Anyone who knows me would probably agree that to say I am a shopaholic is a bit of an understatement.  It’s not my best trait, but I most likely do have a slight shopping addiction.  Ever seen the movie, “Confessions of a Shopaholic?” – the main character is eerily similar to me, complete with the red hair & all.  And of course, since having my daughter this past July, my love of shopping at Forever 21 for printed sweaters & skinny jeans is now shared with one for bows & striped onsies at Old Navy or Baby Gap.
So for those reasons, among many others, Black Friday definitely ranks in one of my favorite days of the year.  Along with my mom and sister, I have been attending the festivities for at least four years now.  Other than the obvious bargains, doorbusters and more … I thoroughly enjoy the excitement of the day, including the running through stores, hunting for special finds, and even the people watching everywhere we go.  We have been known to start our adventure just past midnight Thanksgiving evening and last until late that night.
This year brought a challenge as sleep is currently at quite the premium for me, yet with Waverly’s fashion needs and my own … It wasn’t an option to sit this one out (And obviously, I didn’t want to!). So we set our alarms for midnight once again, and set out for Kohl’s, Macy’s, and Old Navy.  Waverly even joined in for the fun, during Round Two at Target, TJ Maxx, and Micheals.  Here are the best deals we scored throughout the day …….
Baby Gap!!!  Well actually, the sale at Baby Gap started on Tuesday, so we knocked this one out before we even started cooking the Thanksgiving turkey.  Tons of deals on baby girl clothes I drool over but would never pay full price!
Kohls!!!  Always our first stop; this year, I went straight to the baby department.  Waverly is definitely at that age that she is getting more curious with her toys by the day, so Santa will be bringing lots of Fisher Price – at a discount.

http://www.kohls.com/catalog/toys-baby-toys.jsp?CN=3000001496

Micheals!  So this one was for me … in an effort to deck the halls in my home and create the festive Christmas atmosphere.  Like usual, Micheals is my go-to for anything decorative, and with amazing deals that continue past Black Friday, I always end up with something.

http://www.michaels.com/Seasons-Celebrations/departments-seasonsandcelebrations,default,sc.html

And one picture of Waverly from the day … a memorable day for any budding shopper.  It was also the first day Waverly went out in her PJs & and she looked quite cute in them!

 

Without a doubt, I am thankful this year.  My entire life has changed and been given new meaning by the birth of my healthy, beautiful baby girl, and now looking back … I don’t think I even understand what thankful was before this past July.  So needless to say, I could certainly write an entire post on how blessed I am because of her, and all the reasons why, but it would most likely turn into a small novel rather than simply a blog post.
So for the sake of time, sanity, and my realization that no one wants to read the million reasons why I am thankful for my Waverly Maye … I will instead write on the superficial reasons why I am thankful.  In other words, my current obsessions, favorite things, products I love, esc. – especially because they are definitely always changing.  Here goes …
  1. I am thankful for Pinterest.  Really, who isn’t?  I have found more baby ideas, craft projects, products that I never knew existed and never thought I needed, recipes, fashion inspiration … and then some.  We (Pinterest & I) actually have a love/hate relationship as it sometimes can uncessarily stress me out when I realize how much more organization I could have in my home, how much creativity I lack in my gift-wrapping, or generally how many hours of life I lose to searching endless ideas.  But at the end of the day, I am forever grateful for its presence in my life, and would be even more grateful if Virginia Beach City Schools would allow me to use it at school and unblock it from its server.
  2. I am thankful for my Camera.  Speaking of lost time in life, I am embarrased to admit how many hours of my day are devoted to taking pictures of my baby girl.  To say I am obsessed would be an understatement.  I seriously get nervous and don’t feel complete when I am without it.  The chances of missing a candid moment, new facial expression, or stand-out outfit are too high.  (Specifially, I am thankful for the new, upgraded camera that I currently purchased … which takes perfectly clear, high-quality shots.  It is the Sony Powershot.  More to come later.)
  3. I am thankful for Gap.  Specifically, Baby Gap.  This is one of those current obsessions of mine that I wish I hadn’t discovered.  Baby Gap has seriously the cutest baby girl clothes EVER!  I have spent more hours drooling over their website than I am willing to admit, and although I have had the will-power to not buy anything full price as of yet … I am not sure how long that can last.  My GAP fashion tip … wait for the sales!  Like them on Facebook & sign up to recieve coupons online!
  4. I am thankful for Etsy.  OK, so I realize most of these are technology-driven, but so is my life.  My love of Etsy began when I was planning my wedding, and as a result, the majority of the details on my special day were purchased there.  The amount of absolutely adorable baby items on Etsy.com can be overwhelming, and like many of the latter, I spend many of hours searching through them a day.  Many of Waverly’s headbands, blankets, and bloomers are a result of a special Etsy find.
  5. I am thankful for a Thanksgiving break; thus, time off with my baby girl.  So I realize this one is sentimental … but I had to at least have one.  I have been back at work for a little over a month now, and while I still enjoy my career, I miss my baby girl like crazy.  I realize I should not complain, as I am lucky enough to be able to be home by 3 everyday … but simply, sometimes that is just not enough.  So the opportunity to spend an entire four dayuninterrupted with my little family just overjoys me.
Our Thanksgiving celebration will consist of a “double-header,” as we will be visiting with both sides of our family throughout the day.  I can hardly wait … love, love a celebration and love one even more when it involves Miss Waverly Maye (and is her first!).

Waverly Maye’s Most Recent Picture …

It’s less than one week until Thanksgiving, and my house is starting to feel more festive by the minute.  This is definitely the earliest I have had Christmas decorations out, but I love the season so much that I figure the longer they are out, the better.  And furthermore, (1) now that I am a mom, I feel more of a sense of urgency to create the entire holiday experience (even though I know she won’t remember it this year) and (2) now that I am a mom, I am entirely more busy and have found that I have to take an opportunity when I have it.    
In addition to beginning to deck the halls in our home, we have also started the first of many celebrations.  I love a tradition, as well as any excuse for a friendly gathering … so I always look forward to our *Friendsgiving each year.  This year marked our third, and Waverly’s first.  And for us,  this year was extra special as it was during this same gathering last year that we shared the news that we were expecting.  In fact, we told them specifically during a photo – we set the timer and just as the flash went off, my husband shouted that I was pregnant.  What a difference a year makes.

Last year’s Photo – We’re Pregnant! 
(I don’t think anyone … except my sister … really got it!)
This year’s photo (with Waverly Maye!). 
Waverly is wearing a Onsie from Carter’s, Shorts/leggings Set from Gymboree, and a Headband from Etsy. The polka dot bow was added to the headband.

*Friendsgiving = A Pre-Thanksgiving celebration with friends, in which each person brings a dish to share.

Is anyone else slowly getting more & more excited for the upcoming holiday season? 
Other than Thanksgiving being one of the best holidays ever (who doesn’t like a day of eating?), today marks officially one week until BLACK FRIDAY.  My mother, sister, and I have been celebrating this monumental holiday (it is a holiday, right?) for the past four years now.  And that certainly won’t change this year.  We have been finalizing our plans and overall strategy for the last few days, and I look forward to posting more about this significant American celebration soon. 🙂
Other than the obvious anticipation of one of my favorite times of the year, the other big news in our house this week is Waverly Maye’s four month birthday.   After much discussion over whether our calculations were right (Side Note:  Are you supposed to go by weeks or months?  We still aren’t sure.), we decided to go with it and therefore conduct her monthly photo shoot, schedule her four month check-up, and of course, sing her Happy Birthday that morning. 
Waverly hadn’t seen our pediatrician since her two month check-up, which felt like a lifetime after we had been there so often early on.  I was really looking forward to getting an update on her height & weight, and even made a bet with my husband over what the final results would be.  Of course (Mommy Know’s Best!), I was right, and our little peanut is still right at 23 inches (5%) and under 13lbs. (30%).  We were given the green light to start with rice cereal, and I admit that it’s weird … but I am ridiculously excited to watch her facial reactions when we give it to her this weekend.  
The obvious downside to the appointment were the shots.  We opted to have only half, and are going back next week for the rest.  Other than the “no sound” cry (you know the one … ) immediatly after the two sticks, Waverly was perfectly fine and reacted better than I did.  We gave her a dose of Baby Tylenol one hour before the appointment, as recommended by the doctor.  And of course, I put her straight to breastfeeding immediately after the shots and she calmed down so quickly I think she forgot about the whole thing. (I swear, that child can be calmed down from anything by breastfeeding!!  Love it!).
BEFORE shots …

After shots … (And after being fed & forgetting about the shots!) …

And after the shots, being fed, getting dressed again … and totally ready for home & a nap!


Age:  Four months.

Height:  (Chalkboard is wrong!) … 23 1/2 inches, 5th Percentile

Weight:  (Wrong again!) … 12.11 lbs., 30th Percentile

Milestones:  SO many this month.  I seriously feel like Waverly hits a new milestone every day.  Her smiles have become bigger and brighter than ever, and have gradually turned into laughs (that make my heart melt each time).  She continues to squeal,  but even louder!  She gets so excited when her daddy gets home from work that it almost sounds like she is shrieking from joy!  Waverly is now really into her toys.  She grabbed her first toy, her Sophie, and also likes any toy with music.  Her favorite of the baby gear is definitely her Jumparoo, as it is the first apparatus that she will sit in longer than 15 minutes (She does still love to be held!).  But in her defense, she does much better in her car seat now and has even kept herself happy in it while Mommy drives on several occasions. And she has also been known to ride in that nice Uppababy stroller on a few separate trips to the mall.

Sleep:  Waverly Maye is still our good sleeper.  Although naps are still not scheduled during the day, she continues to go to bed without a bit of a fight each night.  She only wakes once a night, and is now up for a shorter amount of time before she goes back down in the swing.  Yes, I admit it.  She still sleeps in the swing next to our bed … Although I have every intention of transitioning her to her crib soon.  Really, I even ordered a new monitor to help ME adjust. The goal is for her to be in the crib by her 5 month report.  During the day, it is definitely harder to get Waverly to sleep (I don’t think she wants to miss anything – she is quite the social butterfly).  She likes to be held while she naps and we likevto hold her, so this has pretty much been her routine.  I will sometimes hold her in the carrier while she sleeps.  We are going to try to be better about this, too!  We just love being around her so much!

Eating:  Waverly has no problems breastfeeding, and our breastfeeding dates on the recliner remain one of my favorite times of the day.  She has gotten faster during the day and the middle of the night feeding, but we still have our “cuddle” feeding each night before she goes to bed.  She is definitely way better at taking the bottle, but knows just how she likes it.  It has to be the perfect temperature, and after about two hours after her last feeding.

Favorite Moments:  I am pretty sure I said this last month, but each day continues to get better and better. It is so rewarding to watch her grow, become more interested in her surroundings, and to learn how to do new things.  I am still amazed each time she grabs onto a toy, even though she has been able to for a couple of weeks now.  I love, love her smile and how it is turning into a screeching laugh!  She is cuter each day!

Worst Moments:  I can’t think of anything negative, except having to leave her every morning for work.  I miss her like crazy each day, and hate missing special moments … But feel lucky to be home by three everyday.

Extra Comments:  The holidays are right around the corner, and with Waverly Maye, I am definitely looking forward to them more than ever.  I know she won’t understand or remember them this year, but I will obviously take lots of pictures to share with her one day.  And for my husband and I, this special time of year that we have always enjoyed will be that much more special … and definitely has a new meaning. Can’t wait.