six months

DSC_0633Somewhere between month four and six, I completely fall in love with my babies. This happened with Jack, too, so I say this with experience. Yes, they are sleeping through the night but it’s more than that. They start becoming little people and less like pet rocks that poop. Meredith gets excited when I walk into her room or when I walk through the door after work. She delights when she sees the bath water running or her busy brother running past. I love watching her; taking her all in. I love watching her reach for the dogs as they sit next to her and her simple smile between bites of butternut squash. It’s simple but magical. She calms my anxiety sole. Here’s a couple of my favorite pictures from month six including finding toes, first tastes, and reading with her big brother.

J&M 6 monthsJack and Meredith both at 6 monthsDSC_0581Mer TeethingJ&M ReadingMeanwhile, Jack’s first semester of swim class started this month! We did week long classes in the past but nothing this consistent. He is enjoying every Friday with his mama, and I’m enjoying a little time with just he and I. Go Jack!swim schoolHappy Week, Friends!!

five months (and a midwest adventure)

5 month coverMeredith started her fifth month celebrating her older brother’s second birthday! We celebrated small with grammie and papa. But he enjoyed the best dairy-free cake we could find! Angel food! Always a fan favorite.Jack's 2nd BirthdayI had a little mom guilt not taking more pictures, or throwing a big party for our sweet boy, but maybe next year? We’ll see.

Right after Jack’s birthday we took the family on a midwest road trip. Much of our family is in the midwest, and we were lucky enough to have two weddings in a row to see much of them. We took the week in between to see even more friends and family to maximize the time spent in the northern states, while happily getting out of Texas during the miserable August heat!

Our first stop was Story City, Iowa! We hit up the local wooden carousel with our nieces. Jack was overjoyed to ride… and ride AND ride and ride again.DSC_0049

Story City CarouselWe headed down to Ames for our first wedding and some hotel fun. I remember the joys of visiting hotels as a kid. The two things always on the agenda; the pool, and the array of cereals they had available for breakfast. Jack enjoyed both with all the cousins.
swimming poolMeredith enjoyed chillaxin’ in the hotel room, too.hotel chillAfter relaxing, it was time to start the wedding festivities. There was a bride and groom at this wedding but these kiddos were so cute that I didn’t get a picture of them. Eeek.IMG_0471Ames WeddingOf course, there was a failed attempted to get a picture of my kiddos, and well… I can say, I tried. Jack looks super excited to be sitting doesn’t he!DSC_0150We ate cake, danced, and had a wonderful time seeing family and friends, including Jack and Meredith’s Great Grandma Johnson. DSC_0181IMG_3059We headed out the next morning to our next destination, another small town in Iowa with warm hearts and a fabulous meal waiting for us. We were greeted with open arms and Jack fit right in.Postville KiddosJack and Meredith met their Great Grandmother for the first time.GGKAnd Jack realized where that sweet Iowa corn really came from.Iowa CornWe said goodbye to our Iowa hosts and headed on yet another journey, this time to Wisconsin.Nancy + ToadOn our way to see friends, we realized we were just miles away from a famous brewery. New Glarus, home of our beloved Spotted Cow! We made a detour and happily walked our babies through a brewery tour. Ha.New Glarus BreweryAfter the tour, we made our way to Appleton, WI, where we met up with our dear friends and their new baby boy. We spent time reminiscing, laughing at our ourselves and our babies, but mostly soaking up as much time together with each other as we could. We spent our night by the campfire drinking Spotted Cow in jeans and sweatshirts and the day with our babies. It was fabulously simple and perfect… of course, we didn’t get any great pictures… Trust me, I’m kicking myself.IMG_0581 IMG_0604Travel hit us again, but Jack was an old pro by this point.Traveling w:TurkWe headed up to my hometown in North Wisconsin for the rest of our trip. We welcomed the super green grass, beautiful weather, and, of course, a ride on Grandpa’s “tractor”. The hubs and Mer looked on, a little less impressed with the lawn-mowing-tractor than Jack was.Mowing the lawnJack and Meredith’s cousins came into town, and they spent their days in the backyard (clothing optional) and on the grandpa’s boat.IMG_0638Boating wgrandpaIMG_0667IMG_0683There really isn’t anything better than Wisconsin in the summer. Oh, how I miss it. The lake, the green, and the family.Ellie + MerJack celebrated a belated second birthday with everyone and ate up every moment he could.IMG_0698Our last weekend was spent at wedding number two … again, just kiddo pictures and slim pickings at best.IMG_3082WI WeddingMeredith made sure she was on point during ceremony. Atta girl.IMG_0705Jack took over the dance floor for the first few hours. It was hilarious and sweet all at the same time. He clapped after each song and danced his little heart out. He made many friends, including the band who came up to me after, in admiration of his love for dancing and good music.Turk on the dance floorWe ended our midwest adventure by splitting ways. We said goodbye to the hubs and Jack, and I said a little prayer for us all. Jack was nervous and not excited to have to drive home. Sorry buddy.Pink Elephant Gas stationMeredith and I headed out in style on a first class flight back to Dallas. Meredith was so embarrassed for mom to ask the pilot for a picture, she closed her eyes. But she was super excited to have a piece of cheese on her head! Wisconsin genes run deep. First FlightWe all made it home safe and got back into our normal routine quickly. Bedtime stories with Dad is one of their favorites times of the day.Bedtime StoriesMeredith had her first taste of rice cereal served up by Mr. Jack. He was absolutely loving the process and Mer took her first meal like a champ!1st Rice CerealMonth five was a busy one, but we are loving every exhausting minute. The hubs and I have been awakened a couple times this month to Meredith just talking. We laugh as she cackles to herself, and I know there will be nights in our future we’ll tell her go to bed! But for now, we enjoy her spirited squawks. Here’s my little lady at five months!Five Month CollageHappy Weekend, Friends!


cold brew


When we made the long trek up to Wisconsin for a long and wonderful midwestern adventure, we came home with a lot more than just memories and, of course, a case or two of Spotted Cow. We were enlightened by some dear friends with yet another great way to love our beloved drink, coffee. I love the process of making coffee, and this is another wonderful method to explore for yourself! It’s been an afternoon treat in this household for a couple weeks now, and I’m sure it will continue on for years to come. Enjoy!

I bought our cold brew items on amazon. Here and Here. First, start by grinding your beans. Then, place the coffee beans in the filter portion of the carafe.


Then place the filter into the carafe, placing the little circle of the filter on the handle side.


Then, pour away! Fill it up and place it in your refrigerator for a solid eight hours.


After 8 hours, we pour our cold-brewed coffee into a jar to enjoy the whole week! I placed a “D” using washi tape, because we usually make one half caff or fully caffeinated, too.


On ice with a little almond milk is the way we like our cup of joe but enjoy it anyway you like it! Flavored? Soy milk? Straight? So many fun options for this great treat!

DSC_0249cold brew glassHappy Weekend, Friends!!

four months

Month four was full of family fun! Meredith went on her very first road trip and loved every minute! She loved being entertained by Jack, loved the open road… and slept a lot! Jack was a little freaked out about having “TV” in the car.
Mind. Blown.Car RideMeredith met her new cousins for the first time and agreed with Jack’s assessment on just how cool they really are!Cousins
We headed out to grandpa and grandma’s new farmland. Jack was so in love with every aspect of this new heaven that Papa will forever be synonymous with tractor!
Believe me, these two had so much fun. Jack loved getting rides in the Polaris ,and after a couple of rounds he figured he could venture out on his own.
Polaris Ride
With all that wonderful fresh air and activity, some of us didn’t make it through dinner.
Sleeping Babies at the Farm
 I took a stroll around the property, taking in all the scenery. It’s a wonderful peaceful landscape and I cannot wait to see this beautiful space in the fall!
DSC_0351 DSC_0323
We said goodbye to Grammie and Papa and headed back to Texas.
The rest of the month was spent staying cool. In our backyard and at our neighborhood pool! Boston always loves join in the fun.
Jack + Bones PoolSummer 2015We found our inner Picasso this summer, too! Painting a Kaboom! for July 4th.
Meredith decided to rollover for the first time on 7/2/2015, and five days later she rolled over and pushed herself up. We all know Otis has been working with her for weeks. He’s such a great trainer for tummy time and meal time!
On Meredith’s four month birthday weekend, some of our Missouri family came down for a visit. They had a wonderful time exploring all the great attractions Dallas has to offer and let Jack tag along, too.
O'Dells Visit
Our doctor’s visit was for both Jack and Meredith this month, 2 whole years and 4 months!  I tried to hold back the tears, but they are both so perfect. Or at least that’s what I heard!
But mostly, I try to capture my little ones doing what they do best, enjoying each others presence and getting annoyed at mom wanting a picture or five hundred!
Month four has been wonderful! This is the age I so dearly love! They start interacting with the world around them, and they start laughing and smiling so much more. It’s just wonderful!
Four Month Collage
Happy Four Months, Lady!

three months


This sweet baby girl has turned three months old, and it’s been flying by! I know, I know, this post is a little super late, but there has definitely been a void not having these posts up. I have notes on my phone about when milestones have happened each month, and I vow to the get the next three posts up before Meredith turns six months. I want all these times recorded!

Month three went by so so quickly. Once we figured out Meredith’s dairy allergy, I think she spent most of month three recovering with a full, happy belly and some much needed sleep. At 9 weeks she was sleeping from 10:30 pm – 5:30 am, and a week later 7:45 pm – 6 am! It has been wonderful. Though, we discovered that she discovered a great new tool (though sometimes elusive) to help facilitate her sleep… her thumb! Yep, we have a thumb sucker. I realize I should be shuttering in fear. I should be up in arms about what it will do to her teeth, how we have to stop her when she gets older. But (strangely) I’m not, I love it. She has her comfort item attached to her at all times and mama gets to sleep and how cute is she with it… don’t worry, I know I’ll be eating my words when she’s five!


Her big brother Jack has taken the title quite seriously, and is loving being a big helper around the house, waking her up in the morning, giving her baths, putting blankets on her and just loving on her. He’s just the sweetest little guy, and I cannot believe they’re still mine.


Before I start to get sappy, here’s Meredith’s three month collage! She’s getting so big! She’s been rolling to her side and almost rolling over, too, but her little arm is getting in the way. Maybe next month? Ha. I love you little lady!!

Three Month Collage

*cover photo credit – Laura Squire Photography

two months


Do any quick google search for diet, and you will find a plethora of weird routines and regimens. Some claim you can lose weight in days, others talk about finding your inner caveman (or woman) or making sure you don’t consume anything with eyes. Ekk. I have tried a couple diets myself, usually ones that would restrict my caloric intake or reduce something I was consuming at the time. But, inevitably, I would want that restricted something and the search for another diet would continue.

Meredith’s second month was a rough one. Jack at two months was a relatively easy baby. We were even warned on numerous occasions that he wasn’t “the normal baby”, and no one gets that lucky twice. Yes, seriously, people would say this to us. So, I figured we were getting our fix of a fussy baby with Meredith.

Meredith, frankly wouldn’t let me put her down, even for a few seconds.  Or even hand her to the hubs without crying nonstop, and I mean non-stop! This included her lip quivering, losing her voice, and gasping for breaths. No one else could comfort her. No one. I would try to set her down and the crying would start again. There were nights I would sleep on the couch with her nursing continuously until we both fell asleep. It was rough, and I felt super alone and hopeless.

Even with the hubs in the same room trying to help, I felt alone. I felt I did something in the pregnancy that made her unhappy or she got all our “bad genes” or something else crazy. Disclaimer: I was also postpartum crazy town, truly sleep deprived, and pulling at strings. I feared what would happen when I went back to work. I even dreamt about our nanny quitting over this.

It was all truly exhausting. And I still had a toddler that wanted my attention and a household to be involved with. One day I was changing Meredith, and I ask the hubs if he ever noticed that she doesn’t lay her legs straight. He said he hadn’t but thought it too was weird.  We then noticed Meredith starting to get a facial rash. It continued to her neck and shoulders throughout the next couple days and down her arms. The hubs noticed the rash would get more red/inflamed after I would nurse her, and we thought it might be a detergent or soap I was using. As I’m writing this it seems so obvious it wasn’t the detergent but we didn’t know. I swallowed my pride and took Meredith into the pediatrician. He took one look at her, reviewed the fussiness, gassiness, projectile vomiting baby I’ve been dealing with for the last 5 weeks, and he said it could be two things. One: Just colic and acid reflux, we could manage this with reflux medication and gripe water. Or two: she could be allergic to your milk. The pediatrician said if he was betting man, he would bet milk allergy. With a cringing face, he turned to me and said this would be hard. Milk is in everything, even processed foods, like Tostitos lime chips we would later find out.

Two things happened in that moment. ONE, I felt horrible I didn’t see it sooner and she was looking for me for comfort AND I was the one causing all her pain! TWO, thank god we may have something that is/might be causing all her symptoms! Maybe we will get lucky twice, with a little work this time!!

That instant I stopped all dairy (first a little pity party of “why me”) and my diet was born. It’s amazing how easy it is to quit something you thought you loved like milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc, for something you love even more. Your daughter. I was committed to breastfeeding Meredith as I had breastfed Jack, and now there was an even bigger reason. An even more customized milk I can produce and provide for my daughter.


Jack eating a vegan cupcake! Team Meredith! 

A new dairy-free google search was started! I have become comfortable reading labels and tweaking recipes to keep with our new diet plan. Within days there were signs of improvement, which helped fuel my efforts. Meredith spit up much less, was less fussy, the facial rash was receding, and she was letting her legs down a little flatter. By week two she was enjoy life, smiling, cooing, and sleeping in her crib for six hours at a time!! At her two month check up, she was sleeping 8 hours at night, happily being held by others and enjoying being set down in her swing or on the floor to play. She was a completely different baby, and I would say with a little extra effort, we DID get amazingly lucky twice!!

So, if you are looking for a diet routine, I have the one for you! You’ll start instantly and won’t falter! First, get pregnant, have a baby, and have them have an allergy! Dairy is a good one to get away from processed foods. Works every time! Ha!

You’ll change your whole world especially if that means a better outcome for your child.

In all honesty, cutting out dairy has made me eat more clean and whole foods. Lots of salads, minimal ingredient items and vegan products I never thought I would try AND actually enjoy! I hope to continue this healthy minimally-processed eating WAY past Meredith’s dairy allergy. Though, the Ghiradelli semi-sweet soy chocolate chips and angel food have been a lifesaver for my sweet tooth! I hope with my efforts she will overcome this minor allergy sooner than later!

Thanks Meredith for makin’ our household a little more healthy! We love you so much and think you are pretty cute too!

Two Month Collage

half bath reveal


Before our new daughter came into this world, we had another celebration! Our half bath renovation was finished! We had a wonderful contractor, who’s one goal was to finish the bathroom before we had the baby, and he did!!! We couldn’t be more pleased with the space. But first here’s the ugly demo picture!

Half Bath Demo

Here’s the room all put back together. We kept the same layout; we took down the cabinet above the toilet to make this teeny-tiny space took a little bigger and replaced the vanity and fixtures. We could not be happier with the tiny space and love the new look!


We went with a hexagon floor tiles which have a hint of blue and green in them and feel like scales on your toes!


We decided on classic subway tiles up the entire wall behind the sink which acts as a backsplash for any water while washing your hands or face. With a toddler, splashing happens often. We extended the tiles from floor to ceiling for a more dramatic look. I wasn’t sure if one wall would look weird, but I think it turned out really well!


The sink and vanity are from IKEA and the bronze pulls are from Schoolhouse Electric. I really like the way the vanity floats above the floor, making the space feel a little bigger. However, our plumber wasn’t a fan of the vanity, as he spent all day configuring the plumbing, so it would fit in the small space behind the drawers. I suggest showing your plumber this vanity early on in the process. He will really appreciate it. The handles were an add-on, IKEA’s vanities don’t need hardware, but the subtle detail helps to make it less cookie-cutter. Plus, the bronze makes it pop!


I also purchased the pendant light from school house electric and we love the big bold glass, bronze finish and the way the colors accent the mirror, vanity hardware and the framed artwork above the toilet. Ahhh… It makes me happy!


All in all, we are loving this space. I still have a couple details to finish, such as window treatments, maybe a shelf above the toilet, drawer organizers, and some art to the left of the window. But, it’s 90% finished and with two small kiddos, I’ll take it!

Happy Week, Friends!

one month


Meredith turned the ripe old age of one month this past weekend, and yes, another monthly addition of photos will be bestowed upon us all. We switched up the animal; Jack had an elephant, Meredith has an alligator. It’s real exciting stuff over here!

One Month Collage

This month has made me realize a couple of things, “pregnancy brain” or the phrase “you’ll forget everything and do it all over again” is completely, completely true!

I thought I was prepared for this homecoming. I was even eager to leave the hospital! Heck, I left a day early. But when I got home, the rush of emotions arrived with me and I caught myself crying to my husband what have we done?  What have we done! on numerous occasions. The tears and the walking zombie returned, as well.  New emotions came flooding in about Jack’s transition; I worried Jack was not getting enough of my attention and tried extra hard to make sure Jack felt loved. Mostly crazy talk.

But there is a silver lining to all this… With Meredith, I find my walking zombie state, though present, doesn’t seem to last as long as it did with Jack. We were able to get out and enjoy the days. Plus, realizing babies DO sleep a lot, I was able to step away from Meredith, leaving Jack and I plenty of one on one time together.

Meredith has given us a couple blissful nights of 4-5 hours of sleeping, but her routine tends to be fickle at best. She’s attached to her mama and would like nothing better than to be with her 24-7, which someday I’m sure I’ll want back. She’s starting to visualize the world around her, following faces, watching her crazy, loving brother, who runs in and out of her view all day … always trying to share his snacks or nuk. She also started cooing and smiling this week, appropriately starting right after Jack danced in front of her while I was making dinner. He’s such the entertainer in the household!

Though these day can be tough and long, and sleep deprived, I have to remind myself just how fast this phase really does go…


Happy Week, Friends!

she’s here!

DSC_0242Meredith Anne entered this world and our lives on 3/25, a Wednesday night at 9:12 pm, weighing in at 8 lbs. 9 oz, and stretching 19 3/4 inches long. Her middle name honors all the great ladies in Meredith’s life, past and present. Her grandma’s Julie Ann and Marilyn Anne, her great grandmas Helen Ann, Mercedes Anne, and Joyce Ann and even her lovely aunt Jill Ann gets to be in the mix!

photo 4Yep, this girl already has a mind of her own. We had originally scheduled a c-section for March 29. But she obviously had other plans. I went to work as usual Wednesday morning, thinking my last day was just a day away. I was having my usual hectic day of way too many patients and way too little time to see them. As always, we moved along quickly; things were getting accomplished and the day was running rather smooth. It was around 10:30 am that I started to feel – different – not labor pains, but facial swelling, redness and stinging?!?  A walk to the mirror revealed my face was blotchy and pink. I managed to get more of my schedule done but was still feeling this burning sensation and a new pain near my inner left eye. Finally, and a little reluctantly, I decided to call my OB. It was 2:30pm at this point and if I could make it to her office, I wouldn’t have to go to triage. I left the office in a rush, saying I’ll be back to my nurses and office manager, leaving my regular clothes and office in shambles. I made it to the OB’s by 2:50 pm and they took me back, took my blood pressure several times, looked at me and said it’s time. My OB added, “you look horrible and your blood pressure is up, Sarah. It’s time. Let’s have this baby.” She’s great and honest and I heart her.

Because I had eaten lunch we had to wait until 9pm to start the c-section.

photo 1So, again the images of my delivery being scheduled and planned out had vanished. One more Saturday at home had vanished. I had plans to  grocery shop Wednesday, watch Wisconsin play Thursday night, pack my bag for the hospital Saturday, and later that day, welcome our family into town! Plus, Jack had an Easter egg hunt Saturday! This was not the plan!!

photo 5But if the consolation prize for this “not being the plan” is a beautiful healthy baby, I’ll take it! I will still try to plan my life and my children will continue to break it, but that’s just fine with me.

We spent the rest of the night just staring at Meredith, watching her open her eyes, figuring out who she resembles (where is that hair from?), watching her first bath, completely memorized that she is all ours. We are officially a family of four.

DSC_0308We are so so so blessed. She definitely has our hearts and apparently already ruled over our schedule.

18 months (at almost 20 months, oops!)

DSC_0247Jack turned 18 months. That’s a year and a half people, back in January, and it’s already March! I’m so so behind! But here he is in all his naked belly glory at 18 months.

DSC_0261We are just loving this sweet boy. He is talking up a storm and is such a little helper. He’s so curious and just loves being active, which makes it hard to get anything done during the day but we’ve been blessed with a good napper (3 hours!) and sleeper in general, so we know we shouldn’t complain too, too much.

With the anticipation of our baby girl, we cannot wait to see the interaction between the two. Will he think she’s pretty cool and want to help out or will he think she’s a nuisance that takes up all of his mom and dad’s time? I’ll keep you posted. Here’s a couple photos of our little man amidst his daily quest to discover the world around him.










IMG_8935We love you tons, Jack. Happy week, friends!