. . . for Lauren and Lauren: April 2014

April 30, 2014

Our first big family trip . . . .

Last week Chris, Addilyn and I flew to Vermont to spend five days with my sister and her family.  I was anxiously awaiting meeting my new niece Annabelle Kate, and spend time with my niece and nephew.  I was nervous about flying with Addilyn and how she'd do away from home as she hasn't been away from our house since she was super tiny.  She did awesome and we had such a great time.  I wish we were back! 

Meeting sweet Annie was wonderful. She is beautiful and perfect.  I loved the baby snuggles. It's hard to believe that seven months ago, Addilyn was this tiny.

Addilyn could not be more loved by her cousins.  They kind of thought Addilyn was this new "toy" and wanted to take turns doing everything like feeding her, making her crawl or hugging her.  

It was super sweet and so fun to watch them play together.  The last time we were together Addilyn was so tiny.  I was afraid Lena would crush her and she didn't really respond to them.  But this time was so different.  Every morning we'd walk up from the basement and Addilyn would start shaking and laughing as we were going up the stairs, so excited to see Travis and Lena.  It was so funny!

I don't think there are any two kids more affectionate than my niece and nephew.  I can't even count the times a day they'd voluntarily give me a huge hug and kiss and tell me they love me.  They wanted to hug and love on Addilyn non stop.  When I was pregnant with Addilyn, Chris and I would pray that she'd be affection like her cousins.  I wish she could be around them all the time so it would rub off on her. 

We'll go ahead and call this "kissing" them back for now. 

My sister and I have always been close and I consider her my best friend.  But since having a baby our friendship has meant even more to me as I really don't know what I'd do without her.  I should be embarrassed at the amount of times I call or text her and how much I've appreciated her encouragement as a new mom.

I've loved spending time with her and her kids, but spending time with her now that I have my own baby is even better.  It's so fun watching her love on Addilyn and get to go through the same phase of life together.

One of my favorite parts about our time there was after all the kids went to bed.  Whenever Lauren and Jim come to visit they stay with my parents and we spent a lot of time there with my brother and his wife too.  We rarely get to spend time with them alone and it was such a treat.  Sitting around their living room, drinking wine, snuggling my sleeping niece and having quality conversations.  


I could not be a luckier aunt to have these sweet babies in my life.  I could not love them more!


Eating a lime at lunch.

 And my favorite picture of the whole trip . . . .

Can we please go back? Or better yet . . . my sister really needs to move here. 

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April 29, 2014

Personalized baby legs

pants: c/o i know my alphabet   shoes: c/o freshly picked   tee: gap    headband: sara ellie bows

I started quite the list of things that I wanted to buy for Addilyn as soon as we knew we were having a girl. An unnecessary amount of headbands was on the list for sure, along with a pair of leggings with her name on it.  Leggings are the easiest, comfiest and best clothing choice for babies in my opinion and leggings with your babies name on them?  Even better.   

These leggings are made by Krista who is the owner of the shop i know my alphabet.  I've followed Krista for awhile on instagram and she has the cutest family, and was so sweet to work with.  

When you order a pair of personalized leggings you get to pick the color and font of your baby's name.  I choose the Tyler font with the pink blush color.  Krista sent me a picture of what the leggings would look like which is great because I was going to just have Addi written on it, but after looking at it I wanted Addilyn instead.  She sent over another image and I loved it!  It's so nice to get a preview of what you're getting first. Besides personalized leggings she also makes some really cute printed leggings too!  


Oh hey, little baby model.  You're starting to get this posing thing down.   Now only if I didn't have to bribe you will puffs, whistling and annoying shrieking sounds to get your attention.  

 I picked the 12 month size for Addilyn because I would have been so bummed if she grew out of them quickly, so although a little big I'm thrilled that she will be able to wear them for a long time!  So many of her clothes she doesn't get to wear too many times, but I will definitely be rotating these often.   They are super soft and well made and we love them!

Krista is nice enough to offer any readers a 10% discount to any order using the code HANDMADE10 that doesn't expire until May 31st.  So check out her shop!

I should've had a pair for the first few weeks which I can only blame on sleep deprivation, when Chris and I called her Lena (our niece) a few times, and he even called her Madeline one time too.  Thank you so much Krista! We LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

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April 28, 2014

Acceptable pajama pants

pants: c/o white plum   tee: old navy   wedges: gap   necklace: 

1. These pants are just as comfortable, if not more comfortable than my yoga pants that I seem to wear three days a week, regardless of working out.  But unlike my yoga pants, they are way more socially appropriate and stylish.  So thank you White Plum for giving me a comfy pair of pants that I can rotate instead of my sweats.  

2. My short legs make these pants quite long and I plan on hemming them soon.

3.  I realize that I probably should've ironed them, but I can't even remember the last time I ironed something.  It was definitely way way before Addilyn was born.  Plus, isn't a perk of linen pants that they are okay to be wrinkled? 

4. White Plum as the cutest things and I was so excited when I got these pants.  Now I would like to own this tunicthis maxi dress, and one of these shirts in every color.  And I may have to purchase something from their clearance page, as there are so many cute things!


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April 27, 2014

A lottery you might not want to win

Last week I found out I won the lottery to get to run the Chicago marathon.  It seems slightly ironic to me that it's called a lottery, as the "prize" is paying $185 to train and then run 26.2 miles.  I was still undecided when I entered to win as to whether I really wanted to do it, but after myself and my good friend got "in" we decided to go for it. 

I've done the Chicago marathon twice.  The first time it was the hottest it's ever been for the marathon and was in the upper 90's. (normally it's mid 40's or 50's).  They ran out of water, were using ambulances from every suburb of Chicago and they made participants walk the last handful of miles due to the conditions.  But I finished.  Although I said it was a one time deal, as soon as I crossed the finish line I knew I wanted to do it again. 

The next year I trained by myself and ran it alone which was incredibly hard.  I actually told Chris countless times not to ever let me do this again.  Bad luck with the weather again, as it wasn't quite as hot but still in the 90's.  I finished in slower time than I had hoped for, but finished.  And as soon as I crossed the finish line I knew I'd want to do it again at some point. 

I've always been pretty disciplined and determined if I set my mind to do something. (Especially if it involves paying to do something.)  But I am more nervous about this time than the others.  It was hard enough finding time and energy to train before having a baby.  I was overly obsessive before about running every day of my training schedule no matter what, and I know that I won't be able to do that this time and want to just relax and do the best I can.  

I really thought I'd be back in running shape at this point after having Addilyn.  I've struggled with feeling confident in myself and continually remind myself of the huge change that having a baby does to every area of your life.  Changes that I did not anticipate and was not ready for.   I thought my overly disciplined self would have handled it differently, but I think the break from working out and the pressure to keep up has been really good for me.  

But I'm ready to have a goal and something to work towards.  The thought of crossing the finish line now makes me unbelievably excited.  Thinking about Addilyn "cheering" me on makes me feel motivated.  There is still a part of me that is scared that I won't be able to do it, and I think I'll be nervous about that until the race is over.  

I am so far from even being in shape to start training and have about a month to get there.  But I'm ready. I think.  26.2 miles here I come!

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April 24, 2014

While there is no doubt I'm no expert . . .


Really really my sister Lauren should be writing a post like this.  Because she is super woman and flies with her kids quite often, and usually by herself.  Although I'm pretty sure there have been times when Lena has taken off her clothes and ran around the airport.  Her advice is most likely to tell herself it's a handful of rough hours but worth it to get there.  

And so while this was our first flight with Addilyn, a few of you commented on my instagram pictures asking how the flight went or sharing your anxieties for future first flights, so here's our experience. 

I was pretty nervous about flying with Addilyn, as I hate flying myself and have some anxiety over being late, missing my flight, the flying itself.  And to add, the large crowds of people are not my favorite.  Oddly enough I think Addilyn would be happy to live in an airport and couldn't be happier when surrounded by people to watch, laugh and man grunt at.  Walking through the airport was Addilyn's favorite part for sure.  Her reaching for and squealing towards strangers or thinking the hallway to the plane was a parade for her, was was a little awkward for us, but certainly amusing. 

After our first flight on the way there I was feeling quite confident as it went pretty well.  Thinking I'd have some tips, although none of them at all original or genius.  However our flight on the way back did not go nearly as smoothly and I'm pretty much convinced that you really don't have much control over how your kids do on the plane.  You can be as prepared as possible but ultimately their temperament is kind of beyond your control.  (Maybe I'm just telling myself this as I ran out of "tricks" pretty fast on the flight back and felt like a hot, sweaty tired mess who flashed my boobs way too many times in an attempt to nurse and calm Addilyn)

But just in case, here are a few things that helped us on the flight there, and a little on the way back.  

We checked a bag and carried on the diaper bag and stroller.  We have the city mini stroller which is so nice because it is super light and easy to fold.  It even fit on the security belt. 

I dressed comfortably and in an outfit good for nursing.  I don't fly often, but when I do I try to remember to wear layers as I usually get hot on the plane but cold outside or want extra layers for a pillow (as if there is any resting though with a baby).  

Addilyn is on a pretty consistent eating schedule and nurses about every three to four hours.  I did my best to feed her close to three hours before the flight would take off so she'd be hungry as we were taking off, in an effort to help her ears and make her happy. 

Unfortunately Addilyn is not a comfort nurser as I would have happily nursed her throughout the flight, but that just doesn't work these days. She won't nurse unless she is pretty hungry.  

I brought all my food bribing tools, like puffs, yogurt melts, sippy cup.  A handful of baby toys, which do little for Addilyn these days.  A handful of non baby toys like an empty water bottle, my phone case and the baby snot sucker which do much more for entertaining her lately.  

We waited until the end to board the plane.  I've read advice saying board first as they let people with young kids do and I don't really get it.  Addilyn was way happier off the plane, crawling and moving.  I wanted to spend as little time possible stuck with her sitting on my lap so we boarded last.  

I thankfully didn't need it but I brought a few outfits for Addilyn in her diaper bag and an extra shirt for myself just in case.  While she's not a newborn any more, she has her moments of extreme spit up and I didn't want to be stuck in a smelly shirt until I got my luggage.  

We got lucky that our first flight was right about time she'd take a nap and she ended up falling asleep nursing right when we took off.  My arm started falling asleep and was really uncomfortable and I thought it would be fine to move it.  BIG mistake.  Becoming more comfortable is never worth waking a sleeping baby, especially on a flight.  Lesson learned.  Thankfully she was pretty happy the last hour and just went back and forth between Chris and I.  

Please notice the ghostly looking sleeping man behind us.  I'm sure he'd be super pleased to be pictured like this.  

We got unlucky that our flight on the way back was about an hour before bedtime, which made for a pretty cranky and tired baby who wouldn't really relax on the flight back, despite my way too many attempts to nurse her to sleep.  If I had a choice I'd much rather fly in the morning or earlier afternoon.  

Honestly one of the harder parts of the trip was the longer drive between the airport and my sister's house, which is where the Twinkle Twinkle (or twankle twankle) video comes in handy.  If only I could've played it on the flight.  


There were moments on the way back where I felt nervous about how loud she would cry or that she was so restless.  Our flight could have been much worse, but it definitely wasn't easy.  However, in the long run it's a short amount of time and was so worth it.   I seriously admire those that travel often or by themselves with kids.  I spent a lot of unnecessary worry about our trip (story of my life right?) and Addilyn was a great traveler.  

It was sure a lot more work traveling with a baby, but really fun experiencing a bigger trip with her!  I apologize for my novel with probably no new and helpful information.  But thank you for reading regardless! 

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