Life Blip | Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday! Our little baby had his very first birthday!

…Or rather, our little boy!

Last weekend, we celebrated Michael’s 1st birthday with family and friends!

It was a simple gathering, but so much fun. Sometimes, those are the best gatherings. Low stress, high fun! Just how I like things. Our theme was the alphabet and I got all of our supplies from our local teaching store, Target, or Amazon.

If you are curious about his statistics, you can click here for the updates!

sign off!

Baby Update | 12 Months

September 21, 2018…One year. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. That’s how old our baby is! He is on the verge of toddlerhood. I can’t believe it!

For those of you who want to recap his first year…here you go! A quick look at the entire year.
Labor and Delivery
Arrival
Month 1
Month 3
Month 6
Month 9

12 Months Statistics

Weight: 24 pounds and 6 ounces

Height: 30.4 inches

Head Circumference: 19.3 inches

This kid is ON. THE. MOVE! He is crawling, pulling himself up on furniture (and people), climbing the stairs, and LOVES to chase after the dogs! He’ll be walking soon enough!

Too soon, if you ask me and not soon enough for dad!

He has no problem telling you if he’s unhappy OR really excited and is getting the hang of “dancing” his little heart out! Even with all that energy, he will stop for a cuddle for a few minutes throughout the day and will sit on your lap, contentedly, while you read him books.

Waving hello and goodbye are some of his favorite things to do in public. He will yell at you and scowl if you pass him in the stroller and don’t say hi. Consider yourselves warned!

He has gotten the hang of brushing his 7 teeth and has 8 more teeth coming through…ALL at the same time. He had is first dental appointment on Monday, too. Overall, that went well…until he bit the dentist!

He’s making some big steps for a big little boy!

Happy birthday, little pal! Time, slow down!

sign off!

Hello, Again! | Our Last Post to Today

Oh man, you guys! I’m writing this post in present time (10:04AM) with only 30 minutes until nap time is over and an hour before M3’s music class starts. Yikes! I have been severely M.I.A…the last post I published was in July! It is currently September!

First

I wanted to quickly hop on here to tell you that we are alive and well, hoping to come back with a bang at the end of this month, and we’re waist deep in planning for Baby Number 2!

If you weren’t aware that we are pregnant, click here for Our Announcement or here for the First Trimester Update!

Second

We have done a LOT of traveling this summer! From July to September, we have had 3 weddings, 1 extended stay with family in New York, and a mommy-and-me only week long stay at home. We have been BUSY!

I have so many things to talk about when flying with a mobile infant in the weeks to come. Especially, when it comes to solo-flying with said child! Let’s just say, that while it wasn’t horrible, I wouldn’t volunteer to do THAT again!

Third

With being pregnant, my nesting/organizational tendencies are out in full force! This is just my mental list of things that I want to discuss/complete before Baby Number 2 arrives in January…

  • Freezer meals
  • Nursery purchase
  • Nursery organization/decoration
  • General home organization/holiday prep
  • Deciding on a baby name
  • Mommy must haves

I KNOW I just threw a lot at you guys, but I’ve missed writing/talking to everyone. Consider this my last minute, “I need to write/talk before I go crazy” post!

In the comments below, leave what you’d like to see in the upcoming months on this blog! While I am planning out what to write and when to publish, you can find me over on Instagram!

Thanks for sticking around!

sign off!

The Beginning, Round Two| First Trimester Recap

Round two! Ah, the First Trimester is officially over! Thank you, God! Unlike our first, first trimester, the 13 weeks of pregnancy flew by! I was sticker than you’d believe, exhausted, and taking care of a baby. I do mean a baby. During these first 13 weeks, M3, was 6-9 months old.

Month 1

First, let’s get this out of the way. Yes, this baby was planned. We do know this baby and M3 will, at most, be 15.5 months apart. Yes, it’s crazy, but we are THRILLED! Okay, let’s move on!

We got our first positive test on May 20th, 2019. I was 4 weeks and 5 days along! I went to our clinic every 3 days to test my HCG and Progesterone levels from May 20th to May 30th. On May 29th, we had our first ultrasound, heard the heartbeat, and breathed a little sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, during our Memorial Day Weekend Camping trip, I bled…a lot. So much so that I was convinced that we were going to miscarry. It turns out that we did not, thankfully. On the 29th, during the ultrasound, we found out that I have a sub-chorionic hematoma that was causing the bleed.

Month 2

I don’t quite remember when it was, but sometime between months 1 and 2 I found out that I had mono for the second time and probably had it longer than I’d been pregnant. I was told to rest, drink water, and try to eat because I was losing weight a little too fast for comfort.

Between 7 and 8 weeks, I found out that I some how contracted the flu.

We continued to have regular ultrasounds, with the fertility clinic, until we hit the 10-week mark.

Month 3

At the 10-week mark, we were transferred to the high risk OBGYN office that delivered M3.

At 12 weeks, they confirmed that I still had mono and that I was dealing with the flu…again. Yes, for the second time! I was informed that I would likely be this sick throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. Thank you, low immune system!

We took a bunch of blood to test all sorts of different things (thyroid, liver, mono virus), an additional basic CBC, a partial chromosome test, etc. You name it they probably tested me for it! Everything, except the Epstein-Barr virus (mono) came back normal.

Baby’s ultrasound looked great! Heart rate of 175. Good fluid levels. The hemorrhage was healing.

General Info:

Weight: I’m looking at the scale this time around…for now. Being only 6 months postpartum (a 2 months post surgery) when I got pregnant means that I was well above my goal/previous starting weight. Thus far, I’ve only gained about 4.5-6 pounds, depending on the week. It is a very nice change of pace, but I’m still seeing changes in the size of my hands, feet, and face. Swelling, puffy, round.

Cravings/Aversions: I can NOT eat peanut butter chocolate ice cream and any type of meat. I can prepare, cook, and smell meat with no problems! Ask me to eat it and I get physically sick. The only way I’ve been able to have chicken is if it’s in chicken and rice/noodle soup. Even then, though, I can’t think about what I’m eating.

My appetite because of pregnancy, having mono, and having the flu has been close to nonexistent. When I’m hungry, though, I want a cold sweet bell pepper…or 10. It’s not unusual for me to have at least 6 peppers in a single week.

Sleep: Because I have been so sick during this first trimester I am trying to sleep as much as possible. Typically, I fall asleep on the couch, around 8PM. I’ll wake up and get into bed around 9:30PM and almost immediately fall asleep. I will sleep until the baby gets up usually around 6:30AM. For a while, I was sleeping during both of his naps; now I only sleep during one.

On the weekends, my husband will get up with the baby and let me sleep in a bit. I will still nap when baby naps and usually fall asleep earlier. I can not wait to be back to a relatively normal, adult sleep schedule!

Medications: Same exact medications as my last pregnancy’s first trimester. Prednisone (10mg AM, 5mg PM), Heparin injections (5000IU/twice a day), Progesterone (200mg PM), Prenatal with methylated folate (3 pills/day), Baby Aspirin (81mg AM), Zyrtec (10mg AM), Pepcid (20 mg AM, 20 mg PM), Bonjesta (anti-nausea (1 pill PM), Magnesium (200mg PM)

Misc.: Just like the prior pregnancy’s first trimester, my nails need to be kept short or they will break, spilt, or bend. My hair, also, went from fine and growing back (hello, baby hairs!) to fine, limp, heavily falling out, and oilier than normal. …Yay…!

sign off!

9 Month Postpartum Announcement

Well, there is no nine month postpartum update! The announcement I have been waiting to give, fingers crossed, hoping to share is finally here!

Not only have I battled mono and the flu, in the last 3-ish months, but I have been dealing with a new pregnancy!

Yep! We are pregnant!

This baby and M3 will be about 15 months apart. Baby #2 will be joining ys some time in mid-January. Thankfully, and hopefully, giving us a chance to get through the holiday craziness. Wish us luck!

Being pregnant, again, has presented quite a few challenges. At this point, I LOOK much farther along than I am. Today (7/17/19), I am 13 weeks. I’m super sick and truly exhausted! My body hurts already and the carpal tunnel is flaring up. I’m so grateful!

Come back this Saturday, for the First Trimester Recap! In the meantime, I am taking advantage of nap time and taking a nap myself!

If you want to compare the pregnancies, here is the First Trimester Recap of M3!

Leave any tips and tricks for having 2 under 2 in the comments below!

Want more postpartum discussion? Every post related to postpartum is here!

sign off!

Baby Update | Nine Months

9 Months Statistics

Weight: 21 pounds and 15 ounces

Height: 28.5 inches

Holy cow! This kid is GROWING!

His hair is getting really long and when damp, it’s starting to curl. It’s, also, getting REALLY light. I’m not sure if his hair is coming in blonde or just getting lighter because we are outside more.

He officially has 6 teeth, rolls around like a champ and wants to move SO badly! He’ll get up on his knees and rock, but that’s about it.

He still loves his food, especially peanut butter! Put a microscopic blob of peanut butter on anything and he WILL devour it.

He’s babbling (read: screaming) still and has started to say “ba ba ba” over and over again. He’s starting to refuse to be alone, so we’re trying to figure out how to handle that…

We’ve moved from two 2 hour naps plus an hour catnap to two 2 hour naps. I don’t even want to think of the day where we go down to one nap…that’s going to be such a SAD day!

It’s amazing the milestones he’s hitting!

sign off!

Free or Cheap | Summer Activities

Back in April, I did the spring version of Free or Cheap, but today I’m focusing on family-friendly, outdoor, summer activities. You can go as a family or turn these ideas into a date night!

Pools

If you’re like me, you don’t have your own backyard pool to relax in at night…or to have your kids burn off some energy. You might have an outdoor community pool that you pay for via HOA, or a recreation center/YMCA.

If you belong to an HOA that has a pool…What. Are. You. Waiting. For! Go use it! Get your monies worth!

If you don’t, head over to a recreation center. They may have pool, day, or summer passes. If you are sure if it’s something your family would enjoy, ask around. You might be surprised that someone you already know is a member. You could be their guest for a day and check it out!

Town splash pad/farmers market

Every Saturday, in the spring and summer, our town has a Farmer’s Market in the town center. Conveniently, it is located at the park which has a cute little splash pad.

You could take up an entire morning or early afternoon with just this event. If you go in the morning, you could grab breakfast out, walk to the farmers market, do some shopping, and walk through the splash pad. If you go in the afternoon, switch out breakfast for lunch!

summer actitivities
Splash pad

Library Perks: Adventure Pass

Our county library has what they call adventure passes. If you go on their website, you can enter for a free family pass at different parks, museums, concerts, etc.

Yes, free! As long as someone in the family is a library member, the entire family can get access to these places. I can also use my membership to get extend trial periods on specific digital media, online classes, etc. While your library may differ in their offerings, it is always worth checking out!

Chamber of Commerce: Summer Kick off

Our Chamber has started putting on a summer event that is free to the community. It has water games, regular games, splash zones, food, and shade. It’s like a mini carnival meant for kids from 0-12 to enjoy.

This will be our first time going, so I’ll keep you updated. My thought with this event is that even if we only go for an hour and then leave for nap time, at least we got out and moved around in the sun!

Free Concerts

Concerts are always fun, but free concerts are even better!

The summer concerts here are held at the recreational centers outdoor area, near the kid’s park. The music is usually something everyone in the family can enjoy, you bring your own food, can move around at will, and you are home at a decent time–usually by 9PM.

Another perk I almost forgot about? The sun is setting during the concert so you aren’t sitting out in the scorching heat!

It’s a win-win for everyone!


If you couldn’t tell, my goal with the summer activities list is to tire out any and all family members! In the comments, leave any of your suggestions or let me know if you found any outdoor activities you didn’t know existed!

sign off!

Book Club | Spring/Summer Reading List

Oh man, my posting schedule is ALL messed up! I posted our Life Blip on Monday (some TWO weeks ago) and this Reading List post keeps getting pushed back week after week. I’m hoping that this week I can work to get back on track because I MISS writing and create content!

For those who don’t follow on Instagram, I was FINALLY told that I have Mononucleosis, for the second time. It has truly kicked my BUTT! I am officially on the mend, but it is going to take quite a while before I’m feeling like myself again.

The one positive of having mono, if there is one, is that I got to put together my summer reading list! It’s a little different this year compared to previous years, but I’m still very much looking forward to knocking out these books one by one!

I’m “reading” all of these books via Audible because I really don’t have the energy to sit down and crack open a book at the end of the day. With that said, I can listen to a book just about anywhere, anytime.

Note: The links provided are affiliate links. The price has not and will not change. I may make a small commission from your purchase, at no cost to you.

My List

book club reading list

Grace, Not Perfection | Little Fires Everywhere | Take Control of Your Life | Shelter In Place | The 3 Day Effect | More Bedtime Stories | A Mind of Her Own | Cultivate What Matters

My goal when creating this list was to get as close to equal genres as I could–fiction v. non fiction. If you counting, no I didn’t do a fantastic job of that, but oh well! I have 3 fiction books on my list and 5 non-fiction/self discovery books.

As of today (July 2, 2019) I’m already reading the first book, Grace, Not Perfection. I chose this book first because it’s one of the shortest books on the list and I figured it’d be an easier read/listen. So far, so good!

My Plan

I gave myself from June 21 (the start of summer) until September 22. September 23, 2019 is the first day of Autumn and we’ll start the next reading list!

That was 93 days to read. From today (July 2), I have 82 days to read. If I’ve done the math right, I need to listen to a total of 3247 minutes. It seems like a ton, but if broken down, it equates to about 40 minutes of listening a day.

THAT I can do!

Do you have a summer reading list you’re trying to check off? Do you want to join me in this reading list? If so, comment down below!

sign off!

Life Blip | Baptism Weekend

Oh man! Let’s go into today’s “surprise” post with an apology! This Life Blip is almost 2 FULL WEEKS late. I have promised to get it posted MANY times and have come alarmingly farther from the original posting day. So here we are. I’m eating lunch, trying to type this out and post it within the next 30 minutes. Let the writing of “Life Blip | Baptism” commence!

I can’t believe that the last Life Blip was back in January! Yikes, I need to get better at these!

June 1st brought a bunch of family and friends together and we celebrated M3’s baptism. It was a really fun family affair weekend that isn’t able to happen nearly enough anymore!

Friday

We started the weekend off on Friday by going up to Idaho Springs for lunch, ice cream, and to tour the town!

From there, we went to my in-laws for pizza, beers, and some solid family fun time before the craziness of the baptism took over! M3 refused to go to sleep at their house that night, so we decided to throw routine out the door and let him stay up and hang. The poor kid is too stubborn for his own good and could barely hang! I think his favorite part of the night was rolling on the floor with Dad.

Life Blip | Baptism
Rolling around with Dad!

Saturday

The day of his baptism was also his second swim lesson! He is a tiny little fish who LOVES splashing, “jumping” in the water, and cruising around the pool! My parents and grandfather were able to come and watch his lesson, which was so fun!

Swim lesson!

Rounding out the weekend was his baptism! I was a little nervous how he’d handle the blessing and anointing process, but he was a champ! He talked to and over the deacon that preformed his service and was a little ham for the photos!

It was a great weekend!

sign off!

Room By Room | Entry & Nook

I asked, you answered…here it is! I haven’t done a Room By Room post in quite a while! In fact, my last Room By Room post was about the Nursery back in SEPTEMBER! Yikes, that was far too long ago!

Anyway, as the title shows, we are talking ALL about our entryway and entry nook area. This has, by far, been the hardest room to decorate and maintain functionality. Not only is this area our welcome center into our home, it also doubles as my little office space. It can, and does, get overrun with papers, baby gear, shoes, coats, and more!

Room by Room
View from our front door, beyond the foyer

All that said, this room will always be a work in progress. Our needs for this area will always change as kids get added to the family, as we all get a little older, as we entertain more (or less). There are so many factors.

Foyer

Currently, our foyer is only used to welcome guests, which allows us to keep this area pretty clean and simple. Even though it is a tight space, I still wanted this area to feel homey and inviting. I truly believe first impressions are everything.

In the little corner of our foyer I’ve set up what I call my seasonal station! Everything in this area is easily changeable. The signs get swapped out every season and for every major holiday. It sounds expensive, yes, but it’s NOT!

Room by Room
The first thing you will see when we open the door!

I get all the decor after the season ends and the stores deeply discount it. Each season/holiday has cost me, at most, $10. The key here is patience! The first 2 years may look sparse to you, but if you wait for the good sales, a coupon, or maybe even a hand-me-down you can achieve a nicely decorated space, inexpensively! Bonus points if some of your pieces can work for multiple seasons/year round!

For reference, it has taken me about 5 years (and counting) to gather all of the pieces.

Nook

Ahh, this nook. This is my little office space and love it! It can be tricky keeping it functional, but pretty. The best way, I’ve kept it pretty (and tied into the rest of the room) is by putting a few decor pieces on the wall.

My only requirement that I had for what went on the wall was that every piece be a natural wood tone. This way, it can easily tie into the rest of the space without me having to worry about or over think what was being placed.

Again, this area has taken me time, was gathered inexpensively, and is still a work in PROGRESS! The wall hangings were all under $10 each. If I did my math right, the entire wall cost about $15.

Room by Room
My work space/office tucked inside the nook!

Then there is the actual working space. This is a trouble spot for me. I use this desk to write, pay bills, plan, manage our life. Trying to keep the clutter to a minimum is highly important and an incredible challenge!

If you have any ideas or tips leave them in the comments below!

My plan is to get a filing cabinet for the basement. This will remove A LOT of the paper work that gets trapped in this area. Once that is done, I can repurpose the folder holder and computer stand to hold the stuff I actually use. I’m also thinking of getting a little self to display notebooks and planners.

Gallery Wall

These frames, and a lot of these photos, have lived in many houses! Less than half of them have lived in 4 houses, which means they’ve miraculously survived Army moves. If you are curious what our gallery wall looked like at our last house, click here!

Let’s get this out of the way! All the frames have come from either Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The decor pieces have come from several different clearance locations. Target, Amazon, Hobby Lobby, and even a garage sale. Because styles change so quickly, I am not willing to invest in these pieces.

Placement and Decisions

The most important part of setting up a gallery wall is to measure out the area you are using and then mark it on the floor. Know where your mid-point is and be willing to leave it and come back to it. When I did my first gallery wall in Texas, the frames stayed on the floor for an entire 3 day weekend, so that we could change things with ease!

Once our placement was decided, we started hanging. In the beginning, we left space to add more photos. Yeah, it looked a little funny for a couple of months, but I didn’t want to completely have to redo the entire wall any time we added another frame or decor item.

room by room
As you can see, I have a couple of empty spots on the wall. My frames are coming today (day this is posted). I will put an updated photo, both here and on Instagram once they arrive!

Tricks and Tips

Three tricks I’ve learned, over the last 5+ years, are to buy an equal number of frames and/or decor pieces, to hang the frames you plan to use (even without the photo), and know when to stop.

What I mean by an equal number of frames or decor pieces, is this. If you are slowly adding to your wall and you’re ready to add a frame, add two. It will balance you wall. You could add one frame and one decor piece or 2 frames and 1 decor piece. Look at the size of the bigger item and balance it out.

Secondly, if you’re wanting to add 5 frames, but only have 2 photos, add the photo-less frames to your wall. While you may notice the stock photo at every glance, your guests may not. To their eyes, the gallery wall is filled. In doing this, you can also see the photo sizes you need instead of guessing which makes your life easier!

Lastly, know when to stop. This will look different for everyone, but knowing when to stop adding pieces is important. If you’re nervous about the wall not looking fresh, remember you will change out the photos in the frames. Maybe dedicate 4 frames that get new photos every season and one frame that highlights the family every year. If you want to change out your decor pieces, take it off the wall and bring it to the store so you can compare it to new items. Or take measurements and go scour different places for new pieces.


I’m not kidding when I tell you that this takes time and some (though not a lot of ) money. We’ve been in this house for 15 months and are just now finalizing decor pieces. Oh, that gallery wall? We’ve been working on that and collecting pieces for it since we got married. In 2013!

If you have any thoughts on how we might be able to better utilize space in the entry, leave it in the comments below!

sign off!