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

ellie’s six month photos

ellie finally had her six months photos taken at 6.3 months! we waited for her to get comfortable with sitting, which took a bit longer than it did with olive. well, we finally felt that she was strong enough to sit on her own, so we finally scheduled her photos with tricia!

i am always filled with anticipation leading up to any photo shoot. i can’t wait to see the outcome, i am curious at how my babe will be, and i just get so darn excited! i was so ready for ellie’s photos, we brought along one outfit for her to wear and the rest was up to tricia, her studio is filled with so many goodies!

i wasn’t too worried about ellie cooperating for the photos. she is such a good baby, i knew she’d be calm and smiley for the camera! i remembered olive being so fussy…she was fussy for her newborn pics, her six month photos, and for her one year ones. yup…all three. ellie was soooooo good for her newborn photos and with her being such a good babe, i wasn’t worried.

we tried putting ellie down for a nap but she was fighting it. she eventually fell asleep but it was a quick one and then we were off to tricia’s place. add in the car ride, the ‘getting’ ready, and the unfamiliar environment…ellie was not happy with it being too close to her next nap time schedule. she was grrrrrumpy. oh, the poor babe. i couldn’t get her to not cry!!!! every single time i put her down, she burst into tears!!! i was so surprised! my poor babe…i didn’t expect her to be so moody, i honestly expected her to be all smiles and chill! nope!

i did everything i could to make her smile, i danced, i made funny noises, and i made silly faces but she wasn’t buying it! i then started to worry that we weren’t getting any good pics because i felt that she was crying non stop! i had to talk myself down and remind myself that tricia works miracles and always turns out fabulous pic {ahem…remember grumpy olive for all three major seshs but it all turned out more than perfect?!}.

so, all that worrying for nothing because i loooooooooooved every photo tricia took of my beautiful ellie!! i was so happy and grateful! all the pics are so special, beautiful, and perfect! thank you tricia for always working your magic!

happy six months miss ellie! we love you soooooooo much!

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[isn’t she so sweet?!]

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[oh, i am dying over her pics]

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[my heart has melted into a puddle…how sweet is this pic?!]

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[she was so grumpy…poor thing. we shot too close to her next nap and her first one wasn’t a solid one, so she was a bit fussy]

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[that hand clasp]

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[gahhhhhhhhhh]

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[i wish we had more photos in this outfit…this is where she started to breakdown]

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[sweet baby toes]

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xoxo

happy love day!

our valentine’s day dinner was low key for us but snazzy fun for the girls!

sometimes hc and i will get out the weekend prior to valentine’s day for a fancy dinner with just the two of us but this year we weren’t feeling it. we were too busy and didn’t really put any thought into it. i know, i know…we should probably be more focused on us and do more fun stuff like that and we will. i desperately cling onto the innocence of my girls and love spending all my time with them and hc.

so, we decided to keep it simple with us and do something fun for the babes {ok…i did something fun for the babes!}. i concocted, in my head, a valentine’s day themed dinner for them. i shopped a week prior for cute little items for a festive table spread {target is my friend} and dug through my vday box of decor goodies in the basement {i am a hoarder of anything holiday}.

i grabbed fresh balloons on valentine’s day and came home to assemble the fun table for the girls. i put presents and cards inside their valentine’s envelope, i filled pink glass jars with bubble wands, candy, and toys. they had heart shaped plates, with heart design cups, with heart shaped strawberries, and heart shaped sandwiches. i sprinkled the center of the table with more toys and decor. overall, i loved how it looked! so festive, fun, and cute {if i do say so myself!}!

olive loved it all! she was so entertained by all the goodies, ate her fun food, and had a blast playing with everything. she especially loved going into her envelope and finding her card and presents!

as for our dinner, hc made the most delicious heart shaped burgers everrrrrrrr. the entire dinner was yummy and perfect! we had the best valentine’s day dinner all together. it was fun for the girls, relaxing for us {key word…relax}, and super fun spending it together!

i loved how we spent our holiday evening. it was perfect and cute! it was low key, full of love, and we celebrated as a family…how it should be! happy valentine’s day indeed…not just on the 14th but every day!!

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[festive, festive, festive!]

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[candy hearts, games, toys, treats!]

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[at first, they kept staring at everything! ha!]

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[checking out their goodies!]

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[hearts galore]

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[love these fun babes]

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[gorgeous flowers from the hc]

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[cute little heart burger hc made for dinner!]

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[she was so excited to open up her envelope and see her gifts!]

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[she looooooooves trolls]

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[gathering her goodies]

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xoxo

happy seven months ellie!

happy seven months ellie!

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[pics taken on 2.17]

height: 25.75″

weight: 15 lbs 7 oz.

ahhhhhhhh!!!!!! i say this every single month but wahhhhhhhh…time is flying by baby girl. i am going  to cry. why am i sooooooo sappy, sentimental, and just plain sad sometimes?! bittersweet is the perfect word. i am sad, happy, in disbelief, elated, satisfied, cheated by time…the emotions go on and on. it’s all sooooo satisfying and painful to watch you grow.

words can’t describe my deep love for my girls. i am utterly head over heels in love with them. i would give my life for them, die a painful death to protect them, you name it…i will do anything to make sure they survive. i loooooooooove being a mom.

anyhoo, let’s talk about ellie. let’s talk about how much she’s changed! she’s so vocal and cute about it! she babbles so much and the funniest thing about her right now? how she acts when she poops!!! she grunts, her face turns red, she screams, and cries! it’s kind of hilarious! i can’t even deal. she’s such a calm baby that when she starts to cry out…i know she’s going number two!

well, with that said, it’s obvious that we’ve been feeding her a ton. ellie went through a rough period from december to now. she was sick on and off and that really disrupted her sleep pattern for the worse.she was waking up non-stop at night. like 2-3x a night and waking up at 6-7am and staying up. so that meant NOOOOOOO sleep for this mama. i never learned my lesson and would go to bed too late every night {like 12 midnight or 1 am} and ellie would wake up at 2-3am, 4am, 6am, and 7am…i thought i was going die. i was a zombie and when we took ellie in to the pediatrician, she suggested that we feed ellie more food during the day to help her sleep at night. hallelujah…we would do anything to get her to sleep throughout the night. we literally shoved food down her throat through a pipe. hahaha! not really but we fed her 3x a day, as much as she wanted and a couple days later, it worked. she started sleeping through the night. i was elated!!! we’ve only hit a little over a week of solid night sleeping, so i am crossing my fingers!!

ok, that leads into the subject of her eating. so, obviously she’s rocking in rolling in that department. we started a bit late with ellie versus olive and we, obviously, weren’t feeding her enough but we got right back on track asap. she was not a fan of new foods we fed her but then she became a pro. she’s loving everything we feed her like any baby does. with each feeding, she got better and better at opening her mouth and swallowing the tasty morsels. she graduated from first foods to second foods and had become a champion eater!

she’s now sitting on her own!! we struggled a bit around six months with sitting. she wasn’t a fan and cried when we tried to sit her up but now she’s become so good at it! she is still a bit rocky at times {we like to keep the boppy around her or a pillow behind her} but she really had become strong at sitting upright!

she does dislike tummy time and i don’t foresee her crawling anytime soon. she still isn’t a super fan of sitting, let alone crawling! we’ll see…

she loves to sleep on her side. it’s really cute to see. usually after she feeds, she will pull away and roll to her side. i love it when she does this. i think it’s the cutest thing! she can roll with the best of them and loves to smile.

she’s such a sweet, calm baby. she just chills unless she’s tired and extremely hungry but the latter part rarely happens. so, when she cries, we know she needs a nap. she’s soooo easy! she can entertain herself for awhile if you put toys in front of her!

that is ellie in a nutshell. she’s so freakin’ amazing. like for reals. i love her so much and love watching her reach different milestones every month. it’s so amazing to see and i look forward to every new thing she does. it makes my heart so full to see her grow and learn!! happy seven months ellie…you are soooooooooooooo very loved.

xoxo

makey valentine’s day cards

yayyyyyyy! it was our yearly ~ let’s makey valentine’s day cards for everyone!

i love doing this every year with olive and love that she has fun decorating all the cards. i can’t wait until ellie is old enough to do this with olive, it’ll be cuteness overload when that happens!

i rummaged out all the fun decor i had stored away and created a fun little space of heart explosions, lots of red, and crafty stuff galore. olive was so excited to dig into all the valentine’s day goodness. she started out with painting the heart cards but became restless and went crazy with the stickers. she totally loved putting all the festive stickers all over the cards and loved the little, what she called alien, poms! those were her most favorite items, although they were just for fun and wouldn’t mail very well in a flat envelope! ha!

ellie joined in on the fun for a bit but soon olive finished up all her valentine’s day cards in style. this mama then addressed and mailed them out to all her sweet little friends! we hope all her buddies enjoyed their sweet little surprise in the mail! olive wants to know if you will be her valentine?! muwah!

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[long story: i bought one heart envelope on sale {super cheap, yearssss ago} and ordered it to get embroidered with olive’s name. it arrived not embroidered! i was super upset but apparently i must have ‘deleted’ the personalization part of my order and that was why it arrived blank. i called the company and figured out what had happened and i wanted to order another one because i wanted olive’s name on it! the customer service person was soooooo nice and helpful and told me to not bother to send the other envelope back because it was so inexpensive and it wouldn’t be cost efficient to send it back. well, thought, what will i do with an extra envelope? i almost gave it away but ended up keeping and found it in my valentine’s day box of decor this year! how perfect?! i then got the second envelope personalized with ellie’s name! it was meant to be!]

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[copious options]

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[she loved her ‘aliens’]

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[painting away]

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[she did such a great job!]

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[i love her]

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[she’s so fun]

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[gahhhhhhh, i love these girls!]

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[i couldn’t help but post every pic of her making the cards…she was so into it!]

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[her favorite items from the day!!]

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xoxo

ellie’s first food!

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

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

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

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

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

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

be prepared! it’s picture overload!

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[she’s ready!]

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[i love her]

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[big girl in her high chair]

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[dem cheeks]

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[she’s drooling]

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[here we go!]

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[dada’s turn to feed ellie belly]

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[she loves the camera]

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xoxo

happy six months ellie!

happy six months ellie!

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height: 25.5″

weight: 15 lbs 2 oz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo

play time!

i love getting together with kim!

it’s always fun to get the kids together and visit with kim. this time around, she and the kids came out to our place. we were so excited to have them over. brady and brooklyn were so cute with ellie…they were loving the baby!

they were running behind, so i decided to dress up olive and snap some fun pics but while we were finishing up – they arrived! i knew i should have gotten ready before i took pics of olive. i kept thinking to myself, get dressed and freshen up before i started the whole pic thing with olive but instead i just went for it, thinking i had time to change. nope…in comes kim and the kids and there i was feeling sloppy. hahaha! c’est la vie!

the kids played, had fun, doted on ellie while kim and i caught up with life. they were having a blast and it was soooooo cute to watch brady and olive together. i was so surprised how receptive olive was to brady. the past few playdates, olive was overwhelmed by brady’s affection and energy. she didn’t know what to do with him, so she would just stare at him from afar. but this time around, she was super excited to see him! while i was dressing olive, i told her brady was here and she excitedly went out to say hi to him and they immediately started playing together. oh so sweet.

we then had lunch and served desserts. the kids had a blast eating their cookies and what not. i can’t tell you how cute it is to watch them! they were all being so darn adorable and sweet! after a few hours of playtime, it was time for them to go. we had such a great time together…kim and i are such mamas! we love spending time with our kids and we love spending time together with our kids! we do agree we need a night out with just us gals – wine and uninterrupted conversations!

i am sure the next time we get together, it will be with the kids but one day we will squeeze in that girl time, one day soon!

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[beautiful brooklyn]

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[the chaos surrounding ellie]

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[sisters…she loves her so]

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[they all wanted to entertain ellie]

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[beautiful ladies]

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[lunch time]

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[dessert time!]

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[studying her dessert]

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[hugs and kisses goodbye]

xoxo

merry christmas!

merry christmas to you and your family! may your day be filled with joy, laughter, love, yummy food, great spirits, and sweet hugs!

today we celebrate the birth of jesus christ and the love of God! we are so blessed to know how good and great God can be & we are very thankful to be touched by His grace.

glory to God in the highest! peace on earth and goodwill to men!

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xoxo