Monday, April 28, 2014

Starting All Over Again

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't anxious about welcoming another tiny human being into the world. It makes no difference that I had an entire 9 months to prepare for this endeavor, the nerves were still always there, and they were very, very real.
The fear of going to labor with my second child was unavoidable, and yet it was significantly different than the fear I felt upon nearing the end of my first pregnancy with Max. This time around, it involved a whole new set of worries.
 Will labor be different this time? How will I balance caring for 2? How will I handle being away from Max overnight for the first time during my hospital stay? Will I be fortunate enough to have another great delivery? Will I ever get to sleep again?

Well, you can't fight the inevitable, and on Wednesday April 23, 2014, the inevitable finally occurred. At 3:51 PM, after being induced that morning due to pregnancy-related kidney stone issues, we welcomed our sweet Ella Rose into the world. Weighing in at 7 pounds 15 ounces, and measuring 20.5 inches long, she made her debut with a gorgeous head full of thick dark brown hair, and a high pitched cry that screamed, "I am 100% girl!".

The induction process was new to me. I had no idea what to expect, what it entailed, or how long the whole procedure would take. Much to my surprise, God once again blessed me with an amazing, and shockingly enjoyable labor process.

My induction began at around 8 AM. I only was given the lowest dose of Pitocin, and never needed more. My body responded instantly, like a seasoned professional; and before I knew it, even though I had had an epidural, I began to feel my contractions intensifying later that afternoon.

Upon leaving the operating room, after performing a c-section for another mom-to-be, my doctor noticed this progress on the monitor and came to my room to check on me. Just like that, I was 10 centimeters dilated, and it was go time.

I almost rolled off the bed, when I heard him call for the nurses, and the words, "we're going to be delivering a baby in the next 5-10 minutes" were uttered. It was a shock to both Mike and myself. With Max, I had only pushed for about 45 minutes, but 5 or 10... I didn't even believe that was possible.

Before I knew it, I was surrounded by nurses and resident doctors. Per their recommendation, I attempted a "practice push" which evidently was enough to get the ball rolling, because I was very quickly told to "STOP!". 

3 pushes later, and Ella was placed on my chest. I watched in awe as Mike cut the umbilical cord. Everything had happened so fast that it didn't even seem real, but just like that, I had become a mother of 2,  and the overwhelming feeling of love and joy filled every part of me. All of the anxiety and fear was gone. She was absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way, and as I held her, I was instantly brought back to how I felt when Max was placed in my arms for the very first time.

The first time Max met his baby sister was amazing, and being united as a family of four suddenly became the greatest moment of my life thus far. Having just learned how to say her name, Max proudly yelled out, "baby", and then, "Ella, Ella, Ella!", and it hasn't stopped since. He is so gentle with her, rubbing her hair, kissing her forehead, and he expresses genuine concern when he hears her cry. Though there was never a doubt in my mind that my sweet boy would be a fabulous big brother, seeing that relationship come to life with my own eyes has been nothing less than magical.

As we adjust to this new family dynamic, I have every intention of sharing more, but for now I am enjoying every moment and taking it all in. As we all know, this time is very precious, but I couldn't wait to share the news of baby Ella's arrival with all of you. More to come...
*** my apologies for the mobile photos, but as you can imagine, things have been a bit hectic around here lately.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

Easter this year was perfect in every way... Besides the fact that I'm still pregnant. 

In all honesty though, it was a beautiful, sunny, and warm day in Pittsburgh. Perfect for egg hunting in the yard, a trip to church, brunch with family, and picking up my best friend from the airport.

We dyed eggs, and had a visit with the Easter bunny, who dropped off not just one, but 3 Easter baskets for Max.

Mom was even able to slip this handmade bunny in there. The pattern can be found at

We were able to snap what will most likely be the last photos of just the 3 of us before baby girl arrives...

And my boys were so handsome in their seersucker.

All that's left to do now is wait. We're not exactly sure when this baby girl is going to grace us with her arrival in the world, but I'm truly getting the feeling it's going to be soon.

I hope you all had a beautiful Easter with your loved ones.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Swoon Worthy

1. So, so, so in love with these adorable shoes for baby girl!

2. You better believe these Nutella donuts are on my Easter brunch menu!

3. Absolutely dropping hints for this necklace for a Mother's Day gift this year!

4. I gave up coffee for Lent this year, so I am drooling over this recipe! Can't wait to indulge!

5. Love these super cute pastel polos for toddler boys.

6. I'm pretty much obsessed with the entire Threshold line at Target, but these poufs are to die for!

7. I ordered one of these awesome teething rings for baby girl today, I had to restrain myself, because I love everything this shop makes!

8. I love Essie nail polish, and I adore their spring line

9.  I ordered these gold polka dots for baby girl's nursery awhile ago... I love the concept!

10. I know I posted about Freshly Picked moccs last week, but I am seriously swooning over their latest color.

Hope you enjoyed swooning over this weeks picks with me!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My Favorite Items for Toddler Easter Baskets

This year will be Max's second Easter, and it's a sure bet, he's much more aware of what will be in his basket now then he was last year at this time.

That being said, I have been trying to be proactive in collecting items to put in his basket from the Easter Bunny, just in case his little sister decides to arrive a few days early.

I've compiled a list of some of the things I've collected for him, as well as additional items that I love for toddler girl's too.

I willingly admit, that I do allow Max to indulge in sugary treats from time to time, so just to forewarn you, his basket will contain some sweets, but the majority of items in the basket are sugar/candy free!

1.  Happy Easter, Mouse!  From the series, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, these books are adorable.
2.  Crayola Sidewalk Chalk and Crayola Twistables Crayons, Now that it's finally spring, we love to get outside and be creative with chalk, and these crayons are great!
3.  Baby Bracelets from Lucky Sage Shop on Etsy, I'm pretty much obsessed with everything from this shop, but these baby friendship bracelets are seriously the cutest thing ever!
4.  If you crochet, you might considering using this free pattern from Lion Brand Yarns to make your own Easter Bunny. I'm making one for Max!
5.  Crocs, I know not everyone loves them, but they are great for outdoor play. Easy to slip on, and easy to clean!
6.  Adjustable Jersey-knit Headbands from my Etsy shop!
7.  Play-Doh Eggs, Every toddler loves Play-doh, and these eggs are perfect for little one's Easter Basket.
8.  Freshly Picked moccs, because they are the best baby shoes ever... I want them in every color, I even want them for myself!
9.  the Zoku Slush and Shake Maker, If you have not experienced the Zoku yet, you don't know what you're missing.  We have the popsicle maker, which freezes homemade pops in under 8 minutes, but now we are adding this to our collection!
10.  Eco Eggs, I purchased these last year, and just love the concept!

In addition to the things listed above, I have had great luck finding things in the Target Dollar Spot! Max's basket will include bubbles in the cutest little carrot shaped containers, some Easter stickers, a coloring book, a Peeps lollipop, among other things.

There are so many options out there besides candy.  For example, we will be filling our Eco Eggs with edible items such as fruit snacks, Annie's cookies/crackers, etc.  Use your imagination and have fun with it.  I'm always a fan of homemade items too!

Avocado Jack Pizza

Pregnant or not, I crave Mexican food. A lot. It's one of my most favorite things in the whole world.

When I lived in Maine, one of my favorite restaurants, where I also used to waitress back in my college days, offered a grilled tortilla topped with all kinds of Mexican goodness on their appetizer menu. 

A few years ago, I found myself desperately craving this "crisp", as it was called, and knew that I must find a way to recreate it.

This avocado jack pizza combines a few of my most favorite things... Cheese, avocado, salsa fresca... And of course, cheese.

The combination of warm, fresh out of the oven ingredients, topped off with cool crisp lettuce and a spicy chipotle cream sauce, are a match made in heaven.

The recipe isn't an exact science, as I'm constantly changing it, or just working with items I have on hand, but I want to share it with you, and you can omit or add things as you please. 

Avocado Jack Pizza
1 Boboli thin pizza shell (sometimes I also use fresh pizza dough, or large flour tortillas, be creative)
1.5 cups grated Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese
1 tomato, diced
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped or shredded iceberg lettuce
***for the dressing/sauce:
1/4 cup of your favorite ranch dressing
1 Tbs of the sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, or Tobasco brand chipotle flavored hot sauce ( use more or less here depending on how much spice you prefer, the consistency should be thin enough to drizzle over the pizza)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees for Boboli shell, or follow directions for your favorite pizza dough.
Combine tomato, onion, avocado, lime juice and cilantro in a bowl.
Top pizza with shredded cheese, then top with tomato/avocado mixture.
Bake in oven 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly brown.
Remove pizza from oven and top with chopped lettuce.
Mix ranch dressing and chipotle sauce in a small bowl, and drizzle over top of pizza.

*** As I mentioned, this pizza isn't an exact science. This is how it was prepared pictured here. We have also cooked it on the grill, and used various different crusts... Like I said before, be creative. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

I also wanted to share this recipe for baked vanilla donuts from  We had these for breakfast this past Saturday morning, and they were amazingly delicious, and super easy to prepare.

You can find the recipe here

Hope you enjoy these goodies as much as we did!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Swoon Worthy

Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to how I could best share and get the word out on all of the things that I am currently loving, I haven't been getting much sleep these days, so my mind is going. A lot.

I came to the conclusion that the best way to do this, was through a weekly blog post that lists 10 or so items that I am currently swooning over, deeming these things "Swoon Worthy".

The majority of things that I plan on including on these "lists" range from recipes, to items that I love for littles, mamas, and families, to pretty much anything I am just dying over at the moment.

Without further ado, here is the first installment of "Swoon Worthy":

1. Oh Joy's new lines at The Land of Nod and Target... both are bright, colorful, and too cute for words.

2.  These Tommee Tippee Bibs... They're super easy to clean, and don't have to go in the wash.  Less laundry, happy mama.

3.  These teething necklaces from Chew Beads... they're both fashionable and functional, for littles and mama's alike.

4.  These macarons from Dana's Bakery... oh how I love a good macaron!

5.  Mint colored lids from The Mason Bar Company... they had me at mint.

6.  This washable paint from Crayola... washable and toddler should go hand in hand, and these really are easy to clean!

7.  Glacier colored moccs from Freshly Picked... let's be honest, I love every color they make.
8.  This avocado, tomato, and mozzarella crostini recipe from Averie Cooks... put avocado on anything, and I'm in love.

9.  This bracelet from Lucky Sage... check this Etsy shop out, this lady is making the friendship bracelet cool all over again.

10. These amazing state of Maine collages, handmade by my very talented friend... seriously, she is amazing!

I hope you are now loving all of these things as much as I do.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Time Crunch

It is officially April now. The month our little lady is estimated to make her debut into this world! Today marks 27 days until my due date, but I am hopeful for another early arrival, seeing as Max arrived 8 days early. With all that being said, the time crunch is officially on.

I sat down the other day to write a to do list... At the top I wrote,  "things to do before baby #2", and then the list began, and it seemed to go on and on, and on.  I am a habitual procrastinator, and should probably just accept the fact that it won't/can't all be done. 

Above and beyond all of the things that really and truly NEED to be done, I am still working on a wide array of projects. Some  things for the baby, some for my Etsy shop, and others, well... Just because I like projects, and I'd rather spend time on fun stuff than chores and cleaning house!

I have been working on this beautiful knitted chevron baby afghan for quite some time now. I found the pattern on and fell in love. In all honesty, it should have been done weeks ago, however the lovely store where I buy the amazing Blue Sky Alpaca's organic cotton yarn the pattern calls for, has been waiting for an order to come in. I am anxiously awaiting their call to let me know it has finally arrived so that I can pick up the final 3 colors and check this blanket off on the to do list.

I have also been crocheting up multiple pairs of these adorable baby sandals for our sweet girl. They 
are so precious, and I can't get enough of them. I'm getting the feeling that she's going to end up with a closet full of these cuties in a ton of fun colors. A girl needs her accessories.

One morning, while browsing Nordstrom's baby department online (when I should have been doing something more productive), I came across the sweetest little crocheted crown headband. I instantly knew I had to have one in my possession, but was fairly certain I could make it myself for quite a bit less... 25 minutes later, our little princess had one, and I was feeling very accomplished. These are now available in my Etsy shop. I think they'd make a great prop for a baby photo shoot.

Then, I stumbled upon an amazing tutorial for this super easy skirt while reading Coconut Robot's blog, and I just knew I had to make one. The one she made was toddler sized, and I wanted to make it infant sized. Being a novice when it comes to sewing clothing, I was a bit clueless about how to make the adjustments, but thanks to her suggestions, I worked it out, and it turns out, this was a pretty simple sewing project that turns out a fabulous finished project. There will definitely be more of these made in the future. I think I actually want to try to make the adjustments to make an adult sized one for myself. Not for now though, for the summer...when I'm not hugely pregnant. That would just look wrong!

That about wraps it up for now. Hopefully I get a few more things checked off the list before my next post, and before this baby arrives. For now I'm keeping busy with Max, and everything else that goes along with being a modern day homemaker.

Real Time Web Analytics