Party Like It’s 1999

Happy Monday, friends!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend, and for those of you local to the DMV area, that you enjoyed the absolutely INCREDIBLE weather that we were blessed with Thursday, Friday & Saturday! Sadly, things have taken a turn for the cold, wet, and dreary today, but at least I have the memories of 80* and sunny to get me through these next few days of drudgery.

Not to mention all the fantastic memories from the past week to think back upon whenever I’m in need of a good smile! The last, what, five days? Have been SUPERJAMPACKED with so much fun, friendship, and phat funky freshness that I honestly am not even sure where to start, lol.

First off, my sister came back into town for my birthday, which is always just the BESTTTT. She brought my nephew Alex with her (my two nieces stayed home with their daddy), who you may know is only 3 weeks older than Penny so it’s always the most ridiculous amounts of fun to get these two together.

And since some of my sister’s best friends from high school and college also still live in Northern Virginia, we got to bring a bit of extra adorableness into the fray (since I am squarely in the midst of that season of life and everyone I know has a baby right now, hehehehehe.) First we spent some time with the inimitable Anne and baby Riese…

(Which of course means we now have to flash back to the last time we got all three of these littles together and be overcome by how fast time is moving — anyone else? No, just me?)

And we also got to have a playdate with our friends Lara & Jim and their amazing little lovebug Amira. GIMME ALL TEH BABIEEEEES!

Now, despite evidence to the contrary, this past week wasn’t all babies all the time though (even though I obviously would have been A-OK with that since I’m painfully obsessed with my progeny, lol.) My whole family went out to dinner for my actual birthday on Wednesday (we left the babies sleeping at home under the watchful eye of my awesome nanny). We went to Clarity in Vienna and it was a seriously delicious (if very loooooong) meal.

And then, of course, Saturday was my big birthday bash!

We partied like it was 1999 and it. was. radical. I tried to go all out on the nostalgia front, so I went heavy with the 90s snacks, candy, and drinks. We’re talking ring pops, Bagel Bites, homemade Lunchables and Dunkaroos, Capri Suns, Kool-Aid Bursts (which were HELLA DELISH when mixed with vodka I’m not gonna lie!) — the works!

The best part was, of course, compiling the swiggity sweet 90s playlist for the party. Eve 6, Savage Garden, the Fugees, Salt-n-Pepa, Backstreet Boys, Foo Fighters, TLC, Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls, Lit, Fastball, Ace of Bass, the Cranberries, Bell Biv Devoe… it was tight. As were everyone’s superfly 90s outfits!

Thanks to everyone who came out and partied with me! It was all that AND a bag of chips, yo.

Buuuuuuuut also probably the last party I foresee throwing for myself for a long while. This ish was exhausting! I plan enough parties for work, hehe. And most critically, I simply don’t bounce back quite as quickly as I used to these days! These beginning of the night / end of the night photos illustrate this new reality quite nicely, haha (Old Man Sean was definitely struggling too hahahahaha.)

At least I have another person to focus all my personal-party-planning-prowess (say that 5x fast) on now, hehehe. I mean, are we shocked that I’ve already started planning Penny’s 1st birthday party? Five days in and I will admit that this decade has been pretty great so far! So let’s just keep that going for the next nine years, 361 days, k?

This is 30

Last night, I bid adieu to my twenties.

Yup, I’ve officially entered the next decade of my life, and I gotta say, thirty is looking to be both flirty AND thriving, y’all. My twenties were great, and a lot a lot a LOT happened, but I think this next year will truly be my best one yet. Which, okay, fine, I’m pretty sure that I do say that every year. But how could it not be when I get to spend my days with these two?

I mean, okay, sure, there are things about getting older that aren’t exactly the best. For example, yesterday I went to a trampoline park with my friend Rachel, and today I am sore. Also, all that jumping made me realize my, er, pelvic floor has not yet recovered from birthing a child as much as I thought it had, HA.)

Another example, I had half a glass of red wine the other night and it baaaasically got me wasted, lol. And I imagine that somewhere under my bleached-and-dyed locks lingers a grey hair or two — let’s be real though, I don’t really ever intend on finding out! Gahaha.

And yes, my late twenties in particular were really good to me. I went on tons of trips, spent lots of time with friends, and even more time with my rad family. I met, fell in love with, and married Sean. I landed my dream job at Yelp. And then, to cap off what were already several strong years full of life milestones, we had Penny, who has been more of a blessing than I ever could have possibly imagined.

But it’s precisely because my 20s ended on such a high note that I’m all the more excited about what 30 holds! I’m actually starting to almost feel like a fully-formed adult these days — I can do my own taxes and install carseats and everything! I’ve gotten back into the groove work-wise after being out on maternity leave, and finally feel like I’m starting to get the hang of this whole working mom, work-life balance deal.

The dogs are doing great, too. They remain healthy and high-energy, even with Harry starting to show his age (he turns 14 this month!) and Daxter having to compete with Penny for attention now, haha.

My marriage is in a really good, positive place (although it probably won’t remain that way once he learns I posted the above picture on the internet hahahahaha). It hasn’t been a smooth road as we’ve had to learn and adapt to the changes (and challenges) that having a baby adds to a relationship, but we came through the other side stronger, having grown together.

And, naturally, Penny continues to change and grow and delight us every day.

So here’s to the next decade of love, laughter, light, and just this ol’ thing called life. I honestly can’t wait to see how my thirties go.

Let Sleeping Babies Lie

Happy Monday!

First of all, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments on my last post. Sharing my vulnerabilities on here has always been one of the best (if scariest) parts about blogging — you guys are the best! I’m already feeling a lot better, mostly due to your kind words, partly because my skin has been slightly more cooperative the past couple of days, and also because I think I’m finally coming out of the emotional funk I’ve been in for the past week or so. Maybe I’ve been PMSing? I don’t really remember what that feels like, lol, and since I got the Mirena IUD a few months ago (jury’s still out on how I feel about it… meh), even though my cycle did return (booooo) things are still not exactly predictable.

Anyway, I think that’s enough potential TMI to kick off your week!

Sean, Penny, and I had a great, lowkey weekend. We lounged in our jammies, went out to lunch…

and went to a housewarming party at my friend Jessica’s new apartment!

Uncle Ben was there too. 🙂

On the Penelope front, she has continued to show off her mastery of sleeping all night long — she’s in her crib for 11 to 12 hours now! Getting her to go to sleep at the beginning of the night is still a bit of a crapshoot: sometimes she’ll nod off as soon as her head hits the matters, and will be fast asleep by the time I even walk back upstairs, lol. But sometimes she fusses and cries for a bit before she finally goes down for the night. I never know which way it’s gonna go, lol, so I guess at least it keeps things interesting?

Usually it doesn’t last more than a couple of minutes, but every now and then she’ll go on for a pretty lengthy spell. She’ll go through this cycle of nodding off for like, 20 seconds, then waking up and wailing for a few minutes. Then she’ll pop her pacifier back in, close her eyes again… and two minutes later, wake up crying again. It’s so weird!

Anyway, the first few nights she went through this cycle, we’d go in and check on her to make sure she hadn’t pooped, try to comfort her, etc. But honestly, us going in there only seemed to make her more upset… unless we picked her up, and then she’d just get extra pissed the second I tried to lay her back down, lol. So now we try to just let her figure it out on her own. It’s hard (who loves hearing their baby cry??) but she’s amazing at finding her pacifiers, and is clearly is capable of soothing herself back to sleep. Once she gets over the initial hurdle at the beginning of the night, she’s down for the count! She hardly ever wakes up in the middle of the night anymore, and when she does, she’s able to get herself back to sleep swiftly. It’s amazing! Her naps are still sad, short little things (it’s hard to get her to nap longer than 40-ish minutes), but I am definitely not complaining on the sleep front right now. Not until the next regression at least… hehe.

In addition to enjoying somewhat restful nights (I can’t seem to help myself from waking up at least once in the middle of the night, just to check on her via the monitor, heh), it’s also been really fun lately to see Penny take an interest in the dogs — at last!

They are still mostly indifferent to her (as they have been since we brought her home), but Daxter no longer goes scurrying from the room whenever she starts making noise, and Harry has actually started approaching her on his own more and more! She certainly seems to have started paying more attention to them — it’s very sweet. We’re trying to teach her how to be gentle and to pet them (since her grabbing their fur is probably not a great way to foster goodwill with them) and so far it’s going well! It also probably doesn’t hurt that ever since Penny’s now a source of treats since she started eating puffs and rice crackers, hahaha.

And as always, they certainly love her stuff! We’re lucky that our lazy boys are not super into toys, otherwise I’m sure we’d be dealing with a lot of chewed up teethers and destroyed stuffies. I think I may have mentioned before that I was a little nervous about how integrating Penny into the dogs’ lives would go, since Daxter had been known to display some jealous behavior towards my nieces in the past. But fortunately, that’s been a total non-issue! I feel very lucky that the biggest issue we have currently is Daxter waking up Penny from her naps when he barks, haha.

Anyway, that just about brings us up to speed! This is an exciting week since Wednesday is…. my 30th birthday! I’ll be going out to dinner with my family to celebrate (my sister’s coming back into town!), and then partying down this weekend with a 90s themed bash. Since this might very well be the last birthday party I’ll ever throw, I hope it’s a good’n! But until then, I’ve got quite a lot on my plate work-wise, so sayonara for now, and see you on the flipside!

Penny: Seven Months Old

Happy 7 months, Penelope!

This past month flew by so quickly, I can’t really even say I’m that surprised to be ringing in seven wonderful months with our baby girl. Penny weighs 18 and a half pounds, stands 27.25″ tall, and is still our little double-Whasian genetic anomaly since she’s still got those blue-gray eyes and red hair!1

Sitting up remains her absolute favorite thing, and she’s still really great at it, and she also finally (FINALLY!) is now rolling completely over from back to belly! Of course, all this new skill has managed to do is make her really, really mad, since she hates being on her stomach, lol. But hey, at least we know she’s capable! (Alas, this also means she’s capable of getting those chunky li’l thighs stuck in the slats on her crib ::sadface::)

As you can see in the photos above, we’ve also officially transitioned her out of her Magic Sleepsuit! She’s in a regular ol’ sleepsack / wearable blanket now, and much to my surprise, it’s gone pretty smoothly. We’ve had to revert back to the sleepsuit a couple of times since starting the transition a few weeks ago (and I did use it a lot while we were traveling), but the past week in particular she’s consistently made it pretty much all night long without any interventions from us. HOORAY!

The real gamechanger has been the fact that she’s now mastered the ability to grab her pacifiers in her crib now! So we just put her to bed with, like, 6 pacis and she’ll find them when she wakes up in the night and soothe herself back to sleep. It’s miraculous!

Penny also continues babbling away on the regular, lately adding in plenty of squeaks, shrieks, and squeals. Most excitingly, she can now say MAMA!!! I mean, she mostly says, like, “Mmmmamamamaaaa,” but I have gotten at least two clear, distinct, two-syllable Mamas with her looking directly at me, so it 100% counts in my mind as her really saying it. Not gonna lie, it was preeeeetty awesome. I may or may not have cried.

She also continues teething like a fiend, and has the drool-soaked bibs and rosy red cheeks to prove it, but there’s still no sign of any little chompers actually poking their way through! I’m honestly fine with her not having any teeth yet, tbh, since I’ve heard anecdotally that maybe there’ll be less of a chance of her biting me if she gets her teeth later… I guess because she’ll be more aware of what she’s doing? Although maybe that just means that when she does end up biting me, it’ll be on purpose!

And her lack of teeth certainly isn’t inhibiting her ability to continue trying and loving aaaaall the foods! Current favorites include scrambled eggs, bread, chicken, peas, and puffs. We’re also working on drinking water out of a sippy cup, and she’s constantly trying to eat her feet! Hehe.

She loves looking at herself in the mirror (mama’s girl, hahahaha), is finally starting to show interest in the dogs, loves listening to music and hearing mama sing (wheeeee!), and her little personality shines through more and more every day! We love you, Penny-Poo!

Whirlwind March

Holy frijoles, I can’t believe it’s almost been an entire MONTH since I blogged last! Hot diggity dog, the time really does fly. Penny will be celebrating SEVEN months this weekend!!

Needless to say, the past month has been a doozy. I’ve been keeping super busy with work, and then last week Penny & I flew down to visit my sister in Atlanta! Penny did great on the plane there and back (her 5th and 6th flights since she was born!), although I was definitely even more nervous about flying with her this time than I was last time (when she was still just a little lump). It’s just that she requires a lot more entertainment and is more difficult to coax to sleep now — the world is just far too interesting! I still managed to get her to nap for at least a little bit on both flights by stickin’ her on the boob, though, heh.

It was BEYOND worth the slight stress of flying solo with a baby again, though, since we got to be there for my niece Mia’s 5th birthday! I’m still in denial that she’s FIVE years old. That’s like, a real little kid, man! I mean, she starts KINDERGARTEN this Fall! Gah!!!!

She had a Brave themed birthday party that was a ton of fun to help my sister prep for (if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my Story documenting the epic fail that was our first attempt at the Bear Claw Brownies ::insert crying laughing emoji::).

And just look at all the STINKIN’ ADORABLE photos I got to take of Penny with her cousins. I mean, just, like, can you EVEN?!

And honestly this is just a fraction of the photos I took while I was down there, hahahaha.

Aaaanyway, I’ll give a full update on how Penny’s been doing, what milestones she’s been crushing, and all that good stuff for her 7 month post, but things have been pretty great with all things regarding her lately. Sleep was obviously impacted by our trip, but she didn’t do toooooo badly all things considered, and she’s generally back to mostly sleeping through from her bedtime around 7, 7:30 until 5 or 6 AM (whereupon I usually just nurse her back to sleep so I can coax a couple more hours out of her, haha.)

And I’ve also been planning a big bash for my upcoming birthday: The Big 3-0! I’m having a 90s-themed house party to celebrate my entrance into the next decade, and it’s honestly sooooo much fun (not to mention wicked nostalgic) to plan out. We’re talking choker necklaces, neon & cheetah print EVERYTHING, butterfly clips, slap bracelets, bagel bites, pixie sticks, oversized Zack Morris-style cell phones, and YES I absolutely did buy jelly sandals in my current, adult shoe size. Here’s a throwback to this sexy trio rocking some seriously sweet early-nineties fashion — is it weird that I would 100% still wear those saddle shoes?

Here’s where I need your help though: the music! No 90s party could possibly be complete without an EPIC party playlist to get funky to, amiright?

What’s your must-have 90s song for me to put on the party playlist?