the month that flew by

Seriously!? How is my baby already a whole month old? 
This month went by incredibly fast, especially considering I was awake for most of it
(Not enough concealer in the world to cover up the bags under these eyes y'all). 

When I was growing up I remember adults saying things like "time goes by so fast!" and "I blinked and you grew up!"
Now I know why they say that. IT'S TRUE.

We sure do love our sweet, sweet girl!


oven baked s'mores in a cup

Yesterday was my first solo day with both kiddos. Yesterday Jillian also smeared a whole tube of toothpaste all over her room. I was downstairs thinking "she's playing so good in her room right now! Yay for some independence!" 
I'm an idiot for thinking that.
She came to the top of the stairs and said, "I made blue paint!"

That was fun to scrub out of carpet.

Somewhere along the line of having another baby, my toddler that didn't used to really "get into" anything or make huge messes turned into a walking tornado. 
It's real fun.

 Needless to say, last night I needed some freakin' chocolate. Queue the oven baked s'more. In a cup. 
All of the deliciousness of a s'more without a bonfire (and sticky fingers). 


1 Tbs butter, melted
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbs graham cracker crumbs
Few tablespoons of chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, milk chocolate and white chocolate) or other chocolate (Hershey bar, Reese's cup, chopped candy bar, whatevs)
Mini marshmallows 


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Melt butter in a ramekin or other oven-safe dish. Mix sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and butter together and press together in the bottom of the dish to make a crust.
3. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and turn oven up to broil.
5. Add chocolate chips (or other chocolate you're using- a Reese cup would also be fantastic) to the cup, followed by marshmallows.
6. Put back in the oven under the broiler just long enough to toast the tops of the marshmallows. 
Let it cool for a minute or two before digging in. 

smore on Make A Gif


One day I'll confront my emotional eating issues. 
Today is not that day.


new stroller love- the joovy vary light

You know you've arrived at the pinnacle of mommyhood when you write a blog post solely dedicated to your new double stroller.
I totally embrace it. 

I'm a freak about researching new stuff before I buy it- mostly baby stuff that costs hundreds of dollars. Searching for a double stroller was no exception. 
There. Are. So. Many. Strollers.

I wanted it to do everything short of making me dinner...is that too much to ask?
I knew I didn't want a side-by-side model- too wide for my taste and not enough seating options.
Because my kiddos are 3 years apart, I knew I wanted a "sit and stand" model to accommodate Jillian, who will soon be out of the "oh this is fun to sit and ride in a stroller" phase and could sit/stand on the back instead, while still accommodating Olivia in her car seat, and then could also grow with us as the girls grow. Simple, right?

We actually ordered the Joovy Ergo first.
 I liked all the options it came with, but was bummed I couldn't put the car seat adapter on the front. Since there wasn't anything I liked better, we went with it. 
The same day it arrived in the mail we got another catalog featuring a brand new stroller from Joovy, and I instantly face-palmed. 
There on the second page was the stroller that was EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED. 
It was like the good people at Joovy crawled into my brain and read my thoughts, then made a stroller-
finally. Finally a baby company read my mind.
At this point our new stroller was assembled, but the packaging was in the dumpster. I told James I found this other "SUPER AWESOME REALLY GREAT STROLLER THAT WAS TOTALLY WHAT I WANTED!" and I thought we should return our new one to get THIS one instead...he was super happy with that choice and took no convincing at all. ;-)
So I dug the packaging out of the dumpster so we could return the Ergo. 
I mean, when you see the double stroller of your dreams, you dig in the dumpster. Duh. 

We are now the proud owners of the new Caboose Vary Light Stand-on Tandem stroller.
Now I feel "mom of two kids" legit. 

It. Does. Everything.

What I love about it:
I LOVE that I can shorten up the frame to make it a single stroller, while still letting Jillian stand-on the back. In the "long" version it's the same length as the Ergo (which is a smidgen shorter than a lot of double strollers with two ride-on seats).
I love that the storage basket can expand in the lengthened version! Storage galore.

The car seat adapter can fit on the front OR rear of the stroller- yay!

The swing-away tray in front opens on either side.
It stands by itself and opens/closes with one button and one hand.
The double wheels in the front made this one easier to steer than the Ergo.

Anything I don't like?
No cup holders on the handle for my giant Dr. Peppers. Joovy sells a separate stretchy pouch to add cup holders to their other strollers, but another blog review of this stroller said those don't fit this model- maybe they'll come out with one soon that does. Stores also sell separate "clip on" cup holders adaptable to any stroller, so I'm not too brokenhearted over it, if it bugs me enough I'll probably just grab one of those.

If you're using the long version, it does take a lot of trunk space. I have a mid-size SUV and it does take up the entire length of the trunk without an inch to spare (just in the length, not the width).

Contrary to the name, it isn't "vary light". It isn't incredibly heavy either (34 lbs.), but it does take a "heave" to get it up into my car. 

And there you have it.
We are ready to brave the walks, parks, and zoo trips this summer. 
In style. 

Mommy fist bump. 



We haven't gotten any professional pictures taken of Olivia yet and won't for a few more weeks (thanks to my awesome procrastinating), but I still wanted to make a cute birth announcement!! So I did. 



I totally missed posting anything on Mother's Day. 
I was busy...
being a mom.
A very tired mom.

But this Mother's day was special because it's been the first Mother's day in MANY years that I was actually WITH my mom! 

She's been a saving grace for me this week- cooking, cleaning, helping with Jillian during the day and Olivia at night- I don't know what I'd do without her. She's exactly the kind of mother I hope to be one day.

Being a mom is hard. It's the hardest thing I've ever done and probably ever will do. 
I think I've accomplished a lot in my short 25 years and have a lot to be proud of, but what I consider my biggest accomplishment thus far and what I'm the most proud of are these two sweet little girls that are mine forever-
I did make them from scratch, after all.

Happy Mother's Day!


life lately

I would call this post "life with two kids", but honestly I don't know what that's like yet since I've had the full-time help of my mom and sister for the past week- which makes life with two kids a breeze really. :-p 
Future posts will most certainly involve me complaining about how difficult it is to keep up with two kids, laundry, cooking, and trying to remember to brush my teeth.

But life lately has been good- exhausting, but good. Recovery after this baby has been 1000% better than with Jillian, thank heavens.
So far Olivia is an angel baby (SERIOUS knock on wood...). At this point with Jillian, she was eating every 2 hours (even through the night), projectile vomiting, super colic-y, and I had not one but TWO massive boob infections. I didn't know how people EVER had more than one baby after that experience...but lo and behold as I've come to find out with Olivia, not all baby experiences are as crazy as that one (can I get a hallelujah?). 

Here's a little about Olivia so far in our (almost) 3 weeks together:
She eats every 3 hours during the day and 4 hours at night (she'd go longer at night but we have to wake her up to fatten her up- doctors orders- the skinny lil' thing isn't back at birth weight yet so we're workin' on it). 
And seriously...she never cries (except when she's hungry). It's the weirdest thing. 
I think after raising Jillian as a newborn God decided to be nice to us...which I'm certainly grateful for. ;-) 
She farts like a grown man. It's slightly concerning. 
She's a super cuddly baby and I'm sort of in love with that since Jillian kind of wasn't.
Her "poop face" would make even a guard at Buckingham Palace laugh hysterically. 
She's also trying to set a new world record for the most blowouts in one day.
Aaaannddd that's pretty much what newborns do- eat, sleep, poop, repeat. 

But she is SO sweet and we love having her here with us. I've been so impressed with how gentle Jillian is with her, though my mom does say it's only a matter of time before she tries carting her across the house by the neck- it's a wonder any baby after the first survives with siblings in the house. 

Lovin' this little family of mine!! 
(And SO glad James has this next week off of work after my mom and Michaela leave to help me ease into the swing of things with two at home!! Honestly that man is a God-send.)


happy 0th birthday olivia!

So my original plan for this whole "birth story" post was to have a birth photographer and just post a ton of pictures (that's mostly what everyone looks at anyway, right?), but James couldn't get over the "weirdness" of having a photographer in the labor & delivery room, sooo now I get to write the whole thing with a few pictures in between. ;-) I told him if I didn't think it was weird (it was my lady parts up in the air after all), then he shouldn't think it was weird. But since we have no professional pictures you can tell who won that argument. :-p 

But given how sleep deprived I currently am, I hereby excuse myself from any typos, poor grammar, or things in a little too much detail- like I said, when your morning glory is on display for a room full of nurses, and a resident along with your doctor is staring down into the belly of the beast, shame is something you quickly loose (never really to regain). 

Tuesday, April 29th 3:45am

I gotta pee. 
Hmm...was I just having a dream about labor? Weird...
I really gotta pee- totally just leaked on myself.
Did I just...full-on PEE MYSELF?!
Scoot to the edge of the bed trying to keep the mystery pee/fluid trapped between my legs, then proceed to run to the bathroom.
"JAMES! I either just straight up peed myself or my water just broke."
"I don't know! I had to pee, but this stuff is a LOT of pee...wait...they said amniotic fluid doesn't have a smell...go smell that spot on the bed and see if it smells like pee."
"Okay...I dunno...my sense of smell isn't that good..."
"Well, look at my underwear (holding them over the bathtub while sitting on the toilet)...they're literally DRIPPING with water...that's not pee right? That's too much to be pee. Look up on your phone about when your water breaks- I'm going to call the hospital and talk to a nurse."
"Hi..sooo I'm 38 weeks pregnant, I think my water just broke, but I'm not sure..."
"So it can be like a gush or a trickle right?"
This is the least helpful nurse in the history of ever. 
"If you think your water broke you should come to the hospital."
"Okay, thanks." ...for nothing. 

How is this my second child and I'm still googling what it's like when your water breaks?! 
"James, I'm going to lay back down and see if it keeps coming out or if I really did just pee..."
This ain't no pee. 
"Whelp, guess we need to go to the hospital."
"Okay, start getting your stuff ready. I guess I should pack a bag too."
Well, this wasn't supposed to happen two weeks early. I had a plan, a very detailed schedule of where Jillian would be when, and how she'd get from point A to point B, and my sister was going to be here and clean my house before baby day...guess not anymore. 
What do I even need? Where are those black sweatpants? I'm so confused...what is happening right now?
"Do I have time to take a shower?"
"I dunno. Online it said you can if you want to...do you want to?"
"Ehh...maybe we should just go..."
"Good thing I shaved last night."

We take Jillian next door to my neighbor's house and she sleeps on their couch. Never in a million years did I think I'd need to take her up on her offer to watch Jillian should something happen in the middle of the night. 
And we're off to the hospital.
"You don't have to drive so fast, it's not like I'm having contractions or anything...shoot. I want breakfast..."

"Do you want me to drop you off at the front and I'll go park?"
"Ummm...yes. But I'll wait for you here before I go up."
I waddle into the main entrance of the hospital where there is one security guard at the front desk, and a woman just coming in from a smoke break. I stand awkwardly in front of the elevators with a towel between my legs.
I wonder how often the guard sees this scenario.

"Are you waiting for your husband?"
"Uhm..you can go ahead and go up if you want, I'll tell him where you went." 
"Mmm...okay. Okay, yeah. Good idea." 

I waddle to the elevator and get in with the lady now done with her smoke break and headed back up to somewhere. She makes small-talk with me. It's awkward. I still have a towel between my legs.
James catches up with me while I'm checking in at the front desk to labor and delivery- which takes unusually long, again, considering I'm literally leaking all over a straddled towel. 

Once we get in the room things are very calm, no one is rushed. The nurse calls my doctor and starts an IV. Within about 45 minutes I'm getting Pytocin and just waiting for the impending awfulness that are contractions. 
They start slowly- crampy like, but nothing too big. I put makeup on inbetween them, because really...what else is there to do? 

"James...seriously I can't believe we're here right now. This is CRAZY!"
"I know..."
James starts notifying people at work he won't be coming in and sends off some documents on a project he was supposed to be finishing today.

"Whhoaa these contractions are starting to get more intense."
Nurse: "Let's check you to see how far you're dilated.
Looks like you're about 3 and a half."
"What?! That is IT?!"
Mother !@)#(*!@.
"Can I get my epidural now?"
 "Okay, well the anesthesiologist is currently in surgery, so it will be about another 20-30 minutes before he can get here to give you your epidural, but we can give you something to take the edge off."
20 minutes?! AAAGGGHHHH. 
"Okay, yes let's take the edge off. Take it freaking off."

Again- I'm reminded why in the world anyone would ever choose to feel this terrible, awful, no good very bad pain- and for like...hours and hours! Not my cup 'o tea. 
Give me all the drugs.

Within about 45 minutes to an hour the epidural is in- PRAISE! Though it isn't very effective on the right side of my body, so I keep turning from side to side to spread it back out- which is kind of annoying. It's really difficult to roll when you can't feel anything from the waist down. 

Now it's a waiting game.
Up goes the Pytocin. 
And unfortunately, down goes Olivia's heart rate. 
Nurse: "That is okay, as long as it bounces back up after the contraction is over, but what we don't like to see are these consistent decels (decelerations). The contractions are stressing out the baby, so we're going to turn the Pytocin off and see if she responds better."
A previously unstressful situation has now just turned into a very stressful one (for me anyway- the nurse seemed totally calm about it- unless that was on purpose to make me not freak out- mission not accomplished). 
"Can you turn the heart monitor sound off? It will stress me out just sitting here listening to it go up and down for the next few hours."
"Sure! We'll just watch it on the monitors outside." 
Several hours pass. My contractions spread out just a bit without the Pytocin and I don't dilate as quickly, but her heart rate did improve so what did I care? They decide to keep the Pytocin off and let my body do it's thang. 

I'm also ready to get this baby out because I'm literally about to starve to death. Later, my mom said she could tell I wasn't as freaked out this time as I was when I was in labor with Jillian because I kept texting her telling her how much I just wanted food. :-p
But seriously, I just wanted a bacon cheeseburger. 

1:38 pm
Time to start pushing! 
A resident is actually in the "end zone" and my doctor stands right behind him. He seems pretty confident, so I'm not worried about it.
I must say, they were very encouraging. I felt like I was at a pep rally. A birthing pep rally. 

"There's her head! Wow she has a head full of dark hair!"
"What?! Seriously?!"
That couldn't have been more opposite than how Jillian was at birth. Plus, each time I pictured what this baby would look like a head full of dark hair is exactly what came to mind. 
After a few minutes, her heart rate reealllyyy started dropping with each contraction. 
"She's getting stuck under your pubic bone, Whitney you really have to push! Give it everything you have!"
I have never pushed SO hard in my life. Way harder than I remember needing to push with Jillian (which took 40 minutes). 
"Okay Whitney, her heart rate is dropping with every contraction. You need to get her out NOW. THIS contraction. PUSH." I could tell the tone in my doctor's voice had changed.
Well if that's not motivating...

The cord was wrapped around her neck once. James watched the resident quickly unloop it before Olivia came out all of the way. He said it was kind of cool to see. 

Fifteen minutes later at 1:53 pm our sweet girl came into the world, screaming. :-) 
7 lbs. 1 oz and 20 inches long.
And relieved. I was relieved. 
(And starving, still totally starving). 

 All dressed up and no place to go- but home!

She was covered in a lot of "baby cheese" as I call it (vernix), since she was two weeks early. 

Even though there were a few tense moments for me, it otherwise was incredibly relaxed. There was so much that was familiar about it all, being my second delivery. We made small talk with the doctors between contractions, even joked a little. 

As with Jillian, that night we read her The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman- such a sweet story! 
"On the night you were born, the moon shone with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, 'Life will never be the same.'
Because there had never been anyone like you...ever in the world.

The rest of our hospital stay was very routine. By the second night I was soo ready to check-out and go home, but decided to go ahead and stay to take advantage of the nurses bringing me fresh ice water and letting Olivia sleep in the nursery. :-)

First bath in the hospital! She fell asleep when they started washing her hair...

When Jillian came to visit her, she was overall pretty uninterested (she was also extremely tired) and more interested in seeing James and myself and asking about my IV and hospital bands. But she totally accepted that the "baby in mommy's tummy" was out and that this baby was her- her baby sister, Olivia. 

The days since her birth have been tired, but overall not too bad. I've decided I can totally do two kids...(as long as I have a full-time live-in nanny, which my sister is currently playing the role of). Our little Olivia is SO sweet and a big-time sleeper...which Jillian definitely was NOT so that's been nice (though at times worrisome...I called her pediatrician because I thought she was sleeping TOO much- she wasn't). 

Jillian shows more interest in her each day. The other day she wanted to hold her and likes to give her "knuckles" (fist bump). Today she wanted to help swaddle her and anytime she cries she starts "shhsh"-ing her from whenever she is in relation to us- it's pretty adorable.

It's also crazy to see Jillian and Olivia next to each other...Jillian is HUGE! Definitely not a baby anymore and is truly a little girl! 

Here's to life with TWO! A toast to myself for delivering a beautiful, healthy baby girl. May I have many naps in my future and a magically shrinking lower abdomen. ;-)