teeth time

it was check up time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[the fear started to take over]

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

xoxo

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

’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

swantastic

happy birthday olive! 11.27.13

my baby girl turned T H R E E!!!!!!! oh my goodness. she’s graced this earth for three years and life has never been better. i can’t explain in words what it’s like being her mama but i will try. she brings me sooooo much joy, love, life, and happiness. the moment she entered into this world, she has challenged me mentally, physically, and emotionally…ALL for the better. my life made complete sense once i had her. don’t get me wrong, my hubby charming is THE best guy out there. he completes me. i LOVE him and can’t imagine life without him…like seriously, he can never leave my side but olive elevated everything. she took my life to a next level i never knew existed. it blows my mind i gave birth to a part of me…an extension of me that is so much better! {because she’s a mix of me and the hubby, so what could be better than that?!}. ok, ok…enough. i feel like i can drone on and on so i won’t and will stop. but man, being a mama is pretty damn awesome.

anyhoo, her birthday party planning started out as a simple thought. i really did have the intent to buy a birthday cake and some balloons. then i thought, why not make it a swan party? oh yeahhhhhhhhh. then it snowballed out of control. because it’s me. and i tend to go overboard, get all type a, and then my creative mind gets.out.of.control. the ideas don’t stop. i think of one thing, to the next, then the next idea, and the ideas don’t stop rolling in! {for example: our wedding was a diy monsoon ideas}

well, as you will see in the pictures – my simple cake idea and balloons festered into a pretty darn cute swan party!

i crafted a lot of what you see and shopped big and small for the rest of the details. two hours before the party, i was literally icing sugar cookies for the party {something i usually would never do. i, typically, am too stressed to do such a thing, because i am always running around tying all the details together}, so scroll down to the pic and read my story behind why i was doing such a thing before the guests arrived!

the party time rolled around and the guests started to roll in. of course, in doan fashion, my family was late and hc’s family was early or on time. soon everyone trickled in and the fun started to happen! we had music blasting and libations flowing. olive immediately warmed up to everyone {she was excited it was her birthday!} and had a lot fun playing with her friends and cousins.

we served food an hour into the party and dessert shortly thereafter, although there was no rush and everything was timed just right. we socialized, mingled, drank, and celebrated miss olive. it’s always so joyous to have friends and family over, under one roof, honoring a festive occasion.

the party lasted all afternoon and early evening. we enjoyed every second of it. olive did so well…no nap and no meltdown but it’s her party and she can cry if she wants to, cry if she wants to…haha!

oh, we had such a great time and i know olive did too. she loved all the presents and cake and balloons and pretty much everything! all in all, it was a total success, if i do say so myself. everything turned out great! so, maybe next year i will stick to my thought of keeping it simple, just getting a cake and balloons for her fourth birthday…or maybe not. eep!

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[dyyyyyyying over her outfit]

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[trying to check out her shoes]

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[she’s the sweetest!]

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[my birthday girl]

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[pretty gold glitter dipped feather garland]

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[mini party hats]

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[enjoying her place setting decor]

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[the biggest balloon everrrrrrrrr]

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[diy swan straws]

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[handmade swan from turkey]

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[chair wing decor]

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[laser cut swan place cards, tucked with a feather, and topped with a handmade spray painted gold glitter crown]

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[long story: i had ordered swan cookies through a shop and she cancelled last minute, well she didn’t even contact me! i contacted her and was told that due to an emergency, my order was cancelled…i found out the day before her party! i was so bummed but i really didn’t have time to make cookies myself. well, i am super crazy and decided to do it anyways {two hours before the party!}! i bought ready made dough and shaped it out, baked them, and frosted them holding a crying baby. yes…i frosted these with one shaky arm and a baby in the other arm. ellie didn’t want to be lying down…what a time for her to be fussy! so, tada! my impromptu swan sugar cookies!]

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[just another view of the decor]

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[the swan dessert table]

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[family…lan, my sister thuy, kim, and our mom]

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[simple cake…my kind of style]

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[cake topper by hooray everyday]

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[a little overexposed but i still will take it! mom and my brother dan]

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[i used white ceramic swans and filled them with succulents]

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[i had a lot of fun making this balloon garland!]

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[papa the king]

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[me and my mama]

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[swan table centerpieces]

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[having a blast with her cousins and friends]

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[the best and the coolest nephews!]

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[as smiley as she gets…hahaha!]

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[eyeing her cake]

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[questioning everything]

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[always sooooooooo shy]

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[we got a tiny smile out of her!]

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[my heart melted into a puddle]

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[uncle dan, olive, ellie, and cousin reagan]

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[yummy dessert is served!]

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[this babe slept for most of the party!]

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[i looooooooooooove her]

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[auntie missy and ellie]

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[me and my babe]

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[i love these kiddos]

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[so typical olive]

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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]

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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

potty training 101

oohhhhhhhh, potty training. i was soooooo dreading it!

soooo many people have told me to train olive when she showed signs that she was ready. um, that never happened. we would read books together, pretend play that her dolls would pee in the toilet. she sat on the potty a few times and sometimes asked to sit on it, with more of a self interest behind it {she wanted to watch cartoons on the iPad and sit on the toilet}. ha! after months of me thinking about potty training her, i thought…forget it! signs or no signs, i was going to do it! i tried to potty train olive a few months ago…around the end of july, early august and that was a disaster!!!

she.was.not.ready. and let me tell ya…training a toddler with a newborn was a killer combination to cause me to go to the mental house. olive pee’d and poop’d all over the place. she did the typical toddler action of hiding behind the couch or hid in a corner and would just do it. yes, she would pee on the floor, poop in her underwear; i would walk away for 30 seconds and that gave her enough time to constantly go in her pants. i almost went insane! i would then have to clean her up, clean up the mess, do another load of laundry, take care of a crying newborn, etc. after a couple days of that, i said nooooo way! i was going to lose my mind so i stopped and little olive was soooo relieved!

well, fast forward to october, i thought – this is it. i am doing this. nothing is going to stop me now! i was determined. olive between then and now showed a bit of interest in it. not much but just a wee bit. by no means did she do a 180 and showed me signs of wanting to potty train…she still did not. we read the same books, played the same way with her dolls, and she rarely asked to sit on the toilet but i knew, in my gut, that it was time. i mentally prepared myself for a week and then bit the bullet.

i cleared out my calendar for 5 days. that was my magic number. 5 days of just sitting around the house and potty training my girl. i also mentally prepared olive and told her for days that we were giving up diapers. i had also gathered a few things that were critical to training her.

1.underwear: i bought a whole bunch. you never know how many you will go through so it’s good that you have quite a few on hand unless you want to do laundry alllllll the time. i probably bought an excessive amount {are 21 underpants too many?!} but i would rather be safe than sorry!

2.a few waterproof pads. i used these on the couch, on her chairs, anywhere she sat to protect whatever furniture you wanted to keep dry and safe.

3.the ipad. it’s a lifesaver when your child is sitting on the toilet f o r e v e rrrrrrrr.

4.the baby bjorn seat cover. ergonomically perfect for my daughter’s bum. it is simple, clean, and portable.

5.i included this potty book because it’s an easy read and really pushes the message through on potty training.

and no, i never rewarded her with candy for actually going pee or poo. she always got a ‘great job’ or high five but never a treat. i never liked the idea of giving your child a treat, like a dog, for doing something she should be doing.

day 1: i would not let olive wear any bottoms. no underwear, no pants. yes, she was naked from the waist down. i turned up the heat a bit so she would be comfortable. i didn’t want her to have the feeling of anything on her bum to remind her of a diaper. we sat around all day. mostly in the kitchen because it was a safe area…no rugs, no couch, just wood chairs and a hardwood floor = easy clean up! we had a few accidents…and that was ok. let me tell you peeps, you have to watch your child like a hawk. no joke. i had to sit next to olive the entire day. i rarely left her side, because if i did, she most likely would  pee if i wasn’t around. i also found that 30-45 minutes was the perfect interval time for us. some folks might find that every 20 minutes is good or longer but for us, 30-45 minutes was a perfect cycle for me to put olive on the toilet to ‘pee’. so all day long, every 30-45 minutes, i would put olive on the toilet whether she had to pee or not. i didn’t ask her, i demanded it, “olive, let’s go to the bathroom” and she would follow me to the bathroom. also, i am not a fan of the potty training toilets that they sell in the stores. if a kid is going to use the toilet, let her use the real toilet. not a plastic toilet that you can move anywhere in the house.

day 2: we did the same routine. she woke up in the morning and i took off her diaper and she ran around naked. we sat mostly in the kitchen again. she had a few accidents but it was much less than the day before, which was an awesome sign!

day 3: we did the same but this day, she wanted to sit on the couch which was risky business. i let her and we had an accident. she became too comfortable, she kept refusing to use the toilet, and i gave in and didn’t make her {with much regret and i learned my lesson to not have her dictate it and stick within my time interval of putting her on the toilet}. i used the waterproof pad and had placed it underneath her but the pee ran down the pad and onto our rug. ugh. well at least the couch was untouched! other than that, it was a pretty successful day! i truly believe that if i had made olive go sit on the toilet within the time interval, she wouldn’t have peed on the couch!

day 4: we did the same routine and we had no accidents! she was totally getting it and i was super excited and proud of her! btw, olive still needs naps but i didn’t give her any naps during this time. i was too afraid to put a diaper on her during the day {i was nervous it would confuse her}, so instead we did earlier bedtimes to make up for it. after her potty training success, we resumed with the naps.

day 5: my sisters wanted us to meet them out at the mall and go shopping. i was very hesitant. olive wasn’t a pro yet but i also wanted to try an outing with her. i wasn’t prepared, so i made hc go to the store and pick up some pull up’s {which i am not a fan of either…it’s too much like a diaper but it was better than nothing!} and my sister picked up toilet seat covers for us. i made olive go the bathroom before we left and when we got there, we all wanted to eat lunch. olive decided to slam a huge lemonade and i thought oh dang, this girl is going to pee in her pants! after lunch, i insisted that she go to the bathroom and she refused. she absolutely hates public toilets but who really loves them?! she freaked out and would not go to the bathroom…um, that made me nervous! i tried 2 more times and each time, she almost had a meltdown. after being at the mall for a bit, i told my sisters that i was going to go home. they understood and off we went, me praying that olive wouldn’t pee in the car! we safely arrived home and this girl didn’t wet her pants once! we were out for 2.5 hours!!! i was sooooo proud of her! we ran inside and she peed on the toilet in the comfort of her own home.

after the 5 straight days of potty training at home, we had total success! olive was a pro after that. she had some nervous accidents after the fact but she has pretty much been on point with peeing and pooping in the toilet!

my next battle to tackle was going to be night training…i was so dreading that. from what i had read, it was pretty much the idea of having a newborn again. it was suggested that you get up a couple times a night and wake your child to use the toilet. whaaaaa?! are you kidding me? ugh. no thank you. well, the most fabulous news i can share is that olive pretty much self-taught herself how to not pee in the bed at night. how awesome was that?! seriously! i put olive in a diaper at night, every night, right before bed. like the minute she was about to lay down, a diaper went on. after about {less than} two weeks of her being potty trained, she pretty much stopped wetting her diaper at night! i couldn’t believe it. morning after morning, she would wake up with a dry diaper. not flick of wetness and would pee in the toilet once she woke up. then soon, she didn’t want to wear a diaper at night and only her underwear! no accidents! i was amazed and so proud!

so, there ya go my friends. my potty training adventure with my sweet girl! i was so proud of her and was so happy that she kicked it this time around. i honestly thought we would never get to this point! it seemed like i wasn’t going to get it and either would olive but we did it! it took a lot of patience, tenacity, and determination but resulted in success! she is now diaper free and we couldn’t be more excited or more proud of her!

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[essentials: a waterproof pad, ipad, the potty book, bjorn potty seat, and fun undies]

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

hb fiona!

we were so excited to attend fiona’s birthday party at olivia’s parent’s house.

her sister, claire, flew into town to host the party but she’s currently living in san diego. so, it was definitely a special occasion with them coming into town to celebrate! olivia’s parents live about an hour and 15 minutes away from us, so it was quite a trip to head up north for the party. my kids are pretty fortunate to not travel so much or so long in the car but they both did well. olive stayed awake the whole time and ellie took a little nap.

we were so late. like an hour late but when we arrived, there were only a few cars by the house and it looked like they were the homeowner’s cars. i said to hc…i don’t think anyone is here! hahaha! and we were right! olivia came out to greet us and told us that only one person was here and it was aaron’s mom! oh my goodness!

well, i didn’t feel so bad being so darn late! we walked inside and we were greeted by olivia’s parents, pam and jim, her sister claire, aaron, her brother henry, and aaron’s mom. soon more people came, friends, cousins, etc. and we slowly caught up with everyone throughout the party.

olivia’s dad jim made a killer chili and there were a lot of appetizers and snacks to munch on. it was very relaxed and low key. fiona was napping and when she woke, it took her a bit to ‘wake’ up. trust me…olive is the same way, so i totally understand how grumpy threenagers can be! once she adjusted, we introduced olive and fiona and they instantly became besties!!! it was the cutes thing to watch! fiona led the way and olive followed. it was soooooo fun to see them interact with one another. fiona’s imagination is wild! she created so many stories, she was so animated, and olive loved every second of it. they walked all around the yard, hid behind bushes and played, sat underneath trees and whispered stories to one another. it was so sweet to watch!

after a few hours of hanging out, we decided to head out. we really had a great time. i love hanging out with olivia and her family! they are such sweet, eclectic people and they are so easy and fun to talk to!

we said our goodbyes…i was a bit sad to leave because i really enjoyed everyone’s company but i mostly enjoyed watching olive and fiona play together! it was a happy day indeed!

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[love these babes]

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[grandma and ben]

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[rich, ellie, and arron]

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[these two got along so well! it was sooooo stinkin’ cute!]

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[the cuuuuuuuutest girls[

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[they were both into the horse]

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[toddler besties]

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[family]

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[they loved hiding behind the trees and bushes]

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[she loved fiona’s horse]

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[olivia and aaron]

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[their secret hiding spot]

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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