Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas 2018

Hopping on to share a few snippets of our Christmas this year!  It was fun, busy, exciting & certainly one for the books.  Hope you had the merriest Christmas ever!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Christmas Gift Guide for Babies & Toddlers

I had several people ask if I was going to post a Christmas gift guide this year, so I wanted to pull together a handful of favorites to share! This includes some things we have & love already, as well as some items the girls are getting this year and some I’m filing away for future gift ideas.

My girls are not too picky when it comes to toys, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them not like something.  I’ve been trying to keep in mind a want, wear, read, need mentality but honestly am not sticking to just one thing per category. Playing Santa is just way too much fun and I am so excited to see my girls’ reactions on Christmas morning, especially Ellie who really gets it all this year!

Ells has her heart set on a microphone as well as this food truck... which, I realize is kind of geared more towards younger kids, but, a three year old wants what a three year old wants! :) She also seems very interested in board games, Barbies, play-doh, art supplies & bath bombs this year.

Lo loves books & babies, so I know there will be both of those under our tree for her this year.  She also likes our Little People collection (perfect for even tiny hands & mouths!), so I’m thinking that princess parade will be on her list as well.  Lo will stand on top of our toilet seat and play in the sink all day if I let her, so I know she'd be obsessed with this sink too. I haven't fully committed to the mess that would come along with it though - if you happen to have it, do you hate yourself a little bit for buying it??

Islie is obviously way too little to even know what’s going on this year.  She has quite the collection of toys being passed down to her, but she will have a few small gifts & her stocking on Christmas morning.   We're thinking a little bit of cash put away for her might be the best option to even the playing field, so to speak.  I'm sure she'll appreciate it much more one day anyway. :)

Our play kitchen is one of the toys my girls continue to play with most, and they also still love their piggy rocker (not sold anymore, but similar here).  They love playing in their princess tent, which is very affordable and can definitely withstand some toddler abuse. ;)  Also, this grocery store is the cutest thing ever and know my girls would get so much use out of it - maybe next year!

If you're interested in Hunter boots, I grabbed Ellie's current pair last Black Friday at Nordstrom for about $35, so I’d check there for a sale this year.  She wears them pretty much every day, definitely worth the money!

I could honestly go on and on, but I hope this helps! I can’t believe we’re not much more than a month away from the big day! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Family Photos 2018

We just got our annual family photos taken and I have to hop on and share some of my favorites!  This is the second year in a row that we have a new baby girl in our photos and I love how our family of five was captured.  These are always some of my favorite pictures to look back on, there's something extra special about getting all of us together in the same ones.  :)

A huge, huge thanks to Adrienne who went above and beyond for our (not so) mini session!  She's the best and so sweet with our girls, we can't recommend her enough.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Our Little Girl Gang

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted regularly and even longer since I’ve shared much about our girls.  With a new little lady in the mix, I thought I’d share an update on each one of them.  Time goes by so quickly, making these types of posts some of my favorites to look back on. :)

Ellia, 3 years - Our big girl. Ells has grown up so much over the past year.  She's at such a fun age right now - she never stops talking, has the biggest imagination and loves to keep busy.  Every morning she starts her day by asking "anybody comin' ova today?" or "where we goin' today?".  Ellie has a huge heart and loves her family and pets so much.  It's been so sweet seeing her become a big sister again, she adores her baby Islie James.  She is a do-er and loves to help us with anything she can, especially if it involves cooking.  She’s pretty fearless and I’m not sure I can remember the last time her legs weren’t covered in bruises.  I can't really pinpoint favorite toys or things to play because she seems to have a way of making fun out of anything she does.  Ells is quite the entertainer - she says the same joke my dad taught her all the time, is always telling stories, doing tricks & saying "watch dis!" seventy-six times a day.  She also loves to dance - she starts ballet & tap class back up in a few weeks and is so excited!

Willow, 14 months - Our wild child.  Holy moly, we thought Ellie was busy when she was Lo's age but had no idea what was coming for us with this one!  She is going, going, going from morning until night.  She drives me bonkers & fills my heart up to the brim all at once.  Lo loves to dance as well and thinks playing tag & running around the house with big sis Ellie is pretty much the best thing ever.  She seems to love her new baby sister too and has done better with her than I expected she would, mostly only acting jealous when she's tired or wants to eat at the same time as Islie.  Lo gives the meanest looks (wonder who she got that from?) and has the best gapped-tooth smile when she knows she’s doing something she shouldn’t be.  She went through a pretty serious stranger danger phase but has become so much more social. She’s a big fan of snacks & milky, I dread the day we try weaning her from her bottle.  Lo loves kitties, books, playing in the sink and not wearing clothes.

Islie, (almost) 6 weeks - Our peanut girlie. The sweetest addition to our little girl gang.  Islie has been a pretty easy going baby so far and for that I am forever grateful.  Her life mostly consists of eating, sleeping & trying not to get trampled by her big sister, Lo Lo “Thud/Baby Kong” Noel. She gained two pounds & grew two inches her first month, all of her eating is certainly paying off!  Islie’s little nose & facial expressions remind us so much of Ells when she was a baby.  We get so many comments on her hair, she still has way more than either of our other girls had at this age so fingers are crossed it sticks around!  She’s pretty calm and doesn’t cry much, but she does grunt like crazy.  We’ve loved getting to know our tiniest girl so far & are squeezing in all of the sweet newborn snuggles while we can.

Three little girls, you guys! Totally still pinching myself over here. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Welcome, Islie James!

Islie James Noel, 6 lbs 2 oz, 19 inches

 As most of you probably already know, Islie made a super quick debut on July 2nd, my 29th birthday!  The girls and I headed over to my parents’ house to hangout with my mom late morning.  I 100% had no idea I was going to go into labor that day, there were absolutely no signs until about ten minutes before I felt the first contraction.  It went from a stomach ache to contractions about two to three minutes apart within a five minute time frame. I assumed labor would be quick as it had been the first two times, but had no idea it'd go this quickly. Around 2pm, I called my doctor’s office and at 2:10 I had my mom call Tyler to tell him to leave work.  My mom was getting the girls ready to head to the hospital and ended up deciding to call an ambulance to take me instead of driving the four of us there... best decision ever.  No doubt my mom could have done just as good of a job catching baby girl, but I fear my favorite little three year old might have been scarred for life. ;)

Probably around 2:25, the ambulance arrived at her house and we were on our way shortly thereafter. The firefighters had me telling them when each contraction started since they had no way to otherwise monitor me, and they were consistently coming at two minutes apart the entire time until Islie arrived.

If you’ve been following along for awhile, you probably know that Willow’s birth totally did not go as planned - her heart rate dropped dangerously low for unexplained reasons and I ended up needing an emergency c-section.  All of this was running through the back of my mind the entire time, not knowing how baby girl was doing in there was super nerve wrecking but I kept focused on breathing through each contraction, knowing that she would be coming soon.  As nervous as it made me, it was also weirdly freeing not being hooked up to any kind of monitors, not having someone telling me what to do or not having anyone touch me and just letting my body do what it was supposed to do.  Not that I would recommend having a baby in an ambulance, I was just surprised at how different of an experience it was this time around.

I believe we were about fifteen minutes or so away from the hospital when there was an unmistakable “pop” and I knew my water had broken.  One of the firefighters would take a peek every so often and tell me that he didn’t see her coming yet.  Two contractions later, he checked again and sure enough this was it. One big push and her head was out.  At this point, I asked the firefighter if she was okay and he assured me she was (although I’m not sure how much he could tell from just seeing her head).  They had the driver pull the ambulance over until I finished delivering her.  One more big push and she was out at 2:58 pm!  They cleared her airway and put her right on my chest for the rest of the ride to the hospital.  We put a towel on her and they turned the heat way up to make sure she stayed warm enough for the ride.

While at the time I wasn’t too happy about it, I ended up being so thankful that I had a med-free delivery with Ells since it definitely helped me get through labor with Islie.  Generally knowing what to expect and being able to feel everything while pushing really is so helpful.  I suppose it’s easy to say that after the fact though - pain is temporary, right? ;)  Also, because I have been asked this question quite a bit, the plan was for me to try for a VBAC.  My doctor had assured me that Willow’s complications would not carry over from baby to baby and that based on a few factors (like how quick my labors had been, how small my babies had been, the fact that I go into labor just fine on my own and that I had already done it once with Ellie), that I would be a good candidate for trying for a VBAC and that it would actually be healthier for both me and baby.  I guess she was right because Islie clearly came out just fine all on her own. :) I am so glad it worked out the way it did, recovery has been so much easier than my c-section recovery and I was totally freaked out about the possibility of having another one.

Once we got to the hospital, there were probably atleast 25 doctors and nurses waiting for us when they wheeled us in.  They cut the cord and Islie got a quick exam.  Tyler had actually made it to the hospital before we did, and he came into the room a few minutes after we arrived not knowing that I had had a baby in the ambulance - SURPRISE! :)  I wished so badly he could have been there in the ambulance for so many reasons, but was so glad I had a smooth, healthy delivery and know that he was too.

They took us up to the labor and delivery floor once they made sure baby girl was doing fine.  After approximately nine million stitches, I was good to go and got to nurse Islie for the first time.  Both of my parents and the girls were waiting at the hospital and finally got to come in and meet our new addition!

I was discharged two days later but the pediatrician wanted to keep Islie a little longer for extra monitoring simply because she was technically a late-term premie born at 36 weeks.  Thankfully I was able to stay in a “boarder” room with her since I was breastfeeding - I would have been so bummed to leave her alone! Islie ended up doing great, passing all her tests and was discharged late Thursday.

We went for a quick visit to the fire station this week and spoke to one of the men who was in the ambulance with me, the Chief who was actually the one to “catch” Islie when she came out.  He said it was the first baby he had ever delivered and although I possibly gave him some dirty looks (haha), commented on how quiet and calm I was the entire time.

We have been adjusting to our new life as a family of five, and as chaotic as it sometimes is, I am loving having three baby girls.  I still can’t believe they’re mine - heart beyond full!

Welcome to the world, Islie James! We love you more than words can say. xo

Friday, January 12, 2018

Announcing Baby Noel Number Three!

We’re officially in for a wild ride... Baby Noel number three is due July 2018!!!

Surprised?! We were too. I was so used to staying up a couple hours after the girls were in bed to relax or get stuff done, but after three days straight of feeling like I wasn’t sure I would make it until dinner time (very similar to how I felt when I was pregnant with both of the girls), I decided maybe I should take a test.  Sure enough, before I could even set the test down for the three minute wait, two unmistakable, pink lines showed up on the screen. When I handed the test to Tyler, you could for sure say he was surprised, especially considering he didn’t know I was even thinking of taking one.  We were both excited, but I’d say Tyler was more excited at first. I was still trying to get over the fact that I was just pregnant like yesterday practically.  Once the initial shock wore off, I was (am) super excited too!  We actually found out a few days before Tyler’s birthday - an extra special early birthday gift? :)

We had planned to try for a third baby at some point, and did hope that Lo and our third would be close together in age, but fourteen months or less was a tiny bit closer than we had anticipated. ;) Nevertheless, we feel so incredibly grateful to have this sweet baby on the way.

Willow obviously has no idea what’s going on, and probably won’t until her mama disappears for a few days and magically comes home with a new baby. Ellie on the other hand seems to get it a little bit more this time around which is super sweet to see! When we first told her, she lifted up my shirt and said “oh no! Gone!” (since there wasn’t a whole lot to see, bless her little heart).  She’s since told me she wants to feel the baby kick and that she wants to come to the hospital when it’s time for the baby to be born after seeing this happen on one of her TV shows.  I’m excited to see what she thinks (and says) as my belly grows, and as she can do things like actually feel the baby kick! :) Ells has also been very consistent with her opinion that this baby is in fact a girl.  Luckily for us, I think she’s still too little to really have a strong opinion about whether she prefers a baby brother or sister and will be happy either way. ;)

That being said, Tyler and I have gotten a whole lot of questions about whether we would prefer a boy since we already have two girls.  Honestly, I would love to have either one.  I think it'd be so fun to have a little boy and mix things up a bit, but we also love having our girls already and totally wouldn't mind adding another one to our crew either.  Really, I am just so excited to hear what this one is!!  We do plan to find out the gender at my 20 week anatomy scan as we did the first two rounds.  The suspense has already been killing us!!

Things have been super quiet around here, I think you can tell why that might be now.  I’ve been lucky to not have morning sickness (just a tiny bit nausea off and on), but have been EXHAUSTED.  I do hope to post a little bit more frequently than I have been soon and can’t wait to share more as I grow this baby!! :)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Farewell, 2017!

It's been awhile since I got on here, we've been busy enjoying all of the Christmas-y things and are finally feeling like things are starting to slow down and go back to "normal" again.  We had a great Christmas, spent lots of time visiting family and even more time finding spots for all the girls' new toys.  I'm pretty sure they don't need anything else to play with for at least five years.

Before it gets too far out of the picture, I wanted to share some of my ultimate favorite pictures + memories from the past year.   We had so many good times - moving into our house, celebrating Ellie turning two, welcoming our newest addition and enjoying summer + our first holiday season as a family of four.

 Sister pictures are kind of my favorite, in case you couldn't tell. :)

It's always a little sad to say goodbye to a great year, but we're so ready for another year of exciting adventures ahead. Happy New Year!!

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