ellie’s first birthday!

all the anticipation, all the anxiety, all the planning, all the crafting, all the energy, and all the time that went into planning ellie’s first birthday was finally here!

oh my goodness. i really don’t know why i do this to myself. i love party planning and yet absolutely hate it at the same time. hahaha! planning and executing it causes me so much strife yet the creative part, the vision, the beauty of it all brings me so much joy!

it all stemmed from my monthly photos of ellie. well, if we really want to rewind it, it truly originated from her room decor! her room started out with the idea of monochrome black and white with pops of pink and green. i had felt flower garlands handmade for her room to give it a feminine edge and soften the color of the space. from there, her monthly pics incorporated the felt flowers and voila! her party theme was born! i decided upon the influences of rifle paper co. because 1. i have alllllllllways been a fan of this company’s signature look  and 2. their brand fit perfectly in with ellie’s flower themed birthday party!

so, i created, made, bought, gathered, prepared, and finalized all the details of her party {mind you…i started physically planning at least 3-4 months out but i probably mentally planned for it all 8 months out…haha!}.

her party invites were rifle paper co {see them here on instagram} and i was able to incorporate quite a few items such as the wrapping paper, cards, card stock, place cards, etc. to really tie it all together. i was also super excited to have had signs {one welcome sign and one sign in sign for her birthday book} made for her party from erin german, a local calligrapher with who i had taken a class with to learn calligraphy myself!

so, with that said…i had a pretty welcome sign for all our guests {over 70 folks} and a sign in table for her birthday book. i had a book personalized for her birthday {from pottery barn kids}, added in rifle paper in the front so all our guests could write a birthday wish for her to eventually read when she gets older!

hc and i made a photo booth for our guests to have a little fun! we did this for olive’s party and i wanted to do it again for ellie’s. we had a wonderful bar table, complete with towels, bottle openers, ice, chilled garnishes, liquor, soda water, beer, pop, juice boxes, pellegrino, wine, champagne…you name it! everything you needed to create yourself a tasty cocktail.

i also set up the food table with all the essentials, cute little signs to identify the food & ingredient, enough plates, napkins, extra plasticware, and food nets to keep pesky bugs off the goodies!

each table had linens and centerpieces made up of flowers, rifle framed paper and cards, pails had calligraphy to identify the plasticware, and salt and pepper. i wanted each table to have it’s own purpose and function to make it easy for our guests when they sat down to eat.

we also had a piñata filled and ready to go. i even made favor bags for each kiddo for when the piñata broke, they would have something to hold all their gathered treats! unfortunately, we totally forgot about it! eep! we were so busy running around! it was the thought that counts, right?!

we even had a water slide bouncy house for all the kiddos! best thing ever if you are having a kids party!

last but not least…the dessert bar! my favorite, favorite part of the party! who doesn’t love desserts?! i think it was the prettiest part of the soiree! this area truly incorporated the flower theme in and out!

i have to thank my sister, kim, for gifting us with her talents and the flowers. she arranged all the vases and supplied all the gorgeous blossoms. without the flowers…my party theme would not have been complete. i am so grateful for her support! the decor looked absolutely stunning with all her amazing arrangements.

when the guests arrived, they signed ellie’s book, grabbed their drinks, maybe took a photo, and mingled. ellie was sooooo good with everyone. the sweet little babe was passed around all afternoon and she didn’t mind one bit! an hour or so after the party began, the food was finally served and of course, after that, we did the ubiquitous smash cake! as with olive’s smash cake moment, ellie was like, “hmmmmm, i’m not sure” but then she got into it. she was a sight to see, digging into that cake! it literally was too sweet! ha!

once all the markers were hit, i finally grabbed a drink and began to unwind. gosh, hosting a party with that many people is pretty darn stressful! i now could relax and truly mingle without having to ‘do’ something for the party and it was glorious!

slowly the guests departed {not without a candy favor!} and the party started to dwindle as the evening rolled in. overall, it was a fantastic afternoon. everything was perfect, fun, pretty, and most importantly…we celebrated ellie, the star of the party.

oh ellie, although this mama went a bit nuts throwing this party for you, but hopefully you will look back only to know and realize how much we love you and how much you mean to us. you are such a precious gift and we are so blessed to call you ours.

happy one year my beautiful child. we love you to infinity and beyond.

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[welcome to ellie’s first birthday party!]

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[sign in table…i created a personalized birthday book and filled the front pages with rifle paper for guests to write their birthday wishes for ellie!]

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[table centerpieces ~ rifle paper and cards framed, flowers, salt and pepper for our guests, and bundled flatware wrapped with rifle paper]

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[working on my calligraphy…i wrapped plasticware in a napkin and tied it with rifle paper]

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[sisters]

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[olivia and hc]

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[gorgeous flowers by my sister kim]

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[matt, kt, karen, johann, and tony]

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[piñata favor bags…calligraphy by me]

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[part of our bar table…we had cocktail garnishes, pop, pellegrino, juice boxes, wine, and pretty much any drink you needed!]

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[my party staple…paper straws]

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[jay, hc, dave, carrie, and lori]

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[getting the food table ready]

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[practicing my calligraphy! i created food signs for each dish we were serving]

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[irina and her sweet family]

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[e for ellie]

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[bethany, darren, and their cute, cute kids]

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[mike, kaitlin, julie, chuck, mary, dianna, and todd]

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[jeri and john are about to have their third baby!]

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[john and laura]

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[dessert bar]

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[i love these paper flowers!]

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[ellie’s smash cake]

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[french macarons]

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[grace and edwin]

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[rifle paper co diy 12 month banner for miss ellie]

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[twelve months of ellie]

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[flower donut tower]

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[ellie with her auntie missy]

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[smash cake time!]

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[not so sure of the cake…and i totally didn’t realize her crown was tangled. wahhhh]

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[you can’t tell from this pic but this balloon is ginormous]

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[scott and dana]

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[gorgeous arrangements by my sister kim]

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[love these girls!]

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[water slide bouncy house]

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[the silly nephews]

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[salt water taffy]

xoxo

happy twelve months ellie!

ahhhhhhhh! happy one year my sweet baby girl!

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height: 28″

weight: 17lbs 12 oz

i am soooo happy and in disbelief that you are now twelve months old. this time has absolutely flown by. she has become the cutest, most cuddly, smiley babe. her light just shines so bright when you are around her. she is so sweet, fun, and easy going. i love that she doesn’t mind others holding her. i say that because olive didn’t like anyone holding her, so it’s so refreshing to not be the only person holding your baby! babies are meant to be held and passed around to different people! the chubby cuteness makes anyone happy!

well, ellie’s top two incisors have now come in! she now has her four front teeth. they’re so cute! her teething period for these weren’t so bad. there were some days/nights where she was a little fussy but it wasn’t intolerable for her or for me.

she can now feed herself! we tried and tried and she finally got the hang of it! now she is a pro and professionally puts e v e r y t h i n g in her mouth. from branch bits that are dragged in through the door by hc’s shoes, to grass, to dead bugs, and pieces of lint that might possibly lie around on the ground. yes. i am quite the neat, clean person but now i have to be EXTRA neat, tidy, and clean. i am constantly vacuuming because she will pick up the tiniest piece of whatever and put it in her mouth!

she had gotten better at learning sign language {so far she knows more, eat, milk, all done}, clapping, and waving. it’s the cutest thing to see her respond to our voices and make the sweetest faces! i love watching her scrunch her face, pout her lips, and pretty much any facial expression she makes! it’s a sign of her growing and showing us her emotions and i love it!

she can copy specific sounds like uh oh, dada, pitches we make with our voices, and such. it makes me so excited that she can ‘talk’.

she can stand on her own. she’s attempted it many, many times and has had success! she raises herself from the sitting position and stands up for maybe 5 seconds or so. she’s very good at walking along all the furniture and will take little steps if you hold her hand. i don’t foresee her walking within the month {she’s a very fast crawler!} but very soon!

baby girl can sip from a straw! she refused to do so last month, then a couple weeks ago she was like, yeah…i can do this! it’s so darling to see her drink from a straw, she’ll drool but can get a good amount into her mouth. she’s very good at climbing stairs too! as usual, she can get up the stairs but has yet to learn how to get down the stairs! haha!

wow, i can’t believe this is my last monthly post. i can’t believe she is one. i am in disbelief. i am going to cry. i love her so much, it’s insane. i am so blessed and always want to cherish each moment with her and not take for granted how lucky i am to be her mama.

the world spins around because of your soul here on earth. we are so fortunate to be blessed with such a beautiful girl and my love for you is immeasurable. i’m trying so hard to grasp this concept of motherhood…it’s the most complicated, rewarding, daunting, joyous journey i have ever faced and been on in life. i am beyond thankful you are mine and i am yours.

ellie ~ from the day you were born to one year later, we are so in love with you! i love your smiles, giggles, hugs, clingy ways, patience, curiosity, clumsy ways, and sweet nature. i am in awe over you and can’t wait to see the great things you will accomplish in life! we love you so much!

xoxo

dad’s 80th surprise photo session

my sisters and i decided to surprise my dad {parents} with a photo shoot for my dad’s 80th birthday {and my mom’s, since their birthdays are so close together!}!

we booked a local photographer and kept it a secret until the day before! everyone drove to a nearby park and the craziness ensued. it had rained the days leading up to this and the ground was sooooo wet! it was squishy and muddy but we made it through without it being too much of a disaster.

as usual, olive was fuuuuuuussy. she was uncooperative and it was too close to ellie’s nap time, so she was a bit crabby. from the outside, you freak out that there isn’t a good pic but you always know that your photographer can work some magic. that’s why they’re the professionals!

of course, since my gals were the ones being difficult, there i was  jumping and screaming and making funny noises just to get their attention and stop them from either crying or not listening. oy. what a show! we did some group pics, grandkids with the grandparent pics, just kid pics, and pretty much all sorts of mixed pics.

i couldn’t wait to see them! my sisters and i decided to create a book for my parents and then print out pics and frame them for their house. we surprised them with the book first and still have yet to give them the framed pictures. they were so excited and pleased with the book and all the pictures. my parents loved all the pictures taken!

so, yay! the thought {thanks to my sister kim} and results turned out perfect! our photographer did such a great job and we all love the pictures. great memories captured and beautiful pictures to cherish forever.

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[our hearts]

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[my beautiful, tenacious girl]

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[grandma and ba with their grandgirls]

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[kisses]

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[precious…so precious. this picture just melts my heart]

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[the sweetest boys]

xoxo

the hottest alfresco lunch everrrrrrr

one sunday morning, we decided to head out for a late lunch. ellie’s morning nap was running into the early afternoon and we thought that it would be a great idea to get out of the house on this hot, hot day but not do anything too strenuous because it was so darn warm outside.

we headed into downtown dg for a lunch alfresco. it was ellie’s first jeep ride and olive’s second time but the first time she really understood what she was doing! she looooooooves riding in the jeep! oh, she kept screaming and giggling and waving her arms. it was the cutest thing to watch! it’s so joyous to watch your kids be happy!

well, it was sooooooo hot outside that even under a shady umbrella, we pretty much melted. omg it was so hot! near the end of our meal, ellie was getting a bit fussy, so i decided to walk her around the restaurant to cool off and calm her down. the first time we walked up to the window where hc was sitting outside, she said, “dada. dada.” and she looked out the window at hc. i was like, ‘hmmmmm. does she really know it’s hc?’. well, i decided to walk around the restaurant again and see if she would say it again. yup. she did. we walked back up to the window and she said, “dada. dada.” as she looked right at hc. i did it a third time!!! i finally caved in and admitted that was her first word. i wouldn’t have agreed if she really didn’t know what it meant but i have to say, she did and does. wahhhhhhhhhh.

after lunch, we decided to walk around town. gah! what a failure. it was sooooo hot. so hot. we only did one short lap and called it quits. i couldn’t wait to get back into the jeep to have the wind blowing through my hair. all in all, it was still a great afternoon. i am so glad we got outside even tho it was like an inferno. hahaha!

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[ellie’s first jeep ride!]

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[coolest girl in the world]

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[before i melt]

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[some drink i don’t remember what it’s called but it was delicious]

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[this precious face]

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[melting from the heat]

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xoxo

catch up

it was time for another reunion with the s family! we love getting together with kim, brady, brooklyn, and soon to be new addition baby s!

i grabbed a coffee and hit the road. we cruised there, i mean cruised there!!! the kennedy renovations were completed and whoa! what a difference does it make! the roads were open, there wasn’t a construction zone speed limit, and no congestion to fight through.

i arrived in the area so early {for a change!}, i decided to stop for gas and take my sweet time because i always find myself driving like a maniac, hoping i’m not too late {to any engagement}! hahaha!

as i pulled up onto to her driveway, sweet brooklyn was peering out the window! that was so cute and a wonderful first reception. typically, it’s brady looking out the window but on this day, we were graced with brooklyn’s pretty mug.

olive excitedly walked up to the door and we busted through her front entry way! hugs were exchanged and the fun began! brooklyn was obsessed with ellie and olive immediately ran to all the toys. brady was being shy, and kim and i started o catch up with all sorts of life adventures.

let me tell you, kim is so preggo and so darn cute with that baby belly, that it makes me miss mine. well, i still have a bit of leftover pudge from being pregnant but that’s not the same. haha!

i may say this a thousand times but i love hanging out with this mama. she’s a sweetheart, we have so much in common {from similar timelines of life or to our disposition on many subjects} and we truly enjoy each other’s company. brady and olive play together so  well and brooklyn is currently obsessed with ellie…it was too darn cute to watch her ‘dote’ on her as ellie cried about brooklyn’s overly affectionate ways. plus, i found out a cute fact: ever since brady had met ellie when she was a newborn {maybe a week old?}, he’s called every baby he’s seen since, ellie. how freakin’ cute is that?!

after many hours of us chatting, the time had come for us to leave. ellie needed a nap and we didn’t want to be in the thick of rush hour traffic. so, we said our goodbyes – my favorite part because it’s so darn cute to watch brady and olive kiss and hug their farewells!

hopefully we can meet up with kim before she has another bundle of joy {due in july!}! cheers to great friends!

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[the cutest friends!]

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[brooklyn is obsessed with babies]

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[cutest sequence of pics]

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[my sweet friend]

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[hugs and kisses goodbye]

xoxo

a simple outing

we had a quick, casual outing on a beautiful sunny day that turned out to be freezing cold and soooo windy in the early afternoon and then a warm day late afternoon! my, what a difference a few hours can make!

i met my dad and sister, thuy, for lunch out at the mall. we ate at a yummy restaurant and then decided to get donuts and coffee after our main meal. my dad could live off of doughnuts and coffee. ha! we were in a new part of the mall that is now a bunch of restaurants and it was pretty quiet and serene. we did a mini photo shoot with olive {natch}, ate doughnuts, sipped coffee, and enjoyed our peaceful moments together.

since my dad’s leg{s} have been bothering him, we decided to not venture out too far. thuy and i wanted to hit up anthropologie but it was too far for my dad to walk so we decided to call it quits. besides, they had more errands to run and i didn’t mind heading home with the kiddos. it was nice just to get out for a bit but honestly, with two kiddos and one being so young, you’re bound to time frames! well, i choose to be committed because i prefer for my kids to have a routine.

i love that ellie can nap at 10am and 2-3pm and olive will occassionly nap in the afternoon {depending on her wake up time & morning activities}. it limits our outings at times but hey…they are only this little for so long!

anyhoo, it was a great blip in our day. we loved seeing my dad and my sister for a bit and enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air!

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[my sweet  babe]

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[ellie enjoying being flipped around by auntie thuy]

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[thuy thought it was a good idea for ellie to try her glasses, ellie – not so much. hahaha!]

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[she loved her glasses so much!]

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[stan’s donuts]

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xoxo

happy eleven months ellie!

happy eleven months!

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wahhhhhhhhhhhhh! what?! next month she will be one. it can’t be. it just c a n’ t be!!! my little, itty, bitty baby is getting so big.

well, let’s focus on this milestone. she’s officially eleven months young and i am loving her sweet self so much!

she is so happy! she’s so sweet. she’s so laid back…just like daddy. she truly is a kind soul. she loves to cuddle and snuggle. it’s the damnedest thing. i love how affectionate she is. she loves to be held and gets upset if i put her down. she is so loving and i absolutely love it!

she’s not into feeding herself. like at allllllll. she won’t feed herself puffs. she won’t feed herself yogurt snacks. she won’t feed herself period. i have come to find out that she doesn’t like puffs but she really does like the yogurt bits but she won’t put them inside her mouth! well, we’ll see how she does next month!

she’s still nursing. the feedings have spaced out quite a bit {although i still pump every few hours just to keep the milk going strong}. she definitely loves nursing more than the bottle. of late, she’s been refusing the bottle but i think that had a bit to do with us trying to feed her prune juice with the breast milk and that just turned her off and she boycotted the bottle overall. i hope this babe nurses for awhile because i just can’t bear the fact that she is growing up!

she’s a fast crawler! she can get to point a to point b in 3 seconds flat. hahaha! i think she’s obliterated the ‘i will fall down while i am sitting’ phase. she is still a wee bit klutzy but she’s managing quite well. she might crawl head first into a wall here and there or try to grab onto something and completely miss and fall on her face but she’s surviving and doing pretty well!

she officially has said dada as her first word and truly knows what it means. one afternoon, we sat outside alfresco for lunch and i picked up ellie to walk around a bit because she was fussy. we were walking inside the restaurant, trying to cool off, when we walked up to the window we were sitting by and she saw her dad. she then said, “dada! dada” pointing to her dad. i decided to walk around another lap and come back up to the window and see if she would say it again. she did. we walked around another lap and came back up to the window and she said it again. that was when i knew she knew it was her dad. sigh…

she does get sick so much more often than olive did as a babe. poor thing has been sick on and off since december. temperatures, sickness, coughs, ear infection, blocked tear duct, eye infection, fissure, etc. you name, she got it. this babe is susceptible to so much!

she’s climbing on up on the weight and height ladder but is still a tiny babe. she’s gained quite a bit of weight the last month or so, so that is a great sign! overall, she is still a petite babe but oh so cute! i love my little chunker.

she’s become a solid sleeper. even with the teething. i can see her top tooth coming in but she’s been great at night. she typically goes down around 9pm and sometimes that is late for her. she will sleep through the night up until 6, 7, 8 am. typically 7am is her sweet spot but it ranges. she will go down for a nap around 10am and then again around 2 or 3 pm. it was a rough few months with her in the beginning but she fell into a routine around seven months and i couldn’t be a happier mom. although, i need to get it together and go to bed earlier myself!!!!!

this babe loves to clap, repeat our sounds, and wave. i love watching her grow, learn, and become a confident little babe. she can stand up on the furniture and walk around on her own. she had attempted to stand up on her own. she loves to throw everything we have on our coffee tables down on the ground. she loves to be mischievous. she definitely gets into more things than olive ever did. she will break things {my lovely cake stand…yes, i am heartbroken this cake stand doesn’t exist anymore to replace}, throw anything out of her way {my slippers}, and put anything anywhere it doesn’t belong. hahaha!

oh, baby ellie…i am so in love with you!! we love you so much and i am so torn that you are my last baby. you are so sweet and cuddly and i can’t even stand it that you are growing up. my heart swells with so much love for you and your big sis. you gals make my world go round and i am so thankful that y’all are mine.

xoxo

hotlanta

my oh my! i have been waiting to write this story!

our trip to atlanta was amazing and cray at the same time! the amazing part was being in atlanta with our friends and enjoying the beautiful scenery all around us. the cray part was our traveling debacle and sick kids.

it starts with our uber ride to the airport. i was sitting next to olive and halfway to the airport, i noticed that she formed a red welt on her left cheek. i pointed it out to hc and he said it was probably a bug bite. i was perplexed. a bug bite?! there wasn’t a bug flying around in the cab nor did i really take my eyes off of her on the way there to see a bug biting her. well, it then disappeared. humph, ok.

we were in line at the security check in when olive did the potty dance. she had just come off a very bad bout with diarrhea and when baby girl needs to go to the bathroom, you take her immediately! never in my life did i ever have a reason to get out of the security line and, honestly, didn’t know what the protocol was. so, being in an urgent state to take my daughter to the restroom immediately, i jumped out of line and starting dodging underneath the stanchions. oh myyyyyyy goodness! three security men and a dog almost jumped me and olive! everyone was yelling at us – ‘whoa, whoa!’ and yelling other things at us, i didn’t hear or understand. i turned to the tsa lady manning the line and said, “my daughter needs to use the washroom!”, she then let us through. holy cow! i had no idea you couldn’t do that?!

once we were inside the bathroom stall, i pulled down olive’s pants and noticed her red skin and white raised welts running up and down her leg! i freaked out, i didn’t know what it was, so we walked out to hc and i showed him. he was worried. he went over to the AA counter and asked someone to come over to help us. they said they could call the paramedics and we said yes. we didn’t want to board an airplane if olive wasn’t well. we wanted to make sure she was ok before we went anywhere!

the AA folks were so accommodating. they said to not worry about our tickets and we were free to rebook, they even gave us a cab fare pass just in case we came back to the airport, and the ladies who helped us were so kind. while we were waiting for the paramedics, olive’s ‘rash’ was spreading everywhere. it was on her arm, then her other arm, then her other leg. her fingers and toes started swelling and turning purple. oh it wasn’t good. olive started crying because she didn’t like all the attention on her.

the paramedics came and we agreed to go with them to the emergency room. olive was so upset. they strapped her into the car seat inside the ambulance and she was crying. they were poking at her and trying to get her blood pressure, etc. and she was scared because i couldn’t be by her side. they made me sit across the truck, seat belted in. it was tough to not be able to console her. nothing is worse then seeing your baby upset and you can’t make it better! once they stopped treating her and the sirens were going, she was finally amused and started smiling!

we arrived at the hospital and she was put into a room. the doctors checked her out and basically said that she reacted to something in the environment and asked us repeatedly if we changed anything in her routine. no, no, no. the only thing different about that morning was the uber ride. we then concluded it was the dirtiest car we have ever been in! yuck!!!

we stayed in the hospital for an hour, the doctors wanted to monitor her and make sure her welts and rash settled down. they gave her some medicine and gave us the green light to fly. we checked out and called for a cab, which took almost a half hour to get to the hospital!

when we arrived, we went straight to the counter and gave them our story. they were looking at flights and the next flight out they could get us on was at 5:45! ugh! our initial flight was at 8:30am and we had been up since 5am! then the attendant told us that our original flight was still here! what?! are you kidding me?! they said it was delayed…holy delay! they contacted the plane and said that we were here and on our way. they pushed us to the front of the security line but that was when things got hairy.

one: we have kids, that means we are slower. it’s not like we were two adults rushing through easily. two: we have kids. hahaha. we had a stroller and a gazillion bags. three: they decided to check olive’s suitcase. arghhhhhhh. i forgot that she had full sized liquid items in there and when i packed it, i assumed we were going to check it – we didn’t. four: the gate was alllllllll the wayyyyyyy at the end of the airport. you try running that far with a stroller, two kids, and so many bags! we were running like turtles! once we got to our gate, the plane took off! are you keeeeeeding me?! hc was fuming!

he called AA and was trying to figure things out. we were rebooked onto the 5:45pm flight but they said we could try stand by at a 11:15am flight. bad news? it was allllllll the wayyyyyyy on the other side of the airport. holy cow. so we hauled ass to the other side, i think i walked miles that morning. once we arrived at the gate, we sat down and chilled for a second. i needed to pee but before we knew it, the attendant walked up to us and said we were on! ohmergawd. we then had to break down the stroller and get ourselves together because, honestly, i wasn’t expecting to be on this plane ride! they were giving hc a tough time with something, i really can’t remember what, but hc told us {me and ellie} to go ahead and board the plane.

i walked on with ellie and realized that we all had separated seats. olive was in the back, hc up front, and me in the middle of the plane. nope. that wasn’t going to work with olive. my daughter was not going to sit by herself. the attendants so kindly put hc and olive together and i sat next to this sweet man from romania who lived in london. what was also wonderful was the fact that a few people volunteered to switch their seats so we could be together!

let me tell you, i was so thankful the plane ride was so short. i didn’t get to go to the bathroom before we boarded and seriously had to pee soooooooo bad! ellie was fantastic throughout the first part of the plane ride until she became tired. {i always keep a paci in the diaper bag and didn’t think twice to check if it was still in there, so when we arrived at the airport, i rummaged through to find it and someone had taken it out of the bag!!!!!} i had no paci when ellie got tired, so there i was on the plane with a cranky, tired baby and no paci to soothe her. she screamed, cried, yelled, shrieked and i all i could do was shush her, calm her with my voice, and rock her. i couldn’t calm her down. she didn’t want to nurse. she was so upset! i finally started to forcefully rock her back and forth, back and forth {mind you, this plane we were on was sooooooo small} and it started to work. she started calming down and within minutes, she fell asleep! thank goodness!

we finally arrived in atlanta and that was when the fun began! it was warm, we were finally there, and we couldn’t wait to see everyone! we just wanted our traveling time to be over with! ellie was still cranky and hc and i were just spent. we got our rental car and once we were on the road…we could finally breathe and relax.

we arrived at johnny and janice’s gorgeous house and settled in. they were the most gracious hosts. janice had made little gift bags for both girls {how cute and sweet was that?!} and prepared the room and bathroom for us with fresh linens and towels. after we dropped off our luggage in the room, we sat back with drinks in our hands by their pool. wooooo hoooooo! we were so ready to relax and have fun!

unfortunately, a day later…ellie wasn’t feeling well either. the poor girl was screaming bloody murder when she had a bowel movement. we thought maybe she might have had what olive had prior to our trip, a virus that was causing olive to have severe diarrhea. after another day, we realized it wasn’t the same case and that ellie was suffering from either hemorrhoids or something of that sort. oh my, my poor poor baby girl. she was miserable. we had to take her to the urgent care to give her relief and to hopefully get her on the road to recovery. both olive and ellie were trading nights on who would be most miserable at night. it was a tough vacation. i think i slept less on our trip than i did at home!

well, we made it through. we, honestly, had a terrific time in atlanta! we fell in love with the area they live in and really enjoyed all the shops, restaurants, and quaint corners the city had to offer. it was absolutely gorgeous down there! johnny and janice have a sweet situation going on!

of course they were so wonderful and treated us like family! they were excellent hosts and showed us all the great little spots around town and made fun suggestions for us on the days we explored on our own. i loooooooved it down there, i truly did!

then came the day to leave, i was ready to get these babies on the road to recovery. i was super sad to leave but excited to go home because, truly, there is no place like home! i am sure everyone would agree with me! we headed on over to the airport and found our way around. we were trying to check our bags and check ourselves in but we were having difficulties. hc was trying to check olive in but something was malfunctioning…then a ticket printed out and i grabbed it, thinking it was her confirmation & boarding pass. we walked back and forth trying to get through security when a nice old man said, with our stroller, we could go through the special needs line. ok. soooooo we walked all the way back the way we came. oy!

the special needs line was amazing. everyone was sooooo stinkin’ nice and we basically cut in front of everyone! we arrived at our gate and settled in. we bought food, went to the bathroom, and we were ready! as they called our group, we got into line and when they asked for our tickets, i rummaged through my purse and pulled out what i had. it turns out that a receipt had printed out instead of a boarding pass for olive! we managed to get olive through security without a ticket! whaaaaaaa?! ugh. so hc told me to go ahead and get seated while he checked olive in. gahhhhhhh. he finally sat down with olive and as we were buckling in our seat belts, hc asked me if i put away olive’s suitcase. um, no. suitcase? what suitcase? sh*t. hc ran to the front of the plane and scanned the gate area to see if we left olive’s suitcase behind. nope.

seriously. we can’t do airports without a glitch! we were so perplexed! what the hell did we do with olive’s suitcase?! we back tracked our steps and realized that we left her suitcase on the conveyor belt at security. yup. we just walked away from it and never looked back. omergawd! i can’t believe we did that! so days after we were home, we finally tracked down her luggage and had it sent back to our house!

so, in the end…our traveling experience was freakin’ nuts but our actual vacation in atlanta was da bomb {as you will see in all the pictures}! we loved visiting them, loved hanging out with everyone, loved exploring the city, and love the A family. thank you to johnny and janice for being so generous, kind, awesome, and opening their home up to us! much love to y’all!

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[olive ready to go and having fun at the airport she has a flummoxed look here because i was calling her name from afar and she had no idea where i was. hahaha!]

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[checking out her goody bag]

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*****

W E ‘ V E  L A N D E D

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[ellie already throwing down beers, literally]

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[johnny and janice’s beautiful backyard]

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[their amazing pool]

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[fitz the cute dog]

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[their gorgeous outdoor dining area]

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[dining area]

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[the beautiful gazebo with a fireplace]

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[delicious made to order pizza]

*****

S H O P P I N G  T I M E

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[she woke up and found the toys]

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[baby bed head hair]

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[opening up their welcome gifts!]

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[olive loved watching fitz]

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[her hair was getting wild from the the heat and humidity!]

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[we loved ponce city market!]

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[how sweet were these girls holding hands?!]

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[apparently this is where you go up in an elevator and there’s an arcade and such upstairs]

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[you can never have too many macarons]

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[delicious little french bakery]

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[i loved these pink chairs]

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[she really wanted the red/pink lollipop]

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[i told her she could have her lollipop after a bathroom break and she immediately gave me this look! hahaha!]

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[she was so stinkin’ cute licking it! she licked it almost straight through the middle]

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[some very cool bikes at a very cool store we were shopping at]

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[this babe. she did this all on her own! what a model!]

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[oh these babes! they were all so cute!]

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[oh how we love this beautiful family!]

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*****

P O O L  D A Y

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[flexing her muscles]

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[poolside babe]

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[nice sunglasses]

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[the most delicious nachos, tasty beverage, and must have shades]

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[she’s sooooooo darn sweet]

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*****

D I N N E R

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[my sweet girls]

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*****

G E O R G I A  A Q U A R I U M

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[good morning!]

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[she was so excited]

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[this fish was HUGE]

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[this whale shark was freakin’ amazing!]

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[hc had to try the gin and tonic in a can!]

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[my smiley babe]

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[waiting in line to get her face painted]

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[she was talking to the lady but also a bit anxious]

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[she was such a good girl]

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[the lady said close your eyes…she complied, hahaha!]

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[beautiful seahorse!]

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*****

E X P L O R E

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[breakfast at sweet melissa’s]

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[she thought it was funny to put everything on her head]

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[little shop of stories]

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[the cutest cards]

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xoxo

happy ten months ellie!

happy ten months ellie!

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[photos taken on 5.15.17]

height: 27.5″

weight: 17 lbs 4 oz

oh this girl is a riot! she’s so fun, funny, and so darn sweet! my most favorite thing about her? she’s so happy and smiley. my heart melts when i walk into her room in the morning and she gives me the biggest grin from ear to ear. seeing her smile makes me so happy, it just starts my day off right!

she’s a crawling fool. this babe is f a s t and will crawl her way around the house to check out what’s happening with others in different rooms. she crawls on her hands and knees and can really get places with her cute moves. she’s really picked up on this milestone in the last month and now she can’t be stopped! hahaha!

she’s mischievous! this girl is curious, on a mission, and will get her hands on anything! she loves to explore and she loves to grab a hold of anything in sight. she loves to play with our shoes by the door…this bugs me so! yuck…dirty shoes! she touches everything she shouldn’t and knocks things down in nanosecond! i told hc that she is our trouble maker. she gets into things olive never had any interest in. for example, i have a jonathan adler giraffe that is a few feet tall that has always sat in olive’s room on the floor. olive never touched it, never had interest in it, and just never bothered to play with it. well, here comes ellie. once she started crawling…she immediately found the ceramic statue and grabbed that poor giraffe by the neck and wrestled it to the ground. oh ellie! anything within her reach becomes a ‘toy’. i told my hubby c that we need to screw the dresser drawers into the wall because ellie is that kind of kid! eeepppp!

she is still nursing. yay! and she will be for awhile, i just know it! her appetite is growing with solids..sometimes she will eat two containers of food in one sitting! i am still trying to get her to drink from a straw and learn how to feed herself. those are two things she is taking her sweet time around!

her sleep patterns have been amazing! i am so excited that we’ve gotten over all those months of being sick {since december!}…that really put a deep damper in ellie’s sleep routine. but now, she’s been sleeping though the night and waking up around 6-7 o’clock in the morning! woooo hoooo! i can’t wait until she really does sleep in {if that would ever happen!} but it’s been most fabulous currently, so i will take it!

this girl loves to repeat sounds, she loves to clap, and she loves to wave! her hair is finally long enough in the front where i can actually clip it back! she loves to follow her big sister around and watch what she is doing. she loves to snuggle and give wet kisses. she loves to be thrown around and rocked back and forth. she finds it hilarious when you flip her upside-down {don’t upchuck that milk ellie!}!

she has been a dream and we love you soooooooo much baby girl. you are so incredibly sweet and darling. this past month has been amazing and watching you grow makes our hearts so full. we can’t wait to see what next month has in store for you! happy ten months sweet ellie!

xoxo

daaaaaana

my darling dana came to visit us!

we were so ready to meet up with her at our favorite stomping ground in chicago but olive had gotten really sick. so there was no going out at.allllll. dana so kindly came to visit us at home and it turned out to be a perfect afternoon.

i ordered food for us to be delivered…i made sure dana had options since she was observing passover and could only eat certain foods. we then giggled, chatted up a storm, and just chillaxed…oh, i so needed that. especially since olive had not been feeling well and it was a bit of a rough week for all of us.

i absolutely love this girl. she’s funny, quirky, real, raw, hilarious, sweet, kind, thoughtful…um, she possesses every quality of a great, true friend. no judgement, no anger, no accusations, no bean counting, just real, awesome friendship. we don’t talk all the time, we don’t see each other all the time, and we don’t worry about it ever. we know that when we do, it’s always the same yet not the same…consistent like a three star michelin restaurant. hahaha!

olive warmed up to dana and ellie just likes everyone so it was a win win situation for everyone! after hours and hours of laying around, dana needed to hit the road and try her best to avoid the terrible traffic back home. she was so brave coming out to us on a friday afternoon and if anyone knows one thing about chicago, no one wants to drive anywhere on a friday afternoon!

i was sad to part ways with her but until next time my darling dana. we will meet again and have the best time together once again!

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[hey girl]

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[pajama day]

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[olive insisted that i took pictures of her gummy bears!]

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[me and my cutie babe]

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[dana and olive]

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[sweetest ladies]

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[passover perfect meal]

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[hi]

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xoxo