Best Moments of 2014

2013 was such an amazing year with a new house, Kyle's grad school graduation, and a new baby that I wasn't sure how 2014 would even come close, let alone top it.  Well folks 2014 has done it.  It has been even better than 2013 and I feel so incredibly blessed and lucky for the past year we have had.

I did my top five moments for 2013, you can find my 2013 recap here, so I decided to stick with tradition and do one for 2014.  Only I added an extra one in and to be honest it was so hard to narrow it down to only six!  
So without further ado...

February 11, 2014- Kitchen Renovation is complete

 I still owe you all a few posts on our kitchen renovation and all the details which I promise to get to this year!! Here is a little sneak peek I did last May and you can find my before pictures under our house tab.

March 1, 2014- The day we find out we're having baby #2

Our good news would be confirmed on 3/28/14

June 10, 2014- Baby #2 is a BOY!

 June 30, 2014- Miller Starts Walking

He took his first unassisted steps 3 days before his first birthday but then didn't do much else until the Monday afterward where he started walking more and more!  Don't worry he didn't hurt himself after the fall in the second video :)

June 27, 2014- Miller's 1st Birthday

I still can't believe my baby is already a year and a half old!!  I have a full recap of Miller's first birthday in my drafts that I hope to actually share with you this month! (only 6 months late)

November 4, 2014- Matthew Joseph is Born

I still can't believe this time last year I had not even a clue that we would be adding another baby boy to our family! While Matthew was a bit of a surprise, he's the best surprise I've ever gotten and I think God knew exactly how to complete our little family. 

Isn't it amazing how much life can change in just one year?!  I can't wait to see what 2015 holds for us! (and no it won't be another baby. I can promise you that much)



End of the Year Sales

Are you all taking advantage of all the sales going on right now? Do you have Christmas money that is just waiting to be spent? I did a really good job avoiding the sales before Christmas so I have my eye on quite a few things this week since I have some extra money to spend.

Below are my favorites. Click on the picture for details!

Nordstrom Clearance Sale is one of my favorites since Nordstrom rarely has sales! Some of the prices are so good.  Those Seven jeans are some of my favorites and I've been dying for a pair of Zella live in leggings for months.

Rag & Bone is offering an extra 25% off their sale items with the code Holiday25. If you're looking to get your hands on a pair of the Newbury booties the gray and camel canvas are available. The camel is $180 with the 25%  off and the gray is $187.50! A steal considering they retail for $495

Shopbop just added a bunch of great items to their sale and you can get an extra 25% off with the code CHEERS2015!. Those Rag & Bone jeans are another favorite and I've had my eye on those Splendid Laventa booties for months now.

J.Crew is offering 40% off all winter sale items with the code STYLE2015.  I'm loving those buffalo check pajama pants and that infinity scarf.  I also love a good pea coat with gold buttons.  I highly recommend the tassel-trim top too. I've worn mine a ton since I've had it.

So have you done any after Christmas shopping?  What did you pick up? Are you waiting for the new arrivals and spring(!!) clothes to arrive in January?



Christmas 2014

Happy Monday after Christmas everyone!  I'm off to a slow start today because Kyle is still off work so I'm enjoying being lazy and hanging around the house with the kids.

Did everyone have a good Christmas holiday? Ours was good but so incredibly exhausting. I've come to the conclusion that two kids isn't double the work, it's ten times the work.  We started the Christmas week off right with Kyle's boss' holiday party. It's always such a blast and fun to socialize with Kyle's co-workers wives.

I ended up buying the Eliza J dress with the lace sleeves for the party and Christmas eve. This is the only pic I snapped which was at almost 12am after some cocktails so we're not looking our best!

I spent most of last week running around trying to finish up all our Christmas shopping.  We did our usual Christmas eve tradition with a party at a family friend's house followed by present opening at my parent's house.  I have no pictures except for one of Kyle and the boys before we left for the night.

We had so much fun playing Santa this year.  Miller was totally over the top spoiled by us and everyone else and we've already hid half of his presents to pull out through out the year as needed.

Ignore the mismatch rug and pillows-  we just threw away our navy blue rug that was destroyed and this is an old one we had on hand in the garage until we buy a new one.

Kyle refused to participate in matching family jammies this year #grinch but at least I can still force the boys into dressing like me 

My parents came over for Christmas morning brunch and then we headed to their house for dinner. I only managed one family photo in all the chaos and Miller was over it at this point.

My aunt and uncle gifted us two cooper mugs and we've been putting them to use every night since Christmas! Moscow Mules are my favorite cocktail and taste so much better in the cooper mug.

On Saturday we headed up to PA for a few hours to visit Kyle's family and have Christmas with them. Again no pictures but this one after I'd changed the boys into their jammies for the drive back to MD. Can you  see a theme of a constant moving toddler= blurry photos!?

After all the gluttony of the holiday season I ventured out on my first post baby run! I only made it a little over a mile but it still felt good to get my blood flowing and my legs moving.  I'm hoping to get back out there a few times this week since Kyle is off work.

I've decided it's high time to invest in that nice camera as I look back over our crappy iPhone pictures from the past week. 
As sad as I am to see the holiday go I am excited to get back into our routine and start off 2015 on the right foot! 

Anyone have any fun New Year's Eve plans?!


PaperRamma Art Prints and a Nursery Peek

When it came time to start looking for prints and artwork for Matthew's nursery the first place I looked was Etsy.   I knew that I wanted to include the quote "Dream big little one" somewhere in his nursery but I wasn't sure where or how yet.

While browsing the hundreds of options for that quote I stumbled upon this one from PaperRamma.

Since the nursery has a loose elephant theme this one was perfect. The print could be customized into any color from their large color selection chart.  Since the walls of Matthew's nursery are light gray blue I decided to go with the grain background color and kept the elephants gray and the font white.  

Here is the print in his nursery: 

I absolutely love the way it turned out! I decided to display it right on top of the bookshelves since books help to build a child's imagination and vocabulary giving them a foundation to go out and dream big. 

The print was available in 8x10, 11x14, 16x20 art print or canvas print. 20x30 art print and 18x24 canvas print so you have a lot of options.  I went with the 8x10 print. 

The girls from PaperRama were wonderful to work with and I highly suggest checking them out!  They offer a large selection of art prints not just for nursery but for weddings, anniversaries, sports, grandparents and more. 

Here are a few other nursery prints I like: 

Because I know everyone likes to know where everything is from here are the sources:
Dream Big Little One Print c/o PaperRamma
Stuffed Elephant: Pottery Barn Kids
Shelves: Ikea
Books: Gifts, Marshalls, and Barnes and Noble

I promise to finally have my full nursery reveal in the new year because it's just about finished!



Last Minute Shopping: J.Crew

Are you  finished your Christmas shopping? I'm about 85%  done but still need to pick up a few small things.  J.Crew is having such good sales lately that they've been my one of my favorites this holiday season. 

In stores & online: 40% off sweaters and more holiday favorites for women, men, girls and boys 
30% off everything else
Extra 40% off winter sale styles
Use code GIFTNOW

If you still need to get a last minute gift here are a few ideas for the people in your life. Click on the picture to view the item.

For the Ladies:

For the Guys:

For the Kids:

Are you all finished your Christmas shopping?


Postpartum Essentials

I promise one of these days I will stop talking about pregnancy, babies, postpartum, etc. Until then I wanted to share my postpartum favorites this time around. You can see my postpartum essentials from after Miller here

Postpartum Favorites

1. Bellefit Postpartum Girdle Corset- This corset has been amazing!! After Miller was born I just wore Spanx to help stabilize my incision and they worked fine but this time I wanted something different. Since I had two babies in 16 months my ab muscles were pretty much done after this pregnancy. I decided to splurge on this corset and I'm so happy I did.  It has made my c-section recovery a breeze! Instead of being uncomfortable as I expected it's actually so comfortable and has given me the ability to move around and  recover faster. The other bonus is that my stomach has gone down considerably since I've been wearing it.  I'm shocked at how flat it is at only 6 weeks postpartum.  I highly suggest one of these corsets to anyone who just had a baby but especially to anyone who had a c-section. The price seems high but trust me you  will get your money's worth!

2. Gilligan & O'Malley Nursing Sleep Bras- These are a must have for nursing mamas.  You will quickly learn without a bra on at night you will leak everywhere and these are so comfortable you don't even feel like you're wearing a bra. I usually have these on day and night

3. Hooter Hider Nursing Cover-One of my girlfriends let me her Hooter hider nursing cover since Layla chewed mine and I love it!  It's made nursing on the go so easy.

4. Lansinoh Nursing Pads- These are a must have and my favorite brand! They never disappoint and you can get the 100 count pack at Target.

5. Bobeau Wrap Cardigan- These are not pregnancy related but this cardigan has been my favorite over the last 6 weeks. I've asked for 2 more for Christmas in some fun colors.  They could double as a nursing cover as needed plus it's flattering and comfortable.

6. Solly Baby Wrap-This wrap has been a lifesaver! Matthew loves to be held and with a 17 month old who still needs a lot of attention it's been tough. I'm not going to lie I don't exactly love baby wearing like some people do but the Solly Baby Wrap is easy to use and Matthew loves it so it's a win-win. The bonus is that the Solly Baby brand comes in fun colors and patterns.

So there you have it! Let me know if you have any questions about any of the items.

What were your postpartum essentials?



Thoughts for Thursday: 6 Week Baby Update

It has officially been 6 weeks and 2 days since Matthew was born.  I feel like we're finally emerging from the postpartum fog and feeling more and more human everyday.  I wanted to give a little update on Matthew and newborn life the second time around.

Matthew: 6 Weeks

Weight: 10lbs 9oz (75th percentile)
Length: 22.75 inches (90th percentile)
Head:  37.5 cm (25th percentile)
Stats as of 1 month appointment

So far he's a little bit bigger than Miller, not too much but you can see Miller's stats here.  The only place he's behind is head size!

Eating:  Matthew is still 100% breast milk and doing well. We've had some feeding issues because I have a huge oversupply and overactive let down so breastfeeding can get really stressful because he gets too much milk to fast. I realize having too much milk is a blessing not a curse but it's hard to watch your baby try to feed but end up choking, coughing, turning red, and getting upset. I'm working on some things to fix it like pumping, certain feeding holds, and at least 1-2 bottles a day that aren't stressful for him to help even things out. The doctor and lactation consultant both say he should be able to handle the oversupply as he gets older but if he doesn't and continues to choke we may move to exclusive pumping. 

Sleeping: Matthew has been a great sleeper so far. We've even had some 5 hour stretches out of him! His typical schedule at night is sleep 7-10pm, awake 10-12 or 10-1, and then down from 12-5 or 12-6am. The long stretch after midnight is such a blessing that I do not take it for granted. Trust me Miller was never this good at this age so maybe this will be my good sleeper.

Temperament: Matthew's personality is really starting to come out!  He's so different from Miller already it's crazy.  Even though I've done this parenting gig before it still feels completely new because Matthew is his own person with different needs and wants from Miller's.  Matthew loves to be held, a lot. Miller could easily be soothed by the swing or bouncer while Matthew prefers to be soothed by being held.  If he had his way I would hold him all day every day! Since I have a 17 month old that still needs a lot of attention I've been doing a lot of baby wearing these days which has made life easier. Matthew also loves some things Miller hated and hates some things Miller loved! These kids sure know how to keep us on our toes.

Here are some of our favorites this month:

One Month Favorites

 Baby Jogger 2014 City Select Stroller w/2nd Seat this stroller has been awesome and has been a total  life saver running errands and walking the mall. It took a little getting used to but now that I have the hang of it it's easy to maneuver.

Fisher-Price Snugabunny Cradle 'N Swing - this is the only place Matthew will sleep other than on my chest! So we're going with it. He hates the Rock n Play which Miller loved- go figure!

Graco Pack 'N Play with Newborn Napper- Matthew will sleep in this newborn napper sometimes but the changing table has been key! I've also been using it for Miller again (because he wants to lay up there too) so it's doing double duty

Dr. Brown's BPA Natural Flow Bottle - Still love these bottles and Matthew has taken them like a champ.

WubbaNub Brown Puppy- Matthew loves these pacifiers. Miller would never take them but so far they've been perfect for Matthew. I love that the little animal attached to them helps to keep the pacifier in his mouth

Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort Breast Pump- - I just saw while searching to link this that this model has been discontinued by the manufacturer (not sure why).  I still love mine 17 months later and have had no problems using it 2-3 times a day.

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags- Love these storage bags! I've been building a freezer supply and these are great for storing large quantities since they can lay flat which is key since I have limited freezer space.

Aden + Anais  Muslin Swaddle Blanket- unlike his brother Matthew loves to be swaddle and so far these are the only blankets he likes to be swaddled in.

Fisher-Price Bath Tub- I had planned on getting a new tub but Matthew has loved this one so far and smiles and coos during bathtime, so for now we're keeping it!

Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base, Pegaso- Again unlike his brother Matthew loves the car seat!! Driving with Miller for the first 4 months of life was awful and stressful because he screamed non stop. Buckle Matthew in and get the car moving and he's asleep within five minutes! It's been so nice and made running errands with him a breeze.

I will be back tomorrow with my postpartum favorites and stay tuned because I'm sharing my c-section recovery secret weapon!!

If you have two or more kids did they love and/or hate different baby products?!

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Family Christmas Pajamas

Last year I decided that we were going to have a new tradition of matching Christmas pajamas that we would all wear on Christmas eve.  I wanted them for the whole family so I went with Hanna Andersson since they have baby, child, and adult sizes.  I also went with Hanna Andersson because I didn't want to have to buy a new pair every year for everyone in the family and their quality is impeccable and lasts forever!  

Here are some pictures from last year:

 ignore my lack of make up and look how little Miller is :(

I decided that girls got the red stripe with the green trim and boys got the green stripe with the red trim. Matthew will be wearing Miller's pair from last year even though they'll be gigantic, Kyle and I still have ours from last year so the only person who got a new pair was Miller (which hopefully he can wear again next year or Matthew can wear).   Kyle absolutely REFUSED to wear the stripes so he got a solid green pair. I couldn't find the green on their website this year so I included the pair he has in the navy color.   I even included Layla in our tradition :).  I'm hoping this year we can get a family picture of everyone in their pajamas.

Family Christmas Pajamas

Daddy:  Thermal long johns in solid top, Thermal long john bottom solid
Mommy: Long john pajama top stripe, Long john pajama bottom stripe
Miller: Kid/toddler long john pajama
Matthew: Baby/toddler night night sleeper
Layla: Very Merry Dog Johns

I know the tradition is kind of cheesy but I know I can't be the only that does matching family pajamas!!  So tell me do you and your husband, kids, pets have matching Christmas pajamas?

Linking up with: 

Holiday Linkup


Meeting Santa and Family Photos

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Ours was good but went by way too fast, as always. I still can't believe Christmas is only 10 days away!

On Friday my mom and I took the boys to see Santa.   I wasn't sure how Miller was going to act because up until just a few weeks ago he hasn't had much stranger anxiety.  He was very excited and loved seeing all the little kids until it was our turn. Once he realized it was his turn to sit on the big man's lap he lost it.  He was crying much harder than the photo below but I told him if he just sat one more minute and tried to smile he could have a cookie. He pulled it together a little better after that. I felt sort of bad but it was sort of hysterical too.

As I mentioned last week we had family photos taken the first week of December.  I decided to do these very last minute after Matthew was born because I had no idea what to do about a Christmas card and I wanted some individuals of him as a newborn.  We used Lauren Gaynor Photography and I'm so happy with her work. Her prices were so reasonable and she had the proofs to me later that night since she knew I wanted to use them for Christmas cards! Since Matthew was a newborn and temperatures were freezing we decided to do the photos inside our house.  Getting a 17 month old to sit still for a photo is pretty much impossible but I think Lauren did a great job and I love all the shots!

Hope everyone has a great week!
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