heart pies

mmmmmmm yum yum!

i made heart pies the other day in lieu of valentine’s day! every year, i try to think of something fun to make/bake in celebration of valentine’s day. thank goodness for pinterest!!! i definitely need it to be easy and fun, stress the easy part…’cause this mama ain’t got time for that. bahhhahaha!

i found this idea and thought, perfect! easy and fun! just what i wanted. i bought the ingredients and waited for a good moment in time {maybe ellie’s nap?} to execute this cute recipe!

you could either make your own pie crust or buy the store bought kind. it depends on how much time you have carved out for this type of activity. i was stressed for that so i did the latter but i highly recommend making your own pie crust…it’s more delicious that way {my favorite pie crust recipe is here}. i felt the store bought pie crust was a bit too bland, good but homemade is always better!

anyhoo, time was the factor so pre made pie crust it was! i rolled out the dough, cut out the hearts, filled each heart with cherry filling, buttered the edges, fluted the edges with a fork, then brushed the tops with egg, and then sprinkled it with sugar! phew! that was a mouthful!

the best part when i was making these pies? olive! she wanted to help and i was over the moon! it made my heart so happy to see her interested and so eager to help me put together the pies! she rolled out the dough, she cut out the hearts, she helped scoop out the pie filling, flute the edges, and she even cut the x’s onto the pies! yes, i gave her a sharp knife and she x’d all the pies! she did a great job handling the knife {with my guidance of course!} and i was so proud at how well she cut into the dough and made the x’s! such a big girl!

she was so excited that she had helped out with making the pies and was even more excited to watch the pies bake! i told her that once the pies were done, she could eat one and that just made her eyes sparkle! my heart was so full seeing her eyes light up when i gave her a sweet little cherry heart pie pop! she devoured every morsel! yum!

i definitely want to make these again…maybe round pie shapes instead? we had so much fun baking together, i can’t wait to conjure up some more creative treat ideas so olive and i can have more mommy and me time! yay!

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[ellie chillin’ while olive and i make pies]

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[mama’s little helper]

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[rolling the dough]

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[she loved pressing the dough into a heart shape]

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[she was so excited to see the heart shape she pressed!]

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[the sweetest face]

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[my favorite jelly jam]

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[spooning on the filling]

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[buttering the edges so the pie seals together]

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[sealing the heart]

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[the finished product!]

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[devouring her pie pop]

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[she’s the cutest]

xoxo

dinner date

ahhhhhh, the kid life. life has changed so much for me. before kids, i loved going out, loved being out in the scene, had alllllll the time in the world to do nothing, and slept allllllllll the time. brunch at 11 was too early for me on some days. hahaha! my how life is so different.

it’s now filled with drool stained clothes, ponytails because your kids will rip your hair out if it’s dangling within reach, tired zombie like state, no sleep, appointments, runny noses, snacks, no sleep, puke, late night feedings, cartoons, toys, no sleep, stepping on and cleaning up toys, crying, pee breaks, no sleep, lots of nursing, make believe interactive play time, and the list goes on and on. sounds so inviting and luxurious doesn’t it?! bahahahaha! my single friends are currently running away and calling me birth control. ha!

anyhoo, usually when my girlfriends ask me to go out, i love doing brunch. brunch works. it’s daytime, it’s early, and it’s easier to get the kids wrangled up and out the door. when they can’t make a brunch date…dinner gets tricky. it gets late, you don’t know how tired your kids will be, how well behaved they will be at a restaurant, and you also debate on whether or not you want to go out without them. i usually like to be with them…yes, i am that mommy. every second i can spend with my girls, i will take it. i feel like life is too short, time is too fast, and i don’t want to lose any moments with my babes. they will get bigger and not want to spend every waking moment with me and i will take advantage of it now! they are only babies for so long and i know i will miss those moments.

sooooooo, i invited my girlfriends over for dinner. bam! kill two birds with one stone…dinner at home {kids are around} but us gals can have a great time together and relax in a comfortable environment!

karen and kt came over and the fun began! i was nursing ellie when kt arrived. i then heard the sweetest thing come out of olive’s mouth…she said to kt, “want to see my room?” she wanted to show kt her bedroom and i just melted. i have never heard olive say that before! it was so sweet she wanted to share her space with kt! they played and had the best time in her room! it was the cutest thing to watch. i joined them minutes later and we had such a great time together.

we imbibed a few libations, karen made the most delicious appetizers! go chef karen! it was sooooooo yummy! we talked non stop and had a blast together! i had a great time hanging out with my girls and olive was sooooooo in love with them. i have to tell ya, karen and kt are so freakin’ good with olive. they love kids and they love interacting with her! hc changed her into pj’s and she told him she wanted to show her friends her funny faces. i love that she called them her friends! so cute!

after several hours of hanging out, it was time for the girls to go. we were a bit sad to say goodbye but that only leaves us looking forward to the next time we can hang out! thanks karen and kt for coming over! it was so much fun and i can’t wait to get some more girl time soon!

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[hi baby on the floor]

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[she was being so adorable…the first thing she wanted to show kt was her room!]

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[i swear olive was having a blast. hahaha!]

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[delicious apps by chef karen]

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xoxo

teeth time

it was check up time!

i have been taking miss olive to the dentist since she was 18 months old{?} and let me tell you that it really hasn’t gotten any better with each visit…haha! this time around was a weeeeee bit better, she actually volunteered to sit in the chair buy herself and i was quite surprised! i couldn’t believe she was being so independent! they gave her sunglasses and she thought she was so cool, sitting in the reclining chair and chillin.

the assistant then put on her mask and gloves and that freaked olive out and she started to whimper. the assistant then started to clean her teeth and that caused her to nervously cough and cough and cough and gag a bit. she started crying and wanted her to finish but the assistant still needed to floss and brush her teeth and olive was not having it. we safely made it through and olive was so relieved but little did she know that dr. albert still had to pay her a visit to double check her teeth! this time around, we decided to put olive in my lap since she didn’t do so well with the assistant. here, olive cried and cried and dr. mira checked her teeth…ugh, poor babe. i know dr. albert deals with a lot of screaming kids but i felt so bad for her too…it was a no win situation!

well, all was well {olive has a bad overbite due to her teeth coming in so randomly when she was a baby that different teeth overlap over and under in the front causing her crooked bite} and olive checked out ok! we need to floss a bit more in the back and brush a little longer on her back molars!

we love coming to brush pediatric, for multiple reasons…the wait area is so cool and olive has a blast with all the toys, everyone is sooooooo nice. the whole staff is so sweet and loving towards my girls. dr. albert is so great with olive, kind, and very helpful with tips and how to better take care of her teeth and lessens my worries about her crooked bite {she always reassures me to wait for her permanent and there is no need to worry now…so true!}.

i am glad i have been taking olive to the dentist since she was a babe. it helps grow her comfort with ‘strangers’ looking at her teeth/mouth and helps us to keep healthy habits for her!

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[she thought she was cool and then they started checking her teeth…]

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[the fear started to take over]

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[a bit relieved it was ‘almost’ over!]

xoxo

ahhhhh back to our roots…

i was so excited to have made a date with dana!

we were going to meet at our old stomping ground, southport grocery. we used to do this all the time and then dana went and got a monday thru friday job and it was a bit more difficult to have lazy afternoons in the middle to the week!

anyhoo, we actually arrived on time {what?!} and ran into dana on the street as i was pulling out suitcases of our stuff {hahaha! we only leave with everything but the kitchen sink when we go out!}. we walked inside the restaurant and it was quiet and not busy at all. yay! it gave us more time to chill and chat, space for olive to play, and plenty of room for all of our stuff!

it was so nice to share our stories and current life happenings. even though we try to see each other once a month {give or take}, so much happens in-between our visits. the kids grow up, life throws curve balls, and fun, new things pop up! i thought maybe dana had a ‘secret’ to tell me but that was not the case. darn it!

olive and dana got along quite well! if you show an interest in her toys, if you are sweet to her, or just act silly to her…she will like you immediately. olive can be shy at first but then she will open up and be a total talkative goofball and then becomes your best friend! she’s so sweet like that, i love how stinkin’ sweet and thoughtful she is. oh my little babe, such a doll!

we were at the restaurant for quite awhile, at one point i was holding ellie and olive wanted me to hold her too! so, there i was, holding both girls in my arms…it was so fun, quite the sight, and so freakin’ adorable! dana snapped the cutest pics of the girls wrapped in my arms. they were being so sweet and heart melting, i loved all the pics she took of my silly girls!

after we ate, we shopped southport and hit our typical stores…anthropologie, francesca, and papersource are our staples whenever we are there. we had so much fun at each store but honestly, it was olive who made every store a blast! she is just so much fun! after perusing each store, buying things we don’t need, dana and i said our goodbyes. she was going to get her nails done and the girls and i were going to go home sweet home.

it was such a fun, relaxing, awesome afternoon with my sweet, dear friend dana. i love this girl so much! i look forward to many more chill afternoon brunches with this babe!

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[besties]

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[showing off her favorite toys]

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[me and my babes]

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[sweet babe]

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[ohmergawd i love them!]

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[cutest babes]

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[peek a boo]

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[heyyyyyy girl]

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[she’s soooooo funny!]

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xoxo

thuy’s fabulous birthday

we went to dawson for thuy’s birthday celebration. it was an unseasonably warmer night and we all packed into our car for a quick ride to the restaurant. we valet’d and mosey’d on in. the restaurant was dark, warm, and old world, i liked the decor and ambience of the place.

our wait for our table was short and when we all gathered around to sit, it was like freakin’ musical chairs. no joke. i think everyone but one person got up from where they were sitting to get the feng shui right. we moved ourselves around until we felt the right flow and vibe. man, it was quite the sight.

well, once we settled in, we ordered libations, small bites, and had a great time. i really enjoyed the drinks and food…it was all so delicious but i mostly enjoyed the company. we had such a fun time celebrating thuy! we knocked down apps, entrees, and decadent desserts throughout our evening.

terry, my brother in law, know the two owners of this place and they happened to be there that night. he conversed with them for a bit and they kept insisting on buying us drinks, natch. one, this group of ours is not the biggest of drinkers, and two, we were dunzo but we graciously accepted their offer. they sent over shots of something and all i can tell you was that it was not for the fainthearted! geeeezzzzzzz, it was so strong you could probably light a match five feet away and it would have caught on fire! hahaha! we could hardly even smell it, it burnt off our nose hairs! bahahahaha!

anyways, after we hung out for a bit longer we said our goodbyes and headed back home to the babes. it was a wonderful, lovely, cheerful evening in lieu of thuy’s birthday. we love celebrating her! cheers sweet sister, i wish you nothing but the best – may you have happiness, love, and luck always by your side! we love you!

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[grace, thuy, and lan]

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[terry and kim]

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[nice dan]

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[happy birthday thuy!]

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[the man in the back is the co-owner of the restaurant]

xoxo

ellie’s first food!

it’s so interesting to see how ellie’s timeline spans out compared to olive. olive preferred sleeping through night vs. nursing | ellie loves to wake up multiple times a night to eat.  ellie doesn’t like sitting | olive loved sitting as early as five months! olive showed early interest in food at five months | ellie started to show interest around six months.

they are two completely different babes but it totally intrigues me to see their growth paths.  i am amazed at their limited similarities and a lot of differences.

anyhoo, ellie was ready for a couple weeks but we were delaying it a bit due to personal reasons…finding the right time because it was a special moment. yes, i wanted hc to be home when we this happened and wanted to make sure we captured everything. i treat ellie’s first like olive’s firsts because all their moments are so important to me!

just like olive, we fed ellie bananas and breast milk. i smashed a bag of frozen breast milk and took the pieces and melted it in a small container, then i sliced an inch of a banana and mushed it with the breast milk until it was a puree.

ellie was not interested in it at first. she is still learning how to ‘eat’ it. how to take it off the spoon and swallow it but i think for her first time eating, she did very well! she almost finished a tablespoon of food! it was so much fun to feed her and she did so well!

i was so excited to start this new chapter/journey with her! we’re so excited to feed her different foods and see how she takes to everything. hc loves to make her baby food so we just pull different recipes from the book we had with olive and freeze it. it’s so easy, pure, and good!

be prepared! it’s picture overload!

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[she’s ready!]

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[i love her]

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[big girl in her high chair]

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[dem cheeks]

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[she’s drooling]

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[here we go!]

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[dada’s turn to feed ellie belly]

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[she loves the camera]

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xoxo

old people time

we were meeting our dear friends aaron and olivia out for dinner at cafe babareeba in lincoln park. our original plan was to meet up at longman and eagle and meet there early because they don’t take reservations and we really didn’t want to wait a long time. well, little did we know, longman and eagle was closed for cleaning?! that screwed up our plans! so olivia decided to eat at cafe babareeba but we still kept our old people time for dinner.

hc and i scored front row parking and we met up with them inside the restaurant, they were already seated. it was so awesome to see them! i love hanging out with olivia…we can gab on and on forever. we really love talking and we can become so engrossed in our conversations and before we know it, it can be hours later. like many, many hours later. sometimes our goodbyes can last an hour…hahaha!

well, we had a delicious dinner and even better conversations. we were getting a little bit deep, spiritual, and emotional with our topics. we shed a few tears and talked about how much we love life and appreciate the blessings that we have. life has it’s challenges and we discussed how we realize life can be too short and how things can open your eyes to appreciate the people around you and what you already have.

despite the heavy subjects, i really had an amazing time out at dinner! we debated on going out to another bar but decided to head back to aaron and olivia’s place to have drinks. we chilled, relaxed, and had a great time hanging out! after a few hours, we decided to call it quits. it was soooooo early! like 10:30ish? one, we had dinner so freakin’ early and then, two, we called it a night when most people probably start going out. haha!

we said our goodbyes and headed on home. the babes were asleep and i was a bit sad but that’s life! hc and i chilled on the couch and fell asleep! we had such a great time out with them…we always do! i can’t wait to meet up with these two lovelies soon!

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[this sweetheart got me a birthday gift!]

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[mmmmm sangria. so yummy!]

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[seriously aaron?! hahaha! nice pose]

xoxo

happy birthday andrea

andrea’s birthday was actually in the beginning of the month but in typical fashion, i am late.

i was excited that we were able to get together and celebrate her! we were all meeting at bottlefork on clark street. i had a really tough day…dealing with a viral infection, coughing until i puked, going to urgent care, and just feeling off kilter…but ya know me, nothing really stops me from going out {except pregnancy…the only time(s) that exhaustion stopped me in my tracks}.

i headed down there in no time {a wee bit of traffic} but it was the ‘i will try to find parking’ attitude that dug a hug hole for me! i drove around and around determined to find parking and i was absolutely unsuccessful. then gps took me on a route to turn me around and that damn machine took me on to wacker and spit me out onto the ike! are you freakin’ kidding me?!! i had to drive onto the highway, back onto the kennedy, and get off the ramp, back to my destination. holy cow. i was sooooooo late and i was suppose to be on time.

i then thought, eff it…i am going to valet. what i should have done in the first place!! i probably spent enough gas money driving around for what it would have cost me to pay a valet to park my car.

i was finally there. i made it! so darn late…i know everyone else was late but i can’t believe i was driving around for as long as i was! anyhoo, i sat down, relaxed, and really enjoyed my time out. we ordered bites and libations all around and became very engrossed in our conversations. i don’t get to see andrea very often and it was fantastic to have a chance to catch up with her! what stymies our girl time of late is, one, she’s always traveling somewhere, and two, we both have kids and that doesn’t always create the freedom to meet up sporadically and conveniently as we did before.

the food was yummy, the atmosphere was fun, and it was a great time seeing all the girls! since i had such a rough day and was sick, the rest of the group decided to grab more drinks at rpm and i chose to go home. it’s no secret i always miss my babies but i was tired and ready to retire to a horizontal state on the couch.

it was a fabulous time out! i cherish my friendship with this lovely lady…she’s sweet, stylish, considerate, smart, and loyal. happy birthday to a dear friend of mine! cheers to many more wonderful years together!

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[bottlefork chicago]

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[i know i shouldn’t say this…but i look so old! whaaaaaa!]

chicago

[ginger and beth]

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[make a wish]

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[i could of eaten this cup o ice cream all by myself. hahaha!]

xoxo

a lazy day…we can never have enough

maybe it’s because it was the holidaze but life has been cray cray and hectic around here lately {what seemed like months}. it seems like i never have enough time for anything or we are always doing something. we never really get a day where we just sit around, let time slide by, and be lazy. i am sooooooo excited for january. i am looking forward to slower days, days where there isn’t much to do, no parties and events but just time to relaxxxxxxx!

we had a day planned where we it would be just us and we were going to have fun and have a relaxing agenda. our morning started off very late. the girls slept in but we quickly got ready and headed to bucktown for some grub and shopping. i wanted to try my favorite spot, the bongo room but the wait was ridiculous. we couldn’t wait more than an hour for brunch with two little kids, so we decided to walk and find another place. we rounded the corner and decided to hit up feast. the wait was only 15 minutes and we were ready to eat.

after brunch, we hit up the shops along the street. we just wandered and went into any shops that appealed to us. it was a brisk day but not freezing cold. we were comfortable walking along the neighborhood and had great time perusing shops and finding unique places. grace was hoping to record shop {our true purpose of hitting this area} and our last stop happen to be reckless records – a gold mine of old finds. we spent a good amount of time inside the store and grace found quite a few gems.

we truly had a wonderful, relaxing day together. we did what we wanted and had a great time doing so. boy, do i miss our old ‘hood. it was great to visit the area and hit up some old favorites. i am hoping we have another relaxing, lazy, fun day like this again soon!

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[this girl]

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[brunch cocktails]

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[prosciutto breakfast croissant]

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[taking pics in shinola]

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[poor babe dealt with an ear and eye infection]

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[loving this window display at mojo spa]

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[olive staring out the window at US #1 vintage shop…you can’t see jane the sweet dog, behind her]

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[strolling our old ‘hood]

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[hanging out at reckless records]

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[look kiki, the train!]

xoxo

happy six months ellie!

happy six months ellie!

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what?! what?! you’re six months?! whaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! i can’t believe it. it’s painfully happy. i love this stage, you are amazing and i am utterly sad that it is flying by, my last sweet baby.

yes, ellie is our last kid and i am soaking in every little detail, every little moment, and cherishing every second with this sweet, sweet babe.

she has rolled over! yaayyyyyy! i have to admit, i am not as aggressive with giving her tummy time, etc. obviously as per second child – i am a bit more laid back with having her ‘meet’ standards and milestones. so, i put her on her tummy time the other day and baby girl rolled right over! i am so proud of her!

she babbles like a drunken babe. she talks nonsense, drones on forever, and doesn’t care who listens. it’s too cute! i want to know what she is really saying but i really don’t care because it’s so adorable!

she still feeds at night. ohhhhhhhhhh how i am tired. she gets up 4-5 hours after she goes down for the night. so, that is usually around 3-4 in the morning and most likely she will wake at 6am for another feeding and tries falling back asleep until 8 if i don’t have to be somewhere. she still eats every 2 hours except for her naps and speaking of naps, she is not very consistent. she’s very sporadic in her sleep patterns and, again, i blame it on me not being so regimented. olive always napped at 10am and then again around 3pm. ellie typically falls asleep around 10-11am for an hour and then will take a long nap in the afternoon around 1 or 2 pm. sometimes she will skip her morning nap and take a long afternoon one. she’s become more constant with naps but not consistent with the timeframes.

she hasn’t fully sat up by herself. we’re waiting! she can sit for a minute or so and then she gets very tired. it’s so stinkin’ cute watching her sit. she will be sitting and then she starts to get tired and then she starts to lean forward and her head will almost plop down on her feet. it’s the cutest and funniest thing to see!  she is also ready for food! we are on the cusp of feeding her, so next month, you will get to read about her first time eating solid foods! yay! i am so excited for this!

olive loves ellie and ellie loves olive. watching these two sisters together is like being in heaven. they are so kind, doting, and happy when they are right next to each other. i am going to relish in these sweet moments because i know in a few years, they will be fighting and pulling each other’s hair! hahaha! well, not really but…

ellie is so fun, sweet, smiley, and loving! she wakes up with a smiley face and is so darn happy it’s almost unbelievable. she chills with me all day and doesn’t complain. she gives the sweetest smiles and hugs and loves to be held. i love her sooooooo much i feel insane.

happy six months sweet baby girl. we are so excited to see what next month holds for you!

xoxo