Part II – Hawaii Vacation (Aulani)

When we got to Aulani for the second half of our vacation, it wasn’t check-in time yet, so we walked around the hotel and (of course) we had to check out Aunty’s Beach house (the kids club).  The kids immediately loved it, and didn’t want to leave, so we did what any parent would do, left them there, picked up a cocktail and walked around the rest of the hotel (minus the kids).  SCORE!!!

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After we received the text that our room was ready, we called up our bags and went to check out the room.  We had a deluxe room with an ocean view, which worked well for our family of four.  It included a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee pot. After relaxing for a few, we went down to pick up the kids, and walk around with them, before stopping at the Olelo room Bar & Lounge for appetizers (what we called dinner) and live music.  The pool was open for another hour, so we figured let’s get a quick night swim in, so we went back to the room, quickly changed, and went down for a little swim.  The pools were pretty empty and it was fun to have some spontaneity even with the kids.  We were all exhausted after our swim and went to bed, our first night in our room at Aulani.

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The next day we woke up, ate breakfast at the buffet with the characters, because you have to do that activity at least once while at any Disney resort.  The characters came out to dance and meet with each of the tables.  Breakfast was a buffet assortment and included beverages.  After breakfast, we dropped the kids off at the kids club and went to work out in the gym.  It’s been years since I’ve worked out in a gym (outside of our garage), so it was a nice change.  Since the kids were in the kids club, we go everything ready (minus screaming and crying) for a day at the beach.

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We picked up the kids around lunchtime and headed to the beach in front of Aulani, Maggie met us there and we stayed at the beach all day.  At the beach we played in the sand and ocean, rented boogie boards, and did standup paddle boarding around the lagoon.

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That night we fed the kids early and dropped them off at the kids club and headed across the street to MonkeyPod for a quiet dinner.  There is a great shopping center across the street from the hotel with an assortment of restaurants that makes for a variety of options (besides just the hotel, and a lot cheaper).

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Drinks at MonkeyPod

The next morning, we woke up and walked to the shopping center across the way and had breakfast burritos from the ABC store and coffee from the coffee shop, then came back to drop the kids off at Aunty’s Beach House, while we worked out in the gym.

We planned to have a pool day.  The pool amenities at Aulani are really nice, including a lazy river, two water slides, kid’s area with bridges and slides, and multiple pools that were all a comfortable temperature.  We found the ABC store across the way to have a large assortment of food options (at a far cheaper price than Aulani), so we picked up lunch there that morning, so when we got hungry we just ran upstairs to the room and brought it down to eat at the pool chairs.

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That afternoon we all had appointments booked.  The kids went to Stitch’s Goo at Aunty’s Beach Club, while Matt and I went to the spa for massages.  The kids had a blast at their activity (which was free of charge), while Matt and I thoroughly enjoyed the amenities at the spa, as well as our massages.

That night we went back across the street for dinner at the Mexican restaurant, unfortunately it wasn’t very memorable, but when you are from Southern California and you’ve had the good stuff it’s hard to accept mediocre food.

After dinner, we enjoyed a movie on the lawn at Aulani.  We watched The Good Dinosaur, which we had seen before, and since it was so late Allyson fell asleep on the blanket under the stars, and we had to carry both kids back to the room after the show.

Sadly we were on our final full day at Aulani (and on Vacation.)  We walked back across the street to enjoy  Breakfast at the ABC store, drop the kids off at Aunty’s, worked out at the gym, and got ready for another pool day.  We made sure to participate in all of the pool activities that day.  Additionally, we played the hotel scavenger hunt using ipads that we borrowed from the resort.  It was a fun activity for us to do as a family.  We also picked up some flowers and string to make our own lei’s before we had to return to the mainland.

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That night, the kids went to Aunty’s Beach house one last time, where they ate dinner, learned the hula, and participated in a comedy night.  Meanwhile, Matt and I enjoyed one last date night on the island.  We walked next door, to the four seasons, to admire the beautiful sunset.  Then we had our last dinner on the island at the upscale Ama’ Ama’ at Aulani.  This was our favorite meal at the resort, and we would highly recommend.  At one point Aunty’s called me to say Allyson missed me so I went next door to see if she could stay a little longer and she agreed since she was just curled up on a comfy chair watching Frozen (tough life, hehe)!  After dinner, we picked up the kids and went back to the room.

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The next day we woke up, had breakfast at the resort and headed home.  We had the most amazing vacation all around.  And because of this trip, I am far more open-minded to traveling with little ones.  We did have a lot of help between Maggie and Aunty’s Beach House helping with watching the kids.  However, there are a lot of places out there with kid activities, and the older my kids get; I won’t have to depend on those types of resorts.  Thanks for reading my post about our Hawaii trip!  xoxo

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Oahu, Hawaii Family Vacation (Part I)

I’m back!  Well I figured since I had a few people ask me about our recent trip to Hawaii that it might make sense to dust off the old blog and post something new.  I’ll be writing this as a two part blog since I had so much to share and we actually split our time between two locations.  Not only to save money, but also to give us the opportunity to see more of the island.

Last month we took our first real family trip to Hawaii.  Bode has been on a plane a handful of times but we stopped traveling on planes as a family after I got pregnant with Allyson.  Matt and I have traveled over the past few years but they have either been as a couple or for business.  So let’s be real, I doubt Bode even remembers the flights we took when he was ONE.  And Allyson had never been on a plane.  BUT I knew if I never exposed them to travel, they would 1) never know what it was like 2) never have the chance to get better at it 3) We wouldn’t have the wonderful memories SO we decided to ignore all the negative thoughts that comes with traveling with kids and make the most of our vacation.

Hawaii seemed like the safest destination because you can always relax there, plus Maggie (my sister-in-law lives there), and we had always discussed the idea of Disney’s Aulani for the kids.

We flew out of LAX on a rainy Tuesday morning, and while it seemed like a long flight, the kids were actually really good.  Allyson even took a nap, and Bode and I managed to get a little bit of his homework/kumon in between movies and coloring.  I can just tell you I was over prepared, which is better than under prepared!  I brought all the essentials – lots of snacks (which was essential because we had initially planned to eat breakfast at the airport but since there was a fatality on the freeway, plus rain, it took us way longer to get to the airport and we basically got there with enough time to walk on our flight), coloring books, activity books, ipads (Christmas gift this year planned strategically for this trip), headphones, and a few small toys.  Once we got off the plane, it felt good to pack away our sweatshirts for a week and swap our tennis shoes for sandals.

From the terminal we picked up our rental car, a Toyota corolla, which was the perfect size for our vacation, and headed over to our first destination, an Air B n B in Lanikai.  Needless to say, we were all a little grumpy since we hadn’t eaten any real meals that day so we quickly looked around, dropped off our bags, and headed out for food.  We drove into Kailua, just a few miles away, parked the car and started walking around to see about getting some food.  And after walking around to a few places, we decided to just make our way to a trusted favorite – Whole Foods.  Haha,  I know, so original!!  But when you have a bunch of Hangry people, you go with what you know tastes good!  Plus we needed groceries for our condo so it seemed like the perfect fit.  This Whole Foods is probably one of the BEST ones I’ve ever visited and in the back of the store there is a bar/restaurant with food to order and beers on tap.  It made sense for us to just pick off the menu and have our first drink on the island.  After dinner, it was probably about 7pm (9pm California time), and the kids were about to fall asleep at the table so we quickly did our grocery shopping, came back to the condo, and went to bed.

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The next day, the kids woke us up extra early (because of the time change), we made breakfast in the condo and watched the sun rise off our balcony.  After breakfast we got dressed and went on our way to a nearby hike called Pillbox.  We didn’t realize, until we made the trek up the hill, that this was going to be a steep hike, and if we had known that ahead of time, we might not have brought Allyson along for the ride.  However, she was a tough girl and made it up all by herself.  We held her hand at times, but she definitely held her own most of the way.  The views at the stop were spectacular, and it made us that much more excited to get to the beach soon after our hike.

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When we got back to the condo we rinsed off, put our bathing suits on and walked to the beach a block away.  The condo supplied us with towels, chairs, and boogie boards for us to bring along with us.  If you haven’t been to Lanikai, its honestly the most beautiful beach in the world.  The waves are calm, and the water is clear.  While Matt didn’t see anything while snorkeling out by the rocks, we overheard a few people next to us one of the days there say they saw lots of fish and even a shark out just a little further than Matt went.  We played at the beach for hours, and then ate a late lunch in town, and stopped at Target for  some much needed sand toys.  That afternoon we went back to the beach for some more fun in the sun.

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That evening we decided to go to the movies to see “Sing.” Maggie joined us and it was a cute little theater where we were the only ones watching the movie.  After the movie, the kids quickly fell asleep in the car, but we hadn’t eaten dinner yet.  So the most logical choice for dinner was another trip to Whole Foods.  Hahaha, what can I say?  There are so many options at the hot bars that we never had the same thing twice.

The next day, we chose to workout by doing a little running on the beach.  There were lots of people walking their dogs and exercising on the beach as well that morning.  Afterwards, we went back to the condo, put on our suits and went back to the beach for some playtime.  The mornings were always far less crowded than the afternoons.  After our morning at the beach, we came back to the room to shower and change before heading out for a road trip.  We drove North to the Polynesian cultural center.  We enjoyed the canoe ride and learning about the different Polynesian cultures, however the place really made you feel like a tourist, especially since most people were there with a tour and traveled with large groups.  We chose not to do the luau but I hear it’s one of the best on the island.  We stayed there for a few hours and then drove back just before it got dark to enjoy the local farmers market.  There was a variety of food options at the market and live music, highly recommend!

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The next morning, after a quick workout at the park across the street and our usual breakfast on the balcony, our fabulous babysitter came over to take the kids to the beach while we enjoyed some time away.  Matt and I headed out to do some hiking, at first we were going to do this one hike, which turned out to be more of a look-out point, which was beautiful but we wanted some exercise.  So we decided to try Diamond Head instead.  It was really crowded with lots of tourists but we made it and it was worth the trek.  Took about 1 hour to get to the top and back down again.  We enjoyed some fresh coconut juice and pineapple afterwards.  On our way home, we picked up lunch at a local spot that was similar to Chipotle in Kailua (but with organic chicken, which is exciting for me since thats the only kind of chicken I consume) before heading back to the condo.  After lunch, we all went back to the beach for some more play time, because you can never have too much beach in a day.  The best part about this was that Maggie finally got Allyson to get in the Ocean water.  This was a game changer, and from then on out, Allyson had no fear playing and jumping in the water.  This was also the start to a 3-day holiday weekend, so Lanikai was extra crowded!  That night we had dinner and made another pit stop at… you guessed it – Whole Foods, for some more snacks and drinks for the condo.

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On Day 5, we needed one last visit to Lanikai, so we woke up and after breakfast headed straight to the beach.  When we got back we packed up all our luggage, picked up a quick lunch at whole foods, you know just one last time, and headed over to Honolulu to drop off our rental car.  From there we took a shuttle over to Disney’s Aulani…

Fitness VoxBox – Motivation

Finding motivation in my chaotic life is much different than it was many years ago or even 2 years ago when I was pregnant with Ally and only had 1 kid to chase. I try to eat healthy since I don’t have time to work-out. My workouts are more like chasing 2 kids around then lifting weights or going out for a jog. However, even just 2 years ago I would need to work-out just to keep up with my love for food. I guess it’s funny how it used to be that I lived to eat, and now I eat to live. I still love to eat but enjoying my food usually only comes when I am without kids or have a few additional eyes to help watch them during mealtime (like grandparents and friends without kids). I decided to write this blog and basically find motivation to get myself back to me and what I love and that is eating good food and exercising. About a month ago I found out I qualified for the fitness VoxBox and when I received the box it definitely motivated me to step up my game.

Fitness VoxBox Goodies

Fitness VoxBox Goodies

I was so excited to check out all of the amazing goodies in this VoxBox. Below I will be discussing some of my favorite items from the selection. These items were given to me complimentary of Influenster.com, however all of the opinions are my own.

ProFoot Pedi-Rock

ProFoot Pedi-Rock

This amazing Pro-foot Pedi-Rock is a must have for anyone wearing open toed shoes in the summertime. My Feet are a little more dry and this is soft and gets rid of those unwanted calluses. I’m not just saying its good, I’m saying this thing is GREAT. And if you are like me and don’t have time (or really much money) to get a pedicure often this is a great buy to keep your feet looking soft and smooth!

Vitamin Shoppe Shaker

Vitamin Shoppe Shaker

Vitamin Shoppe Shakes on the go...

Vitamin Shoppe Shakes on the go…

As I mentioned previously, I am eating to live these days and these shakes have really come in handy especially as a meal replacement during the week for lunch. I loved all 3 flavors but the berry and vanilla were my favorites. I ordered some additional packets to help me get through the summertime and Bode even enjoys them once in awhile. And the shaker is the perfect size for me (vs. the ones my husband uses that are much larger).

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I had never tried this brand of yogurt before mostly because I’m not usually a fan of greek yogurt but I decided to give it a try. And wow I’m so glad I did, it was so creamy and very filling. I ended going back and purchasing a few other flavors because there were so many options I couldn’t choose just one.

Aqua Spa Bath Salts

Aqua Spa Bath Salts

As a busy working mom of two you better believe I was excited to try these lavender bath salts by Aqua Spa. And of course they didn’t disappoint. I think for me as long as the scent is pleasant you can’t go wrong with anything to enhance a bath after a long day. Even my husband enjoyed them and I will more than likely be going out and buying another container once this one is all gone.

Blueberry Blue Diamond Almonds

Blueberry Blue Diamond Almonds

MMMMM these were so good! The perfect mix of sweet and salty for a yummy snack. I only got to enjoy a few because Bode ate most of them but the ones I did try were good. I will be looking for these yummy treats again.

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Although I’m not running much right now I’ve been wearing these in my running shoes and they are comfy. I think once I start doing real miles as I prepare for my next Half Marathon in November I’ll have a better review of these insoles.

Thanks again Influenster, this VoxBox got me motivated to push myself to the next step. I hope to start doing more blogging on fitness and life with 2 kids soon. I know the last year has been all about my baby girl, and life will always be all about my kids but I’m looking forward to also getting a little more ‘me’ time in, after all I’m only a good Mommy if I’m also good to myself.

Dear Allyson Honor (Happy Birthday!)…

Dear Ally,
Happy Birthday my sweet little girl, it’s been an amazing year! I am so blessed to be your mama and as I look back at this past year I can’t believe you are already 1, where did the time go? It feels like we just brought you home from the hospital yesterday and that I was pregnant just a few weeks ago.

Let’s be honest now, you are totally a mama’s girl and I can’t complain. I think the bond that we have created through nursing and the first 6 months of your life with me being home with you was definitely what shaped and molded our relationship. The sleepless nights were all worth all the extra cuddles I got with you day in and day out. Thank goodness I made the investment with the rocker because we spent many nights and days hanging out in that chair. And as I look back on the past year I’m remembering our summer nights where Bode would run around the backyard, the many evenings Daddy would come home with takeout or make dinner for us all because I couldn’t spare any extra time to cook, the long naps you would only take in my bed during the daytime, all the baby wearing I would do because you were so little and easy to just carry, bath times with your brother and watching the two of you bond, Bode sharing his toys with you, dressing you up in pretty girly clothes and accessories for impromptu photo shoots, dressing you up as a mouse for Halloween, Disneyland for your brothers 3rd birthday, the ear infections and antibiotics, first foods, crawling, standing up on everything…

I just love the way you look at your daddy and your brother. You can see the admiration in your eyes and it just melts my heart. You would follow Bode anywhere you could crawl after him, although I wish you were walking sometimes, you get around pretty fast crawling. People often ask me how Bode is with you, if he is helpful or not and honestly he is just a little boy. He would rather play with his toys than help his mama with his baby sister, however when it comes to watching you, we have named Bode the ‘Ally Police’. He wants to make sure you are okay at all times and that you aren’t getting into trouble. And if you do seem to get into trouble he’s quick to ask if you will go on time-out for doing so. Of course we don’t put you on time-out but we do try and teach you right from wrong. I think you are lucky to have a brother who looks after you, and hopefully will play nicely with you when you get a little bit older. And I can see it in your body language that when Daddy holds you, you feel safe and that you know he is your protector. Please know that because you are the baby in this family you will have 3 people in your life that will always be protecting you (your Daddy, big brother Bode, and of course me). You still aren’t so sure about Boss our pug but that’s okay because I’m sure eventually you will be cuddling with him too. And the most amazing thing to me is that since you had tubes put in your ears around 11 months we have all witnessed your personality come through including your independence and appetite! You went from the 8th percentile for height at 9 months, to the 75th percentile in height at 12 months. Maybe you will be a tall girl after all, I guess only time will tell. Although I was sad to say good-bye to our first home as a family, I’m excited about the new adventures we will have in our new home. I can just imagine in the next few years you and your brother chasing each other in the backyard and in another 10 years from now fighting over the bathroom you share. I can’t imagine this life without you, thank you for being you!

Xoxo

Mommy

Below are some pictures from Ally’s First Birthday, I will follow up with a 12-month blog…

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Ally 11th Month

And the 1 year birthday countdown has begun…  What a crazy busy month its been and sadly I barely took any pictures.  The two biggest things that have happened over the past month are 1) Ally got tubes put in her ears and 2) we sold our first home and are moving into a new home around May 1st.  Selling our home this past month was not something we initially planned to do in 2014, however it just seemed like the right timing with the market values and wanting to move into a larger home.  The next few months will be busy, busy as we move and get settled in but it will be so exciting to have a bigger backyard for the summertime and be closer to both of our families.  Ally’s surgery went really well, she only had it done a few days ago but she already seems so much more easy going and relaxed.  We are hoping that this will make everything so much better and that ear infections are a thing of the past.

Sleeping/Feeding

I feel so excited to say that I will definitely be making it to the 1 year mark for nursing.  I’m slowly lowering the amount of pumping I’m doing during the day but I have enough milk stored in the freezer to last throughout the next month.  Ally can eat most foods, even things that I’m not sure if she can eat yet we attempt to give it to her anyhow, and shes also a lot less apprehensive to try new things, especially if they come off my plate.

I have officially dropped the ‘dream feed’ that I have been continuing to do over the past few months.  Mostly because I was afraid Ally would wake up in the middle of the night hungry, but she hasn’t!  She is still consistent with her sleep schedule, usually goes to bed around 7pm and gets up around 6am with 1-2 naps during the day usually lasting anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

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Ally is a very active little girl, I let her crawl around the backyard (and of course dirty her pants) and she just loves following her big brother all over the place.  Its funny because we hadn’t done much stroller time in the past few months mostly because I’m either carrying Ally in the ergo or she is in the cart at the store but we have been going on walks lately and she has been loving the stroller time, especially facing outward.  

Diaper size – size 3

Clothing size –6-12 month clothes

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Ally-Boo-Boo

8-Month Hair color – brown

8-Month eye color –blue

8-Month Weight –  TBD

8-Month Height –  TBD

What’s up with Bode?

Bode is excited about our big move to the new house and of course his sister’s birthday next month.  Also, we know that all of these new changes will probably be difficult for our little guy. We will be doing lots of preparation by having him help us pack and talking about the move to help with the adjustment. By the time I write about Ally’s first birthday we’ll be in our new house with a 3 ½ year old and 1 year old. Exciting times!

Ally 10th Month

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Another delayed post but late is better than not at all…  It was another month of sick babies but we handled the last round of ear infections very well and unfortunately Bode was the one that got hit the hardest.  The antibiotics helped and since then everyone’s been healthy.  Let’s just hope that we don’t get any more ear infections this season or we will be meeting with the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist for both kiddos.

Sleeping/Feeding

We are still nursing and I keep thinking I want to do a special blog post summarizing my ups and downs of breastfeeding.  It’s been very challenging but I’m so glad I have stuck it out and made it this far.  I plan to stop around 1 year and I can’t even imagine how my life is going to change once we do stop.  Ally loves to feed herself so I have to get more and more creative on what I feed her.  We still haven’t introduced meats yet, and I plan to soon but things have been so hectic.

Sleep has been good but she has been getting up around 330am 2-3 mornings/week just chatting in her bed and then eventually going back to sleep.  This is okay since I don’t have to wake up to be wit her but it kind of throws me off, especially when I have to go to work 5 out of the 7 days a week.  Her naps are great at daycare but on the weekend she has been fighting them so I have to make sure we really tire her out before she will go down to sleep.  Probably mostly due to her excitement for all the new things shes been learning and experiencing, I can only imagine walking is going to happen sometime soon.

 Miscellaneous

Ally had her first Valentine’s Day and I bought each of my love bugs a V-day gift including some sweet treats.

We also had our first park visit and first swing experience.  She loved the swing which was a pleasant surprise because Bode has never liked the swing.

Diaper size – size 3

Clothing size –6-12 month clothes

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Ally-Boo-Boo

8-Month Hair color – brown

8-Month eye color –blue

8-Month Weight –  TBD

8-Month Height –  TBD

What’s up with Bode?

Bode is really eager to learn right now.  We are going over his letters a lot more consistently and he is practicing writing his name at school so hopefully by the end of the year he will successfully be able to write his name on his own and recognize all the letters in the alphabet.  However, I’m not too concerned since we have 2 more years till kindergarten (1 year of pre-K and another year after that for T-K which is transitional Kindergarten since he has an October birthday).

Allyson 9th Month

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Sorry this post is so delayed (10 days late), life is crazy busy and when Ally’s month-iversary comes mid-week its impossible for me to keep up.  I was just recently thinking about where I was 1 year ago today and Iwas definitely showing by now and enjoying my pregnancy because I wasn’t too big yet.  Little did I know how blessed I’d feel to have this little girl in our family.  This past month has been pretty un-eventful as far as ‘things we’ve done’ because all of us have been sick more than once with various viruses – ear infections, colds, flu, etc…  Ally had a double ear infection and had a hard time eating foods so she stuck primarily to nursing during that 5-day period.  She’s now back to eating like a champ and hopefully gaining back all the weight she lost.  She’s still my sweet little petite princess and has me wrapped around her finger with just one little smile.  And her laughs this month have been amazing!  She thinks her big brother is the funniest thing and its adorable to see the two interact.  As hard as life is right now with juggling everything, when I see the relationship that is blossoming between my 2 kids, I feel so blessed knowing that they will have each other for the rest of their lives to support, bother, motivate, and love.  I know every mom will probably say this about their own, but I love having my kids 2 ½ years apart, just enough time to enjoy the first and then do it all over again with the second.

Sleeping/Feeding

Ally is a great sleeper, she sleeps consistently from around 6 or 7pm to 6 or 7am (12 hours).  Usually taking 1-2 naps/day and those naps are anywhere from 30 minutes all the way to 3 hours.  I’m still breastfeeding but our feedings are getting much shorter because Ally is more attentive to her surroundings and she loves to eat real food.  I am also still doing a dream-feed.  She is probably taking in an extra few ounces (which was great when she was sick this past month) and I’m just thankful she is such a good sleeper.  She loves yogurt, cereals, fruit, sweet potatoes, and veggies when they are mixed with a fruit or sweet potato.  I’ve tried to get her to eggs but every time I do she starts to gag on them, and honestly I think it’s just her being stubborn because she has tried this with me and bananas too and I know she loves bananas.

 Miscellaneous

Ally is finally crawling this month but she is very picky when she decides to crawl.  Her crawl is a normal forward crawl but she is not very fast yet.  I’m actually very impressed in her form but she will really only move when she wants something (like her brothers toys that he is playing with).  Bode doesn’t love that she can crawl now because he is finding it harder to hide things from her that he doesn’t want to share.  And now learning to share will be something they will both have to learn for the rest of their lives.  Ally is attempting to stand up and has done it a few times in the crib but for the most part I have to put her in the standing position.  We’ll be moving the crib down very soon!  I can also see her interested in the walker so I predict her walking by her 1st bday (just 3-months away).

Allyson now has 4 teeth on top (1 just came in at 9-months) and 2 on bottom, so 6 altogether

Diaper size – size 3

Clothing size –6-12 month clothes

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Ally-Boo

8-Month Hair color – brown, but I wish her hair would grow a little faster…

8-Month eye color –blue

8-Month Weight –  14lb 11 ounces

8-Month Height –  28 inches

What’s up with Bode?

I have to start off by saying that 3-years old are a lot of fun.  This kid is a little person that has opinions and can have conversations with anyone.  Well when he wants to, I guess because there is definitely times when he just won’t talk.  But communication is something we work on every day and the importance of it as well.  He has really gotten interested in letters lately (finally) and he wants to know what all the letters are everywhere from books to signs to pamphlets, and he gets so excited when he can recognize them himself.  We still have 2 more years of Pre-K after this year but it’s nice to see that this year is finally starting to rub off on him and he is learning.

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Allyson 8th Month

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Ally is now 8-months old, that means only 4 months till her 1st birthday.  Yup, I’m already planning ahead!  Hey, if I plan ahead I can get more things done without stressing along with budgeting for all the supplies needed for the celebration. Okay enough about the future; I’m here to chat about the past month…

The hardest part of this past month was the transition back to work.  Of course the holidays are one of the most joyous times but they are also the busiest.  I didn’t expect these kids to have such a hard time.  At first it was Bode only where he was acting up going on constant time outs, hitting his friends, and refusing to nap and bothering his friends who were sleeping.  But when he made a comment about being a baby I quickly realized that he was jealous of Ally going to Olga’s.  He was no longer the baby and when I was at home it was different because Ally was just with me but now she is at Bode’s old stomping grounds and he started to revert and act like a baby.  Through some bribery he slowly got better but it’s going to take some more time to get back to normal.  Ally was okay the first week, lots of crying or whining at daycare but by the second week she wasn’t sleeping through the night making it difficult for both Matt and I to function at our jobs.  This is the first time where Matt has had to help out since I too need my sleep at night because of work and unfortunately we were both feeling the effects.  Therefore our 930p bedtime was definitely something to look forward to at the end of the day. By the end of this month Ally was now enjoying her time at daycare, smiling and not crying the minute I walk in the door to be held.  While Bode is still not taking naps, he is however behaving better and has made huge improvements overall.

Sleeping/Feeding

We are now at 8-months and I’m still breastfeeding (even though I’m pumping now for 2 feedings).  She eats 2 meals a day, usually at lunchtime and dinnertime, and takes 2 naps a day which equal to about 3 hours total.  My feedings look like this – 6am milk, 9am milk, 11am lunch, 3pm milk, 5pm milk, 6pm dinner, and a dream-feed at 930pm.  So far she is still mostly eating grains, fruits, and vegetables.  I tried introducing yogurt the other day and she loved it so I think we’ll include it more often for some variety. She typically goes to bed before 7pm and gets up around 6am but since going back to work her sleep schedule has been a little messed up.  Hopefully she’ll get back to her regular routine soon.

Miscellaneous

We finally have a backwards crawler and she is really good at sitting up on her own.  Today, on her actual 8th month ‘birthday’, she did one small crawl forward; therefore we are now predicting her fully crawling in the next few weeks.  Since we already have the house baby proofed, we’ll have to just watch out for Bode’s toys since so many of them have little pieces that I can see Ally putting in her mouth.

Ally had her first New Year’s (minus the celebration).  Grandpa and Grandma Hank came over to watch the kids so we could enjoy a night out with our friends (Brent and Katie Nash).  Matt and I haven’t been on that many dates lately so it was really nice to get away for a few hours.  But it was really hard to recover after staying up till midnight (and having a 5am wakeup call the next day).

Allyson got her third tooth on December 18th and about a week later the 4th tooth popped up too!  It’s funny because they aren’t her top middle teeth; they are the two upper ‘canine’ teeth that came through.

Diaper size – size 2, but I put her in 3’s at nighttime so the transition to 3’s all day is coming soon!

Clothing size –6-9 month clothes

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Ally-Boo, Ally-Bear

8-Month Hair color – brown, more and more hair is coming every day!

8-Month eye color –blue

8-Month Weight –  TBD

8-Month Height –  TBD

What’s up with Bode?

We had a lot of fun this holiday season with Bode.  Santa (along with the grandparents) brought Bode lots of fun toys to play with; he must have been on the ‘nice list’ this year.  It was also nice to see both of his aunts and uncle for the holidays since we don’t see them very often right now.

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Happy New Year – 2014

2013

Looking back on 2013, it was a great year!  The year began with me being about half way through my pregnancy and Bode in full terrible two’s.  This pregnancy was rough with the morning sickness waves but I maintained a good schedule of keeping active and being a working mommy.

In my opinion, the terrible twos peaked around the arrival of Allyson and got slightly better with each month.  Allyson arrived in May and helped complete our little family of four.  She has been a little more challenging than I remember Bode being but I have grown so close to her over the past few months.  Maybe it’s because she is my youngest, my baby, but I feel like so protective over her.  I look at her beautiful innocence and want her to stay little and perfect forever.  This little girl has truly stolen my heart and has me wrapped around her little finger.

My relationship with Bode has also changed a lot this year. He has always been a Daddy’s boy since the very beginning but this year I started to notice a Mama’s boy coming out.  We had the opportunity to have a few dates over the fall months and since then we have bonded so much more than ever before.  I felt like it had been too many months of yelling and the word “NO” or “Stop doing that” or other negative verbiage, it was finally nice to just laugh a little without any other distractions.  Bode will always be my little angel, the gift that made me a mommy and I would do anything for this kid.  But I find it funny how I have higher expectations of him, even though he’s only three I expect him to be the big brother already or maybe it’s just my maternal instincts trying to teach him to be the caregiver and protect his little sister.  So far I’m loving 3-years old, so much talking and interacting, like a real little man.

Yes, my year was mostly based around my kids and I wouldn’t change it for anything.  I will never get this time back, the time when my kids are young and innocent and rely on me for everything.  I’m embracing this moment and not rushing into working out, or making gourmet meals, or keeping the house spotless every day because I don’t want to miss a thing.  I’m not as young as my mom was when she had me but I feel like I’m thankful that I have kids at this age, when I’m still young enough to have energy but also mature enough to have had enough life experiences to make the best decisions for my family.  At the end of this year I finally returned to work and so far it’s been a hard transition for everyone.  But I’m hoping as time goes on these changes in our routine will get easier and we will all get settled in.  Thank you 2013 for good health and lots of happiness

Here’s a link to my photo montage for 2013:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151839297803365&l=3520739799995218248

2014

Moving in to 2014 I am looking forward to continuing to watch both of my babies grow.  Bode is in preschool and will be moving into Pre-K in the fall (along with turning 4-years old in October).  Ally will start to move (crawl/walk) and maybe even some talking too before her 1st birthday in May.  Matt and I celebrate our 5-year anniversary in April and I’m looking forward to making more time for dates without the kids since the 1st year of Ally’s life has been hard to get alone time out.  Both of my sisters-in-law graduate in May; Katie from undergrad in Delaware and Maggie from grad school in Hawaii.  Our best friends have finally set a date and in July 2014 they will be saying ‘I do’ in Santa Barbara County.  Along with the wedding, there will be other opportunities to celebrate leading up to the event.  Another best friend will be having her first baby in February and I couldn’t be happier especially since she is having a girl.

I have also decided to write down a few New Year’s Resolutions for 2014, things that I feel will help better me.  Even though I’m not a new mom, I easily forget to take care of myself.  It took me almost 2 years to start putting ME first after I had Bode and its taking me some time to do the same with Ally.  However, I’m trying to be realistic and hopefully by the time Ally is 1 I will have started taking time for myself which I know will in turn make me a better person…

  1. Read for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week
  2. Do some type of physical fitness at least 3 days a week
  3. Make time for myself at least once/month to do something for ME (i.e. go on a long run or walk, girls day out, shopping alone, get my nails done…)

Allyson 7th Month

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My little girl is now 7 months old!  I love this age, but I also know that it only gets better and better.  Ally is a happy girl and loves her mama, dada, and brother Bode.  She’s finally starting to warm up to Boss our pug but still doesn’t like when he gets in her face and sniffs her eyes (yea I don’t know what it is but he loves smelling eyes).  The biggest thing about this past month was that it was my last month at home before returning to work.  That is why this post is sadly almost a week late.  I can’t believe how exhausting going back to work has already been.  But I’m sure it can only get better.  Both Matt and I have gone to bed at 930pm every day this week.  Bode is still at preschool while Ally is going to the same in home day-care Bode went to for the past 3 years.  I’ll talk more about their personal transitions next month, it hasn’t been the easiest but we’ll see how it goes after a few weeks.  Change is good and we will all take some time to adjust to me back at work.

Sleeping/Feeding

Overall Breastfeeding is still going well.  Unfortunately, I got mastitis again in the beginning of this month because I tried to drop my morning pump sesssion.  Apparently I was getting a little ahead of myself and should have just decreased that pump session because I got a clogged duct.  I caught it pretty early on because I noticed right away when my appetite decreased and I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever.  The redness didn’t come till day 2 but sure enough it was there.  I was able to get over it with antibiotics, lots of water, and lots of nursing.  I returned to work on December 9th and will be doing some feeding and some pumping during the day in the hopes that not only will I make enough milk for Ally but also that I don’t get mastitis again.  This is her daily feeding schedule (at 7 months) – 6am nursing, 9am  bottle, 11am lunch (food), 3pm bottle, 430pm nursing, 530pm dinner (food), 630pm nursing and bedtime, 9pm dreamfeed (nursing).  I tried to drop the dreamfeed but since shes not eating as much during the day I think she needs it since she usually wakes up around 10pm if I don’t get up and dreamfeed.  I don’t know if I mentioned the word ‘dreamfeed’ before.  Basically a dreamfeed is getting the baby up (without waking them) and attempting to feed them so they don’t wake up and go right back to sleep.  Ally has always been really good with dreamfeeding, some babies just wake up or can’t eat when they are sleepy.  She is still only eating fruits and vegetables (besides breastmilk).  She likes everything that she has tried so far except for avocado but we’ll be trying that again someday soon.

Miscellaneous

She is not crawling yet but there’s a lot of rolling going on and if I leave her in one place she will roll all over but still prefers her back.  However, she does sleep on her tummy. She’s getting really good at sitting up on her own but still needs some pillows as props surrounding her so that she doesn’t fall down.

Update:  I forgot to mention we pierced her ears this month.  She wasn’t too bad with the actual piercing, it was when the nurse, doctor, and I had to hold her down that she got scared and cried.  But the end result is too cute and I’m so happy we did it!

This month we had a handful of ‘firsts’ including:

  • First Thanksgiving
  • First visit with Santa
  • First Hanukkah

Diaper size – size 2

Clothing size – In between 3-6 months and 6-9 month clothes

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Ally-Boo, Ally-Bear

7-Month Hair color – brown

7-Month eye color –blue

7-Month Weight –  TBD

7-Month Height –  TBD

What’s up with Bode?

Bode has really shown a lot of excitement for the holidays this year.  That’s one of the best reasons for having kids right?  We introduced Elf on the Shelf and he understands that if he misbehaves the elf will report back to Santa.  This year Bode is asking for a ‘squirt gun’ from Santa.  What that really means is a ‘nerf’ type gun with darts to shoot.  So of course he decides this after I have already completed all of my shopping so we had to go out and make an extra purchase from Santa.  We are looking forward to Christmas morning and celebrating the holidays with our families.

Please enjoy the photos which include:  The Holidays at the Grove, Thanksgiving, Fall Family photos with Tiffany Nicole Photography, and some at home photos.

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