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

easter pre-game

we had quite the eventful day before easter!

one, it was hc’s birthday and two, it’s easter! we love to do fun things like decorate easter eggs and participate in fabulous easter egg hunts!

it was all very last minute because olive had been sick for a few days prior to this and we could not get out of the house with her. poor thing was glued to the toilet, so no easter egg hunt outings or anything of that sort due to her not feeling well.

i scrambled to put together something…we didn’t have any food to host with, nor did i even decorate! ha! i thought i was going to get away with not decorating for easter but then we, last minute, decided to have our family over and how could i not decorate to create a little bit of a festive environment?! sphhh, hello…it’s me. so there i was in the morning, hanging banners, pulling out fun decor, and filling easter eggs. {let alone, i had to make a quick or tried to make a quick trip to the grocery store too!}

my family came over and we sipped lemonade, ate a simple lunch, and hunted for & decorated easter eggs! the weather was a m a z i n g!!! seriously, it was so beautiful out! the kids had a blast searching for the eggs and opening up their goodies to find toys, candies, and money inside!

after all that, we then opened up easter gifts! {of course we saved olive’s basket for the morning because the easter bunny needed to drop that one off} the kids were so excited and spoiled rotten. gosh, we tend to do that with every special occasion. when you have that many family members…it can get cray with the gifts!

overall, it was truly a wonderful day! we celebrated hc, we celebrated easter, and we were all able to spend some great family time together! until next year my bunnies!

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[easter prep]

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[my new favorite glasses]

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[we wished hc a happy birthday!]

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[super aunty thuy created the prettiest french braid for miss o]

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[always the yummiest]

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[hc’s easter birthday cake]

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[tulips are so pretty]

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[easter egg hunt!]

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[the contestants]

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[olive finding the eggs!]

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[this way!]

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[run!]

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[dada helping olive out]

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[ellie famous face with aunty kim]

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[levitating eggs]

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[checking out her goodies]

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[happy birthday hc!]

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[raspberry lemonade refresher]

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[bunnies]

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[ready to dye easter eggs]

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[i love how excited olive is!]

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[she did so well!]

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[she loved her pink decorated egg!]

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[eggcited for easter gifts!]

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[baby ellie opening her gifts from aunty thuy]

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xoxo

happy nine months ellie!

happy nine months ellie!

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[pics taken on 4.14]

heyyyyy baby girl! i seriously thought you would be crawling by now! nope. it’s currently not your thing but you have certainly gotten a lot more mobile. you scoot, scoot, scoot around the floor and can get from point A to point B in a unique way but there is definitely noooooo crawling. you tend to scoot forward, then really push backwards, then you will pivot, and move into a different direction by repeating the same moves. you go girl. whatever works for ya!

she’s become a strong consumer of solid foods. she will chow down quite a bit with the container of food{s} we give her and sometimes asks for more. we were soooo great at making food for olive but really dropped the ball with ellie. we buy her organic foods off the shelf and it suits her, and us, just fine. i really wish we had the time to whip together homemade meals for ellie but alas, it all ends up being good. her favorite foods are fruits and she’s finally starting to like the vegetable and protein blends!

she is still nursing. my milk supply has been consistent but the difference i see with my back up supply is drastically low compared to what i stored with olive. when i nursed olive, i constantly pumped. like constantly. i pumped on the hour every two hours, i pumped when she slept at night – at 3am every night the first year. i pumped if her naps were longer than two hours and i stored a ridiculously amount of milk! now we are the verge of running out with ellie! i can’t believe it! i am hoping to nurse ellie for as long as i can and i hope i don’t completely run out of my back up supply! the good new is, she’s almost one and cow’s milk will be introduced but until then, i think i need to step up my pumping game!

she’s become a lot more solid with her nighttime stretches. she will typically go down around 9pm and sleep until 5 or 6am! woo hoooooo! now if i can only learn my lesson and go to bed when she does!!! her naps have become more consistent but she’s not completely regular with the timeframes. she will typically, or at least we try to put her down around 10am and then again around 2 or 3 pm. she will usually nap for an hour in the morning and a bit longer in the afternoon. there are some times she will fight it and nap for short periods of time and then she gets super duper crabby around 5pm…really girl, just nap!

she’s so happy and so funny! she will make the craziest noises and tries to mimic us! she loves to scream and make silly faces. this past month, she has clapped her hands and waved to us. i love watching her grow and seeing her hit these fun milestones! those are the best moments. i also love that her bald spot has grown in, i totally knew that it would once she started sitting!

she’s still so tiny and i love it. i am savoring her tiny moments. i cherish her soft skin, her sweet breath, her fresh smell, her chubby thighs, her fat cheeks, her big belly, her teeny toes and fingers…oh the list goes on and on. i don’t want to forget her state, her baby stage, her sweet innocent being. oh ellie. i love you so much and i am such a lucky lady to have you as a daughter.

happy day sweet lady, you are so loved.

xoxo

train station lunch

it was a lazy sunday morning and we wanted to do something fun with olive {and ellie of course, but ellie is just a baaaaaby!}.

we decided to hit downtown glen ellyn and go to the train restaurant. we scored a parking spot right next to the restaurant and there was a tiny bit of a wait but no worries, olive spotted the mechanical horse and became fixated! she was so excited to get on the horse and i was so excited to see her do so! i love it when i see the joy exude from her face. i took so many pics because it made my heart full to see her many expressions, showing the different emotions she was feeling. i chose these two pics that best showcase her joy!

she also loved putting a quarter in the ‘gum’ball machine to receive a toy! i loved all this newness that she was experiencing, it was melting my heart!

we were finally seated and she was loving the train! she was so good, she was sitting right next to the tracks but she never once tried to touch the train or did she ever get in the way of the train when it rolled by. she barely sat down and was so mesmerized by all the quirkiness the restaurant had to give.

after we devoured our mediocre lunch, i ordered ice cream for olive. now, she’s not really into ice cream…yes, i knoooooow! how could that be?! but yes, she doesn’t care for it too much but i couldn’t pass up vanilla ice cream with sprinkles on top! besides that, it also came with a pink train!!! now that was something olive loved! as soon as the ice cream cup was served, her hand snatched up the pink train immediately!

shortly after, we left the restaurant to walk around the downtown area. the downside? pretty much all the shops were closed on sundays…what a bummer! so, we decided to walk around the neighborhood and just enjoy the great weather.

it was a perfect afternoon and we had such a great time hanging out together and exploring the quaint little area. i know olive had a great time at the restaurant and i can’t wait to take her back to enjoy it again!

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[first thing we see…the mechanical horse! olive had to ride it!]

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[she was sooooooo excited!]

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[me and my babe]

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[she’s always so happy!]

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[first time getting something out a ‘gum’ball machine]

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[excited for her surprise]

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[she got a mini dinosaur! she loved it!]

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[here comes the train serving the food!]

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literally loving the bells and whistle]

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[there goes the train!]

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[mmmm, pink lemonade]

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[my precious babe]

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[olive couldn’t wait to pluck off her pink train!]

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[she tried to scoop the ice cream but it was a little bit hard]

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[so dada helped out!]

xoxo

happy eight months ellie!

happy eight months ellie!

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[photos taken on 3.15]

i was sitting with ellie the other day and thought…no way! no way she’s eight months old! nooooooooo. oh my gosh, i love her so much and it kills me that she is growing up. i desperately hold onto her baby stage that i do forget how many months she is or i am in complete denial? don’t get me wrong…i look forward to beautiful, great things she will do, accomplish, and be but this babe stage is too short and fleeting.

she’s on the verge of crawling. she wants to. i can see it. she bounces on her behind, leans forward, and has become quite strong with her arms. i think this month is her month! i can’t even fathom her crawling…being mobile. i love seeing her sit still and look so darn cute with those saggy cheeks and big brown eyes, usually watching her sister in amazement.

she’s an eater! she doesn’t loooooove her food but she will definitely eat it all. she loves fruits best but what kid doesn’t?! she loves bananas, pears, purees blended with oatmeal, and will usually gobble those meals up. she eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner with breast milk in-between. i still feed her but every three hours now since she’s been eating solids. she’s a pretty good eater but according to growth charts, she’s a peanut. no matter, she’s as tiny, healthy, and cute as can be!

she broke ground on her first tooth!!! woooo hooooo! her central incisor has made it’s debut. it was around march 1st when i noticed a white line coming out of her gum! i rubbed the area and felt her tooth breaking through! i was soooooo excited but that leads into her interrupted sleep patterns…

december and january were rough months filled with sickness and sleepless nights. ellie hasn’t gotten on a solid nap time schedule but we try for 10am and 2-3pm naps. it’s hard too, when others watch her and don’t keep to a consitent schedule to build a routine. she was waking up relentlessly over the past several months causing this mama to sleepwalk! she got better in the beginning of february and relapsed for a few days due to catching another cold. wahhhhhh. well, i must say, though, february 6th or 7th was the beginning of her sleeping through the night!! hallelujah! she would hit the sack around 9 or 10pm {yesssssss my babes stay up late like their mama} and wake up at 5. y’all have no idea how amazing it was, or is, to sleep for more than 4 hours straight!!! well now she’s fussy at night due her teething…whatevs. i’m dealing!

she’s a screamer! she loves to hear her own voice and boy, is she loud! she shrieks, screams, cries, yells, and giggles and ohmergawd is it sooooooo stinkin’ cute!! she mimics us, she smacks her lips, clicks her tongue, and makes the cutest sounds alllllll the time!

she’s gotten better with sitting but she is still a little rocky. there are times when she throws us for a loop. she looks so strong and sturdy and we are all just sitting around playing on the rug and then all of a sudden, bam! she throws herself back and i have a freakin’ panic attack, so afraid she might crack her head! gahhhhhhh, it scares me when she does that and of course, it startles her and she then busts out crying. oh poor baby!

oh baby ellie. she’s so happy, content, and ohhhhhhhh so sweet. i couldn’t ask for a better babe. she’s so pleasant and beyond chill. it blows my mind at how calm she is. we love watching you grow, giggle, smile, scream, and learn. it’s amazing how much love we have for you. thank you for being such an awesome babe and we are so blessed to be your parents.

xoxo

children’s museum

a sunday crept up on us and can you believe that we didn’t have anything really planned?! it was a sunny, nice day out and we definitely wanted to get out and do something fun! our initial plan was to go to the zoo but it was just a little bit too chilly to stand outside for hours so we found a local children’s museum.

it was close by and we have never visited it before! we did our usual morning routine – wake, nurse, feed olive, coffee, chill, and repeat. we squeezed in a nap for ellie…well, we tried. she was a bit fussy and didn’t get a good shut eye in, so we decided to leave for the museum.

we arrived in no time and it wasn’t that crowded. we started to explore and honestly, it was a very odd feeling being there. let me explain…i just felt that parents weren’t friendly. i immediately felt a strange vibe from everyone. i would make eye contact and smile and other moms would not smile and look away. hmmmmm. unfriendly!

another annoying factor were the parents that didn’t watch their kids or care that they acted inappropriately…such as not wait their turn, not share, hog an activity, or the one that irks me the most – big kids who overtake the little ones. that gets under my skin. i become super irritated! also, the whole area was sooooo dirty. as expected but i could feel the germs and viruses bouncing off my skin. blech!

i must say, hc and i didn’t have the best experience there. of course olive loved it but we were so turned off. we were blown away at how rude some of the older kids were with the little kiddos around, how removed the parents were. don’t get me wrong, olive did her best to fend for herself and i believe to let her do her own thing and not be a helicopter mom but the big kids were bugging me although not as much as their unaware parents!

ok…venting done. we did stay for a few hours and then called it quits. olive had a ton of fun and really enjoyed herself, honestly – that is all that matters. we were happy we took her there but i don’t know if we will go there any time soon again! eep!

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[checking out the fishes]

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[having fun with light and colors]

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[daddy helping her hour]

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[if there’s a hole, she’ll crawl through it]

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[she was having a blast with bar and mirror]

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[the wind machine]

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[stuffing the wind machine with kerchiefs]

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[watching the scarves fly into the air]

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xoxo

dinner party

our dear friend andrea invited us to a dinner party in celebration of her husband, jaime’s birthday. we love getting together with them; they are fun, funny, smart, and sweet as can be.

we come to find out that andrea had hired a chef for the evening to serve us dinner! how cool is that?! oh, it was going to be a fun, decadent evening! plus, it was a kid friendly party! woo hoo! double bonus!

we arrived on time and were greeted by jamie. olive was a bit overwhelmed and became super clingy and upset so i knew what would calm her down…toys! andrea and jamie have a ‘play area’ downstairs and i knew olive would get lost down there with all the fun items all around her! so, downstairs she went and we never saw her again! hahahaha!

we were immediately served champagne and hor d’oeuvres were plentiful ~ yum! don’t mind if i do! we mingled and visited with everyone while hc and i switched between holding ellie. we love their friends and have such a great time catching up with everyone. the chef was hard at work and i guzzled champagne and ate a lot of cheese ~ my weakness! we periodically checked on olive and continued to enjoy ourselves. did i mention that jamie and andrea have the most gorgeous home in chicago?! let me just say it’s so fabulous!

we were called to sit down for dinner and i was so excited to eat! the chef gave us details of each dish that was served. i loved that we were informed on ingredients of each delicious plate that we were about to consume. each portion served was a combination of wonderful flavors and eat bite made my mouth and mind happy! we had the best time at our table and the conversation was delightful, funny, and entertaining. gosh, i love moments like these!! great food, drinks, and friends, you just can’t go wrong!

oh my! we were having a great time! we made it through the end of the meal with two happy kids but it was almost nine thirty and we were ready to go. the kids were holding up great and were so good but we know our limits. it was almost ten o’clock by the time we left and it was perfect. we had a fabulous night, the kids were in great spirits, and we left just in time!

we had such a wonderful evening! thank you to jamie and andrea for inviting us over for jamie’s birthday dinner! it was fun, fabulous, delicious, and perfect!

cheers to amazing friendships!

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[the pretty table setting]

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[the menu for the evening]

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[daddy and daughter]

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[aren’t these ladies by my side so pretty?!]

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[appetizers and plenty of booze…mmmmmm]

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[party time]

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[the chef for the evening]

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[bottomless glass…keep it coming!]

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[feeding ellie before we feast]

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[kathryn and ginger]

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[these babes were being so cute together]

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[hmmmm, i am so cute!]

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[the chef explaining each entree]

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[the delicious pomegranate salad]

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[ellie entertaining herself during dinner]

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[hostess with the mostess]

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[baby, baby, baby!]

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[main course]

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[andrea with baby colin]

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[creme brûlée]

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[the man of the hour!]

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xoxo

i looooooove sunday brunch

i don’t know what it is about sunday brunch that i love so much. sundays have always been a day of relaxing, a day of ease, a day to do much of nothing. or if it is something you do…it involves food. brunch or slow cooking is usually where it’s at and we gather. we gather with friends. we gather with family. no pressure, just a go with the flow attitude. it’s almost like a mental preparation for the upcoming week.

we were looking forward to hanging out with these two fabulous guys. it’s so great to have friends like matt and johann. they are kind, smart, supportive, and so much fun to be around!

we met up with them right outside their place. the weather was amaaaaazing. sunny, warm, and perfect. we walked over to a brunch spot matt recommended but for some strange reason, they were closed?! it even said ‘brunch on sundays’ boldly across their windows…hahaha! really? ya fooled me!

well, that pushed us to go to o’donovan’s down the street and that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. they have a large outdoor space and the weather was fantastic…it was meant to be! the best part? there was noooooo wait. whaaaaaa?! on a day like today ~ sunday and it’s brunch time and there’s no wait? sweet.

we got cozy in a perfect little spot and ordered drinks ~ extra spicy bloody mary please! the restaurant had a breakfast buffet and we were set. drinks were flowing and copious amounts of food were on our plates, we were having a great time, just how sunday brunch should be!

then a man came by our table, a magician! we said no to tricks but yes to balloon animals! the gentleman made a mouse for ellie and a butterfly for olive. the balloon animals were a hit! olive was soooooo happy! she is such a good girl to begin with and she will always sit around and chill with us without causing any trouble but the balloon animals entertained her the entire time! score!

after brunch, we headed back to matt and johann’s place. on our walk back, we bought some girl scout cookies {yum!} from a couple of girls and sponsors selling them on a street corner. i mean, c’mon…who would ever pass up girl scout cookies?! once we were back at their place, we enjoyed nespresso and cookies while olive pranced around entertaining herself.

after an hour or so, we gathered our belongings to head home. it was time for both girls to nap and a car ride would be the lullaby that they needed. we said our goodbyes and headed home. we had such a great morning and afternoon with our two dear friends. brunch time with buddies is the best. i love sundays like this, i crave sundays like this, and i am such a happy camper when we can pull in beautiful days like this.

cheers to sunday brunch! clink! clink!

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[o’donovan’s chicago]

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[waiting 5 seconds for a table…there really was no wait on this gorgeous day!]

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[it was so beautiful out and we had a fabulous time sitting alfresco]

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[bloody mary extra spicy please!]

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[best thing ever at the restaurant…a magician who makes balloon animals!!! win win!]

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[guncle matt with ellie]

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[guncle johann with ellie]

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[precious babe with her daddy]

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[inside matt and johann’s lovely place]

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[ellie matching the decor]

xoxo