Piper Jade Kids

The only thing I love more than buying new clothes for myself is buying new clothes for Scarlett. She without a doubt has the best wardrobe of anybody in our house (although Andre is pretty darn proud of his 95% athletic attire wardrobe and may beg to differ).

My favorite places to shop for her include Target (duh), Zara, Old Navy, and small shops. I love shopping small 1. because I know my money is going to an actual family who works hard to run that business and 2. because small shops always cary such unique stuff. Every single one of my favorite pieces for Scarlett comes from a small shop and she gets compliments on her little outfits seriously everywhere we go. Currently my small shop obsession is the one and only Piper Jade Kids.

Shops like Piper Jade kids are the exact reason I love shopping small. The shop is named after the owner’s daughter, Piper. Little miss Piper was born with a rare congenital heart defect called Shone’s Complex and was the inspiration behind her mom deciding to open a kids clothing store. Not only do I love that spending money at this shop helps pay for Piper’s future heart surgeries, however they also donate 10% of their profits to organizations that help other sick children.

Beyond having an amazing back story and cause, Piper Jade kids seriously has some of the most adorable beachy boho vibe clothes that I’ve found. Their items are unique, on trend, and the quality is like nothing that you can find at large retailers.

So far we have a swimsuit, a top, and a matching top/bloomer outfit and every item has impressed me. I can tell they are pieces that Scarlett is going to be able to love wearing all summer long while I follow her around like the stalker paparazzi mom that I am.

Including the links here so that you can check them out for yourself:

VACAY ALL DAY SWIMSUIT:

https://www.piperjadekidsclothing.com/swimwear-swimsuits-infant-swimwear-toddler-swimwear/vacay-all-day-scoop-swimsuit

FLUTTER SLEEVE TOP:

https://www.piperjadekidsclothing.com/girls-tops-pants/flutter-sleeve-top-natural

BLOUSE AND BLOOMERS SET:

https://www.piperjadekidsclothing.com/chanels-picks/p1uhnhbfsz05xlj1wsy426e79tkkcp

You can also check out Piper Jade kids on instagram for updates on their newest adorable items + fun giveaways!

https://www.instagram.com/piperjadekids/

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

Life Update.

Hello strangers!

It’s been so long that I temporarily forgot how to even create a blog post. Kidding… kind of.

The last we left off, Scarlett was just a little wiggly larva baby, Liam had yet to unleash his teenager-like attitude,  Andre had yet to become obsessed with marathon running, and I had yet to start my photography journey.

Clearly a lot has changed around these parts.

Scarlett is now 18 months old and has blossomed into her own. She is THE most strong willed baby and the word “No” means absolutely nothing to her. She is slowly but surely growing hair and is putting her no hair don’t care days behind her. She loves dogs (pronounced ‘dagas’) and she also loves daddy (pronouned ‘dagas’). Most of all, she loves eating. Cheese, Bananas, and apple sauce all come in close ties for her favorite foods, surpassed only by “boobies”. Because yes, I am still breastfeeding. I always said I would be happy to make it to six months of nursing. Then I said a year. Then I said 18 months. And now here we are, nursing twice a day still and no matter how many people squinch up their faces at me and look at me like I just told them I’m growing my armpit hair out (don’t worry, I’m not), I just can’t bring myself to take away her most favorite thing in the world.  I don’t know when it will come to an end… Probably soon-ish. But I plan on soaking up every sweet moment of it until then.

Liam is my little five-nager these days. I’m “the worst mom ever” at least 7 times a week and I’ve decided that must mean I’m doing something right. He is obsessed with Minecraft and is always ready to tell anyone willing to listen a crazy story about what goes on in the virtual world of Minecraft. Regardless of the major ‘tude he’s been dishing out these days (mostly when we tell him he’s hit his Minecraft time limit), he still enjoys play dough, wearing his batman cape out to the store, and cuddling up with me in bed… so I know my little boy is still in there for at least a little while longer. We’ve been homeschooling him for Kindergarten and if you’re wondering how that’s been going, the answer is that he will be going to a charter school for first grade. It’s been an interesting experience that I was so happy to be able to try out, but I can’t help but to feel like maybe homeschooling just isn’t for us. Not only do I feel like I don’t always have the time in my day to dedicate to teaching him properly, but I also feel like he would learn better from someone who isn’t his parent. I’m sure I’ll regret that decision temporarily as I wipe my tears on the first day of school this fall, but in the long run I think this is the best decision for our family.

Andre has developed a major love for marathon running + obstacle races and while I will never understand why someone would choose to run 26 miles for “fun”, it makes him happy and that’s what matters. Based on the personal records that he beats every single time, it’s lookin like he’s pretty dang good at it too. Running has become his thing he does for himself and it brings him peace (it also brings him like 3-5 days of pain and discomfort post every marathon but hey, to each their own). He continues to work hard for our family constantly and is always looking for ways that he can improve. I still can’t seem to get a good back rub out of him however he is exceptionally awesome at pouring me a glass of wine and doing the dishes without me ever asking so I’ll take what I can get. He’s the best person I know and I’m pretty proud to call him mine. We have our first date night in forever scheduled for next week and excited doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings about it.

While all of that has been happening, I have been busy over here putting together a photography + social media marketing business. I have been doing social media marketing for 6 ish years now but finally decided to turn it into more than just a small side job. After brainstorming business names with some friends during mom’s night out, Cactus and Vine was born and has become my third baby. It is primarily focused on photography however I do offer social media marketing consulting on the side. Creating this business allowed me to combine a skill that I’ve been developing for years (social media marketing) with my love for photography. While its been chaotic and often really overwhelming trying to get a business up and running while still tending to mom + wife duties, it has been a major source of pride for me.

I think that about wraps our whole life right now up into a few grammatically incorrect paragraphs. It’s taken me five days just to write this much, the entire family has barged in on me as I try to finish this last paragraph, and I’ll probably skip editing it because ain’t nobody got time for that.

Thanks for following along with our crazy fam… It’s good to be back.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur.

Scarlett Genevieve.

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It only took 3 (ok, almost 4) months to wrap up… but at last, Scarlett’s birth story:

By the time that I hit 39 weeks pregnant, I was DONE. I no longer felt like a cute little preggo lady, I felt like a beached whale. I was waking up at least 4 times a night to pee and had the hardest time getting comfortable enough to fall back asleep. I’d spent day in and day out bouncing on my yoga ball trying to get things moving along. I had two membrane sweeps. I went for long walks every evening. I was dilated to a 3… for 3 whole weeks. The doctor told me “any day now”… for 3 whole weeks. And still no baby. I realize I was yet to be at my due date, but with how insanely low baby was and the fact that I had an incompetent cervix with my previous pregnancy, I had never been expecting to make it to my due date. At my 39 week appointment the doctor asked if I’d like to schedule an induction and even though the idea of an induction was so nerve wracking to me, I couldn’t help but to blurt out ‘yes’ the second the offer was proposed. He let me know that they’d be calling to schedule an induction and that was that. Leaving the doctor that day I felt a huge sense of relief. The purgatory stage of pregnancy was finally over, I would soon know the exact date of when I would get to meet my girl.

Later that day I was called and provided with my induction date: September 11. Initially I thought nothing of it, however it soon dawned on me that we would be bringing our daughter into the world on one of American history’s saddest days…not ideal. I spent the next couple of days toying with the idea of calling to reschedule the induction. Between the not so desirable date and my overall  fear of an induction, I started to think that pushing it back might be my best option. The night of September 7, I stayed up late (11 pm— impressive, I know ) and ate nachos with my husband while fantasizing together about the tiny little newborn that would soon be joining our family. Little did we know just how soon.

Andre and I went to bed at 11 that night and by 11:30, as I laid in bed deciding to call and cancel my induction, I felt a contraction that was like no contraction I’d felt before. Three minutes later I felt another. I quickly downloaded a contraction timing app and got to counting. They were coming in alarmingly fast and strong. Still, I thought maybe it was another bout of false labor, which had been plaguing me for days. I decided to get a glass of water and tried walking around. The contractions continued to come. I got back in bed to try and get comfy but quickly realized that I was putting all of my energy into breathing through my contractions. I nudged my husband awake and said “I think it’s time”. He popped up, said “it’s time!?”… And then fell backwards in bed and passed right back out. This time I shook him, leaned over the bed as a contraction began and growled “we gotta gooooo”.

Me being me, I refused to leave without applying a quick splash of makeup. I leaned over the counter, breathed through a couple more contractions, and decided it was so not worth the risk of wiggling a baby out onto the bathroom floor.

My husband grabbed Liam out of bed and carried him to the car. I texted my grandma to let her know we were on our way, grabbed a towel to put under me just in case, and waddled myself out the door. Without the hospital bag that I’d spent a month perfecting. Of course.

My grandma lives 3 minutes away from our house and the hospital is 5 minutes away from her house. But as we headed to her house i began to think that there was no way we were going to make it. I texted her to open her door, Andre ran Liam in, and we were off. I thought a baby was going to fly out with every speed bump we rolled over and as we pulled up to the hospital we just left the car in front and ran in to the ER. I was brought a wheel chair right away and just like that, a nurse was wheeling me to labor and delivery. I was ugly breathing, people were staring at me, and I was a total wreck. At this point it was 12:30 and when the nurse  asked when my due date was, I realized it WAS my due date.

The nurse sent me into the bathroom to change before she did a pelvic check. As I was in the bathroom I bent over to get my leggings off (worst thing ever to try to get off while having level 10 contractions) and felt my water break. I came back into the room for my pelvic check and the nurse only had to check for a quick second before turning to me and saying “I have good news and bad news. Good news is, you’re not going home-you’re definitely in labor. Bad news is, you are dilated to a 9 and probably won’t have time for an epidural”. I was in shock. It had been just an hour since I felt my first contractions and I was dilated to a 9….???

I was rushed to a delivery room and my amazing team of nurses got to work. They were determined to help me get that epi and explained that the more I freaked out during a contraction, the faster labor would progress. They were shoving paperwork in my contraction having face as fast as possible and I signed each one with the ugliest ‘I’m at a level 10 pain’ scribble you ever did see. Within 20 minutes (that felt like 20 hours) the anesthesiologist walked into the room and I felt immediate relief upon simply seeing the guy. 10 minutes after that I felt like a new woman, my energy was reignited, and I was ready to meet my girl. Andre and I sat there excitedly texting family members and waiting for push time.

Just after 3am, the nurse came into the room and had me try pushing to determine if it was time to call the doctor in. After three pushes she decided it was go time and ran off to find the doctor. My doctor arrived, I pushed maybe 4 more times, and just like that, my perfect 6lb 3oz Scarlett Genevieve was placed on my chest. Andre was in such awe that he forgot that his job was to take photos and the nurse ended up grabbing his phone and taking photos for him.

I began nursing Scarlett and despite all of my fears, she latched perfectly. And so there we sat, soaking in our newest little babe while we waited to be transferred to our room.

About 7 hours after Scarlett made her grande debut into this world, she met her big brother for the first time. He came in typical Liam fashion-loudly and with a box full of donuts. He was excited but hesitant, and while he would hover next to us watching as we held her, he was too scared to touch her himself.

We decided that it would be best for Liam if Andre stayed with him that night, so Scarlett and I had our first ever ‘girls night’ in the hospital. And let me tell you, it was such a wild sleepover that we didn’t get any actual sleep. That’s right, after delivering at 3am, I stayed up all day the following day with visitors, and then proceeded to stay up with my little comfort nursing girl all night long. Thank goodness for sweet nurses and HGTV.

The following day I was told we would go home as soon as doctors came by to give the stamp of approval. The pediatrician came by bright and early, did one last echo on her heart to make sure her VSD had closed up, said Scarlett was good to go, and signed her off. My doctor however was MIA and despite the easiest delivery ever, the nurses couldn’t release me until I was seen. The entire day went by, and by 4pm this exhausted mama was not having it. I sent Andre out to the nurses station to figure out a plan to break me out of there and at last, they called the doctor and were able to get me released via phone call. I have never packed up my stuff so quickly.

We packed Scarlett into her car seat, rolled on down to the car, and at last, we were all together and headed to our happy place… home.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur.

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Baby #2 is a…

At 12.5 weeks pregnant, we went in to see my high risk specialist for a cervix check. I knew it was super early to ask about the gender, but I was so anxious to know that I couldn’t help but beg him to take a guess. Right away, the doctor said “looks like a girl”.  The words my husband and I had been hoping like crazy to hear. He let us know that he was 80% sure and would check again at the next appointment. Scared of getting too excited, we shared our news with only a couple people and I did my best not to get my hopes up (and by “did my best” I mean I only added like 50 girly items to my online shopping carts instead of actually purchasing said items).

At the following appointment at 14.5 weeks, the doctor changed his certainty to 90% girl. That was all I needed to hear… from that moment on, baby became a she. I went home that day and started buying flowery little swaddle blankets and pink onesies. I sat in bed awake at night dreaming up the perfect girly nursery and smiling at the idea of watching my husband raise a little “daddy’s girl”. In the back of my mind however, I was still so nervous that we would walk into our next appointment only to find out that she was suddenly a he. I of course would still love that baby with everything I had either way, but I knew it would be a bit of a temporary shock if the gender changed on us (not to mention I sure would have an embarrassing amount of returns to make).

Finally this week, at 17.5 weeks… we got the confirmation that we have been waiting for. Baby number two is 100% a girl. The moment the ultrasound tech scanned over the little girl parts she exclaimed “oh yeah that’s without a doubt a girl” and all I could do was smile the biggest smile.  Just like that, I get to be the mama of a daughter. I want to cry just saying it–thanks pregnancy hormones.

I remember as a little girl, I always said that I hoped to first have a boy so that he could be the protector, followed by a girl who would look up to her big brother. As we began our journey into pregnancy number two, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would actually get to experience mothering a girl or if I was destined to be a boy mom. Now I am filled with so much joy to be able to say that I have got my sweet crazy boy + a girl on the way.

Trimester two has been much easier on me than the earlier weeks of pregnancy. My nausea has finally passed and most days my energy levels seem to be normal again. Best of all, my incompetent cervix has not yet come back to bother me. The high risk specialist has told us at every appointment that he is shocked by the total turnaround and that it’s like he’s looking at an entirely different patient’s cervix. I remain under careful watch and he’s ready to operate on me the second he feels he needs to, however so far there has been zero sign of the return of my cervical problems.

I have to say, it’s a bit of a shock. A good shock, but a shock nonetheless. Ever since the complications of my last pregnancy, we have been warned to expect the same thing this time around. We were prepared (or at least as prepared as one can be) for me to be on bed rest for the majority of my pregnancy. The moment I found out I was pregnant I held off making any plans out of fear that I would be bed ridden for the following 8 months. But here I am, 18 weeks along and still movin and groovin. Things could change suddenly, but for the time being we are simply hoping for the best and trusting the talented doctor who is closely monitoring me.

I have recently begun feeling tiny baby kicks all throughout my day and from time to time I have even been lucky enough to feel quick little movements on the outside of my belly, excited for the kicks to grow stronger so that my husband and son can share in the experience. I’m growing bigger by the moment and at least half of my wardrobe is now very much off limits. My cravings include bean and cheese burritos with sour cream (if there is no sour cream I will throw a pregnant lady fit and refuse to eat it), Frosted Flakes/about half of the rest of the cereal aisle, corn on the cob, and chocolate chip cookies accompanied by an almost frozen glass of whole milk. The nursery/baby item check list is quickly coming along and I find myself staring at the already acquired items in excitement at least a couple times a day. Surprisingly, I have managed to make it to the gym for a 30 minute workout 4-5 nights a week and am feeling pretty darn great about that.

Just about halfway through this pregnancy and so far it has been everything I’d hoped for and more. I plan on soaking in every sweet moment as this little one continues to grow,  awaiting the big day that we get to welcome our girl into the world.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

 

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