or so, give or take) on a shopping ban at our house except for playing Santa of course, but you know I can't help but look around a little. ;)  In the Turkey Day spirit, today I'm sharing some of my favorite festive styles for your littles!

lace dress // pink flats // tights // sailor bow // layered dress // boots
pullover sweater // cords // gingham shirt // driver cap // lined sneakers

Hoping to get back into posting more often very soon! For now, a little throwback to last Thanksgiving and the cutest tutu bum I've ever seen.  Oh, the days when I could just lay Ellie down to take her picture. ;)

Hope you're having a great weekend! :)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Eighteen Months of Ellia

Our big girly turned eighteen months old at the end of October!  It's kind of strange to think she's now closer to two than one, but at the same time her first birthday feels like it was forever ago.  I thought I'd do a little Ellie update since I have her stats + her next doctor's appointment isn't until the big T-W-O - thank God! ;)

Age:  18 months
Height: 32 3/4 inches, 75th percentile
Weight: 25 lbs 9 oz, 70th percentile
Clothing size: 18-24 months and 2T
Diaper size: 5
Eating:  Ellie is a huge snacker and really just grazes all day long.  She likes pretty much anything we give her, but as I mentioned before, might eat something like it's going out of style one day and spit it out the next.  She is constantly on-the-go, so sometimes just getting her to sit down and eat a meal can be a challenge.  Still, girlfriend loves her food!  I'd have to say her top favorites lately would be cheese (mac + cheese the most!), yogurt, strawberries, watermelon, cookies + condiments - never passes up extra ketchup!
Sleeping:  I feel as though we regressed a little bit in this department as I can only think of one night in the past month (plus) that she has actually slept through the night. Oy.  Generally speaking, she wakes up once or twice and goes back down pretty easily so it's not so bad; however, Ellie still has the occasional worse-than-a-newborn sleeping kinda night which makes us all want to cry.  She goes to bed around 8 p.m. and wakes up around 6 a.m.  We usually get one nap out of her a day - for me, it's usually just after lunchtime and lasts 1.5 to 2 hours... sometimes the occasional 3! ;)
Favorite toys:  Her stuffed kitty is her sidekick, for sure!  She loves playing out in the yard, kicking or throwing balls around.  She also loves books, especially ones with animals.  Of course, her slide is still up high on her favorites list as well!
Loves:  Kitties + barnyard animals, bath time (still doing two a day and loving them!), snacks, watching TV, playing outside, her binkies + jumping on the bed.  She also loves to do whatever we're doing and never passes up an opportunity to help cook, put laundry away or vacuum! ;)
Least favorite things:  I'd have to say that being told "no" is at the top of this list.

Ellie is the sweetest little thing but is also a little bit of a handful! I swear she lives to keep us on our toes and if I turn around for one second + don't see her, I can either find her jumping on the bed or chillin' in the empty bathtub.  She babbles quite a bit but doesn't say a ton of words just yet.  We know it will be coming soon and are just bracing ourselves because we think she will totally be the child who just does not stop talking! ;)  She loves pointing out her body parts, and while her belly might be her favorite, she is also obsessed with doing a little "head, shoulders, knees + toes".  She has been teething for what feels like forever and is up to 16 teeth last I knew.  Ells has a big heart, gives the best kisses + never turns down an opportunity to share her food.  She is very strong-willed, a little bit wild + braver than I will probably ever be!

Happy 18 months, Ellie girl!  We love you! XO

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloweekend 2016

I will admit that our "Halloween season" wasn't exactly all that I had dreamed it would be this year.  We just have so much other stuff going on, life has been a little chaotic but we did manage to get in some Halloween fun this weekend anyway!

We did "trick-or-treat" at my parents' house on Sunday.  I had originally planned months ago for Ellie to be a deer and even made her some ears already, but decided to change her costume the day before to a piggy!  Why a pig?  Well, first off she seems to really like them and has perfected her piggy snort like a champ.  Secondly, we were watching Charlotte's Web on Saturday so it might have inspired me a little bit. ;)  I really wanted to try to put together a costume from things we had on hand already, especially since she's not yet at the point where she gets excited about dressing up as something.  The dress and shoes we already had, so all I had to do was make some ears and a tail!  For the ears, I used leftover felt from Ellie's birthday party and the tail is the same just wrapped around a pipe cleaner and safety-pinned on the dress.  It was definitely the easiest costume on the planet to put together, but I think she looked pretty darn cute! :)

In the end, I was glad I held off on the deer.  I was hoping to put a little deer-esq face paint on her to seal the deal, but after she excitedly sat down for me to put a kitty nose + whiskers on her only to decide after one line of black eyeliner down her nose that she was completely all set, it was clear I made the right choice. ;)  Maybe next year!

The rest of our weekend was pretty quiet.  We gave Ellie her very first cup of chocolate milk and half-carved a pumpkin one morning before we had to head out the door.  Halloween morning was spent at the doctor's for Ellie's 18 month well check - arguably the scariest place on earth in her mind.  We spent the rest of the day cuddling on the couch while Ells pointed out her boo-boos from her shots nine hundred times for me to kiss them and we indulged on a few treats we got the day before.  Turns out Ellie doesn't care for Junior Mints... luckily I know a girl who does! ;)

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!!  And a big, warm welcome to the most wonderful time of the year!

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