Baby Bumps! Weeks 7, 8 & 9

Here’s a recap of the last 3 weeks! (I added all the questions back in now). From here out I’ll try to stick to one recap a week instead of these long ones! Now that we’ve told a lot of people and next week is my last IVF Doctor Appt. I’ll be making the blog public again soon!

August 3rd – Week 7  

How far long? 7 weeks 5 days

Total weight gain/loss: 1.6 lbs probably because healthy food is loosing its appeal and I’ll just eat anything that I think I can stomach.

Maternity Clothes: Not yet, I told my sister this week though and so she gave me her bin of maternity clothes so I have some stuff to go through now before I do need anything.

Stretch Marks: Nothing. Worried about how my appendectomy scar is going to look in a few months though! Hopefully it had enough time to heal before it starts stretching!

Sleep: Sleeping great! And out like a light by 10pm. Sometimes I need a nap when I get home from work, my body is just so tired. Dan will take Ada outside to play and let me lay on the couch for a half hour after dinner. Ada had a few sleepless nights over the weekend which nearly sent me over the edge in patience, but she is back to sleeping again, thank goodness!

Best moment this week: Had another sonogram today. This is the one I have been waiting for. My nerves have been on edge trying to get through week 6 and thankfully everything looked great! She had nothing bad to report, we saw a little flickering heart beat at 159 bpm and the crown to rump measurements were exactly on point with 7 weeks 5 days.

Have you told family and friends: I told my sister and brother in law this past weekend but we haven’t been able to tell anyone else. Dan was out of town all weekend so we weren’t able to tell Ada. We want to tell her together obviously and we have to be strategic about telling her, because once we do its game over, she’ll tell everyone, lol

Miss Anything? Not really. I’ve been doing pretty good lately.

Movement: Not yet.

Food cravings: Peaches! I’ve been buying them like crazy and I’m the only one in the house who will eat them, so more for me!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Doing better on the nauseous thing this week. Last week was bad and I was afraid it was only going to get worse, but so far its not been terrible. Still a little bit when I am getting hungry, my pre-natal vitamins are getting harder and harder to take. And once in awhile I just feel like I can’t eat anything at all, but once I do manage, I’m ok.

Have you started to show yet: I don’t think so, but feeling a little thicker lately. It varies by day!

Gender prediction: Still thinking boy, but so far things have been pretty similar to my pregnancy with Ada, so maybe girl?

Labor Signs: No

Belly Button in or out? My belly button is so messed up and funny looking from my first pregnancy and from a couple of the surgeries I had, so I am terrified to watch and see what it turns into this time. I told Dan I’m having surgery to fix it once we’re done having babies.

Wedding rings on or off? On, all the time.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! We’ve had lots of family in town for Dan’s brother’s wedding and so we’ve spent a lot of time with them! I wish we could have told everyone in person while they were here, but the timing was not right. We have some hurdles I wanted to get through before I opened up to everyone about everything. I’m excited to start telling everyone though!

Looking forward to: I guess see above. Starting to tell family and friends will be happening soon, so hopefully I can document some of that and share it on the blog!

Here was our second sonogram at 7 weeks 5 days. A little bigger then 2 weeks ago!!

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And here’s just an adorable picture of Ada with her two cousins from the night we went to my sister’s and told them! Ada still didn’t know at that point so we had to keep quiet, but she was busy playing with the girls anyway!!

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August  9th – Week 8

How far long? 8 weeks, 4 days

Total weight gain/loss: 1.6 pound still.

Maternity Clothes: Not yet,  I went through the bin my sister gave me and pulled some things out. I guess I’m kinda excited to dress the bump for fall and winter this time. The seasons are exactly opposite of my pregnancy with Ada, so I’ll definitely need to do a little shopping, there wasn’t much I can use.

Stretch Marks: No

Sleep: I wake up a few times a night but usually have no trouble getting back to sleep. I usually have to get up to pee at least once, otherwise I’m in pain in the morning! I’ve had some crazy vivid dreams though!

Best moment this week: Telling Ada!!! We took a video of us telling Ada about the baby in my tummy and it was beyond perfect. Her reaction was everything for a 3.5 year old! She was so excited at first, and kept asking me if I really had a baby in my tummy, like she didn’t believe me. Then I made a comment about her having to share mommy and daddy and she broke down into uncontrollable tears forever! lol The next morning though she was really, very excited, I think she was crying because she was a bit overtired and it was right before bedtime!

Have you told family and friends: Its been so hard figuring out the logistics of telling people this time because we knew Ada would talk, we wanted to make sure we told her first, but we also want to make sure we are there if she tells anyone else. Its been tricky having a chatty almost 4 year old. But in some ways it makes telling people easier because she is more then willing to tell everyone for us. She told Grandma yesterday morning. She was leaving for California for 2 weeks, so she stopped by before school to say goodbye and Ada just kept showing her the sonogram picture. Grandma was of course thrilled! Later that day we told the rest of Dan’s brothers and sisters by sending out a group text message, not the ideal way to share the news but with more then half of them living out of state its the only way to make sure everyone finds out at the same time! We’re telling my parents tomorrow night, having them over for dinner on the patio!

Miss Anything? Wine or a nice summer cocktail outside on my patio. Flavored water with mint in a wine glass has been a decent substitute but not what I really want.

Movement: Too soon, but I cannot wait to feel this again!

Food cravings: Not really, I’m not too much into sweets usually and this week every night I’ve wanted chocolate peanut butter ice cream or s’mores with peanut butter on them! Maybe its the peanut butter I’m craving!

Anything making you queasy or sick: A little nauseous again this week here and there. Nothing really major and fortunately I haven’t actually gotten sick yet.  Its still usually when I have an empty stomach.

Have you started to show yet: Not really but by the night time I definitely feel like I am showing. I don’t know what it is about the end of the day?

Gender prediction: If judging by the heart rate in our first sonogram where it was detectible I’d say girl. It was 159. Old wives tales says anything over 140 is a girl and under is a boy. The first sono was a lot earlier then usual, so I’ll bring the jury back out in 2 weeks when we go for our next sonogram and see what it is then.

Labor Signs: No

Belly Button in or out? Flat for now.

Wedding rings on or off? Always on.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy, frustrated with our house still being for sale, but I think that’s unrelated to anything hormonal and just normal frustrations of selling a house. Now that we know we have a baby on the way, I’m just more anxious then anything to get the house stuff sorted out and moving on.

Looking forward to:  Our next sonogram which is my last appointment with the Fertility Doctor. I will sure miss her, they have been fantastic there. But looking forward to meeting our new ob/gyn as well, and of course getting another sonogram with them! I hope I have good insurance!

 

Here is a snapshot of the text we sent to family telling them!!

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And here is one of the first weeks I remembered to have Dan take a bump picture for me!

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8 1/2 weeks Preggo with # 2

 

August 15 – Week 9

How far long? 9 weeks, 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: up 3 pounds (My app says 1-5 pounds is normal for the first trimester, I haven’t been eating so great lately though, so its time to watch that!)

Maternity Clothes: No

Stretch Marks: No, the inside of where my appendectomy was is pretty sore though lately and I have a feeling its related to everything inside starting to move around and push things. Definitely something I have to address with my doctor as I’m really afraid its going to get worse.

Sleep: Ada has been not sleeping so great, which means I am not sleeping great. I am usually in bed by 10pm and out within minutes. I think she has allergies, so on days when she is outside or in the grass a lot she wakes up with coughs, boogers and all itchy. Also something I may address with HER doctor soon.

Best moment this week: Telling our friends (see below)

Have you told family and friends: We told a bunch of our close friends on Saturday, which was really fun. Dan just threw the sonogram picture out on the table and walked away, there were then 6 girls sitting there trying to figure out whose picture it was, until someone finally grabbed it and read the name! They were all very excited for us as they all know how long we’ve been trying. So that was really fun! We’ve now told, most of our closest friends and our immediate family. We’ve still asked everyone to keep it quiet until we are ready to share more. Next week we have 2 appointments and I know I’ll feel really good about everything once we get good reports from both of them!

Miss Anything? Cold beer. We had a very nice family lunch date on Sunday to this place called Public House on the Lake, amazing views of Lake Erie, perfect summer day, really called for a cold beer. I don’t usually want beer but everyone else’s looked so good that day!

Movement: Not yet. I read back over my blog posts with Ada to see when I started feeling it last time and shared last time at 14 weeks that I hadn’t felt anything yet, but at 16 weeks I shared that I felt little flutters when I sit still. I know I got sick of the moving around by the end of my last pregnancy because Ada had some crazy legs, but I really am excited to start feeling it again. Hopefully this one is just a little less rough on me.

Food cravings: Chocolate and peanut butter. Last week this was starting to become a thing and now its real! Anything I can do to combine chocolate and peanut butter is a win! I even bought a pack of Reese’s peanut butter cups the other day, I’ve never done that before! I do have more of a sweet tooth then I usually do.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really. The nausea has been much better lately, to almost none at all. The fatigue it still bad but getting better!

Have you started to show yet: Definitely more so at night, but mostly not. I have been wearing much more flowy tops lately since I never know when Its gonna round out a little, some days are more then others. I also looked back at blog posts with Ada to see when I started to pop out and I see little bit around week 12 but much more noticeable around week 14. I didn’t really pop last time until 17-18 weeks.

Gender prediction: I keep saying “her” or “she” when I talk to people, maybe its because I already have a she and I’m used to it, or maybe its a sign!

Labor Signs: No

Belly Button in or out? Still flat

Wedding rings on or off? Still on

Happy or Moody most of the time: I’m gonna have to say moody for like the first time ever! I don’t think I’ve really ever thought of myself as moody, but I’ve been soo irritated lately. I thought it was Ada’s behavior that was making me nuts but I’m starting to think its just my level of patience with her (maybe a little of both?) Where I used to let things go, now they drive me mad. It doesn’t help that the house is still not sold, and we are getting showings like crazy, like every other day, which means people are making me clean and maintain a show worthy house every waking moment, and then not giving us an offer, which in itself its irritating! Keeping the house that clean with a family living in it is damn near impossible, and adding another level of stress to normal life! The worst part is probably half the showings are second showings, which means the same people are making me do it twice! My hormones cannot handle this right now and just writing it is making me angry!

Looking forward to: Of course the 2 sonograms we have next week, but we’re also leaving for our annual Adirondacks vacation at the end of next week. I’ll be finishing up my first trimester while we’re away and I just cannot wait to get the family on vacation for a full week of relaxation! I don’t think I’ve ever needed a vacation more then I do now! Every year I complain about this Adirondacks trip and how I would rather we take the week and travel some place different every year instead of taking the same trip, but each year around this time, I become more and more grateful for the full week of doing nothing, sitting at a lake, and sitting in the sun. Definitely looking forward to that!!

I’ll leave with a few pics I took myself of week 9 bump, starting to get a little one I think!

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9 weeks!! Moving along!
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9 Weeks, my view!

Family Wedding Weekends

Dan’s brother got married back in the beginning of June, with just a small intimate ceremony for just the immediate family followed by a dinner at a local downtown restaurant. It was a really nice day and it was actually really awesome to split the ceremony and reception up. Just this past weekend they hosted a big reception with all their friends and extended family, but it took so much pressure off the wedding day!

Back in June they got married right in downtown Buffalo, along the riverside under a beautiful gazebo. The weather was perfect everything was so simple and classy!

 

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Photo Credit to LaurenAshelyPhoto.

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Photo credit to LaurenAshleyPhoto.

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Photo credit to LaurenAshelyPhoto. I realized I didn’t really take any pictures from the dinner! 

Just this past weekend was the big reception, which was a lot of fun! It was nice to not have to worry about wedding stuff all day and then just go to the party at night! We brought Ada with us for a little bit. She stayed through dinner and then I dropped her off at my parents house for a sleepover. She couldn’t wait to dance at the wedding, but once the dancing started she thought it was too loud and I think she got a little concerned with why all the grown ups were acting so crazy on the dance floor! If there’s one thing that goes down at family weddings its a crazy dance floor!! (and a lot of drinking, which is why I got her out of there!) I also must not have taken very many pictures at the reception, which isn’t like me at all, but here are a few! Also, the lighting is terrible!

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So a big congratulations to my Brother-in-law and my newest Sister! Everything was so special and we were thrilled to have celebrated! We wish them a lifetime of happiness, love and maybe some babies sometime soon!

Baby Bumps! Weeks 4, 5, & 6

With Ada, I did a little survey each week answering the same questions and including a bump picture, so I’m going to do the same again this time. Here is my first questions post recapping weeks 4, 5 & 6. I’ll double/triple up the early weeks since there isn’t much going on and we don’t plan to tell anyone for awhile.

July 13 -Week 4 (I I removed some of the questions that are just not applicable at the very beginning, so as we go along you’ll see new questions being added)

How far along? 4 weeks 5 days

Total weight gain/loss: 0 lbs.

Sleep: Sleeping great at night, starting that whole falling asleep fairly early on the couch thing though.

Best moment this week: Getting a positive blood test on Monday afternoon, and another positive on Wednesday, telling me my levels are great and right where they should be. They did call this morning and told me my thyroid is under active, so I’ll be taking something to help with that, then they will test my levels again in 4-6 weeks to see if I can stop.

Have you told family and friends: Only my husband knows. I really love the early stages when just the two of you are in on this HUGE, MASSIVE secret and no one else knows about it. It makes marriage feel really special!

Miss Anything? No, I am so beyond thrilled to finally be here that I would have made any sacrifice right now.

Food cravings:  Fresh food! I really just want to eat super healthy, and I can’t stand the thought of putting anything bad in my body for fear of messing it up. I’m super, overly sensitive to the thought that I could cause a miscarriage by doing something. (Even though I know this is so not true).

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing in particular, I do feel a little off when I’m hungry, like I know I need some food ASAP!

Gender prediction: Boy, based on timing of how the heck this could have actually happened, it had to have been a fast swimmer!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, so beyond happy!!!! I was impatient as I waited for test results, and we are in the middle of selling our house which is adding another layer of stress, anxiety and impatience to my mood but other than that, I couldn’t be happier!!

Looking forward to: Our first sonogram which is scheduled for next week. Nice and early! The best part of using a fertility doctor is its her job to get me through the first trimester which means we get lots of extra TLC to make sure everything is perfect, unlike a regular OB/GYN who makes you wait until 8-9 weeks for your first look! I feel like I am in the best hands and someone is checking my charts like 10 times a day! They did tell me I’m a few days behind what I thought I was, but everything they say makes sense and all my levels line up, so we just found out SUPER early!

 

July 19th – Week 5 

How far along? 5 weeks 4 days

Total weight gain/loss: Same

Sleep: Sleeping great, going to bed earlier then usual and I took a super long nap Saturday which is not like me. I’m not usually a napper, I can find 100 other things I should be doing!

Best moment this week: We had our first sonogram today! They told me everything looks great and they saw everything they would expect to see at this point in the pregnancy. We had a clear gestational sac with a nice thick cushion around it and it appeared to be in the right place. The measurements of it were perfect too. We’ll be back for another sono in 2 weeks at which point we should be able to see the itty bitty baby and maybe even a heart beat at that point.

Have you told family and friends: Not yet, we haven’t told anyone. I’m not sure when I want to do this. Maybe after our 7 week sono, to be sure everything is still looking good.

Miss Anything? I really want to make Starbucks runs in the afternoon, not because I need it, but because its a nice excuse to get outside and walk somewhere. I’m trying to avoid ANY caffeine until I know I’m in a safer place in the pregnancy. I know I can have a little but until were confident that this one is going to stick, I’m staying away!

Food cravings: Not really, still just trying to eat real healthy. Been into making smoothies in the morning so I can get a ton a nutrients packed into one drink!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not yet thankfully,  avoided all morning sickness with Ada and I’m hoping to have the same thing again.

Have you started to show yet: No

Gender prediction: My Chinese calendar predictions said girl, but the Mayan calendar prediction said boy! Who knows?

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!! Trying to stay calm and confident about everything. Each time I see or talk to my doctor I get a little more reassurance which helps!

Looking forward to: Our next sonogram in 2 weeks!!

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Here is baby’s FIRST photo! Doesn’t look like much, but in a few weeks we’ll see an actually baby in there!
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Here is my first official “Bump” picture (or lack thereof currently) Ada took this picture so she cut my head off, but its a start, we’ll get better at these!

 

July 26 – Week 6 

How far along? 6 weeks 4 days

Total weight gain/loss: 1 lb. (Its starting already! But it does seem to fluctuate day to day, I think this is just normal life still, lol)

Sleep: Sooo tired!! I am ready for bed by 7:30 and I fall asleep within 3 minutes of putting my head down! Its that heavy, exhausted feeling too! I also don’t feel rested in the morning, I feel like I could sleep for days right now. I could really use a nap around 2pm, when I feel like I could fall asleep sitting up right.

Best moment this week: Nothing spectacular this week, just some of the hardest pregnancy symptoms kicking in, nothing exciting, mostly the opposite. Until I get to my next doctor appt. I’ll still feel slightly worried. Although having some of these strong symptoms is actually a little reassuring because It really makes me feel like things are progressing, which is good!

Have you told family and friends: No, we still haven’t. I’m not sure how I’ve gotten away with 3 weekends now and no one calling me out for not drinking. I’ve gotten lucky so far.

Miss Anything? I’m starting to feel pregnant, and I wanted this so badly so I don’t want to complain, but I’m remembering already how much I don’t like being pregnant. I’m hoping once its public I’ll start to embrace it a little more.

Food cravings: Still want fresh food, which is usually something along the lines of a taco/burrito etc. because then I can just pile on the tomatoes, guac, cheese, lettuce etc.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing specific makes me sick, but every time I approach the “getting hungry zone” which is about every 1.5-2 hours I start to feel nauseous. It makes it hard to eat, because I don’t have an appetite for anything and its hard to figure out what I want, but as soon as I do eat I feel much better. Unfortunately its just a mean cycle and its getting a little worse each day. I hope it doesn’t last too long, as soon as I hit 6 weeks it kicked in.

Have you started to show yet: Not yet, but some evenings I definitely get that bloated look.

Gender prediction: Boy, still just a guess!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, pretty normal moods so far. A little more impatient with Ada then I usually am, but then again it could be her too, she is 4 after all and can be kinda a beast at times! I lose my temper a little easier at bedtime, probably because we are both exhausted, I’m just done for the day and she doesn’t nap much anymore, so she’s usually just about done too!

Looking forward to: Our 2nd sonogram next Thursday!! With our first miscarriage we lost the baby around 6.5 weeks, so I’m really nervous to just get through this week and to our sono next week which will be at 7 weeks 5 days. Once I get there and find out how everything looks I think I’ll start to ease up. We didn’t go in for a sono last time until 9 weeks and because I didn’t miscarry on my own, we didn’t find out until much later that things had gone wrong, so I’m really happy to be going in right away to keep watching things.

Some exciting news to share!!!

Baby Mags #2 is due!!! Finally!!! We found out on Friday, July 7th 2017! Its been quite the 2 year journey getting here, which maybe I’ll recap in another post. For now we are basking in joy that we have another little one joining our family!

I took a test before the 4th of July on the off chance that I was pregnant I wanted to know before I spent the holiday weekend drinking. I thought I was crazy when I saw the faintest line ever and literally chalked it up to wishful thinking! It wasn’t even enough for me to show my husband, it didn’t seem likely. A few days later I was about a day late, which didn’t mean much because my cycles have been a bit longer then they used to be 29-32 days. But I thought I saw another VERY faint line. This time I showed my husband, but still thought I was crazy. It was so light, but when I looked at it 2 hours later, it was darker. I’d read about evaporation lines and how your not supposed to read after the 10 minute window. After that though, the next day I went to the store and got one of the digital ones that say “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” because I was over investigating lines, to my HUGE surprise I got a Big Fat Positive!!

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I called my IVF doctor that afternoon, and they told me to go get some blood work done first thing Monday morning. If I went in by 10am I’d get same day results. They called back Monday evening and confirmed a positive blood test. They wanted me to repeat the blood test on Wednesday morning and make sure that my numbers we’re doubling every 48 hours. Which they did!! After that they scheduled my first visit with them at just 5 weeks 4 days! The great part of being with my IVF doctor is that they will see me every 2 weeks, and hang on to me as a patients for most of the first trimester!

I’m high risk miscarriage, and so needless to say I’ve been very nervous about it. I’ve held off telling anyone, and we probably won’t for awhile, if I can get away with it.

So we are THRILLED to finally be giving Ada a sibling and make her the best big sister around!! Join us for the journey, I’ll be posting a weekly update on how things are going and doing a little survey each week like I did with Ada. (I made the blog private for a few weeks so that I could share all my posts, but not make it public until we are ready to share our news with the world!)

 

 

 

4th of July Weekend

We jammed a lot into the holiday weekend! Having an extra day off was really great and put me in a summer mindset that was really hard to leave, aka I did NOT want to go back to work on Wednesday! Fortunately the rainy weather since then has made it not so bad! But here’s how we spent our 4th of July weekend!

We had our friends over Friday night and it turned into a really late night, keeping the kids out waaay past bedtime, but us grownups were having too much fun to say goodnight, our excuse “Its summer”! While we chatted on the deck we planned a super fun Saturday for everyone! We went to lunch at 12 Gates Brewery, which (despite it being a brewery) was a perfect place for kids, they had picnic tables outsides and lots of room to run around, and even some yard games! We  got there right at noon when they opened so we were the only ones there for about the first hour. The absolute BEST part about this place is that its located right near the airport and the planes fly right overhead, which was awesome! It was a little scary for the kids at first, but they got used to it. We downloaded a flight tracker app so that we could see when planes were coming and give everyone a heads up.

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After lunch we headed back to our friends house to go swimming for the afternoon! Ada did awesome swimming in the big pool all by herself with just her water wings!

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On Sunday, we decided last minute to go up to Conesus Lake, where Dan’s family has a cottage, we go every year. I’m not a big fan of sleeping in a tent which is what has to happen when we go because there are so many people, but we decided to go up around dinner time, after Dan got out of work, and just stay for the fireworks then drive home.

Ada got to go on a boat ride, which she has been asking to do since our Florida trip. she played with cousins and watched the fireworks. Again, it was a VERY late bedtime!

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Oh yeah, and our house officially went up for sale on Monday July 3rd!

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On the fourth our friends invited us to their house so the kids got to play all afternoon and then we walked to where the fireworks were and let them run around some more!

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It was a super fun weekend that we didn’t want to end! 4th of July is always my favorite holiday (better then Christmas) Its just feels like summer to me, we stay so busy but its always fun, relaxing things like swimming and campfires!

How did you spend Fourth of July?

Summertime

I haven’t posted in awhile, we’ve had a lot going on. Between summer fun and getting our house listed to sell!! (Yep, on the move again 3rd time in 5 years, but I swear this is the last time!) Also, I had an appendectomy that shut me down for almost 3 weeks! Lots of craziness over here!

I thought I’d share a quick post of some of my favorite summer time moments so far!

Ada finished her first year of “School” its really her daycare program but its Pre-k3 so its actually a structured educational classroom with lessons. They finished the year with a show, and it was beyond adorable! She did great singing all her favorite nursery rhymes and we got to meet some of her little friends from school, it was very cute!

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We got to meet our new baby Niece, Natalie Isobel, who arrived June 8th! She is the most precious itty bitty and Ada loves her soo much! I got to take some pictures of them in the hospital when Big Sister Savannah met her little baby sister for the first time!

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And a couple of Ada being the most Awesome big cousin ever! She’s such a pro holding her little Baby Natalie!

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And one of me meeting my third little niece for the very first time!

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Its been a fun summer and I feel like its flying by, so I made a bucket list for us of things I want to do this summer! So far I think we’ve only done one of them…. Spend the day at Niagara Falls. We went to visit my old office crew and say hello to everyone, followed by an afternoon in the park. I thought it wouldn’t be too crowded on a Wednesday afternoon but I was wrong, all we got to do was the Cave of the Winds, which Ada LOVED!

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So far its been a great summer, but here is what else is on our bucket list…. Let’s see how much of it we can fit in!

  1. Niagara Falls USA
  2. Go to the Beach
  3. Putt Putt
  4. Drive In Movies
  5. Fantasy Island Theme Park
  6. Take a hike through a state park
  7. Take a Road Trip (this might be coming in the fall instead)
  8. Go strawberry picking
  9. Go to a fair or Festival

We’ve also been spending a lot of time with our friends, just hanging out on our back deck, (we won’t have it much longer) we’ve been playing in the sprinklers, having campout fires (as Ada calls them), movie nights and family time!

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More summer posts to come! We had a super fun fourth of July weekend and hopefully we’ll be able to cross some more stuff off our summer bucket list! How has your summer been so far?

Girls Weekend in Chicago

Some girlfriends and I thought it was about time we got a “mom’s weekend away”. Our husbands have been going to Vegas each Spring and backpacking in the Adirondacks each fall for about 3 years now, and so we thought it was our turn! So Chicago it was!

We flew out Thursday night and from Buffalo the flight is only about an hour. So we had most of Thursday night, Friday and all day Saturday. We left super early Sunday morning and got back around 9:30am, in time to spend the rest of the weekend with our little kiddos.

Thursday night we hit up a place called Three Dots and a Dash. Very cool! First, its really hard to find. We kept being told secret ways to enter, or “down an alley” all sounding kinda sketchy, but once we located it, (aka walked there by a local) we went down some stairs and into a dark underground restaurant. It was a tiki/Hawaiian type place, known for their drinks. The drink menu has strength warnings and even an average drink was pretty potent. The food was great too, we got a sample platter and a side of guacamole to share and it was more then enough for 4 girls. (The guac was amazing with chunks of pineapple!)

Friday morning we headed to Three Arts Club Cafe for brunch. Another amazing food choice!! The weather was cold and cloudy but this adorable little place had a window roof top and indoor fountain, so you really felt like you were outside. They don’t take reservations so we were told to get here early. We arrived around 10am and were sat almost immediately, but when we left around noon it was swamped with quite a wait time.  We shared some croissant pastries for the table, chocolate, almond and ham and cheese – all which were sooo good. Then they brought us some french fries and aioli sauce, compliments of the kitchen (could be the best fries ever!) Followed by our actual meal, we all ordered the same – Scrambled eggs with fresh farm eggs, crème frâiche, avocado, chives, and Texas Toast! Everything was perfect! Highly recommend this place!

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After brunch we took a 1:30pm Architecture Boat Tour down the Chicago River. There are a bunch of companies that offer this, but we chose Wendella Boats as it was located right near our hotel. It was $35.50 per person and had a bar on board, 75 minutes long. The tour was great, despite the weather being cold, our tour guide was super informational and entertaining! We were able to get some really great pictures and learned a ton about the city and even other random tidbits.

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After the boat tour we walked to Millennium Park to check out The Bean. It was very crowded (and did I mention cold) but we got our touristy pictures and moved on. The boat tour guide had filled us in on a little place called Cindy’s Roof Top Bar. He said it was a great spot to grab a drink and look out over the Bean, and he was right, the drinks were great and the outside balcony area overlooked Grant park for more exceptional views!

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On our way back to the hotel, we decided we were hungry for some Chicago style Pizza. I read about some less touristy places for this but, this one was on our way, so we stopped at Giordano’s. (Fact: The Deep Dish Pizza takes about 45-60 minutes to cook once you order it.) Since we didn’t have the time to wait, we ended up getting a flat crust pizza instead, which compared to Buffalo style pizza was still quite different. I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get to try the famous Chicago style, but after seeing it on other tables I was ok. It doesn’t look like Pizza at all to me. We did hear that people would call ahead and order their pizza and then walk into the restaurant and sit down to eat. A little tip for next time!

Our night out started with a quick trip up to The Signature Room Lounge in the John Hancock Building. With amazing views of the city from the 96th floor, you don’t have to pay $19 just to go up and look like you do at the SkyDeck Chicago. For less than $19 each we got a bottle of wine and shared. (Also the women’s bathroom has one of the best views around!) Dinner that evening was pushed back from 7 to 8pm since we filled up on pizza late in the day. We went to the Pump Room at Public Chicago. Food was phenomenal and atmosphere was perfect. We sat at our table and chatted and drank wine for hours! A perfect Mom night out!

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Day two started out with Breakfast at West Egg Cafe, just a short walk from our hotel, The Loews Downtown Chicago. Cute place, great breakfast and pretty fast! The rest of the day turned into a bit of a jumble as the weather was pretty shitty! It was pouring rain and about 40 degrees. We spent most of the day just shopping in and out of places to stay dry. A couple of us split up. Me and my Girlfriend Andrea spent the day on the Magnificent Mile, stopping into the Disney Store and Tiffany’s (dreaming). The other three found themselves in an area called Bucktown which had lots of unique boutique shops and restaurants. We met up at 4pm at Second City Comedy Club to catch an early Improv show! A must stop! Improv isn’t really my thing and I find it kinda odd, but once I got used to it, it was really funny. It was a pop culture show so it hit on a lot of things relevant to me and today!

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After the show we had an early dinner reservation at Sunda Chicago. We weren’t able to get a reservation here on our own, but the concierge at our hotel was able to hook us up. It had a great menu of unique drinks and Asian food. Its meant to be ordered family style so the table can share, but we had a lot of tastes and opinions to cater to and so it worked out better that we all ordered our own dishes and shared a couple things. The food was great and my blackberry cocktail was dynamite.

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On our way back to the hotel we stopped and got some Garrett Popcorn to bring home to our families. The Mix was the best, cheddar and caramel! Yummy! With early flights in the am we all checked out early and we were in bed by 10pm.

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It was such a fun getaway for a couple days. I wish the weather was better, I’d like to go when its warmer so we can enjoy walking the downtown area a little more. We had to take a lot of Uber rides to avoid the cold and elements, but even that was super easy and surprisingly not very expensive if you have to. We would have loved to check out Navy Pier and the beach areas or rent the city bikes but we just weren’t up for that this time around.  A reason to go back again I guess!

Easter Weekend

Both our families were in town for Easter this year, we’ve had a few years where Dan’s parents were out of town, so we didn’t have to split our time, but this year we did a double day again!

Ada has been counting down to Easter this year, she loves holiday’s and so we made an Easter chain about 2 weeks ago and she’s been literally counting down the days.

Ada's Easter Chain Countdown

I also wish we actually had people to our house during Easter, my table was looking so festive and springy!

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I loved the little Easter Baskets I put together for my nieces. My Florida Niece got a special package in the mail, and my sister’s girls both needed matching Easters Baskets (one is coming this June, so she’ll have one to match her sister next year!)

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The baskets are from Etsy Shop BaffinBags

I colored Easter Eggs with Ada one night too, which she loved, it got a little messy but she loved mixing and matching the colors. I bought a marble kit this year, so the colors all blended together instead of turning into gross shades when you apply more then one color!

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On Saturday, I had found all these fun breakfast ideas on Pinterest and since most ideas I find on there turn into major #PinterestFails I was delighted when this one actually turned out pretty cute! Ada was super excited about it!

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Sunday morning she did her Egg hunt which she loved and keeps reenacting now over and over again, even as I try to keep hiding them away for the season. She also got a few new books, some bubbles, some painting things and her favorite, a new Moana Dress up costume. She’s obsessed with that movie right now!

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We had brunch with Dan’s family where Ada received a gigantic Easter egg filled with some goodies for outside, bubbles, chalk, a jump rope, and some other little things!

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And then headed over to my family for dinner. The weather started out not so nice that day, but it actually turned into a beautiful evening, so we sat on their back deck and let the kids (and dad) play in the yard for awhile to run off some of that sugar from the day!

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Hope everyone else had a nice Easter too! We are ready for summer to start now!!

Disney World 2017

While in Florida this past February, we spent 2 days at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Ada is so obsessed with the Disney Princesses that I knew this would be a perfect trip for her right now. And since I’m still trying to get her familiar with the idea of travel, I want to make sure they are trips she is excited about. I know she probably won’t remember the details of the trip, most people recommend going when they are a little older, but I figured that since the family is in Tampa, its a perfect time to visit them and give her a little taste of Disney.

2 days is definitely not enough, but at the same time, it was plenty! There was obviously only so much we could do in 2 days, and being that she is still so young we wanted to make sure we hit up the things she was most excited about.

Our first (half) day there we didn’t have tickets to the parks, so we checked into the hotel and played at pool all afternoon.

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I then, neglected to make any dinner reservations for the first night, so we were left scrambling to find something. We thought about heading to Downtown Disney, but it just didn’t seem worth the hassle to pack everyone up and take the bus out. Instead we hopped the monorail and headed to the Polynesian Resort, where I wish we would have stayed. I remember staying there as a kid and so I wanted to show Dan, but we foolishly thought we could just walk up to a restaurant. Of course everything was booked. We were informed that the Kona Cafe had a first come, first serve bar seating area, and we somehow managed to nab three seats there.  After dinner we walked around, grabbed a famous Dole whip (the only place you can find them outside of Adventure Land in the Magic Kingdom), and we were able to catch the fireworks from the beach at the hotel. All things we just happened to stumble upon and probably couldn’t have planned any better.

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Chopstick fight at Kona Cafe inside Disney’s Polynesian

I booked this trip 30 days out, and apparently that was not nearly soon enough. When booking the “Magic your Way” tickets and staying on a Disney property, reservations for restaurants and fast passes open up 60-180 days out, so everything I really wanted to do like Cinderella’s Table or Chef Mickeys, etc. was completely booked up, we had to be a little flexible. The only character dining I could get our first day was lunch at Hollywood & Vine inside Hollywood studios, which changed our plans quite a bit. Hollywood Studios wasn’t exactly on my itinerary this time around, but it ended up working out for the best. There was a lot more in that park for younger kids then Epcot, which was my original plan. The only reason I wanted to do Epcot was for the Frozen ride, but instead in Hollywood Studios we started our day with the Frozen sing-a-long, which was a perfect alternative. She got to see her princesses in real life, and it even “snowed” white foamy bubbles at the end, which was super exciting for her!

Dinsey's Frozen Sing-a-long, Hollywood Studios

After the Frozen Sing-a-long, we did the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, this only had a short wait time and by the time it was over it was lunch time. That show was alright, she was excited to see Ariel live, but honestly in my opinion its time for Disney to update the theatrics, it seemed a little outdated, but to a 3 year old it was just fine!

Hollywood & Vine has the Disney Junior characters. So we saw Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins, Jake the Pirate and Handy Manny. They all make their way to your table at some point during your meal and it had a pretty decent buffet for lunch. She was just so excited the whole time!

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After lunch we debated trying to catch the Disney Junior Live! show, but decided that it was getting hot and we just saw half those characters so we headed back to the hotel for a nap. We did get to see Donald on our way out!

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That evening, we had Fast Passes to Enchanted Tales with Belle. So after we were all refreshed we made our way into the Magic Kingdom for our first glimpse at the Castle!

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5:00 was a perfect time to head into the park because I think everyone was at dinner so we didn’t have to fight crowds to get to Belle on time. We did it right away at the early side of our Fast Pass time slot, and this was probably the cutest thing we did our whole trip and made such an impression on Ada. Belle is her most favorite princess right now, so I think she was literally star struck. The whole attraction though was just perfect for her, it was with a small intimate group, so you could really take it all in, and I felt like she actually got some cute, quality time with Belle up close.

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After, we had some time and there was only a 20 minute wait at Ariels Grotto, so we waited a little bit for her to meet her second most favorite princess right now, Ariel.

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We did a quick-service dinner and then it was time to get ready for the fireworks. Grandpa had sent her a gift card in the mail before our trip so we let her pick out a light up toy to play with while waiting for the fireworks, and then we caught the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. So glad we got to see this since its coming to an end in May! She loved the fireworks despite thinking they were too loud!

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We went back to the hotel that night and somehow the girl was wired still, so we let her go run around in the splash pad until about 9:30, at which point we threw her in a warm tub to clean up and she passed out in about 30 seconds.

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The next morning we got up early and made it to the Magic Kingdom again right at 9am when the gates opened, it was great timing as the lines were not yet too long and once inside, the park felt pretty empty. We even got to see Minnie as she was walking out! Perfect timing! (Main Street doesn’t look empty below, but the rest of the park really was!)

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Our first stop was Fast Passes to meet Repunzel and Tiana. I’d read a lot about saving your fast passes until the afternoon, but there somehow was already a 50 minute wait and so I’m glad I didn’t take that advice and just got the Fast Pass for 9am. We were in and out in about 15 minutes and she was in her glory meeting both!

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I had called Disney on the phone before our trip  to help me find restaurant reservations after I was becoming frustrated at the the fact that everything was booked.  Someone actually managed to get us into Chef Mickeys at 10:30am, it wasn’t in my mind the most convenient time but I really wanted Ada to dine with Mickey and Minnie, so we took it. (I think someone worked some magic because we were guests of the Contemporary Hotel, which is where this restaurant is located.  I can’t confirm this, but I don’t know how else we would have been booked there, when everything said no availability).  This is why we got to the park so early though and what prompted me to book a fast pass, I wanted to get something in before 10:30 breakfast. It involved some back and forth, park hopping, which with the convenience of the monorail made this not the worst scenario. When we left the park the gates were mobbed!! Never try to enter the park around 10:00-10:30 it was crazy! When we came back into the park again after breakfast/lunch around 12:30 the gates were dead again!

Chef Mickeys at this time was also actually a blessing in disguise. Because it was the tail end of breakfast, as people cleared out, no new guests were coming in because they were getting ready to turn over for lunch. So because there were fewer and fewer people, the characters we’re actually starting to come around again.

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We spent the rest of that afternoon in the Magic Kingdom again, and it had gotten crazy busy and super hot! We had fast passes for the Monster’s Inc Laugh Factory, which was super cute and felt amazing inside because it was all air conditioned. We grabbed some ice cream en route to the Haunted Mansion and when we got there, the Fast Pass line was longer then the regular line and we almost skipped it. Luckily, we found a shady spot for about 15 minutes and when I went back the line was down again and so we did that. Ada loves scary things so she was super pumped for the Haunted Mansion. I think she got a little nervous once we were inside but quickly got excited again and she loved it!

When we came out the afternoon Parade was just starting so Ada took the best seat in the house and we watched that before heading out!

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Dad looks super mad because the Internet crashed on the East Coast that afternoon and he was trying to deal with that mess back at his office while fighting crowds and heat in Disney World = Not Happy! But Look at the smile on Ada, if only we all saw the world through a child’s eye!

She fell asleep in the stroller rental we had shortly after that, so once we got to the gates to leave I had to carry her all the way back to the hotel, that was suuuper fun! We had already checked out of our hotel, so we just grabbed a shady lounge chair by the pool and let her nap. I ran up to the hotel shops to get some souvenirs and then we let her run around the splash pad again for about a half hour before jumping in the car to drive “home” (Back to Tampa). We got in around 7pm and she talked Grandma’s ear off about everything we did!!

All in all it was a great way to add to our Florida trip! Next time we plan to stay at the Polynesian Resort and actually just take some time to enjoy the hotel and some of the things around that don’t even require park tickets. There is just so much to Disney World without having to pay hundreds of dollars to go to a park and since we have the family in Tampa and go down so much, its not one of those “once in a lifetime trips”, we can actually just do small bursts of Disney a little at a time, which I think is totally the way to do it!

Tampa, FL

I’m going to do our Florida trip in two parts. We headed south at the end of February, and visited family in Tampa and then did two days in Disney World, but since Disney warrants its own post I’ll do that part separate.

Tampa is amazing for kids and families. I never really did a good post on our trip last year down to visit, when we did the Tampa Zoo and the Florida Aquarium, but since we go to Tampa at least once or twice a year I’ll do that at some point! This time, we were there for a day and a half before Disney and then another day after. Dan’s brother lives there, so we visit a lot and plan to do so even more.

Our first day there this time around, we hit up Datz for breakfast which was amazing! The Monkey bread was to die for, I had chicken and waffles which was so filling for breakfast but super delicious. It was a fantastic place for kids, it was loud and energetic and they gave some fun little wax sticks for the kids which kept them occupied forever.

Afterwards we spent the afternoon at Treasure Island Beach in St. Petes. Ada really loved the beach, my favorite comment from her was “Mommy, I don’t understand how the beach is soo fun?” She just melts my heart with how much she loves and appreciates everything we do with her at this age. I have to remind myself that we don’t have to do over the top things, she is so impressed with the simple things.  The weather was perfect and we had sunshine and family time, so it was the best first day!

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We did two days in Disney afterwards, which I’ll recap later and then had another beach day in Clearwater after we got back. It was fun to break up the trip into two parts and that way we didn’t get burnt out of anything too fast, and I honestly feel like two days in Disney was enough! There’s obviosuly a lot we didn’t do, but to break it up with some beach time made it for a relaxing and fun trip for everyone.

After we got back into Tampa, we spent our last day in Clearwater at a little beach/bar restaurant area called Whiskey Joes.  We could see it from the road as we were driving into Clearwater, and both Dan and I looked at each other and said “I hope we’re going there!” (we were just following the fam). It was like a little private island getaway and on a Wednesday afternoon it was dead, so we basically had the beach and the bar to ourself. We enjoyed some fish tacos, beers, mango mojitos and sunshine! A perfect last day!

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We finished out the day with a stop at the park so the girls could run around in the sprinklers and enjoyed some beautiful views of Tampa Bay, then dinner in the cute little historic area of Ybor. Where we took a stroll through downtown and hit up the Tampa Bay Brewing Company for dinner. Complete with a super amazing Sunset sky!

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What are your favorite things to do in Tampa? We travel there a lot to visit and are always looking for more fun things to do to make our trips different! Suggestions welcome!