Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Friday, April 29, 2016

Lately, as I've been flipping through social media feeds, browsing my favorite blogs, or chatting with other moms, I've come across many many stories and articles about motherhood. Unfortunately, not all stories are filled with happy endings, and I am constantly reminded to be thankful for each and every moment I have with my little. This season I'm in of trying my best to raise a young child, is incredibly challenging, and littered with everything from 'throw yourself on the floor tantrums' to sweet moments of bedtime snuggles and sloppy wet kisses. Some days seem endless, some I'm left wondering if I gave it my best, and others are so fun that when I glance at the clock I can hardly believe it's time for bed already. It's hard to believe that I've officially been part of the 'mom club' for almost two years now, and I can truly say that I wouldn't have it any other way.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Tassel Necklace (also love this necklace, earrings, and bracelet in rose quartz) // Illume Coconut Milk Mango Candle // Tory Burch Miller Flip Flops (makeup color, size 9) // Jack Rogers Palm Beach Navaho Flat (white, size 9 wide) // Rebecca Minkoff Greyson Sandals (taupe, size 9) // Yeti Rambler // Jewelry Case // Pedicure // Brunch // Maxi Dress (medium)

Each moment is precious, and I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to spend my days with my sweet little C. Next weekend I'll be celebrating my second and last Mother's Day as a mama of one, and while these past two years have been quite the adventure, no doubt the memories we'll make in the coming year with another little person around will be even better! Happy Mother's Day to all you mama's out there!

Weeks 26-27

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weeks 26-27 an update

How far along: 27 weeks

Best moment this week: 
There have been so many wonderful moments from the last couple of weeks while we've been on our last big vacation with C as an only child, that it's hard to know where to begin. Aside from all of the memories of swimming in the pool, playing in the sand, and running on the beach with our fearless little almost 2-year-old (more on this later), one of the most 'non-exciting' moments of the week (but super exciting for me), was getting to drive a Ford Explorer SUV for our rental car. Trying to hoist C into my little Malibu pretty much ends in a concussion for C, and a wrenched out of whack back for UGH. Hopefully, with any luck, we will be on the hunt for a well before baby #2 arrives. 

Maternity clothes: 
Yes. Aside from a few flowy non-maternity dresses, I've been living in maternity dresses for the last week or so. Most of mine have either come from Old Navy or Gap in case you're looking for some good, reasonably priced options. There is something so great about only needing to think about one item of clothing, and then maybe just throwing on some cute shoes, jewelry, or a scarf to go with. #dressesforlife

About as good as can be expected. I think my sleep was actually better while on vacation! This may be because we spent most of our days outside doing something active, and thus ended up going to bed earlier than typical.

Miss Anything: 
This last week I was missing sushi. There is a great sushi restaurant on the island where we vacation, but we didn't end up making the trip because A.) Pregnant women are not supposed to eat sushi (although I totally would if it was cooked), and B.) I'm not sure that C would understand the concept!

Baby Movement: 
Lots of movement these couple of weeks. Baby must be working on it's leg muscles!

Still craving sweets, but also adding salty to the list this week!

I got a taste of what it will be like to be pregnant in the heat of the summer last week while we were in Florida. The weather was sunny and beautiful, in the mid-80s for most of the week. It was wonderful. Buuuuut...I got soooo hot. I could handle the sun for limited amounts of time, like maybe an hour or so at a time, but then had to go in the house to cool off and rehydrate. I've also noticed that lifting heavy objects...aka...C...has become a bit difficult. We stayed on the 3rd floor, and by the time I carried him upstairs from the pool on the ground floor, I was completely out of breath, not to mention that the way he flings around his weight (particularly when he doesn't want to do something), has been pulling at my abdominal muscles in a way that I'm not entirely comfortable with. If only I could figure out the secret for getting a toddler to do what I ask. HAHAHA...

Looking forward to: 
I have that icky thing called a 'glucose test' this week. I've got to say I'm not actually looking forward to it, but I am looking forward to it being over. Fingers are crossed that I pass and don't have to do the three-hour follow up test!

Week 25

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Week 25 an update

How far along: 25 weeks

Best moment this week: 
This week marks the start of the third trimester! Wooot wooot! It's amazing how fast it seems that time has been going this pregnancy while I've been so occupied chasing around a near two year old! It's hard to believe we are already in the home stretch! I start my regular two-week OB appointments (until this point I've only had four-week checkups) after my next checkup in a couple of weeks, and then it will really start to sink in I'm sure! Nesting mode may have already begun as I finally decided to go ahead and order a new headboard and some accessories to finish out our master bedroom design this week. Since we only have two bedrooms on our main floor, and C isn't ready to sleep alone downstairs full time yet (or prepared to share his current bedroom with a squawking infant...not to mention space is already tight and fitting a twin sized or additional toddler bed in his current bedroom just isn't going to be an option), I'll probably wait until next winter sometime to update the nursery with a new design for the new babe. 

Maternity clothes: 
Yes, this week may as well be coined 'comfy clothes week'. I've been living in my favorite maternity leggings paired with loose sweaters and cardigans almost every day.

About the same. Still waking up earlier than normal. And while I'd probably benefit from going to bed even earlier (current bedtime is around 11-11:30pm), T is never ready for bed that early, and I dislike going to bed separately. I did cave this week one night when we were watching 'The Hateful Eight', and skipped the end of the movie (it's not very good - don't pay attention to the IMDB ratings) to go to bed early.

Miss Anything: 
Energy! We've been juggling time zones the past few weeks, and I can barely keep up. I think I'm just a midwest girl with an internal East coast time clock after being in the Eastern time zone so much recently. Of course, C's nap schedule has been all over the day he takes two naps, the next day no naps, so getting into a normal routine has been out the window, and probably contributed to my exhaustion.

Baby Movement: 
Yes. Still mostly noticeable during the early morning or evenings. When I do get a chance to get some exercise, this baby likes to lay or stomp directly on my bladder, so that's been fun. #JK I don't remember having to use the restroom so often in my entire life!

Sweet tooth as usual. Not a great thing when we've been cooped up inside all week due to cold blustery days and C's cold.

So tired! Between our recent traveling, my overall poor sleep, and trying to keep up with C, I've been completely exhausted. Maybe it's the lack of fresh air and exercise due to the weather, or maybe it's a sign that C's cold is catching up with me...either way, I'm hoping next week is better!

Looking forward to: 
We are headed back to Florida next week so T can attend another medical conference (He's trying to get in his yearly credit requirements before baby arrives and we are unable to travel for a while). Since the weather has been so ridiculous at home lately, we all can't wait to be back in a state where there seems to be eternal sunshine and nice weather. Can't wait for some exercise...beach walks here we come!!...and fresh air. 

Toes in the Sand: Marco Island

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Boy oh boy! The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind! I've finally found a hot minute while C is napping to sit down to sort through some of our vacation photos (shhhh...don't tell T, who will probably waltz through the door, take a look at everything strewn about and question what, if anything I got accomplished today). We all had tons of fun on our Florida getaway, but we are fully enjoying being back home and...dare I say...finding a little time to relax a bit more?!? If there is a parent of a toddler out there that knows the trick for getting in some rest and relaxation on a beach getaway with your kiddo, I'd love to hear your tips!

A Rundown:

Our trip started out on a less-than-spectacular foot when after driving three hours to the airport in order to be checked in by 2:30pm, our flight was delayed due to mechanical reasons, and then ultimately cancelled altogether. Of course, the 'rescue' plane wouldn't be available until 10:30pm and had to fly from another airport first. Oh, and did I mention our original flight was supposed to leave at 4:30pm? #YUCK. Eventually, around 7pm, the mechanics cleared our original plane for takeoff, and we were able to board. Unfortunately, many people had already given up and left the airport, so the flight crew had to allow a full hour for their return. Of course we didn't learn this until those of us who stayed were already on board. Womp womp...Anyways, C behaved like a champ, and miraculously just took everything in stride. #CHILL After finally arriving in Florida around midnight, we still had a little over an hour left to drive to our resort on Marco Island, so by the time we got all checked in and settled, it was almost 3am. C who had fallen asleep on the car ride, was absolutely terrified when we arrived at the resort in a completely unfamiliar place. His entire body was shaking from fear when I woke him up to get checked in. Poor little guy!

As you can imagine, the first night of sleep was not particularly wonderful as C was too frightened to sleep in the Pack'N'Play in his new surroundings. Thankfully, our room had blackout curtains, and C & I were able to sleep in a little later than usual our first full day. T unfortunately had a medical conference to attend, and had to get up about three hours after going to bed. All's well that ends well though, and thankfully, the rest of the week went by without any more hiccups. The first full day of our trip was pretty chill, and looked a little something like the above picture...

Our resort, the Marriott Resort Marco Island, was absolutlely AMAZING, and had soooo many fun things to do and explore. This was the view from our balcony on the 8th floor. Definitely check it out if you are looking for a fun warm-weather place to stay! It was great for kids (zero-depth entry pool!, and had an amazing looking spa, adult pool area, and several nicer restaurants for those of you traveling sans kiddos). C & I found our routine for the morning while T was attending his conference, and made a daily trip to the on-resort coffee shop for a muffin or banana bread, yogurt, and fresh fruit to start our day. After spending a good 45 minutes eating (mealtimes just don't go quickly with C), and watching other resort guests walk by the coffee shop window, we would usually walk by the pool or beach and see what was going on. T was finished up with his conference for the day by 12:30pm, so after a little exploring, C & I would end up back in the room for some downtime out of the sun before heading out to find lunch with T. 

On one particularly warm day, we decided to hop in the car and drive to Naples for the afternoon (about a 30min trip north). We found a cute little restaurant to grab lunch outside by a marina, and then headed to the Naples City Pier to check out the beach. If you've never been to Naples, the beach is TINY (depth-wise), and SUPER busy. The sun was hot, and we didn't bring our beachwear, but we had fun walking to the end of the pier and watching some of the people fishing. T & I even saw some dolphins swimming off the beach, but I'm not sure if C caught a glimpse since they only came up every so often. We ended our afternoon in Naples with a trip to Tin City (a bit of a tourist trap with a bunch of gift shops), and a stop for some ice cream before heading back to Marco for the evening. Overall impression of Naples...A nice place to visit if you are planning to do some serious shopping (there is a great upscale outdoor shopping area), but the beaches are better elsewhere if you're looking for a strictly beach vacation.

Back in Marco, C's favorite activities for the week were hands down playing in the sand on the beach and swimming in the pool. The only time the kid took a nap the whole week was if we ended up driving somewhere in the car. He was a trooper though, and we managed to get through the week without any major meltdowns. It's a good thing C is so napping, and late nights probably wouldn't mesh well with lots of kids. By late nights I mean he had to wait until T & I were ready for bed usually about 9pm, since he refused the Pack'N'Play all week and was sleeping in bed with us. While I can't say it was the best sleeping arrangement, it was a BIG treat for C, who we don't typically allow to sleep with us. He absolutely LOVED being able to snuggle up with mom and dad, and he'd roll from one side to the other snuggling in as close as possible. Just the cutest. Of course, his sleeping position of choice was usually crosswise with his head on someone's pillow, and his bottom in someone's face, but can't win 'em all!

After a long afternoon swimming, while T was quarantined in our hotel room for the Iowa basketball game, C & I snuck down to the beach area to share a virgin pina colada. As you an tell, it was a hit!

Another favorite from our trip to Marco was checking out some new restaurants. We have been going to the same island for our last few trips to Florida, so it was fun to check out some new places. We had so much fun listening to live music on the Esplanade at Mango's Dockside Bistro (you should have seen C - he was smiling ear to ear and bouncing up and down with the beat of the music), having some of the best chicken quesadillas we've ever eaten at Quinn's on the Beach (on our resort), walking up and down the esplanade and watching all of the crazy St. Paddy's Day shenanigans before dinner at CJ's on the Bay, and enjoying the awesome Italian atmosphere and some of the best prosciutto and arugula pizza at Joey's Pizza & Pasta House on our last night in town. 

The second leg of our vacation took us to Anna Maria Island by way of Sanibel. We'd heard from a few friends and relatives who have vacationed in Sanibel that we should check it out, so we stopped for lunch at Gramma Dots and hit up the beach to break up our trip. Ultimately, neither T or I was impressed with the island, and found the beach to be very littered with seaweed and lots of shells. Not someplace we'll probably ever visit again. That being said...I have heard that the far north end is maybe a little nicer, so if we ever do make it back, we'll have to check that out. Either way, it was good to get out of the car and let C roam around for a little while before continuing our trek north to Anna Maria.

Here's C at Gramma Dot's on Sanibel Island insisting he get to lick the lemon. Too funny!

While the beach wasn't nearly as beautiful as on Marco Island, as you can tell from the look on C's face, he didn't mind at all. He loved walking back and forth from the parking lot to the beach on this boardwalk, and burning off some energy before we hopped back in the car on our trek north.

One last pic from Marco Island playing in the sand! Stay tuned for part 2!
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