Jack Bear turns ONE!

Happy birthday to our little Jack Bear!!! This past year has just flown by!!! I can’t hardly believe that one year ago today we were at the hospital patiently awaiting his arrival! I still remember freaking out when he came out because he wasn’t crying and he was pretty blue/purple at first. I just kept saying ‘why isn’t he crying?! Why isn’t he crying?!’ The Doctor was reassuring me that he would, and he did! It only took him about a minute to cry, but to a mother that had just pushed a baby out of her bits, it seemed like an eternity! The umbilical cord was wrapped so tightly around his neck and arm that the doctor had to actually cut the cord before I could even push him the rest of the way out. Even with all that, he still did really well on his APGARS!

Anyway, back to the start of our day…

Chad and I woke up early in the morning and headed to the hospital. Once I got there and got settled in, around 9:30am, they gave me a very tiny dose of pitocin to get things moving. That tiny dose was enough to get my contractions started! I was progressing really well, especially for being induced, they didn’t have to give me any more pitocin!  I was able to get my epidural once I was about 6 cm around 10:30am, and about an hour later at 11:20 I was already 10cm. We waited for Jack to progress down the birthing canal a little further. I started pushing at about 12:10 and only pushed through one contraction. Jack made his arrival at 12:12 pm!  It was a very quick, and smooth process, thankfully!!

Thinking back to my pregnancy with Jack, he wasn’t a very big mover. I’d feel movements every so often, but nothing compared to Preston. It never really worried me because he didn’t ever move much, so it never decreased. It did have me a bit worried when I was a week late and didn’t have a lot of movement, but like i said, it wasn’t much different from the rest of his pregnancy!

Jack has been pretty mellow from the beginning. He basically came out and slept around the clock. I had to wake him for feedings for the first week, once he packed on some pounds, I let him sleep and he’s basically been sleeping through the night since!

Jack is so sweet and is very social! He hates to miss out on anything!! I think that’s why he only takes one nap a day and has done that since about 8 months!! He takes one 2 hour nap a day. He usually sleeps for about 11-12 hour a night though. He’s in bed by 5:30 or 6pm and will sleep until anywhere from 5:30-6:30 in the morning. Jack has recently started walking!! I finally realized that he wouldn’t walk with socks or footed jammies on, and I always had him in one or the other!! Once I realized he would walk when he was bare foot, he started walking more often than not! Jack has some words he can say. It’s so cute!! He says: no, uh oh, hello, mama, dada, all done, and good. There might be more, but I can’t remember. He has his darn binky in so much he only talks when it’s out, obviously! Haha

Jack is a very good eater. He’s not picky at all. He will eat anything!! Hot or cold, savory or sweet. A few faves are: cheese, frozen peas, blueberries, and hummus!

He is just starting to get over a 3 week long sickness. It started with a cough and runny nose, vomiting, not eating much, and a fever. Then came a double ear infection and pink eye! It’s been neverending. I’m ready for my sweet boy to be healthy again!

Jack and Preston have the sweetest bond I’ve ever seen!! They love each other so much. They play together, give hugs and kisses, and get so excited to see each other after Preston gets done at school!! Preston takes such good care of jack. I have no doubt that he will be a huge help once the new baby arrives in March!

our little (big) Bear is quite the tank!! He is 26 lbs  (and just lost a pound from being sick) {96%} and is 30.5 inches long! {69%}. I always tell Chad how I can hardly lug him around in his car seat, think 50 lbs of dead weight, and I always giggle when he finally carries jack in his car seat somewhere and complains of how heavy he is. Haha! This pregnant wife lugs him around daily!! We recently got him his convertible car seat, but I can’t bare to make the switch!! Jack sleeps so well in his car seat when we are out and about. I think I’ll probably keep him in it until he hits the 30lb weight limit! Lol

We had a pretty low key day celebrating Jack’s birthday! It was just Chad, Preston, Jack, and me. We made some cinnamon rolls for breakfast and put a candle in it. We wore birthday hats and sang to Jack a few times throughout the day! He had a great day and even took a nice long nap for us!

We can’t wait to watch this sweet little guy turn into a young gentleman!

And for fun! Pictures from each month this past year:

AND Preston (left) and Jack (right) both on their first birthdays. Jack is 5 lbs heavier than Preston was! haha

Well, that’s about all for now! …until next time! xoxo ❤

Jack – 6 months

Happy half birthday to our little Bear!!


Jack is such a little sweetie. He’s our chill – go with the flow – happy baby.


He has been trying SO hard to crawl lately!! He gets those arms up and will push his legs forward, but he just hasn’t figured out how to get the to work together! haha. He isn’t able to get up on his knees yet!


he does so well sitting up without falling over.


He enjoys sitting up to play with his toys!


He loves looking in the mirror and is always smiling at himself and when you talk to him and hold him up in the air!! That always makes him giggle. He’s still our smiley boy.


(below is a picture of the boys in Iceland)


When I was at Meijer this morning I had him facing forward in my infantino baby carrier and every single person we passed made a comment about how happy of a baby he was. Aparently he was flashing gummy smiles at everyone!! I lost count of how many people mentioned his smile at 20. 😳👏🏼


Jack gets some baby food around dinner time. His favorite is peas so far. I did give him a few scrambled eggs the other day, he wasn’t too sure about that! He also had a mini bagel last weekend. Oops! He was in the carrier and wanted something to play with and we were at a pot luck so I saw a mini bagel for him to hold. The next thing I knew he has a tiny soggy piece left in the palm of his hand. Haha 🤣


I give Jack a bottle every day at 5pm. I really want Jack to take a bottle since Preston never did. So I make sure to give him one everyday. He will drink anywhere from 3-5 oz which is great for an EBF baby!


Jack went on his first campout last weekend. We slept in a tent and the temps got down into the 40’s. So in order to keep warm we threw the book out the window and coslept and snuggled with lots of blankets and pillows. Brr!! He did really well and slept through the night! Woohoo!

speaking of sleeping through the night, jack has regressed a bit since we’ve returned from Iceland. Before we left, he slept a good 11 hours without waking. Now he will wake 1-2 times per night. Sometimes a binky will put him back down and sometimes I have to feed him. I’m hoping it’s a short lived stage and he’s just adjusting to being back!! Funny thing is that he slept through the night the entire 2 weeks we were in Iceland!!


jack still doesn’t nap well. I can usually get him to take a nap first thing in the morning. The next nap all depends on what we have going on. Usually he will only nap 2 times a day (45 min each). If I’m lucky I can get him to nap for 1.5 hrs on days that Preston has school!


jack weighs 23 pounds! He’s actually slowed down on the weight gain. He’s only gained one pound since last month! He still feels like carrying a sack of cement around. haha! my poor back!


This weekend we are celebrating Jack with a nice long weekend at home!!! We will have 5 days with nothing to do. I can’t wait. It’ll be glorious!! Our first weekend home in over a month. We are hoping to get in a few bike rides, a picnic, maybe a couple trips to the library, aquatic center, and even the zoo! It should be a good time.

oh, and he loves his big Bro!! SO MUCH!!! Preston can get Jack to laugh like no one else! 🙂


well that’s about it for our little Jack Bear!

…until next time! xoxo ❤


2016 in review

Even though January is coming to an end, I thought I would do a little 2016 year in review! With the arrival of baby Jack, we didn’t get around to sending out Christmas cards to all of our friends and family.

We started the year off planning our trip to Australia for my one of my best friends’ wedding. I was lucky enough to be her Matron of Honor! Since Chad and I had already been to Australia a few times, we decided to use this trip as the perfect excuse to see New Zealand!

After the wedding we hopped a flight to New Zealand. We rented a camper van and drove along the south island. We had a blast camping out and the scenery was amazing!! We were able to visit wineries, go sky diving, and just enjoy each others company while taking in the most wonderful views! It was such an awesome vacation and I always forget how much I love camping! 🙂

Chad’s sister watched Preston while we were gone. It was so nice to get away knowing he was in good hands! We sure did miss him though! Two weeks away was definitely long enough!

Shortly after returning from ‘down under’ we found out we were expecting a baby due in December!

Chad also started traveling to Nebraska for work 4-5 days a week upon returning from our trip. I definitely had my hands full with Preston and being pregnant (and sick until 27 weeks…okay, who am I kidding?? I was sick up until the day that I had Jack). The good news was that Chad had accepted a new role in Chicagoland and, thankfully, he wouldn’t be traveling in his new role. So while he finished up his days traveling, Preston and I were at home cleaning and keeping our house in perfect condition for showings. It was a crazy 6 months filled with house hunting trips, inspections, and more house hunting trips.

{{side note, we actually made an offer on a house, it was accepted, and then we decided to back out after the inspection–this happened towards the end of October. We ended up going back to the first house we fell in love with, made an offer, and luckily it was accepted on the evening of October 30th.}}

The plan was for Preston and I to stay at our house in Iowa until it sold, thankfully, it sold in 3 weeks and we were able to join Chad in Illinois. We closed on our house November 30th and were able to get moved in and settled that weekend. We had family come over to help us unpack and organize our whole house!! It was such a blessing considering I was about 37 weeks pregnant by then.

In December I scouted out some schools for Preston. We got him enrolled in a cute little school that is just a couple miles from our house! It was a little transition for him; new house, new school, new baby brother on the way…but he’s done so well! It’s so awesome hearing him tell us stories about what he learns at school.

We were able to host Christmas for my family! They were hoping Jack would make his appearance while they were all here…but of course that didn’t happen! He decided to wait a little longer.

We finally were able to meet our little bundle on December 30th. He arrived in less than 3 hours and has had our hearts ever since! He was 7 lbs 11 oz and was 20 inches long. He has been such a good baby so far. He’s very content and easy going and gives me baby fever (is that even possible?!?! haha). We can’t wait to watch him grow–hopefully not too fast though!

Preston has really taken to being a big brother. He loves Jack so much already! He’s always wanting to kiss him and hold him. He’s been a good helper too, always fetching me things, doing tummy time with Jack, helping with bath time, giving Jack his binky, or as punk calls it, his ‘pinky’. 🙂 Although, Preston has tested me on more occasions than I’d like to admit, at least he loves his brother! My sweet boy has decided to rebel against his Mom a bit. He still loves construction sites and machinery. He’s smart and silly and the perfect mix of Chad and me. We look forward to seeing his relationship with Jack grow into something special! (I’ve already gotten them 3 matching sweaters for next winter and matching bowties for Christmas!! YAY!)

We were able to ring in the New Year from the hospital and were discharged the next day. We definitely started the year off with a bang! We were able to bring our new addition to our new home for the very first time on January 1st.

Well, that was our year in a nutshell! Can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us!!

We hope the New Year brings you all the happiness. ❤

…until next time! xoxo ❤




Preston – 2 years

Happy 2nd birthday to our little Punky! You are such a joy, little boy! You have always been so sPunky and full of life!! You randomly make silly faces and bust out in dance, just like Mama! You would rather have veggies and hummus with a side of liver for breakfast (rather than pancakes) just like Daddy! You love to wake us up in the mornings with eskimo kisses!! You’re so smart and always want to keep learning new things. We are SO proud of you!! 


Our little boy turned 2 on Friday! First thing that morning, within 5 minutes, Preston got 3 FaceTime calls from his Grammy Che, Auntie Anna, and Uncle Pooze! They all sang Happy Birthday to him and watched him shove his face with a chocolate covered twist donut with sprinkles!!! His first one ever, he was definitely a fan.


After breakfast we let him open his one big gift. It was a train table that I had gotten at Wal-Mart on Black Friday (note to self: never go to Wal-Mart on Black Friday again). The train table was only $30 and after joining the crazies, I had jumped over a pile of toys to snag the last one. I’m so glad it worked out because Preston LOVED IT!!! He has been playing with it so much.


After much play time, we decided to take Preston to the mall play place. It’s his favorite thing to do. He had so much fun!!! We were even there at 12:51pm – the time of his birth!!

Preston took a nice 2.5 hour long nap. During his nap his friend Joey stopped over to drop off a gift for him and the mailman delivered a package from his girlfriend, Penelope. He is just so lucky to have such sweet friends in his life at the age of 2!!!

We headed to Grandma Che and Grandpa Bob’s house around 3:30. We got there just in time to head to the Brewery for a drink before the birthday dinner festivities started.


This has become a slight joke/new tradition? Lol! (On Preston’s first Birthday we went to the grand opening of a new bar in town before dinner that evening. We figured he was 1 and he wasn’t going to remember it anyway! It’s pretty funny when we look back on it! He had a blast though, he was able to eat the complimentary popcorn they served! It was a win win!) 


Anyway, back to the present, we did our annual brewery stop, and then headed back to Grandma and Grandpa’s  for appetizers and Indian tacos!! We were happy Uncle Pooze didn’t have to work and was able to come with us to the brew.


We are so very thankful that his Grandpa Steve, Grandma Eileen, Uncle Scott, Auntie Holly, and cousin Noble were able to come, too!!


Spending time with family to celebrate birthdays is so important to us. We love the memories and the fun. Preston loves when he gets to hang out with family. He’s finally to the age where he knows and remembers the people he sees often enough. It’s so cute watching him get excited when you tell him his auntie Holly and Noble are coming over! Auntie Emma had to work long hours that day, but she was able to FaceTime with us for a bit. She even contemplated driving back right after her shift at the hospital to try and make it to the tail end of the party–but realizing that she wouldn’t get there until 10pm…it didn’t work out 😦 We love her for wanting to come so bad though!!


After dinner we opened some presents…


and then celebrated with some ice cream cake!!!


 Chad and I made the ice cream cake the night before, and I think it turned our really well!!! I was a little nervous, but it was delish.


Preston’s birthday dinner was such a success!! He had so much fun running around and playing with Noble.


My son, you are SO loved.


Now, wish us luck as we enter the two’s. It’s off to a rocky start. 😛


Preston is a little over 34 inches long and 29.6 lbs! He’s lost a little weight over the last few months. 😉 I’ll get exact stats on Thursday for his 2 year check-up. He knows how to identify every letter in the alphabet, he can count to 10, and can identify most primary colors. He knows a few shapes: circle, star, and square. His favorite color seems to be pink and his favorite number is 4! He LOVES to read!!! He has also been favoring his left hand when he colors and paints. (like mommy!) He can speak in sentences, I can understand him very well, others have a little harder of a time as he still has cute baby pronunciations! The other day when joey was here, I asked Joey if he wanted to eat because he was tapping the booster seat, Joey nodded his head yes, and preston said ‘i want to eat, too’. That was the longest and clearest sentence i’ve heard him say! Just within the last two days he’s started fighting nap time, but once he’s down, he will sleep for a good 2-3 hours. He has also been fighting bedtime, the later he stays up the worse it is, if you can believe it! We still put him down at 7pm every night. The more sleep he gets, the better he is for me during the day! I’m hoping this sleep fighting and regression is just a short stage, I’m getting tired. haha!


a little before {37 weeks}, during, and after — for the sentimental side of me 🙂


…until next time! xoxo ❤


a little cuteness.

Today when we were saying goodbye to Chad:

I said, ‘i love you!!’

Preston said, ‘I’ and I said, ‘Love’, and he said, ‘YOU!!!’.

I wanted Preston to say it by himself. So next time he said, ‘I’ and paused, and I said, ‘what comes after I?’ and he said, ‘J’…. I had to do a quick run through of the alphabet, lol, but yes, you’re right, ‘J’ does come after ‘I’! haha!!

Chad and I looked at each other like, ‘who is this kid?!’. Oh the way the mind thinks. And to think, he’s not even 2 yet!


Preston uses his little stool for everything. He pushes that sucker all over the house! It’s pretty cute and resourceful. He uses it to turn on and off lights, to get food and drinks, etc.! I had to snap this photo because as I was laying in and he was just doing his thing, and I was just thinking, ‘he will never be this young again. he will never be this tiny again!’ it was a crazy thought!


I’m trying to remember all the cute things Preston does before I forget them all. It seems like just yesterday he would say ‘ek’ intead of ‘x’ and ‘eee’ for ‘train’ (because that’s the noise the train made when it went by our house).

Now the cute favorites are:

‘bork’ \\ fork

‘poon’ \\ spoon

‘bopcorn’ \\ popcorn

‘bup’ \\ cup

‘poppee’ \\ coffee

‘bi-base’ \\ fireplace

His f’s sound like b’s and his c’s sound like b’s. It’s the most adorable thing! What’s funny is that he can say is r’s so clearly, and that was the letter both Chad and I couldn’t say when we were young.

Preston knows his whole alphabet and has for awhile now. When we read his book ‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom’, he always says, ‘R’ and other ‘r’, for capital and lowercase. I’m impressed he knows the uppercase and lowercase versions of the alphabet. What i was even more impressed with though, we were at Red Lobster eating with my Mom a few weeks ago and Preston was able to tell us every letter in ‘Red Lobster’ when it was backwards! The letters were on the window so people outside could read them, he knew what they were even when they were transposed.

I swear, if I did baby birthday parties, i would have his second birthday party theme be letters. haha!! No joke, he would be ecstatic.

Most recently we’ve been working on numbers. He can count, he just doesn’t like to do it. Which is fine, but I always like to squeeze counting in every time we climb stairs and walk past cars, etc! Just to expose him to it! No drilling here, just fun learning.

He knows his colors. Today we were downstairs by his little Christmas tree (yes, it’s still up, but it’s the only Christmas decoration that’s still out) and he was able to name off all the colors on his tree with no prompting. Yellow, blue, green, red, and pink. I think pink is his favorite color! He definitely seems to favor it!!

Today when we were coloring, I showed Preston how to write a ‘P’ step by step and he did one too. It was pretty cool! (below, you can see my green ‘P’ and his huge blueish gray ‘P’)


Preston still refers to himself at ‘Punky’. Even when i say ‘Preston’ he says ‘Punky!!’ I guess that’s what we get for only referring to him as Punky for he majority of his life. haha!!! I can just see it now, Punky H. on the roster for sport in high school.  hahaha!! 🙂

Tonight after I took Preston’s diaper off for ‘nakey time’ he looked at me and said, ‘pee pee’. I asked him if he needed to go sit on the potty and he said, ‘yes’. so we ran to the potty, he sat down, and he went! YAY!!!!! no prompting, no pressuring. all on his own. 🙂 I was so proud!!!! Chad was still at work so I made sure to FaceTime my parents so we could all celebrate together! Now i really need to make that sticker reward chart!!


One last thing, Preston had his first night in his big boy room!! He did so well! He slept his usual 12 hours. We were so proud of him!!


Now we are off to make brownies! 😛

…until next time! xoxo ❤

The Infamous Hospital Bag: what to pack.

I did so much research on the perfect items to take to the hospital when you go into labor. Since this was my first baby, I had no idea what was a necessity and what was just going to take up space. I asked my new Mommy friends, Facebook friends, and other blogging friends. I’ve made a list of the most common items.

*I have provided what I packed and what I actually needed & used*

Packing List

For Mom:


Slippers {ones that you will be comfortable throwing away when you leave the hospital. Hospital floors=yuck.}

Flip Flops {for the shower} The shower was very clean so I didn’t use my flip flops – plus they made me take a bath to soak before I showered. I figured since I already sat down in the tub, there was no point in going to grab my flip flops for when I showered.

Granny Panties {that’s right, high rise, full bottomed underwear–not only are they there to accommodate the huge diaper pads you will be wearing, but to provide comfort if you should have to have an emergency c-section.}

Yoga Pants {preferably, black}

A couple shirts with a zipper down the front or buttons. {for breastfeeding Mama’s)

Nursing Bra & Tank

Toiletries {shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razor, lotion, deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste}


Hair Bands

Chapstick / Vaseline

Warm socks {a must!! my feet were so cold during and after labor. It was nice to wear them when all I had was a hospital gown on.}

Phone & Charger



Extension cord for your phone charger {it seemed like my phone was constantly on the charger and I could never reach it.}

Breast pump {just in case}

For Dad:




Pillow & Blanket {the hospital provided these}


Change for the vending machines {the snacks we packed sufficed. The hospital food was offered to my husband as well. $7 for all he could eat}


For Baby:

(2) white onesies

(2) sleep sacks / sleepers {the hospital provided outfits for while he was there.}

(1) outfit for going home

nail clippers {I wish I would have packed an emery board instead. I hate clipping my babe’s nails–filing them is so much easier!}

a hat

(2) receiving blankets

Carseat with a cover. {we actually forgot ours in the rush to get to the hospital. My parents stopped by our house to grab it!}

A thick blanket to place over your baby’s lap in the carseat.

*The hospital should provide diapers, wipes, pacifiers, nipple cream, etc.*

Note: our hospital didn’t provide pacifiers because they don’t want you to use them. Our son didn’t take a paci until he was a little older — but it was nice to have on hand.

Honestly, the hospital does a nice job of providing the necessities! If you forget something it won’t be the end of the world. I stayed in my hospital gown for most of the time anyway!!

Good luck! 🙂