Liam turns 6

It’s official– I have a SIX year old. Something about six feels like a bigger milestone than the rest of the last few birthdays and we are going big this year for Liam because of it. Not only is he celebrating his birthday with friends and family in Vegas later this week, but we also have a day of birthday fun planned for him AND he got to have a little birthday party with our Arizona friends over the weekend. In the words of Liam himself, he is “living the life”.

Liam has been 100% on the Toy Story hype train with the release of Toy Story 4. We’ve watched the first three Toy Story movies at least 50 times in the last month and half his birthday list consisted of Toy Story toys, so throwing him a Toy Story themed birthday party was an easy decision.

Combining almost entirely things that I already had + a handful of new Toy Story toys, the table spread came together super easily and affordably. All toys + the table cloth + Toy Story napkins, plates, and coloring pages were purchased at Target. The foil balloon cake topper was purchased from the Oh Shiny Paper Co Etsy Shop. The crate was purchased at Ikea.

Since it’s Arizona in the middle of the summer we put an inflatable pool in the backyard and let the kids go wild with bubble wands and a bubble machine. I also had the Toy Story movies playing in the background of the party as well as a TeePee and coloring station so that the kids could have some indoor activity options as well. Liam had a blast, totally scored in the gift department, and I would say the party was a success! Looking forward to a day of indoor trampoline park, pesto pizza, and whatever else my birthday boy requests!

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

(PS: drinking game idea— take a shot for every time I said Toy Story 😂 )

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

My Breastfeeding Journey.

I never truly understood the beauty of breastfeeding. Liam never latched and let’s face it—as a first time mom I had no idea what I was doing. We are told breastfeeding is the most natural thing you can do, but in reality it takes a lot of work. A lot of guidance. A lot of patience. And often times, a lot of tears. The second time around I was feeling more confident in myself as a mom and was determined to make it work. To finally understand the magic that everyone made breastfeeding out to be.

When Scarlett was born I tried feeding her within minutes of having her in my arms (the photo above is of this exact moment and will always be one of my most favorite captures). I remember feeling so self conscious about it, thinking there was no way I was doing it right. But the nurses nodded their heads in approval, and Scarlett stopped crying, so I kept on.

During the next 48 hours, Scarlett spent probably 40 of them latched on to me. I laid in the hospital bed that first night exhausted from labor and a day full of visitors, wanting nothing more than to go to sleep. But Scarlett was not happy if she was not latched, and so there I sat as tired as could be all night long.

The next day wasn’t any easier. I had tears running down my face. I was in so much pain from the endless feedings. But the lactation specialist said these first days were crucial to good supply + a successful nursing journey. And so there we sat, tears and all.

We got home and the pain and discomfort did not end. My nipples were bleeding. Everything was raw. Everything hurt. I winced every time she cried for food, knowing the pain that was about to follow. I would clench my fists, squeeze the pillows, anything to make the feedings bearable. But Scarlett was content, she was gaining weight, she was nursing well…and so there I sat.

And then one day, two tubes of Lanolin and four greasy lanolin destroyed nursing bras later (why didn’t anyone warn me!?), the clouds cleared and everything was better. There was no more pain. No more tears. She was nursing happily. I was nursing happily. And so there we sat, snuggled up in each other. And finally, I understood the beauty of breastfeeding.

The months went on and our bond continued to grow with every feeding. She would rub her little hands on me as she fed, thanking me in her own baby way for supplying her with the fuel she needed to grow. I was filled with pride for what my body could do. I made it a goal to nurse her for 6 months. And then 6 months turned into 12, and 12 turned into 18. People would ask “are you done breastfeeding yet? Don’t you think you’ve fed her long enough?”. But I knew that she and I were the only two who would know when the time was right… and so there we sat, letting our breastfeeding journey continue for as long as WE chose.

As the weeks went by and my baby wasn’t so much of a baby anymore, my body stopped producing as much milk. Nursing became about comfort and routine rather than food. I’d been conflicted about stopping for months. Part of me wanted my own body back. I’d been experiencing hormonal imbalances and wanted to focus on resolving that. On taking care of myself first, for the first time since Scarlett had been born.. However the other part of me wanted to stay connected to my baby in a way that only her and I could ever be connected.

I think if I’m being completely honest with myself, my biggest fear has been that we will never again be as close as we were in those 18 months. I know it’s ridiculous and I know the bond we created during that time will not just go away, but in the back of my mind I’m scared. Scared that she will no longer need me now that my body isn’t supplying her with liquid gold.

In the last few weeks she began nursing for shorter and shorter periods of time, and my body continued to produce less and less. Naturally we moved our way to the end of our nursing journey until one night, there we sat…and I just knew in my heart that it was the last feed. I held her a little closer and a little longer, knowing that when I put her to bed that night there would be no more “boobie night nights”. It would just be regular night nights from here on out.

The next day I put her down for nap without offering “boobie”. She went down just fine, and never even asked for it. The same happened at bedtime that night. It has now been 48 hours. 2 days without nursing. And only once very briefly did she try tugging at my shirt to feed. Her total ease with this transition has given me comfort, knowing that it truly was time. For both of us. Even if it feels difficult and emotional right now, it was going to be difficult and emotional no matter when this journey ended.

And so here I sit. Crying as I write this. A ball of sad and happy all in one. My body fed my baby for 18 months. It kept her healthy, it kept her happy.  For that I am forever grateful. 

This was my breastfeeding journey, and a beautiful journey it was.

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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Maternity Photos.

You guys, I cannot even begin to express how in love I am with our maternity shoot. It was something I had envisioned for months and when it finally happened it surpassed any hopes that I’d had for it. This was the second shoot that we’ve done with The Light and The Love Photography and we were once again blown away by the talent that is Britany.

For years now I have wanted to do a family shoot up in Mount Charleston, but due to it always being pouring rain every time we tried to shoot there, it’s never worked out. At last, I got my mountain photo session and ohmygoodness between the scenery, the lighting, and Britany’s serious photography skills, these photos perfectly captured the beauty of this pregnancy.

I’ve had a lot of questions about my dresses. Unfortunately the lacy bell sleeved one is no longer available, but it was from Forever21. The other dress is from Show Me Your Mumu and is linked here.

Liam’s outfit is all from Zara (which i cannot believe I haven’t discovered sooner) and Andre’s outfit is from Express.

I was a little nervous about this session because the last few family sessions that we’ve done with Liam he’s become distracted/bored super quickly and getting any images with him were always a tricky task that involved a ton of bribery. This time around he was SO unbelievably well behaved and cooperative and cuddly and had all the smooches to give. We brought my sister along to assist as needed, which I think helped a lot. We also brought some treats for him to look forward to between locations because let’s be real, some Star Wars fruit snacks and lollipops will always be the easiest way to keep a four year old in a good mood.

This session was by far my favorite family session we’ve done yet–which is obvious the moment you walk into my house because I’ve already framed half of it. It was the last session of just the three of us and I’m so glad that I will forever have it to look back on. The next time our family is photographed we will finally be joined by our littlest babe, who is apparently very comfortable inside my belly with no intention of coming out on time. Stay tuned, she’s gotta make her debut eventually.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

The Nursery.

I started planning our growing little one’s nursery long before this babe was even in my belly. I would sit up at night pinning ideas on Pinterest, bookmarking websites that had cute decor inspo, and feeling slightly ridiculous for planning so in depth for a baby that did not yet exist.

Fast forward to finding out I was pregnant. After seeing those two lines on the test and spending my entire morning pacing around the house with an overwhelming feeling of joy, I remember wandering into the room that would soon belong to our baby. As I sat there rearranging the room in my head, I planned the perfect nursery for a little girl. Call it a mother’s intuition or call it wishful thinking… I just knew it would be a girl’s room long before we ever knew the gender.

Now here we are. Just 6 weeks from my due date and all that we need to complete this nursery is our sweet girl. Inspired by wild flowers, I created a girly little space with a boho touch. With the exception of her crib (which will be in our room for the first few months) and changing table/dresser, I utilized furniture that we already had. The leaning shelves were purchased for our first home years ago at The Container Store. The couch is part of a sectional that was in our first home as well. We’d thought about getting rid of it several times but since it was still in great condition we held onto it “just in case” we could find a later use for it…and sure enough we did. What was once the couch we bought for our first home together is now the couch that I will cuddle up and nurse our little girl on. The crib and changing table/dresser are both from IKEA. I’ve found changing table dressers to be so ridiculously over priced and not at all cute enough to justify the high price tags, so thanks to an idea I saw on Pinterest, we bought a basic plain white Ikea dresser and changed out the knobs with little crystals that I found at H&M.  It’s the perfect height to double as a changing table and will still look great once she transitions to a big girl room.

All of my framed prints came from Etsy shops Adoren Studio and Ivie Baby. The frames came from Ikea, Target, and H&M (which surprisingly has a super cute home section on their website). The furry stool is from Target and is probably my favorite piece in the room. The rug, almost all of the shelf décor, hanging flower crown antlers, wall hooks, and the pillows also came from Target because as we all know, Target is just winning in the game of reasonably priced home décor. The tapestry hanging on the wall-also one of my favorite pieces in the room-came from Modern Burlap. After spending so many months hoping and praying for this baby, the verse grabbed my attention the moment I first saw it and I instantly knew that it had to be a center piece of her nursery. Lastly, let’s talk about the giant flower S on the wall (which, for those who have been curious about her name, is totally a hint). I had seen giant floral letters on Pinterest a million times and was set on putting one in my girl’s room. Every internet search led me to Etsy, where the smallest letters were going for over $100. Since I have a million other things that I would rather spend a hundred bucks on, I decided to try to make one myself… and oh my goodness am I glad I did. With the help of a DIY website and some Michael’s coupons, I was able to put together a giant floral letter that matches the room perfectly, is double the size and cost a quarter of the price.

I could not be more proud of the little space that I put together for our girl. As the need to nest grows stronger and stronger I find myself sitting in her room on the couch several times a day, just picturing our sweetest new addition enjoying her space. The clothes and blankets are washed… the drawers are stocked and organized… Everything is in its place.

Now we wait.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur.

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Baby Shower.

On Saturday with the help of family and friends, we celebrated our sweet baby girl (who will be joining us in just 10 ish weeks!). Since before I even got pregnant with baby #2, I had envisioned a beautiful girly boho styled baby shower and it was so surreal to finally see all of my dreamy pinterest boards come to life.

Breaking away from tradition, we decided to have a co-ed baby shower. Since this is our second baby, we viewed it as less of a “shower” and more of a celebration… so the more the merrier. Decorations mostly consisted of half the flower asile at Trader Joes and succulents and basically any DIY ideas I could think of to make use of all the extra pallets we had at my job. We decided on having the most delicious tacos catered because I don’t know of a single pregnant lady ever who has wanted to worry about standing around the kitchen helping to put together food for a crowd. Games were kept super simple. I have never been a fan of cheesy baby shower games and wasn’t about to torture all of my friends with them, so we chose just two games:

1. Baby Drawing contest: Everybody gets a paper plate and a marker, then they place the plate on their head and have to draw a picture of a baby. The mom/dad-to-be choose the best drawing as the winner.

2. Beer Drinking contest: all participants get a baby bottle full of beer. Fastest one to finish their bottle wins.

The games seemed to be a hit and were so easy to throw together… which was great because we honestly forgot about games completely until the night before the shower. For a photo backdrop, we took two pallets, nailed them together, stained them, and added some fake flowers. By we I definitely mean my husband. There was of course a mimosa bar in which I was able to enjoy nice virgin mimosas… aka orange juice. We set up a boho style low to the ground pallet table surrounded in blankets and pillows in the backyard. It was 110 degrees and got absolutely zero use but hey, it sure did look cute.

It was truly a beautiful baby shower that once again reminded me of how lucky I am to be surrounded by such a great group of people. My sister photographed the entire thing beautifully. We got lots of adorable little gifts for baby girl. I had like 4 rounds of tacos. Feeling blessed as always and so happy to know how loved this baby already is.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

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28 weeks.

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28 weeks of growing this little girl inside of me.

We have officially entered the third trimester and while it feels as though I have been pregnant all year (probably because I literally have), it also feels like the time has absolutely flown by. In just 10-12ish weeks our family will grow by one. This littlest babe will make her debut, and we will finally get to meet the girl behind the kicks.

I definitely feel like I am entering the third trimester. As baby girl gains weight, moving becomes more of a challenge.  My bed time has been 9pm and mid-day naps are almost a necessity. While shaving my legs the other day I came to the realization that I am probably just a few weeks away from needing some assistance. My meals have had to become smaller as eating makes me feel more uncomfortable, but I’m hungry every thirty minutes. The pregnancy leg cramps have been SO real. Sitting upright in a chair for too long is a killer on my back. Working out is now less of a desired activity and more of a forced one. I have become increasingly irritable and my constantly changing roller coaster of emotions can get overwhelming. Basically, I am typical third trimester pregnant lady.

As the days of being “just the three of us” come to and end, I have been feeling all kinds of sentimental. The last four years of our lives, it’s been the Daddy, Mommy, and Liam show. Practically children ourselves when we had him, Liam has grown us up in so many ways and made us the people we are today.  Together, the three of us moved from our first condo to our first house. We have traveled and made memories all over the southwest. We have spent each night cuddling in our too-small-for-the-three-of-us queen sized bed. We got our first family puppy. We have gone through big changes and sleepless nights and laughter filled bacon cooking mornings. Together…just the three of us. As Liam says about ten times a day, we are “besssst friends”.  And now in the blink of an eye, it will be the four of us. The four best friends. This newest addition is already so very loved and I couldn’t be more excited to create new family memories with her, but I will always cherish the last four years of bonding that I’ve had with the sweet little boy who first made me a mama.

I thought that the second time around I would be less nervous. However as the countdown to due date begins, I have realized that I am not less nervous, my nerves simply lie in new places.  While last time my nerves were mostly about the labor/delivery process and the early days of motherhood, this time my nerves are more focused on Liam’s feelings/emotions and what balancing being mama to two will be like. I want to give both of my babies all the attention that they each deserve. I want to make sure that my husband and I get the time that we need together. I want to make sure that in all of that, I don’t forget to also take care of my own well being. My nerves mostly just come down to how I will balance all of that. I love my people… this little squad my husband and I have created. And at the end of the day, I just want to make sure everyone is happy and very well aware of how loved they are.

Despite the inevitable nervous thoughts that come with the unknown, I am filled with a sense of calm. This entire pregnancy I have just had this gut feeling that everything would be ok. And it has been. As I have mentioned in previous posts, my first pregnancy wasn’t the easiest. After almost losing our son at 23 weeks due to an incompetent cervix and being put on very strict bed rest, I went into this pregnancy being automatically classified as “high risk”. While we went into it prepared for the worst, the worst never came. My high risk specialist and I made the decision early on not to operate on my cervix. We decided to wait it out, closely monitor it, and only operate if necessary. With each appointment it became more and more obvious that we made the right decision. As my specialist likes to say, it’s like I went out and bought a new cervix. It has baffled all of us in the best way possible and with each passing day of healthy pregnancy I am reminded of what a blessing it has been.

As I head into the “nesting/I don’t want to do anything other than sit at home and bake a baby” phase of pregnancy, I am filling the next few weeks with as many activities as I can. With my baby shower next week, followed by a week long trip to Phoenix, followed by Liam’s fourth birthday and then our maternity photos… this growing mama will gladly welcome the end of pregnancy slow down once it comes.

28 weeks down, 12 to go. See you soon baby girl.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur.

 

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Jord Watch Review

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I’m not going to lie, I’ve never been a huge fan of watches for myself. I love them on other people and have bought my husband a slew of them throughout our time together, but personally I am just incredibly picky about them. My husband has always been a big fan of the wood watch look however I was never able to get into it myself, always thinking it was way more of a masculine look. Then I saw Jord’s collection of feminine looking wood watches. Ranging in colors from rose, to champagne, to a pretty turquoise and so many more, their watches stood out to me right away as a watch I could totally get behind.

Upon receiving my watch, I was impressed before ever even seeing the watch itself. I am all about presentation. I prefer my food to be perfecty placed with care on a plate and I prefer my new clothes to arrive wrapped in a cute little box with tissue paper. Jord and I apparently have that in common because the presentation on this watch was just stunning. The watch comes perched on a little pillow inside a beautiful high quality wood box. The wood box even has a little drawer for your watch cleaning accessories and includes a watch cleaning starter pack. Once you get past the amazing display and study the watch for itself, there is even more to be impressed with.

One of the things that has always annoyed me about watches is that they are so difficult to take on and off. Each one has their own little version of a clasp, and I usually feel like I’m about to break the watch (or a nail) trying to take it off, eventually just asking my husband to take it off for me. The people at Jord seem to have thought of every little detail, because this watch is SO easy to remove. Push the two little side clasps in, and just like that, the watch is off.

I’ve worn my ‘Cora series- Zebrawood & Rose’ watch out and about a few times now and love the extra little touch that it effortlessly gives my outfits. Being a major fan of gold and rose gold, the rose cora matches all of my jewelry perfectly and despite my usual distate for watches, has managed to quickly become one of my go-to accessories.

As I mentioned, my husband loves wood watches, so I have bought him a couple different ones now, both from Amazon. I did research for days and finally chose ones that I thought were good quality for a fair price. One ended up breaking pretty quickly and the other is nice but nowhere near the quality that I have seen with Jord.  I had always seen the Jord watches advertised but wondered if they were really worth the slight jump up in price. I can now assure you.. they totally are. From presentation, to quality, to visual appeal… Jord has figured it all out when it comes to wood watches and you really do get what you pay for.

With Fathers Day right around the corner, Jord would make the perfect gift. To help you out with that, I have teamed up with Jord to give one of my followers a $100 gift card to put towards the watch of your choice. If you’re like me and you’re getting real sick of entering giveaway after giveaway only to lose them all, the extra kicker here is that EVERY person who enters this giveaway will automatically receive a code for $25 off of a Jord watch purchase. This giveaway ends May 28 at 11:59PM, so go on and get yourself entered here: https://www.woodwatches.com/g/thewhineconnoisseur

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