Sunday, February 25, 2018


Today is a bittersweet day. One I knew was eventually coming, one which I excitedly anticipated and dreaded at the same time. My baby girl is finally weaned. There were days I thought this would never happen (actually most days were like that). Most of the time I was happy to nurse her. Only occasionally did I wish it away. Regardless, I never felt I was nursing her too long. I never let an eye roll or awkward question make me feel bad, like I was doing something wrong. If anything I was doing something right. I am not going to sit here and list a bunch of pro-nursing statistics. They exist, but more than that, I knew it was ok. Norah knew it was ok. We were happy and she was healthy and that is all that mattered. 

I never planned or wanted to be on the cover of Time magazine for nursing the longest, I just wanted to let nature take its course. For the most part it did. Honestly I figured she would self-wean before the age of two. When it didn't happen, I was a little surprised but just went with it. I never considered forcing her off, until an opportunity presented itself. That opportunity came last month when Matt and I got a few days away and Nana watched the girls. It was the perfect weaning weekend and I felt like Norah was ready. Shockingly, my body was not. My milk did not go away like I remember it did with Charlotte, it stayed and my boobs got really full! Most of the milk eventually got reabsorbed, but even today, weeks later, I could nurse her if I wanted to. I was shocked - but apparently it could take months to go away. 

Thankfully my sweet Norah is no longer asking for it. I have to make a confession: after Nana's I did continue to nurse her. I didn't want to but I got so worried about how I was going to get her to fall asleep, so I gave in a few times. Plus she cried when I told her she couldn't nurse. I'm so weak, I just can't take those tears. But then Matt stepped in and put her to bed for a week or so and after that she was fine and never asked for it. I was a little shocked. Honestly I expected to be very sad, but I was at peace with it. I do miss the closeness, the cuddles, the connection that nursing provides. It is a really special time between mother and child and I truly treasured every moment. The last few weeks of nursing I made sure to just hold Norah, snuggle her in my arms, and really enjoy it. 

Now instead of nursing we have a long, drawn out story time. I am not the only one reading these days - she is. She has memorized a majority of her books and now reads to Mommy or Daddy before bed time. It is adorable and quite impressive. It also takes a lot longer for her to fall asleep. Nap can be a challenge, but we manage. And maybe, just maybe, in a few weeks we can attempt another big goal: potty training. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

California love

Hoping to escape a little of the cold weather - and bonus, see some family - we took a two week trip to California. Two weeks sounds like a long time but when you have so many people and so many fun things to do it flies by and you wish you could have stayed even longer. It was an exciting and much needed trip. We miss everyone already!!

updated family photo! The last one we took was in 2012! Only one kid not paying attention - thanks Norah! 

The girls and I flew out a together while Matt held down the fort at work for a week. They were great - easy peasy travelers. 

all set up in the car seats. Charlotte got upgraded to a booster for the trip!

When you haven't been to Cali in forever, and you decide to go out to dinner, there is only one place to go - Mexican food. Yum!
the girls.

silly girls making faces for the camera

One day my cousin Kristy and I met up at the local zoo, one I actually went to many times as a kid - Mickie Grove. Not much has changed. We checked out all the animals and then had lunch at the playground. The kids had a lot of fun! 

Sometimes you don't even have to go to the zoo, you just go over to Grandma Rachel's house. Dog, cat, birds, turkey. Hank the turkey sure was fun to "talk" to. And for some reason he did not like Norah! If she stood by the door alone he would peck at it - not in a nice way either. Hank is a jerk. He better watch out Hank- only 280 days until Thanksgiving.

goofing around with the glasses display. The look so cute!!

Nana is definitely the coolest - she even has snapchat! OMG I never laughed so hard in my life....each of these videos shows the girls personalities perfectly. Our sweet and quiet Norah and our loud and boisterous Charlotte. 

We spent one morning with Rachel's doing her favorite activity - bowling. The girls love it too! It was close, but I managed to beat Charlotte and Norah. Just barely tho.

One of my favorite days of the trip was when we headed over to Napa/Sonoma area and did a little wine tasting. My college roomie lives in the bay area and met up with us, and we also got to have dinner with our family in the area. It was a busy, but oh so fun day! I wish we could have spent more time with everyone but I am so grateful for the few hours we had. 

Shananigans and Samyjo reunited! 

So good to finally get together! 7+ years is too long! Lets hope the military gets us a little closer together soon! 
our favorite stop - Buena Vista! Free tasting and good wine! 

biggest. chair. ever.

petting the local winery donkeys. 

dinner with the fam. love these fools!

our group!
We couldn't pass up ice cream - regardless of the cool weather. mmmm!

Not every day can be filled with wine, ice cream or attacking turkeys. Some days are a little more laid back. On one of those days the girls and I checked out the Sacramento train museum. While I have been to old town Sac many times I don't recall ever going to this museum. It was very cool to see all the vintage trains and be able to go into some of them. 

There was also a donut shop across the street. Which is the real reason I wanted to go. 

Giving some love to Papa!!

We also stopped by and took a selfie with my Grandparents. I sure miss them a lot. 

Half way through the trip we got a special treat - a few days away sans kiddo. I seriously have the best Mom. Who else would agree to watch two small kiddos for 3 nights while Matt and I took a little adventure to Southern California?! Only the best Nana ever. Our original plan was to go to SoCal to visit my other college roomie and bestie Jessica but she came down with the flu at the last minute so Matt and I rented a car and took a detour to San Diego. I did consider cancelling the trip altogether but how often do you get reliable childcare? Not often. Gotta seize the moment. 

We got soooo lucky when we got the cutest convertible beetle as our rental!!! I, of course, drove it. Besides a lack of trunk space it was a fun car to putt putt around in! I could definitely see the girls driving this when they are older. 
Matt is super excited too!
Both of us forgot sunglasses so a quick stop at 7-11 solved that problem.

new sunnies!!

ready to hit the road!

our first sunset in San Diego!!

dinner at Prado with Cahill.
We don't get to workout together often, so we had a leisurely morning then went out for a nice 5 mile run together on the beach. Definitely missed San Diego. The waves, the breeze, the ocean air. Yep I would move back!

a good run means a well earned lunch at Gourmet bagger!! OMG I missed this place!! best sandwiches. I had a cheesesteak and it was legit. 

Date day rolled right into date night. This time at our favorite sushi spot: Harney Sushi.

I couldn't visit San Diego and not sneak in a workout with my old Wired Fitness crew! It was a little breezy but a lot of fun. I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up but I managed pretty well. These people are beasts! 
my first fit family

a med ball workout - my favorite!

After two nights of San Diego fun we headed back up to Orange County. With one stop along the way.....

We spent one night with Jessica and her family - now that she was all better - and tried to squeeze in as much as possible. It was definitely not long enough but maybe we can meet up again soon. And this would be where I would insert an adorable photo of us but somehow we missed taking that picture. Bad on us!

When we got back into town we had our little family reunion, and celebrated Kristy and Paul's birthdays! The food was good, the crowd was superb, and the kids were crazy. It was a blast!

After returning from SoCal we had a few more days of fun before heading back to Philly. First up: play with puppies and get lots of kisses - and some nibbles too. Ask Nana if you can put one in your backpack to take home. 

Next: visit Grandma Rachel and be sure to get a ride in all of her random and fun vehicles. Firetruck - check. Including pushing the siren.

Metermaid car - check. and check. We pretended to ride this one. It is a one seater. But Mom and Dad got to drive it around the block. It's got speed!!

And finally go for a spin in "Grandma Rachel's taxi". Just pretend again for this one. Norah sure loved sitting in it! I think it's the yellow color. 

And finally: one last dinner with Nana before our flight. Must haves: sunglasses and big smiles. Also necessary: fire. 


Thanks everyone for making our trip unforgettable. We had a great time and can't wait to come back again - maybe when it is a little warmer so we can swim in Nana's pool!