Things I’m Loving and Not Loving

I am a Happy Camper

Zico chocolate coconut water: This stuff is so good. It’s like a watery chocolate milkshake and would be the perfect liquid for a chocolate banana smoothie.

Yoga: I bought the prenatal package of ten classes at Dragonfly yoga, and although I didn’t go as often as I would’ve liked, I have been a couple times recently. It feels good to move like that, and it’s actually somewhat challenging now as an almost 40 week pregnant person. Plus there’s always a decent chance I’ll get to catch up with one of these two friends!  

The Americans: Brody watched this show over his lunch breaks, and now we’ve started watching it at night. We’re only in the first season (thanks Amazon Prime!), but it’s really interesting. 

Baking: Everything with sugar sounds good to me right now. In the past couple weeks, I’ve made banana whole wheat waffles, salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies, flourless peanut butter thumbprint cookies, banana coffee crumb cake, and zucchini bread. I’ll share all the links on my next food post.

My family: I love my husband and daughter so much, and as Brody pointed out yesterday as we walked around the Capitol Square, we have such a good life. I probably felt even more sentimental yesterday because a) It was our seven year anniversary, b) I’m pregnant, and c) Brunch may have been our last meal out at a restaurant as a family of three.  

Friday mom and baby play group: What would I do without these ladies?!?! They’ve been a source of support, laughs, food, fun and so much more for me (and Finley) over the last year. 

Relaxing during Finley’s nap: I’m typing this post as I lie in bed. While I did a few things right when she went down, such as laundry and the dishes, I’ve been trying to put my legs up to relieve the immense amount of pressure that exists down there. Baby Girl’s head is LOW.

I Could Do Without

Maternity clothes and my compression wear: I know I’ve moaned and groaned about this already, but I can’t wait to wear normal clothes again. I’m tempted to sell or donate (to a friend or Goodwill) all of my maternity clothes as soon as possible. 

Frequent night wakings: After spending a couple hours lying on one side of my body, my bottom hip starts to ache. Flipping to the other side takes a decent amount of effort, and unfortunately, often wakes Brody up. I know, I know…I’ll be getting up a lot with a newborn, and this is just preparing me for that….

Rain: We got a ton of rain last week, which was great for the grass, trees and plants, but not as much fun for a toddler who always wants to go outside. This week looks beautiful though, and even if I spend it in the hospital (maybe Baby H will come early?), Finley will enjoy it with my mom and/or Brody.

And for fun…Things Finley is Loving

Buses and trucks: She doesn’t play with trucks or cars much, but she gets so excited to see them drive past. She waves to them and says “Hi bus” and “Bye bus!”. 

Animals: Finley plays with her Little People animals every day. We also talk about animals every day, most likely the ones at the zoo. She likes seeing birds and squirrels outside while on walks or playing at parks.    

 Bacon: Maybe this was only a one time thing, but she housed a plate of bacon at Graze yesterday. Also, the anniversary card Brody got for me has a piece of (paper) bacon on the spring on the inside, and Finley keeps trying to eat it.   

Hope you’re having a nice Monday! And tell me: What are you loving or not loving???

Finley Photo Dump vol. X

  Finley tried grapefruit for the first time. It seemed like she kind of liked it but was shocked by the tartness.

  We go to a free play group in Sun Prairie most Monday mornings. Finley almost always has lots of fun and loves to see her friends (Noah, Ady, Ella and Brooks).

  For a week, she read this information book about the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison during meals.

  The girl still uses a paci, and it honestly doesn’t concern me one bit. She only gets it to sleep or in the car. 

  New tradition: Popsicles on the stoop after dinner. Finley’s are frozen orange juice.

  Finley spends a decent chunk of her days playing with her animals. They’re mostly Little People ones. 

 This may be hard to see but Finley got a hold of my Vaseline (used as Chapstick at night) and smeared it all over her face. 

  We’ve had a few last extender-nap cuddle sessions lately. It’s been amazing.

  Brody ran a half marathon over Memorial Day weekend. Finley and I were his biggest fans.

  Finley had a zoo date with a buddy. Unfortunately lots of the animals were inside, as it was very close to closing time. They still had fun even if we only saw the giraffes, camels, an alpaca, and two bisons.

Finley will be two years old in less than a month. It’s been an incredible two years and somewhat insane how quickly it has gone by. We love her so much, and she brings so much joy to our life.

Finally Friday Facts

1. We have farm fresh eggs! I found a woman on a resale group I’m in on Facebook who lives just outside of Waunakee selling them for $2.40/dozen. I picked up two dozen yesterday and plan on having eggs for breakfast after Finley wakes up. 

2. Finley has to be going through a growth spurt. She’s been eating more than normal, taking 2-3 hour naps every day this week, and been very moody. Sometimes she’s so happy and fun, and at other times she’s throwing a tantrum and insonsolable. I realize this last part is basically the definition of “toddler” but it’s been more dramatic recently. 

3. The freezer is looking good! I’ll do a full update later, but I’ve got eleven dinner items, which each will easily give us two meals. Yesterday I added chicken taco chili and oven baked chicken fajitas to the stash. If you have a favorite freezer meal, send it my way please!

4. Crazylegs is not looking good. I was excited to walk it tomorrow with two friends while pushing Finley in the stroller, but it’s most definitely going to rain. And be cold. And be windy. Yuck! 

5. My thumb nail is almost gone. If you can recall, I slammed my thumb in my car door about two months ago (the day before I broke out in hives from amoxicillan – I was a mess!). Well it died, and the new nail has been growing in. It’s an ugly process, and I’ll spare you photos. Fingers crossed it looks somewhat normal soon because… ⬇️

6. My sister’s wedding is two weeks away! I pick up my bridesmaids dress from the seamstress on Monday; hopefully it fits well and I don’t look ridiculous (not because of the dress, which is beautiful, but because I’m 8 months pregnant). 

7. After two attempts by Brody to buy patio furniture, third times a charm. We can’t wait to sit outside, eat meals, and just relax back there! It should arrive the second week in May.  

8. I’m thinking about buying the Solly Wrap for Baby Girl. Anyone have it? I have an Ergo and K’tan, but this one looks so comfy and easy. I hope to wear this baby a lot more than I did Finley. 

9. Brody and I have two nights out coming up: a birthday dinner for me at The Tempest tomorrow night and a “gala” next weekend. We’ve got to squeeze these in before life is flipped upside down with having a newborn. 

10. This girl – she’s awesome.   

     Have a great Friday and weekend!

Finley Update: 21 Months

Some of you may be wondering whats new with my little lady. It’s been forever since I’ve done a post only about her, so why not get one started now while she naps on me (which is quite the sight given my large belly).

Sleeping (naps):

Since September or so, we’ve been down to one nap a day right after lunch. Sometimes that means she’s in her crib at noon, and sometimes it’s 1pm. She sleeps for at least 75 minutes, but occasionally will take a 120 minute or more nap. Lately, because I can and I love it, I’ll bring her into the baby’s nursery and rock her in the glider. She’ll often doze off again for 20-60 minutes.   

Sleeping (night):

Ever since Daylight Savings Time, Finley’s nighttime schedule has been AWE-SOME (please don’t let me jinx myself). She goes to sleep around 7:30/8pm and sleeps until 7am. In the morning, she wakes up and hangs out in her crib for 10-15 minutes, rolling around, playing with her three pacis, and basically waking up. She’s so happy when I go in to get her then – I love it!

Soon after I posted about the tart cherry juice, we stopped giving it to her. It was becoming something forced. Seems like most things, she was in a “phase” and it passed. 

Eating and Drinking:

I can’t recall if I ever mentioned this, but I stopped nursing Finley in September, soon after we moved into our new house. At that point she was only nursing once in the morning and for only a few minutes. Plus, it started to feel “odd” to me, and I couldn’t explain it. Well, a pregnancy test a couple weeks later explained my aversion. I was not meant to be a breastfeeding pregnant mama. Because we weaned so slowly, I never had any problems with engorgement or leaking.

Finley eats three meals and two snacks a day. She eats most fruit, some vegetables, all grain products (bread, waffles, granola bars, pretzels), yogurt, hotdogs and chicken nuggets (we buy Applegate), rice with a little soy sauce, and as a treat, M&Ms. She drinks water throughout the day and whole milk at most meals.   


Social Development:

We stay busy around here! We leave the house every morning for play dates, music class, the museum, play groups, etc. Finley has lots of friends, and while she doesn’t exactly “play” with them yet, she prefers being around other kids to playing by herself.    





In the afternoon we’re more likely to stay at home, whether that means playing inside or outside. Now that the weather is improving, we’ve been going to the park across the street, taking walks, and playing with chalk.   


Physical Development:

At her 18 month appointment, she was still in the 90% for height and weight. She wears mostly 24 month or 2T clothes now, but all the summer clothes I bought for her at the end of last summer are 3T, and they’re going to fit perfectly. 

Finley runs, climbs stairs with help, can almost jump correctly, goes down big slides alone (she’s still fearless), dances, and much more. She’s working on jumping; she can’t quite get both of her feet to leave the ground at the same time. 

Mental Development:

Finley is very clearly going through a language explosion. Every day she is saying new words, and most recently, she’s started putting two words together (Noah’s house and Daddy home). She’s been loving the ABCs, and we sing them to her a lot and play with the foam letters in the bathtub every night.

Like any toddler, Finley has tantrums when frustrated or when things don’t go her way. Typically I can distract her so she forgets about it or I hold her in a hug and sing and sway.

We are trying to mentally prepare Finley for a sibling by talking about the baby, hanging out in her room, reading books about being a big sister, and even watching the Daniel Tiger episodes involving his little sister. She is drawn to babies and always wants to see them and touch them. I know she’ll be a great big sister!

Extra Information:

-We haven’t even attempted any form of potty training and don’t plan on tackling it any time soon. I have hopes of doing the “naked weekend boot camp” in August. For now she’s perfectly content wearing Pampers Baby Dry size 5 and occasionally a cloth diaper.

-Finley still has her paci(s), and like the potty training, I have no plans of changing that. We limit their use to car rides and sleeping. However during her week of sickness, she had it during the day too.  

-We are not a no-tv household, but I do not want Finley sitting for hours watching shows (unless she is sick). She likes Curious George, Daniel Tiger and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I see her screen time decreasing as it continues to get warmer.  


 -The girl is obsessed with belly buttons…hers and others’.   


That’s our Finley! We love her to pieces and have been having so much fun with her lately.  

Survey from a Blog from a Magazine

Did you follow that title? This morning, I read Carrots ‘n Cake morning post, and she answered the questions that Anna Faris responded to in Health magazine. I liked the questions and thought I’d also be a copycat. 

Can you eat what you want or do you have to watch it?

Being pregnant, I’m “allowed” an extra 300(ish) calories a day. However, I haven’t found in either of my pregnancies that my eating habits changed much. Eating fairly clean and healthy has been a part of my life for so long that I don’t even think about it. I do allow myself to indulge in something  sweet almost everyday, whether it be a couple pieces of dark chocolate after dinner, a brownie, or some ice cream (which we don’t keep in the house, so it’s a rare treat). 

After you had your baby, did you feel pressure to snap back into shape?

Surprisingly, no. I walked a lot for the first month after giving birth to Finley, but I didn’t start working out (going to the gym, running, workout DVDs) until  at least 8 weeks postpartum. I felt good about my body and didn’t mind the extra around my middle. Honestly, nursing helped me drop the weight quite quickly, so I started to feel comfortable in my body again after a couple months (or less). With this baby, at least now as a 30 week pregnant lady, I am feeling the pressure to be fit. But I’m not doing so great in that department, so I am excited to start working out regularly and sweating after I give birth.

Do you guys want more kids?

We’re likely going to stop at two. Both of us have one sibling, so that’s what we “know.” Also, as my sister says, we’ll never be outnumbered and the girls will each always have a partner (either each other or one of us) for going to amusement parks. Ha!

What are your favorite ways to pamper yourself?

Ummm…pamper? What does that mean? I’ve never been one to get regular massages, facials, or my nails done. For me, I feel pampered when I can take a shower without a toddler in the bathroom at the same time! Actually, I did get a gel manicure (my first ever!) on Friday night with my sister. The woman spent a few minutes massaging my arms and hands at the end, and that felt pretty amazing.

Besides wine, do you have a go-to drink?

When I’m not pregnant, and I’m not drinking red wine, I like stouts and IPAs. When I can’t drink or just want something special, I love kombucha. 

Do you have any health regrets?

Nothing I can think of.

Are you a yoga person?

Right after I graduated from college in 2005, I got into hot (or at that time it was Bikram) yoga. I practiced 5-6 days a week and loved it. After Brody and I bought our house in Sun Prairie and then I started student teaching, the location and long classes (90 minutes) weren’t convenient. Since then I’ve dabbled in it. I’m currently taking prenatal yoga classes at Dragonfly in Middleton, but I’ve only been able to make it to a class once every other week or so. After the baby is born, I’d love to start going to hot yoga again. 

What workout move do you loathe?

In BodyPump (which I haven’t taken forever), I despise biceps. 

When do you feel sexy?

When I get dressed up for a fancy night out with Brody. The last time this happened was when we went to The American Club in Kohler and had a nice dinner together. I wore a dress, eyeliner, and perfume!

When do you feel your absolute happiest?

In general, I am happy in the morning. I love the promise of the day to come, drinking coffee, and cuddling with Finley on the couch while she watches an episode of Daniel Tiger and does her nebulizer. Otherwise, I am so happy when Brody, Finley and I are out having fun, such as at the museum or out for brunch.

Handling Two

*This was written on Thursday but I didn’t have a chance to read it over or finish the last sentence until this morning.

Today was a tough day, and it made me (somewhat) doubt my ability to be a mama to two kids. At this point, there’s no going back. She’s going to be here in a little over two months, and I am so incredibly excited to meet her. 

I had lots of anxiety and fear over having to care for an infant while keeping a toddler happy during the first trimester of this pregnancy. Suddenly, those fears disapated. Maybe my hormones regulated, maybe the sun came out (love me some vitamin D), or something else, but I felt great. Confident. Let’s do this!

Today I watched another kiddo (8 months), and it was so challenging. She’s a sweet little girl, but she’s dealing with separation anxiety and really hasn’t been away from her parents much. She needed to be constantly held. There was crying from both Finley and the LO, sometimes at the same time. I was in survival mode the whole time, and unfortunately we did very little playing. 

At one point, when both were overtired and in tears, I attempted to divide and conquer. LO went in the pack n play while I read Finley a couple books to help her calm down before attempting to put her down for a nap. That failed.

Finley came in the nursery where the pack n play was set up. I put Daniel Tiger on the iPad, and I held the little girl in the rocker while she napped. During this time, Finley pooped, and it was definitely past her normal nap time. I tried putting LO down in the pack n play, but her eyes opened immediately. 

The LO’s mom came to pick her up at 1:30pm, and Finley was still awake (she’s normally asleep by 12:30pm). After she left, Finley was not interested in napping, even though she was exhausted. Finally, she fell asleep at 2:55pm.

Long story short, having two kids isn’t going to be easy (duh). I know the situation today was unique, but it gave me a glimpse into how challenging some days may be with two. 

I wrote this all while holding my sleeping daughter, who finally fell asleep in her crib and only slept there for 45 minutes. It’s now 4:30, and she’s about to wake up. 

Helping Finley Sleep: Tart Cherry Juice

For a couple months now, Finley has been waking up before 6am more often. She’s also been unhappy and crabby more often in the morning.

One particularly difficult morning (she wanted her paci which we now only give her for sleeping or in the car)

While I can handle the early mornings, I want her to be in a good mood, and it got me wondering if she wasn’t getting enough sleep at night.

One crabby morning made better by eating my breakfast

Since she was only a handful of months old, her bedtime has been around 7pm. Her wakeup time doesn’t seem to be affected greatly by her bedtime. We’ve had nights where she’s went down closer to 8pm or after, and she’s still up around 6am. We’ve also taken into consideration the temperature and darkness of her room, her pajamas, hunger, etc.

A while ago, I read Mama Natural’s blog post about giving her son tart cherry juice. In the study she sites, adults consumed tart cherry juice for seven days, and both the quality and duration of their sleep improved. Mama Natural experienced these same positive results with her son.

So I thought, why not?

I bought tart cherry juice, kefir, and coconut water at Woodmans and crossed my fingers.

Most days, I would estimate Finley is only taking in 1 ounce total. After experimenting with various mix-ins, she has liked it with cherry and blueberry kefir the most. Sometimes I’ll add a little whole milk to cut down on the sweetness and sugar. She doesn’t like it with water, coconut water, straight milk, or vanilla kefir. I give her a sippy cup of it right away in the morning, before her nap, after her nap, and right before bed. She rarely drinks a lot at once, so that’s why I give it to her so often.

Finley taking a longer than normal nap

When we first started this experiment, she began sleeping in an extra thirty minutes in the morning. For about a week, she never woke up before 6:15am. Then I ran out of the cherry kefir and tried the other mix-ins. She refused the juice for a few days and had early and grumpy mornings again. I then bought the blueberry kefir, she started drinking the juice again, and she began waking up a little later and in a happier disposition.

Sleeping like a rock star

Maybe it’s all coincidence. Timing. The placebo effect. Whatever it is, it seems to be working.

Pregnancy Update: 22 weeks with Baby #2

Hi! Happy Tuesday afternoon!

I’m blogging again – crazy. Let’s talk about pregnancy. I doubt I’ll do pregnancy updates as often as I did with my first, but here’s at least one to get things started. 

   How far along? Almost 22 weeks

*picture from about a week ago 

Gender? Girl!


Baby’s size? Spaghetti squash (11 inches, almost 1 pound). 


Weight gain? 11 lbs. This is more than I had gained at this point with Finley but I was about five pounds less starting out than I was pre-pregnancy with Finley. So whatever. 

Belly button in or out? Kind of out already.

Wedding rings on or off? On. I had forgotten I took them off at night during my first pregnancy.

Sleep? Good. I go to sleep around 9:30pm, wake up twice to use the bathroom around 11pm and 3am, and I’m up for the day around 6am. 

Best moment(s) of the week? Family trip to Chicago! Brody took Friday off and we drove down Thursday night. On Friday morning, we had breakfast at The Bongo Room and spent two and a half hours at the Shedd Aquarium.



Miss anything? Stomach sleeping. 

Looking forward to? Brody’s dad is visiting and staying with us this weekend. We’re excited for him to spend a lot of time with Finley. On the baby front, we looking at decor for her room, so that’s fun. 

Movement? I’ve been feeling movement inside for a few weeks, and recently, movement with my hand on the belly.

Food cravings? A few weeks back, I was into Raisin Bran, but otherwise, not much. I have been loving oranges but I wouldn’t say it’s a craving.


Anything making you sick or queasy? As with my first pregnancy, whole chicken breasts gross me out.  

Exercise? Meh. I try to get to the gym twice a week, whether that’s for a kickboxing class or a session on the elliptical. I did attend a prenatal yoga class at Dragonfly in Middleton with my other pregnant friend, Mel. I bought a ten class package, so that’ll be good for me. 

Symptoms? The varicose veins (on legs and elsewhere) are baaaaack. Yuck. They’re so much worse than last time. I got fitted for compression leggings but haven’t been good about wearing them. The waistband hits at an awkward spot and either gives me ridiculous muffin top or two pregnant bellies. I spoke to my doctor about options if these don’t go away after giving birth. They did with Finley, so fingers crossed they will disappear again…immediately. 

Labor signs? Nope. 

 Have a good day!

Christmas 2014

We bought the house we did because we wanted to be able to host our families and give as many people beds as possible. This Christmas was the first go at that, and I’d say it went splendidly!

I’ll avoid a detailed recap and just share pictures (which are mostly of Finley) with some captions/explanations.

We watched Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol on Wednesday.

Brody ordered matching pajamas. We modeled them for the rest of our family Christmas Eve after Finley had gone to sleep. Nothing says “the holidays” like footie Christmas jammies and booze (for Brody, not me obv).

Finley ate the rest of the cookies left behind by Santa Christmas morning. She had a lot of sugar that day.

We did manage to take a sleepy-eyed family shot.

Here’s a good view of our tree and Finley’s new kitchen, a gift from her grandpa.

The tea set from Grandma Lee was a hit.

Breaks from gift opening were needed Christmas morning, mainly to eat Sara Lee coffee cake and drink coffee.

We helped Finley get started on the unwrapping, but once a corner was torn, she did a pretty good job finishing up.

Finley had lots of gifts to open, including a ton of books.

We saved a few presents for Finley to open once Grandma Chris, Aunt Laura and future Uncle Ben arrived.

Grandma Lee reading a new book to Finley.

Uncle Dan was a trooper and put up with a lot of estrogen during their visit.

This is how we managed to prevent a meltdown during Christmas dinner. She loves the episode Mickey Mouse Saves Santa.

The holidays were exhausting for Moose as well.

Finley and her Aunt Erin made a delicious eggnog loaf the day after Christmas.

Thanks to my sister and SIL for taking some of the photos above (which I stole off of Facebook).

I hope everyone had a happy holiday! Now is it just me or is it time for all these decorations to come down? 😄

A Day in the Life [12-11-14]

What better way to fill you in on my life than a this-is-what-I-did-in-day-if-you-care-at-all post. Oh, and it never shows up in what we did today, but I’m pregnant and due June 4! Finley will have a little brother or sister who is almost two years younger than her.

5:50am: Finley is awake but it’s too early for everyone.

5:55am: I’ve successfully soothed her back to sleep.

6:20am: Now she’s awake for real.

6:25am: Diaper change

6:30am: Sesame Street in Mom and Dad’s bed

7:00am: Breakfast with The Today Show playing in the background

7:30am: Bake pumpkin muffins


7:40am: Finley watches the rest of the Sesame Street episode.


8:00am: Diaper change

8:05am: Play time with breaks to sample the muffins

9:30am: Drop off at gym’s daycare

9:35am: Kickboxing class for Mama

10:25am: Shower…alone with no toddler trying to open my hairspray or use Qtips

10:35am: Pick up Finley from daycare

11:00am: Home and diaper change

11:10am: Lunch


11:35am: Play with Mom’s wallet and attempt to eat coins

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11:45am: Read books in Finley’s room

12:00pm: Diaper change

12:10am: Sing “Twinkle Twinkle” and put Finley in her crib

12:20pm: Finley is asleep.


12:25pm: Make Starbucks hot chocolate

12:45pm: Address Christmas cards in the basement


1:20pm: Work on this post

2:00pm: Odds and ends: make guac (avocados were on their last legs), fold laundry, brush teeth (whoops, hadn’t done that yet today), pick up a little, etc.

2:30pm: Relax on the couch, meal plan, and make grocery list

2:55pm: Finley is awake – quite a nap!

3:00pm: She has a kids Chobani tube and we watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol. *Normally we only watch an hour or less of tv a day (typically Sesame Street), but I saw this recorded and wanted to see it too.


3:30pm: Finley eats peanut butter granola with milk, and I have crackers and cheese.

4:00pm: Walk the dogs – Finley cries for the last half of it while I try to keep her happy by singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and the ABCs.

4:30pm: Home and diaper change

4:40pm: Play and wait for Dad to come home (plus another diaper change at some point)

5:25pm: Brody is home, and I watch while he entertains Finley.

6:10pm: Dinner – we all fend for ourselves.

6:40pm: Finley gets a bath.

6:55pm: Brody and I read Finley holiday books.

7:10pm: Lights out for our little one

7:15pm: Couch, pineapple, tv (Blackhawks are playing), Facebook, blogs, Instagram, text with my sister, and this post

8:45pm: Get ready for bed

9:00pm: Lights out for the adults