Hey everybody, I hope you all had a great weekend! Caleb and I went on our first date night since early December on Saturday! It was so nice to get out of the house for a couple of hours, but we sure did miss our little one. We went to an incredible restaurant in the downtown area of Libertyville though, and we're already dreaming of going back. It's called Milwalky Trace and the menu is out of this world amazing. It's all shared plates, and Caleb and I wanted to try everything. Our favorite thing we got though was the sweet potato gnocchi. Caleb has also been working hard to re-do our upstairs hallway. We installed all new doors for the rooms upstairs and now he is putting up wainscoting in the hallway. It already looks so beautiful and can't wait for it to be all finished!
Remember when I use to do my Bump Date posts when I was pregnant? Well I really enjoyed writing them back then and I especially love going back and looking through them now to remember the sweet memories of my pregnancy. I decided I wanted to do something similar to document things about Kai now! Obviously Kai is almost two months old now, but oh well, I'll just back track a little! I'm going to be calling these posts "Little Kai Bear Dates" since that is my nickname for him and they are updates on him! So let's take it back a couple weeks and reminisce about the first month of his life...
Weight: 10 lbs
Height: 21 in
Our first month together was a wonderful challenge. We were all tired and trying to get to know each other better. You struggled to latch with breastfeeding at first and lost a little bit too much weight for comfort, so we supplemented with formula to help you grow the first week of your life. You quickly turned things around and within a week and a half you had gained over a pound and got the hang of breastfeeding. You easily took to your feeding and nap schedule after that. You LOVED to be held and I certainly enjoyed all the snuggles.
You got to meet your Mimi and Papa Joe this month, too. They came all the way from Las Vegas and Salt Lake City to see you. They each spent a week here cuddling you and helping mama and daddy. Your Grandma and Grandpa also came over to visit you a bunch and we're even there when you were first born.
You didn't really notice him but your puppy Wrigley adored you. He loved you from the moment he met you. He very cautiously sniffed your car seat when Daddy first brought you inside. He knew it was you though. From that point on he always wanted to give you kisses and would be so concerned when you were crying. He always seemed to have this look on his face of "help my baby brother!" whenever you we're making any noise and would come get one of us to tell us you needed us.
Towards the end of your first month Mama started struggling with a clogged milk duct. I wasn't feeling very well and started to get worried about getting an infection. I wasn't sure how this had happened and was concerned your latch was incorrect, so I decided I would try to pump you some milk to help get it unclogged. I tried to offer you formula when I first started this plan but you all of a sudden didn't want it. You we're hungry and wouldn't stop crying but 100% refused the bottle. I decided I would just try to nurse you then and you instantly took my breast and we're so calm and happy. It made my heart burst. You wanted me and nothing else. That moment meant the world to me and I just knew you had to be the one to fix me. So we nursed for every feeding that day and by the next day the clog was gone. That was truly one of our turning points, little one.
You've just started to smile and it makes me so excited for all the smiles and laughs to come. We're starting to get use to each other and figure things out. You make my heart sing, my Little Kai Bear. I love you more than I can ever explain in words.
Button-Front Top: Urban Outfitters | Jeans: Gap | Bar Necklace: LuvLaceJewels | Disc Necklace: LuvLaceJewels
Kai's Outfit Details:
Flannel Button Down: Monica + Andy | Pants: Carters
Happy Friday or Friyay as I like to call it! I'm really looking forward to this weekend because Caleb and I are going on our first date night tomorrow since Kai was born! Today is actually our 8 year anniversary of us being together, so we're going to go out to celebrate tomorrow with a dinner date! Hopefully you all are doing something fun for St. Patty's Day!
So, I've definitely developed a mom uniform as of late. I'm so happy to be out of maternity clothes and getting back in to all of my regular clothes that I've been longing to wear again for so long. However, my newest challenge has been finding clothes that are comfortable and good for nursing. Well this top from Urban Outfitters has been my answer. I basically have it in every color, ha! It is so soft and comfy, and it's so easy to nurse Kai in. I recently bought these jeans from Gap, too, that I'm seriously loving. Even though I don't need to wear my maternity jeans anymore, I still don't fit in to my old jeans. Honestly, I needed new jeans before I got pregnant but it was just something I didn't want to accept and spend money on. Gap has been having some awesome sales lately, so I took full advantage of one of them and snatched up this pair that I'm wearing here as well as these. They are both so comfortable! Their new stretch technology they put in to their jeans is amazing. I don't mind wearing these jeans around the house and am able to maneuver around super easy in them to take care of Kai!
What has your uniform been lately? Leave me a comment and share your favorite picks for this season with me!
Caleb and I went to Italy a couple years ago for our honeymoon and one of the places we visited was the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre is a very special part of Italy located on the northwestern coast of the country. We had the best time visiting and can't wait to go back some day and spend a few days there just relaxing on the beach, drinking wine, and enjoying the views! I want to share with you though some of the wonderful places we did get a chance to visit while we were there in a little quick guide. For reference, Cinque Terre means "five villages," and the five villages are Riomaggoire, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso.
There are a few options for getting to the Cinque Terre from other parts of Italy. You can take a bus, a train, or you can drive. Driving is not recommended as parking is very limited in the area.
The best major city to travel to the Cinque Terre from by bus or train is Florence. You can take the Italia Rail from Florence to Riomaggorie and it takes around 2 1/2 hours. If you prefer a guided tour and getting there by bus, you can book a day tour from Florence. We personally chose this day tour through Florence Tasting when we visited the Cinque Terre. It was priced at €110 per person and lasts about 12 hours.
There are 3 options for getting around to the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre which are by foot, by train, or by boat.
One of the most breath taking ways to see the Cinque Terre is by hiking through the area. The best way to do this is to hike along Trail #2, which is the Sentiero Azzuro or Blue Trail. The trail runs along the coast and it will take you around 6 hours to get from start to finish. You can start either in Monterosso and head south or you can start in Riomaggoire and head north. You can take your breaks from hiking while exploring each of the towns.
The easiest way to get from town to town is by train. The train stops in all 5 towns as well as a town called La Spezia, which is just outside of the Cinque Terre and is known as the main hub. This is where any trains you take from outside the area like Florence would stop for you if you are wanting to visit the Cinque Terre. La Spezia is about a 10 minute train ride to Riomaggoire and each of the other towns are only 5 minutes apart. It is recommended that you get a Cinque Terre Card for €10 for a day because it will get you unlimited rides on the line that goes to all 5 towns as well as access to the hiking trails and some museums. If you buy a 1 time train ticket for €1.80, make sure you validate your ticket at the station just before you get on the train. This shows that you're using the ticket for this ride and it wasn't previously used on a different ride. If you don't validate the ticket before you get on the train though, the conductor will charge you a lot of money to do it on the train.
The last way to get from town to town is by boat. There are a few different options, too, when it comes to getting around by boat. You can take a ferry, a boat tour from Manarola or Riomaggoire, or rent a private boat. You can catch the ferry from Monterosso and La Spezia and it will drop you off at every town except Corniglia.
Things to Do
The village of Riomaggoire is known for the beautiful colorful houses you always see in photos of the Cinque Terre. The best views of them are from Trail 531 and Trail 2. The town has some lovely shops and places to grab a bite to eat, as well. We recommend stopping in to Giammi Cafe and having a cappuccino and croissants first thing in the morning. This is also the best place to take a boat tour from!
This is the Cinque Terre's most romantic village. It's on top of a hill and has great views of the water. If you take a boat tour from Riomaggoire, you will be dropped off in Manarola. It is a wonderful experience that we highly recommend! We loved doing the boat tour and exploring this little village on our honeymoon. Our favorite part of this village was just relaxing up on a high cliff and watching the sea. Another cool stop to check out in this village is the Chiesa di San Lorenzo, which is a beautiful church.
Head over to the lookout called the Bar Terza Terra for some amazing views in Corniglia. This is also a great place to grab some drinks and food to relax with while enjoying the views of the sea. Another great place for some beautiful views is the Borgo Storico di Corniglia. Bring your walking shoes though because this is a hiking trail and will require some walking up and down hills.
My personal favorite village, Vernazza is where you can get in some amazing beach time. A great place to grab some lunch is Belforte and if you're up for some gelato (who isn't!?) stop by Gelateria Vernazza. For some history, you can check out the Castello Doria, which is a watchtower that use to belong to a much larger castle. It costs €1.50 to enter and climb the tower.
To view some fine art, tombs, and a beautiful church, visit the Church of San Francesco and Monastery. The church sits up on a hill, so it provides for some great views, too. It's a bit of a climb to get to, but the Monumento a San Francesco is worth it. It is a beautiful statue and once you get to it you'll be provided with a breathtaking panoramic view. Bring your swimsuit and towel with you to Monterosso, too, so you can relax at Spiaggia di Fegina. It is supposedly one of the 25 sexiest beaches in the world.
Where to Stay
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Happiest of Mondays to you all! We had a nice weekend relaxing and spending time with family. Kai is becoming more and more fun by the day! He's so much more alert and smiles so big when he looks at Caleb and I. He's started cooing and sometimes has a little cackle when he smiles. I know we still have some time before he laughs but I can't help but get so excited when he makes noises when he's smiling. We can tell he wants to laugh so bad, but we're not quite there yet. Soon enough though, right!?
So I read a couple of great books last month that I want to share with you all! I've really been enjoying non-fiction books lately, especially parenting books. I find them to be fascinating because the ones I've been diving in to are heavily psychology based. If you didn't know this about me, I actually have a BS degree in Psychology! I'm big on cognitive development and behavioral patterns, which I've got to say, has really worked in my favor with becoming a mom! Anyways, on to the books I read...
Bringing Up Bebe -Pamela Druckerman
This parenting book is about an American mom's experience of raising her children in Paris, France. She decided to write this book because she was fascinated with how well behaved Parisian children always are. She did a lot of research on French parenting and how and why it works so well. The book follows along mostly with her first daughter growing up and how French parents incorporate their techniques based on the child's age.
This book isn't a straight forward parenting guide, it's written like a French parenting book actually. French parenting books aren't designed to tell you exactly what to do every step of the way. They give theories and ideas for French parents to put to the test and figure out how they work best for you children. One of the biggest things this book promotes though is treating your children as functioning people. Even babies can comprehend what you're saying to them, so they are owed to be talked to like a human being. It's suggested to steer clear of lots of baby talk and treat them with respect. French children know that adults are in charge but when they feel respected they are more willing to cooperate for you. I really like this point in the book and 100% agree. Just because Kai can't speak to me, doesn't mean he isn't trying his best to listen to what I have to say. I've been trying to calmly talk to him, and I've really noticed, especially when he's crying really hard, that after a few seconds he starts to calm down and listen. He might not understand what I'm saying but because I'm talking to him like a human and not a cute puppy, he tends to settle and listen better. The book also dives in to a lot about self soothing and how it's important to start on that technique as early as possible, allowing children to play and use their imagination on their own without parent intervention, and helping your babies sleep through the night, all of which I find extremely important. I also really enjoyed how it touched on mom guilt and how French mothers are not ashamed of taking time to care for themselves. We all struggle with that mom guilt of wanting to take care of ourselves but not take time away from our kids, so to be told that it's ok to take time out of your day for you is really nice to read.
The downside to this book though is it obviously really favors Parisian culture. Unfortunately, the US government doesn't subsidize state run daycares that every parent wants their children to attend like the Paris government does. As awesome as this sounds, it's just not how things work here in America. It also talks about the difference in interaction between parent and child of French parents versus American parents. You can try all you want to be like the French parents at the playground but in the end we live in the US, and the way parents interact with their kids here is just how they interact. You can try to change how you do it, but you can't change everyone else.
I definitely recommend this book to all moms but with the point of keeping in mind that it doesn't all work here in the US. The author lives in Paris, we don't.
You can buy Bringing Up Bébé on Amazon.
The Little Book of Hygge -Meik Wiking
The Little Book of Hygge is a book all about the hygge way of life in Denmark. Denmark is repeatedly ranked as having the happiest people in the world, so they must be doing something right! Hygge is definitely the answer to why they are so happy. The author works for the Happiness Institute in Copenhagen and touches on all the different aspects of hygge. There isn't a clear cut translation for what hygge is in English, but the closet you can get is "a cozy lifestyle." The book goes in to the best way to achieve hygge with the importance of candles, togetherness, sweets & good food, and more. Each aspect is broken down in different chapters to thoroughly explain the importance of them to having hygge.
I absolutely loved this book. It is one of my favorite books ever. It made me so happy every morning to read it while sipping my coffee, having Kai in his baby wrap on me, and having some candles going with our fireplace lit. I looked forward to this ritual every morning and just by having this ritual made me feel like I was achieving hygge myself. I really liked how there are some recipes in the book for great food to make with friends and family that bring happiness as well as fun ideas of things to do to really enjoy that closeness with the important people in your life. They are all so simple, too. Hygge isn't about being extravagant and spending a lot of money. If anything, it's about being simple and enjoying what you have. If you are in need of a pick me up, I can't recommend this book enough. Like I said before, just reading it made me feel happier. I try to implement hygge in to my life every day now and I've got to say, I can feel the happiness inside me, which I hope to pass on to all those around me.
You can buy The Little Book of Hygge on Amazon.
I just started reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte! Have any of you read this classic? I can't wait to get further in to it. What are you all currently reading? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
Hello again friends! I hope you're having a great week so far! It's been kind of a busy one for us. This last weekend was my birthday, and we hosted a brunch with my girlfriends to celebrate! It was also their first time meeting Kai, so it was extra special. My best friend Ashlyn was also visiting us from Portland this last week! It was so nice having her here to keep me company while we're still hanging out at home. Kai's 2 month appointment for his shots is only a couple weeks away though, and once that happens and he's feeling better from them we're going to go out and do some serious exploring! I also had my 6 week postpartum follow up appointment a few days ago, and I got cleared to work out again! I'm so excited to start going back to yoga and to start running again. I'm planning on starting back at Corepower Yoga next week with a Core Restore class for a few weeks. I'm also starting to do some power walking this week, too, before I work my way up to running. I'll be sure to share my postpartum work out journey with you all as I start to figure it all out and get stronger!
A few days after Kai was born, we had our good friend Brandie from Bourbon Oak Tree Photography come over to our house to do a newborn lifestyle shoot for us to capture this incredible time in our life when Kai was super little. Kai was only 4 days old in these pictures and it was our 2nd day at home with him. We chose to do an in-home lifestyle shoot over a studio shoot for a number of reasons. We felt that it would be so special to have his newborn photos shot in our home because this is where he is going to grow in to the amazing person he is going to be. We also wanted to be in some of the photos with him as a family and we couldn't leave Wrigley out! Lastly though, with how bad the flu season has been this year, we thought it was best to not take our baby in to a studio and risk him becoming sick. I couldn't be happier with our decision and how all the photos turned out, too! I wanted to share some of the amazing shots she took for us with you all today because they make my heart burst every time I look at them.
I can't believe how little he was! He's grown so much in just 6 weeks but every day has been so fun and exciting with him. Being Kai's mama is the biggest honor of my life. I love you, little man!
Make sure you follow me on Snapchat (@dianakaravida) for lots of cute snaps of Kai and Wrigley!
All photos were photographed and edited by Bourbon Oak Tree Photography. Thank you Brandie for these amazing images!
Welcome to Tiny Dapper Fox
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find motherhood, home, travel, & fashion/beauty. This is our family’s journey of living life in Chicago. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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