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

happy five months ellie!

happy five months!

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[photos taken on 12.14]

oh baby girl…you are the best. i just looked at her one month pics and there is such a difference in her appearance. she was so scrawny at one month…and now she’s chunked out quite nicely. gosh, how i love her rolls!

she gave me more serious faces this time around. she was perfecting her model stare. she was so curious/intrigued on what i was doing with this big black contraption i was constantly shoving in her face. she kept studying me and i kept trying to make her laugh and the more silly i became, the more somber she appeared {she was probably thinking, what the heck is this lady doing?!}. hahaha!

this past month, we’ve hit a few millstones. last month i stated that she discovered her toes. well, she’s totally loving her toes now! she grabs them all the time and it’s just the cutest thing to see! she is also starting to roll to her side. she hash’t fully rolled over but she is getting there. she will roll to her side and then will lay there for a few minutes before she rolls to her back again. she loves to babble! i love listening to her ‘talk’. i always wonder what she is saying or thinking because she so darn animated with her sounds! i love that she now laughs; she did before – just a little bit then but now it’s full blown giggles! i am so in love with that sound. baby laughs are contagious!

she’s still eating at the same rate and schedule. when she’s with me, she typically feeds every two to three hours and she doesn’t really throw up anymore. only once in a blue moon will she puke but it’s so tame compared to when she was born up to the three/four month mark. that was brutal the first few months…she really tapered off closer to four months and that was pretty awesome when that happened. i felt like i was washing everything the first several months {that was sooooo taxing!} and it really sucked. it was like puke factory in our house {no thank you!} but now she just eats and burps. good girl!

she’s been taking a short nap in the morning around 10am and then a longer stretch in the afternoon. it’s starting to regulate just a bit but nothing solid yet. she is still going strong at night. she goes down between 9-10pm and she will usually wake up around 4/5am for a feeding, whereas she used to wake up at 3am for a feeding. she still drifts off to sleep after she feeds in the middle of the night and will sleep until 7-8am, if i am lucky!

she’s so happy and calm. oh we are so fortunate to have such a good little lady! she giggles, smiles, and just chills all the time. she cries out if she’s tired and that’s pretty much it. i love hanging out with her! i honestly miss her when i am not with her. she is so fun!

she is starting to love bath time. she’s grasping objects with force. her grip has gotten so strong! she’s been doing a great job holding her toys and playing with them. she loves to be held but she is soooooooo good at just laying around. sometimes you almost forget she’s in the room because she’s so quiet and calm for such a long time! of course, because she’s so good at laying around, the poor babe still has her bald spot in the back of her head…it’s baaaaad. like a huge patch of no hair. i can’t wait until she starts to sit so she hair can grow back!

overall, it’s been amazing. ellie is so sweet and such a wonderful blessing. i remembered, when i was pregnant with her, i constantly wondered what she would be like. i was a bit nervous that she might come out with a personality like the crazy, tough pregnancy that she was! oh, was i wrong. she is so calm, loving, giggly, and so darn sweet!

we love you so much baby girl! we are so darn lucky to have you in our lives!

xoxo

’tis the season

i was excited to do our annual christmas decorating bonanza! ok, so this year…it was so easy and fun with olive but it was hard to manage ellie! most of the time she just happily laid on the couch and observed us but there were times i needed to hold her and that slowed me down a bit but in the end, we got it done!

at first it was a bit stressful because hc seriously struggle with the tree. the lights in the middle of the tree went out. ugh. so he bothered with that for a bit but once he was done, it was smooth sailing after that! we blasted christmas music, drank, and decorated!

decorating is a lot to juggle with a baby and at times, it seems stressful {well, at least that’s how i freakin’ feel!} but overall, it was totally fun and olive seriously had a blast! it was so, so, so sweet to see her so excited and intrigued by everything. she loved the tree and had so much putting up the ornaments! she loved looking at every single one and telling us what it was…oh, the joys of childhood. it melts my heart.

well, we totally deck the halls with bough of holly…fa la la la la la la la! our house turned into a magical, festive wonderland! gosh, i looooooooove this season!

merry christmas!

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[sweet baby ellie just chillin’]

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[my sweet babe ready to decorate]

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[hc fussing and fixing the lights]

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[olive hanging ornaments]

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[admiring the prettiness]

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[her favorite ornament]

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[she said, “ohhhhhh, snowman!”]

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[a wedding decor turned ornament]

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[this sweet face…i loved watching her amazement]

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[i love her!]

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[this picture is super blurry but i love it just the same…a sweet capture]

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[pj’s all the way!]

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[ellie is so sweet and calm]

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[putting up the star]

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[way to go olive and dada!]

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[ready to put together the train for under the tree]

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[this was her favorite part]

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[these two babes melt my heart]

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[my favorite, favorite picture…it’s the most wonderful time of the year]

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[my most favorite people]

xoxo

turkey day ’16

it was turkey day! yay! i love thanksgiving! it kicks off the holiday season and i love the holidays!

i took a pretty long break posting on the blog. one, i was soooo busy with thanksgiving coming up, planning olive’s birthday, hosting olive’s birthday party, and just living life. things just got a little hectic but i am finally catching up!

we did our usual routine – hc’s aunt wendy always has turkey ‘dinner’ ready by 1:30pm so we always head over there first to visit with his family. we got there a bit earlier and hung out and visited with everyone. olive was, of course, a bit shy and quiet around everyone but as soon as her sister grace showed up, she was all giggles!

once food was served, we just sat around and chilled. we ate, talked, and caught up with life’s happenings. olive started to warm up with everyone and really took to kait! kait is sooooo darn sweet with the girls and had so much fun playing with olive. olive’s giggles and smiles were proof she adored kait too!

after a few hours at aunt wendy’s house, we had to leave and drop grace off so she could continue on with her festive celebrating with her step dad’s side of the family.

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[how adorable is kait with ellie?!]

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[chef wendy]

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[not yet warmed up to anyone]

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[daddy is hungry and ellie is bored]

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[trying to hide from the world]

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[gramma jane]

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[my baby]

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[sister besties]

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[auntie missy]

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[giving thanks to the chicago cubs]

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[kait and morgan]

***************************************************************

we then headed to my parent’s house to continue our thanksgiving tradition of eating dinner at 7. we do that every year and our holiday always works out so perfectly. once we got there, i dove into helping my sister with the cooking {as much as i can because i am no cook!} and drinking! thanksgiving would not be complete without a good bottle of wine! yum!

we drank, we cooked, we laughed, and the kids played. it was a cozy, fun, warm evening together. my brother dan decided, this year, to fry a turkey! it would be our first time doing it! it was the highlight of the night…putting a turkey in a deep fryer and boy, that sucker cooks that bird super fast!!

olive was quite spent from a few active days with very little naps that she was totally agreeable to a nap at my parent’s house. baby girl slept for several hours but she so needed it as it would be another late night for her!

more family came by and soon it was a full house {close to 20 people}. it was pretty awesome because i don’t think i held ellie once. all the ladies and gents took turns holding the baby…who doesn’t love a cutie baby like ellie? she’s so darn sweet!

dinner was ready by 7 and we all sat down to eat! my dad said a blessing and we got to chow down. the food was super good, as usual – my sister always does an amazing job with the menu and the delicious dishes!

overall, it was a wonderful, wonderful thanksgiving. the holiday feelings were all there. i love how festive it feels and looks, i love seeing family, i love being together on this special holiday, and i love eating and drinking together…hahaha, who doesn’t?!

i am thankful for our health, our family and friends, our blessings in life, and most of all, thankful for our two beautiful, healthy girls.

happy thanksgiving indeed!

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[super auntie thuy]

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[yummy turkey stuffing]

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[working hard in the kitchen]

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[kitchen cooking shenanigans]

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[family time]

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[face time with huy]

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[dad loving the face time with huy]

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[olive being grumpy from her nap]

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[i love this babe…i know, i say it all the time but she’s amazing]

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[these two…so sweet]

via tandeminlove.com[she always has this wide eyed look…]

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[our first time frying a turkey…well, dan fried it and it turned out awesome!]

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[mama]

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[thuy brought home sake from japan]

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[yummy chocolate silk pie]

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[he’s sooooooooo sweet with her]

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[i love these two]

xoxo

happy four months ellie!

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[pics taken on 11.15.16]

height: 24.25″

weight: 13 lbs 10 oz

this babe is the best. the best! she is just sooooo darn sweet, happy, chunky and fun! i love hanging out with her and seeing her beautiful face look at me with always a big smile!

it seems like the amount of milk she consumes has decreased, sadly. she still nurses every 2-3 hours when she’s with me. she has become so distracted and more interested in the environment around her than nursing. i now find that i have to feed her in a quiet room with minimal noise and no t.v. on. if olive is around, forget it! she wants to watch olive rather than feed and try not having your toddler in your face and not excitedly jumping, screaming around you! that’s the impossible! if i go into another room, this little gremlin will come find me! well, it is what it is…ellie is still chunking up quite nicely, so no complaints on those chubby thighs of hers or fatty cheeks!

she’s super solid with her night sleeping but not so much with her naps. i really think ellie sleeps less than everyone in this house! she typically goes down around 9-10pm and will wake up once {maybe twice during a growth spurt} for a feeding. sometimes she will wake at 3am or 5am…it depends on how’s she feeling and then again around 6am or 7am. i am hoping she breaks that one nightly feeding she is so strongly clinging on to. she nurses for maybe 5-7 minutes in the middle of the night and falls back asleep…so, i am like, “girl, why do you bother to eat…you can barely keep your eyes open?!!! haha!} so, she’ll sleep for 8-9 hours at nigt and maybe, maybe nap for 2-3 hours during the day. sometimes she doesn’t nap much at all. olive did and definitely sleeps more than this babe! it’s amazing how much ellie doesn’t sleep for a little baby but i am most thankful that she is quite the solid sleeper at night. no complaints here! as long as she keeps up those long nightly stretches, we are super happy in this house!

she is completely aware of her surroundings. she will lock eyes with me from across the room. she will perk up and coo when she hears my voice. she just started to giggle in the last few weeks and it’s the most darling sound i currently hear. she recently discovered her toes! she loves to grab at them! she loves to lay around and observe, she especially loves to look at olive. she can watch her for hours. plus, the sweet smiles that ellie gives is priceless! she loves to smile, smile, smile. she’s such a happy baby! seeing her beautiful grins completely brightens my mornings, days, and nights. i love this smiley babe so much!!

she’s been pretty true to size but oh is she chunky! i love her fat little cheeks and chubby, chubby thighs. those rolls get me every time. she’s balding in the back of her head and i blame it on the fact that i have a toddler and don’t hold ellie as much, so she is always laying on her back. olive didn’t get a bald spot because we held her allllllll the time! so poor ellie…she’s has a big circle patch of hairlessness going on back there.

she is such a happy, calm baby. i am soaking in every moment, every second of this baby stage. i can’t get enough. she’s so sweet, loving, precious, and oh so squeezable! i love holding her, nursing her, playing with her, and spending all my days with this darling babe. i love you to pieces oh baby ellie…you are such a light in my life.

xoxo

happy halloween

oh, i was sooooo excited for halloween!

i couldn’t wait to match the girls! i was so stumped for quite awhile on what i was going to dress them as. i hemmed and hawed over so many ideas but alas, i chose fairies. olive loves tinker bell, so i thought it was fitting for her to be a fairy princess and ellie as well!

i ended up curating their costume pieces. i shopped only small {meaning small businesses that were handmade} and quickly put together their sweet, whimsical costumes. i loved every single piece i purchased. the best part? olive can and still wears all the pieces after halloween! it ended up being her most favorite outfit to date!

we dressed up both girls and went outside to take pictures {the weather was amazing!! not cold or rainy! it typically is every year!}. that was a complete debacle. olive couldn’t hold ellie upright {her costume was too slippery} and by the time i decided to lay both girls down on the blanket on top of the grass, they were both in sour moods and wouldn’t stop crying. seriously?! fml trying to take a decent picture! ha!

after pics {i needed a shower because these girls stress me out sometimes!}, we started our trick or treat journey. it was the cuuuuuuutest thing to watch olive! i did a few a examples for her but after that, she got it! i loved watching her be so independent and sweet! she would quietly knock on people’s doors and not move so it was difficult for them to open the door. ha! she would quietly say, ‘twick o tweet’ and ‘dank you!’ to every person who gave her candy. man did she get brownie points for her cuteness…so many folks gave in and would dump candy into her basket or give extra because they say ellie. olive made out like a bandit for only hitting a few houses!

as we walked along the block, we chit chatted with neighbors and got to know quite a few people on my parent’s street. olive did such a great job and really enjoyed the whole process! after a eight houses {which probably took more than a half hour}, we asked if she wasted to go home and she said, “yes! go home!” and go home we did!

once we arrived home, olive loved checking out all the trick or treaters at the door. she’s finally starting to break out of her shy shell. granted, she still doesn’t really talk around others but she was quite brave with the strangers while trick or treating and loved peeking at all the kids coming to the door and would actually walk downstairs to say hi!

we waited for the trick or treating curfew to end and then packed up our stuff to go home. we tried to get olive’s costume off and that turned out to be the biggest debacle of all time. i mean major meltdown…she flipped out. how dare we tell her to take off her wings and skirt?! we were the devil in her eyes. she screamed and cried and went completely bonker hysterical on us. that was a loooooooooong process that we soooo regretted. ugh.

anyhoo, once we got the little bugger into the car…we finally made it home. phew! that was a knock down dragged out fight but we kind of won. hc stuffed her into the car seat with the compromise of her holding her wings instead of sitting with them on. oy.

overall, it was an awesome halloween. the weather was so fantastic, soooo many people complimented her on the costume, and she had the best time! i love halloween, i always have but now i love it more with our kids in it! it’s so fun and delightful to see such joy in her eyes!

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[such a beautiful fairy princess]

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[i looooooooved their costumes]

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[walking house to house, trick or treating!]

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[her trick or treat bag…collecting goodies]

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[me and my girl]

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[walking towards the cool halloween house]

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[soooooo pretty]

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[hitting up a house for candy…knocking on the door. oh how i loved watching her do this!]

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[her loot]

xoxo

matt + panda

we finally had guncle johann and matt come visit ellie + famille!

we had a date set up over a month ago but those plans fell through and we were finally able to meet up! it was going to be a real relaxed casual night. the cubs game was on and we were too busy to put the effort in to cooking a gourmet meal.

hc and i {leading up to johann and matt arriving} were running around like crazy to get last minute things done. it’s always such a challenge when you have multiple young kids! one person has to watch the baby {especially if she’s fussy} and it’s like playing hot potato! pass the baby, pass the baby, you got the baby? can you take the baby? can you hold her for just five minutes while i quickly do something? hahaha!!!!

once matt and johann arrived, we just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. matt is always hilarious and johann always cracks me up with his take on things…i love hanging out with these two fun dudes. they walked through our door with so many presents. it was like christmas for the babes! there were presents from matt’s mom & the guncles. olive was being so shy {ellie was sleeping} and didn’t want to open her presents so i decided to do it for her!

after presents, libations were flowing, and dinner was on the grill. i love our conversations. they are always lively, animated, and full of laughter. time really flies when were hanging out with these two! after we ate dinner, we settled into the living room to watch the game. johann is strongly a sox fan, matt is neutral, and hc and i are the biggest cubs fan! it was quite the intense game but the cubs did it! they made it into the world series! we were sooooooo elated! what a fantastic night! great company and the cubs did it!

after hours of eating, drinking, and lounging – matt and johann decided to call it quits and head home. it was so fabulous to have had them over and finally meet miss ellie baby! oh, she’s just the best! johann is such a natural with babies…oh he’ll be a great dad someday! well, we said our goodbyes to matt and johann and wished them safe travels and then did a dance of joy that the cubs won the pennant and were headed to the world series!

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[ellie, johann, and matt]

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[it was like christmas]

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[the cutest little card and box of panda socks!]

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[oh these two…johann is so good with kids!]

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[glazed pumpkin cake]

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[the boys watching the game]

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[ellie saying, “go cubs go!!!!”]

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[yasssssssssss!]

xoxo

fabulous zoo date

kim and i met up for a zoo date take two. the first time we went to the zoo with them, it was such a personal disaster. i was so unprepared and a lot of meltdowns happened, including me. hahaha!

well, this time around…we were ready! we had the right attachment to the stroller, we had snacks, we had lunch, we had drinks, and it wasn’t steaming hot {that is always a recipe for a disaster!}.

we both arrived at the zoo at the same time and we parked right next to each other! we strolled on in…it was so darn perfect out! we did our usual walk and there were a lot of animals out. olive warmed up to brady a lot quicker than what she usually does! it was so cute to watch them, olive at times would call brady’s name and ask him to, ‘come here!’ to see certain animals and brady always wanted to hold olive’s hand! awwwww!

kim’s mom joined us as well and it was awesome to see her! she’s such a sweet, sweet lady! we leisurely strolled the zoo, saw the animals, went into certain houses, and eventually stopped for lunch. the temperature started to drop but it still felt great overall. it was so nice, this time around, to be able to see almost all the animals, walk at a slow pace, and the zoo was kind of empty – which makes it great for us! {less congestion and more animal face time!}

once we got near the end, we brought the kids over to the carousel for a ride. it was olive’s first time on a carousel! i was sooooo excited for her! the only bump in the road that we ran into was that we were a minute too late for the next ride! they cut off the line right before us and poor brady and olive thought we weren’t going to take them on the ride and they both yelled and cried the entire time the ride ran and honestly, it felt like an eternity! haha! finallyyyyyyy, it was our turn and tears turned into sweet smiles! it was sooooo heartwarming to see her so happy! she told me she wanted to sit on the giraffe and the giraffe she got! kim’s sweet mom took on the challenge of snapping a pic of us and she did a fabulous job!

i love spending my time kim and her kids {and mom!}. i feel so lucky that we have become so close! i love this sweet mama! we get along so well, have a lot in common, and it seems like even when we spend hours and hours together, we never have enough time to talk about all the things we want to talk about. well, that’s having kids around for ya, right?!

anyhoo, it was a fabulous second zoo date and i can’t wait until we meet up again! cheers to great friendships!

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[the cutest kiddos]

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[she’s so cool]

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[snow leopards]

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[twinning at it’s best]

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[it’s such a challenge to get all the kids to look at the camera]

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[isn’t brady so sweet?]

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[me and my girls]

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[not one child looking at the camera…hahaha!!! olive’s shirt by @cocoaandheart]

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[mesmerized by the polar bear]

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[her first carousel ride! she had so much fun!]

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[sweet hugs goodbye]

xoxo

happy three months ellie!

happy three months!

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[pic taken on 10.15]

height: n/a

weight: n/a

oh ellie. she’s the sweetest little baby. we are seriously so blessed with this happy little babe. i will say it over and over again…i can’t believe it’s been three months already. they aren’t kidding when others tell you time with the second baby flies by!

she’s such a fabulous sleeper. now she is such a light sleeper…who does she gets it from? hmmmmm, my dad? hc’s mom? ’cause the both of us are NOT light sleepers. ok, well before the babies, i wasn’t but now i wake up at a sigh coming out of theses kid’s mouths! ellie will wake up at a creak in our floors and that is no bueno because our floors are so darn creaky! she’s solid at night though. she still wakes up at 5am for a quick feeding…and i mean quick. she might eat for 5 minutes and fall back asleep and sleep for another 2-3 hours. she sleeps for about 8-9 hours a night but her naps are sporadic. she might hit a four hour nap during the day or not nap much at all. it just depends on her mood, growth, and day.

she’s an eater still. she’s getting quite chunky for a skinny baby. she will still feed every two to three hours. i still try to pump every two hours to store away milk but she’s doing very well every few hours and she’s has gotten better with her regurgitation. she always lets out a juicy burp and then i expect her to puke right after. every time. her trend of late is to throw up about a half hour before she has to eat again. it’s like clockwork but now she doesn’t spew vomit like she did the first few months…she is a little more routine and regimented so i know when she’s about to puke. hahaha!

she is so active! she is a wiggle worm and can hold her head up like a champ. she can see further now and notices her mama, dada, olive, grandparents, etc. she is so sweet and smiley! when she wakes up in the morning or after her nap, she gives me the biggest smiles. it totally makes my day! she loves to coo, squeal, and shriek! it’s too cute to see her want to communicate and ‘talk’ back to me. i am waiting for her to roll and giggle but that hasn’t happen yet. i love watching her grow!

her hair is falling out a bit but her chunkiness is getting better. i love her leg rolls and chubby, chubby cheeks but her belly takes the cake. her double chin is the best and i love her cute, little pointy nose. she has the biggest belly! it’s ginormous! it’s like she has her head,legs, and arms attached to a watermelon tummy. hahaha!

she loves to watch olive and olive is so darn sweet to her. she is such a great big sister and is so gentle and thoughtful towards her. she always has to see her in the morning and say good morning. she will always let me know baby ellie is crying…even though i can hear her. ha! olive loves to show her her toys, she loves to help me change her diaper, and when olive is in the mood, she will totally entertain ellie by dancing, singing, or just being goofy to her.

i am still so amazed by her. i can’t believe we made such a sweet little baby girl. it blows my mind i have two darling little ladies. they are so sweet, cute, amazing, and precious! ellie is such a blessing…i can’t get over how much she is like hc. she looks like him, acts like him, and is chill like him. we lucked out to get such a calm loving little lady!

ellie, we love watching you grow and you are an amazing little baby. we love you sooooo much and can’t wait to see what milestones you will hit next month!

xoxo