Friday, July 31, 2015

August Goals


Well, I don't know about you, but my July flew by. Actually, the beginning dragged as I woke up every day wondering if I'd go into labor, but once Olivia arrived, things went into fast forward mode! Despite being busier than ever, I still managed to work towards my July goals & I have some August goals set for myself too! I mean, I can't just sit around in my PJs all day every day - though it is tempting with a newborn! 

August Goals: 
  • Clean my closet. 
    • I really need to pack up all of my maternity clothes, list what I'm going to sell on Tradesy, and send the rest over to my sister's house. No more babies for me, she can store them until she decides to have the next one! I also need to get my closet organized for back to school - I'm going to try a new organizational strategy & have a lot of sorting/folding/donating to do! 
  • Get my classroom set up. 
    • My classroom is all cleaned & ready to go thanks to our custodial staff! Now it's my turn to go in, spruce up the bulletin boards, make copies, and prep for opening day! This is especially important because I get back from vacation on Sunday, August 30th & go back to work on Tuesday, September 1st! No time to waste! 
  • Stockpile Breastmilk 
    • I've been exclusively breastfeeding since Olivia has been born, but I know it's time to bust out my pump & start stockpiling for the school year. I'd like to have as much on hand as possible before I go back to work in September & delay the introduction of formula for as long as possible. I'm still not sure how my schedule at work is going to work out for pumping, so I figure the more proactive I am, the better. 
  • Design & Order Olivia's Birth Announcements
    • This is going to require me to decide on a picture to use & to address a ton of envelopes... both seemingly menial tasks that will probably take me forever to accomplish. I just loved Ella's birth announcements though & definitely want to send them out for Olivia as well. Mama just needs to get her act together! 
And how did I do on my July goals? Let's recap...
  • Have a baby! 
    • Done! I think I did a pretty good job too :) 
  • Plan Ella's birthday party! 
    • Done! You can read all about Ella's Flamingo Fiesta here! 
  • Check off 5 items from Ella's Summer Bucket List
    • We did great with this one! So far we've... 
      • Had a playdate with Ethan. 
      • Went to the zoo. 
      • Had a playdate with Addy. 
      • Went to story time at the library. 
      • Got tacos. 
      • Turned 3. 
      • Became a big sister! 
  • Maintain exercise & healthy eating habits.
    • I would say that I fell off the wagon for approximately one week of July & that was the week leading up to Olivia's birth. I wasn't out of control, but I didn't have the willpower to resist ice cream or other treats. I did keep up all of my exercising habits though, and despite not wearing my FitBit at all the week after Olivia's birth, I've worked my way back up to 10,000 steps & am hitting my step goal consistently again! 
  • Get car maintenanced & detailed. 
    • 50% on this one. The car got maintenanced, but didn't get detailed. We've been debating trading it in for a mini-van, so I didn't want to spend a ton of money getting it cleaned just to turn it over the next week. If we don't make a decision/purchase before we go on vacation at the end of this month, it will definitely be getting detailed! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy Birthday Ella!

I have absolutely no idea where time goes. Or how it is even possible that I have a 3 year old. In my mind, she's still very much my baby girl & probably always will be... 





The truth is though, she's most definitely growing up. At 3 years old, Ella is...
  • Talking in complete sentences, with a vocabulary that puts some of my middle schoolers to shame. I have no idea where she comes up with some of the things she says, but she regularly surprises me with just how articulate she is. 
  • On the go. She moves from one thing to the next at a break neck pace. She'll be in the playroom playing with blocks one minute, then asking to the go to the yard the next, only to running inside to watch a show the next.

  • In love with twirly dresses. Seriously, everything has to be twirly. I have to work really hard some morning to convince her that an outfit is "twirly" enough to meet her standards. And  if you take her shopping, you'll have to work hard too. My mom just said to me about a month ago that she never dreamed she'd take a 2 year old shopping & have her tell her that she didn't like something. Girl knows her style. 

  • The best big sister. I didn't know exactly how she'd react to bringing Olivia home, but she's totally embraced her helper role & I just love to watch them together. 

  • Still napping in the afternoon. A lot of people have asked me if she's started to fight me on her nap, and the truth is that yes, some days she does. But those days are few & far between. Most days, she goes down without a problem, or I even find her passed out on her own. It probably helps that Miss Jennie & I are both determined that she's going to keep it up a little bit longer. We need some peace & quiet in our afternoons!
  •  A mama's girl. Sure, she loves her daddy, but I'm her favorite. I secretly love that she's so attached to me. Sure, I complain when I can't get a minute to myself to take a shower, but I know she won't be so attached to me forever, so I try to embrace it as much as possible. 

And just for giggles, I thought it'd be fun to ask Ella a few questions... 
  • Favorite Food: Macaroni & Cheese (you know, the Kraft stuff... only the best for our Ella)
  • Favorite Song: Let It Go
  • Best Friend: Addy
  • Cupcake or Ice Cream: Ice Cream 
  • What do you want for your birthday?
    • Hopper Balls 
    • Dress Up Clothes 
    • Beach Ball

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Miss Ella's Fancy Flamingo Fiesta!

This Saturday evening we celebrated my favorite soon-to-be three year old by hosting Ella's Fancy Flamingo Fiesta in our backyard! 




We had about thirty of our family members & close friends over to our house for a taco bar and a whole lot of back yard fun! Eric was really hesitant to do tacos, but it ended up being super simple & we didn't have to spend our evening in the kitchen. I had everything sliced & diced ahead of time, so all that had to be done was grill the chicken & serve! 





I admit that I kept it pretty low key this year, at least in comparison to last year's party, but I was also really adamant that I didn't want to look back in photos & say "Oh yeah, that was the year I had Olivia & completely blew off Ella's birthday..." With a lot of help from my mom, sister, and mother-in-law, I think I was able to strike a happy medium. 




Barkley wasn't sure what to think about our floating flamingo coozies!


Ella got a water table from Eric's mom - HUGE HIT on a hot & muggy night!


I had no shortage of help holding Olivia! I basically only got to hold her when it was time for her to eat, otherwise she was being passed around like a hot potato.


Ella's boyfriend, Keith, helped her open all of her birthday presents. At first I was worried she was going to flip out, but she actually loved it & they were super cute together.




 Ella got a trampoline from my parents, just like the one she loves at Keith's house! They had a blast jumping on it & I know they'll spend a lot more time on it together in the coming weeks!


I had intended for the pool to be for decoration, but the kids had other plans...



We had funfetti cake with layers of strawberry buttercream filling, iced with pink ombre buttercream down the sides! It was so delicious & I can't say enough good things about Scratch Bake Shop. We had an ordeal with the cake because of the hot and humid weather & they came through with phenomenal customer service to make sure Ella's cake was perfect! If you're local to Rochester, I highly recommend them! 


A huge thanks to my sister for taking all of these photos! I was so busy running around, talking to guests, and feeding Olivia that I barely touched my phone all night. I'm so grateful that she snapped all of these for me! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Favorite Things Party: Red, White, & Blue

Happy Monday friends! We had a very busy weekend celebrating Miss Ella's 3rd birthday with a Fancy Flamingo Fiesta! I'll be sharing more about that later this week, but today I wanted to link up with Andrea & Erika to share my favorite things that are red, white, and blue... 


We love all things America in this house. Want proof? Exhibit A - my husband...




Here are some of my favorite Americana projects & recipes that are perfect for celebrating every patriotic holiday! 



This trifle is always a huge hit! It's super simple to make too. I just layer angel food cake, vanilla pudding, cool whip, and fresh fruit. So delicious & refreshing for summer barbecues! 

I use this free printable (and this one too) to switch out in frames around my house for an easy, patriotic update... 



And of course, I just love dressing us all up in red, white, and blue outfits for the holidays! You can check out some of my past inspiration posts here, here, and here... or just check out some of these photos from holidays past! 








For all of my favorite things Red, White, & Blue, be sure to follow my 'Merica Pinterst Board

Sunday, July 26, 2015

5 Randoms on a Sunday Afternoon

1 - I watched Crazy Stupid Love with Eric while the girls napped this afternoon. That movie never gets old. Ryan Gosling + Emma Stone = Perfection. 

2 - I just got a package from USPS on a Sunday afternoon. Do they do that now? I was so confused when the mail truck pulled up outside. 

3 - The best part of throwing a party is eating all the leftovers the next day. So leftover tacos & birthday cake for dinner it is! 



4 - The worst part of throwing a kids birthday party is assembling all of their toys the next day. Ella has kept us busy all day... 

5 - Today is the first day since I had Olivia that I hit my step goal! I did a walk with my parents & sister this am, then finally tested out my double stroller with the girls & Eric this afternoon. It feels so good to be my active self again!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

What I Wore Wednesday: Real Clothes Edition

Throughout my entire pregnancy, I was extremely honest about my fitness & weight goals. In that spirit, I want to continue to be honest about what I'm wearing & how my body is progressing after pregnancy. With that said, these are my outfits from my first week at home with my little Olivia. 


romper - J.Crew Factory // sandals - Michael Kors via TJ Maxx // watch - Coach


shorts - American Eagle (old) // tank - Loft // button down - J.Crew Factory
diaper bag - Petunia Pickle Bottom // sandals - TJ Maxx

And just a little side note - there have been LOTS of yoga pants & running shorts thrown in between these outfits! 


leggings - Zella from #NSale // tank - Myrtle Beach  

I'm getting dressed to leave the house every day & when we have visitors, but the majority of the time I'm in a nursing tank because I'm basically just Olivia's walking/talking cafeteria right now :) 


Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Recap: New Baby Edition

Our weekend was extremely low key. Mostly time at home, interrupted by short trips out of the house. It started with a lazy Friday night with my sister & brother in law. They brought over pulled pork tacos & we all hung out. Ella was still at her Grandma Nancy's & we all thought the house was eerily quiet without her, but Eric & I embraced it and slept in until almost 9 on Saturday morning. (Well, technically I'd been up many times throughout the night, so I don't know if that still qualifies as sleeping in...) 



Once we were awake & I'd made omlettes, we got a from Eric's mom asking if we wanted to meet them at The Public Market. It was a beautiful day, so we agreed & started to get ourselves ready. OMG - it took us forever to get out the door. Olivia needed to eat, I had to reload the diaper bag, she had a blowout diaper... I forgot how much work it is to leave the house with a newborn! 

Finally, we made our way to the market & met up with everyone. It was super hot & muggy by that time though, so our stay was short. Instead, we headed to have lunch at Jeremiah's, where Ella basically sat on my lap through the whole meal because she was starved for attention... 


After lunch, we headed home for naps all around, then got ready to go to Uncle Matt's Birthday BBQ! We had steaks, potatoes, corn, and a smorgasbord of desserts from Savoia's Pastry Shop! 

Ella brushing her puppy while Liv chills with Aunt Britt

Sunday morning got started around 4 a.m. when Liv woke up & wanted to eat. I crept downstairs & fed her while watching reruns of The Fresh Prince and when she was done, I was wide awake. I toyed with the idea of just chilling in the living room & watching tv while she went back to sleep, but decided I'd be stupid not to go back up to my bed and at least try to go back to bed. Turns out that was a good idea because the whole family ended up sleeping until 7. Well, Eric actually slept until almost 9 while I played downstairs with Ella & Liv wiggled around on the floor next to us. 


I'm so sad this photo is blurry because it was such a precious moment...
We had absolutely zero planned for the day, so I decided to get Ella's pool out for her to play. It was hot & humid for us while we were outside watching her, but she absolutely loved it and played for hours then passed out for a solid nap. 



My Aunt Babs & Grandma Gigi made a surprise appearance after Ella's nap too! They drove up to meet Olivia, but brought Ella her birthday present early so that she'd have something to keep busy with while everyone was doting over the baby. 


The present was definitely a hit! 



Our original plan for the night was to grill up some dinner then walk to get ice cream cones in celebration of National Ice Cream Day. But... Babs & Grandma left just before dinner, and neither Eric nor I had the motivation to cook. So instead, I ran out to grab us some subs for Wegmans and we chased those down with bowls of chocolate peanut butter ice cream  from our freezer. It ended up being far more low key & relaxed, which was exactly what we all needed! 

I spent the rest of the evening snuggling with my girls, taking care of laundry - seriously, one tiny person is making a huge difference in our laundry schedule - and picking up the house.

And that brings us to today... my first day at home with both kids on my own. Wish me luck! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Favorites: Hospital Edition

I never packed my hospital bag with Ella. I know, it's a right of passage, but I really didn't think I needed it yet at 35 weeks when I was unexpectedly admitted to have her & instead just sent Eric a ton of random texts of what I needed. With both of the girls, he went back & forth from the hospital to shower and pick up food, so he was always able to pick up whatever I needed. I'm kind of spoiled like that. 

This time around, I did have my bag packed, as well as Olivia's. So, even though he still got some really random texts about things I "needed," I was for more prepared this time around - one of the perks of an extra month of pregnancy. I'm not going to go into all of the basics, but I did want to share some of the items that I couldn't have lived without and others that we got tons of compliments on in the hospital! 

Favorite #1: Bow Hats

Olivia was known in the labor & delivery wing as the "cute little girl with the bow hat." Everyone who came in would say, "OMG I saw her in the nursery/hall & just loved her hat!" Our lactation consultant even came back in & asked if I could give her the information on where I bought it from because her daughter is pregnant with a little girl too! 


Her bow hat is from Queen Bee Beanies & she actually has two of them. I just love how they look in all of her pictures & that they fit her so well. Expect to be seeing lots of them in the next few weeks... 

Favorite #2: Vera Bradley Baby Blanket 

I bought Olivia's blanket on Zulily, but it's on sale on the Vera Bradley website for $15 right now! This is seriously the softest blanket ever & I just love the satin trim on the edges too. It was a complete impulse purchase, but I'm so glad that I bought it! Olivia loves it & I think it will end up being her "lovie" as she grows. 

Favorite #3: My Life Planner

I didn't have my Life Planner packed in my hospital bag, but I did have it in my handbag when I went to triage on Sunday night (more on that later, but I really thought I'd be going back home after a quick check). So while I didn't intentionally pack it, I am so glad that I had it with me. I used it to keep all sorts of lists & had it on hand to schedule all of our follow up appointments. I'm really starting to question how I ever lived without it... 

Favorite #4: Sweedish Fish & Gummy Worms

You want to make friends? Send your husband out for bulk gummy candy & keep it in your hospital room. Everyone who visited loved our stash & I definitely ate my own share too. 

And you can't purchase my last favorite, but I just have to include them on the list. My mom & dad are absolutely amazing & I am so glad that they were able to be at the hospital just hours after Olivia arrived. They had just been here for the weekend & were literally only 10 minutes away from their home in Saratoga when I called them to let them know I was going to triage to get checked out. I kept reassuring them that I'd be going home & to just go to bed... until I called at 11 & told them I was getting induced! I know that neither of them slept very much that night & they were already getting repacked when Eric called them at 4:45 to tell them that Olivia was here. They made the 4 hour drive back again, rearranged their schedules, pampered Miss Ella & just made my day. Like I said, I just have the best parents... 


Linking Up with Andrea for Friday Favorites... 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Meet Olivia Rose

She's finally here! Our sweet Olivia Rose made her debut at 4:33 a.m. on Monday, July 13th, 2015.  She is a peanut, just like her sister was, and I cannot get enough of her tininess. 





Ella absolutely adores her sister & has been so sweet with her. (It probably didn't hurt that Olivia had a present waiting to give Ella at the hospital.) She's also really happy to be able to climb & snuggle all over her mommy again. 






We were lucky to only have spent less than 48 hours total in the hospital & everyone is happily resting at home! Eric is off for the week & we've had lots of help from our family. It's a quiet kind of crazy & I'm soaking it all in...

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