A Baby and Her Fave Cousin

One of my bffs, Michelle, all the way from kindergarten had a baby 4 years ago. I will never forget the day that she told me she was pregnant, the days through her pregnancy, and the day I got the news that my niece, Elianie, was born.

When Eli was born, Michelle and I were living together. I was obsessed with Elianie. She was the best thing to happen in our lives and I can still remember the little baby that she was, just laying in my arms so perfectly.

As she got older, and when Dominic and I started living together, we loved having her over. We’d babysit her all the time, and I just loved watching them interact. We took her places, taught her things, fed her all the junk food (sorry, Micha :P), we treated her like she was our own (we actually still do).

I honestly thought that once Olivia was born, she’d act out a little bit, maybe act a little jealous, but she proved me wrong. From the very beginning, she was so wonderful with Olivia.

I consider Olivia very lucky to have Elianie. I know that as they get older, they are going to be super close, and I know that Elianie is always going to watch out for Olivia, and teach her so many things. For that, we are so grateful. Elianie is a beautiful soul (just like her mama) and Michelle is doing a fabulous job of raising her, as a single mom, no less.

*some of these pictures are really bad quality. Also, Olivia looks weird in some of these…I get to say that because I’m her mom.

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^First time meeting each other^IMG085edit IMG082edit IMG-20111215-WA0002edit IMAG1385edit 4-292B10B3-1208013-800 IMG_20120715_212719 DSC04116edit^One of my faves. I also have the BEST video from this day…I’ll see if I could upload it.^DSC04102edit DSC04155edit 20121031_162354edit DSC01436 DSC02479edit DSC02499^Another one of my faves^

Olivia is OBSESSED with Elianie. Every time Eli comes around, Olivia immediately lights up, and Elianie ALWAYS has Olivia laughing all the way from her toes (I can’t even get her to laugh like that!) The love that they have for each other is so clear, so special, so incredible. I really do hope that they have each other for the rest of their lives.

Happy Wednesday and Happy First day of Spring (even though it doesn’t feel like it in Chicago)!

xo,

Katie

Letters.

I’ve seen these letters floating around the blog world, so I figure I’d give it a shot. Consider it a form a therapy, if you will.

Dear Hair,

Do something other than be thick and poofy. And if you even think about misbehaving on my wedding day, I will cut you off.

Love, Katie

Dear Charlie,

STOP BITING EVERYTHING. Pretty sure after 5 months, you’re not a puppy anymore so stop acting like it!

Love, Katie

(although Dominic always refers to me as ‘Mom’ around him…..strange….)

Dear Neighbor,

Please stop banging against the walls like you’re building a house at 11:30 at night. The first time you wake up Olivia, you will be sorry. Thanks!

Love, Katie

Dear Stomach,

Stop craving wings. You’re not getting them. We gave them up for lent and well, quite frankly, you don’t need them.

Love, Katie

Dear Winter,

Unless you plan on bringing more beautiful blizzards, I’m over you. Be gone.

Love, Katie

Dear Mailman,

Please stop bringing me junk mail. I already have cable, I’m not joining a gym and I don’t need the pizza coupons. Start bringing me letters and pretty things. You know how much I love mail.

Love, Katie

Dear Bridesmaids AKA My BFFS,

Thank you for being the best of the best to me (and Olivia).

Love, Katie

Dear Nick and Nancy,

Thank you for having Dominic. And thank you for loving me as your own. And thank you for all that you have helped us with, especially now.

Love, Katie

Dear Family,

Thank you for being there for me and Olivia and loving us always.

Love, Katie

Dear Olivia,

Thank you for being so perfect and finally sticking to a sleep schedule. You have made my life a little easier and I really enjoy the down time. Also, have you noticed how much happier you are with all that sleep? Learn now that sleep is your best friend. Well, second best friend because I’m your first….right? RIGHT?! I love you to the moon and back, sweet girl.

Love, Mama

Dear Dominic,

Thank you for working these crazy long hours to give Olivia both what we want, and more importantly, what we need. I cannot believe that next week will already be 6 years that we’ve been together and I am in even more disbelief over the fact that we will be MARRIED in exactly 6 months! I also love YOU to the moon and back.

Love, Babe

Well, that felt good. Mini vacay tomorrow!

xo,

Katie

P.S. I signed up for BIRCHBOX a few weeks ago and finally got my first box! I already really love it and if you decide to sign up, please use this link so that I can get points :) This is what it looked like, and there are also a few more samples inside that envelope labled BIRCHBOX.

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A Baby and Her First Time at the Children’s Museum.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

Thank you for all the well wishes for our girl. I am happy to report that after a few fevers, some popsicles, and a few (very) stinky diapers, Olivia is back to her normal happy self, and we couldn’t be more thankful for that! We hate when she is sick, it’s just so heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, whatever she had, Dominic and I now have. We feel absolutely terrible but I would rather us be sick over Olivia any day.

Last Thursday, Dominic was off and I had mentioned a few days prior that admission was free at the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier in Chicago. We were so excited to take Olivia and do something other than go to the mall, just the 3 of us. And we honestly had such a good time. Though it will be a little better once Olivia is older and she can understand things a bit more (she was playing with the plastic apples and oranges like they were balls), it was still so fun to see her interact with everything and be so amazed by it all.

I took SO many pictures, so you’re in for a lot. You’ve been warned.

This was before the museum. I always try to get a few shots of what she’s wearing before we go anywhere just in case she gets dirty (and also because I always send a picture to my sister!)

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And then once we got there…

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And then my camera decided to act reallllllllllly weird and I couldn’t get it to focus the right way. Of course while she’s wearing the littlest raincoat I’ve ever seen ever. Of freaking course.

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(I couldn’t get enough of the walls in the elevator, aren’t they awesome?!)

And we also visited the photo booth. How funny are these pictures? Dominic’s faces are ridiculous.

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And after we visited all the exhibits, we decided to walk around the inside of Navy Pier, and we also got some food. Dominic and I gave up fast food for lent, but we were STARVING, and we didn’t even think to bring sandwiches or anything. Parenting fail on our end, we better not let that happen when she’s older.

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And because it was only 7pm when we were ready to leave, we decided to ware Olivia out even more by letting her walk around the mall a little. Bonus points for me because I went into F21 and found the cutestttt top. The Easter Bunny was there and because Olivia was dressed in a little skirt, we said “why not” and decided to get her pictures taken. She. Was. Terrified. Traumatized, even. Poor Girl.

Last Year:

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This Year:

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And then while Dominic paid, I put her down, she ran to the side and was just staring at the Easter Bunny like, “You better not come any closer to me.”

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And then we took her by the water fountain, her fave, to relax her from the evil creature that is the Easter Bunny.20130221_203934 20130221_204613 20130221_204723 IMG_20130221_205024

It was honestly such a perfect family day, and it’s nice to do things just the three of us. I know Olivia had a good time, too, because once we got home, she kept giving us kisses without us asking her for them.

I love my little family so much, and there is not one thing I would change about our cute little life. I can’t wait to take Olivia to the other beautiful museums that Chicago has to offer and then once it gets nice outside, we can even introduce her to the beaches and walk around downtown. My favorite.

What do you do on Family Days?

xo,

Katie

Weekend Review.

I can’t believe it’s already Monday!

I feel so exhausted after this weekend but in all honesty, we didn’t even do too much. You know that tired feeling after being in the car for so long? Well, I was in a car a lot this weekend, so I am taking this Monday nice and slow. Starting with a nice cup of tea and a vitamin.

Here’s what we did this weekend:

Friday:

Dominic drives our car a lot more than I do, so he notices things that I really wouldn’t by driving the car every once in a while to make a quick trip to the grocery store. He explained that he thinks something is wrong with the transmission, so we woke up super early to make a 7 am appointment about a half hour away. It was easier to take Olivia in her pajamas so she could be comfortable because I knew she was going to fall right back asleep. I don’t like to wake up early, but once I’m actually up and out being productive, I actually prefer it. The best part about taking our car to the car dealership is that it’s about 5 minutes from Einstein Bros. Bagels. The best bagels ever. You should go check it out. Like, right now.

We introduced Olivia to this bagel heaven and she is definitely a fan. I always either get the blueberry or cranberry, this time I went with the cranberry and it was delicious as always.

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^Checking out what car she’s gonna drive first.

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After we left the bagel shop, we drove all the way home just to realize that we FORGOT to take our house key before leaving the car at the dealership. Dominic’s dad was the only one with one of our spare keys that we could get a hold of and we had to drive to his work to get his house key, then to his parent’s house to get our actual key, and then our house. It was a long morning but Olivia and I both got our beauty sleep so we didn’t mind too much.

Once we finally got home, we ate lunch and then found ourselves outside again. It was too sunny and nice to not go for a little walk. Olivia loves to be outside and it makes me so excited for it to be nice enough to stay outside longer than 20 minutes.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love our little townhouse, but now that we have a walking girl, it’s a little scary that it’s on a busy street. I always walk to one of the side streets to let her play because I just get a little too nervous.

Dominic had to work the night so we stayed in and one of my girl friends came over. She has been super busy lately so it was nice to finally hang out and catch up.

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She’s a teacher and it was pajama day, so she came over in her pjs. It was only natural that we participated.

I have a really tight circle of besties. There are 6 of us and I am so thankful for the friendship we have. More importantly, I love how much they all love Olivia and they are always so good to her. We are really lucky!

Saturday:

On Friday night while Dominic was at work, he got a call saying that our car was already ready to be picked up. So, Saturday morning we woke up, and went all the way back to the dealership. But not before lying around a bit:

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And getting some more bagels….

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Dominic got chocolate milk, and Olivia kept eyeing it…even though she had her own regular milk. This girl is no dummy, she knows what the good stuff is. We let her try it. The results were smiles and a brown ‘stache. (smiles not pictured)

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We were welcomed home by my sister and my dad. My dad comes over on Saturdays and Mondays and sometimes Fridays. My sister comes more often because Olivia and I always want her here :) but my dad works so he comes when he can. It was a little colder so we went to the mall so we could at least get out of the house. They had some art-fair going on and some guy was playing music, which Olivia just ate up. She loves to dance.

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And this is a really bad picture of the coat, but we bought her this little thing because it was 22 dollars (regularly 60!) and as soon as I laid my eyes on it, I knew it had to be ours. She looks so cute in this damn thing, and although she’s only going to be wearing it a few more weeks, I was more than happy with the purchase.

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Olivia fell asleep on the way home. She was so exhausted from all that walking! She even slept a little bit more once we were actually back home so I took the time to catch up on some blogs, and Dominic cleaned the car. A little later in the evening I decided to start a DIY that I’m hoping to post about within the next week or so because it’s super cute!

Sunday:

Sunday Olivia and I woke up early again to meet up with Dominic’s mom, aunt, and 3 of my girlfriends for breakfast.

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We met up so that we could talk about the wedding. The more I talk about it, the more excited I get. And then we went to go pick up my dress (!) We got there early so we all jumped in one car to go get coffee. (Not shown: Stef in the trunk of the jeep)

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I tried on my dress for the first time since I picked it out and I must say, I was a little nervous. I didn’t think it was going to be as perfect as I remembered it to be, but it was. Aside from a few small alterations, I feel so pretty in it and I cannot wait to see what Dominic thinks of it. September cannot come fast enough.

Dominic’s parents came over for dinner and to hang out for a bit in the evening…

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After they left, we had a mini dance party…I wish you could see this kid’s moves in person. They’re impressive.

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And we ended our Sunday night with a little play and story time. I melt when Dominic reads to her, I love how she sits there and listens to him so intently. When I read to her, she’s usually crawling all over me, or just ignoring me all together…. what a daddy’s girl.

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And that is her kissing her baby goodnight.

As chaotic as the weekend may have started, it sure did have a sweet ending.

How was your weekend?

xo,

Katie

Valentine’s Day.

On Sunday, Dominic informed me that he was not able to get the day off for Valentine’s Day. He told me that he was going to work in the morning, and that he’d be home by 4, in enough time for him and I to go out for a little Valentine’s dinner. Since we agreed to not really do anything other than a dinner, I was okay with spending the whole afternoon with our Little Valentine.

At 6:30 this morning, my phone rang.

“Babe, I’m really sorry to wake you–”

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, I just think I forgot the trainer schedule on the table, can you check to see if I did?”

“Sure, hold on….babe, you left all the lights on again–”

And as I’m reprimanding him, I smell something, and as I walk to the table, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Really, I couldn’t.

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Remember how I told you that I was the one that went big for holidays, and Dominic didn’t? Well, this year proved to be the opposite. (Dominic never takes the price tags off of anything, fyi.)

I went upstairs, and woke up Olivia. Her daddy did us both good, and she deserved to not have to miss a second. Not only did he buy her first bouquet of flowers, he also bought her first cheesy Valentine’s day stuffed heart. It’s huge. She’s very indifferent about it. Okay, she’s kind of terrified of it.

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We also bought her:

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And the other day, while I was enjoying a little alone time, I surprised her with a Valentine’s balloon. Olivia LOVES balloons. She calls them “boos”. Cutest thing ever. After today, Olivia accumulated 4 “boos”. One from me, two from Dominic, and one from my sister aka her godmother. Needless to say, Olivia is in balloon heaven.

Anyway, so after breakfast, Olivia and I hung out downstairs, watched some cartoons, did a little cleaning, a little playing…and Dominic took a nap. He was running on 3 hours of sleep because he had to keep up with his “I have to work on Valentine’s Day” story and left the house at 5am! That man…..

I was trying to get her to play with the giant heart, and I did get her to kiss it once, but she was still pretty terrified..I really don’t know why… Oh, and don’t mind the Santa’s on her feet, they are the only red pajamas she has and we had to be festive, duh.

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As if our morning wasn’t festive (and cheesy) enough, I put pink heart-shaped milk ice cubes in her milk:

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I’m that mom, and I am sooooooo okay with that.

After Dominic woke up, we got dressed.

Before I show you what Olivia wore, I’d like to start with how she looked at this time, last year. Little bitty Olivia on her First Valentine’s Day. I cannot believe this is already her second.

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(look at those legs!!)

And present day. I absolutely loved her outfit:

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(PLEASE disregard my dirty house. I promise that it’s not always like that, toys are always around the house, yes, but it’s a little more organized….usually.)

After our mini photo shoot, and my attempt to get a decent picture of Olivia looking at the camera while also smiling, we finally left the house and stopped at my grandma’s house because Olivia had a few gifts there. We ate pizza for lunch, and then left to go have cupcakes in the city. We went to a place called Molly’s Cupcakes. Dominic and I LOVE to go here. It is such a cute little place with the best red velvet cupcake you’ll ever taste. Olivia got her first taste of a Molly’s cupcake and although she preferred Dominic’s Nutella cupcake to my red velvet, it made me happy to see her enjoying it nonetheless :) We don’t really give her sweets, but on special occasions such as the beloved Love day, we just can’t resist. Oh, and guess what else? As I was walking into Molly’s, Elsie and her husband were about to walk out. I was kinda star struck, not gonna lie. I love her blog.

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She is a city girl already. We really wanted to walk around and let her walk off some of her soon-to-be sugar high, but it was much colder than we thought, and she ended up passing out in the car anyway.

We were out and about all afternoon so when we came home, we just kind of relaxed for a little while. Dominic’s parents came over around 6:30 to watch Olivia for a few hours, and Dominic and I went on a little date. It was nice to do something just the two of us, but we really missed Olivia. (We always do when she’s not around.)

I really had a taste for steak, and I really wanted to go to Outback Steakhouse (does anybody else really love it there?). When we got to the restaurant, we were informed that the wait for two was an hour and a half. Absolutely not.

After a lot of back and forth about where we should go, we decided to come back to Downtown La Grange and go to a little BBQ spot called ‘Q’. Before I knew Dominic, I wasn’t really a meat eater. And now, I just can’t hide my love for steak and ribs and pork. Of course Dominic and his family are to blame (Thanks, Guys!) Anyway, the food is always really good and I really enjoyed getting to have some real one on one, face to face conversation with my beautiful Valentine. Did you know that this is our last Valentine’s Day as a non-married couple? Weird.

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We left feeling full, refreshed, and ready to get back to our baby. We made one last stop to pick up some milk and a movie, and went home.

We made it just in time to sneak in a few last tickles and snuggles before our Little Valentine went to sleep.

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We ended our night with a movie, The Perks of a Wallflower, but we were way too exhausted to finish it.

In case you couldn’t guess, we had an amazing Valentine’s Day. I can’t say it enough that we are the two luckiest girls to have such an amazing man here to make us as happy as he does.

I hope you all had a wonderful little hallmark holiday, I would love to know how you spent your love day if you’re willing to share!

Happy Weekend!

xo,

Katie

Weekend Review.

Happy Monday, Everyone!

This weekend was so relaxing; filled with lots of lounging around, lots of food, and lots of family. Just what we needed.

Friday:

Friday morning we finally got to sit down and meet with the caterer for our wedding! Although we weren’t able to try the foods just yet, it was very easy to choose the menu we wanted. It’s very simple, very neutral, and very very us. After all that talk about food, we decided to go out for breakfast. We live close to our town’s downtown area, which is actually pretty cute, and they have a really good breakfast palace called Blueberry Hill. I have been craving crepes, so that’s exactly what I had! They were delicious.

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The weather was so crappy. It was raining, then we got so much snow and so after breakfast, we just went home and lounged around.

Two other highlights from our Friday was that I got a call telling me that my dress was ready for pickup!! I can’t wait to go put it on again. The other highlight was this:

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I obviously took this picture with my phone, hence the darkness, but this was a moment worth documenting. I have been trying to get Olivia to eat these pouches for such a long time, and I gave up for a while. Well, I decided that maybe the all-fruit ones were too sweet for her taste, so I bought her a sweet potato and apple one, and she liked it! She didn’t eat a lot of it, but she didn’t spit it out so that’s a sure sign that she doesn’t completely hate it. Looks like we’re finally making progress on her picky-ness.

Saturday:

On Saturday we headed up North for my younger cousin’s birthday party.

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There was a 7 month old baby there, and this was the first time that Olivia has interacted with someone that was so much younger than her. She just kept petting her and saying “niiiiice” and “baby”.

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………And then a couple minutes later I found her in the corner chugging this innocent little baby’s bottle of formula. I couldn’t believe her! I also couldn’t believe she  even liked it since she’s only had formula the first few days she was born. Our child, the bottle bandit.

While we were sitting around, it dawned on me that by the time we leave, it would be dark outside and I won’t be able to capture some of the beautiful snow-covered loveliness. So, right before the sun went down, I snuck out to snap a few shots.

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Swoon.

I’m so glad that I went out there, and just stood in the silence, just me and my camera (and Dominic for a few minutes.)

Olivia LOVED being there. She was able to walk around the whole house without anyone telling her “No, don’t go over there.” “No, don’t play with that.” She just walked and walked and walked and everybody kept commenting on her energy. She just didn’t stop! It was nice to see her enjoying herself.

We ended up having an impromptu sleepover, spent all night talking, laughing and snacking. It was so nice to just get away and spend time with family that I don’t get to see as often because of our busy schedules, not to mention the 1 1/2 distance from each other.

Sunday:

We woke up pretty early Sunday(8:30), I made my famous breakfast pizza, we drank delicious coffee and then spent the rest of the morning on the couch watching cartoons and snuggling. Another monumental moment: Olivia was snuggling. It’s so hard for me to hold her anymore, let alone just lay on the couch and watch some ‘toons with her. Needless to say, I laid as still as possible, because I knew if I moved, she would move too. Here is documentation of said monumental moment:

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Oh Olivia, you don’t even know that you make my heart melt daily.

Oh! And we finally got her to drink out of a juice box….apparently this was a weekend for monumental moments.

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After a little bit more relaxing, we decided to head out, because on Sunday’s we have dinner with Dominic’s parents. Olivia didn’t want to leave and protested by staying at the top of the stairs:

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She’s lucky she’s cute.

We love to go up to their house because it is so peaceful and quiet and more of a country feel. They have so much land, a cute/spacious house, and it’s just so welcoming. Hopefully when Dominic and I are ready to buy our first home in the next couple of years, we can be just as lucky.

Once we got home, we cleaned up the house, ate some dinner and Olivia got a bath. Our relaxing weekend ended with watching the Grammy’s and eating pretzels (Olivia’s new favorite snack)

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I hope by now you realize that this is one of her favorite faces to make. We say “Olivia, say cheese!” And she will make a few variations of this face. Such a little ham.

I hope you all had a relaxing filled weekend, just like we did!

xo

Katie