olive had many visitors!


we had our families come over.  our moms, dads, sisters, and brothers.  i sadly missed a photo op with the darling dana!  she did visit us within the first week!

my nephew reagan just loved olive!  he was totally smitten.  he wanted to hold her repeatedly, it was so sweet.  he loves watching her and seems so fascinated!  it’s so adorable to see.

unfortunately, i missed the photo op with dana and the biondo’s!  lori, jay, aj, and jake came to visit us the first week.  lori did snapped a photo with me and olive but not vice versa {wah wah}!


[15 day old olive // she even has bangs like me!]

we had andrea and frank visit us.  it was a double whammy.  they came around the second week of us being home and blessed us with a second visit the third week on a saturday!  the second time around, frank finally held olive lovingly…not so much like the football hold he had on her the first time!  it was so funny to see him awkwardly hold her like he was running for a touchdown!

then her auntie missy {who was on vacation and then sick} was finally able to visit!  she’s a natural with her {being a mommy herself!} and just loved little olive!  already such a great bonding relationship between them.  so adorbs.

yay!  carol was in town for the holidays and she came over in the afternoon on friday to come see the little peanut.  she spent the entire afternoon and early evening at our place.  it was so nice to relax and catch up with my bestie.  plus, it was cute to see her with baby olive…she totally adored her.  i loved watching them together!

later on, ted came over and we hung out for a bit before they headed off to a christmas party that evening.  it was fabulous to be able to spend some time with them!  we love them to bits!

matt and johann joined us on sunday.  johann was a natural!!!  i was pleasantly surprised.  i notice all of my mommy friends are so good with olive {duh!} and those who are not moms are a bit awkward…not johann!  he was so good with olive, he rocked her, he changed her diaper, he calmed her down.  i was very impressed.

thank you to everyone who has paid olive a special visit.  she appreciates it 🙂  much love to our friends and family!


secret world

“It’s a party, and you’re both talking to other people, and you’re laughing and shining, and you look across the room and catch each other’s eyes but not because you’re possessive or it’s precisely sexual, but because that is your person in this life. And it’s funny and sad but only because this life will end, and it’s this secret world that exists right there in public, unnoticed, that no one else knows about. It’s sort of like how they say that other dimensions exist all around us, but we don’t have the ability to perceive them. That’s what I want out of a relationship. Or just life, I guess.”

Frances Ha


[photo by jen huang]


birthing story

it started in the wee hours of tuesday morning {11.26}.

i was super bummed on monday {olive’s due date}, after my doctor’s appointment because it didn’t look like there was going to be a baby anytime soon.  i had lost my mucus plug that morning {i know, gross, right?!  tmi??}.  i thought maybe my water broke!  during breakfast with hc, before my dr.’s appointment, something started leaking but I didn’t think it was enough to be my water breaking.  dr. stock confirmed it was my mucus plug.  good sign but not enough to think I would be in labor soon!  i wasn’t one bit dilated and that wasn’t a good sign in my eyes.

another indicator i took notice of, i was freakishly ocd about cleaning and organization {less than 2 weeks prior to her appearance}, more so than usual.  i was told that it is a nesting instinct, that your body knows the baby is coming and you are getting ready for her!

in my appointment with dr. stock, we discussed bi-weekly check ups because I had hit my 40 week mark, to make sure the placenta was in tact.  she did another ultrasound on us and that was super exciting to see because i hadn’t experience one since the five month appointment {it was so cool to see baby olive so developed!}!  she wanted to make sure the placenta was solid for the baby’s survival.  after that, we talked about scheduling a date to induce.  no!!!!  i did not want to be induced!!  i wanted baby olive to come when she was ready.  that fact compounded into my already frustrated state.

i was upset due to the fact that i had planned out my maternity leave exactly on olive’s due date {i know, how many babies actually arrive on their due date??  it’s a very slim chance}.  i knew i could go back to work if i needed to but who really wants to work black friday at almost 41 weeks pregnant?!  not moi!  i was hoping she would be a few days early {here’s to wishing!}!

anyhoo…there i was…bummed, bummed that baby olive was cozy in the belly.  i emailed dr. stock that we decided to set the induction date for next monday.  so, i set my alarm at 5 am for tuesday morning so i could go to work.

the next day, i woke up to some cramping at 4:45 am.  i laid there wondering what it was.  i also thought, maybe i want her to come so badly i was imagining contractions?!

i must also credit my sister kim.  she was the only person who nailed it on the head on when olive was going to make her debut!  lots of people threw out due dates but my sister kim insisted it was going to be tuesday {hello!}!

so, there i was laying in bed paying close attention to my belly.  the first cramp hit me at 4:45 am, the next one close to 5 am.  the next one near 5:15 am.  hc’s alarm went off at 5:15 am and i told him about what i was feeling!  it was exciting, scary, and nerve wracking!  we laid in bed {obviously, there was no way either of us were going to work!} and timed the contractions.  slowly they were getting a little bit closer together.  we laid in bed for quite awhile, in awe over what was happening.  my sister suggested that i call my doctor’s office to let them know i was in labor.  after 8 am {contractions were about 10-12 minutes apart} i called them to let them know what was happening and they contacted the triage department and had a nurse contact me.

the triage nurse, nikki, occasionally checked in on me to see how i was doing and how my contractions were trending.  after hours of sitting around our place, the contractions started to become closer in time elapses.  they were now becoming 5 minutes apart.  i called the triage nurse and she said it was more about the intensity of the contractions, that they needed to be pretty painful {to a point where you can’t talk or walk?!}.  so i decided to not go in yet.

hc was not happy.  he felt like i was being a tough girl {’cause i usually am…i have a high threshold for pain} and felt that we needed to head to the hospital.  after a few minutes of discussion, i gave in {hc usually doesn’t get upset} and we grabbed our bags and headed to the hospital, by that time it was about 1:00 pm.  that’s when it started to get really bad.  the contractions were coming on strong and the car ride to the hospital was the worst car ride i ever experienced!!!!  every bump and crack on the road vibrated horrible pains through my body as i experienced each contractions {thank goodness it was only a 12 minute car ride!}.  he sped up to the valet and i ran out of the car.  as i pushed through the revolving door, a contraction came on full force and i bent over in pain in the foyer of the hospital, clutching the inside handle of one of the doors.  the door man helped me through it…once it was over, he said. “don’t worry, i go through this all day!”

we checked into triage and i sat in the waiting room going through contractions.  one of the nurses took me before another pregnant lady waiting, saying i was more uncomfortable than her {hells yes}.  they weighed me {i was currently going through a contraction and couldn’t even pay attention} and then put us in a room where another nurse checked my status and said i was not dilated!!!  what?!?!  i was devastated.  how could i not be dilated?  it didn’t make sense.  i was going on my 9th hour of labor and i was befuddled that i was not dilated!  i thought, impossible!

the nurse, kylie {who was a bit jaded}, gave us two options.  she could give me some pain medication and go home, then come back to the hospital to see if i had dilated or walk the circle of death {what i call it, the hallway where women in labor walk around during their contractions} for two hours and then she could check back to see if i had dilated at all.  we chose the latter.  so, there i was, walking in circles, gripping the bar as if my life depended on it.  the contractions were so bad!  on a scale of 1-10, i would have rated them at a 15!

after 40 minutes of walking the hallway of death, i had to go back to the room…i couldn’t be out there any more.  for the next hour and twenty minutes, i pretty much stood up and gripped the arms of a chair inside our room {i thought i would either break my hands or break the arms of the chair}.  i was delirious, sweating, in serious pain, and inconsolable.  i couldn’t stand, walk, talk, sit, lay…nothing was comforting.  my contractions were back to back to back with no resting period.  i would have several contractions in a row and maybe a two minute or less resting period.  finally after an hour and forty minutes or so, i had to lay down.  i couldn’t stand on my own anymore, the contractions were overpowering.

at the 2 hour mark, the nurse came back in to check to see if i was dilated.  i was not!  i felt devastated again!  at that point, i was thinking…give me a c-section!  i was desperate and didn’t care anymore, i wanted the pain to stop!  kylie then had a second nurse come in to double check me.  she said i wasn’t dilated and was wondering if there was possibly scar tissue around my cervix.  i was in a daze…scar tissue?!  i don’t know!  i was just desperate for some pain medication!  they decided to call dr. foley to come see what he could do and do for me.

around 6:00 pm, dr. foley came into the triage room to check out what was going on.  at that point, i couldn’t even talk.  he said that there was possibly scar tissue around my cervix and that he would have to break it so i could properly dilate.  he said it was going to hurt but not hurt as much as my contractions.  i didn’t care!  whatever he could do so i could get admitted and get a freakin’ epidural!  he pulled out his tools and flipped me to my back so he could execute the tiny operation.  he took one look at me and said, “you are 3-4 cm dilated, you are being admitted and you’re having a baby tonight.”  it was the most wonderful statement i had ever heard!!!  i didn’t care that the nurses were wrong, i didn’t care i had been there in triage, to me, what seemed like forever, i just wanted to be on my way to having a baby and having someone help me with being in less pain.

another half hour goes by {an eternity for someone who is in labor}, a nurse finally comes in to bring me up to the delivery room.  she brought with her a wheelchair.  i looked at the wheelchair like it was the wheelchair of death.  she looked at my graphs and stated how intense and strong my contractions were.  no kidding!  she took one look at me {i looked a mess and miserable} and decided to roll me up on the cot.  thank goodness!  i couldn’t move…it hurt so much.

i was finally up in the delivery room!  my nurse there was so awesome, she truly helped me through the awful contractions.  then i received more bad news: the anesthesiologists were backed up.  there were over 20 deliveries going on and they still had a few patients in front of me and each epdiural {with wait, walking, getting supplies, and administering, they were taking at least 20-30 minutes or so with each patient.  i thought i was going to die.  i was dilating so fast.  from when dr. foley checked me out to the time i got upstairs into the delivery room, i had dilated a few more cm!!  there was so much blood from the intense contractions and dilation!

finally, the anesthesiologist came into the room, probably close to an hour of time had elapsed {by that time, i had been in labor for 15 hours}.  he came in with a light shining on him, i was so relieved!  then more bad news, he said i needed to sit up and sit still while he administered the epidural…are you effin kidding me?!?!  sit still through these contractions?!  i cried.  i said i couldn’t do it.  the anesthesiologist and the nurse encouraged me on.  they had to lift and pull me up, i couldn’t get up on my own.  they made me put my feet on a tall wooden box and hunch my back out and slope my shoulders.  the nurse had to force me to hunch down, she kept pushing on my shoulders while the dr. was administering the epidural.  it was so hard to keep still through the pain but i knew there would be relief once this was over.

he was finally done and told me i would feel a warming sensation from my waist down to my legs.  he said i would feel the medication kicking in within the minute.  it was a miracle!  i could not believe how different i felt!!  i was on cloud 9!  i wasn’t in severe pain anymore. i wasn’t gasping for air.  i wasn’t sweating.  i wasn’t shaking so hard.  i wasn’t delirious.  i could finally talk and focus.  my blood pressure at my worst pain was 120/87 and after the epidural, it went down to 87/45.  that freaked them out a little but it was very normal for me {i have always had very low blood pressure!}.  rich came back into the room and he said it was like he walked into a different space. my demeanor was a 180 from before.  i was so much happier!

after that, it seemed like a piece of cake…until the pushing began!  anyhoo, the nurse said i needed to nap to save my energy for the pushing later {huh?}.  rich left me to meet up with his family for a quick dinner while i took a little nap.  i awoke to dr. garvey standing by my bed.  he wanted to check my dilation and let me know what my status was.  he said i was just above 6cm and he expected me to dilate 1 cm per hour and predicted that i would start pushing around midnight.

so nap i did.  hc came back after dinner and took a little nap as well.  right after midnight, dr. garvey checked in on me and said i was almost at 10 cm!  woo!  after that, it was a lot of waiting around.  he wanted me to wait a little bit more to reach the full 10 cm and then start the pushing.  he was back and forth between patients so i waited for him to come back to give me and the nurse the ok.

the nurse, toya {my third nurse that night in the delivery room!}, was fantastic.  she was a fabulous cheerleader.  when dr. garvey gave the ok, oh em gee!  i thought i was going to break every blood vessel in my face and that my head might explode off my body!  yes, that is what pushing feels like!  it really, really did take a lot of energy and strength!  let alone, i threw up during the process as well!  dr. garvey said most new moms can push a baby out in two hours {two hours?!!} or more, i was {of course} determined to do it in less time {in which i did!  in less than an hour and a half}!  i had been in labor for too long and i wanted to see our baby girl!

wow…pushing out a baby is a whole ‘nother level!  of course, toya did all the motivating and dr. garvey checked in once in awhile.  finally, after much gusto, olive was on her way!  the nurses are so funny, they were like, “we see her head!  she has so much hair!  do you want a mirror to see or do you want to touch it?”, um, i said i’ll just touch her head and yup, she had a head full of hair!  toya paged dr. garvey and he was in the room within 30 seconds.  it was comical to watch him.  he’s done it thousands of times, yes, but to see him in action was humorous.  he was almost robotic in prepping for the baby’s delivery.  down to a science.  i was about to have another contraction and asked dr. garvey if i should push…he came over to look and said, “no!  i’m not ready yet!”   so i just wavered through this contraction and when the next one was coming, i asked if i should push, he said yes and push i did!  with all my might i pushed little olive out as hard as i could.  dr. garvey grabbed her and she just popped right out!!  as she was coming out, he said she might cry or she might not and for me to not be concerned if she doesn’t.  nope, olive let out a shrieking wail!  i started crying!  i was so happy!  i was overwhelmed with so much emotions!  there was our baby girl.  after all these wonderful months, after so much pain, so much labor, so much time…here she was, finally!


[fresh out of the oven]

in typical fashion, they put little olive on my chest.  she was all bloody and crying, momma was crying too.  well, i knew this was my baby girl because the next thing she does is bloody bitch slaps me in the face with her tiny hand and poops all over my chest!  yes, that’s my girl!


[her tiny footsies]

they pulled her away to get her cleaned up, weigh her, and all that good stuff.  wow, child birth is amazing.  high fives to all the moms out there who go through this.  it truly is a miracle and it’s amazing what women can do!!!  this whole process has been life changing and i truly believe, that unless you go through it, there is no way to explain it without experiencing it!


[in the delivery room]


as soon as little olive was born, i then realized how thirsty & hungry i was!  seriously!  i asked for water and chugged it down.  bad news, i then threw up again!  ugh!  no good.

we stayed in the delivery room for two hours and then we were transported up into our room. by that time, it was just after 6 am.  the nurse brought in a wheel chair and i was able to hold little olive.  my left leg was so much more numb than my right leg!  hc grabbed all our stuff and away we went.  the nurse was rolling me right along.  we got inside the elevator and i wasn’t feeling so hot.  as the doors were opening, she pushed the wheel chair out and i said, “wait, stop!  i’m going to throw up!”  she grabbed the garbage can lid right next to the elevator and i started to throw up!  there i was, holding little baby olive in my arms and leaning over in a garbage bin yacking!!  the nurse was like, someone needs to grab the baby!  another nurse came running over and grabbed little olive so i could freely throw up.  what a scene!


[a few hours new]


[grandma jane, grandpa dick, and sister grace]


[aunt thuy and the bebe]

we finally got to our room and we were ready for food!  we settled in and ordered breakfast and finally closed our eyes!  a couple hours later, we had our first visitors.  dick, jane, and grace were knocking at our door.  oh, i was so tired!  they were so excited to see little baby olive.  later on that evening, my family stopped by to visit the baby.  it was so nice for everyone to stop by to see our freshy fresh baby girl.


[auntie kim and the precious bundle]


[a favorite photo of the 15 hour old olive]


[uncle dan and olive]

we stayed at the hospital through thanksgiving.  it was serene and quiet throughout the day.  i was quite surprised how delicious the food was!  although, it was not as tasty as a meal cooked by my sister kim but it felt like a home cooked meal was served versus ‘hospital’ food!


[jodi visited us on thanksgiving day!]


[turkey dinner!]


[lovely gift from kim]

the very next day, we were able to check out!  yay!  we got the ok from our doctor, the ok from the pediatrician, and off we went.


[in daddy’s arms, waiting to leave]


[not happy with the hat on her head!  but cute going home outfit from kim and thuy! // from baby gap]


[the little nugget in her car seat!]


[our feeding and dirty diaper board…we were so into it!  drawing by hc]


[home sweet home in her bouncy]

what a crazy, surreal, amazing journey.  i feel so blessed to have experienced such a fantastic miracle.  after all these months of growing and protecting this baby girl in my belly, here she was…a precious little turkey baby on this very thankful occasion!


[the little babes is one week old in this photo…chubby cheeks]



yes, i’m gonna do it.  i’m going to post something about this deep freeze today like everyone else.



[my favorite part?  the windchill]


[the start of the snow…]

yowza, was it cold!  the only way I know this was:

1. sitting by the windows, i could feel the cold, cold air penetrating through…yuck.  so uncomfortable, i can’t imagine actually being outside!

2. the endless posts by my friends on fb about the weather being so extreme!

3. hubby charming layering up like we live in antarctica.

4. wondering how anyone would recognize their car?  if you forgot where you’re parked, you might be screwed.  let alone, you might not even make it out of your parking spot {the endless wheels a spinning that i keep on hearing from our place}.


[hc…it that you?!  rockin’ his winter gear from head to toe.  scary serial killer look]


[the peanut sleeping after a full belly on this cold winter day]

it was a very low key day for us, although it totally flew by for me and olive {the way this bebe spits up, projectile vomits, poops and pees everywhere keeps this momma busy!}.  before we knew it, the evening snuck up on us and daddy was home!  yay!

chilly weather go, go away!


happy beurffday!

it was my birthday this past 17.12!  my, what a difference a year makes.  last year’s celebration was non-stop.  this year’s celebration was non-stop with the babes!  it was low key and cozy.

obviously, this post if very delayed but nevertheless an occasion.  i had some other vip things to talk about that superceded this post.  don’t get me wrong…i love my birthday!  ever since i have been with hc, he’s always made it important and that means a lot to me. here’s a blast from the past…some photos from last year’s celebration:


we had dinner at an italian restaurant, la luce, set up by my darling friend andrea and hc.  i was blessed to have some wonderful friends {matt, johann, danielle, dana, andrea, frank,  & kip} and family {kim, thuy, dan, & terry} celebrate with me on that special occasion!

hc commissioned a cake from alliance bakery in the form of a lv gift box!  how adorbs!  i loved the cake…and it was sooo delish.


[birthday bash from 2012 – coat, vintage burberry]


here’s to my wonderful birthday celebration with our newest, adorable addition – baby olive!


[this is my current look at home nowadays]

i definitely wanted to break out my tiara but it was buried downstairs in the basement 🙁  {i mean, pj’s aren’t quite the tiara ensemble but i’ll rock one for any occasion!}.  oh well, it can always make it’s appearance next year.  a girl’s birthday always deserves a tiara!

we celebrated at home with just the three of us.  hc made a delicious dinner [it’s called order out at mana…so delish] and i made my wish when i blew out my birthday cake candles!  shhh…wishes are always kept secret so they can come true!  hubby charming so thoughtfully gave me a gift from jcrew {a fav store o mine}!  a buffalo check coat…loves!  so outdoorsy chic!


[mana… a modge podge of goodness]

[happy beurffday!!!]


[make a wish]


[jcrew boxes are always filled with wonderful surprises]


[my new coat!  woo!  rocking’ my paul bunyan look]

it was a wonderful evening with my family.  i couldn’t have asked for more!  a warm winter’s night with my two loves.

behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.  psalm 127:3


glitter, sparkle, and shine

happy new year!  wow, 2014!

here’s to an amazing year past.  2013 was full of joy, laughter, love, family, friends, and many blessings!  the most joyous event of the year?  our baby girl olive!  finding out i was pregnant since february and being on this journey almost this entire past year has been eye opening, life changing, and miraculous.

i love seeing the glass half full all the time, so any bumps in the road this past year has truly been for the better…learning from your mistakes, forgiving others or yourself, do something better for anyone, and try, try again.

thank you for my family, thank you to my family.  my greatest support system.  through trials and turbulence, family will always be there no matter what.  i am blessed to have this through the doan’s and the heintz’s.  two wonderful families, truly special people…hc and i are so fortunate to be surrounded by such strong foundations.

thank you to my friends who always stand by me.  they are the most amazing people and i am lucky to be surrounded by such good people.  as life goes on, it’s good to have some solid peeps in there.


we spent our new year’s eve with friends and family.  we trekked our way out in this crazy weather to have dinner at rpm.  i loved the ambience and the food was delicious!  so freakin’ yummy.


[don’t mind me a glass of presecco]


[our artsy, dramatic attempt]

we settled in at the bar, waiting for the rest of our party to arrive.  it’s great when you live 10 minutes away and no one is really on the road!  we ordered drinks and conversed our time away.  since everyone was running a bit behind {holy snow!}, we decided to order apps.  we had the smoked salmon crostini, prime beef meatballs, gnocchi alla romana, and the crispy ravioli.  small bites that were way too small ’cause every morsel was so yummy, i wanted more!


[the ladies bedazzled for the evening…obviously i don’t know which direction to look at]

anyhoo, our party finally got there {phew!  safe and sound!}, and we were seated!  yay!  and away we went with our over consumption of food for the evening!


[festive attire // dress – last season’s akira]

we ordered a whole bunch of plates to share.  i loved tasting all the different flavors.  we then moved onto desserts…i had the tartufo, so decadent!


[our pasta course // my yummy tartufo]

it was a snowy, wintery night for a new years’s eve celebration.

After dinner, we headed back home to ring in the new year with olive and hc’s family.


[midnight kiss]

on new year’s day, we celebrated with a fun breakfast.  Complete with sparkles, mimosas, and lots o coffee!  it was a perfect beginning to a fabulous new year!


[our new year’s table spread!]


[starting off the new year right…family and a super yummy breakfast by hc]


[olive’s one month birthday cake]

papa insisted on having cake for olive’s one month.  ask and you shall receive.  i love a good ol’ home baked cake!