Thankful and Grateful
  • November 16, 2017
  • Life
  • Can you believe Thanksgiving is a week away? We’re hosting my family for the first time this year and I’m looking forward to having everyone in our home. I’m also looking forward to spending a holiday in Chicago. We’re always traveling for the holidays, so it will be a nice change of pace to stay in the city. thankful and gratefulLooking back on this past year, we have so much to be thankful for. I wanted to take today to reflect on some of the biggest things I’m thankful for.

    • Science and Medicine. I never thought that this would be something I would be thankful for, but after going through fertility treatments earlier this year, I’m so thankful for the advancements in science and medicine that have made it possible for us to become parents. This time last year we had no idea what was ahead of us, but now we’re just a couple weeks away from meeting our little girl.
    • Friends and Family. This may be cliche, but I really am so thankful for our friends and family. With everything we’ve gone through this past year, it’s been so comforting knowing that we have the support of our family and friends.
    • Riggins. I know my crazy dog lady is showing, but this little guy is really just the best. This time last year he was still getting used to his new life so his true personality hadn’t come out yet. Now he is the most lovable little guy and I can’t get enough of his hugs, kisses and puppy snuggles!
    • Chicago. I seriously love this city. I never pictured myself raising, or at least starting to raise children in a big city, but I’m so excited to give our child this experience. Sure, living in a city comes with its challenges, but the advantages (amazing restaurants, farmers markets, being able to walk to everything, the list goes on and on!) far outweigh those challenges.
    • The opportunity to travel. In the past year we’ve traveled to Bermuda, Philadelphia (twice), New York a few times, Texas, St. Louis and Cincinnati. With a baby I know travel won’t be out of the picture, but it definitely won’t be as easy. I’m so grateful for the trips Brett and I have been able to take together, but I’m also excited to share in the adventures with our little girl.
    Preparing For Baby with Target Baby Registry
  • November 13, 2017
  • Baby
  • This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RegisteringForBaby #CollectiveBias

    With just a few weeks left until baby comes, I’ve been a busy mom-to-be prepping our house and family for our newest arrival. I don’t think you can ever be fully ready to bring a baby home, but I’m really starting to feel like we’re as ready as we’ll ever be. If you’re expecting, here are five ways you can prepare for when your little one arrives.


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    1. Stock the fridge and freezer. You can find my list of freezer friendly meals here. Over the weekend I also made jambalaya and chicken Alfredo roll ups to add to our freezer stock. Both will be great to pop in the oven or on the stove on chilly nights when we’re too tired to think about dinner. I’ve also started making sure I have healthy snacks like yogurts, granola bars and fruits and nut mixes to have on hand during the day when I may not get a chance to eat breakfast or lunch.
    2. Get a flu shot. To be completely honest this was not something I thought about until my doctor mentioned it, but I’m making sure all our family members have their flu shots. The last thing I want is a sick newborn, and by making sure our family members have flu shots is one way to protect baby G from colds.
    3. Preparing your home. I know it will be a little while before we really need to baby proof our house, but in the meantime we’re adding alarms to the windows in the nursery and I’ve started thinking about how we can switch to more organic, all natural cleaning products. Because we have two floors, I’ve also prepped a baby changing station on both floors, one in the nursery on the second floor and one in our guest room on the first floor. This will save us from having to run up the stairs every time we need to do a diaper change!
    4. Plan for some “me” time. A few weeks ago I took a few days off work and had a mini staycation. I know that even after the baby comes it will be important to have time for myself, but I knew this would be the last time for a long while where I would have consecutive days of “me” time without any of the mom guilt I hear about. I got my haircut and a manicure, spent a day shopping with my mom and did some work around the house and in the nursery. I also made sure to give Riggins lots of snuggles!
    5. Review your registry for all the baby essentials. We were so lucky to receive so many amazing gifts from friends and family at our baby shower. Like I said, I don’t think we will ever be fully ready, but thanks to the Target Baby Registry, I’ve been able to review their handy checklist for items I may have not thought about or haven’t received yet. When you create a Target Baby Registry online, in-store or through their app, it automatically populates with popular items like Aveeno® Baby Daily Moisture Regimen Pack. I knew we’d need an infant bath and cute little baby towels, but I didn’t even think about making sure we have baby lotions and bath wash. I’m so glad we have these now though so we won’t be running out to the store before baby’s first bath. I also didn’t think about getting baby medicine ahead of time, but again having Infant TYLENOL® 2oz. Cherry on hand now will make things a little stressful at the first sign of a baby sniffle.  

    When you register with Target, you’ll receive a Welcome kit that you can pick up at Guest Services with $50 worth of coupons & handpicked samples. (Amazing!) You’ll also receive a 15% off discount 8 weeks before your due date to provide savings on anything left on the registry. The perfect time to pick up diapers, wipes and other essentials you know you’ll be going through quickly those first few weeks! target baby registrySetting up your Target Baby Registry is so simple, especially with the app. If you’re an expectant mom I’d recommend registering with Target today!

    36 Week Pregnancy Update
  • November 6, 2017
  • Baby · Life
  • Today I’m officially 36 weeks, and just like that we are one month away from our due date! This means that there is a very good chance that this will also be my last pregnancy update. It feels like a lot has changed since my last update six weeks ago and I’m really starting to feel the effects of being nine months pregnant. 36 week pregnancy update


    How Far Along: 36 weeks

    Due Date: Early December

    How I’m Feeling: After feeling really great the majority of my pregnancy, I’m starting to get more and more uncomfortable. Most days I have pretty intense pelvic pain that can make it difficult to walk around. I’ve officially become a waddling pregnant lady! I also had a couple really long weeks at work, which left me incredibly tired. For two days straight a couple weeks ago I was so tired I felt hungover, without of course getting to partake any of the fun the night before!

    What I’m Craving: No cravings, just trying to eat as healthy as possible. I haven’t been as good about meal prep these past few weeks so we’ve had more takeout than I’d like to admit. I’m trying to get back on track this week though.

    Symptoms: Phew, where to begin? Not to complain, because I’m so thankful to be able to be pregnant, but being pregnant is no joke! I’m still experiencing heartburn every so often, but it’s still not too bad. Last week my fingers and feet started swelling. I can no longer wear my rings and it’s difficult to get a lot of my shoes on. As mentioned above, I also have pelvic pain most days and more recently started having trouble breathing when I’m sitting down. We actually ended up at the hospital after my last appointment for an EKG and CT scan to make sure everything was ok, and thankfully it was! The baby is just taking up a lot of space, making it difficult for me to breathe. Every couple nights or so I’ll wake in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back to sleep. I’m usually up for an hour or so before finally getting back to sleep again.

    Exercise: Given all the symptoms, exercise is getting more challenging. If I’m being completely honest, I also just haven’t really motivated these past couple weeks. I stopped running about a month ago, and I have not been great about getting to Bar these past two weeks. I’m committing myself to taking three classes this week, though. I always feel better when I leave class and the stretching is good for me.

    What I’m Wearing: Lots of leggings! I joke that I have about 5 shirts that fit me, but to be completely honest it’s not far from the truth. I really like wearing these long-sleeved tees with leggings and loose cardigans. I also love this chemise to sleep in, that is nursing-friendly. I’m really looking forward to fitting into more of my clothes (hopefully sooner, rather than later) and being able to go shopping for normal clothes again!

    Highlights From The Past Month: Our baby shower in mid-October was so special. I loved having all our friends and family together to celebrate our little girl. We’ve also made huge progress on the nursery, mostly thanks to my parents, sister and her fiancee. We have all the necessities (crib, changing table, a closet full of tiny little clothes), so now it’s mostly just decorating and organizing. I love the way it’s coming together and find myself walking into the room to take a look every so often.

    Looking Forward Too: Meeting our little girl! It’s crazy to think that she really could come at any point now. Even though I know we’ll never be truly “ready” I’m feeling so much more prepared. This was not the case even just a week or two ago! I have started packing my hospital bag and I have a couple things packed for baby, though I know most everything she’ll need the hospital will have. I’m trying not to think too much about labor and delivery because I know I’ll just freak myself out. I am getting nervous about the type of pain I’ll be in after. (Btw, if you have any postpartum recovery tips I’d love for you to share!) 

    Pink and Gold Baby Shower
  • November 3, 2017
  • Baby · Entertaining
  • A few weeks ago my high school girlfriends and sister hosted the sweetest pink and gold baby shower for baby G! Today’s post is going to be a little bit of a photo overload because there were just so many cute details not to share.

    They really went above and beyond and every detail was perfect, from the donut tower to the bow making station and incredible cookies made by my friend Ruthie I was blown away! The best part of the shower though was getting to spend time with our friends and family, especially those that came from out of town. We had guests come in from Wisconsin, St. Louis, Texas, Boston and Seattle. I just wish we had had more time to spend with everyone. The shower and whole weekend went by so quickly. The only bummer was that the weather was terrible. It literally showered all day on our shower. I had never seen it rain so hard so consistently! The house were my friends hosted the shower had a really cute backyard, but unfortunately we didn’t get to enjoy it.

    Our shower was co-ed and pretty laid back. Just what we wanted! Before the shower I was starting to get nervous that we didn’t have everything we needed, but now I feel so much more prepared. We’re truly lucky to have such a great support group both here in Chicago and across the country and to have so many people excited to meet our little one. I’m so thankful for our friends and family who so generously celebrated Baby G!
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