Clara is ONE

WELL. It happened.

And I tried so hard you guys. I did everything in my power. And it still happened. I am not okay with this for the following reasons:

  1. The older she gets, the bigger she gets. And the bigger she gets, the less she will let me hold her. And ALL I want to do is be able to hold her forever. Luckily, I am a pretty big lady so fingers crossed she will let me.
  2. Also, the older she gets, the less it is acceptable for me to bite her thighs, kiss the bottoms of her feet and nuzzle my entire face into her neck to the point where she is upset at me.
  3. Basically there is nothing good about her getting older.

On the day of her actual birth, we had a low-key family day.

I started it off with a rather dramatic cry. It just came out of me. Probably didn’t help that I listened to “Goodnight my Angel” by Billy Joel while I gave her a bottle.

Then I took her 1-year pictures in the chair and she was being so cute and funny.

Then, we got ready for her birthday outing! An afternoon at the Wiggle Room (a softplay center for babies).

Thanks to Auntie Meg for the matching hats!

And the next day, we threw her a birthday party. We did a Nutcracker/Land of Sweets theme and boy did Nancy go to town on the decorations! Clara is pretty lucky to have a Nana like her.

So adorable, yes?

I made her smash cake, which never got smashed.

I even bought an organic cake mix and used this bougie canned frosting that was like $6.99.

I am such a good mom, I know.

Clara Jane was just the sweetest she could be.

It was the best time ever.

We love this human so much. She has completely changed our lives and spreads the love where ever she goes. Happy birthday to our CJ!

Family Photos

WARNING! These were taken approximately 390834 months ago (or in early June) and therefore warrant the following disclaimers.

Disclaimer 1: I did not get my hair done prior to these photos.  I did have a haircut, but the color is REAL ROUGH. I know it’s bad and I’m sorry.

Disclaimer 2: The state of my hair is due to childbirth. If you are unaware, having a baby can cause hair loss. If you would like to know more or see additional unsightly photos, read this post.

I realize the first two disclaimers are about my hair. Believe me, there’s a reason.

Disclaimer 3: I did not look at this dress in a full, body-length mirror before these photos were taken. If I had, I would NOT have opted to wear an ill-fitting, unflattering garment simply because it was a nice brand in a nice color from the Rack for $14. Also, you cannot tell in the photos but it was stained AF. I made a poor, poor choice.

Disclaimer 4: I did not come prepared for these pictures. I did not bring a blanket, or any props or really anything at all.

Disclaimer 5: C and E’s outfits are just mehhhh. I chalk this up to my rampant indecisiveness that is a horrid symptom of my PPA. It came down to the wire on what they would wear and I just could not make up my mind for the LIFE OF ME.

OK, now that those are outta the way…feast your eyes!

Also, major hat tip to Liz Wade our photographer who was amazing, SO easy to work with, patient and talented.

After having lived through this experience (it was touch and go), I can now feel justified in offering up the following advice:

  1. Bring a GD blanket. Esp if you are taking outdoor photos.
  2. Before the photos, take care ‘ya business. Hair most notably.
  3. Dress up. This ones a personal pref, but I think photos look 823873 times better in more dressy clothing.
  4. Floppy sun hats are a YES for the littles.
  5. If your baby is still too young to sit up on her own, you best bring something to prop her up with! Or get yerself a GREAT photog like we did that can Photoshop out your hand that was holding the baby up (see pic of Clara sitting up as evidence, baby girl was being held up by David’s hand in this pic!)

Palm Springs Vacation with Baby

Greetings rainbow sprinkles!

And please excuse my lack of posts as of late (I mean I know you are all DYING to hear more about my v exciting life). Working 30-ish hours a week and doing all the things is not easy for me. I realize some people work way more, with more kids and more responsibilities and do it all with perfectly clean homes bedecked in lovely autumnal decor and find the time to NOT look slightly homeless. As I have said many times over, that person I am not. I can barely find the time and energy to go to Goodwill and find my daughter a Halloween costume (because I refuse to spend $20 + on something she will wear for a single photo). * I did find said costume. It was $1.50.

So a few weeks ago, David, Clara and I flew to Palm Springs for our first official vacation together. Let’s get to it.

Our flight departed around 9 am which was good timing for baby’s napping situation. We went through TSA with a pre-made bottle and I got a chuckle when I told the agent, “This bag contains breastmilk.” We took the stroller and her car seat all the way to the gate and pre-boarded the with all our sh*t and a cup of hot water from Starbucks to heat up her bottle. She was a little fussy as we sat there while everyone else boarded and was ready to eat. We wanted to hold off on giving it to her until we were literally taking off to ensure her ears would be ok. It was tough but she ended up drinking it through take off and did not seem to have any trouble. After about 30 minutes in the air, David took her to the back of the plane and rocked her to sleep (he is the best) and I held her for the remainder of the flight which is MY FAVORITE THING EVER.

After landing, we took an Uber to Aunt Sandi’s house (our pad for the week) and…immediately jumped in the pool!

I did a bit of research before we left and decided to try this pool floatie for Clara. It ended up being absolutely wonderful! It was a tad big for her, so we just stuffed a towel down in the seat so she was up a bit higher. She loved the toys attached to it, kicking her feet in the water and splashing around.

The next day was David’s birthday! This year I got him a whiskey of the month club membership because I am running out of Blazers jerseys that he does not already own.

That morning, he hit a bucket of balls at the driving range.

Then an afternoon of swimming.

C is sporting her $4 swimsuit from Kohls.

For dinner that night, David’s parents and Aunt Sandi gave us a gift card to a delicious Italian place in Palm Desert called Castelli’s. Highly suggest if you are in the area!

Our reservation was for 5:30 pm because baby and we had a great time.

I was obviously feelin’ myself on the way there but upon closer inspection the baby hair breakage is abundant in this photo.

Dinner dates!

David’s steak was NO JOKE.

Check out the sky behind us!

The next day I made two astonishing discoveries:

  1. Coachella is not just the name of the music festival but also a town (face slap)
  2. We were about 20 minutes away from it

Curiosity got the cat and we decided to check it out and see what all the “fuss was about” (said in grumpy old lady voice).

Turns out Coachella, the music festival, is actually held at a polo club…and when it isn’t “Coachella” it really is just a polo club. And this one in particular was pretty amazing.

First of all, this is in the middle of the DESERT. Everyone’s lawns are rock gardens and cacti. So to see this giant, expansive grass and palm tree oasis in the middle of BROWN is pretty impressive.

The surrounding gardens were beautiful and nobody cared that we were just pushing our big ass stroller err whurr.

I also wanted to get a James Charles-esque picture before we left, so we explored the grounds and finally found a good spot.

We could have hopped the fence you see in the photo of me on the right to get closer to the rainbow windows building. But I wasn’t feelin’ it. You get the idea.

Then we had lunch at a Tavern on the property where Clara spilled a large glass of ice water directly into my lap and it went allll the way up my backside. However, all was redeemed by the saddle seats they had, especially after snapping this photo:

The next morning we were up bright and early with Clara so we went for a walk and happened upon this little gem: (had to take a pic for Nan)

Then we got the baby ready and drove into Palm Springs for some shopping! BB OOTD: (She dazzles in fruits)

We found her a pair of those Baby Hipster sunglasses but she hated even though they were evvverything.

Then I breastfed her in the back alley of sus lunch spot we tried because there was shade. You can take the girl out of Spokane but apparently you can’t take Spokane out of the girl.

I also had to try on the spandex bike shorts that everyone is wearing these days.

Hahahaaa jk I just wanted to take a pic in them as a joke to send to my immediate family. All I need is a pair of those hideous chunky Filas.

The next day we went to the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert! Baby girl wore her finest jellies.

JK these lasted .002 seconds before being promptly discarded.

The zoo was amazing! Especially…

The giraffes!

The petting zoo portion because GOATS.

And these amazing rainbow chairs that we snapped this adorable pic with:

On one of our last days, we decided to go to J.Tree and the weather was perfection.

Don’t freak, David was holding her in this pic.

And I was holding her in this one…

The flight home also went very well. We did the exact same thing as we did on the way there, except instead of pre-boarding we waited until literally THE LAST second to get on the plane. That way, we did not have to sit for 40 minutes while everyone else found their seat and baby got restless. It worked out way better for us that way and she slept most of the way home once again, in my arms. Bliss.

The whole thing really. Was bliss.

T-Giving & Our Christmas Tree

Happy December lads and lasses!

Thanksgiving this year was just delightful. Nan and Gare came to Portland, David took my Dad and I to a game at PK-80 and best of all – we didn’t have to make dinner. Yippee!

At the Moda center for the Duke vs Portland State PK-80 game.

Here are the Danielsons at dinner:

After dinner, we hung out while attempting a game of Quwarkle.

The next day was Black Friday so obvs:

Hold your comments until the end to tell me how pretty I am.

That weekend, we put up our tree! David and I wrestled with the lights for a good 45 minutes before deciding that some of them just didn’t work. So, I decided to add a couple strands of white lights to mix in.

Then, I got out my piddly little box of decor and sprinkled it around a bit.

And I nearly died putting this garland on the stairs.

But its done now 🙂

My hobbies as of late include:

  1. laying on the carpet watching Hallmark Christmas movies with Meira and threatening her life if she tries to get up.
  2. making a nest in our giant chair and trying to get Meira to lay with me (she will not).
  3. forcing David into my Seahawks onesie so we can take pajama pictures in front of the tree.

Murrrrrrry Christmas everyone!

Trip to North Carolina

Hey y’all.

I don’t know why I’ve already started this post out with a southern accent because truth be told, I didn’t encounter too many while we were in NC. We did however, encounter lots of other wonderful southern delights such as – Dunkin Donuts errrrwhere, the Piggly Wiggly, FIREFLIES and Family Dollar. We joked the whole time we were there that the “holy trinity” in each town was – a Dunkin, Hardee’s and a Family Dollar . JUST MY STYLE.

We took a red-eye over which is never an issue for this old lady, who can manage to sleep (mouth agape always) anywhere, anytime.

Saturday morning after picking up our rental car, we drove to our hotel in Garner and settled into a booth at The Waffle House while we waited for our room to be ready. That night, we attended a beautiful wedding for David’s friend Ben and his lovely bride, Camille.

Before the ceremony, we walked around the gardens and took tons of pics.

Look at my iPhone 7 DO WORK

The ceremony was lovely and the reception was beautiful as well. We had chicken, mashed potatoes, collard greens and corn with a delicious sauce. And rolls. I obviously like m’rolls.

Of course E made pals with all the little girls, including the flower girl who was SO cute.

And of course David took this serious glamour shot of me while we were waiting for our dranks. My arm looks about 7 miles long.

Processed with Rookie Cam

The next day we got up early, had continental breakfast at the hotel (LOVE when hotels have that!) and drove the 2 hours over to David’s brothers house.

We had a blast playing their pool. running through the sprinklers and really just getting to see E and her cousin play together.

Our Airbnb was about 40 minutes from their house on a golf course and after dinner that night we came home and totally crashed. The next morning though, we made a very cool discovery out by the pond…TURTLES!

Being Oregonians, seeing like 30 turtles waddle out to say hi to us was pretty damn cool. We stayed out there for like 30 minutes just watching them.

I pretty much DIED over the screened-in porch and have now decided that I need one of these in my future home.

Later that day, we all went to the beach!

The beach had ACTUAL shells, unlike the coast over here, where all you find is the odd broken sand dollar and the water was semi-warm.

That night, we had a super yummy dinner with the fam and flew back home the next day. Until next time, NC!

Our Vacation to Maui!

Hello little macadamia nut pancakes!

I am back on the mainland and tired AF. But here I am, reporting to you live from the couch as I watch The Office reruns and snack on Walmart Fruit Smiles.

Our flight to Maui departed around 7:30 pm on Thursday so of course, we all rushed to the airport early to have dinner and watch the Ducks game. YAY SPORTS.

Here are the #sportysickcute sweats I wore

The flight to Maui was relatively painless. I sat in the middle (wha-whaaa) but was able to sleep for a couple hours or so before tearing into my new bookclub book. Gathering baggage, getting the rental car and driving to our condo in Kihei was also pretty easy and before I knew it, we were all settled in and falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below us.

The next day we woke up and had cinnamon rolls from The Cinnamon Roll Place (genius branding if you ask me) and mimosas.

I then slathered on my Alba 45 SPF Sunblock,  helped cover E with sunblock and we all hit the beach.

David and I took turns playing with E in the waves and hiding under the umbrella I rented in between. David waded out waist-deep in the water with her a few times and the two of them were such an adorable sight. After about an hour and a half, I noticed the tops of my feet (which were buried in the sand, but sticking out from the shade of the umbrella) were starting to turn pink so we packed ‘er up and headed in.

That night, we went to a local event called Kihei Fridays where I bravely took on this romper. #tallgirlproblems

There were food carts, arts & crafts, live music and my favorite – A MERMAID. You know  my ass was jealous of this broad. To make matters worse, she was super pretty AND nice. UGH. The mermaid was all, “Get in the picture!” to me so I wiggled into the makeshift mermaid tail they had for weirdos like me and we paid $5 a pop for the little Polaroid pictures.

Then David hopped in to get his “kissing a mermaid” shot (with her permission, I might add) and I was a sport.

E got to paint a mermaid shell, so whatevs. It was a win. We were all so wiped that night.

The temps were high 80’s while we were there, so we decided to alternate our aquatic adventures between the ocean and the condo pool. It was discovered after that first day on the beach that saltwater obliterated David’s Sport Sunblock and left him with some minor sunburns, so we decided to seek shade whenever possible.

The next day we ventured into Lahaina so David and his Dad could watch the Ducks game, while the rest of us putzed around and bought sh*t we don’t need.

I wore these face-takeover sunglasses from Ebay

First we had lunch at Bubba Gump!

Then Eliana and I strolled around, I bought a gelato and salt-water taffy because duh, while David and his pops stayed at the restaurant to watch basketball. We also discovered this amazing local coconut body butter with really good ingredients and we all got one.

The next day we drove south and made a stop at the Grand Wailea Hotel. We valeted the car and as we walked in, they totally thought we were guests and started putting leis on us and chatting us up and asking to take our photo. So we awkwardly went with it and answered their questions, “Oh yes, we are staying five nights!”, “Oh yes we are BEYOND excited!” and they took our picture and I tried to robot out of that situation.

There were this lady-band in the lobby as we came down the stairs and we told E to go out there and hula. Before we knew it, two of the ladies came down to teach her a little dance and perform a song! It was precious. So then I got out there too and it became not so precious.

The grounds were pretty amazing. And they have this adorable chapel too!

Later that day, we were so hot and sweaty from walking around the grounds that the three of us basically ran-walked into the pool. I fixed David and I a nice strong rum punch and I practiced my doggy-paddling. And on the subject, why is doggy-paddling considered so blase?  I get around JUUUUUST FINE.

The next day we went to the Maui Ocean Center and saw the  following things:

  • 89q2356823479234 fish
  • A tank a’ seahorses
  • GIANT sting rays
  • Small sharks
  • Sea cucumbers

SEAHORSES!

The Maui Ocean Center did not have any dolphins or whales, which I really appreciated. Apparently there is an ordinance in the City of Maui that prohibits the exhibition of cetaceans (whales and dolphins). And while I love dolphins and would love to see one up close from the comfort of  the other side off a  piece of glass…I would MUCH rather them just be exclusive to the ocean. Ya feel me?

Later that day, we grabbed food + bevs at Captain Jacks before heading out to sea on a sunset cruise! Eliana was coloring the whole time and wrote me this note which MADE ME TEAR UP AT THE FRIGGIN’ TABLE:

Translation: Natalie is so beautiful and nice and lovable and cool. I love Nat.

I tell ya, this kid has my heart.

David’s dad and stepmom treated us to this little jaunt on a beautiful boat, complete with snacks and alcohol! I’ve literally never had so much fun in my life and seasickness was not an issue as I was a little snookered.

The last day, we went back to the beach and then had a little pool time. We made friends with a cute Canadian family and E really hit it off with their little girl. By the end of the trip, she was jumping off the edge into the deep-end like nobody’s business! So crazy how fast she progressed with swimming and how I made no progress whatsoever ;).

swoon 😉

That night, we got ready for a nice dinner out. I let E do my makeup…she was a tiny bit excited!

Here’s the before.

And the after.

Not too shabby. Except she left me a fatty mustache.

So I adjusted my makeup juuust a little and we went to the 5 Palms Restaurant in Kihei.

Toasted coconut dranks.

Coconut shrimp!!

Here’s David and E, pretending to sleep while we were waiting for the car. #matchingonvacation

The flights home were all drama-free and comfortable. Portland has greeted us with moderately decent weather and we’re happy to be home.

‘Til next time, Hawaii!

Mardi Gras. Mixed CD’s. Misc Mischief.

Hey there Jujubees!

I have a lot to get through today so I’m diving right in here!

A few weeks ago, David, his cousin Jackie, Grandma Rosalie and I went to an auction for her synagogue that had a Mardi Gras theme. I did green, purple and gold eye shadow but failed to get a good pic of it like a nincompoop.

Also, David booked us all a trip to Hawaii for the end of March which I must remember to start drinking Slim Fast for.

I even drew a palm tree to commemorate in my 2017 Hello Kitty day planner.

David and I went to a Blazers game vs. OKC and they won! Suck it Russell Westbrook.

those eyes tho

I used the H&M eyelashes for a date night/night out that I hauled in this post and was pleasantly surprised!

Annnnd, I wore a slightly tramp-ish dress with knee high boots and was all “I am woman, hear me roar!”

Then last weekend, I drove home to see my Mom, Meg and of course my baby Tate.

I discovered this in the CD case in my car (yes, like in High School) behind another CD and of course listened to the whole thing on the way to Kennewick. Lots of Blink 182, some Mandy Moore. you know.

All that one can get with him anymore is blurry pictures. The little meatloaf is so wiggly and fast.

But really, Tate is the absolute love of my life. I would do anything for him.

We got to do lots of fun things, such as…

Going for Fro yo!

Shopping at Target

Going to the park!

The Mickey hoodie slaaaays me

And of course, we spent lots of time hanging at Nana’s, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (his FAVORITE).

My Mom is also making everyone matching stocking for Christmas and aren’t they so cute?

She also hand-stitched this little easter egg ornament which she gave to me. I told her I’m opening her up an Etsy store and we’re both going to be rich! muaahaahahaaa

While at Columbia Center, I hit a jackpot of a sale at Gymboree for E and got her a bunch of awesome summer stuff for Hawaii including these flops which are to die.

And I cooked her up the best pancake art I am capable of.

Yes, we have a full set of four of these Hello Kitty placemats

And lastly, my Dad Gary Danielson was on the Variety Telethon in Des Moines. He is a celebrity. And I am his daughter. I’m not sure, but I think this makes us Kardashians now.