Brought to You By

Good morning, friends.  This post is brought to you by hector, who so nicely is watching both boys so I can drink my coffee and write a post without juggling one or two kiddos.

We are battling some colds in the Villa-household.  By we, we mean Evan.  If Evan has something, we all feel it.  Even if we are symptom-less.  I nursed Evan for over a year and a half and that whole time he was never sick, ever since stopping it’s like the germs are finding him. *sigh* Anywho-We have been busy here, we made a family trip to see some BEAUTIFUL Christmas lights:

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We were like the stroller gang:


It was unseasonably warm, and we took advantage.  Remember I said I wanted the Britax (or Uppababy) so we could just have one stroller, well I still haven’t bought the adapter for the carseat (fail) and my MASSIVE toddler is almost past both height and weight specs for the second seat so we skipped that too.  Luckily when we go out we typically are a group so TWO strollers go with us right now. Ha.  I love baby wearing, too (a great alternative) toddler in the stroller baby in the wrap or ergo.

We had a really great time stretching our legs with Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie Colie.  It was nice to sip hot coco and hang with our amazing family & the rest of Chicago that place was PACKED!!

I’ve been home alone a lot with the kiddos so I also have had Evan busy with at home projects like – decorating gingerbread houses (well he did the cookies they looked beautiful):

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(with my littlest one so sweetly swinging next to us) – coloring, painting, working on our felt tree (I’ll post finished product pictures later) and watching a little too much TV (Netflix is the devil ;-) ) – Projects are nice to do – they make me feel like I’m getting things done and that my toddler isn’t ridiculously bored. His favorite past-time is still dumping all his toys everywhere and not picking them up.

Michael is just as sweet as ever.  Nursing champ, sweet cuddling love, and only has about an hour of crazy time around 11-12am (yeah, we went from early nights to late night parties).  He is growing beautifully and gives us these AMAZING little smiles that I haven’t really caught pics/videos of because I just melt when he does them.  Today we have, as always, way too much on the plate but I’m going to sip my coffee, get dressed and get moving with my love bugs. I still owe a one month update on M.  :)

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We have a ton of Christmas shopping left to do – what a crazy time of year.  I’m just so grateful I’m spending this time with my loves. <3

Oh!  My sister and I are doing a 5k in a month.  I’m freaking out.  My lungs already hurt :) So I’m desperate need of some warm running gear and THAT is on my Christmas list.  Santa will likely bring my jewelry but I’m secretly hoping for things that make me sweaty (warm running gear and hot yoga passes :D)

Feelings & Truth

Happy 2nd day of November.  I went downstairs to brew my cup’o Joe only to realize we are out of coffee.  If I didn’t look outside and see frost on the ground I’d likely have thrown on a coat and run to Starbucks because I’ve been morning-dreaming of my cup of coffee since about 5 a.m. when I started rolling around in bed, hoping for a little more sleep.  I don’t even particularly like Starbucks Coffee, usually tastes burnt to me – but a latte sounds nice. So I threw some peanut butter onto a slice of bread (one of two BUTT slices left) and ate it.  Definitely not what I needed, but better than nothing.  I’m feeling blue because lately every time I eat something (even when I’m starving like just now) – I feel sick.

At this point, all I want to do is cry.  I’m so emotionally drained.  I’ve said it before, this has been a tough year.  Just when I think things are looking up something else just sidelines me.  I feel a massive amount of guilt about this because I do know in many ways I’m very lucky.  Lucky to have my health, lucky to have my fabulous friends and family, a healthy work enviornment etc.  But let me tell you, I’ve been down.  Probably never so down in my life.  This year has been tough, and each way I spin it, I want to see the silver lining but each time I catch a glimpse and pray to God, it is like something else very important gets stripped away.

I’m not going to spill all the gory details but our lives have absolutely been flipped upside-down this year.  I should write a book about it because sometimes I don’t know how I survived it.

I was discussing with a dear friend of mine who confided in me that she developed postpartum depression after she had her child.  Her story was heartbreaking because she so desperately wanted her baby, and prayed for that baby.  She had a great pregnancy followed by a traumatic birth experience that I can’t even imagine.  She has shown such power and grace through this, she is a amazing mother, who loves the little baby.  She makes it look easy but I know that she is struggling each day, even if it is getting better.  Why?  Because I’ve never been more depressed in my life than with this pregnancy.  Yet, I’ve hidden it better than I did with my pregnancy with Evan.  I know it has to be chemical and I know I should have talked to doctors about it, but I didn’t/don’t want medicine to fix it.  Or even to talk to anyone.  I just wanted to get through the 9 months knowing that I’d have a baby in my arms.  If this is anything like Evan postpartum, I know I’ll be ok.  Whatever happened to me after Evan, I was blissful.  I loved being a mom.  I had never felt so confident in my life.  But pregnancy, I’m not a good pregnant person and this experience has totally solidified that.

To make matters worse, things around my family have not been ideal lately.  Just when I thought something amazing was going to happen, that I’d have my husband so happy with me as we held our new baby and are able to have a few days together before he returns to work, my body has failed.  Again.  It failed with Evan, and it has failed again.  I’m STILL pregnant.  I’m still unbelievably uncomfortable, I have stretch marks and I’m absolutely feeling terrible about myself and everything around me.  The funny thing?  I’m hyper aware this is very selfish, and that I should be happy that I have a healthy family.  I understand that.  But here I am AGAIN, over due when everyone said he would come early EVEN MY DOCTORS.  My last appointment I was told I would have a baby in my arms before Halloween, he said just don’t “jinx” yourself and make another appointment since you are here.  So I did and now a day away from that appointment and no baby in sight.  My contractions have slowed, my excitement has fizzled and I’m mourning the fact that my best friend will likely not be around when I need him most.  I try to see the bright side, that I’m lucky to have a husband that I’m so fond of and who supports me the way I need him to, but he has to provide for our family – and well, timing in our lives has either always been beyond perfect (but stressful) or TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE.  This year, terrible is the word.

Halloween & October Recap

Nov. 1!  Yesterday was filled with tricks and treats, a last minute Ninja and a trip to our favorite acupuncturist. I’m going to go to Target today and see if I can find those awesome black and orange totes so I can easily find my decorations next year – yesterday was so cold we didn’t even use our fog machine we bought on sale last year *sad face*.  Yesterday was COLD (yeah I know it is a repeat but IT felt like winter)!!  Snowy and cold. But my little Ninja was so happy to hand out candy and eat it – he was perfectly fine with staying nice and warm inside:


His last minute Ninja costume was perfect.  We left the bowl of candy on the stairs for easy access to hand out to the trick or treaters


Evan kept an extremely close eye on them and snuck a few chocolates.  Before we knew it we had a crazy little 2 year old on our hands – sugar and Evan is a crazy combination! He was running around so excited watching for trick or treaters, it was fun to sit and just watch.  He was so good at being the candy helper!

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We also were watching SNOW!  I mean enough snow to stick to the ground.  We ran to mom’s house because across the street her neighbors go ALL out.  This year they had a hearse that shot flames out of the tail pipes!


So it was nice to watch that from the warm inside of my mom’s house.  So many cars drove down her street.  It is quiet popular.  The only thing that was a major let down of this Halloween was the terrible weather.  Typically, we get out and walk a lot in the surrounding neighborhoods to get cool views of all the decorated houses.  River Forest has a house we see every year with a pirate ship and stuff of that nature but :( – we didn’t this year between my over pregnantness and the weather it was simply not fun at all to be outside.  We left our Ninja with grandma Debbie while we ran to see our acupuncturist.

The last time I saw Frank, was when Evan was overdue.  Evan was different though.  My body had zero progress simply because Evan laid slightly to the side and his head never engaged my cervix.  This baby is perfectly in place, but my contractions are not productive – he is at -1 station or lower at this point and I have dilated and effaced on my own but as described in previous posts my contractions are all over the place.  Some not painful, some painful, none consistent enough to push me into actual labor.  So we made our trip.  Frank has been a friend for MANY  MANY MANY years.  My parents have been fans of his forever.  He is brilliant.  He has studied Chinese medicine for a very long time. He works with Stroger hospital and pain management for veterans on top of his own private practice and goes to China often to teach, give lectures and learn- he is really amazing. He is also so down to earth.  I asked him yesterday how he looks so good and thought he was going to say “I do yoga and eat right” – but he said “I don’t eat so great” hahaha – so all his herbal remedies and life management techniques must work ;-) – I need to take up meditation again.

Anywho, due to MAV’s unique scenario he actually used a different point then with Evan.  With Evan I had little maca sticks burning from my toes to get him to move to where he needed to be to get my body going.  With MAV he used a point 3 fingers above my ankle.   We chatted and were given homework to complete a very similar process at home this weekend. Just seeing Frank makes me feel better.  I hope someday to exude that type of wisdom and calm.  Here’s a throwback to when Hector prepped me at home with Evan:



October has been quiet the month.  Filled with ups, downs, and waiting.  I’m ready for baby but really trying to keep calm because nothing progresses when you are stressed and frustrated.  So I’m off to take a nice hot shower, run to the store by myself (as I know Hector and Evan won’t be ready in time as they are STILL laying in bed) and finish up some laundry.  I cannot remember the last time we were this caught up on laundry.  haha

Frustration Sets In

Yesterday we walked, bounced and made… Who knows how much progress because I’ll tell you I’m typing from the comforts of this ball again with a very similar bump but not a similar smile:


Ok, I know Evan was born a week late, and I was prepping myself for another late baby BUT OMG!  Yes, this is me venting.  I’m very very frustrated.  Why?  Because last night I went for a walk with my husband and started getting crazy contractions.  I was getting them every couple minutes, I thought – well they could slow down when I stop and they SORT OF did.  We had to stop at Target for some milk and hung out at my parents house for about a half hour before then.  I was still getting pretty consistent contractions at 4-6 minutes apart but I decided to just keep it to myself as the intensity had died down and I’m really sick of the back and forth “is she, isn’t she in labor.”

So as we left my mom’s house and on our way to Target I was still getting them pretty consistently, but wanted to make sure I had them for a full hour before I called anyone.  Well, I suck at timing contractions but I will tell you this – at Target I was getting a few that stopped me dead in my tracks.  At one point Hector said, “Jen smell this candle!” and I was in my head like “LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!” Outside I said “great babe, whatever you want.” We finished up at the store and I actually pretty much waddled (yes, waddled!!!) back to the car.  At this point I swear I could feel the baby’s head REALLY low like pressure in places I’ve never felt before.  For a moment I thought “The poor women that experience that pressure for months!” – but then I became selfish again as my back started to hurt I was getting dull aches in my lower back, shooting pains down my hamstrings and when I walked I could also feel pains down the FRONT of my legs.  I just wanted to get home so bad.

We get home and I sit on the stairs right when you walk in the door, looking at our to go bag and the carseat that Evan wanted SO badly to get into.

No matter how much I tell him he doesn’t fit he just wants to “buckle up” and sit in it.  He is so huge, I felt such a crazy mix of emotion – sadness, frustration, exhaustion – mental exhaustion. My “baby” is clearly not a baby, he was so sad and I just wanted to cry with him.  But our reasons for crying were so different, he needed sleep – I had kept him up way past his bedtime trying to get his baby out – I had clearly done too much as my whole body was just achy, I started to feel sick.  I put him down for bed and he fell asleep quickly.  I had hydrated a lot all day so I was constantly up and down last night and in SO MUCH PAIN getting up and down.  The second I’d get up to go to the bathroom I’d have like wrap around pain from my back, to my front.  I felt like the baby was going to FALL OUT of my body.  It was not pleasant at all.  But the moment I laid down and relaxed I’d be semi comfortable and everything would stop.

So my conclusion?  Evan’s experience thus far was better.  This has been stressful and scary and uncomfortable for several weeks now and I’ve had it.  I’m still pregnant.  I’m sick to my stomach and I’m really frustrated.  My husband goes back to work Nov. 3rd no baby or with baby and I just want to scream.  Please baby, come.  We are ready for you – my body hurts, I’m ready for the overwhelming exhaustion and other pains but the mental part of this right now is like a horrible mind game that is unfair.  I don’t care if I get the “ugh, get over it” comments, baby will come – because the problem is if he was comfortably in there like Evan – I’d be like FINE!  But he isn’t and I just need to be done.  I’m so done.

WIth that… How cute is this bed-head?


He is watching way too much TV but oh well – he’ll survive.  I guess we will try to bundle up and go for another walk.  Oso will approve of that – I’m also a horrible mother – Evan still doesn’t have a costume.  I looked everywhere for something for him and am kicking myself that I didn’t just buy a dragon costume that was on sale at Pottery Barn.  He wants to be Spiderman but he is too small and the only ones I find are for kids and he really is still in toddler sizes between 2 and 3T.  I’m going to dress him up as a “big brother” doesn’t that sound fair? lol  One more picture of him yesterday during his nap (yes he was still in pjs for his 12 p.m. nap, do not judge, he didn’t want to take them off and in fact insisted I put pants that were too small OVER them:


I think it is hysterical.  This kiddo keeps me going <3

Still Trucking On…

Today started early, really early.  I couldn’t sleep.  Not sure why.  Or is it obvious?  You can tell me. Last night we went for a late walk (after sanding the deck, staining the deck, and raking leaves… oh and cleaning) and I had some SERIOUS contractions on my way back home.  Like the types that stop you from walking, make you almost double over in pain.  I tried to play them off because I was with my husband, dog and pushing my son in the BOB (thank GOD for the BOB..) and I’m tired of being the wife that is “oh, ouch” and Hector being the husband like “everything ok?” then nothing happens – and I feel like a fool.  Any who – I’m the type of walker that hates how slow my husband walks.  I go, and I go quickly.  He never walks fast enough, yet last night he ended up pretty far ahead of me with Oso as my contractions slowed me down…big time.  I didn’t want to jinx it but I really thought I might be going into labor.

We get home, Hector notices my discomfort and asks me if he thinks this is it.  I told him “this will likely stop.”  Naturally, I relaxed sat down and – nothing. *sigh*


I know this is the story of many pregnant women, but still – not fun.  So I laid in bed with lots of tightening but no pain and couldn’t help but think how our lives were going to change… AGAIN.  It sorta freaked me out, so then I prayed.  I just prayed for sleep, rest. I know I won’t be getting much soon but all I could focus on last night was Hector’s snoring and my discomfort. So as this blog started… My Tuesday – started early.

Luckily, I had a doctor’s appointment today. I try not to get too worked up for appointments because I remember my disappointment when I would get “checked” with Evan.  I remember hearing “still closed” and “prepare yourself for induction.”  Even though my due date is tomorrow, so I’ve made it all the way, I don’t see this baby going too far past his due date and thankfully my doctor agrees.  We walked (yes walked, I’m still not quite at waddle) into the appointment light hearted and not expecting too much.  But!!! I’m 3cm dilated!  It is almost surreal, this pregnancy is just so much different than Evan’s.  He really thinks I’ll have a baby in my arms by Halloween :) – I knew stuff was happening last week but again each day, heck.. each hour is different with this one.  I’m not sure what I like better – the nothing, or the something.  I guess you just want baby at this point.

Another thing that happened today?  The flu shot.  Oh man my arm hurts.  It feels like I did a really bad tricep workout, like bad form that messed up a muscle that shouldn’t be hurt.  I also feel super sleepy and gross.  IDK.  I planned on another crazy active day but it was actually a very quiet day.  Most of the day was sitting around, just catching up with with a dear friend and her sweet baby girl and my uber cuddly Evan (I. Love. It.) – he is such a little sweetie.  There was coffee and girl time and chatting about motherhood, the good the bad and the ugly.  I’m so blessed by the people I’m surrounded by.  All my bests checked in on me today – I love them.  I’m just so lucky.  I’ve also been just cuddling and loving my no-so-little dude (who fell asleep while cuddled up next to me today):

Random picture of my cutie pie at costco.  Seriously, my heart.

Random picture of my cutie pie at costco. Seriously, my heart.

So yes, random post – but I wanted to get it out there.  How I feel, my random, tired thoughts.. my really restful day with pizza and water lots and lots of water (am I craving water?  Ice water?  hm…).   Oh and a trip to the GAP to get something for the newbs that naturally ended up being several new pairs of awesome pjs for Evan and an awesome trick or treat shirt that I think he will wear every day between now and Halloween – all sales, all additional 50% off.  *insert hear eyes emogji*  I’m feeling so blessed lately – like things are coming together.  This pregnancy has been EXTREMELY challenging, but life is what you make of it and even if the journey has rocky moments, at some point all the obstacles start to make sense and just prepare you to be a better person.  A better mother, wife, listener, friend.  Thanks be to God who has and always will be in my corner. He really has blessed us lately.

Big Buys – Do they ever end?

Today is another day that reminds me how close fall is!  It also reminds me how close BABY is as he will be a fall baby.  As much as I have a love/hate relationship with Chicago – I truly overall love it.  I have a hate relationship with some of the politics that have put us in a pretty deep hole and this past winter REALLY tested my IL patience (it was brutal, truly).  However, the fact that I get to enjoy all four seasons, don’t have to worry about scary spiders (like a BLACK WIDOW, omg.), hurricanes, tornadoes, and forest fires plus – all the culture of Chicago – the neighborhoods, world class food and entertainment – THE LAKE, it really is a great place to be, albeit expensive haha.  

The changing of the seasons makes for some great pictures.  In the winder I can throw Evan in a snowsuit in a pile of snow, fall in a pile of leaves – the summer offers beaches, water parks and pools – the spring we get to explore the garden for sprouting flowers.  You get the idea.  Although I have little spare time, something I love to do is capture moments on camera.  Several years ago my hubby bought me a Nikon and I’ve been lucky enough to capture some really great moments. <3





These have become REALLY difficult to catch though – because my autofocus has been broken for like a year.  With still objects, NBD – with a child?  BIG DEAL.  So I’m on the market for a new DLSR.  At some point I’d really like to take a class and pick it up as yet another hobby – it is something I really do enjoy. 


So I’m on the market for a new camera. I’m sure I could just buy a lens or take the Nikon in for repairs but I really have my eye on a Canon.  Why do there have to be so many models?  I have no clue what I really need, or the major differences between them and with all the camera lingo that I barely understand it has been an intense journey to knowledge.  So any suggestions? :D


Keep it Fit – Friday

Well, here we are.  Third trimester. I’m feeling, you guessed it, tired! But otherwise I feel good.  My ankle is healing and I’m lifting heavy things again *flexes*

Hahahaha.  But!! I’m making an effort to go to the gym several days a week and get in our long family walks which I’m currently in crazy love with.  Seriously, the weather lately has been awesome.  It has been warm enough to close your eyes and get that nice glow but cool enough that it reminds me fall is on the way.  As much as I LOVE summer, I really do think fall is hands down, my favorite season.  I love the pumpkin spiced everything from food to candles, the warm rich colors, apple cider, apple and pumpkin picking… The crisp air, riding boots and skinny jeans, layering… I’m not wishing away summer but I am welcoming the change.bob

Happy Friday, everyone!  What is your fit goal for the day?  Do you use Friday’s as your rest day?  I’m going to hit the gym if only to sit on a bike for 20 mins followed by a quick leg set… Gotta keep it fit, I want to look like this again:



Moms can be fit, before, during and after pregnancy.  FOr me fit life is happy life.

Namaste, friends.