Goodbye 2015...

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 was quite the year! So many milestones! Here is my 2015 in review:

We took our 3rd trip to the Hawaiian Islands (Maui, Hawaii and Molokai) while I was 20-21 weeks pregnant. I took a few precautions flying, like wearing compression socks to keep my feet and legs from swelling.

Just moved through the motions of weeks 24 - 27 of my pregnancy... And planned my baby shower.

My travel themed baby shower! When I saw the "Welcome to the World" baby shower theme on Pinterest I knew that this was the baby shower for me! I LOVED how everything turned out! Thanks to my mom, mother-in-law and my bff.

Much to our surprise our sweet baby girl arrived 5 weeks early (gestational age: 35 weeks, 1 day)! Even though she was in the NICU my husband said, "think of it as a blessing, we get to spend an extra 5 weeks with her!" and then I started to cry... one because he was right and two he never uses the word "blessing" so it was a very sweet moment and one I will never forget.

Alana turned 1 month old, and Matt and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary!

Still on maternity leave and loving it!

I went back to work and towards the end of the month my mother-in-law came to stay with us for 3 weeks to watch Alana before she entered daycare. It was such a blessing to have her and I know she enjoyed every minute of it! And it was the longest her and my father-in-law had been apart since they were 16! Quite the sacrifice!

I started a new job within my company.

Seems September was a pretty low key month since I cant remember anything that happened.

Alana turned 6 months old!!! Where did the time go? And we dressed up together as a minion family! And I became a Nerium Brand Partner!

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the 2nd time. We had tons of food and started decorating for Christmas. It was discovered that Lola had right sided heart failure :(

The Christmas celebrations were at our house for the first time! We had 5 extra people staying with us! And it was Alana's first Christmas so it was an overall joyous weekend! And we rehomed one of our dogs :(

Here is to an amazing 2016!

8 Month Update

Monday, December 28, 2015

How was everyone's time off? Mine was great! I really needed those 4 days! And I feel like it is a crime to be back to work today :/ We spent it with family and friends and it was so amazing to watch Alana enjoy her first Christmas! We actually didn't take a lot of pictures but we got a lot of video! I cannot believe she is already over 8 months old! How the time flies! 

So how are we doing? 

She is fantastic! She is talking up a storm and using her hands to talk. She loves talking to Lola, as I suspected she would. She is starting to giggle and it’s the cutest thing I have ever seen. Babies make happy sounds/noises but she is now starting to laugh and giggle!

She is also starting to crawl! OMG! She started this at the beginning of the month! She is not up on all 4s yet but she is belly crawling like you wouldn't believe

She is still eating 5 times a day but I am hoping by the new year we can change that to 4 times and then as we near her birthday we can change to 3 times a day + snacks.

Mom & Dad (a.k.a. Alexa & Matt)
We’re doing well, we found a babysitter we trust so we have been going out once a month which has been nice and a much needed break. Our first date night was actually a day date and we went bowling and hung out at a tapas bar.

I haven’t been keeping up with my running but I have been keeping up with Pure Barre. My membership ended on the 13th so since then I have been trying to run more. It works best if I come home, change, run and then pick up Alana. It pushes her pick up time back about 30mins but sometimes you need to take some time for you. Running can be pretty good therapy.

Lola & Coco
I am sad to report that we had to rehome Coco. It broke my heart and it’s something I never thought I would have to do. We found her an amazing home and new family and she seems to be fitting in well with them. She left us on the 20th; I am glad my mom and brother got to see her one last time before we sent her off. I am hoping one day I can visit her if I am ever visiting Dallas.

{my last day with Coco}
Lola is hanging in there after heart failure. With Coco gone I think her life will be less stressful. I just hope we can hang on to her for a few more years. (For those that don’t know, a bulldog’s life expectancy is 10 yrs. Lola is 6 and now has a major heart condition so I feel every day is a blessing.)

On Holiday

Friday, December 18, 2015

Y'all I am so excited for the weekend! Pretty much because its the weekend and I want to catch up on sleep. And we are attending a few Christmas parties. And I may still throw some Christmas lights and decorations up! I'll be taking the next week off from blogging to just relax and de-stress a bit. BUT I'll still be at work :( boo! Because I had a baby this year and because of how my company’s maternity leave policy works I don’t have any vacation time left for the year. So I’ll have the 24th and 25th off and the 31st and 1st off – Two 4 day weekends. Here is what I wish to accomplish with those days off:

Dec. 24th - 27th
These days will be filled with family gatherings, cooking, eating and opening presents! Not much else will happen. Period. And I will utilize my family to help me clean up all the Christmas decorations and get as much as we can put back in the attack! All our guests will depart either the 26th or the 27th and we’ll have our house back.

Dec. 31st
Lola has an appointment at the doggie cardiologist, I really wanted this day to clean and reorganize the house but Matt will have to take care of that while I take Lola to her appointment, that’s over an hour away. Alana’s daycare is actually open on the 31st so we plan on bringing her in for part of the day while we get stuff done! So far no party has been planned for New Years…I know, LAME. But it’s how we roll; and how much partying can one do with an 8 month old?!

Jan. 1st – 3rd
We will probably spend these days continuing to get the house in order. Have you seen Gayle getting the house ready for company on YouTube…HIL-arious! And I want to binge watch some Downton Abbey; I’m half way through season 3. We need to paint some walls to cover up all the dog slobber that has been flung everywhere. And I want to update some things on the blog, have a good stock pile of posts ready for the new year and get back into the social media game. We'll also be going out to dinner to celebrate my birthday that was earlier in the month (our babysitter wasn't available for my birthday weekend). 

{don't pretend *NSYNC's Christmas song inst stuck in your head now}

Trial & Error – Baby Products

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

So when you’re pregnant its really easy to get overwhelmed with all the baby stuff that is out there. You’ll have friends telling you one thing, thank them for their help and advice, and then you’ll walk into Buy Buy Baby and go, “what the f---!” because there is SO much stuff for babies! And I think these are also trial and error type products. Here are a few items that I have had to buy a few different brands till I found one that I liked and worked well.

Car window shade: So I have a really odd shaped window in the back and I thought that this Brica Stretch-to-Fit Window shade would be prefect because it would be any shape that I wanted…well it didn’t really work. The suctions just don’t stay on the window and if you need to really stretch this thing the suction cups just slowly move to where they are comfortable (the elastic will pull them back together).

Then I bought the Munchkin White Hot Static Cling Shade. While this doesn’t cover my whole window it stays on and provides her shade most of the time. It’s “HOT” decal will tell you when it’s too hot in the car and you may want to turn on the AC before you put your little on in there. I noticed that it was saying “HOT” when it was about 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Which really isn’t that hot for us here in Texas.

Bath tubs: When I first saw the 4MOMs bath tub I wanted it but I swear the price tag said $150. For that price, I don’t think so. So I bought her a mesh chair to put in the sink. Well it didn’t quite work in our sink, our sink was too small. So my mother-in-law bought the flower thing for us. The hospital said they didn’t recommend this for newborns and to wait until she could hold her head up. So I finally said okay, lets buy the 4MOMs tub. It turns out its only $50 (I am thinking it was stocked in the wrong place when I first saw a $150 price tag). And with a 20% coupon in tow the tub was mine! Alana LOVES this tub and LOVES bath time! She splashes so much that we had to move her mini tub into the bath tub.

Bottles: Bottles can be hit or miss for your baby. I had asked for a starter kit of Tommee Tippee and Dr. Brown bottles. I only got the Tommee Tippee ones at my shower. So that is what I planned on using. Well, with Alana arriving early and being in the NICU when it came time to bottle feed her at night when I wasn’t there the nurses said to get some Dr. Brown bottles; they pretty much laughed in my face when I said I had Tommee Tippee. They tried to mask it by saying those were better suited for older babies. So now I have 4 Tommee Tippee bottles sitting on a shelf in their shrink wrap. I will probably use them in a giveaway on here at some point…or re-gift at a shower.

What are some of your experiences with baby products? 

Finding the Right Babysitter

Friday, December 11, 2015

We live in Houston, TX. My parents live near San Antonio, TX and Matt's parents live near Little Rock, AR. So we are not fortunate enough to have a "build-in babysitter". We are however fortunate enough to have my parents close enough so when my husband wants to go to a football game and I have a Nerium event my mom can come for the weekend to help; thanks mom!

But finding a babysitter for date night is hard. They have to know how to change and feed an infant and you have to trust them. How we found our babysitter is a funny story, so here we go.

The people that own the daycare we go to own about 6 in the area. They were opening a new one in our neighborhood but with construction delays they wouldn't be open when Alana needed to enter daycare. So she was enrolled in one in another neighborhood. For some reason I absolutely loved the morning teacher in her class. When it was time for us to leave to move to the new school I really wanted to ask her if she would be our babysitter, but I chickened out (I don't know the school policy on that sort of thing).

She sent a sweet note home with Alana and I immediately regretted not asking her. So what did I do? I social media stalked her of course. All I knew was her first initial and her last name. I finally found her on Facebook and sent her a message but since we're not friends she hasn't seen the message. Then I went to Instagram. She has a private account so she had to approve my "follow". About a week later she did and comments on one of my pics. Then I told her to please email me if she wanted to babysit and she did! I was so happy! All of my crazyness paid off!

We went bowling and then a topas bar for some drinks; it was really nice to get out and just hang. We have thought about having her over to watch Alana while we clean the house. But daycare is open on the 31st and we have that off so we're going to utilize that day for a deep clean!

{going out is fun and all but its moments on the couch that are the best!}

Have a happy weekend!

Christmas Time Is Here

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Last week I was really starting to get into the Christmas spirit; it was starting to cool down, our tree was up, and lights wrapped the trees in our front yard (I still want to put more lights out). Then the forecast for this week came out…it’s going to be in the 80’s on Friday! WhAt?!? I’ll be back in my flip flops in no time!

We got the tree up right after Thanksgiving with the help of my brother and dad. They also helped me string up the lights outside. We have most all the presents already wrapped and it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! My mom was here to help up over the weekend and she brought all the presents she had wrapped and it’s looking like we’ll have an epic Christmas! I am excited to host it at our house for the first time. After hosting Thanksgiving I am ordering a Honey Baked ham and I think we're going to use festive paper plates so it lightens the dish washing load!

The past couple of Christmas' there really hasn't been a whole lot that I want - everything I want is for the little one. Last year she wasn't here yet but she was on my mind and this year all I want/need is stuff for my growing little girl!

What are you doing to get in the Christmas spirit?! Watching movies? Singing carols? 

7 Month Update

Friday, December 4, 2015

Holy Moly, where has the time gone?! Alana is over 7 months old! About a week before she turned 7 months she started to sit up on her own and she is a pro at it! She is also now starting to scoot backwards while in the sitting position. She has gotten very animated as well, when she “talks” she puts her hand out like she is preaching to the people! It’s quite funny!

{it gets harder and harder to get her to sit still!}
She is quickly growing out of the 3-6 month clothes but the 6 month clothes are still a bit on the large side. They truly grow too fast – but it’s fun to watch them grow and develop into a tiny human.

Her hair is starting to grow and she now has enough to have bed head, it’s quite adorable! It’s almost long enough to start putting some clips in it. We are so surprised that she has blonde hair; I thought for sure she would get her daddy’s dark hair (dark hair is dominate gene over blonde after all). So she gets her good hair from her mamma!

I just love the picture of her with the hat on! Daycare took that of her yesterday and I can't stop staring at it! I find myself looking at her pictures all day - that is why I wanted to start selling Nerium! So I can see that cute face all day every day!

Hope you have an AMAZING weekend! 
Thanks for reading!

5 Things I Love about December

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I love December! I love it because I like getting presents and what month is better for that than December when you celebrate Christmas AND my birthday! 

1 – Presents! Call me materialistic but I just love getting presents and giving presents! My husband and I usually open our presents sometime before Christmas since we travel to see family but this year the celebrations are at our house and we must wait! Plus Alana is with us now and I am so excited to see what she will be doing by the end of the month!

2 – Christmas/Holiday cards! Call me old school but I just love getting cards in the mail. And this time of year seems to be the only time people actually send cards; it’s wonderful! This year I am sort of cheating and I am creating the cards online and they are going to pre-address them for us, I just don’t have the time.

3 – Watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music! Having Christmas movies on in the back ground is a must. Elf usually always makes it on the TV a few times this month (one of the only DVDs my husband and I both had when we moved in together). We had Home Alone on the other night and last year we watched this really cute, newer movie called Arthur Christmas. Now I do think some of the radio stations start a little early with the holiday music but it’s fun to start getting into the Christmas spirit!

4 – Decorating! As much as I wish I could pay someone to decorate for us, I love having the decorations up. I love looking at the lights in the yard and the ornaments on the tree that remind me of past travels.

5 – Time with family and friends! I have only spent one holiday without my family and that was when my best friend and I went to Italy for 2 weeks back in 2008. It was quite the trip! We missed our family but we had fun and it was a trip we will never forget! Buon Natale! And one year I hope to spend Christmas in Hawaii :)

joyeux Noël | god jul | Maligayang Pasko | Nollaig Shona | Frohe Weihnachten
Feliz Navidad | Buon Natale | Mele Kalikimaka
Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah

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