shopping frenzy!!


i’m having a nervous breakdown because everything is on sale! as a result, i have been on more retailers’ websites this week than i care to admit. to keep myself entertained (and to keep from buying everything) i have created a random compilation of things i really want or already got(!) for dane, bay and for myself!! (the images aren’t working in the “preview” mode, so, i don’t know, fingers crossed…)
for d, b & me

 

xmas

 

  1. festive holiday throw pillows $18-$30 Target
  2. handy  “twist fold” 3 tiered bowl @29.99 Uncommongoods
  3. magazine holder $49 $29.99 UrbanOutfitters
  4. LED star decoration $24.99 Ikea
  5. floral dress $49.90 Zara
  6. necklace holder $19 UrbanOutfitters
  7. carved wood coffee table $349 (+15% off) WestElm
  8. boots for my commute 69.99 Zappos
  9. funny tee $20 Etsy
  10. funny mug $9.99 Amazon
  11. comfy casual sweater $88 $59.99 madewell
  12. cutest boy toms $42 Zappos
  13. soft sweet owl $15 HannaAndersson
  14. spooner board 44.95 Fatbraintoys
  15. kid guitar $19.99 Worldmarket
  16. really big soft scarf $26 Oldnavy
  17. hoodie towel & book $59 $47.20 LandofNod
  18. high quality sleep sack $50 HannaAndersson
  19. knitted flag garland $19 HannaAndersson
  20. sherpa jacket $85 $42 (=50% off!) HannaAndersson
  21. penguin nightlight $39 $18.99 (=final sale!) RestorationHardware

weekend road trip

i’m sort of the opposite when it comes to social media. i’m the opposite of people who only post glamorous pictures of themselves or make sure to share all the awesome, interesting things they do and places they go. i don’t know if it’s because i’m overcompensating… trying extra hard to not be that person, or if because i just really love to take and share pics of my kids in those everyday moments.

last weekend all five of us ventured out on an aggressive weekend trip to new york and new jersey. we drove down together, then i spent the day with girlfriends in the city while mike stayed with family and watched the kids. the next day we swapped it out and mike went to the pats-giants game while i tended the coup.

i had a BLAST with my friends in nyc.. took zero pics (aside from a million of my little bride to be lindsey in wedding dresses, but those are not for sharing!!) but back in new jersey with all mike’s cousins, i took a bunch of pics of the kids together because they were just so so cute.

all of the girls were obsessed with bay. they passed her around and played peek-a-boo for hours on end. bayla was so chill about it.

girls

bay ava

maddie is 6. she and dane were attached at the hip the whole weekend. i never expected them to play so well together. it was ADORABLE.

dane and mad

maddie

and that’s all i got for a weekend update! despite having monday off, this week is feeling looong. we are sticking around this weekend and i am SO looking forward to it. a little cleaning, a little thanksgiving prep, a little christmas decorating a LOT of eating that baby’s cheeks!

brewster fun floor revisited

i took some new pictures of our lower level (“fun floor / sleeping quarters”) last weekend. it recently got new tile in place of old berber, new bright paint, and some fun art. it is majorly improved. [see before here].

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this full-sized bed recently got a little upgrade since we got a king for the master bedroom and cycled the queen mattress down here.IMG_6324
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i’m clearly incapable of photographing this lighting scenario, but the whole room has a much brighter and cleaner feel (you’ll have to take my word for it).IMG_6336

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IMG_6343so far so good with the new flooring.
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IMG_6328i think this area is finally in pretty good shape.

back to brewster

just all of these pictures of dane because he is such a cute kid…
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also, major garage purge happened over the weekend. long over-due. i was all stressed because i didn’t reserve a dumpster in time, then we found a guy on craigslist to haul it away for half the price. procrastination for the win.IMG_6300

where does all this junk even come from?IMG_6299

wearing bayla all day…. #lashesIMG_6288

and last but not least… mr. october:IMG_6291

halloween 2015

halloween was entertaining to say the least. i think babies should never wear normal clothes, only costumes.
baybabiesand these two guys were a total hoot. i don’t want to jinx it, but they played together sooo well over the weekend. are the sharing wars behind us??? they played “picnic” and “camping”.. destroyed the house in a matter of minutes, but just so cute – their little imaginations.

dane

i actually didn’t take many pictures because i was determined to finally put our gopro to use!

without further ado : THE FATZ-GALE OFFICIAL HALLOWEEN 2015 VIDEO!!!!!!!!

lifehacks

does this mamma-baby selfie capture how utterly exhausted i am? IMG_0944

to all the other moms who have done this… the working full-time, the nursing, the pumping, the endless washing of bottles and parts, the three-year-old, the sweet, cuddly baby, the neglected first born (bull dog), the dinners that don’t self-cook and house that won’t clean its self (to name a few) all with a very unreliable sleep pattern. PROPS. this is freakin’ hard.

i’ve been doing some soul-searching and researching how to make this work. i still have a ways to go, but a couple things that have helped:

peapod.

i’m an amazon prime junkie and i generally hate paying a delivery charge of any nature, but these days, saving the trip to the grocery store is well worth $6.95. i will definitely do it again.

i also went ahead and spent nearly $1,000 fall shoe shopping on zappos! don’t worry, the boots i kept were only $150… i ordered 4 pairs to try. free shipping and free returns. zero time in a store. boom.

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side note: thank you, boot people, for the “wide-calf” (or my favorite “wide shaft”) option for tall boots. i never use to be able to wear these and now there is a whole slew of options.

this was my cart:

boots

1. Rockport Tristina Gore $225  runner-up. super comfortable. can tell they are great quality. just didn’t love enough for the price 2. Sam Edelman Penny $150  winner. liked better in person. perfect width. comfortable enough 3. Rockport First Street $249.95 fit well. has large, darker colored stretchy piece in back that i didn’t love the look of. but really like the lighter camel color. 4. Johnston & Murphy Bree $348 I love these boots but they didn’t fit 🙁 i knew it was a long shot since they are not in my beloved “wide calf” category. somewhat relieved given the price-tag.

so i feel like i have fully mastered online shopping. i may never enter a store again. does anyone have any other hacks for me? my sister has been freezing a whole week’s worth of crock pot dinners on sundays.  i read about a mom who dresses her kids for the next day before bed. no jammies. (crazy or genius?)

i feel like the key to the week is sunday. you have to PREPARE. going into the work week is like going into battle when you have multiple kids. my problem is we’ve been away almost every weekend and then on sunday its impossible to stay motivated because, football. and because, pumpkin beer.

this weekend, my little guy was really sick… three straight days of a 103 degree fever. needless to say, the weekend was not as productive as it might have been and i am SO short on sleep. send me your working mom hacks… i’m all ears.

6 years

this little family started 6 years ago on 10/10/09… and now its huge! there are like 100 of us! (well, 5)… this right here is ALL I EVER WANTED. i can’t believe its mine.IMG_6182 2a nice lady on the beach offered to take a picture of all of us. i couldn’t say no. we even managed to get the hound involved which is a small miracle. thank you, nice lady… this is the first photo of the 5 of us.

we love the brewster beaches in the off-season when shakey can come along. we tell dane to stay away from the water, but he never does. he is generally wet up to his knees by the time we head out. he and mike love rough-housing and i follow them around with bay and take a million pictures.

this was saturday evening. it was freakishly not windy. we bundled up, but it was so mild.IMG_6162
IMG_6165 “mommy watch this!” (belly flop face plant into sand)IMG_6174all my boys…
IMG_6151 mike even grabbed the camera. i sort of love these pictures of me and little baby girl.
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look at this sweet little thing…

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the days are getting shorter. alarmingly so. we made some amazing memories in the cape this summer, but we are beginning to struggle with what the best go-forward plan is for our family and this second property. a lot has changed since the days before kids when we had time and money to spare. both are tighter than ever lately and our capacity for the added stress and up-keep is not what it was. we just want to be happy and enjoy our young family not be cursing at leaking dehumidifiers every other weekend… we’ll see, a lot is up in the air.IMG_6193

next weekend we are having some friends down and finally checking out the wellfleet oysterfest. that should be fun.IMG_0851

who am i kidding. we are never selling this house.

our little bean sprout

4th annual picnic table picture! we have been taking these every year during our summer vacation. daney growing before our very eyes. i gotta say – 2 year old dane – it does not get any cuter (the third of the series). look at that blonde bowl cut and pudgy body. two was my absolute favorite.

this year, no diaper, no pacifier, and just the very last remnants of the baby pudge. our three year old is so smart and sweet and well… for the most part, he’s a bonafide nightmare. three is so hard! if you have a not-yet-three year old, do not be fooled by the “terrible twos”. three is the true test. good luck to you. oh how i love my little 3 year old nightmare….

2012
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2014IMG_0838-1

2015IMG_5542

will he even be able to stand on mike next year? we might need to tweak the theme to accommodate for our ginormous “big kid”.IMG_5535

cape cod 2015 : brewster bay, baby bay, lots of dane, etc.

baby bay was supposed to come in may. MID may – a week early. that was my plan. which would mean that she would be 6+ weeks by late june when i was planning on spending the week with my sister liz in the cape while some old friends were in town vacationing as well.

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as you know, bay chose to wait until JUNE to be born, so there i was with a three year old, a three week old, and my sister who was no use because she had a baby and a three year old of her own. luckily, we got a couple days from my very helpful little sis (who feeds us) and our mom (who is very good at entertaining 3 year olds with weird crafts (have you heard of magic noodles?)).

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so we survived and even enjoyed ourselves at times. the summer was off to a good start. it was sure to be a very special summer with my kids and nephews and more beach time than ever before.

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its really not true – how i just said my sister was no use – she did practically all of the snack-packing and game-planning. you really need to have your sh*t together when planning a beach trip with kids. spending a few hours at the beach with two three year olds is a delicate art (toy ratios, direction of sandwich slice, color of sippy cups… all elements that can make or break your day).

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so liz & i enjoyed most of the week and spent time with the colantos and some other fun families. photo cred to lizzy c for these next three pics bc i basically tend to only take pictures of dane and literally never a grown up…

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mike was finally able to join us for the weekend. he and dane did some golfing and twilight surfing… sunsets on the bay are glorious.

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the following week was the 4th of july when we take our real vacation each summer. mike had the full week off to spend in brewster with us (hallelujah) and all the grandparents visited for a few nights.

the boys went on a pirate adventure which dane loved and riley was not so sure about…

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we did sparklers, s’mores, and ice cream …

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this is the cozy spot we made for bay one afternoon… she was peacefully napping under the shade of an umbrella, but her poor little face got sun burnt. #momfail. she healed quickly and never seemed bothered by it, but word to the wise.. sun umbrellas do not necessarily protect from uva/b rays! overall, bayla was such a trooper during all of our beach trips.. a lot of beach nursing and napping.., she was a good baby.IMG_5313

it makes me so happy watching dane play at the beach for hours on end. its exactly what i pictured 5 years ago when we bought the beach house.IMG_5320

this is a nickerson state park pond swim with shakey…IMG_5511

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and bayla’s first traditional picnic table photo shoot…IMG_5570

look at one-month-old bay… she looks like such a little alien. how quickly they grow…
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the summer was awesome. it was extremely challenging at times making everything work with a newborn, often on my own, but i would do it a hundred more times given the chance. i am missing the summer so much. i almost get a pang in my stomach when i think about it i miss it so much… 

going back to work has been so hard on me. for three months bayla was figuratively and literally attached to me and now i just feel so empty all day without her. i’m waiting for it to get easier. if it doesn’t, then maybe there will be some major life changes. i’m not sure. but i know that all that matters are these two kids and finding a happy, healthy balance for our family. to be continued……

i’m so pregnant

i wrote this in early may and never finished it. likely because i was going to bed at 8 every night or maybe because i was waiting to add the perfect picture of me and my adorable pregnant belly (ha, non-existent). well – spoiler alert: i am currently holding the most perfect 2 month old baby girl and typing with one hand in effort to post something/anything because its been sooo long! balya logan was born one FULL WEEK late on june 3 weighing 7lbs 14oz.

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for posterity’s sake – here is my silly 37 week self thinking baby bay would come on time or… pah… early…

i feel like i’ve been pregnant forever, but at the same time, i sort of can’t believe my second (and last) pregnancy will be coming to an end any day now. i have no doubt that the birth of these babies (meaning dane and this feisty baby girl jabbing me as we speak) will be the best two moments of my life, so while pregnancy isn’t my favorite thing (especially the 37wk+ kind of pregnancy), i will still miss it in a weird way.

i think fridays are awesome. even though i have to go to work, i have the whole weekend to look forward to… by saturday, its almost like the weekend is already over, and sunday.. forget it.. full-blown monday-dread (you too? no? should i be looking for a new job?). well, these final hours of pregnancy are sort of like a friday. i’m extremely uncomfortable, but giddy with anticipation. once the baby is born, i know i will blink and my maternity leave will be over, then i will blink again and it will be her 3rd birthday party, a few blinks later she’ll be a teenager and hate me… but for a few short weeks (or days?!) all of the chubby, drooly, sleepy, swaddled baby-ness is ahead of me.

i never held vegetables up to my belly or documented either pregnancy much at all and i don’t regret it. i’m not really into that, but i just wanted to write this so i could some day revisit myself in this unique time. a mother of one perfect little boy awaiting the big unknown of who is tumbling around in my belly and what life will be like with two little humans to love a disgusting amount.

i’m so happy and lucky and grateful to be having a baby in few weeks. i never want to forget how much i wanted this baby (GIRL!) and how good life feels even tho i’m the size of a house with the worst acid reflux imaginable and the inability to sleep despite extreme, perpetual, exhaustion. i’m so much more excited this time around because i know just how much you can love another human and to be given the chance to love 2 just seems like more than i deserve. blah blah blah hormones blah blah.

oh pregnant stephanie.. aren’t you sweet.

well, almost three months later… here she is!!

IMG_5732she is so smiley and sweet and just so so pretty. strawberry blond hair, bright blue eyes and lashes for days. i swear, she is mine.

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it has been best-case-scenario with dane. no signs of jealousy and nothing but love from big brother. three has had its challenges, don’t get me wrong, but when it comes to the baby i couldn’t be more proud of how quickly dane has adjusted. the meet & greet in the hospital had us a little nervous… he wasn’t so sure. hardly acknowledged the baby, wouldn’t touch her and certainly would not give her a kiss.

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since she came home it has been nothing but kisses and man-handling!

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this has been the most amazing summer. i’m feeling very…. complete.

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we’ve had so much beach time between brewster & martha’s vineyard and so much family time thanks to my sister’s 5 month-old and her extended maternity leave. hopefully i will find some time to share more of our summer adventures here before its back-to-school time! but for now, my new little adventure is hungry…IMG_5789