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.

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.

DSC_0655
We have a toddler gate, but hello, not going to ruin the photo with THAT eyesore.
DSC_0670
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.
DSC_0658
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.
DSC_0659
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.
DSC_0661
Curtains are from Home Goods. Another fab store for home decor.
DSC_0664
Jenna got this backpack for Daniel for Christmas, and it’s one of his favorite things.

DSC_0662

DSC_0665
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.

IMG_4681

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.

IMG_5630
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.

Advertisements

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…

img_5279
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.
img_5281
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.
img_5282
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.

img_5283
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.)

edit-19209-1400500404-21

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.

img_5289
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!

img_1475-jpg

Baby R2 Post 1: BABY R2!!!

Written September 8, just shy of 5 weeks.

Well, if there’s one thing that will make me write, it’s a baby!

I had all of these magnificent plans of telling Peter that he was going to be a dad again, but in true Sara fashion, I took the pregnancy test, saw a very faint pink line, got butterflies in my stomach, and rushed into the kitchen where Peter was reading to Daniel and said, “I think I’m pregnant!!”

Peter was like “What?! Are you sure!” And I was like “I think I’m sure!”

I took another test this morning and it was another very faint pink line, so in an effort to not go broke on pregnancy tests, I’m going to wait a few days to take another one and will HOPEFULLY have a VERY SOLID second pink line.

Anyways, here are the two ideas that I had for telling Peter I was pregnant.

  1. To celebrate birthdays in our house, I bought these chalkboard flags and some twine and write “Happy Birthday!” and it’s lovely. I use the chalk markers and love making the signs. I should also tell you that I have actually only done this once, but I’ve got BIG PLANS for future birthdays and celebrations.
    img_2837
    My idea for pregnancy was to write “I’m pregnant!” on the little flags and put the banner up before Peter got home from work. Man, even as I type that out I’m like “UGH, that would have been so fun.”
  2. My SECOND idea was to buy a “soon to be big brother” t-shirt for Daniel (can we take a moment because DANIEL IS GOING TO BE A BIG BROTHER) and put it on him and see how long it took for Peter to notice the shirt. Maybe we’ll do that idea when we announce the baby to our families. Because I still think it’s a good one.

OK! So! We’re having another baby and this is SO EXCITING that I can’t handle it. So many questions this time around, and none of them have to do with the pregnancy, they mostly have to do with DANIEL. How is he going to react to the baby? Daniel exhausts me, how will I manage a toddler and a newborn?! How are we going to decorate the other bedroom into Daniel’s room so that the baby can have the nursery? (OMG I am so excited to FINALLY GET RID OF THE PACKER ROOM.)

Guys. We’re having another baby.

(Also, I was like “Hmmmm, should I call these posts ‘Baby Romenesko 2’?” But then I decided on Baby R2 because it’s kind of cute and reminds me of R2D2, and I WOULD call the baby “Baby R2D2” but I’m pretty certain the baby will not have a D name.)

Basement is DONE. (“Done.”)

I put the second “done” in quotes because I am not sure the basement will ever be considered fully completed, but oh well.

Remember three years ago when I was all “I’m writing in this blog post that I’m going to finish painting the basement so that you all hold me accountable!”??

Well THAT plan failed miserably. Eventually wonderful Brenda was like “Hey, let’s paint your basement on Thursday.” So we did.

And then the ugly wood paneling was painted a nice grey color, but I never did the trim.

And then I got pregnant and was making a baby so I was like EFF PAINTING THE BASEMENT, I’M MAKING AN EYEBALL RIGHT NOW.

SO! After we had Daniel, I told Peter that now was the time to actually FINISH THE BASEMENT. Like. Hire someone to come in, knock down ugly wood-paneled walls and build a wonderful space where if we have company coming over short-notice I can yell, “THROW EVERYTHING DOWNSTAIRS NOW!!!!”

A space that will make all of my Pinterest dreams come true that will be a nice play area and rec room and just a place to put all our random crap that doesn’t have a space upstairs.

After months of mumbo jumbo blah blah blah, we had to move everything to either one side of the basement or the other and get READY! And just like that, magic happened and the basement is now like, a live-able space where I like spending time. Two things need to happen before we throw Daniel down there to have the time of his life: entertainment center needs to be anchored to the wall and we need a GATE because out of all of the potentially fun things in that basement, the only thing he likes are the STAIRS 🙄

ANYWAYS here are the before, during and after pics! Nothing has been hung on the walls, but oh boy, do I have big plans! Ugh. I can’t wait.

Wood Paneled Basement
HIDEOUS. The wood-paneled basement when we moved into the house. It’s GOT TO GO. (It should also be noted that the ONE outlet down there didn’t work.)
Brenda
Ah, sweet Brenda, holding me accountable.

The painted wood-paneled room BEFORE. We had already moved all of our shit out of there. Amazing how quickly things accumulate when you have the “Eh, I don’t know what to do with it… Put it in the basement” attitude.

And these four photos go together to make the massive storage area that we split in two right down the middle for the remodel.

DSC_0192
The lumber!!! What a great day!!!

The day after the lumber was delivered, our awesome contractor (let me know if you want a beaming recommendation) came and framed the entire basement. Amazing how quickly things move when they actually get started.

I was going to show the progress pictures, but seriously, who wants to see those? Not me!

Ok, except for these TWO almost-completed-progress pictures because, well… Danielllllllllllllllll.

DSC_0338
The day we got the carpet put in. You’d think the kid had been scaling stairs his entire life.
DSC_0342
Nope. First experience with stairs. Went all the way to the top. Thought he could turn around and go back down. Threw a screaming tantrum when we didn’t let him.

AND NOW! THE UNVEILING OF THE BASEMENT! (It’s actually not THAT exciting, but I am excited, so. There.)

First, you open the door and walk down the stairs.

DSC_0370

But before you walk down the stairs, you stop to admire this new light fixture. Prior to remodel, there was no light in the stairwell which drove me bonkers.

DSC_0369

Ok, then when you get to the bottom of the stairs, you turn, and then, the angels start singing.

DSC_0371

The tv will go up onto the wall soon, and we are SO EXCITED to have all of those shelves to put our knick-knacks that we’ve collected from around the world on all of our travels.

You may recognize the furniture down there as the furniture that USED to be in the upstairs. I forgot how hideous it is. But seriously, it’s so comfortable. And all of the seats recline. It’s actually perfect basement furniture, though it fit in much better with the wood-paneled walls than it does with our nice walls and carpeting.

DSC_0372

You’ll notice the line of things that will so somewhere on the walls.

DSC_0373

You can’t really see it, but above the desk near the ceiling is an outlet and cable hook-up. Someday we dream of putting a bar area in the basement, and that’s where it will go. I think for now we’ll cover up the high outlet with Chewbacca.

That door back there by the desk is the bathroom. I’m really excited that we now have three full bathrooms. I am not excited that I now have three full bathrooms to clean.

DSC_0375

I LOVE the vanity we picked out. Menards. Still looking for a mirror. Actually, I haven’t even started looking for one yet, but I’ve been thinking about starting to look. So there’s that.

DSC_0377

The bathroom is small, but perfect for the basement. Also, Only the one wall is that coral/orangey color. The rest of the walls are the same tannish/grey of the rest of the basement walls.

DSC_0374

Ok, if we back up now and get another view of the basement, the door that you can kind of see on the right is a storage area, the middle door is a maintenance door, and the door you can kind of see to the left is the guest room.

(I just had this great idea that someday I’m going to be like “DANIEL! FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY, YOUR PRESENT IS BEHIND ONE OF THESE DOORS! CHOOSE WISELY! IF YOU DON’T GET IT ON THE FIRST TRY, NO PRESENT FOR YOU!” Ha!

DSC_0379

Lovely guest room that is actually really big.

DSC_0380

(That lamp isn’t plugged into anything, but I thought it looked nice there.) I have tons of Pinterest visions of how to decorate this room.

DSC_0381

And this is our Harry Potter-esque closet under the stairs. This is where we will send Daniel when he’s bad.

DSC_0385

So, when you leave the bedroom and look left, you see the first storage area, which looks so much better when it’s behind a closed door.

DSC_0387

Yikes.

DSC_0383

And then, directly across from that storage area is the other storage area. (Also looks better when the door is closed.)

DSC_0384

There it is! We love it! More pictures to come when it comes together decoration-wise.

Don’t hold your breath for that, though. Based on my track record, it’ll be in the next five years or so.

And lastly, here is another picture of Daniel that I found on my camera when I took the basement pics last night.

DSC_0367
I took this pic when he was standing on his tippy-toes trying to open the pantry door. That’s his “Damn, I got caught!” face.

12 Days of Christmas Gifts (2015)

When I published my 12 Days of Christmas Gifts (2014) edition, it was November 2015. But I’ve been thinking that I should post my 12 Days of Christmas gifts (2015) edition in JULY because last year when I decided that I was going to do the 12 Days of Gifts again, I started thinking about gifts and collecting in the summer time. (This may also have had to do with the fact that I was on maternity leave and was in this blissful state of having all the time in the world to do everything I wanted to.)

THAT was SUCH a great idea on my part, because when Christmas/planning for the 12 days came, I had a 7 month old and was working full-time and couldn’t willy-nilly throw together 12 days of gifts like I had done previously, starting December 1.

If you know me, you know how much I loveloveLOVE giving gifts and finding the perfect gift for the perfect person. I NEVER regret doing the 12 Days of Gifts for Peter (until I realize that I used all of my brilliant ideas in December and his birthday is in February, so he ends up with a beard trimmer for his birthday and a wife who is crying because she’s feeling so bad about giving him such a practical gift.). I digress.

For those of you new to the bloggy-blog, the 12 Days of Christmas gifts was NOT my idea, I got it from the brilliant Jenna, but it’s actually all over Pinterest (Sorry, Jen, you were my inspiration though). You give a gift every day starting with December 14 as Day 1, and ending with December 25 as Day 12. You should try your best to make the theme of the gift correspond with the day you’re giving it (PAIR of socks for day TWO), but sometimes that’s impossible and you give a bottle of wine on day 11 because seriously. What comes in a pack of 11??

IMG_2439
OMG. Going through my pics to find the pics I took of the gifts and I come across THIS little baldy. UGH I CAN’T EVEN TAKE IT.

SO! Let’s just get to it then, shall we?

Day ONE! (December 14)
ONE 
U.S.A. ornament

IMG_2474Peter wasn’t supposed to be out of the country when this started. He was supposed to be snug at home. Instead, he was in Indonesia. So I had to do some fast thinking and switch from the original plan I had (which consequently I have no idea what that original plan was at this point). It ended up being cute and made him really excited to come home to me and Daniel.

I’m kind of chuckling because reading this note is hilarious! December was a really stressful month for me because I had given my 2 weeks notice at the company I had worked for the previous 5 years, and the stress of everything made me really sick. My cold virus attacked my eye and it was just awful and gross. Gross eye-gunk everywhere and I couldn’t wear ANY makeup, so that was a really nice way for my friends and coworkers to remember me, obviously at my very best 😳

IMG_2472When Peter texted me and said that he found the gift in his suitcase, I sent him this picture. I am so very proud of the way everything turned out! (It should be noted that Daniel was still immobile so everything stayed right in it’s place!)

Day TWO!! (December 15)
TWO 
gloves

FullSizeRender 6As usual, Jenna’s rhyming genius played a large part in Peter’s notes. She’s so good at that! (Side note: these are supposed to be the best touchscreen winter gloves on the market. Peter gives them good reviews.)

Day THREE!!! (December 16)
A picture of the THREE of us.

IMG_2468❤️ 💚 ❤️ 💚 ❤️ 💚 ❤️ 💚 ❤️ 💚 ❤️ 💚

(That’s the only way I know how to accurately summarize my feelings about this picture.)

Day FOUR!!!! (December 17)
FOUR
ingredients (mug, spoon, marshmallows, cocoa mix) to make hot chocolate

IMG_2489
The picture that I put on the mug is one of Peter’s favorite pictures of Daniel. I thought this one turned out SO CUTE! Once again, as she does just about every year, my little elf Kim helped get this to Peter on Day 4 when he was in the office. Below is the picture of the other side of the mug.

IMG_2434

Day FIVE!!!!! (December 18)
Not 5 things, but had to do with the calendar date.

IMG_2494Ah, Star Wars. Not a year goes by that I don’t try to incorporate one of his favorite things into at least one of the gifts. Peter went with a few friends to see the new Star Wars movie on the night that it opened, so this gift was SO PERFECT.

UNFORTUNATELY I ordered the wrong size, so the shirt is a little snug, and of course I can’t return it because I got it off of Zulily. Damn! (But isn’t it a great shirt??)

Day SIX!!!!!! (December 19)
SIX
cards dealt in cribbage.

IMG_2461Soooo this gift ended up being kind of a fail for two reasons.

1. It is now the end of July and I still don’t know how to play cribbage.
2. I actually bought these really cool world map cards, but I lost them so I had to wrap a deck of cards that Peter already had. I didn’t find the world map cards until the end of January. Whoops!

Day SEVEN!!!!!!! (December 20)
SEVEN
Star Wars movies

That Chewbacca thing is actually pretty big. At the time of these purchases, I knew our basement was going to be finished (almost done enough for me to take pics and write a post!), so I thought this would be fun decor for down there. I am not the Star Wars nut that Peter is, so I actually had to Google Chewbacca quotes.

Day EIGHT!!!!!!!! (December 21)
EIGHT
hot dog buns (yum, hot dogs!) (Seriously, I love hot dogs.)

IMG_2510

This one was another kind-of fail, because of course on the day I gave him the hot dog buns, we had plans and didn’t eat them. HOWEVER, they DID get eaten eventually, so I actually call that a win.

Day NINE!!!!!!!!! (December 22)
NINE*
countries visited in 2015

IMG_2414

Hahaha! You guys! So many fails! I had asked Peter a WHILE before getting this map how many countries he had been to in 2015, and the answer was 9. *Until RIGHT BEFORE day 9 when we learned he had actually only (“only”) traveled to 8 countries, but had been to one twice. Oh well! This map is still really awesome. It’s a map (obviously) covered in that scratch-off gunk, so every time you go to the country, you can scratch it off!

Day TEN!!!!!!!!!! (December 23)
TEN cutesy little baby toes (although… Daniel actually has HUGE feet and toes)

IMG_2525

I’m finding a theme that all of my favorite days have been ones where I was able to incorporate Daniel. This was an almost fail because Daniel was (and still is) REALLY wiggly, so getting these footprints done was NO EASY TASK. It was actually a really good thing that Peter was out of the country right before the 12 days started, and also a good thing that I had taken 2 weeks off between leaving my old job and starting my new job so I had countless opportunities to get this done.

For a while I was like “HOW THE EFF DO THEY DO THESE TYPES OF THINGS AT DAYCARE???” But then I remembered that the ratio is more like 3:1 instead of 1:1. That makes a HUGE difference for handprint/footprint projects AND for giving eyedrops.

Day ELEVEN!!!!!!!!!!! (December 24)
ELEVEN dollars to spend at Los Magueyes.

IMG_2526
Los Magueyes has
your favorite food.
Use ELEVEN dollars
To buy a margarita.

Wow, reading that in English really takes away from the cleverness of the rhyme.

Ok, this one was actually a COMPLETE fail, because I completely forgot to get Peter an $11 gift card (once = eleven in Spanish, you’re welcome for the free lesson) to Los Magueyes. So essentially, Peter opened this one and I had to say “Wasn’t that a nice idea?!” Ha!

Day TWELVE!!!!!!!!!!!! (December 25)
TWELVE
hours in a day (kind of a stretch on this one…)

IMG_2552

And that, my friends, brings us to day 12. Peter and I got Apple watches at the end of last summer, and one thing we were constantly wanting was a little stand to charge them up with. If you have an Apple watch and are looking for a stand, I highly recommend this one. It has a sort of sticky padding on the bottom, so it doesn’t slide all over the table surface, or wherever you’re charging it up, when you attach the watch.

So! There you have it! I didn’t do a “big gift” this year, because, well. I just didn’t feel like it, and I thought my love was gift enough.

If you’re planning on doing the 12 Days of Christmas gifts and you have children, it’s never too soon to start stocking up on gifts or ideas. I also HIGHLY recommend keeping a list of things you’ve purchased AS WELL AS where you’ve hidden the gifts. The only way I was able to do it last year with a 7 month old in tow was because I started planning early. Speaking of said 7 month old, let’s look at this picture which is one of my FAVORITE pictures of him.

IMG_2503

I stand by my original caption to this photo that I put on social media that the only thing I love more than Christmas is a baby in a sweater vest.

That round head! Those chubby hands! Ughhhh stop growing uuuuuuuuup.

For more ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas, check out what I did in 2013 and 2014.

First Birthday: THE PARTY

Oh my gosh, you guys. Do you know what? I LOVE planning parties. I LOVE hosting parties. I have been excited about my child’s first birthday since before the child existed for an embarrassingly long time. A theme! Cupcakes! Party favors! Food! Balloons! The gamut!

I should probably say that I am completely aware that Daniel will not remember this party. But do you know what? I have decided that this party is as much for me and Peter as it is for him. We’ve survived the first year of parenting! Being Daniel’s first BIRTHday party, I feel completely justified in celebrating the fact that I birthed a human one year ago.

Anyways! The party! Great reason to get the landscaping around the house redone! I’m sure at some point or another, I’ve shared that we are not really the outdoorsy types.We like to spend time enjoying the outdoors, but not gardening or mowing the lawn. So, with that being said, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that our landscape went to hell.

Blah, blah, blah now our house looks totally fab.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.12.49 AM
I forgot to take a before picture, but this is a pretty close representation of what the house looked like.

OMG can you even stand it?? I feel like when people come to our house now, they’ll be like “Wow! These people really have it together!” It’s a nice first impression before they really get to know what we’re like.

Anyways, party weekend! Obviously because my body always has perfect timing, I got a HORRIBLE head cold the Thursday before the party. Basically my head feels like it’s been underwater for the last three days. I have to gage people’s reactions when I talk to them to get a read on the volume of my voice, and I can’t hear out of my left ear. It’s been fun.

My cousin Kelly and Marty’s fiancé Kathleen came up on Friday and were a HUGE help to get everything ready.

After much theme deliberation, I decided on the “Uno” theme (thanks Nicole for the great idea!), and it was so fun. So fun! Daniel was so great the entire day. He’s such an extrovert; as soon as people were here and he realized he was the center of attention, he was like WHAT NAP?! He powered through the afternoon, went to bed at 7:30 and woke up at 8 this morning.

The weather was BETTER THAN I COULD HAVE DREAMED with clear blue skies and a high of 80*. Seriously. Just an overall gorgeous weekend with too much food, wonderful family and friends, and celebrating our sweet boy. Sigh.

Enough talk, here are the pictures. And there are a lot of them because I need to document what an awesome mom I was to my first-born to show my other children that at one point in life I had it together you only turn one once.

One more thing – my nice camera that I got for Christmas a couple of years ago WASN’T WORKING and I was about to cry. So excuse these nast iPhone pictures. I don’t want to talk about it.

IMG_3336
I spent an embarrassing amount of time on this sign but I LOVE IT. I was too proud of myself, guys. Too proud. (Also, the blue was more readable in real life.)
IMG_3349
Bowls were filled with red, blue, green and yellow M&Ms because Kathleen likes sorting.
IMG_3348
I also spent an embarrassing amount of time last Saturday night designing this banner. (Also something I’m too proud of.)

IMG_3347

Here’s a close-up of the banner with two of my favorite monthly pictures.

 

FullSizeRender 3
Simple decor in the living room.
IMG_3362
Are these mini Uno cards not the cutest things you’ve ever seen??

We kept the food pretty simple – very “summer cookout”.

FullSizeRender 2
Adrianna also made these ADORABLE animal cupcakes because she is amazing.

It used to be SO MUCH EASIER to take pictures of Daniel before he was a toddler.

I had intel that Daniel was getting a water table, so I alerted parents to bring sunscreen and swimsuits. Still smiling at how much fun all the tots had at the party!

While everyone was sweating in the sun, Lindsay said, “Daniel should probably open his presents, because there’s something else that the kids would probably like.”

We are going to have a summer o’ fun with tons of outside toys and countless adorable outfits.

Daniel was SO TIRED at this point, but when he saw the cupcake, he obviously acted like he hadn’t eaten in 3 days. (Please note his wooden spoon that had to be on his tray while he ate.) (Also, the real reason that I was so thrilled about the weather was because the cake smash could be outside. Priorities.)

IMG_3410
Love does not even begin to describe how I feel when I look at this picture.

Ugh. What a fabulous day. FAB.U.LOUS. DAY.

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate our little guy. We love that we have so many wonderful people in our lives!

So many emotions this weekend.

But what else is new?