Same Blog, New Website!

Hi friends! It’s been almost a month since I posted here, which I have to apologize for. We are still doing great and little Abel is now twelve weeks old! He’s growing so fast and I am so obsessed with him. I love being his mom!

The last several weeks I’ve been working on a new project which I’m so excited about! For months now I’ve been thinking about upgrading this blog by changing it to a new web address and I finally have!

The Canadian American Kiwi is still going strong but now you can find us at www.tillycutforth.com

I won’t be posting here anymore, so make sure you bookmark my new website so you don’t miss a post!

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Abel: Eight Weeks

Today this sweet boy is eight weeks old! On Sunday, he’ll be two months… time just flies by, doesn’t it? It seems like just yesterday we found out we were pregnant, or had just gotten married, or I was coming to NZ, or still in college. Especially since getting married time feels different to me, part of it is just getting older, and another part is the seasons switching around when I moved to NZ.

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It really messes with my mind. I grew up with hot June, July, and Augusts. December was cold and January was kind of miserable because the best part of winter – Christmas – was already past. Summer vacation was around June to August or September. Here in NZ, it’s August and it’s cold – some days, but other days it’s warm enough to wear just a t-shirt! November, December, January… those months bring hot, humid weather and I’m constantly sweaty (gross) and dreaming of going for a swim. There’s no summer vacation; it’s called school holidays, and I have no clue when they are. The school year starts in January or February.

Also experiencing summer four times in a row threw me for a loop. Summer 2016 was June-September, and then I moved to NZ, where it was spring, and then summer. I moved back to the US in March so I got spring, and then summer. Then I moved to NZ after marrying Jared, in August 2017, and got the tail end of winter, spring, and summer. I was thrilled to experience an actual autumn/winter last year. I was also excited that it didn’t get super cold, because I didn’t really miss the 20* Fahrenheit weather (that’s less than 0* Celsius).

That said, moving to the opposite hemisphere has messed up my sense of time even further.

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Okay where was I going with that… right, time flies by! It’s so exciting to think that Abel is almost two months old, and that’s 1/6 of the way to a whole year old. I also think it’s amazing that we have our very own son – like, he’s ours, forever. He’s just a baby now and in a year or two he’ll be a toddler, then a kid, then a teenager, then an adult — and we get to be his parents, the whole time! I love the stage he’s at right now but I’m also excited for the future.

Abel had a check-up today and he’s just over 6kg – more than 13lbs! He’s becoming more aware all the time – of his surroundings, and of himself, especially his arms/hands. He loves interacting with us and makes great eye contact, and ‘talks’ back and smiles!

I took this photo on the left, before Abel was born, so I had to recreate it now that he’s here! During pregnancy, it is so fun to imagine what your child will look like and be like. I am beyond thrilled with our little boy and I can’t imagine him being any different!

Abel: Seven Weeks

At seven weeks, Abel is a really happy baby! He fusses when he’s hungry, tired, or gassy, and that’s about it. He loves having his diaper changed and being all clean and fresh and will usually give me some sweet smiles and coos during a change! The other night after Abel nursed, Jared and I sat with him and listened to music and Abel was having a great time watching us make faces. He tried to copy our faces and sing along to the music! His ‘talking’ is so adorable!

No I don’t normally let Abel wear a necklace… this was just for these photos… read on down below 😉 

Sonic is very curious about this new little person in our house. He also loves to steal my breast pads and chew on them. Gross. Last week Jared got Sonic a new dog bed, a few new toys, treats, and a dog collar, since he chewed the last one off. The very next day, the brand new collar was chewed into about five pieces. However, he was very excited about his new toys. Since he dragged all his other toys off outside, he’s been bored when he’s in the house.

Abel and I continue to just chill around the house, and we’ve gone on a few walks when the weather is nice, and met up with another mum and her baby last week. I’m in a Facebook group of other mums in New Zealand who had babies around the same time as I had Abel. The support has been awesome, and there are a few mums who live here, so we’re getting to know one another.

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I love taking photos of Abel, because he’s SO CUTE, and I had the idea to dress him up for some fun pictures! I had fun doing this little ‘gangster’ outfit for Abel, and I want to do more photos like this as well, so if you have any ideas, let me know!

Don’t mess with Abel! And also don’t take pictures on a sheet, because the wrinkles are impossible. Lesson learned.

Abel: Six Weeks

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Six weeks of being a mum and dad. Six weeks of taking care of a tiny human. Abel is doing great, and I am finally feeling normal again! I haven’t felt this great in months. I had low iron near the end of my pregnancy and so I was always exhausted for no reason. I’m currently functioning on four hours of sleep, but I am functioning. I feel like a normal person just tired. While I did enjoy being pregnant, I don’t miss having a sore back and hips, being unable to sleep on my stomach or my back, being swollen and chubby, tired and hungry, the occasional heartburn, and having to use the bathroom every hour.

Abel is interacting more each day, and he loves to just gaze around the room, or at our faces, and take everything in. He’s been smiling for a few weeks now, but it’s not as random anymore. He has discovered his voice and now makes noises other than fusses or cries – lots of whines, but other sounds too!

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Last week Jared was on the couch doing some work on his laptop, and Abel was snuggled up beside him, happy to just sit by his daddy.

I put Abel in this shirt and just had to take a photo because it’s the first thing I bought for him, before I was even pregnant. Plus doesn’t he look so adorable in black? Who am I kidding; he looks adorable all the time. 😉

Abel and I are just chilling at home most of the time. He eats, cuddles, stares around at everything, and sleeps. I take a thousand pictures of him each day, and try to do housework or work on my blog, while he sleeps.

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He’s so darling and I am just loving him more all the time. He’s so stinking cute and just gets cuter every time I see him, which is a lot, since I’m his mum.

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Look at his blonde hair!


In case you missed my previous posts about Abel:

Abel: Five Weeks

Abel: Four Weeks

Introducing…

Abel: Five Weeks

Jared and I are so thankful for the past five weeks with our son! It is so fun to see him learning and growing every day. He loves to look around and just take in his surroundings, with a serious look on his face. He’s started cracking some smiles too, and occasionally as I put him to sleep he’ll laugh as he drifts off.

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Because Abel was born by c-section and the first week of recovery was especially rough, Jared has been doing basically everything around the house so I can take it easy. It’s been five weeks now so I’m starting to do more, but he’s still bearing most of the housework on top of going to work every day. I’m so thankful for him!

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Abel’s outgrown newborn diapers and most of his newborn clothes, and is now in 0-3 month clothing. He’s over 11 pounds now!

In the past few days he’s also started making more sounds besides just crying or fussing. It’s so fun to hear his sweet little coos!

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He absolutely loves having a bath before bed every night! He just relaxes in the warm water and is so cozy and ready to sleep afterwards.

Abel is pretty good about taking naps, so I normally have a bit of time to myself while he sleeps, and the other day I found my old laptop and started it up. It’s almost seven years old, so I didn’t expect it to work very well. It’s in great condition though, and it’s so nice to be able to work on the computer without having to go to the other room where we keep our desktop computer. I’ve been working on some things for the blog, so don’t go anywhere! Thanks for sticking around while I’ve been a little MIA after Abel’s birth.

Abel at 2 weeks and 4 weeks. It’s crazy how much babies can change when they’re so little! Especially the first week or two, I felt like Abel looked different every day.

Adalia and Percy Visit!

Last week my sister Adalia and her son Percy came up to visit. Although we both live in NZ we actually don’t see each other very often (which we both want to change!) so it was really great to have her here! We last saw Ben, Adalia, and Percy at Christmastime when we all went to the States, and had so much fun. It was great especially for Jared and Ben to spend some more time together since they didn’t know each other very well before that. So when Adalia asked if she and Percy could come visit of course I said YES please do!

I’m not quite finished with work – this week is my last – but I had most of last week off, while Adalia was here. It was great to be able to spend time together, and man I enjoyed being at home as well! I have to admit I am very much looking forward to staying home with Kiwi. I cleaned my house and got to actually enjoy it before it got messy again. Crazy right? When you’re working, you clean the house, go to work, come home and make it a mess again. In my experience anyways. 😉

One day last week the weather was nice so we decided to walk to a park that is near our house. We brought Sonic as well and THIS is a milestone!!! Listen up! Sonic did. not. poo. once. on the walk. I was so thankful. Normally if I take Sonic on a walk – regardless if he’s had three hours outside in which he could do his business – he decides he has to go in the middle of our walk. Then I have to walk around with a bag of dog poo. Not cool. Once I got literally ten metres from our driveway and Sonic did his business. Honestly?! It’s so frustrating. But this time, there were no stops to pick up dog excrement. Praise the Lord.

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Sonic had a great time and he was grinning all evening afterwards! He loved it, even though I did tie him to a park bench as soon as we got there. And then it started raining after about two minutes, so we walked back home. Thankfully the rain wasn’t too bad so we didn’t get soaked, but the weather here can be unpredictable in autumn! The whole week was crazy – we spent a lot of time outside, since we have a table and chair set in our back yard. It would be sunny, a few clouds but mostly blue skies, and suddenly in two minutes there are gray clouds and it’s raining. Then five minutes later, sunny and blue again.

It can also go from sunny, to light rain, to downpour, pretty quick. I might have to suck it up and buy an umbrella eventually, especially once Kiwi is here and I’m pretty sure we won’t both fit under my rain jacket…

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Percy loved playing with Sonic! The two of them were so cute together and they did a pretty good job of tiring each other out. Sonic loves playing tug of war with his rope toy, and it was hilarious watching Percy laugh and hold onto that toy with such a firm grip! Even when the force of Sonic’s playing sent Percy to the floor, he’d be lying there still holding onto the rope toy. It was so cute and fun to watch!

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Percy is an absolute darling, right? He has the cutest smile! He was also very good while he was here. I mean we would love him anyways of course. But he did great!

I had to take a couple photos of Adalia and Percy of course!

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Bye Percy! See you next time!

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks

I just hit 30 weeks pregnant, so there’s only about ten weeks until Kiwi’s due date!

My favorite things about pregnancy: 

  • Carrying our child, of course!
  • The anticipation and preparation and thinking about who our child is and what it will be like to have our baby in our arms.
  • Feeling kicks and punches and somersaults and stretching and all the gymnastics Kiwi has been doing!

There are definitely some annoying things about pregnancy too, like morning sickness, fatigue, and the last few weeks, sore hips every morning and a sore back most days. And recently swollen feet and hands if I’m standing up all day. I wouldn’t trade it for anything though because I love being pregnant, and I am so excited about our child!

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So far in this pregnancy, Kiwi and I are both healthy and doing great, which is such a blessing. I am so excited to give birth and to meet our child when the time comes!

Last week Jared and I got a freezer, so this week I’m going to start some cooking and baking in advance to prep for Kiwi’s arrival.

One of my hobbies is online shopping – but I tend to browse and put things in my cart and then just leave it or change my mind. Now that we’re just over two months out from Kiwi’s due date, I’m starting to actually buy more of what I put in my online carts, and a few weeks ago I got some swaddles and soft flannel blankets from Kmart. I also got a ring sling from Wildbird because I really wanted one and they were having a great sale! (it might still be on now actually)

I went to Crackerjack last week and got some board books for our little one. I love Crackerjack’s selection of books – many of them have awesome illustrations and fun stories. Also I really want to buy all their crossword puzzle books and sudoku puzzle books and all that just because they have the cutest designs.

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Today I’m planning to cook chicken curry, bake pumpkin bread, and make apple cider (calm down Kiwis, American apple cider is not alcoholic). It’s autumn here so it’s all rainy and cosy! I’ll also be cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry and all that fun stuff, but I love listening to podcasts or watching videos while I do housework. It makes it more enjoyable! My favorite podcasts are Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger podcast, and North Valley Baptist Church’s preaching podcasts. On YouTube I like watching The Labrant Fam. What do you watch or listen to while you’re doing mindless tasks like dishes?

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Jared and I went to a friend’s wedding on Saturday and it was amazing! It was a gorgeous, heartfelt wedding and so enjoyable. 

The Midnight Intruder

Let me be honest, this past week was terrible. Sometimes life is just. Too much.

But I feel way better now and I even worked on my taxes today without one single tear shed. Honest. Last year around this time I was dealing with passport and visa issues as well as trying to figure out that whole taxes thing for the first time, and we had issues with our landlord. It was just a really, really stressful time.

I’m not finished, but I’m really close and it honestly was not very complicated at all this time (which may mean I’m doing it wrong? lol). Like last year, I was applying for another visa recently, but I just got word last week that I was approved for the visa I applied for! Praise the Lord! Immigration is a longggg process, and complicated, and expensive. I guess they want to make sure you really want it. And I do!

The other day I was looking on Pinterest at tutorials on photo editing, and then went through my computer to find some photos to play with. Follow my Pinterest board ‘Photography’ for inspiration and tips!

Bowling alleys are not good places for portraits, by the way.

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But he’s really handsome so I love this photo anyways!

Now, keep reading for more fun photos, but I also want to tell you a story.

Did I ever tell you about the time a cat got into our house in the middle of the night? I can’t remember so I’ll just tell it again!

Our house has pet doors, and we used to leave them unlocked all the time so Sonic could come and go as he pleased. We don’t do that anymore, for two reasons – one is that Sonic will run off and not come when he’s called, and two is the story you’re about to hear.

Normally if Sonic hears someone in the driveway he goes crazy and won’t stop barking. Whenever we get home from work, church, or wherever, he yaps and barks until we let him out of his kennel or off his chain. He then proceeds to sprint laps through and around the house. He’s insane.

So although he’s little he’s pretty good at alerting you if someone is around. Or so we thought.

Jared and I are in bed one night, asleep, and are woken up by the sound of something being knocked off a table or shelf in the lounge/kitchen area.

Sonic is in his kennel.

We were terrified.

Because this was when we didn’t lock the doors at night, either. So anyone or anything could have been in our house. We were wide awake in seconds, and I hid under the blankets while Jared got up to investigate.

Might I add, Sonic was completely silent. Asleep. Thanks buddy. Not a very good guard dog after all.

Turns out, the neighbor’s cat had come in through the pet door and was casually hanging out in our house in the middle of the night. Not cool bud, not cool. Of course once Jared realised it was a cat and began chasing it out of our house, thennnn Sonic woke up and went crazy.

Jared got the cat outside, locked the pet doors, and front door, and came back to bed, where I was still cowering… what can I say I really appreciate having a brave husband to go see who’s intruded our house in the middle of the night!

Since then, we lock our doors every night, because what if it had been a person? And we also keep the pet doors locked because neither of us likes cats, and nobody likes midnight intruders!

That cat enjoys terrorizing Sonic when he’s tied up outside, and I actually don’t know who it belongs to but presumably one of our neighbors.

And that my friends, is the story of our midnight intruder.

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Dylan and Jared

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Ummm guys? I think I could die from how cute my nephew is. Honestly he is too perfect I just can’t even.

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Hiking up Mount Aubrey with Jared… it’s a nice short hike and has stunning views!

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Have you ever had an experience like that?! Tell me about it if you have!

Hawaii {January 2019}

I shared a few weeks ago about our trip to the States over Christmas, but I didn’t go into a ton of detail so today I want to share a little more about our time spent in Hawaii!

One thing I loved about our entire trip (besides, like, everything) was that we got to do it with my sister Adalia and her family, Ben and Percy. Even though we both live in New Zealand, Ben and Jared are both so busy with their jobs that it’s hard to get away, so we hadn’t seen each other in ages. Ben and Jared had barely spent any time together at all. So we all really enjoyed spending time together and Jared and I loved getting to know Ben, Adalia, and Percy even better. Percy is the cutest little monkey! Honestly man if our kids are half as cute as he is, I will be thrilled!

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Here, Percy was a little disgruntled because he loved eating the sand but obviously didn’t really enjoy the taste or feel of it in his mouth. Unfortunately you can’t always have it both ways.

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After an awesome two weeks in Bellingham, we stayed in Hawaii for several days on our way back to New Zealand. My grandma Cindy and grandpa Earl came to Hawaii as well, as did my sister Kalina. We arrived in Honolulu on Sunday afternoon and enjoyed the scenic drive to Hau’ula, about an hour away. I’d never been to Hawaii before, besides the airport, and the few glimpses I caught out airplane windows of the gorgeous mountains and blue water had given me a desire to actually visit someday. It did not disappoint!

Grandma and Grandpa stayed at a hotel about five minutes from where the rest of us stayed. Our place was right across the road from the beach, and there were several good beaches for swimming, snorkelling, and surfing within a half hour’s drive.

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We stayed until Thursday and our flights left around midday (Kalina’s back to Bellingham, the rest of us to NZ – and grandma and grandpa stayed in Hawaii for several more days).

Even though we had just three full days in Hawaii, we managed to pack plenty of fun into that time! We visited Pearl Harbor, tried out snorkelling, surfing, boogie-boarding, and swimming, and went to I-Hop, Red Lobster, and Wal-Mart. Good stuff.

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I love history and I’m so thankful for the military, so visiting Pearl Harbor was really special.

Of course, when we found this, we had to recreate it:

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I couldn’t bring my camera into Pearl Harbor, so these iphone photos will have to suffice!

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Also, yeah. It’s okay. We weren’t actually lost we were just trying to figure out how to get to a certain part of the ship. We figured it out eventually.

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Then of course the beaches… the place we stayed had boogie boards and snorkelling gear that we could use. I had never been snorkelling before, but of course I’ve always wanted to because it sounds so amazing! Well, it was incredible!

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I loved snorkelling at this beautiful little beach! It was so incredible, and since this was a popular snorkelling spot, the fish were used to people so you could get very close and get a great look at them. If you’ve never been snorkelling before, you should definitely try it! We only had a few snorkels, but we had enough goggles to go around, so I just kept resurfacing to get breaths of air, and it was still great fun.

Percy enjoyed it too…

He even tried out surfing. 😉

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After this we visited a beach where Ben, Jared, and Kalina all tried boogie boarding, but the waves were so huge they got told by the lifeguards to stop because they weren’t experienced enough. I’m not a very strong swimmer, so I wasn’t about to go try not to drown, because it would not have been very fun for me. So Adalia, Percy, and I just enjoyed the sun and sand!

I did warn you that most of the photos I took were of Percy, right?

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But ummm that face?! Too cute!

When we weren’t exploring the beaches, we spent the evenings watching movies and eating popcorn.

I love these photos I got of Ben, Adalia, and Percy at the beach across from where we stayed, one morning.

All in all it was a really fun time, and I would love to return someday, but maybe for a bit longer!

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Until next time!

My Strongest Pregnancy Craving/Aversion

When I became pregnant, I learned SO MUCH.

We all know that pregnant women have morning sickness, feel tired, have to pee, all that good stuff.

I knew that. I was expecting it. But when it actually happened to me I was surprised.

Like, ‘OH… you really do feel sick and tired literally half the time.’ (and as your due date gets closer… all the time…)

‘I throw up at least once a day and still feel nauseous at least until midday, but I’m just used to it now so it’s okay.’

‘This is the actual definition of tired.’

‘I’ve peed like five times today and it’s only 9am…’

‘I’m starving.’ This one, guys, this one is insane. I have always loved food but I used to snack out of boredom when I was home. Now? I eat because I am al.ways. hungry. I can eat a big meal and be totally full. Then an hour later… I am starving again.

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*photo of my nephew Percy just because he’s adorable*

And of course the infamous cravings.

Probably 80% of my cravings were for American food that I can’t get here so I just cried as I made lists of the delicious foods to eat while we were in America for Christmas.

But the one thing I always wanted was a McDonalds cheeseburger (Burger King could do in a pinch). Thankfully Jared was very kind and would often give in to my begging to get fast food because 1. I didn’t have the motivation to make dinner when we got home. Or 2. I was literally thinking about the food I wanted for two days straight and was basically in love with it.

My first trimester I was OBsessed with food. I was constantly thinking about food. Watching those Tasty videos on Facebook and just drooling over how good it looked (and then ordering fast food because I was too tired to actually make it…). Pinning delicious recipes on Pinterest that I probably still haven’t made. Okay it wasn’t that bad I swear I did cook, but we got fast food probably once or twice a week. I’m blaming it on Kiwi.

As I entered the second trimester, I suddenly was unbothered by food. I could take it or leave it. Most things weren’t even that appealing to me. I would turn down sweets (I am normally sugar *obsessed*, truly).

I haven’t had any cravings for extremely weird foods, but the biggest craving/aversion I’ve experienced is beef.

Before I was pregnant, I hated the smell of raw or cooking beef. Ground beef, steak, whatever, it all smelled like blood to me. Just ew. Once it was cooked I loved it, but the smell while it cooked turned my stomach. I always thought that I would know I was pregnant when I loved the smell of beef.

Well what do you know. The day before I found out I was pregnant, I was cooking mince (ground beef) for nachos, and I was surprised that it smelled really really really good. It smelled like steak. So delicious. I wondered, but, pushed the thought aside, guessing it must be a coincidence as I was using prime mince instead of regular. ‘Maybe it just smells different?’ I thought, since I don’t normally use prime mince so I didn’t know if there was really a difference. The next morning I took a pregnancy test (and then three more) and after all the initial excitement I thought ‘Huh so my theory about the beef was right.’

Since then I have loved the smell of beef.

And now it really depends on the day. A couple days ago I made beans and mince (ground beef) with taco seasoning and onions and the beans were really tasty but the meat was just blagh. Then the other day I took a bite of Jared’s burger and was disgusted by the taste of the beef patty. That being said I had a steak and cheese pie the other day and it was honestly one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten (thank you Dad!). We had burgers from McDonalds last night and they were yummy, and I made beef broccoli for dinner tonight and even slicing the raw meat didn’t bug me.

Anyways. Just a glimpse into the things that go on in my mind.

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I’ll be sharing some of my favorite baby items I’ve got so far, and some of my wishlist items too, in the future! I’ve found some amazing leather baby shoes online that have managed to get past my ‘babies don’t actually need shoes’ logic because they’re too darn cute.