Monday, April 30, 2012

Birthday Planning: Part 1

In just a month and 2 weeks from now my sweet Chloe will be turning 1 years old!! I honestly cant believe how quickly this year went by, a part of me doesn't want to believe it but there is no denying it, my baby is turning 1! Time to do some serious birthday planning!

The overall theme of Chloe's party is a garden party so lots of flowers, bright colors, balloons ect... We would love to have the party in my Grandma's gorgeous backyard so hopefully the weather will be perfect and sunny for an outside party.

 Here is what I have planned so far!

When: Saturday, June 16th 

Where: Grandma's house

Theme: Garden party

Time: Afternoon

Menu: Small sandwiches, fruit, crackers, chocolate covered strawberries, different kinds of candy, lemonade, homemade punch, water with lemons, coffee and tea.

Invitation: I will either try to make one on PicMonkey using a picture similar to this

Cake: I am so excited about Chloe's cake because I found the most beautiful one on Pinterest. I am hoping to have one made very similar to these two - 

On this cake I love the colors and how they go from light to dark on both the inside and out!

So these are my ideas so far for Chloe's first birthday, I still have a lots to plan but I'm getting there! I will be sure to keep you all updated along the way!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dear Chloe: Treasure From Above

Dear Chloe,

 I took these sweet picture of you today after you fell asleep so peacefully in my arms. You are 10 1/2 Months old. You are beautiful beyond words, sweet, incredibly smart, brave, adventures, full of smiles and laughter. You are stubborn like your Mommy and Daddy, you love people and are outgoing, you are trusting of others, forgive quickly, and love unconditionally. You have taught me so much Chloe, thank you for being my daughter. 

I am desperately trying to soak up these last fleeting moments of your babyhood, toddler-hood is fast approaching. You are a treasure from God, don't ever forget that my little love!

Love you always and forever


Thursday, April 26, 2012

What I Love About Where We Live

What I Love About Living In The Suburbs

I love how peaceful and quite it is in my neighborhood
I love waking up every morning to the sound of birds chirping
I love that there are always children outside laughing and playing
I love that in my neighborhood there are four different parks to play at
I love that Chloe and I can spend forever playing in the grass just soaking up the warm sun
I love that everyone waves hi to you as you pass by, and that everyone knows their neighbors name

 When I was growing up the suburbs always felt so small and lifeless to me, the city seemed magical and bright, and I would often daydream about one day living there amongst all the bright lights and busy people. Now that I'm older and have a family of my own living in the suburbs feels different then it used to.... it feels like home. Maybe one day we will experience city life but for right now living in the quite peaceful suburbs is just what my little family needs.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Breastfeeding At 10 Months Old

As Chloe is getting closer and closer to the 1 year mark I have been reflecting a lot lately on our breastfeeding journey and how far we have come since those first few difficult days. I am so forever grateful for this experience, breastfeeding my daughter has been so beautiful and special to me and I cant say enough how blessed I feel for being able to experience it. I am so proud of Chloe and myself and so grateful  for all the incredible support my husband has shown me throughout this journey. Our plan is to let Chloe decided when she is done nursing, I can only hope and pray we still have a ways to go on this journey of ours.

At 10 months old nursing is very different then it was when Chloe was a newborn. Some of the things she does now honestly cracks me up. For instance, she will dive her face into my chest or lift up my shirt to let me know she wants milk, she gets really, really excited when she sees me getting ready to nurse her and starts panting, Chloe constantly is moving these days even while nursing, and she loves to nurse while sitting up. Other things that are much different now is that our nursing sessions are much shorter then they used to be and only lasting around 5 minutes and since Chloe has teeth now she has bitten me a few times and yes it really, really hurts.

There are a few things that are still very similar to those newborn days, Chloe still nurses often throughout the day, if she is tired she will fall asleep while nursing and also breastfeeding is still very comforting to her so if she's in pain from teething, got hurt while playing, or just needs some extra love and attention the one thing that always calms her down and makes her happy is breastmilk.

I love the special bond Chloe and I share through breastfeeding and am excited to see what else lies ahead for us on this amazing journey!

If  you are breastfeeding or were breastfeeding I would love to hear how your experience changed the older your child got, leave me a comment below!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Good Music: Bon Iver

Happy Monday, hope everyone had a great weekend! The weather has been so beautiful and sunny here in the Midwest! I'm really excited to be featuring Bon Iver today, his music is so beautiful and creative and I love his voice!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fun at the Library

Yesterday Chloe had her first adventure at the library! Since childhood I have always loved going to the library, so naturally I was very excited to take Chloe. They have a really great library in the town we live in, with a wonderful children's section filled with lots of books, puzzles, stuffed animals, and toys. Chloe had such a great time and enjoyed looking at the colorful pictures in the books. 

I have always loved reading and getting lost in books. I think books are so important and its very important to me that Chloe loves to read and learn and have an appreciation for books. Up until this point we haven't read to her very much at all so we are really going to be making it a point to read to her everyday and take her the library once a week.  I am excited to see my daughters love for books grow over the years!

I will be sharing what we are reading to Chloe and the books we absolutely love from time to time as well!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

10 Months Old

Today my sweet Chloe is 10 months Old! These past 10 months have flown by quicker then I ever imagined them too, as the days go on its becoming harder and harder to remember what those sweet, sleepy newborn days were like. I'm so glad I have so many pictures and videos of my little love, I love the feeling that washes over me as I look through each picture of her.

Whats new with my sweet Chloe:

:: I cant believe what a personality Chloe has! She loves people, loves attention and is always smiling and laughing at everyone she meets, she is very much a little ham!

:: She is standing up unassisted for longer periods of time.

:: Cruising along everything and everyone.

:: Has a bad habit of biting and hitting. Its not fun!

:: Loves to play on the piano and guitar.

:: Has played in the sand for the first time this month!

:: Drinks water from a sippy cup everyday by herself.

:: Breastfeeding is still going strong with no end in sight.

:: Chloe loves to babble and can say lots of new words but her favorite words are Ma Ma and Mom.

:: She is obsessed with all things paper, if there is paper around her she will grab it and eat it.

:: Chloe loves to share her food with you by putting it in your mouth, she smiles so big when she does this and its so adorable!

:: She loves to clap, wave, and point!

:: Can climb down off of furniture and sometimes climb back on if its low enough.

:: I keep forgetting to add this but Chloe does not take a binky anymore.

:: Chloe is sleeping awful and has been for the past couple months. She wakes up often crying and wanting to comfort nurse. Its been pretty hard on me but luckily she will fall right back to sleep.

At Chloe's 9 month doctor appointment she weighed 21.03 lbs and was 29 inches long so I am guessing she is at the same weight and height or just a little bit bigger now. Chloe is wearing mostly 18 month clothes now but still fits into some 6-12 month and 12 months clothes, she is still wearing a size 4 in diapers. Chloe has 6 teeth as of right now, I don't see anymore coming in but she is drooling a lot lately and wanting to chew on everything. Chloe's hair is also becoming more and more wavier in the back, its so pretty!


Chloe loves to eat and has about 2-3 meals a day! We are doing baby led weaning 100% , no more purees whatsoever! Her favorite foods are eggs - either scrambled or hard boiled, apples, oranges, blueberries, grapes, cucumber, avocado, broccoli, soup, bread, cheese, noodles, cottage cheese, yogurt, grilled chicken and organic apple puffs. At Passover Chloe tried her first matzo ball and loved it! I am so happy Chloe enjoys eating so many different foods, I hope that this will continue all throughout her life. I will be doing a more detailed post about this very soon!

Chloe has taught me so much about life and about my self. She is such an incredible blessing to me and Mike! In just two short months my sweet Chloe will be turning 1, time to really start planning her garden themed birthday party!

Happy 10 months baby girl, I cant wait for all that next month will bring!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Birthday To My Husband

Instagram photos @ beforeverlovely

Dear Mike,

Happy Birthday hunny! I hope you have a very special 26th birthday and your first birthday as a Dad! Chloe and I are so blessed to have you in our lives! Thank you for all that you do for us, you are truly an incredible person!

Love, Jen and Chloe

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mom Guilt

Lately I have been feeling frustrated with Chloe, and I feel incredibly guilty for having these feelings towards my daughter. I love Chloe with all my heart and feel so grateful and blessed I get to spend everyday with her but lately all I can think about is how much I need a moment to myself.

I want a moment of complete silence, with the sun shining down on me and the wind dancing across my skin. I want to be able to take a deep breath, to not worry or be touched or to nurse. The thing is, I probably could have a moment like this, my parents or brother or sister would absolutely love to watch Chloe but I cant help but feel guilty for "pawning" her off so I can "escape" Motherhood. What if she gets hurt, or needs to nurse, or cant stop crying? What is she is scared and wondering where I am and I'm not there to comfort her? What if she feels like I don't love her anymore? What if she has more fun with other people and never wants to be around me again?

I think the biggest reasons I have been feeling so frustrated and exhausted is because Chloe has been very fussy and clingy with me lately and everyday after I put her down for a nap she wakes up in tears the moment I try to leave the room and will only stay asleep if I lay down with her. Then at bedtime Chloe is comfort nursing all night long. It feels like I'm never getting a moment to myself anymore.

One of the main reasons we moved back to Chicago was to be near my family, to have their help and support. I know they would be more then happy to watch Chloe from time to time so Mike and I could go on a date or so I can have some much needed time alone buts its difficult for me to not feel guilty about not being able to do it all. I know I need to realize though that I'm important and need to take care of myself and that Mike and I's marriage is important and we need to have the time to grow our relationship. I know I need to make a change, the last thing I want is to take my frustration out on Chloe because I was to scared to ask for help. I want Chloe to always know how much I love her and that every moment we spend together is so very special to me.

How do you deal with Mom guilt and what things do you do to recharge?

Passover 2012: Part 2

Saturday evening we celebrated Passover at my Grandmas house! Chloe met her cousins Brooke, Trevor, Jake, Zach, and Nicole for the first time as well as her Uncle Greg and Aunt Theresa! We had such a great, relaxing evening with family and Chloe had so much fun playing with all her cousins for the first time!I unfortunately didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked, but here are the few I have. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Been Too Long

Instagram photo @ beforeverlovely

It feels like forever since I have written a real post - with words and thoughts. I have so looked forward to just sitting down in complete peace and write out what ever comes to mind. So here I am, Chloe is sleeping peacefully in our bedroom, the house is somewhat quite, Mike is at work, and I finally have a moment to myself.

Its been a little over a week since our move to Chicago, I'm honestly so amazed by how quickly this place feels like home again. Like any big change I had some major fears but things have gone so much smoother then I ever imagined them too and it feels so amazing to finally be here again. Mike had a interview last Thursday at a water and fire restoration company, on Monday he got a call from the boss hiring Mike on, what a blessing! He had his first day on Wednesday! Last week we also bought a car, it only took a few days of research and looking around before we found the one we wanted. Its not new but its looks great on the outside and inside and works perfectly! I have been slowly looking for a part time nanny job that I can bring Chloe along. To be honest the thought of going back to work again doesn't sound too appealing but I know we could really use the extra money. Hopefully I will be able to find something fairly quickly.

Its so nice to be living so close to my family again, moving to Seattle made me realize how much I missed them. Chloe is loving all the attention she is getting from everyone, and its been so cute to see her interacting with my parents and siblings! There have been a few challenges we have had to overcome since living with family again, its difficult going from living on your own for so long to living with a whole house-full of people, but like I said before everything is going so much smoother then I even thought it would and I am so forever grateful to my family for letting us live here with them, I know this is an adjustment for them too.

I also wanted to say thanks to everyone for all your support during our move, it means the world to us!

Last thing, I am finally on Instagram!, you can follow me at beforeverlovely.