Happy Anny, to US!

**Started writing this awhile ago**

Last weekend (specifically the 17th) was our 4th anniversary and honestly, we had SUCH a great time! On Friday, we added the kids & sweet Milly into our anniversary tradition of watching our wedding video. It was SO MUCH FUN! Charlotte loved it. There was a lot of… “That’s Mommy!! That’s Daddy! I see Nana! There’s Paba!” and so on! AND a lot of dancing and clapping.

It was really sweet to watch her enjoying our special day. The icing was the cards Charlotte had made for us, with the help of Milly!

Once the crazy kiddos were in bed, we did what we do best… ATE RAMEN! Duh. I mean, it’s not a celebration without Ramen from our favorite takeout restaurant.

Then, on Saturday, the real celebration began. We spent ALL MORNING trying to get out of the house to deliver our lovely children to Grandpa Ivan & Grandma Mimi’s house. Despite runny noses, crabby children, and so. much. stuff, we made it.

Once out of our care, we booked it to take advantage of a full 24 hours of kid-less fun. We went to the Third Ward where Mark had planned a day of adventure & fun. We started at the Public Market where we ate at the fish market… LOBSTER ROLLS! OYSTERS! BLOODY MARY’S WITH LOBSTER. Yeah, that was fun!



Oh hello there, oyster!

Then, we did an amazing amount of shopping, exploring galleries, shops and boutiques, drinking so much coffee, and even a wine tasting.

IMG_5289Mid-day wine tasting!

We had sushi for dinner and decided to go see Beauty & the Beast in loungy recliner chairs. The movie didn’t start until 10pm, so we went to Splash, a paint / wine bar first.

Mark ordered us a couple of “first date” shots, we had a BLAST painting and then booked it to our movie.


My masterpiece for Stef!

I buried my face in popcorn and somehow fell even more in love with… Emma Watson. Oh, and Mark!

The next morning, we slept in (for me that was 8am) and then went to Cafe Grace for brunch. French bistro. SO GOOD. We had mussles and I had the yummiest Croque Madame sandwich thing that I’m still thinking about. And, to top off all the fun, we went to Holy Moly for donuts and then to NORDSTROM. So fun.

All in all, it was an AMAZING celebration. I’d do it again any day of the week 🙂

Oh! Mark got me an amazing gift… the gift of guilt-free shopping!!! YES! Hello, new watch and purse. I love you!

My gift to Mark was an Amazon Dot or Echo Dot… I don’t know… the little Alexa thing. Needless to say, the toddler loves it. “LEXA, PLAY FWOZEN!” “LEXA, PLAY DOCA STUFFINS!”

With the traditional gift for year 4 being “flowers or fruit,” I decided to also gift Mark with one full week of all vegan cooking. For anyone that knows him, you know that this is a happy treat for him. I’ll be sure to share all of the good recipes!



Charlotte’s Second Sleepover & Our Night in Madison

With our 2 year anniversary coming up on Tuesday, Mark and I decided to take a little getaway to Wisconsin’s capitol city, Madison. It was our first official post-baby date (excluding weddings and baby-friendly events) and Charlotte’s second time sleeping away from mom and dad.

Of course, the whole thing gave me anxiety.

While I was confident that Charlotte would be in good hands with my parents, I found myself stressing over Charlotte’s behavior. Would she refuse to go down for naps or bedtime easily? Would she wake up screaming in the middle of the night? What if?

Now, these occurances would be totally out of character for Charlotte, but I still felt worried. I didn’t want Charlie to be a bad house guest because, let’s be honest, it’s much more likely my parents will volunteer to take her for more overnights if she isn’t a total terror.

Anyway, in preparation, I typed up instructions and a packing list for my mom. I did the same thing for the first overnight and it seemed to work really well. This time was actually even better, because Charlotte’s on MUCH more of an actual schedule these days.

Here’s what I sent to (and printed for) my mom…

Babysitting Charlotte Packing List – Take 2

Babysitting Charlotte Guide – Take 2

We definitely overpacked milk. The first time we left her, 40 ounces was perfect… this time, now that she’s eating solids, it was just way too much.

In fact, I think she went on a bit of a milk strike, because she really did not drink much… OR poop for that matter. Literally NO poop while we were gone. We dropped her off around noon on Saturday and met her, my parents and grandpa for brunch around 1 on Sunday. No poop that whole time. BUT, once reunited and back home, the little one pooped… twice. And now she’s pooping like normal.

Anway, all in all, the sleepover was a success and Mark and I had a GREAT time.

Here’s what we did…


12 pm: Dropped Charlie at Mom & Dad’s

1:45 pm: Stopped at teh gas station for a GIANT diet pepsi and popcorn… we’re on vacay!



2:45 pm: Arrived at hotel and checked in. We used name your price using priceline and did 3.5 stars and got the hotel for $100 including all fees! We stayed at the Hilton Monona Terrace. Because hubs called and told them it was our anniversary, they upgraded us to a delux room on the top floor facing the lake and gave us two free drinks at the bar and free breakfast. Not a bad deal at all!

As I was freshening up, I noticed I had baby barf on my shirt. Quick clean up time.

3:10 pm: Time to cash in our drink coupons for some vacay martinis.


Dirty martini… extra dirty, extra olives! Mmmm… it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

So of course, we’re enjoying a nice adult cocktail, planning our afternoon, when suddenly I notice that my milk machines feel super full. I make a comment to Mark, look down, and realize that I leaked through my shirt. Time to chug my cocktail and return to the room to pump.

You can take the mommy out of the nursery, but... you're still going to end up with barf on your jacket and a milk-soaked shirt.

You can take the mommy out of the nursery, but… you’re still going to end up with barf on your jacket and a milk-soaked shirt.

4 pm: Time to pump and freshen up again, then it was off to State Street. The weather was gorg, so we walked from our hotel (about 6-10 minutes to the start of state street). It was so fun. We went in and out of little shops, looked around, soaked up the weather.

5:30 pm: Back to the hotel for more pumping and changing for our night activities.

6:15 pm: We headed to Tempest Oyster Bar where we literally had the BEST waiter ever. We are not big oyster people, so he helped us to order appetizers. We got an oyster tower with 6 oysters, 4 gulf shrimp and clams… then we ordered a plate of mussels in the most delicious broth ever. And oy. They had this sourdough bread. Mmmm. Needless to say, I took a break from my Charlotte diet. She’s been doing so well, it was time to test the waters a bit. So after 2.5 hours, seafood galore, a couple glasses of wine for me and a couple of cocktails for hubs… it was off to our next stop!

8:30 pm: We were off to Graze, an awesome locally sourced farm-to-table restaurant. They don’t take reservations and by the time we got there, the wait was 1.5 hours. We put our name in and went to Heritage Tavern, down the street, to get a drink. I had a glass of wine and Mark had some bitters drink with egg whites in it. Weird, but pretty good!

9:20 pm: Our table was ready! We headed back to Graze to get our eat on. Of course, we needed ANOTHER app. We ate a giant pretzel with a cheese dip and three kinds of mustard. Mmm. Then, for dinner, we decided to split two entrees: Artesian Farm Trout with the best coconut curry sauce and the Graze Burger (fresh ground bacon, sirloin, ribeye & short ribs, caramelized onions, Worcestershire-cabernet jus, Swiss Emmental compound butter, SarVecchio sesame brioche, with fries & aioli). We ended up eating the trout and taking the burger to go!

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10:25 pm: We scooted off to make it to a local comedy show featuring Robert Kelly. He was definitely not politically correct, but goodness was he funny! We were both in tears. It was so much fun!


12:30 am: Since we hadn’t eaten enough in the previous 24 hours, we decided to make a stop at the famous Ian’s Pizza for a late-night slice. I ate the most heavenly piece of mac and cheese pizza. Mmm! AND, we ran into my brother-in-law’s brother and his sweet girlfriend there. The four of us had a great time mowing on late night snacks and catching up. Then, it was time to crash.

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9:15 am: WAKE UP! I woke up at 7 and was so scared I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep… I mean, I had to sleep in on my morning off. So, I was super pleased when my eyes woke again at 915.

After our Madison adventure, we headed back to Milwaukee for brunch with my parents and Grandpa where Charlie had her first french fries (oy… she enjoyed them too much). Then, it was naptime for the fam and once we woke up, headed to an anniversary dinner with Mark’s dad and stepmom.

All in all, a GREAT weekend!


Who’s going to give me more french fries??


Stay away from my fry.


Mmm! This time with a little ketchup!

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The Babymoon / 1 Year Anniversary Celebration

We are officially back from our jaunt to Mexico… in fact, we’ve already gotten right back into nursery prep mode. Last night we picked up the crib, glider, and ottoman from Babies R Us and did all the caulking around the trim in the nursery. As my Milly (Mother-In-Law) says, 0 to 60 in no time 🙂

But, before I get too far ahead of myself, I have to say, we had a REALLY great trip. After the worst winter ever, it was so nice to feel warmth… and the sun. Oh did I miss the sun. However, I did get pretty damn fried the first day. I really think it has to be partly because of the pregnancy, because wow did I fry. To the point where I had to take extra strength tylenol just to be able to pee.

Beyond that, it was wonderful. We stayed at the Excellence Playa Mujeres and honestly, couldn’t have picked a better resort. We were worried about spring breakers debauchery run-off from Cancun, but didn’t have a single issue. We got a pool or beach lounger whenever we wanted one, the crowd was a lot of couples (due to the adults only status), and there were tons of activities.

We did trap shooting with an air-soft gun, an aloe vera class, played tennis (Mark only), took a yoga class (me only), saw tons of shows (even a Mexican version of Michael Jackson), and relaxed a plenty.

My first time shooting and I was a rockstar! 2 out of 3! Poor husband didn't hit anything :)

My first time shooting and I was a rockstar! 2 out of 3! Poor husband didn’t hit anything 🙂


Our lovely room.

Our lovely room.


Exploring Isla Mujeres via golf cart with the hubs. Took a giant catamaran sail boat over to the island for a nice day trip.

Exploring Isla Mujeres via golf cart with the hubs. Took a giant catamaran sail boat over to the island for a nice day trip.




Delicious dinner at one of seven restaurants! This was one of our faves... the Italian, Toscana.

Delicious dinner at one of seven restaurants! This was one of our faves… the Italian, Toscana.

The most heavenly few hours EVER.

The most heavenly few hours EVER.

So, I need a pool and a hammock... no biggy.

So, I need a pool and a hammock… no biggy.


We got the sweet baby girl a little outfit from our first out-of-country family vacay!

We got the sweet baby girl a little outfit from our first out-of-country family vacay!


This could be why I gained so much weight this month... breakfast on our balcony.

This could be why I gained so much weight this month… breakfast on our balcony.


Mixing up a mask in our aloe vera class (I'll post the recipe soon).

Mixing up a mask in our aloe vera class (I’ll post the recipe soon).

Marky lathering up in our aloe vera class.

Marky lathering up in our aloe vera class.


Our anniversary! ONE fabulous year with my love.

Our anniversary! ONE fabulous year with my love.

A special babymoon gift from our concierge. Sparkling cider and a freaky baby cake!

A special babymoon gift from our concierge. Sparkling cider and a freaky baby cake!

The weirdest and funniest St. Patty's Day beer tasting event EVER.

The weirdest and funniest St. Patty’s Day beer tasting event EVER.


Enjoying the balcony on our last morning.

Enjoying the balcony on our last morning.


Bon Voyage!

Bon Voyage!



I just had my doctor’s appointment today, which went well. The doc was very surprised (and maybe a little pleased) that I didn’t really have many questions at all. Everything is looking good, although, I did gain a bit of weight this month. She said I needed to put on a little extra because I was low before… but I put on that little extra and then a little extra after that. The nurse said if I get back to my normal eating habits and workout regimen, things will likely even out. Nothing to worry about… but I will definitely not be indulging as I was. EXCEPT for our one-year anniversary cake that is being delivered tonight. SO excited. Our cake lady added the mini cake into our wedding cake package. She made the cutest little design… love birds with eggs in the nest.

Our anniversary cake! Can't wait to see it (and taste it) tonight!

Our anniversary cake! Can’t wait to see it (and taste it) tonight!


Other than that, I’m feeling really great! Still have random aches and pains in the back and cramping in my hip, but nothing to complain about. Also, the little nuglette continues to practice her acrobatics in my belly. She is quite the wiggle worm. Oh I just love her. Can’t wait to meet her!! Only 3.5 months left!