All posts by Sara Romenesko

About Sara Romenesko

I simply adore this life I've been given. My hobbies include watching trashy tv, loving America, scaring the shit out of my husband, and over-sharing the details of my life.

12 Days of Christmas Gifts: Friend Edition (2016)

Guys. I had the most brilliant idea way back in AUGUST 2016. I can’t even remember what I was doing, but I was putzing around on Pinterest, and an idea popped into my brain and I felt like I was in a movie and a lightbulb turned on above my head.

I decided that I was going to do the 12 Days of Christmas Gifts for one of my closest, dearest friends BRENDA. I’ve talked about her before on the ol’ bloggy blog, like the time we drove over a cliff, and the time she was wonderful and came to help me paint the basement, and I know there are other times that I’m just not thinking of.

Brenda moved back to her home state of Michigan a few days after Daniel was born. We were both so happy that she was able to meet him before she moved back – I was devastated at only the THOUGHT that she wouldn’t be able to meet him for months and months.

Anyways, Brenda is one of the most wonderful people on this earth, and I was like “OMG this would be SO FUN to do.” So. I did it! Also, it’s REALLY hard keeping the 12 days a surprise for Peter every year. I WAS DYING THIS YEAR not being able to tell Brenda that I was doing this. It’s a good thing she lives so far away, otherwise I totally would have spilled the beans. Also, when Brenda did get her gifts I was like, “This is why I’ve been avoiding your calls, because I wasn’t sure I would be able to contain my excitement.”

Doing a friend edition was amazing you guys, especially when you know the person getting it will be SO surprised! I worked with a couple of little elves to make this come to life. The ONLY thing that almost foiled the entire thing was FedEx. Pro tip: Don’t use FedEx.

In the early days of December I went to a shipping place to figure out what day I should ship everything to Brenda so that the package would arrive on day one. I was anxious – such an important part of the 12 days, and I couldn’t control it! I went with FedEx because they guaranteed the arrival date. Perfect.

ALL DAY on December 14 I was checking the tracking obsessively and waiting for a call or text from Brenda saying she got her gift. I told her sister (Her poor sister was probably to the point of being like “Leave me the eff alone.”) that it was supposed to arrive. And then, it didn’t. And I was SO SAD. Like, actually got teared up.

So the next day towards the end of the day when it didn’t arrive AGAIN, I texted Brenda and was like “Sooooo… you need to really look all over because there should be a Christmas package for you…” And that made me sad because I wanted it to be a complete surprise.

I called FedEx and was like YOU ARE RUINING CHRISTMAS. (Ok, I wasn’t aggressive aggressive as I like to call it, but I was DEFINITELY not passive aggressive.) Anyways, after being transferred to a bunch of different people, I finally had to text Brenda and be like “They left the package on your back porch.” And she was like, “WTF FedEx NEVER leaves packages on the back porch.”

At least there is a happy ending, and Brenda got her package on day two, so it actually turned out ok. AND IT WAS SO FUN GETTING A TEXT FROM HER EVERY DAY WITH WHAT SHE OPENED. I felt like it was Christmas every day for me, too!!

Since I wanted to mail everything to Brenda and have it all pretty and stuff, I was SUPER good about photo shoots (unlike Peter’s 12 days…). Ugh, it turned out sooooo pretty and sooooo perfect!!!

All

Day 1 (December 14)
🎄
Christmas decoration
Day 1
Merry Christmas, Brenda!
It’s the best time of year!
12 Days of Gifts
To fill you with cheer!

I’ve been so excited
Planning this for you;
I even had some elves
Helping me too!

For the first day of Christmas,
One Christmas decoration.
Enjoy the rest of your gifts –
Eleven more days of celebration!

Day 2 (December 15)
🎄🎁
Nail polish
Day 2
“Mistle”toes on two feet
Give your little tootsies a treat!

Day 3 (December 16)
🎄🎁🎄

Christmas cookies in a jar
Day 3
Christmas cookies
OMG SO YUMMY
Add three ingredients
And GET IN MY TUMMY.

This one was super fun to put together, especially if you’re looking for a pretty and easy gift to give someone. I feel like it would be a great housewarming gift around the holidays. I had seen these things all over Pinterest, and after making it, I will definitely be making them again!

I had to send Brenda the picture of what this was supposed to look like, because THIS is what it looked like when she actually got it. So sad, right??
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Day 4 (December 17)
🎄🎁🎄🎁

A magnet from Shawano
Day 4
I’m so thankful for your time in Shawano!
Those four years introduced me to the greatest person I know.
CRI was less fun when I couldn’t see your face;
Think of me when you see Shawano all up in your fridge space!

If you told me in 2011 when I moved to Green Bay and worked in Shawano that six years later, not even working there anymore, I would still be attached to the town, I would have laughed in your face. I’m pretty sure that Brenda would say the same about that town.

Day 5 (December 18)
🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄

StrengthsFinder 2.0
Day 5
Anyone who knows you,
Knows you have more than five,
But use this great book
To see where you thrive.

I did the StrengthsFinder in 2015 when I was going through career coaching, and it was wonderful. You do a pretty in-depth assessment, and it pops back with your top FIVE strengths. Not only does it talk about your strengths on a general level, but the report comes back with an insight on how your strengths play off of each other. I recommend StrenghtsFinder to anyone who will listen. It really helps you recognize where you shine, and who doesn’t like learning about what they do well??

Day 6 (December 19)
🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁

Mug with brownie ingredients listed on the side
Day 6
Only six ingredients
To make this treat.
Who doesn’t love
A brownie to eat?

Don’t mind me, being all crafty. This was another one that I had seen all over Pinterest and always had intentions of doing. Like the cookie-mix-in-a-jar thing, it was SO EASY when I actually did it that I feel like I need to do it again. What I’m basically telling you is that if I am in a gift drawing with you and the limit is like, $5, I will give you this mug and a cookie-in-a-jar thing. But know they were made with love!!

Day 7 (December 20)
🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄
7: How Many Days of the Week can be Extraordinary?
Day 7
There are seven days
In one week.
Use this book
To live your life on fleek.

One of the things that I love about Brenda is that she is always looking to better herself, even though she is already one of the most spectacular people I know. I was roaming the aisles of Target one day, saw this book, and the lightbulb went off that this would be just perfect for Brenda.

Day 8 (December 21)
🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁
Pack of “Hey” notecards
Day 8
Eight cards to send
When you have something happy to say
To your friends who are near
Or hundreds of miles away.

Brenda is really thoughtful, and loves sending mail to people. Notecards came in a pack of 8, so this was obviously perfect.

Day 9 (December 22)
🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄

9 k-cups
Day 9-1
Coffee’s so good,
It’s a nice morning treat.
Here are nine cups
To help make your day sweet!

This is the part where Daniel woke up from his nap.
Day 9

Day 10 (December 23)
🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁
Mini Adirondack chair
Day 10
We’re both alumni
Of the Big Ten.
Now I have a chair like yours
To watch the games in!

Wow, as I’m writing this post and looking back at my gifts, I am too impressed with how crafty I was.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever shared how handy Brenda is. She made the bookshelves that are in Elijah’s room for Daniel before he was born. She is SO GOOD. Seriously, everyone who visits our house comments on those bookshelves.

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Another thing that she made which is awesome is a Spartan Adirondack chair.

 

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You guys, she MADE that. Anyways, she is a Michigan State alum, I am a Wisconsin alum, blah blah blah this mini chair was super cute and already red, so I just drew the Wisconsin W on it.

(Also, now I’m feeling less impressed with myself about drawing a W on a chair that was tiny when Brenda fricking built an actual, usable chair.)

Day 11 (December 24)
🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄

$11 gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings
Day 11
Treat yo’self
To some wings.
(I know they’re some
of your favorite things!)

Who doesn’t like BWW??

Day 12 (December 25)
🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁🎄🎁

You Are a Badass calendar
Day 12
Twelve months of the year,
Every single day,
You are amazing
In every single way.

I think that everyone needs to be reminded daily on how awesome they are, and this calendar is just perfect for it.

So there you are! My 12 Days of Christmas Friend Edition. Oh man, it was so so so so much fun to do for my sweet friend. A fantastic Christmas gift to put together for someone!

If you want to see what I’ve done for Peter the last few years, here it is!

12 Days of Christmas 2016
12 Days of Christmas 2015
12 Days of Christmas 2014
12 Days of Christmas 2013

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12 Days of Christmas Gifts (2016)

I’m going to just go ahead and pretend that I haven’t not blogged since Elijah was born and carry on with my life. 

Christmas is coming! It’s October! That means it’s almost Christmas!

Once again, if you want to do a super fun Christmas gift for someone, I TOTALLY recommend doing the 12 Days of Christmas gifts. If you want to do it this year, DEFINITELY start thinking about it now, otherwise you’ll be stressed when December hits and it won’t be as fun. Also, last year I did a friend version of this for my wonderful, wonderful friend B. I’ll share that post SOON. (And I know I’ll actually do it soon because it’s already started, ha!)

Also, this year I was SUPER PREPARED and had a little photo shoot for the gifts. Well, most of the gifts…

So! With that, here is Peter’s 12 Days of Christmas Gifts 2016.

Woohoo! Christmas!

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Day ONE (December 14)
❤️
ONE new travel scarf

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Christmas is my favorite time of year,

So I couldn’t help but spread the holiday cheer.
I said I wouldn’t, but it’s so much fun!
12 days of Christmas are better than one!

One travel scarf for when you fly;
I’m sorry I ruined yours from Dubai…
This one is foreign, from far away.
It’s from the Amazon! (.com… what can I say?)

So, funny story. A while ago, Peter told me that he really wanted a travel scarf. I was super confused. A travel scarf? Is that actually a thing? And I did some Google research, and sure enough, it is a thing. Anyways, I was not about to buy a travel scarf for Peter because I knew he had a specific vision of what he wanted.

Then, Peter came back from a trip to Dubai and brought home a black and white travel scarf that he got there. He loved that scarf.

Too bad he never got to wear it… Because of me.

I was doing laundry one day and thought I’d be a nice wife and wash his travel scarf before his next trip. Guys, what I’m about to share had NEVER happened before and it has NEVER happened again, but I put the scarf in with towels. And there was a red towel in there… And when I took the towels out of the washing machine the scarf was now… Pink and black.

I STARTED TO CRY because I felt SO BAD. And when I told Peter about it, he was like “OMG Sara, stop crying.” And I was all, “BUT I FEEL SO BAD.” And he was just like, “It’s not a big deal.”

Fast forward to Christmas last year, and I bought him a new travel scarf off of Amazon, that is actually a piece of crap, and I just recently threw it away this summer because I was too depressed looking at it in the closet.

Needless to say, I’m not buying Peter any more scarves anytime soon.

Day TWO (December 15)
❤️💚
A shoe horn

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One morning as you
Were leaving for work
I noticed you needed this –
Your two feet get a perk.

I ordered this shoe horn after getting tired of watching Peter struggle to put on his damn shoes in the morning. He still uses it! Daniel also uses it, and it’s EFFING ADORABLE.

Day THREE (December 16)
❤️💚❤️
Three ounces of Downy spray

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Sometimes when you’re gone,
I worry you’re a wrinkly mess.

Three ounces of wrinkle spray
To keep you looking your best.

So this was the original day three gift that I got for Peter, and then like two days before day three, I found out that he was going to play hooky from work and go see the new Star Wars movie with some of his buds. I WAS going to buy him his ticket, but learned from one of the people going to see the movie that they pre-bought tickets. So instead I got Pete a gift card for snacks to enjoy while he was at the movie. Of course I didn’t take a picture. I did, however, find the rhyme I came up with by searching my Gmail inbox because I KNEW that I told Jenna what I was getting him. Oversharing for the WIN!

The three of you 
Are playing hooky.
Have some snacks
While watching the Wookie.

Side note: I’ll bet you thought for a minute when you started seeing the photos of this post “Wow! Sara had it SO together last year!” Well, the jig is up. Further down the line of days you’ll see that I didn’t take pictures of the things. BUT you WILL see when I post my friend edition that I was SUPER put together for that one! (Mostly because I had to get it in the mail in time for B to get it, but I’ll save that for the friend edition post!)

Day FOUR (December 17)
❤️💚❤️💚
Family of four Christmas ornament

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Our family is growing
From three to four.
We love Daniel so much
We had to have one more!

I LOVE this gift. We didn’t know Elijah’s gender yet, but I thought it was just splendid to add this ornament to the tree because it was exactly what our family looked like in 2016.

Day FIVE (December 18)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️
Five donuts

Aaaaaaaaaaand here is where I start not having pictures.

In the song they sing
Five Golden Rings”
But I know donuts are
Some of your favorite things!

I mean, who doesn’t love donuts??

Day SIX (December 19)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚
Six pack of Mountain Dew

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An annual tradition,
The six pack of Mountain Dew.
Drink one up and become
A more energized you!

I still never buy Mountain Dew for the man, so this is still a wonderful treat!

Day SEVEN (December 20)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️
A comb from Chicago Comb Company

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On your list was
A “non-plastic comb.”
Seven days a week
You need to style your dome.

When I asked Peter what he wanted for Christmas, one of the things he told me “a non-plastic comb” (hence the rhyme) and I was kind of confused. Like, who cares, right? And then I remembered that his coworker got her boyfriend a comb from Chicago Comb Company, and Peter thought it was THE COOLEST THING. So this was actually SO PERFECT.

Day EIGHT (December 21)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚
Where to Eat Pizza book

DSC_0640
You’ve traveled the world – 
Eight countries this year!
Now you know where to find
The best pizza and beer!

It’s no secret that Peter LOVES pizza. Frozen, fresh, anything. He loves it. It’s a real drag for him when I’m pregnant and that is one of the only smells that make me feel very, very nauseous. You guys, this book is SO COOL. So many pizza places all over the world! There actually is a series of these books; I got my girlfriend this one for Christmas last year.

Day NINE (December 22)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️
90-minute massage

Surprise! No picture of this one either!

This month has been crazy,
You have a sore back.
I hope ninety minutes
Will help you relax!

When Peter and I went on our honeymoon, we got a gift certificate to use at the resort’s spa. I was all about getting a couple’s massage. Peter was having NONE OF IT. So I went by myself. Super romantic, right?

Then in 2015, Peter had his first massage, and he was like “Wow, I am VERY RELAXED after that.” With all of his plane time, I figured a massage would be good for him. Fun fact: It is now October and I am going to tell Peter that if he doesn’t schedule this massage and use the certificate, I am going to use it. Because that is disgraceful, letting such a wonderful thing go to waste!

Day TEN (December 23)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚
10 Sharpie pens

DSC_0642
You recently discovered
The Sharpie pen.
A little elf helped me –
Here are ten!

One day Peter came home from work and he was like, “SARA. THESE PENS. LIFE CHANGING.” Easy gift, right?!

Also, the note on these is inaccurate. As you know, I like to have everything wrapped and under the tree on day one. I was going to drop these pens off with Pete’s coworker to put on his desk, but then he decided earlier in the week to take the 23rd off so we could drive down to Lake Geneva for Christmas. I had already written everything out, so I just was like “Yeah, Bobbie was supposed to help me… But you ruined it.” Merry Christmas!

Day ELEVEN (December 24)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️
$11 Kwik Trip card

Ok but seriously, gift cards are hard to take pretty pictures of.

One of your favorite places
To go for lunch
Here’s eleven dollars
To grab something to munch!

If there is one thing Peter loves more than his family, it is Kwik Trip. When we drive down to Lake Geneva, we do our very best to stop only at Kwik Trips. I mean, they do have very nice bathrooms and a whole bunch of good food choices. Peter often gets lunch there, just a sandwich or something. I don’t even think they’re that good, but man, does he love Kwik Trip.

Also, I feel like I need to point out that this year’s gift card experience went MUCH better than last year’s, where I never delivered on the gift card… Whoops! (I SWEAR that I actually bought the gift card, despite the lack of photo evidence.)

Day TWELVE (December 25)
❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️💚
Star Wars one-a-day desk calendar

Well I REALLY dropped the ball on this one. No photo and no rhyme ☹️ I had everything saved in a Google doc so I could access it anytime I had a Christmas inspiration. I had the rhymes in there and everything, and this is all there is for the calendar:

Star Wars facts for
Twelve months of the year.

I mean, I CERTAINLY had something clever written. The world will never know!

So! There you have it! Another year of 12 days of Christmas gifts and TONS OF FUN. If you decide to do it for something this year TELL ME because I LOVE hearing ideas and creativity!

Need more ideas? Here you go!

12 Days of Christmas 2015
12 Days of Christmas 2014
12 Days of Christmas 2013

Introducing Elijah

39 weeks and 5 days. That’s how long we had to wait to meet our sweet, precious Elijah.

On May 18 at 10:47 a.m., Elijah Peter Romenesko rushed into the world weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces, a perfect 20 inches long, and a head full of blonde hair.

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After walking around 4 cm dilated for a week, I had a doctor appointment on Wednesday the 17 and found out that I was now FIVE cm dilated. At that point I legit was like “If I sneeze the baby will come out.” And essentially, that’s what happened when he was born.

At my 38 week doctor appointment, my doctor scheduled for me to be induced on May 18 if the baby didn’t come before then. At that point it was comical that I still hadn’t had the baby, and I just knew that I wouldn’t have the baby until he was forced out. It was actually kind of nice, despite the extreme discomfort, to have a date set because my house was so nice and clean before we went to the hospital.

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The morning of the 18th, I woke up and showered, and then I stood around thinking “Do I put on makeup and do my hair? I’m going to be a sweaty mess, and it’s just going to get ruined. But I’ve got time…” So I decided to put on makeup and put a braid in my hair because it keeps my darn flyaways nice and out of my face.

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We woke Daniel up, dropped him off at our fabulous babysitter’s house, and then we went over to the hospital. We’re two for two on the pleasant rides to the hospital. After we were checked in, it was go time! They had me all hooked up by 8 a.m. and things happened very, very quickly.

As our fabulous nurse filled out the whiteboard, one of the sections was “Daily Goals.” She wrote Meet Elijah before 7 p.m. because that’s when her shift ended. I jokingly said, “Let’s make it before noon!” Because I’m hilarious.

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And also I can predict the future, apparently.

Around 9:30 they broke my water, I had a couple of intense contractions and was like EPIDURAL NOW PLEASE. I have nothing to prove here.

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After a little while I was like “Ummmmm, I think that you should check how dilated I am because the contractions feel very different and I think I’m like, almost ready here.” So the nurse checked and I had gone from 5 cm at 8 a.m. to 8 cm around 10 a.m.

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And then at around 10:30 I was like OMG THIS HURTS SO BAD I NEED TO START PUSHING VERY, VERY SOON. And obviously I was crying because I was remembering how much it hurts to push out a baby so I was getting all tense and like OMG I’M SCARED TO START PUSHING BECAUSE OUCH. I remember at one point looking at my mom, crying and apologizing for being such a baby. 😭

I started pushing at 10:44 a.m.

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Elijah was born three minutes later. Everyone was like WHOA THAT WAS FAST! And I was like OHMYGOD THAT HURT SO BAD. And then my doctor was like “I’m glad I got in here so fast! And BTW your epidural didn’t work right.” So then I felt justified in my pain. Poor little pook had a very bruised face from his rough entrance into the world, but by the next day he was nice and pinky pink.

My poor second child, you guys. My first words to the boy when they put him on my chest were “Oh my gosh, he looks JUST like Daniel!” Right down to the dimpled chin.

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Around noon, I was cuddling Elijah and looking at Pete and saying, “I can’t believe he’s already here!” That’s basically what we kept repeating all day because man alive, it went fast. I didn’t even have time to sweat, and you know how I have a sweating problem.

On Friday afternoon, Daniel got to meet his little brother. I had all of these visions of sugarplums and rainbows when these best friends met for the first time, and Daniel’s pupils would turn into heart shapes at the sight of his baby brother.

It took Daniel about 3 minutes to actually notice that I was in the hospital room because he had to look around at everything else. After he finally noticed me, he noticed I was holding a baby. And he didn’t care. 🙄

We forced Daniel to hold Elijah, which lasted for about 7 seconds, and then he went back to pushing all of the buttons in the hospital room.

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I’m happy to report that since coming home, Daniel looooooves Elijah… or ignores him completely. He does like to know where Elijah is all the time, and always talks to or about him in a baby voice. I mean, it’s adorable.

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It was wonderful being able to bring home a two-day-old baby after our NICU stint with Daniel. Until 4 hours after being home as a family of four I got the stomach flu and felt the most misery I’ve ever felt in my life for the next 48 hours. Words cannot describe how wonderful Peter has been, taking care of me, Elijah, and Daniel and also dealing with my crying because I felt so bad about the whole situation.

So! Now here we are, a family of four just doing things that families of four do, like wear masks while cuddling babies and watching Winnie the Pooh on repeat.

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I am so, so in love with our little family.

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Baby R2: 39 weeks pregnant + Massive Update

Well, I’m sitting here 39 weeks, 1 day pregnant and feeling like every time I stand up a baby is going to just slide right on out of there. The subtitle of my blog name is “I’m an over-sharer” so I do not feel bad telling you this information.

Anyways, to say that I never thought I’d make it to 39 weeks pregnant is an understatement. Everyone always tells you that every pregnancy is different. Guys, I just wasn’t expecting this pregnancy to be this different since the same vessel is carrying the child.

With Daniel, I was induced at 37 weeks because I had preeclampsia and they were like, “Let’s have a baby because it’s getting dangerous for both of you.” We had a pleasant ride to the hospital because I wasn’t in labor at all. After they broke my water, I had one more intense contraction and was like OK EPIDURAL NOW PLEASE. (I have nothing to prove to anyone, here.) I was 3 cm dilated when I got my epidural.

Now, here I sit, 4 cm dilated and the doctor is like “Well, your body is certainly ready to have this baby, but he’s not ready to come out.” 🙄

Two weeks ago, I went to bed on a Sunday night at 10:15 and at 10:30 I was like “Hmmmmmmm, are these contractions that I’m feeling??” And I was up until 4 a.m. with irregular and uncomfortable contractions. And then, they just stopped. And I was very annoyed. Like, come on. Don’t mess with me like that.

The next day I was exhausted and felt like I had done 1,000 sit ups. But there was no sign of the baby. At all. No more contraction-action. I had a doctor appointment the following Thursday, which felt like an eternity, and was 3 cm dilated and she stripped my membranes (sorry, TMI), and was like “If that worked, you’ll have the baby in 1-2 days!!”

Obviously the only thing I heard was “You’ll have the baby in 1-2 days!!” So I took action. My house has never been cleaner for a more consistent amount of time, and you guys, for the first time ever the landscaping around our house is basically weeded. Anything to make the baby come. I mean, I have never, NEVER willingly been like “I think I’m going to pull weeds for an hour!” Until now. At this point I’ll be doing it long enough to make it a habit, which would actually be really nice for the state of our home.

But he didn’t come in 1-2 days. When we got to the weekend, I was like “GREAT now he’s going to come on Daniel’s birthday and 100% of my kids will be born on the same day.”

Well, he didn’t come on Daniel’s birthday either. So obviously the day after Daniel’s birthday, I was like “The baby MUST be coming today!!” Wrong again.

Anyways, the point of the whole thing is that I am so anxious waiting for this baby to come, and have made everyone around me anxious too. I stand by the fact that had the doctor not put a 1-2 timestamp on it 10 days ago, I wouldn’t be THIS anxious.

I have to keep thinking about the positive things, like the fact that seriously, my house is SO CLEAN because I am constantly cleaning and doing laundry just in case we have to go to the hospital. And the fact that Daniel came at 37 weeks and had to be in the NICU for 10 days, so we should be fine this time around.

I AM starting to get concerned about the size of this baby though… I mean, I had Daniel 2 years ago, and I still remember pushing for 2 hours because of his huge head. And I remember when they told me Daniel weighed 7 pounds I was like “7 POUNDS!? 3 WEEKS EARLY!? WHAT IF HE WAS 3 WEEKS LATER?!”

And now, because I’ve done such a poor job of blogging during my pregnancy, here are some highlights.

  • The whole pregnancy I’ve been feeling really, really good (until now when I’m just very uncomfortable and have to pee like, every 20 minutes). This was not the case when I was pregnant with Daniel – nausea for about 18 weeks, ew. I also felt this baby start moving around 17 weeks (compared to about 24 weeks with Daniel). Everyone was like “It’s because you know what you’re feeling for!” But trust me when I say, this baby moves a LOT more than Daniel ever did. That combined with the fact that I never had any morning sickness and incredible amounts of heartburn essentially convinced me that I was having a girl. The pregnancies were so different. I wasn’t going to be upset if I found out it was a boy (hello, two boys exactly two years apart = forced BFFL), but I really was so sure it was a girl.Also, side note, one of the reasons I didn’t feel Daniel move until around 24 weeks and didn’t feel him move very much for the duration of my pregnancy with him was because I had an anterior placenta, which basically means (per the doctor) that there was like an extra cushion between the baby moving and me being able to feel the baby move. The point is – if I had been pregnant with this moving machine first and Daniel the non-mover second, I would be worried all the time because of how much movement I wasn’t feeling.
  • It’s a BOY! It was so much fun learning the gender and being able to teach Daniel to say “baby brother” and knowing that all of the cutesy clothes Daniel wore when he was an itty bitty baby will be the same size/season for the new baby. (Here’s to hoping the new baby is not a runt or a meatball and fits into this vision I’m having.)
  • At my last ultrasound, they took the below alarming photo of the baby. I mean, does he not look like the angriest baby you’ve ever seen? So that gave me anxiety 😳IMG_5553
  • I briefly mentioned heartburn above. At this point, I will be very disappointed if the baby is born bald. You know the old wives’ tale that is basically “heartburn = tons of hair!” Also, if the baby is born with a mane of hair, I am seriously considering naming him Mufasa. Middle name at the very least.

Anyways, we are very ready to meet this baby. VERY READY.

Any. Day. Now.

Arrrrrrr, Matey

Well, I’ve completely failed at blogging my second pregnancy, which has been SO DIFFERENT than my first one, and I KNOW I’ll be regretting not writing about it. And now we’re suddenly 4 weeks from D-Day.

In a quick summary, if we aren’t Facebook friends or you don’t follow me on Instagram, Baby R2 is a BOY. And it was very, very obvious in the ultrasound. I’m really excited that the boys will be almost exactly 2 years apart because I will obviously force them to be best friends.

Our big project the last couple of months has been converting the computer room (AKA the Packer room) into a big boy room for Daniel. (😭😭😭) Guys. I don’t know how people move their cuddly wuddly babies from their cribs into twin beds that are the size of a yacht without another baby coming. The only reason that I am semi-ok with moving Daniel to a new room is because in a few weeks there will be a new little cuddly wuddly baby to replace my firstborn.

It was super fun envisioning Daniel’s new big boy room because we know he’s a boy and HELLO THEMED BEDROOM. I found an adorable bedding set from Land of Nod and that was the base of my inspiration. Anyways, here are the pictures of the Packer room that was then converted into an adorable toddler boy’s room. Let’s agree right now that just about anything would have looked better than this.

And now these are the after pics. All decorations, and I mean ALL decorations, are from Hobby Lobby. Seriously, such a great store.

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We have a toddler gate, but hello, not going to ruin the photo with THAT eyesore.
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So I bought that little treasure chest that’s on the headboard for Daniel to keep all of his trinkety toys in (he’s obsessed with Tsum Tsums. Why? I have no idea.) and it was such a good purchase. He carries his “box” all over the place and it’s adorable.
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Guys, I KNOW that throw/decorative pillows on a toddler bed are the most pointless things ever. But please. LOOK AT HOW CUTE THEY ARE.
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For Daniel’s second birthday (😭) we bought him a red kitchen set, and it’s going to go right below this wall decor. And I’m also going to add a little sign that says “Galley” in this area.
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Curtains are from Home Goods. Another fab store for home decor.
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Jenna got this backpack for Daniel for Christmas, and it’s one of his favorite things.

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What is with kids being obsessed with opening and closing things? I have no idea what will go in this thing but SERIOUSLY SO CUTE.

Last night was the maiden voyage in the pirate room. I was very emotional (so many changes + pregnancy hormones have made for a VERY fun house!), but held it together until we closed Daniel’s bedroom door.

Daniel went down like he has been sleeping in that room his entire life. And I was very offended. Like, seriously, why was he being so mature about this? YOU ARE NOT EVEN TWO, HAVE SOME EMOTIONS ABOUT LEAVING YOUR CRIB.

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20 minutes later, I heard Daniel knocking at his door and saying, “Mommy? Hello?” And ok. Even though I wanted him to go to sleep and everything, part of me was also like, “OK, he DOES still need me!!!”

And then for the next two hours we had a lot of up and down and tears (not from me) and settled on moving a folding chair into Daniel’s room, and I sat in the chair beside his bed until he fell asleep.

He slept through the night, which was just delightful. I did NOT sleep through the night because there is an almost full-term baby on my bladder, and I kept jolting awake thinking that my child needed me.

Usually, Daniel wakes up around 7. Well, this morning at 5:15 am I heard knocking on his bedroom door and a tired little voice say, “Mommy? Come here! Mommy! Come here!” So I went in his room and we were up for the day!

I put him down for his nap about 2 hours early; the boy was SO TIRED. An hour later, after many ups and downs and him locking himself in his bedroom twice, I finally sat in the chair beside his bed and he was asleep in about 5 minutes.

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Ok, I’m getting teared up just looking at this picture because my babyyyyyyyyyyyy.

So. That’s what’s been going on. Daniel is basically an adult, but it’s like, fine, because another baby is coming.

Note to self: blog really soon about my second pregnancy before the baby is actually here.

Committing to My Face

Life is full of good intentions, like documenting your second pregnancy like you did with your first (still on my to-do list) and putting away your laundry right after you fold it. But alas, things get in the way, like wiping your toddler’s nose or binge-watching Brothers and Sisters on Hulu.

And then something happens, and you’re like the world needs to know. 

I can’t remember if I’ve shared with you the eternal struggle I’ve had with my eyebrows. I just have never really committed to them. I never tweeze them, much to my mother’s chagrin, and when I decide to actually take care of them and get them waxed, I go somewhere like Walmart where sometimes they are way too thin, and other times half of my brow gets waxed off (true story).

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking that I’ve got to get my brows waxed. So, the other day, I had the babysitter keep Daniel for an extra hour so I could get them taken care of. Instead of going to Walmart or some cheap salon, I decided to commit to my eyebrows. Really commit.

I went to Ulta Beauty, went in and was like, “Alright! TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.” And I met this wonderful woman named Leah who plunked me down right there in the front of the store and was like, “Let’s see what we’re working with here.”

I explained to Leah that I wanted her to shape my brows, show me how to fill them in, if needed (very needed according to Leah, as you will see below), and you know, just help a sister out.

You guys. This little escapade took FIFTY MINUTES. I am not a hairy person. I mean, when I’m pregnant I get these annoying chin hairs that I have to tweeze out, and I get my upper lip waxed (TMI? NEVER.), but IN GENERAL I am not a hairy person.

After she took off my makeup, Leah took a very close look at me and said, “You know, you should get your eyebrows tinted.” AKA dyed. I should get my eyebrows dyed. This is a thing, for all who didn’t know. She was the second eyebrow professional (the first was at a mediocre salon so I’m not sure I trusted that woman) who told me that I should consider tinting my brows.

Being new to the whole hair dying scheme in general (I started getting highlights 6 months after I had Daniel because my hair started getting dark – 😩 boohoo, I know), I was like “Huh. Well. WHY THE HELL NOT.” I mean, here I was in a beauty store that I had never before set foot in; I was COMMITTING TO MY FACE.

So. On a complete whim, I sat in this chair putting the complete faith of my face into the hands of a woman whom I had just met. This would classify me as a risk-taker, right?? It sure as hell should, if it doesn’t.

YOU’RE WELCOME IN ADVANCE for thinking ahead to take before, during AND AFTER pictures of this whole experience.

Guys, I kept laughing like, the whole time, and saying, “I just can’t believe that I’m doing this.” and making poor Leah pause so I could look at myself in the handheld mirror, and then pause again so I could take a picture of myself, or have her take a picture of me.

Before I show you all of these pictures, this was my reaction when I saw the final product:

“WOW. Those are DARK!!!!!”

And now, for your viewing pleasure…

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After she removed my eye makeup. Also, I feel like I should say that B is always like, “I have no idea why you get your eyebrows waxed, because I can’t even see them.” 😐 Which is why I was in Ulta in the first place – to learn how to help people see my eyebrows.
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This is me trying not to LAUGH UNCONTROLLABLY because you guys. SHE TOOK A PENCIL AND DREW EYEBROWS ONTO MY FACE. At this point she had already tinted my eyebrows, but it’s kind of hard to tell because I had CARTOON EYEBROWS DRAWN ONTO MY FACE. This is apparently the right shape AND SIZE that my eyebrows should be based on my face. NOT KIDDING THAT IS WHAT SHE SAID.
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Post tint. At this point I was like, “Hey there, eyebrows! It’s so nice to see you!” And I thought “Now that I’m COMMITTING TO MY EYEBROWS I think that this is my look!”

And then, she started to fill my eyebrows in. And fill and fill and fill and fill. And I said, “Wow, there is a lot of filling going on. Is all of this filling the goal of what we hope my eyebrows grow in as? Or, is this like, going to be daily maintenance?”

Leah replied, “Both!” Uhhhh, ok.

And then she was done. And I was like WHOA. EYEBROWS.

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I am happily smiling in this picture because I was trying desperately not to laugh REALLY HARD in the store, and I wanted to be polite because this woman had just spent FIFTY MINUTES WORKING ON MY FACE. Oh, also, because I’m a SUCKER, I bought $32 worth of powder and shit because I just didn’t want her to feel bad. Also, crow’s feet, welcome to the party.

As I’m typing this post, I am laughing really, really hard.

Right when I got into the car, I called Adrianna and I was like OMG YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE WHAT I DID. So I described the whole thing to her, laughing hysterically, and I also kept getting surprised/scared every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror.

Then I picked up Daniel. He didn’t notice. I am making him an eye appointment ASAP because SERIOUSLY HOW COULD YOU NOT NOTICE, DANIEL?!

Then I called Jenna and recounted the whole thing, promising pictures.

Then I called my friend Sam, who I also work with, and I was like “I know we just spent the afternoon together, but I had to call and tell you this because it is TOO GOOD to wait until tomorrow.” At this point the whole thing was so comical that I could hardly speak because I was laughing so hard. Sam said, “I’m picturing those babies with Sharpie eyebrows drawn on.”

Me: “SAM THAT IS HOW I LOOK.”

(Picture for reference.)

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And then Sam FaceTimed me and DIED LAUGHING. You guys, I was laughing SO HARD at this point that I had tears streaming down my face and Daniel kept saying, “Mama, what the matter?? What’s the matter, Mama?” Sweet boy. Sam also was like, “I want you to know that I’ve never thought this about you before, but those eyebrows make you look like a hairy person.” I AGREE.

Then I tried FaceTiming Kim, who didn’t answer and KIM I BET YOU’RE REGRETTING NOT ANSWERING NOW, AREN’T YOU?!

Then I FaceTimed my mom and was pleasantly surprised when Kathleen and Rachel were both there to witness the brows.

Then I FaceTimed Taylor, who has the same eyebrow struggles that I do, and we realized that I have the same eyebrows as her dark-brown haired fiancé. The difference is that his eyebrows look good and natural on him.

Then I texted Lindsay and was like, “I know you’re a busy woman, but if you can FaceTime me right now you won’t regret it.” I kept the camera pointed at the ceiling until the big reveal, because I wanted people to hear me out before they were too distracted by my eyebrows to listen to my story.

Then I FaceTimed Brenda and she was like, “I can’t stop staring at you, and I never really realized how important eyebrows were on someone’s face.”

And then, I FaceTimed Pete. He said two important things.

  1. “Sar, I can’t even look at you with your eyebrows like that.” (I’m choosing to interpret this as meaning, “Love of my life, you are beautiful just the way God made you.”) I replied to Pete, “Pete, this is what SOCIETY SAYS I SHOULD LOOK LIKE.” Ha!
  2. “Sar, I just don’t know why you would DO something like this.” To which I responded, “For Christ’s sake, Pete, if I had KNOWN I would end up like this I WOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN IT DONE.”

Also, when I was on the phone with everyone I was like “Maybe it will be better with my hair down?” (It wasn’t.)

The woman who did my brows DID tell me that the tint would fade after a few face washes. So Thursday night I washed my face/scrubbed my brows, Friday morning I washed my face/scrubbed my brows AND exfoliated my face/brows. Now we are to Saturday and I actually did my hair and makeup and I can HONESTLY say (Why did I emphasize that? Like I’m not being honest enough already.) that I am digging the tint. Because HI I HAVE EYEBROWS NOW.

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I’m trying not to laugh in this picture because I made Peter take it and was obviously micromanaging how I wanted him to take it and he was like, “Seriously?” Also, after he took this picture I was like, “I mean, it looks good now, right?” And he said, “Yes!” and I said, “But would you tell me if it looked bad?” and he said, “No. Yes! I mean yes!” And now I can’t trust him.

So that’s how my life has been going, how about you?

PS: I actually made a follow-up appointment with the same woman, because I do like how she waxed my brows, but I am going to tell her “You know, my husband just thought they were way too dark when they were filled in.” Not ashamed of blaming Pete completely.

Baby R2 Post 2: Telling the G-Units

Written September 17, 6 weeks.

I’m not here to kid anyone – I took a total of 4 pregnancy tests after the very, very faint pink line of the first one. The last one I took was the digital, no-messing-around, PREGNANT or NOT PREGNANT, and surprise! Definitely pregnant! That tied in with the fact that I’ve had heartburn the last two days and I haven’t had my lady time of the month further confirms that there is another child in my womb.

SO! We didn’t want to mess up telling my parents about this baby like it got messed up the last time. Please take a moment to read the post about how my mom found out about my pregnancy with Daniel so you’re in the loop. It’s linked right there if you click on “last time” to make it nice and easy. I’ll wait.

This time around instead of just being like “WE’RE HAVING A BABY!” I bought Daniel a t-shirt that says “Soon to be BIG BROTHER” in big letters. We drove down to Lake Geneva last night after working under the pretense that we would be visiting some friends we hadn’t seen in a while. On the drive down, we talked about when we would present Daniel in his shirt.

Obviously because we’re so patient we decided on changing him into the t-shirt in the car and bringing him in the house half-asleep at 9:00 PM after he had just slept most of the three-hour drive. We’ve been pretty all-star parents, so we’re expecting great things with #2.

When we walked into the house, only my mom and dad were downstairs and awake, which was shocking because… Both my parents were awake at 9 PM. I put Daniel down and said, “Go by Grandma and Grandpa!” and he was acting all shy because again, just woke up, and my mom was all “… Why are you telling him to come over here, I don’t want him.” because she assumed it was a dirty diaper and I didn’t want to change him. (This may or may not have happened before.)

After some ushering and finally not-so-subtly straightening his shirt, my mom finally saw it and was like “!!! Oh my gosh! This is wonderful!” But my dad was NOT GETTING IT. I picked Daniel up by the arms and was like “Go by Grandpa!” and literally was holding the poor squirming kid RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY DAD’S FACE and my dad was all “Don’t force him to come by me!”

I finally was like DAD. HIS SHIRT.

“Oh GOD Sar, this is great.” I laughed and said, “I can’t believe you didn’t see his shirt!” My dad said he couldn’t read it.

Me: “Dad. If you couldn’t read that, you shouldn’t be driving.” 😐

After some hugs and congratulations and a bit of chatting, we swore my parents to secrecy.

Which lasted less than 12 hours.

Adrianna came in the house from chores and I was talking to my mom at the kitchen table, Daniel was eating breakfast. I knew IMMEDIATELY that my dad hadn’t kept his big mouth shut. Adrianna was being VERY smiley and very “Hiiiiiii! How aaaaaare you??” and told me to GIVE HER A HUG. Raise your hand if you know Adrianna. NOW raise your hand if you know how WEIRD THIS IS.

I hugged her and she said, “SO! You’re pregnant!” and I was like DAD TOLD YOU. And of course right when Adrianna said, “You’re pregnant!” Rachel walked into the kitchen and was like “What?!”

Adrianna then went on and told us that she asked my dad why Peter and I were in town, and Dad was like “OH! Sara has some BIG NEWS!” And Adrianna guessed that we were pregnant and my dad said, “You’ll see!!!!” and had a big ol’ grin on his face. Adrianna was like “Sara, I wish you could have SEEN how happy he was!” Which was really nice to hear because when we had told him last night, he was kind of confused, and my mom told me this morning that he had JUST woken up from a little nappy right before we were like “WE’RE HAVING A BABY!”

Tomorrow Peter’s parents are visiting in the afternoon on their way home from their cabin up north, and we’re excited to see how long it will take them to notice Daniel’s shirt. Since they usually make a beeline for him when they see him, I don’t think it will be long.

I also told my friend Kim today because I’m going to a craft thing with her tomorrow where we are painting pumpkin signs (let’s hope it doesn’t turn out the last time I did a painting thing turned out… 😳) and I knew she would know in a second if I was like “Oh, you’re offering me a mimosa, which I love? No thanks!” So I told Peter that I just HAD to tell her.

Just like with Daniel, the pregnancy feels a lot more real now that we’ve shared the news with a few people!

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