Ten thoughts that have changed since becoming a mother:

tired mom

10. Why do moms always talk about being tired? It can’t be that hard to get your baby to sleep through the night- I mean they take naps too!

Hahahaha! Does this need expansion? Henry didn’t sleep through the night until 13 months!!! I ate those words, and they tasted like irritability.

baby sitter.jpg

9. There are a lot of people to babysit your baby; going on a date shouldn’t be that hard.

Unless it’s a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday… Then people are busy and have their own lives. And for me, there are a select few I trust to watch my child.

stay at home mom.jpg

8. Being a stay at home Mom will be so amazing (and stress free.)

Yes, I love staying at home with my son and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but there are days I want to pull out my hair. Crying, tantrums, blown out diapers, fighting a nap, malicious attacks on our cat… Going back to work would be a piece of cake compared. (This is more rewarding too)

glam mom

7. I won’t be that mom who looks frumpy. I’ll still get ready everyday!

Again, this is laughable. I wouldn’t say I’m frumpy, but often I’m lucky if I shower and put mascara on. Not so glamorous anymore. Husband knows better than to make comments.

kid eating

6. Why are those parents letting their child act out at dinner? Control them.

Easier said then done. We have pretty much given up on going out to eat. Henry lasts about 5 minutes in a highchair or booster seat before he wants to get down and run around. Now I feel for those parents. That being said, the public eatery is not a damn playground once you’ve given up either. There’s a fine line people!


5. I will never let my child use my phone or iPad as a “toy”.

We don’t allow Henry to just use the iPad or phones, but when we are out in public and he is throwing a fit? There is no compromising with a 14 month old. You better believe we pull up “YouTube” and put “Elmo’s Song” on. It’s gotten over 130,000,000 views, so we aren’t the only ones!


4. Can’t that breastfeeding mother put a blanket over herself while she nurses?

Have you ever tried blindfolding a cat that still has claws? No, well keeping Henry covered with a blanket while nursing him was just as difficult. And he caused 10 times the scene with screaming and tearing off the blanket then if I just discreetly nursed him. Also, it’s boobs, relax.

mama with camers.jpeg

3. Why do those parents only post pictures of their kids, I’ll never be like that.

Now, I am “that” mom. My child is attached at my hip and I think he is adorable. Naturally, I think everyone else wants to see this adorableness… Right?


2. Breastfeeding will be so easy and convenient.

It was a challenge. Waiting for milk to come in, supply being low, trying to get an “extra” supply, sore nipples, biting, not taking a bottle. It was NO walk in the park, but it worked out for us


1. Being a mother will be amazing!

This one’s true. It’s beyond amazing. Nothing could have prepared me for the love I feel for our son. It’s much more than I could have ever dreamed! It’s like waking up every morning feeling like you’ve won the lottery (your just really tired, and don’t have lots of money! )



Baby is the size of a pomegranate- 10.5 inches and 12.7 inches.

Week 21 has gone by fast! I’ve been making more plans for the nursery and pretty much have everything picked out that I would like. It’s surreal that we are having a girl and I can pick out pink, frills, and glitter- I’m so used to blue and trucks! Henry likes to pat my belly and lay on it like a pillow- it melts my heart. I know he has no idea what’s going on, but I am excited we are able to give him a sibling so close in age to him. Though there will be times when they will battle it out like all siblings do, I know there will be no-one closer than our two under two will be!




Baby is the size of a banana- 6.5 inches and 10.2 ounces

This week (20) we had our anatomy scan and got the greatest news parents can ask for! Our Doctor says Vivian looks healthy and is growing right on track! Waiting for this appointment had caused me so much stress and anxiety because of our scare with Henry (read the post “on stress, scans, & webMD” if you haven’t for more) and being reassured of everything being normal has put me at ease again. My bump is definitely growing and her kicks and punches are becoming stronger. Derek still hasn’t been able to feel a kick himself yet, but I’m sure it will happen soon! I still cannot believe we are already halfway through this pregnancy! It’s flying by and I almost wish I could slow it down. I have enjoyed being pregnant so much that I don’t want it to end too quickly (guess we will just have to keep makin’ babies!) I will make a note to myself to read this post when I am 38 weeks+ and make sure that I am still feeling so positive.



Consessions of a Gap Addict


When I was in my third trimester, I would wake up multiple times a night to use the ladies room. If it was after midnight, I would check my Gap app on my phone to see what the new sale there was and if any new items or collections were added. I was addicted. It was embarrassing. I am happy my husband was asleep and couldn’t judge me!

Gap shopping bag


But, I did learn to get the best deals and saved our family a lot of money. Here are my 6 rules to getting a great deal:

1. NEVER, EVER buy something unless they have an additional 40% off or it’s part of a spend $100 get $45 off. These events come up often, every week or so, and all items will eventually be put on these lists.

2. Don’t buy things at aren’t in the sale section. Gap goes through their collections fast so it normally doesn’t take long for current to become ‘sale’ (3 weeks to a month.) That way you get the $40 sweater on sale for $28 plus the additional 40% off you have been waiting for! Thank God for their impatience.

3. If you have a Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, or Athleta card you will earn rewards and receive an extra 10% off on Tuesdays! If you’re like me, Tuesdays have become a top 3 best days of the week!

4. Check at Gap.com for their sale of the day even if you’re going into the store itself. Read the details- because sometimes it says: online AND in stores, but the stores won’t be advertising an extra 40% off (this happens A LOT especially an additional amount on sale items in stores). Normally they will take the extra 40% off at checkout!

5. If it’s time to redeem GapCash, use it in stores!! Online will not let you combine your GapCash with any other offers, but in stores will! This last round of GapCash I got an additional 40% off my items on top on using my GapCash!

6. Try to shop ahead. I know this is easier said then done, but, you can save a lot of money. I bought Henry’s winter jacket at the end of last winter and paid $12 for a jacket that was originally $70.



Apartment M23

Sunday Morning

Henry seems to always decide to get up extra early on Saturdays. We decided to make the best of our early-riser and head out for breakfast at our favorite cafe in Highland Park.

After breakfast we took a little drive past the apartment we lived while we worked and went to school, before getting married and having babies.


Our First Home

Here she is: ‘Highland Village apartments’ apartment M23. We lived on the second floor on the right side of the hall. It had the perfect location of being right by St. Kate’s and St.Thomas, and literally steps away from a few of the “best” college bars. The wave of nostalgia driving through the narrow, packed driveway knowing this is where I become a pro parallel Parker. We realized that we had so many firsts and so many endearing memories that we would remember forever. From drinking a bit too much and having to break in through the fire escape- to staying in all day and binge-watching Breaking Bad and Walking Dead. We didn’t have a ton of money, but that didn’t matter- our small double bed and dollar beers from Goby’s kept us happy.

Moving On

Since getting “real” jobs, buying a house, getting married, having a baby and now having another- our lifestyle has significantly changed.

But, change is only natural and we have grown together as people. Derek has learned I hate finding Poptart crumbs by the toaster. I’ve learned that Derek hates when I use his hairbrush. Reaching goals and making memories as a married couple is so satisfying. As we grow, change, and learn our marriage becomes stronger and honestly, better! Being young and settling down isn’t for everyone, and that’s fine, but it was for us.

We both look forward to showing our children the first apartment where we lived together (leaving out all the drinking stories.) The style and care that is put into the Highland Apartments ensures that it will still look just as cute in a couple decades!

A trip down memory lane


Drinks at Plums, probably after dollar beers were over at Golby’s next door.


Our first time trying ‘Banana Bread Beer’ at the Chatterbox Pub. I will never forget karaoke night there when we heard “Ally Cats” a father daughter duo that were…. In need of some improvement.


Tiffanys Sports Bar on St.Pattys. Good thing we lived right across the street because according to my husband I had a few too many long islands and needed assistance walking home.


More Long Islands and foggy nights. I’m in the middle, Derek on the right, and our best friend Cole on the Left.


On Stress, Scans & WebMD

Ultrasound Pictures


When we were pregnant with Henry we couldn’t wait for our anatomy scan to get another chance to see our growing little guy! But, there is a fact of life that is so easy to overlook. That scan may mean you will not be getting good news. Our scan at 20 weeks went fine, but they couldn’t get enough pictures of his heart so at my 24 week appointment I would have another ultrasound. This was alright with us, more chances to see the little guy! We went into the ultrasound I was not nervous; the doctor said baby looked healthy. But, when the tech kept going back to babies head, I knew something wasn’t right. We were here for pictures of his heart…not his head.

After she was finished she put me in an office to wait for he doctor to see me. My Doctor was out of the office that week so I was seeing another whom I had not met yet, it was a small detail that compounded the stress. She came in and measured my belly and listened to babies heart. She said everything looked good, but said during the ultrasound the tech thought the brain ventricles were measuring outside normal limits. At this point I was working full time on a pediatric neurology floor and had worked with children of all ages that had all sorts of neurological disorders and syndromes. My heart sank and time to me froze. I didn’t know what to say. The doctor said the next step was to make an appointment for a level II ultrasound and see a genetics counselor. She gave me the phone number and left. I turned to mush in the car and called Derek immediately. The soonest we could get an appointment with the specialists was 2 weeks away. These were the worst two weeks of my life.

The Panic Set In


Of course, I couldn’t help but Google everything and see the spectrum of brain issues. This meant everything from small cognitive delays to severe things like hydrocephalus, seizures, vision problems, and VP shunts. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, my stress level was getting unhealthy for me and baby. I wondered if my baby would be able to learn like other children. Would he be able to play sports? Could Derek teach him to play hockey and golf? Would he reach his early childhood milestones? We kept this news to ourselves, only my mom and a couple of coworkers knew what was going on.

I was almost embarrassed, ashamed. Was this my fault? Did I do something wrong?Maybe my showers were too warm? Did I forget my prenatal vitamins one night?

A Long Two Weeks Later

pregnant belly

Fast forward to our appointment- I can still picture the woman sitting across from me in the waiting room and wondering why she was there too. My mom and husband came with for support and we were praying for the best and preparing for the worst. We were called back and a middle-aged woman started the ultrasound, going over every inch of the baby. When she got to his head-I held my breath and squeezed Derek’s hand. She started taking measurements and then she said, “Well, everything is measuring within normal limits. Either it was tech error or baby was just growing very fast.” Tears started to roll down my cheeks, this was the best news we could have asked for! Literally, the best news, using literally correctly. The same feeling of numbness came but in a euphoric wave. Derek was almost angry, we had just fallen apart inside for two weeks due to a tech error? Not that we cared why, only the outcome mattered. We were told we didn’t need to see the genetics counselor and we could simply leave. They would get the new results back to our doctor. I could breath again- my baby was healthy.

Looking Back

All I saw on the internet were bad outcomes. Looking back at the bookmarked pages, stuff I made Derek print out, and things saved on ‘read later,’ there was not a single mother who posted this had happened and everything turned out fine. This can be explained by something in human nature that shows itself on the internet in our technology age-if you had everything fine, why take the time to update the world? If you have a steak that tastes like a microwaved hockey puck, you pull up Yelp! and review that hellhole that just ruined your date night with your husband. If everything is great, you keep on the status quo and head to your movie. Had we read ANYTHING positive in those searches maybe those 15 days wouldn’t have been such hell for us. In hopes of doing our part, I made Derek, our resident copywriter, post on a few of those blogs, politely noting that we had one and everything turned out okay. If nothing else but to make the person reading the review know that happy outcomes can exist. We have made a better habit of avoiding Google on maladies and medical issues, as only the worst outcomes will show themselves. The joke that people make that they have input “sore neck” on WebMd and it spit out “cancer” is no joke. I hope our story can bring someone going through something similar hope and just a tiny bit of relief, and of course that that relief becomes a reality.


Two Pink Lines

Baby #2

We found out we were expecting baby #2 at the very end of June. It was completely planned, but somehow we were still shocked it happened! I was still breastfeeding Henry and my “time-of-the-month” was barely showing up. We thought it would take months or even take me stopping breastfeeding to get pregnant. Obviously, we were wrong!

Overjoyed, we made our first appointment and kept it a secret. At eight weeks we had our confirmation ultrasound and baby was measuring two weeks behind which was nearly impossible from the time I took the pregnancy test. Baby’s heart was beating, but it was on the “low end of normal”. After talking with our doctor we would come back in two weeks for a follow up ultrasound, but we weren’t expecting baby to pull through. It was a sad and ‘heavy’ two weeks, as my husband would say. Fast froward two weeks and our ten week ultrasound went AMAZINGLY! Baby was growing right on track and heart beat was in the 170’s! We started to share the news with our families and two weeks later on social media.

First Trimester…

My first trimester was a roller coaster not only with emotions, but the nausea felt like it was never going to go away. Also, where the hell was this pregnancy glow? I kept breaking out like a 13 year old boy hitting puberty…Once week 14 rolled around I was starting to feel better and baby bump was starting to make it’s initial appearance! We could hardly wait for week 16 to find out if we would be welcoming a boy or a girl. I was convinced baby was a girl and Derek was sure he was in for another boy. When the ultrasound tech said “she’s a girl!” I couldn’t believe it! Ours heart fluttered with happiness. Shopping here we come! From week 16 to 19 time flew by, my belly continued to grow and decorating in the nursery has started. Now, every week I will do a short update on what’s new with our growing babe. Eek!



Second Time Around


Everyone I talk to asks me how the second pregnancy compares to the first. I feel a little guilty admitting that this time has been so much more enjoyable! Not because it’s been a breeze- but I feel more appreciative this time around. When I was pregnant with Henry, all I could think about was:

“What will He be like?”

“When will he get here?”

“Hurry up, little guy!”

Don’t get me wrong- I’m sure once I hit 37 weeks I will be uncomfortable, busting at the seams, irritable, and anxious to meet Miss Vivian, but this time through I am trying my best to take in every stage of my growing bump! Now I know just how fast it goes, and truth be told it makes me rather sad! Because with Henry we are constantly ‘going,’ I can sometimes forget I’m even pregnant. However, nightly, after bath-time Henry and I are cuddled up in bed I realize this is the closest I will ever be with my babies. (talk about nostalgia) With one growing inside me and the other snuggled close-I take in every second. When a newborn is in the house cuddling with both my babies at the same time might be a little more difficult. Being pregnant for 40 weeks (give or take) may seem like an eternity for some Mamas, and I know it did with my first, but this time around it just seems like a small blip of time! Anyone’s eyes watering? Must be something in the air in the house… 😉


What’s in a name?

We have been going back and forth on names since we found out we were expecting again…  But, we have finally decided on one and are sticking with it! Drumroll, please…

Vivian Frances

Vivian Frances Budde

Derek and I are both very drawn to classic names.  We both fell in love with the name Vivian! Sorry reader, no cool story about how Vivian was the name of a nurse that saved my grandpa in Korea etc. (No really, my husband’s barber has a sister named Vivian for this very reason!) Her middle name, Frances is near and dear to my heart.  My grandmother passed away 3 years ago after a long battle with Parkinson’s. Frances was my grandmother’s middle name and I could not feel more honored to be able to name our daughter after her.  Other contenders for first names were:

  • Norah
  • Reese
  • Elle
  • Evelyn

On the subject of names, Derek and I talk a lot about the worst names that we have come across. Derek coaches youth hockey and I used to work full time in a large pediatric hospital so we feel like we have seen a good amount of very unique names. Derek loves to rag on ‘hipster names’ like Brixton and Jaxley, but his love of old hockey player names (Neil, Gordy, Clarke) makes his opinion just that, an opinion. Sorry honey, no little ‘Clarkies’ running around! In naming, there is being ‘different’ and then there is being… Well, I’ll let some of these names explain themselves.

  • Fconnor-  (pronounced Ef-Connor) The parents were naming him after a family member with the first name starting with an F, but liked the name Connor, so they just tossed the letter F in front of Connor. Fcool?
  • Twin boys: Oranjelo & Lemonjelo. Said out loud, you may think, ‘Jello flavors?’ and you would be so very right.
  • Ocean, River, Orien, Oak-  Family of four kids, I guess they really like nature?
  • Umajestyravona– (pronounced you-majesty-ray-vonna)  I will never forgot that little girl. I like to tell myself she will go by Rae.
  • Aiken- Having the first name of a top 5 of all time American Idol contestant’s last name isn’t great. At least it’s not Underwood.

I am so happy with what we named Henry Roger, and I know that we are making a great decision in what we name our second. There is a certain amount of obligation a parent has to give your child something that defines them, and I know we have done well so far.