So I am kind of a jerk. That lady who has kids and is all, “ta-ta, too busy for you.” Yeah, life is busy, but it’s been great.

Ellie is 10 months old, and celebrated with 4 days of fevers. Piper will be 5 in a month and is fantastic.


Here are a few more pics to make up for being a tool.

Playing princess.


We took P to Disneyland, just the three of us.



Ellie has 6 teeth!




Piper is now a student at her Daddy’s school.


LOVES it. It makes us so happy.

Paul and I left the kiddos with my Mother in Law for the night and had EPIC DATE NIGHT at Disneyland for the Halloween Party. Picture sucks, I blame Paul.


Things are good here. We are surviving sleep loss and the joy of a newly crawling baby! She is a slow goer, that one. :) The girls are great, Paul and I celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary on 11/3, and well… life is good.

I guess when people say, “Two kids are more work than just two kids” they are right. You know, “They”. Those mystery people that haunt us with warnings and sayings and curses.

Two kids are more work, true, but two kids are also fabulously awesome. Ellie is now 7 months old. In these last seven months, we have learned cradle cap is a hairy bag of dicks. All of Ellie’s hair fell out after trying to deal with the cradle cap nicely, using the shampoo and a brush to gently brush the flakes away. Well, sometimes doing things the nice way doesn’t work, and you end up picking at disgusting greasy flakes off your baby’s gentle little head, and sometimes those flakes take the hair entirely off her head. That happened. Her hair is JUST starting to come back, hesitantly fluffing about her head, just daring me to try to remove the remaining cradle cap.

This was her hair before:


Then Easter came about and it started looking terrible. The kid was scratched up by her own hands (is cradle cap itchy? It has to be!), and just a wreck.


Luckily we got a few good pictures of them, scratches and weird patchy scalp not included.


The last few months have really whizzed by. I went to the Renaissance Faire with both girls, Ellie was a champ, and Piper rocked it!


Then, we did our first family vacation with an overnight. We went to (as usual) Disneyland for two days. It wasn’t as easy as it was with one older kid, and there was a huge mishap our first day there, which made it a nightmare until about noon (Paul didn’t think my battery needed replacing, but it did, and died at the breakfast place. Luckily we were being joined by Paul’s cousin, who was a huge help), when we were all finally together again. The girls both had a great time.

First, this is when we just got there, I had gotten into line with Piper and Ellie once we heard Aurora was there.


We met Pluto.


The next day we were all, “TODAY IS A BETTER DAY!” Especially after having the previous day end early with Mama getting a migraine, it was hard to NOT be better, you know? Well, then Ellie had a poop blowout during the princess breakfast, and then ANOTHER one as I was changing her, she was just fussy. But it was okay because…






Having Paul’s cousin there was insane for help. He was able to stay with the sleeping baby at one point so Piper, Paul and I could ride. Such a huge huge help.

So yes, we did that. Then, we had a graduation. Piper is going to Transitional Kindergarten at school with Paul! SO EXCITING AND OMG SHE IS A BIG GIRL NOW. Top is June 30th. Bottom is September 6th, 2012. OMG.


Here you can see Piper’s thoughts on graduating.


And this is her self-portrait. I am so proud of her, she has come so far.


Then came graduation day, when I KIND of cried. A little.






And then… it was her last day. Now, I totally sobbed. About everything. And yeah, the graduation was on June 6th, but her last official day was June 30th. Here she is “playing ponies”, her morning routine, since she was the first kid in every day. Her teacher would often put the box of ponies and the one of castle pieces out for her before we got there. One little pony in particular was her favorite, a plain happy-meal style pony, pink and purple with plastic molded wings. I so wanted to trade one of her duplicate My Little Ponies for that guy, for nostalgia’s sake, but Paul told me that was insane. Sooo I didn’t. Still want to.


Piper is now home for the summer with the baby, and Mom is watching them. What a shock when Piper, Ellie AND I came down with hand, foot and mouth disease. FYI, don’t get this shit. My throat JUST stopped hurting and it’s been 11 days. Luckily the girls had mild cases, but it was still agony to see them with fevers and rashes. :(

Ellie and Piper are now roommates. Things seem to be going well, though. Piper is good to go back to sleep when Ellie gets up, and Ellie typically sleeps through the night, with early wake ups. Not too bad at all. We are just starting to get our bedtime routines down, and so far so good.

Piper had her dentist appointment, her first with x-rays and she was a pro. A little freaked out, but she did really well, with no cavities!!


We also got a minivan!


Ellie is now eating solids. She’s pretty iffy on most of them, but some go down very smoothly!


Ellie has turned 6 months.


And we went to the Science Center here.


And we took a boat ride!


Then came the 4th of July.


Matching dresses? YEP. Only made better with a little hat.


Then, Ellie turned 7 months.


Yeah, her eyes are weird.

And to end this update, we have pictures of the girls and I.





And that, my dear friends, is our update. Long time coming. We have  had an amazing few months, disease and hairloss aside. I really do love parenting these two, they are such great kids. It’s funny, all the things I had forgotten about babies suddenly comes flooding back.

I’ve started sorting the clothes to give away, knowing we will be stopping at two. It’s hard, but it will be nice to finally get some space back, I mean, I have held on to many of these things for upwards of 5 years! Piper has taken to being a big sister like a duck to water. There has been no problem sharing, no behavior problems, and hardly any lack of patience on Piper’s part. Each day she asks for Ellie to sit with her, and she just HAS to hug her when I get Ellie out of her crib in the morning. As for Paul and I, having to kind of start over with babies was a bit of a learning curve, but this time around there is a complete lack of fear. I don’t worry about doing something wrong, because I know things will turn out okay. Heck, we already have one excellent little girl, so I’d guess we didn’t make such poor choices before.

At 7 months, Ellie still has no teeth, no urge to crawl, and is always wrinkling her nose laughing at something Piper has done. She’s doing so well with her bottles, and I am still feeding her exclusively via breastmilk (bottles and nursing). I am so proud of having made it this far, but I seem to have found my rhythm for pumping at work. Luckily I have built up a bit of a freezer stash, which is great as we really needed it last week when hand foot and mouth disease wreaked havoc on my milk supply. Since I had such huge sores on my tonsils, I wasn’t able to eat or drink anything but water for more than two days. I think I literally choked down a croissant and then decided it hurt too much and gave up. Of course, my body needs calories to provide milk, so I really hit bottom then. What a horrible experience that was, but I was so thankful that I had freezer milk to thaw when I had to give Ellie the fresh milk I had pumped that day to get her to sleep because my boobs were drying up. :( Oh well, we made it through and all of us survived. Luckily Paul and my Mom didn’t get it, and I hope it stays that way.

Have you missed us? I am so incredibly sorry to have been gone for so long, but now we’re back.

Well, I made it through my maternity leave. Unlike with Piper, I had both a driver’s license and a car this time, so I was able to really take advantage of the world around us. From 3 weeks on (when both Paul and Piper went back to school after the holiday break), after every drop off at school, I would take a few hours and run errands. Piper only goes to school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so I had to make sure to get all the shopping done when she was gone because I was terrified of taking two kids out alone.

I would go and get coffee from the Coffee Bean drive thru, I’d go to Whole Foods and hit up their hot breakfast bar (Creme brulee french toast casserole FTW!), and basically just be able to enjoy being a stay at home mom. I got so much done in those three hours (Ellie would be sleeping from drop off at 8 to about 11/12). We had a nice little routine- the store for shopping and breakfast, come home and eat breakfast, watch Paternity Court at 11 (I know, I’m an animal), 8 Simple Rules at 12, People’s Court at 1, nap until 3 (me, she’d be sleeping the whole time just to wake and eat) then I Love Lucy from 3 to 4, when we’d leave to get Piper. It was a good life.

Right now Ellie is home with my mom, and I am pumping during the day to keep her milk intake going. It’s not too bad, but I have to say pumping kind of sucks donkeys. Not because it hurts or is time intensive (Since I hand pump at my desk), but just because it’s like, annoying that I could be doing something else. I am just thankful that I can pump enough to feed her what she takes (so far).

Piper and Ellie are besties. Ellie is such a good, good baby, and Piper is the best big sister ever. We had a bit of a trying week last week because Piper got the full on flu (SUUUUCKED) and we had to keep Ellie quarantined in the bedroom- of course, the first week back at work so I couldn’t take time off. I was so anxious, but we came out of it. WE MADE IT!

Life is great here. And since you haven’t seen Ellie lately, here is a shot of her below a shot of Piper at the same age. It is apparent that I make clones of the same child. At her two month appointment, Ellie was .44″ longer than Piper and about 6 ounces less, with the exact head circumference. It was insane.



Born on 12/13/13, at 10:10am, at 7lbs7oz and 20 inches long. Just under a pound less than Piper and an inch and three quarters LONGER. Crazy!


That was our last belly shot, the night before surgery.




The surgery was super easy and oh man do I love scheduled c-sections. We spent two nights in the hospital and came home.

Ellie turned three weeks on Friday! Piper is absolutely in love with her.

I’ll be back in a bit to talk more about the transition and the surgery. Let me just say, I am loving life with two kiddos- especially since Paul and Piper were off for a few weeks!

It appears that I have somehow gotten to 38 weeks pregnant in the blink of an eye. It’s incredible to me how quickly this has gone by. Of course, the first 12 weeks were mind-numbingly slow, with just waiting waiting waiting to get to that safe period. The fear that encompassed me then isn’t something I’ll likely forget any time soon, but I’m thankful that I’m now here with a week and a day left until our little baby is born. Yeah, a week and a day. Little Noelle (Hopefully the baby is still a She!) will be born via repeat c-section on December 13th, 2013. Uh huh, Friday the 13th. The funny thing is, I was so happy to have scheduled a day that when my OB said, “How about the 13th?” I immediately said, “Sounds good to me!” It still didn’t dawn on me that it was Friday the 13th until I walked out of the building and called Paul to say, “Hey! Baby day is the 13th!” Paul replied, “Friday the 13th? Awesome!” I stopped in my tracks and said, “Oh shit.” Of course, he wasn’t worried in the slightest. So, I am attempting to not be worried, either.

Things at home are great, Paul has been making me do stuff that needed to be done (Organize the room, wash/put away all the clothes, get bottles ready), because I think I’ve been in a sort of denial about the recent change to come. I finally packed my hospital bag (sans toiletries because I’m pretty sure I’ll need those things before I go in), with three separate outfits for the baby. One is a brown dachshund fleece footie (Piper’s first doctor appointment ensemble that also was her first blowout, what a great memory, haha), another is a 0-3 fleece footie in case she’s a large baby, and finally, the NB sized fleece footie that Piper also wore home from the hospital. I had a little bit of an issue with this, because I was thinking, “What if Ellie (Noelle/Ellie) is sad that we didn’t put her into something else? What if she hates living in Piper’s hand me downs?” I mean, Piper was LOADED with clothes because she was the first girl in the family in like, forever.

It’s been a little crazy for me to think that A.) We’re going to have a NEWBORN again! Ohmagaaaad. After dealing with a four year old (Oh yeah, Piper turned four 11 days ago), I am so not current to what babies use/need/do/want. Baby led weaning? What? What is happening now? Cloth diapers? What is this about a stump falling off? Then, there is B.) This is my last (intentional, and hopefully ever unless we win the lottery) pregnancy. I’ve enjoyed it immensely, once the panic and fear tapered off a bit. I honestly can’t believe I’m never going to have a son. I’m never going to feel little feet inside my belly, feel little hiccups down low, knowing that’s my baby practicing their breathing. Sometimes I wonder if Paul will ever regret not having a son. I know he has said time and time again that he wanted girls, and always thought he’d have two, so this is kind of a fulfilled prophecy for him, but still, what man wouldn’t want a little mini-me? Not that Paul isn’t just the best dad to a girl, he can do the Princess thing and the My Little Pony thing like no man I’ve ever seen. Doing hair? He tries. :)

I’m both scared and excited for this next step ahead for us. I am wishing and hoping that Piper will continue to be excited for her sister, and be just as wonderful as she has been so far. I am feeling a sense of loss for her because I am obviously crazy. :) I just want having a sister to make her life BETTER, not take anything from it. I hope that is what happens. I hope so many things, really. For Noelle to be healthy and come out easily, for Piper to not just accept her in our life permanently but to LOVE her, for our family to thrive in its new form, and lastly, for Paul and I to remain just as happy and in love as we have been. After all, we’ve been together for ten years now. Ten years, and (almost) two kids. It seems unreal, how can it feel like time is washing away while I feel like the same person as before?

This Christmas I will be home with my two girls, wonderful husband, and grumpy dachshund. I have a lot to be thankful for. Please keep us in your prayers that all goes well with the surgery and Noelle’s birth. Thank you.

According to “LMP” (HA, started typing “Lamp”), I am now 28w pregnant. This means not only am I in the third trimester, but I also at at the stage of viability. Meaning, Noelle’s odds of surviving if born now (PLEASE DON’T BE BORN NOW, MY LOVE) are far better than the odds of her NOT surviving.

This is how we look this week.


Piper is a fan of herself. :) Can’t blame her, she’s pretty awesome.

Here is one of just me.


Ever classy with the “I’m in the bathroom at work” shot. I like to keep it real.

Okay, REALLY, I can’t find anyone to take the pictures of me.

In the last few months, we’ve gone to Disneyland together…


(You’d never know it was like, a million grajillion degrees there)

The county fair…


and basically just spent a lot of time together. In the next few weeks, we have some fun times planned for our girl. This upcoming Saturday, Piper and I will be accompanied on an adventure with our great friend, Tina. Tina is the one responsible for 99% of the photos we have on our walls of our family. Usually she lives in DC (TRAITOR!), but will be home for a visit this weekend (And later this year!). We will be getting dropped off at the El Capitan theater for a showing of… The Little Mermaid! Not only is it a beautiful theater, but this will be the second time I saw this movie in this theater, I first saw it here when it came out. Which makes you want to ask, “Amber, how OLD ARE YOU?” Yes, I am old. Anyway, NOW I can bring my daughter to a showing of my favorite movie ever, in the most magical theater ever (Disney owns it, and will have a stage show before the movie and an appearance by Ariel after the showing), and it will be an even BETTER experience than I had, because this time, it’s in 3D! I really hope Piper is okay dealing with the glasses, as well as hoping the glasses on top of MY glasses don’t give me a headache. After the movie, we’ll likely take a stroll next door to the Disney Soda Fountain and factory shop, where we can have a treat and maybe pick up something cute. Since the area is right across from the famed “Hollywood and Highland” intersection, we’re probably going to spend some time looking around, since I told Paul we’re going to attempt another level to our adventure- the LA Subway. That’s right, folks. We’re going to try to take the trains home and hope we A.) Arrive in a timely manner with all members of our party intact and healthy and B.) Do not end up lost in the Garment District like I may have done once previously. I really think a ride on that train would be exciting for Piper, since she’s such an LA girl, never riding any type of public transportation that wasn’t a Disney monorail, tram or train at various amusement parks.

Then, the Friday after that adventure, we will be leaving work/school early to go to… Mickey’s Halloween Party! It’s our favorite time of year, our favorite holiday, and we’re so excited to have our last Disney hurrah before the baby comes. While it’s a separate admission fee, there are 50 various places for Piper to “trick or treat”, as well as 99% of the rides are open and working, and all the characters (And guests!) will be costumed! Not to mention: the free parking (16 dollar savings), the entry to the park three hours before the “party” starts, the supposedly awesome fireworks, the midnight end time, and the little “cavalcade” (too small to be called a parade), and did I mention the candy?? Supposed to be GOOD candy, too. Ghiradellis and all sorts of goodies. Muahaha. CANDY. Sure, after the painful labor day we spent there when my assbone nearly fell out as I hobbled back to the tram, we likely won’t stay until midnight (With or without Piper, there are very slim odds that I can survive that long), but we bought Friday tickets just so we can stay out later than usual and sleep in the next day. See, people. We plan shit. We’re parents like that. I really am excited to go, the Haunted Mansion is set up for Nightmare Before Christmas, which is (seriously) one of Piper’s favorite movies of all time. Hopefully it won’t be nearly as scary as her previous rides on the usual Haunted Mansion, where she promised us she was fine, but then buried her head in Paul’s shoulder whimpering as people gave us the side-eye with a serving of judgment… you know.. because we’re horrible parents who make our daughter the princess come on our favorite rides despite her terror. That’s us.

I’m calling this year “the year of Piper”. Her final year as a single child. It affects me more than I thought it would, to be honest. It’s not even a question a lot of moms have when adding to their family. I don’t doubt I’ll have enough love for both of our girls (!! still can’t believe that). No, I know love has a way of multiplying, not dividing. As a second born, I sometimes question if Piper will remember how utterly cherished she has been these first few years of life. I’ve said it before a million times, our lives were forever and ever bettered because she was born. Words honestly can’t describe how deeply I adore her, how this one girl can make you feel like the luckiest people in the world- just by being herself. I have such great memories of the last (nearly) four years, and it kind of breaks my heart when I think about how fleeting a preschooler’s memory can be. Will she remember her life pre-Noelle? Not that I want her to wish for it back or anything. I just want to know if she’ll remember doing things with her Mom and Dad, those memories. I’m a little scared because I know life can be hard to juggle when you have two kids, and I just don’t want her to ever, ever feel forgotten or pushed aside. I don’t know how my brother felt when I came along, but I know he was younger than Piper will be, so maybe for him it was an easy transition and never had a resentful feeling for me.  Just rambling, I suppose.

This is what has been going on our in lives, lately. As usual, if you miss me and want to see what’s up with us, feel free to find me on Instagram, I am Ambergontrail. I am McLovin. Sorry, I don’t know what made me do that.

Today Piper began her second year of preschool. She was moved from the Juniors group to Seniors, because all the children in “Seniors” will either be going to Kindergarten next September (Not Piper, the cutoff is in September, I believe, and she’s a late November baby) or eligible to be placed into various “Transitional Kindergarten” next year. Piper will be eligible for that, and Paul’s school OFFERS T-K, but we’re still not sure what our plans will be once that time comes.

Other than the new group she’s been placed into, she will have two new teachers. It sounds scarier than it is, since the two main teachers for the Juniors and the Seniors trade off afternoon shifts, so the kids are exposed to all of the teachers throughout the week.

Since her last day back in June, Piper had been excited about being a Senior. She loves school, always has. So, imagine my surprise when at bedtime she was a bit of a bear. She didn’t want to put her jammies on, she didn’t want to go to bed, and once in bed, she called me back to say she didn’t LIKE school. As I walked with her to the potty, I sat down on the folding chair we keep in there (When you have a potty training child you spend a LOT of time in the bathroom), and asked why she didn’t like school anymore. She didn’t have a response, and we began to talk about what will happen at school.
I explained that it’s the same school, same friends, same teachers (pretty much, right?), just that she’d be in the big kids group now. I mentioned some of her classmates by name and said how excited they would be to see her, and she perked up. Then, she asked me… “Will someone get me after school?” I was a bit flummoxed and sad. She thought we’d be leaving her there? I then had to explain that school is her “job”. Like Mama goes to work in the morning and comes home in the afternoon, she has to do the same, only it’s school. I told her someone will ALWAYS pick her up after school, and she will never need to worry about that.

After our talk, she went to bed, and cried a little bit. I covered her with kisses and hoped she’d be okay in the morning. 

Luckily, when I heard, “Moooommy….” coming from her bedroom, and I peeked in, I hoped this meant she was happy. “What day is it?”, she asked. “It’s Wednesday”, I replied. As per the routine, she asked, “What are we going to do today?” Today I hesitantly replied, “Today you are going to school!” That got a cheer and a request that she bring a stuffed animal along in case of a surprise Show and Tell (Gotta love this kid), and she was ready to get dressed. 

Here she is, with her Daddy.


And in comparison, here is the picture of them last year.



This is Piper and I (and baby Noelle photobombing us).


And the comparison shot!



Wow, she has grown so much! This morning, we were (as per usual) the first family in, so Piper ran around to see what was new, and then immediately sat down to play a puzzle. I swiped some sunblock on her face while she sat, kissed her head, and told her I loved her approximately fifteen times, and left. No tears, no “Mommy, please don’t go!”

Another first day of school down. I can’t wait to hear all about her first day as a Senior when I pick her up after school today!


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