Three months with Gigi!

Life is flying by these days as Gigi is now three months old! I still haven’t taken my own three month photos of her, but I wanted to share some amazing photos that my super talented sister, Aelish, took! Seriously. If you need pictures and live in Texas, she’s your lady. She does it all!

Stats: Around 13 pounds

Likes: Being held by Patrick (we call it the “choke hold”), her new swing (sometimes), cuddling, when her big brother is around, nap time (normally one  good nap a day, and then a few cat naps), being around people, being outside

Dislikes: the bottle/pacifier (still), the Moby wrap (major bummer. We haven’t been having much luck the last few times we’ve put her in it; maybe I need to try the Ergo?). Overall, she has really leveled out and is pretty low-key! Way less screaming/crying.

Sizes: size two diapers and 3-6 month clothing!

Milestones: she rolls over fairly frequently now and her neck seems to be fairly strong. Lots of drool and a couple teeth nubs are visible.

Compared to last month’s update, she has become way more easy going and it’s so much easier to get her to relax and down for bed at night. She seems to comfort-nurse a lot more, along with the regular dream feeds. I’ve noticed my patience is wearing thin these days and I think  daylight savings, an early rising toddler, and three months of broken sleep is finally taking its toll. Thankfully, there is coffee and I have something tangible I can work on the rest of lent. 🙂

Do you have plans for the weekend? Our Archdiocese has a dispensation for St. Patrick’s tomorrow and it’s my husband’s name day! I’m thinking a fun dinner is in order. 🙂

Seven Quick Takes and another life update!

Good morning, friends! This was my first week back to work (part-time) and although it’s been a weird transition…it’s actually really nice to have a schedule again and AMAZING parents nearby to help make this happen for us. I thought I’d give a small life update, while linking up with Kelly!

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Chilling at the children’s museum this week

(ONE) I’ve been trying (and often failing) to step back from the time/soul suckage of social media to be more present to family/friends/work on goals…and it has paid off in some good ways. One of the goals was to read/listen to more books. I recently read the Nightingale and loved it. I have a few more WWII books on my list after reading this one. And due to several library requests arriving around the same time…I’m currently reading/listening to a few right now: Grace, Not Perfection, Present Over Perfect (on Audio; really loving this one), and Divine Mercy for Moms (with my church book club). Patrick and I also started listening to the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up after I downloaded it when it was free on Audible last month. With Lent coming up, I’m working on a spiritual reading list and I’m definitely open to suggestions!

(TWO) We are currently Whole30-ing again for the month of February and it’s going well. Patrick and I both feel good and I think it’s really helping with the newborn exhaustion. Tiger blood? Not really sure about that, but I am falling asleep much easier at night and sleeping soundly when I am able. Amazing when your little one wakes up a several times a night. I am also feeling less anxious overall, which is a huge win since I’m pretty sure I am prone some sort of postpartum anxiety.

(THREE) Meals are a lot easier to prepare and I think it’s because after last year’s round we kept most of the meals we cook at home mostly paleo-ish, therefore we’re used to cooking this way. We are for the most part keeping meals extra simple and it has worked well for our budget and for the limited time we have due to dinner being so close to what is known as “witching hour”. So lots of slow cooker-type meals or proteins that don’t take a lot of work to prep (burgers, compliant sausage, roasted whole chicken…). Also, no fancy Whole30 snacks this time around (just fruit, nuts, etc.).

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One day last week when Patrick made an amazing frittata!

(FOUR) Gigi is a two month old! We had her well check earlier this week and it’s crazy how fast it’s going by. A friend from grad school had her second baby a month before us and she gave me the tip to just sit more and let the baby sleep on me since it goes by so fast. It’s so tempting to put her down to get stuff done once she’s asleep, but I’ve been grateful for the times I get to do this. She definitely naps better on me anyway! 😉

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(FIVE) Speaking of…homegirl is SO not feeling the bottle/pacifier (of course). We are managing fine, especially since I can go home to feed her at lunch and on evenings/weekends I only work for about 3-4 hours at a time. But I’m willing to try different bottles, if you have recommendations!

(SIX) Patrick and I watched Minimalism on Netflix the other night and really enjoyed it! Have you seen the documentary? I liked how it interviews all sorts of people and how they live the “minimalist” lifestyle differently (tiny house, minimalism as a family with 6 kids, etc.).

(SEVEN) After watching it, we decided to try Project 333 (the founder of the program was featured on the movie). It’s basically a form of a capsule wardrobe (33 pieces of clothing for 3 months) and it’s been actually pretty fun. I was only wearing a few things each day anyway due to only wanting to wear certain things postpartum and while nursing a lot. Mostly looser tops with comfy pants. Plus I was inspired by Kelly’s capsule wardrobe post from last week, so I thought why not?! 😀 I pretty much purged all clothes (with the exception of a couple of nice dresses) that aren’t nursing-friendly when I accepted the fact that’d it’d be over a year until I’d get to use them again, so I might as well just own clothes I’m actually comfortable wearing. It’s also getting me out of my default leggings every day. It’s a little challenging as we go from the 80’s one day to a chilly 50 degrees day. Most of the clothing I have picked can be worn on warm days, with the exception of a down vest and couple cardigans, so I’m trying to make it work!

I hope you have a blessed weekend! We are doing some sort of late Valentine’s day date…maybe a trip to the farmers market to cook lunch together or something. Any weekend plans? Did you do anything fun for Valentine’s day this year? We did a night in and watched the Bachelor (ugh, Nick!). Cheers!

Gigi is 2 Months!

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Showing off her body at the pediatrician’s office!

Stats: 11 pounds, 13 oz; 21.5 inches long

Likes: Being held, seeing people’s faces up close, smiles, baby talk, nursing (of course!), the Moby wrap when it’s wrapped tightly, going to bed early.

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Dislikes: The bottle (Patrick said it just seems to piss her off. lol. I’m seeing lots of lunch breaks at home!) and getting ready for bed. She shrieks for about an hour or so up until we can get her settled then she sleeps like a log (last night she slept from about 7:30pm-1:45pm until she needed to be fed!). Not a huge fan of riding in our double stroller YET, but I am working on this one!

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Sizes: 0-3 months are getting a little snug, so I need to wash the next size up. Size one diapers.

Milestones: She rolled over a few weeks ago! So weird. I put her down on the floor on her back and found her on her tummy. Last week I put her down in her bassinet and she immediately slipped over to her side. The ped also said that teeth might be coming in early since she is drooling a lot, which will also hopefully explain all the fussiness at night.

Overall she can be such a sweetheart, but she is so different than Jimpy who seemed to be so easy going all the time. It was so easy to settle him down at night and for naps (or at least we forgot the tough nights! Hehehe). She makes us work for it! 😀 I see a sassy/stubborn little lady in our future!

One Month!

Hello friends! I’m finally back with some exciting news to share! Our baby girl, Genevieve Guadalupe, was born just over a month ago, December 13, 2016 and 6:29 pm after a quick, but surprisingly calm delivery. Our Christmas season was quiet, but blessed with lots of family time spent at home snuggling our little one and experiencing the season with a two and half year old! I feel like so much has happened in the last month and I thought I’d link up with Kelly’s 7QT while sharing!

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One Month

(1) Having a new baby at Christmas is so fun, you guys! I highly recommend it. 😉 Let’s back up a bit–being full term pregnant during Advent and then with a tiny baby at Christmas truly forced us to slow down and savor the season. Due to the circumstances, Advent was a serious season of waiting. We didn’t feel the urge to run and do Christmas and really felt like we had the obligation to take things slowly and not get too busy, due to my physical limitations (and for my sanity). Once she arrived, we just kept the slow going and spent lots of time on the couch/in bed. Turns out a fresh baby gets you out of all the holiday obligations!

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Christmas Mass

(2) During the rest of Advent and Christmas, almost all of our time was spent quietly at home. Since we delivered at a birth center, we went home about 4 hours after she was born. Thankfully with all the grandparents nearby, Jimp was able to spend 4 nights with grandparents. We missed him, but the quiet(ish) nights were great.

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Christmas Morning

(3) Hopefully I’ll get around to posting her birth story soon! I need to get it down on paper before I forget everything! Like I mentioned, the birth was super quick and actually really peaceful though. It was about an hour and half from when the legit contractions started to when she was delivered. Despite how quick it went, I got to deliver in the tub and everything. I can’t complain and feel super blessed.

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Newborn Exam

(4) We shared the story of Genevieve’s (we call her Gigi) name with Kate at Sancta Nomina and she put the announcement on her blog. If you’re not familiar with her site, she does name consultations for Catholic families and always has great recommendations for baby names. Check it out here. 🙂

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Two Weeks

(5) Gigi was baptized by our dear friend, Deacon Jacob, on December 26th at our parish. Keep him in your prayers as he will be ordained in May! We had several college friends in town who were able to join us for the occasion, along with our families. I hope I can share a few more photos when I get a few more back from my sister in law.

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(6) Patrick and I agree that the thing we were most excited about is seeing Jimp and Gigi together. I was a little worried about jealousy, but I actually haven’t noticed any of that. He kisses her, loves “holding” her, and is always interested in her socks (?). He had a tough time after Patrick went back to work last week (we had 4 weeks together, so I don’t blame him!), but overall I’d say the transition is going pretty well!

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(7) Overall, it has been the sweetest month as a family of FOUR! Cheers to a happy 2017!

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First Family Photo at Birth Center

 

Healthy-ish Holiday Recipe Favorites

Hello and happy feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe! These couple weeks are super festive and exciting for the Church with so many awesome feasts and celebrations. I am literally on edge waiting to see which day this baby picks for his/her birthday. 🙂

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In honor of celebrating Our Lady and a fun link up, I wanted to share a few favorite holiday recipes! I don’t bake often because my husband eats pretty clean and mostly gluten/sugar free so if I’m going to make a treat for him, it’s normally a paleo-ish one. Also, I didn’t grow up baking a lot (and definitely not from scratch) so my preferred recipes are easy and don’t require a lot of fancy ingredients.

The first couple are pumpkin, so I guess more traditionally fall, but I don’t see how they couldn’t work all winter (year) long! We have been making these pumpkin muffins from Wellness Mama throughout the past couple of months. It has just a few super simple and healthy ingredients and is delicious. It’s a treat I don’t mind making and feeding to Jimp because they’re gluten and refined sugar free, not to mention packed with protein from the eggs. I have used butter and coconut oil in the recipe and both taste great.

Next is another Wellness Mama recipe–Pumpkin cheesecake. I always use ground almonds for the crust since they’re the only nut I can eat. This is probably Patrick’s favorite dessert. Again, super easy and relatively guilt free.

Another paleo treat we love, are the chocolate coconut macaroons from the Against All Grain cookbook. Any of her recipes are great. They do require more extensive ingredients, so I don’t make them too often. However, they are truly decadent and would make great gifts. You won’t even miss the gluten/refined sugar. I think I’ll try the peppermint version next!

This cookie recipe isn’t paleo (I am no paleo police by any means!!), but I have tried them couple times and they didn’t disappoint, most recently for our work Christmas party. Can’t go wrong with classic chocolate chip cookies! I used this simple recipe. If you’re interested in a paleo option: try the Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Against All Grain or Primal Palate’s Chocolate Chip Raspberry Cookies. I have made both and they are both great.

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Baking said cookies with #datbump

This last recipe isn’t a sweet, but it’s definitely a holiday favorite in our family! My mom is Filipino and she doesn’t really bake, but she makes the best lumpia ever. We eat pretty traditional meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but my mom always makes these Filipino egg rolls as appetizers and they are never leftovers around! Jimp ate about 4 at Thanksgiving–and didn’t want any dinner after that. 😉 She doesn’t really have a recipe but here is a link to a similar one.

Linking up today with Sarah and Victoria!

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Small Biz Holiday Gift Picks

Hi there and Blessed Feast of the Immaculate Conception! I am currently feeling very Advent-y as I (restlessly) wait/prepare for baby2 to come! Due date is in 2 days and I am mostly feeling well. However, the baby is pretty low according to the midwives, so every minor discomfort has me wondering, “Is it time??!!”. Although a little bit restless, I am mostly very EXCITED and not very anxious at all. We have all baby prep pretty much done. Next week depending on my recovery status (or if the baby is even here), I’ll have some gift wrapping and card sending to do (or realistically maybe the husband will do it). But otherwise, we are pretty much good to go and ready to snuggle with our babies, rest, and enjoy the rest of Advent and Christmas!

I had hoped to squeeze in another post between now and the due date which included an abbreviated version of Jimp’s birth story, but couldn’t find what I had typed out a couple years ago. So I will have to sit down and do it again eventually.

In the meantime, I thought I’d join the Christmas link up again with Sarah and Victoria and share some fun small business gift picks. I have purchased some of these myself and the rest I think would just be great gifts to give or receive! 🙂

From Left to Right, starting at the top: any of the fun mugs and prints from Brick House in the City, all designed by Lauren, a friend from college.

A personalized, hand lettered ornament from All She Wrote Notes.

Simple, but beautiful embroidered baby blankets from Etsy Shop, TheInitialGift (got one for a friend earlier this year).

We used these address stamps from Etsy for our wedding invitations (with my parents’ address) I wish I had one for our Christmas cards this year! Would be great for any new homeowners or newlyweds.

And lastly, basically anything by Katrina of Hatch Prints! She hand letters and watercolors art prints and mugs and just added this beautiful calendar to her shop. I think I would frame all the prints at the end of the year for a gallery wall. You can find art for the whole family on her site!

I hope you have a blessed Advent and Christmas season and a wonderful feast day today!

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Advent and Christmas Traditions

Blessed Feast of St. Nicholas! I’m linking up today with day 2 of a fun holiday linkup with super cute Victoria and Sarah and sharing my favorite holiday traditions! Our Advent and Christmas seasons are of course going to look a little different this year with a baby due this Saturday. A couple things we do intend to do is really savor/enjoy and simplify the seasons as best we can! So far we have done a bit of decorating and have had our tree up since right after Thanksgiving. That isn’t something we normally rush to do, but we were definitely excited for that this year. We didn’t purchase any new decor and just re-purposed some items we already have, besides the tree itself (Patrick and I both grew up with real ones). One thing I wouldn’t mind adding though is a nice quality Nativity set. Maybe I need to check out post-Christmas sales for that. We also have been enjoying lots of holiday music, particularly the Pentatonix! Jimp loves this video.

In terms of traditions, we are trying a couple of new things this year. First, we finally put together our Advent wreath and have been lighting it during dinner and in the evenings. I didn’t grow up with this tradition, but now that Jimp is older, I am hoping to get into the habit of incorporating more liturgical traditions.  If you’re not familiar with Advent wreaths, there are fours candles to represent the four weeks leading up to Christmas. Each Sunday, a new one is lit. The three purple candles represent our prayer and penance (for weeks 1, 2, and 4) as we prepare for the birth of our Savior. The third week, we light the rose (or pink) candle to represent our joy in knowing what’s to come! We are continuing to pray the St. Andrew Christmas Novena, which I love and have done for several years.

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Another new tradition we are starting is a Reverse Advent calendar, which I stumbled across on good ol’ Pinterest. The idea is that each day during Advent, you place an item in a container to donate to others, instead of a traditional calendar where you get something new each day. Surprisingly Jimp seems to really get it and has been enjoying putting in something new each day in the box. Just the other day, he grabbed a box of cereal from the pantry on his own and put it in there, without me asking (cue my mom heart melting). I normally just tell him it’s for our “friends” who might not have enough food at their houses and he seems to get it. Here is our box on Day 2 of Advent:

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For Christmas, we started a new tradition last year of Secret Santa with Patrick’s family which is super fun and definitely has simplified gift giving as the family grows! Patrick’s family loves gift-giving and we all take turns opening our gifts together. So much fun and makes opening all presents super exciting. The past several years, we have done Christmas Eve dinner with my dad’s side of the family (every year since I can remember, actually), Mass followed by brunch with my immediate family on Christmas morning, and Christmas dinner with Patrick’s family. We mainly plan to stay home this year though to recover, but if I feel up to it, my goal is making it to Christmas Mass and taking a festive family photo with the decorations (my family’s tradition). Below is our photo from last year and I dug up one from Patrick’s and my first married Christmas, complete with 16ish week baby bump!

Christmas 2015

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On a random note, we have really enjoyed taking family walks over the past couple of years around our neighborhood to see the Christmas lights. I grew up in the same neighborhood but don’t remember it being this festive as a kid! Last year, we did Santa pictures at the Mall for the first time. I will have to find it and upload it later on. I like the idea of it for this year, but almost 40 weeks pregnant at the mall during Christmas sounds like a really bad idea! ;D

I almost forgot one final tradition…since I was in junior high, some dear family friends have hosted a potluck and White Elephant gift exchange in the day or two after Christmas for our friend group…lots of the group have since moved away and are married with kids, but if they’re in town they’re at the party. It has since evolved to include any local friends and kiddos and into an epic gathering, but it’s something I look forward to every year!

Check out Victoria’s and Sarah’s blogs for lots of of fun holiday traditions! Yesterday the link-up was to post your wishlist. I normally am not a Christmas list person as I like to surprised, but since we had to make one for Secret Santa, here are a few things I “wished” for: a new pretty slow cooker for some post-baby freezer meals, this print from Hatch Prints to help dress up some bare walls, this cozy cardigan, and a healthy nail polish set.

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