Where do I begin?

Wow, so I haven’t posted on here since FEBRUARY!  I haven’t posted in so long because there has been a lot going on with me…but, where do I begin?  From the beginning, I suppose…

First, I want to say that I’ve debated about sharing this much of my life on here but then I figured that maybe it will help someone else who might be going through something similar to know that they are not alone.  If you know me personally, you know that I’ve been very open about what I’ve been going through this year and it has actually connected me to other people who also have similar struggles; it has been nice to talk with others who fully understand.

It all started in January where I suffered my 3rd miscarriage, followed by a 4th miscarriage in April.  I was about 11 weeks along for the one in April and it was extremely difficult on me both physically and emotionally.  As it turns out, that was easy in comparison to what I was about to go through less than a month later.

                                                         [So thankful for these two]

In May, I began to have some very scary symptoms including: extreme lightheadedness/dizzyness, chest pains, numbness in my arms and hands, and headaches (NASTY ones).  At one point it got so bad that I ended up in the emergency room.  I was missing so much work and was really worried about my ability to continue to hold down my job.  I saw so many doctors and underwent SOOOOO much testing and everything came back NORMAL!  I couldn’t even walk from my house to my car without feeling like I was going to pass out and die, how could everything be normal????

After seeing about 5 traditional doctors, I decided to see a doctor who specialized in functional medicine (read more about that HERE).  Prior to making the choice to see this doctor, I started to experiment with my diet and found that when I ate foods that had gluten in them, I felt so much worse.  I really started to focus on eating a ridiculously healthy diet and working out 4-5 times a week and I definitely started to feel better but still not great.


[putting on a happy face]

After seeing this new functional doctor she put me on a whole regimen that includes: no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, exercise 5x/week and taking a multi-mineral supplement every day (on top of the other vitamins I am taking).  After starting the multi-mineral, I began to see a noticeable difference the very next day!  Based on my conversation with the doctor, I believe that the miscarriages robbed me of my nutrients (particularly calcium) and caused me to develop an intolerance to gluten.  I am happy to report that today I am about 90% of my normal self.  I still get the bad headaches but I think I need to focus more on being better about eliminating sugar from my diet (that gluten free granola is SO GOOD!).

In terms of my fertility issues, I have had every test under the sun and all those came back normal (“unexplained infertility” is what they are calling it) so the next step is IVF.  Thankfully my insurance covers a large portion of the cost so I don’t have to stress about that piece but I’ve read horror stories about the process so I’m a little scared but also very excited!  The first stage is to take birth control for 10 days; which I started last week.  The next step will be to take hormones that cause me to develop a boat load of mature eggs at once.  Hopefully it works!

In other news, since February here’s what we’ve been up to…














[trying to stay cool during our first summer in Ft. Lauderdale]


[Family/girl time]


[trip to LA]


[trip to LA]


[trip to LA]

A New Life

Wow, it has been a real long time since I posted anything here.  That can be explained by the fact that in the course of 10 months, I’ve had a baby, sold a condo in Chicago, quit my job, moved across the country to South Florida to live with my mother for 6 weeks (ALL FOUR OF US),moved again to our permanent residence and got a new job.  Whew, that was a lot in 10 months…basically a new life!

And although I really, really miss Chicago and all our friends there, life here has been pretty sweet here, too.

I mean, this was me in February of this year versus February of last year:


Look! I was even cold inside!

The move has been a big adjustment, I went from almost never driving to driving at least 1+ hour everyday.  Let’s not even talk about how crazy and awful the drivers are down here…in my first 2 months of living here, I got into a car accident.  So typical.

But overall, life is easier here with 2 kids.  Living with 2 kids in a big city has it’s challenges.  And of course, we see our family all the time which is priceless.



Now that I’m all settled, I am going to work on updating this space more often.

Until then, have a great week!

Penn turned 2 & Ollie’s newborn shoot

Hi friends!!! Last weekend we had Penelope’s 2nd birthday party.  We originally planned on having it at the playground but the weather was unseasonably cold for May so we made the call to have it at our house.  I am glad we made that decision because several people were very glad to not have to spend the afternoon outside in the cold.  We actually had a wonderful turnout and I am so thankful that most people could come.  Here are some photos from the day…

My mom and her husband came to visit Chicago for the party and to meet Oliver for the first time!


Instead of a birthday cake, we did donuts (among other little treats) and it was a huge hit!  IMG_2171IMG_2173IMG_2176IMG_2178IMG_2184IMG_2192

Since there were only going to be a handful of kids at the party, I was able to splurge a little on the party favors…I did a little herb planting kit.IMG_0386

Penny and the other kids seemed to have a real good time so I think the day was a great success 🙂

In other news, Oliver got newborn photos taken.  The photo shoot was a complete disaster; we wanted to get pictures with Penny in them but both kids were NOT having it.  The whole ordeal took 3 hours and we didn’t get a single one with Penny so that was very disappointing.  At least the ones with Oliver came out nice, here are a couple:


And here is a picture of the kids together:



And then there were two

Every morning, after Oliver has kept me up all night, I emerge from the bedroom to greet the day like this:


Facing another day by myself with a toddler and newborn is scary!  Especially after not sleeping!

Chase has wonderful benefits, including 16 weeks of maternity leave, which is wonderful but being at home with these kids alone all day is HARD!!!  It takes a lot for me to not reach for a glass (or FIVE!) of wine every night.  I applaud all you stay at homers out there, it is so much harder than going to an office every day.

Despite it all, I am really cherishing this time with my babies.


Anyway, it has been over a month since Oliver was born and in case anyone is interested, here are the details…I was scheduled for an induction for 1am on March 29th (at 39 weeks) because I was so uncomfortable and my body was already showing signs of labor so my doctor gave the green light.  When I got to the hospital I was already having regular contractions so the little mister would have come that day or the next, regardless of the induction.  Once I was started on pitocin, it would only take 5 hours for Oliver to arrive!  Here are a couple pictures from the day…


Here is the last picture of me pregnant:


Woof!  Before giving birth, the nurses asked me “how big does he feel to you?” I responded that I felt like he was slightly bigger than Penny (but I was far more uncomfortable this time around so I should have known better!).  Well, he was a whopping 8lb, 12 oz (Penny was born at 41 weeks and was 7lb, 1 oz)!

Going from 1 kid to 2 has been pretty crazy, hence the delay in writing this post.  I will be home with the kids until mid-July and the 3 hardest things are 1) figuring out what to feed Penny all day, everyday; 2) figure out how to get these kids out of the house; and 3) listening to one or both of them cry all day!!!!  AHHH!

There are a variety of activities we’ve been doing to keep momma’s sanity and, in addition to taking advantage of the free neighborhood events (Barnes & Noble story hour, Whole foods dance/music class) we’ve been doing the following:

Sensory bins


Park time, lots & lots of park time


Arts & craps




Story time


Long walks


And snuggling this guy


I am very grateful that this kid was not born in January!

Until next time 🙂


35 weeks and throwing it back

35 weeks!!!! Everyone tells me “you are so close!!!” but I have to admit, 5 weeks feels so so so so far away.

35 weeks

This pregnancy has been giving me a run for my money.  I’ve felt crappy pretty much the entire time and my new thing is that I have frequent spells of lightheaded/dizziness and heart palpitations.  The worst is when I ride the train.  The train line that I take to and from work everyday is so crowded that I am lucky to even get on, let alone get a seat.  I told my doctor that I often feel like I’m going to faint on the train and she suggested that I work from home for the rest of my pregnancy.  Thank goodness my boss was cool with that!  Working from home is not the most ideal situation (I get lonely here all by myself all day!) but it beats fainting on a crowded and VERY dirty train!

Anyway, being so close to the end has me excited about having a new baby around which obviously led to me looking at pictures of Penny when she was super tiny and I thought I would share…


And look at her now!!!


Let’s just hope that she quickly adjusts to having a new baby around!

Happy almost weekend 🙂


I am currently in Chicago sitting on my couch because it is far too cold/miserable/snowy to go out.  As you can infer from the title of this post, we took a trip to South Florida.  We spent a couple days on South Beach, just the three of us then spent the remainder of the trip in Fort Lauderdale visiting with family and friends.  To say that coming back to the cold and miserable weather was difficult would be a severe understatement.  It’s times like this that make me question my life choices.

At any rate, below are a few photos from the trip. [please forgive the low quality nature of these pictures; traveling with a toddler requires you to pack a ridiculous amount of shit* stuff so packing the big fancy camera was not going to happen and my phone sucks]

*I am really trying to work on my cursing…I have become one of those lame mothers that says “fiddlesticks” instead of the F-bomb.  Forgive me.

Let me start out by saying that spending time in South Beach was extremely different this time because I am pregnant with a toddler.  In past years (and growing up), a trip to South Beach always included an embarrassing amount of alcohol but this time, we actually got around to see what there was to offer, other than the bars.

We rented a little condo via AirBnB and Penny made herself right at home…


We  mostly walked along the beachfront, hit up the Lincoln Avenue Mall and spent time at the playgrounds they had.  I was pretty impressed!!!  We did spend a little time at the actual beach but not a ton since it was kinda chilly… [side note: we could spot the locals a mile away as they were the ones wearing puffy jackets in 65 degree weather, which I found to be humorous.  Was I like that too when I lived here?]


This is me taking a very important picture at the playground, can’t you tell how much fun Penny is having?:


If you look closely at the below picture, you can see a rash on the left side of Penny’s mouth.  We gave her some processed syrup on the first day (we usually give her organic agave or honey) and she had an allergic reaction to it!  She got a rash all over her butt, legs, hands, arms and face…that was fun.IMAG0617_1

Spotted: pregnant beached whale (I am about 33 weeks) on SoBeIMAG0620_1_1

And her pup.IMAG0631_1IMAG0641

I really slowed down with the picture taking as the trip wore on and these are the only 2 photos I took with the people that we went to visit.

Four generations:IMAG0637_1

My step-sister, Melissa.IMAG0644_1

And now, back to reality:


Sad Face.

Toddler in the tundra

Holy cow, it has been really cold this last week.  Last weekend, with the windchill factor, temps were gettin’ down to the negatives…NOT COOL.  I know, I know…nobody cares how cold the weather is!


BUT, when it is so cold, it is really hard to keep a toddler indoors and happy so, here is what we did to try and keep the babe entertained.

My good friend Devon has an indoor pool at her place so on Saturday morning, we took Penny and she HATED it!  The kid would not stop crying until we took her out!  Grrrr.


Epic. FAIL.

Being Chase employees affords us the privilege of visiting several local museums and other tourist hot spots for free so on Sunday we thought that maybe this child would enjoy the aquarium.  Thank goodness this was much more of a hit!  She loved walking around and pointing at various aquatic species and calling them all “fitch.”


Happy?  Maybe.IMAG0576_Fotor

This weekend the weather is supposed to be much more forgiving so I think we are going to get back to our regular routine of just walking around when she gets cabin fever.  It’s a lot less of a hassle!

Have a great weekend!