"Love Bugs!" Valentine Style For Littles

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

 I seriously feel like it was just Christmas, & now here we are with Valentine's Day only two weeks away! I love celebrating Valentine's Day with Baylee, she may not really understand the holiday yet, but she gets excited about all the heart shaped food and fun Valentine's Day books that we read. And, of course, we rock a lot of red and pink this time of year! Here are my favorite V-Day outfits for all the little love bugs this year.

For the little dudes, I love this "Future Heart Breaker" & arrow pajama set. They're perfect for year-round jammies. This "Little Guy. Big Heart." tee is too cute, and would look great paired with these jeans! Outfits like this always make me want a little boy!

For the girlies, you can't go wrong with a poppy or bubblegum swing dress from June & January. Pair it with some adorable tights and cute shades and you have a complete V-Day outfit! I love Valentine's Day clothes because hearts are always in style so an outfit like this heart pullover & these leggings could be worn until the weather warms up again. No holiday is complete without some festive pjs, and I love this snug-fit cotton pajama set for the girls this year!

I'm looking forward to the "day of love" this year so much! Brian has the day off, so we are planning a festive breakfast at home and a few fun family outings. What are your V-Day plans this year?

Until next time! XoXoXo

The Tough Stuff

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thank goodness she's asleep.
I'm having one of those tough mommy days. You know the days where you question how you're ever going to make it for 16 (or however many left until they turn 18) more years? Yeah. One of those. 

Normally, I like to keep the blog as lighthearted about parenting as possible, because I absolutely know just how blessed I am to be a mother! But sometimes, for the sake of my sanity, I just have to vent about the tough stuff. There are crappy moments that happen that make the mom title kind of suck. Today, I just feel like my "crappy moments" capacity is overflowing. Mama needs a break.

This morning went great, but Miss Baylee and her listening problems started soon after breakfast. She's going through a phase of pushing the envelope to see what my reaction will be. If I ask her not to do something, she does it anyway, eyeing me all the while. If I ask her to do something I get a prompt "No!" as she books it into another room. It's so aggravating. I want to scream at her sometimes, but I have to remind myself that she's only two. A very smart and verbal two, but still only two. And the kid can have a mean crying fit. She doesn't really tantrum as far as the whole "kicking and screaming" bit, but she can make herself sob as if I just killed her puppy when in reality all I did was tell her that she couldn't have any candy. It's absolutely pathetic, and frustrates me to no end.  

After asking her multiple times to take her pajamas off so that we could go potty and get dressed for the day, (I know, I could do it for her and make it more simple for me, but I'm trying to teach her some independence.) she looked at me wide eyed and said "Oh! I have to go peepee!" and proceed to pee all over my kitchen floor. Mind you, this kid has been potty trained since October so accidents drive me crazy (Yes, I know they're normal and just part of the age, but it doesn't make it any less annoying and gross). I will never understand how she can hold it and tell me exactly when she needs to go all day at Disneyland, but when we are home she gets careless & has accidents. Given, they're only about once a week, if that, but still. Just tell me, kiddo! 

Once I cleaned up from the great pee escapade, we got ready & left to go run errands. I'm pretty sure I sounded like a broken record. "Baylee stop taking your shoes off." "Baylee don't touch that" "Baylee you need to listen to Mommy" "No baby we're not getting a pretzel today" "Baylee are you seriously licking the cart handle?!" This is about when my head ache began. 

After we got home, we relaxed for a bit & then I put her down for her nap. Or so I thought. Usually, she goes down without a fuss, but she's been fighting nap and bed time like crazy lately, sometimes taking up to an hour to finally go to sleep. She's exhausted (even started to nod off in the car before we made it home) so I don't even know how to begin to understand why she is fighting it. Once she's asleep, she sleeps like a rock, but getting her there has been a challenge lately. Today we struggled for a half hour, & I was in no mood. We were both in tears by the time she finally agreed to lay her head down and close her eyes so that she could finally fall asleep.

Seriously, is it wine'o'clock yet? 

It all sounds so freaking trivial, but in the moment it's absolutely exasperating. Here I am, giving my all to make sure this little girl has a great, happy, and healthy life, and what do I get in return? Pee. On the kitchen floor. 

She's fast asleep now, though, and truth be told, I miss her. Not enough to wake her up, ohhhh no, no, no! But enough to know that I can't wait to hear her say "Hi Mommy! I missed you!" when she wakes up on her own, & that we can still turn this day around and try again to make it a "good one". I know that this too shall pass, & one day she will be a big girl going to school, & I will miss her crazy toddler days.

 The days are long, but the years are short, after all! :)

Until next time! XoXoXo

My IVF Experience: Phase 1- Stims & Egg Retrieval

Monday, January 23, 2017

I have finally finished Phase 1 of IVF which is the stimulation and egg retrieval, and since Phase 2 doesn't begin for a while (and will be kept a secret when it does!) I figured I would share my experience while it's still fresh on my brain. I think that in the IVF world, it's actually separated in to three phases (stims, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer) but for the sake of only doing one blog post, I am going to combo stims and egg retrieval in to one phase! 

***Disclaimer*** I didn't hold back any details in this post. It is very long, and filled with medical stuff, so don't read it if you have a queasy stomach!

Day 1 of my first set of stim shots was on 12/30/2016. I actually had my little sister, who is a nursing program student, do my first two shots. My meds were Menopur, which stimulates the ovaries to grow & mature follicles, and Follistim which does the same. Brian did my shots every night for the remainder of the stim cycle, and got very good at it in the process! (I'm so proud of and thankful for him!) I give major kudos to all of you who are able to give yourself the shots. I tried, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. You all are brave, strong ladies!

The needles themselves don't really hurt, but the meds going in burn like crazy. I had to sit with a heating pad on my belly afterward most nights. As far as the side effects, I started feeling very emotional on day 3. I spent the entire morning crying over some dumb and petty things (Literally because no one was getting ready as fast as I wanted them to! Ha!), so I made it a point there on out to really try to keep my emotions in check. (Though hearing sentimental songs on the radio would always get me!) Around day 5, I started getting bruising and bloating in my abdomen, and also a horrid headache/migraine that came and went the rest of the stim cycle. I also experienced fatigue, nausea, bloating, sore breasts, & was pretty quick tempered. I tried my best to keep my cool, but it was really hard, especially toward the end.  (Babe I'm sorry for what I said when I was on hormones!)

On day 6, I had to add a third shot to the regime called Ganirelix which prevents any mature eggs from ovulating on their own. This shot burned so much worse than the other two, and by now my ovaries were really starting to feel full. Finally, on day 10, my doctor confirmed through ultrasound that I was ready for retrieval. He told me that each of my ovaries was about the size of a small orange, and I could totally believe it because it hurt so bad just to walk. I was able to do my trigger shot that evening with the egg retrieval scheduled for the morning of day 12. 

The trigger shot wasn't terrible. It definitely burned more than any of the other shots, but it didn't cause me to have any more side effects than I was already having. The day before the retrieval I was super uncomfortable and nervous about the procedure. I was ready to get the whole thing over with and behind me. 

Thankfully, my doctor scheduled the procedure first thing in the morning. (Though I wasn't very thankful at first when I woke up at 3:30am! Haha!) Once we got to the clinic, things moved very quickly. I kissed Brian "see ya later", got my hospital gown and blanket, and they had me lay on the operating table. What I knew would be the worst part of the day came next, because I hate getting IVs. People always laugh at me when I say it's the worst part (even when I was giving birth!) but my veins roll and I always, always have to get stuck multiple times. It hurts, and I always bruise so bad. I warned my poor nurse, and she just giggled and said "We shall see!", but understood what I meant when she couldn't even get a higher gauge needle to go in. Luckily, my anesthesiologist was a saint and my nurse had her come in to finally put the IV in my hand. Knowing it was going to hurt, she gave me a small shot of lidocaine in my hand first and I didn't feel a thing! Bless her! :) 

Once everything was set up and ready, the anesthesiologist told me "Sweet dreams!" and that's the last thing I remember. The whole procedure only took about 15 minutes so I woke up about 20-30 minutes later in recovery. I was a little out of it, but mostly just thirsty and hungry from having to fast. After they brought Brian in and gave me some water and crackers I felt much better. I wasn't in any pain because they must haven given me some good pain meds through the IV, but once those wore off the pain was terrible. (Not to mention the anesthesia made me throw up everything else I ate that day. It was horrible.)

Apparently the amount of pain a woman feels after egg retrieval depends entirely on pain tolerance and the amount of eggs retrieved. The average amount of eggs retrieved is about 14-15, but I had 27. When my doctor told me they harvested 27 eggs my jaw dropped. No wonder I had been so miserable! The follicles where the eggs come from don't just shrink back down to nothing, so they fill back up with blood and fluid which was where all my pain was coming from. It wasn't sharp pain, more like tremendous pressure and awful period cramps. 

I spent the next two days laying on the couch with my heating pad watching movies. Night time was the worst because laying flat hurt terribly, so I had to sleep upright. I suffered from some mild Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome, and my abdomen filled up with fluid. I literally looked 6 months pregnant. (What a cruel symptom!) I was able to combat it with eating salty food, drinking water, gatorade, & protein shakes, and limiting my sugar and carbs. Luckily, I only had one scary night where I could feel some fluid near my lungs, but once I sat upright and took some deep breaths I was just fine.

I finally started feeling better about 5 days after the procedure, and now, two weeks later, I'm completely back to normal! Of the 27 eggs retrieved 23 were mature and 22 were able to be fertilized. Of those, 12 made it to 5 day blastocysts and 3 made it to 6 day blastocysts, so in total we were able to freeze 15! I couldn't be happier with the results, and I can't wait to begin the best part! Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! 

If you are going through or thinking about the IVF process and have any questions or need some support, feel free to contact me! 

Also, our Go Fund Me is still open for anyone wishing to donate to our little cause! :) Thank you so much to everyone who has helped!

Until next time! XoXoXo

Valentine's Day Pictures!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Valentine's Day is already around the corner, & Janae Marie Photography did her magic again with a sweet Valentine's Day mini shoot for Baylee! She had so much fun twirling in her "princess dress" and playing with all the red balloons! 

If you are in the Inland Empire area, Janae is offering minis for this sweet day of love themed shoot on Sunday, January 29th from 11:00am-2:00pm at her studio in Rancho Cucamonga! 


We always have so much fun with Janae! She is great with kids, and we are always so happy with how our pictures turn out! Make sure you don't miss out on this adorable mini shoot!

Until next time! XoXoXo


Baylee at 2 1/2!

Monday, January 16, 2017

My crazy little chick turned 2 1/2 yesterday, so along with having a mini party for her (half birthdays are birthdays too!), I decided it was time to do a little update on the blog about how much she has grown. The rate at which she is branching from toddler toward preschooler is mind boggling, I just want to bottle her up and keep her this age forever sometimes! But it's been so amazing to watch her grow and learn, so I also can't wait to see how much more she blossoms before her 3rd birthday!

Baylee's language development over the past 6 months has blown my mind. She can hold a conversation and tell an entire story. It doesn't make sense half the time, of course, but she tries her best and has an amazing imagination! She loves to make her toy animals and Little People have conversations and do every day things in her little toy houses she has for them. She can count to 10 unassisted (sometimes making it to 14), sing the ABC's, knows all of her colors, and can point out squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, stars, and hearts. We just started working on letter recognition, and so far she is great at pointing out letter "B"! ;)

Baylee's favorite thing to do is draw, and she seems to have quite a knack for it already. She loves to use any medium available, but her dry erase board on her easel is her recent favorite. She can draw lines, zig-zags, circles, and dots, and she loves to tell us what it is that she is drawing. I think we might have a little artist on our hands!

This girl has personality for days, which is so bittersweet. She's absolutely hilarious (like her Daddy), and has us laughing on the daily, but she is also just as stubborn and quick-tempered as her Mama! (That Italian blood runs thick!) She is also very compassionate, caring, and observant, though, and it melts my heart. She gets so concerned when anyone is sad or hurting, and wants to help and nurture. During this week that I have been healing from my procedure, she has asked me every day, without fail or prompting, if my "booboo is feeling better". Bless her little heart of gold!

Age: 2 1/2 

Weight: 28 lbs

Height: 35.5 inches

Clothing size: 2T 

Teeth: She has all of them except the top two "two year" molars. (Side note: Those molars have given her a harder time to cute than any of her other teeth. :( Poor babe)

Favorite foods: Well, when we can get her to eat *sigh* she loves noodles (of any kind, preferably smothered in butter), ground beef, chicken, broccoli, carrots, and french fries. She also has a sweet tooth just like her Mama and Daddy (sorry kid) and loves ice cream, donuts, candy, and gum. But the kid eats like a bird...so we have Pediasure on hand at all times!

Favorite Phrases: "Can I have some gum?", " You're my best fwiend!", "Baylee doesn't like (food, sleeping, etc) anymore." "Mommy, what are you doing/eating?" "I love dis song! Want to dance, Mommy?"  "Time for your checkup!" and "Baylee can do it herself!"

Favorite activities: Drawing on her easel or paper, singing songs, swinging and sliding on her swing set, playing "doctor" with her stuffed animals, putting on tutus and dancing around the house, pretending to cook in her play kitchen, and standing on her step stool to "help" in the "Mommy's kitchen"

Least favorite activities: Anything that requires her to stop playing. This includes but is not limited to: sleeping, eating, going potty, running errands, & bathing. However, she enjoys all previously mentioned activities when they can be done on her own time ;)

Favorite toys: Easel, swing set, doctor kit, Little People, toy animals, and play kitchen. She also loves to play learning games on her Kindle Fire and Leap Start.

Signature moves: Swimming in the tub like a mermaid or sometimes a flipping dolphin (thanks for the heart attacks, punk), taking one bite of food and declaring that she "doesn't like it anymore", running around the house begging for someone to "chase me!", and conjuring up the saddest, fakest crocodile tears ever when she doesn't get her way.

I miss her being a little baby, but I am loving having a "big girl" so much! We have bonded a lot now that we can chit-chat about the things we both like, and she is completely full of hugs, kisses, and "i love you mommy"'s. My heart is so full it could burst! :)

Happy half birthday, baby girl! 

Until next time! XoXoXo



Love List!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Hello 2017, you are already off to a great start! I haven't done a Love List in a while, so I thought I'd pick out a few things that I am loving for the start of this new year.

Baylee has been enjoying her Christmas presents so much, but so far the clear winners have been her easel and her doctor's lab coat. My dad got her this easel from Melissa & Doug, and I love it so much. They make the cutest and best quality wood toys out there, and her and I both love having the chalk board and dry erase boards for when Mama doesn't feel like having a paint mess. ;) 

Her lab coat was a discovery by my Grandpa. Baylee loves her doctors kit and is always giving her stuffed toys "check-ups" just like Doc McStuffins, so he found a company that would personalize a lab coat that was just her size. She's basically been living in it since Christmas Eve, and I think it's the cutest thing!

One of the best things about January is all of the after-Christmas sales that stores to to get ready to move in new inventory. Right now, Target is having a huge clearance sale on all of their clothing. Also, my lovely friend at Nell's Bow Co currently has all of her bows marked 50-75% off! It's such a steal, so don't miss out!

In the new launch department, my ever favorite June & January had a huge launch tonight of new inventory, and the polka dot sleepers and bonnets are making me have more baby fever than ever before! On Tuesday, January 10th Little Juneberry will be releasing their line of Valentine's Day bows, and I can't wait to see what all her new fabrics look like!

In the little Disney side of my world, I am so beyond excited about the return of the Electrical Parade! I will never forget how much I loved watching this parade as a kid, and I can not wait to see the excitement on Baylee's face when she watches it for the first time! It will definitely be worth a 3 hour curb wait just to have front row spots on Main St. to see it. ;)

And now, my favorite "love" on this January Love List of mine, is the announcement that last night my little sister got engaged at Disneyland to her dream guy! They have been together for 7 years, and I am so happy that they are finally able to start planning this next step in their relationship. I don't have the words to even begin to explain how proud I am of the two of them, and how ecstatic I am to have a new brother, but I think their happy faces in this picture explains my exact emotion perfectly. :)

Congratulations Andrew & Nicole!  

Now, let's plan a wedding!!! Woot!

Until next time! XoXoXo

Our Family Cabin Adventure!

Monday, January 2, 2017

We just got back from the best family trip ever, and I already can't wait to do it again! Instead of presents this year, my Dad booked a cabin in a local mountain resort area for the weekend, and we had the most amazing time in the snow.

Friday was our first day there, and we just hung out and played in the snow in our yard area. We spend the afternoon at the little zoo they had there, and Baylee was in heaven seeing all of the animals in the snow! I made chili and corn bread for dinner, and then we went night sledding on the hill across the street from our cabin.

I loved waking up to our little snowy paradise on Saturday morning. (Even though sleeping was a joke because I love my daughter so, but she does not travel well. Ha.) That afternoon we decided to have lunch in and explore the village that was walking distance from where we were staying. It was the cutest place with a lot of neat little shops. That evening, a few flurries quickly turned in to a full on snow storm, so after building Baylee a snowman in the back yard, we decided to spend the rest of our New Year's Eve inside playing games by the fire. (We did make Brian trek in the snow to get us some ice cream for dessert, though! Haha, he's the best!) We all made it to midnight, including Baylee, and had a champagne and water toast to 2017! ;)


The next morning we woke up to a full on winter wonderland. Crisp, white snow was everywhere, and it was absolutely stunning. We couldn't wait to go outside to play! We spent most of the day either playing in the snow or just lazing around the cabin, and then had night sledding adventures part II after a delicious carne asada dinner!

Today we had to say goodbye, but after packing up the car we let Baylee have one more romp in the snow. I can't believe how much this girl loves it! She cried every time we had to go back inside to warm up. She is a mountain girl without a doubt! :)

I really hope we get to do this again next year. Though I am exhausted from it, it's a trip that I will hold dear to my heart forever! Thank you so much, Dad!

Until next time! XoXoXo