Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection

I'd consider myself a bit of a Target addict and I'm pretty sure a hefty chunk of our monthly budget goes to The Red Store (as Truman calls it). I mean, do you guys read the Crappy Pictures blog? The post when she talks about Target being a hypnotic red eye that lures you into buying things you did not know you even needed? YES. I love that blog (which, by the way, my Google Reader has NOT been updating those posts lately and I honestly thought the blog was shut down!) and I love Target.

So when one of the managers at my favorite Red Store contacted me to see if I'd want to participate in a program of theirs, I immediately perked up. Um, duh! Now I know I've never done ads on here or anything like that. I guess I've been holding out for the right company to contact me because I really don't want to be viewed as a sellout. I've made it 5 years without turning this blog into anything that makes me a dime, but really? Target? A store that I frequent at least weekly if not more? Kind of a no-brainer.

I won't be quitting my day job anytime soon. No, not at all. But I didn't want to feel like I was lying to you, just randomly posting about Target out of the blue without telling you that yes, I am getting a little gift card out of the deal. But I hope you don't consider me a sellout because... it's Target. Right?!

Okay, now that I have that off my chest, let's get down to it. When the Target manager emailed me about the Holiday24 collection, I clicked on the link she sent me, stared at all of the pretty gifts the amazing designers came up with, and emailed back to say, 'Yes, I would love to blog about this!' Because how awesome is it that Target and Neiman Marcus are pairing up to produce 50 different gifts from 24 high-end designers? I'm not sure I'm cool or hip enough (or rich enough) to shop at Neiman Marcus, but if these designers are coming to Target? Holla. Welcome to my second home, designers.

All of the gifts will be available online and in stores tomorrow Saturday, December 1. Good call on selling the stuff simultaneously online and in stores, especially for those of us who love to shop on the internet and avoid the masses of crazed people out there. I guess the quantities are pretty limited and it sounds like a lot of the items might go quickly, which reminds me of when their Missoni for Target collection came out. But this 50-piece list has me drooling over a few specific items that would be at the top of my Christmas wish list.

First, there is this freaking adorable red dress for little girls by Jason Wu. It's $59.99 and the smallest size is 12 months. Which, hello! Cecelia could totally rock this baby for Christmas! I'd probably pair it with some black Mary Janes and a little shrug on top. And a giant Christmas-y bow on top of her head, just because I can't help myself sometimes. In fact I did get a red dress sort of like this with shoes, shrug, and headband today at a consignment store. Definitely my style, I guess. 

Then everything else that caught my eye is for myself. Is that a problem? Gotta love being in the Christmas spirit of giving when my own wish list is miles longer than the list for others. Ahem.

But this dress by Lela Rose that's $99.99 would be a great gift to myself. I could see wearing it with a black cardigan for my company's holiday party (if I was in town to actually attend this year) or definitely as a wedding guest. Can't ever have too many dresses to wear to weddings at this stage of my life.

And because I'm really tired of using my diaper bag as a purse, wouldn't it be nice to have this adorable metallic pouch from Marc Jacobs ($69.99) on the days I feel like being a cool mom? I mean, obvi it wouldn't match well with my giant red baby car seat or Thomas the Train toys that I'm always lugging around with me, but for a fancy date night with Nate? Totally. Or one of those many weddings we always seem to be attending.

I'm a sucker for scarves lately because I feel like they can dress up an outfit that would normally be really boring and plain. They make me feel grown up but not stuffy and they are a great way to distract the eye from my giant breastfeeding boobs. So this black flowy scarf by Marc Jacobs ($69.99) is another fave. I think that Marc Jacobs and I could be best of friends if I actually shopped at Neimans, by the way. 

In the same vein as me pretending to be a cool and hip mom, I am obsessed with this tote for $59.99 by Oscar de la Renta. I hate to say it because I'm SUCH a mom with this statement, but this tote would make a great diaper-bag-in-disguise. And it's dressy enough with the subtle holiday print that I could feasibly wear it with my 'fancy' non-yoga pant outfits, but it's simple enough to work with my beloved LuLu's, too;) 

Now this top is not something that would pair well with yoga pants. But for a Christmas party or New Years Eve? Perfect. I'm always drawn to tops that have a big ruffle down the front like this and the sheer black material is really fun, too. Robert Rodriguez made this baby for $79.99. I dig it.

And the last item that made my wish list? These plates by Tracy Reese for $39.99. I'd never thought I'd be the kind to put plates on walls for decor but these four could change my mind---can't you picture them with a bunch of other varying sized vintage plates? Kind of like this? I can. But I would also use these plates for actual dessert as intended because we eat a lot of dessert in this household. Just not off plates as pretty as these.
Do you guys have some favorites from the collection? Anyone brave the crowds or order Holiday24 gifts online? What did you think?

Cecelia at six months

November 28 | Six Months

My heart just jumped into my throat as I typed the words 'six months'. A half of a year. Wow.

(please note how many more chevron lengths she takes up compared to her first month! I try to keep her shoulders in the same place each month. Long girl)

(and look how much taller she's gotten compared to the bunny in the first month. Top of bunny used to touch her ear and now it's at her shoulder. These comparisons always blow my mind.)

Likes: Nursing, being held, making eye contact with others, mommy, watching her big brother and her doggie play, 'talking', drooling, shoving any and everything into her mouth, grabbing faces/hair/fingers of others, being around people

Dislikes: being left alone for longer than a minute or two, consistency with sleeping, being overtired


Biggest Achievement of the Month: Flying on an airplane! And cutting her first TWO teeth!

Biggest Challenge of the Month: Probably sleep but really, what else is new?


The Mecca (aka Sleep): This month I tried having her nap on her tummy occasionally and sometimes it seemed to help her sleep longer than 30 minutes, but other times not so much. If I put her down awake on her stomach she'd pop her head up, like 'Oh hey! Tummy time! I know what to do here, look at me holding my head up really high!' So I'd have to put her down nearly asleep and even then it wasn't consistent. She will nap about 3 times a day for me when home, and twice a day for Lori at daycare. Each nap can be anywhere from 30 minutes up to 2 hours (for Lori, never for me) and I'd say the average is about an hour each time. I feel like we actually are settling into a good napping routine though, which really helps a lot with my mental sanity even if the nights still suck. I'll rock her a bit with the pacifier in her mouth and then put her down as she is drowsy but awake.

Now the nighttime suckiness? She is averaging anywhere from 2-5 wake ups each night. One night this month she clocked 7 hours in a row (until 2:15), then went another 3 and I almost cried from happiness. But her norm is that she's usually up around midnight first time (5 hrs), and then every 2 hours after that. During our Missouri trip she was seriously up every 2-3 hours all night long with her longest stretch of sleep being just 3 hours. She's pulled that stunt at home, too, and I'm getting to the point where I'm CRAVING consistency here in sleep deprivation land.

Another weird thing is that she doesn't always tolerate nursing in sidelying, falling back to sleep without a peep anymore. Now she will squawk at me until I sit all the way up with her, and sometimes she only pipes down if I physically stand up. What? No thanks. If you are going to wake up a ton of times you at LEAST need to fall back to sleep in 5 seconds, Cecelia. When will you learn that sleep is freaking fantastic? Soon, I hope. Because I think I'm starting to forget how wonderful life seems with a little bit of zzzzzs.

(first fire in the fireplace! Love this shot)

Temperament/Personality: She's a happy little bugger who is incredibly social and curious. I love the fact that she is smiling more often than she's not lately. Happy babies, even ones who don't sleep well, are just the best. But she still has her moments for sure. This whole month she gave her daddy hell each time he watched her for me as I was out of the house. She even cried so hard that she actually puked one time. Sweet. But then she had a really fabulous daddy experience with our most recent attempt while I was at the Christmas parade, so perhaps we are finally moving into a phase when Nate can care for Cecelia a bit more without her biting his head off. I know for a fact that he was able to help with Truman a lot more by 6 months. Someday she will be a daddy's girl but for now she's still all about Milk Jug Mama. She WILL light up and flash her most heartwarming grin when she sees Nate enter a room though. It's like she has that special smile reserved just for him and he even got her to belly laugh for the first time this month. Before that it's been all little giggles, mostly at Truman's antics. This time Nate got her going really good by slapping his hand down on his knee, telling Cecelia that she has a 'crazy arm' (which she does). Hilarious daddy. She's 'for real' laughed almost every day since that big time with Nate. I love her laugh and hope she keeps giving them to us without much effort---it's the best.


Eating: Cecelia still loves to nurse and I'm still incredibly grateful for our nursing relationship. She takes both sides more frequently now and still loves to fall asleep at the breast, so I end up pulling her off to end a session pretty frequently. I'm trying to stick to the eat-play-sleep routine which should put a stop to the dreaded sleep/nurse but it's a work in progress. I usually go 3-4 hours between nursing sessions but if I do push it to the 4 hour mark, I will always let down right at 3 hours. Like my body says, 'Hey! Time to nurse the baby again, it's been 3 hours!' Not sure I was still having random let downs without nursing the first time around.

I haven't introduced any rice cereal or oatmeal to Cecelia's diet, and just in the past two days I've let her try a few nibbles of bananas, avocados, and sweet potatoes. It's taken me a week to write this post and originally I was going to say that she's never had anything but breast milk, but now with the last few days under our belt I can say she's at least attempted a few specks of real food (just specks because she seems SO shocked that what enters her mouth has actual taste aside from milk!)

I don't think cereal is worth the hassle at this point and all it really did was constipate Truman and waste my breast milk. Still unsure if I want to skip purees and go right to chunks of food a la Baby Led Weaning or go the conventional route of spoon-to-mouth. Should probably decide soon and for some reason I feel like my Pediatrician won't be entirely pleased with me for pushing off all solids this long (although it's recommended to start solids at 4-6 months, so I'm just on the later side of that norm). I'm pretty sure she is growing just fine on her all-breastmilk diet so it shouldn't matter, right? She also seems to have a wicked gag reflex and taking Tylenol or her vitamin drops is a nightmare, so I'm kind of dreading giving her real food. We'll see. I did just make a batch of pureed sweet potatoes and squash today and when she tried a few hunks of squash she didn't gag all that much. I suppose we will start trying some bites of food and also some purees and see where that takes us. Pretty exciting stuff at 6 months!
(I love this pic of her so much!)

CC will take either two or three 5 oz bottles while at Lori's, so either 10 or 15 oz total in those 8 hours. Then she will nurse another 3 times during work days and variable amounts at night. So I guess I'd say she eats about 5-7 times during the daytime hours and then another 2-5 times at night, too. Girl loves to eat which is fine by me.

And I'll put this here: she may not be eating with us at the table just yet but she is now sitting in the booster seat during meal times. SO cute. What a big milestone, simply because I have two free hands to eat my own dinner now. She seems to love sitting there like a big girl, too, playing with her toys and looking from face to face with excitement.



The Superficial: Her signature long bang look is still hanging around and she's still a red headed, blue eyed doll. Her 6 month pants are officially WAY too short now although I can't quite retire them yet. Meaning she sports capris in 30 degree weather. But 6 month tops fit pretty well so we are officially between 6 and 9 months for her outfits simply because of her freakishly long legs. I finally put away the pack-n-play this month because she would not fit in there anymore to get her diaper changed unless I put her at a weird angle. We are officially changing her diaper on the ground on a blanket now, which makes her seem like a big girl to me! She is now 27 inches tall which is about the 90th percentile, and 15lbs 14oz which is right around 50th percentile. My long and lean girl.

(6 month capris!)




Teeth: New category, because baby girl sprouted her first tooth during our trip to Missouri on 11.20.12--a little over a week before she turned 6 months old. She never had a fever and I didn't notice a change in her sleeping habits (because she was already waking up at least 3-4 times the nights preceding the tooth), but she did seem extra fussy and clingy for me. Then my mom and I both noticed the clear little line on her bottom right gum line and sure enough--the sharp little nubbin had already poked through! Poor baby! I got her some Tylenol to take that next night hoping it would help her with sleep and pain (it didn't make a difference) and then on the morning of 11.23.12 right after Thanksgiving, the bottom left tooth appeared. Truman got his first two teeth within days of each other but it was more like 6.5 months so apparently she is a little ahead of him in this category. I can't wait to see these baby teeth become more visible and really do pray that her sleep will improve now that they are out. Isn't the milestone of the first tooth such an exciting and scary one? Makes her seem less like a baby and more like a little girl.






Motor Milestones: I thought I would be able to say she was rolling around all over the place by 6 months but she really doesn't seem to care about rolling. At all. She HAS rolled but only about two times ever. I'm not really worried about it just yet because she just really seems content to hang on her tummy or her back without actually trying to get mobile. She can scoot and wiggle and do half rolls to the point that she is getting all folded up against her crib these days, which makes her REALLY mad when she slams her head against the rails. I'll find her in the weirdest positions when I walk back into the room and one of these days she will figure out how to roll consistently and crawl. But not yet.


(did not edit any of these pictures--her eyes are THAT amazing!)

She can prop-sit for a bit and sit unsupported for about two seconds before toppling over, or resting her belly on her thighs. But sister is obsessed with standing up right now. Obviously supported, but still---she will lock out her knees and just stand up with pretty good core control for minutes. We have to physically force her to sit down most of the time because she is just too proud of herself for standing. We can prop her up against the back of a couch while standing and she will hold on before losing her balance---so maybe she just doesn't care about rolling or sitting or crawling and prefers to be completely upright instead. Just has to learn to get into that position on her own, though, which will definitely be many more months.




Out and About: The big news here is that Cecelia made her first plane trip to Missouri for Thanksgiving. I wasn't too worried about how she'd handle the short 50 minute flight and she did great. She nursed for take off and then was a little fussy for a few minutes upon descent for our first flight, and then on the return flight she nursed and slept the entire time. When awake she loved looking around at all of the people on the plane because she's just that social and nosey. She also blew out her diaper on both planes which was just awesome. After my traumatizing experience trying to change Truman's diaper in an airport bathroom without a changing table, I decided to endure the stench and wait until we landed to change her. Good decision but still gross.

While in Missouri she handled the constant stimulation and unfamiliar surroundings pretty well, but her sleep was pretty horrendous. Not sure if that was from being out of her comfortable environment or the new teeth but whatever. We all survived just fine on our 'vacation' because we had nothing to do but lounge and visit and nap and spend time with family. Heaven.


Firsts: two first teeth a week before turning six months, first time in booster seat, first airplane trip, first time outside of Wisconsin, first time sleeping anywhere besides her own home,

Favorite Baby Gear: Nothing really new this month. Nuk brand pacifiers. Ergo carrier. Cheapy little booster seat. Jumparoo.



Little Sister and Big Brother: At six months, Truman had found his feet (Cecelia hasn't except for when she is prop sitting and then she chews her feet) was rolling consistently (Cecelia is not), and was eating rice cereal (not for our girl). But both of these babes can be labeled 'subpar sleepers' with at least 2-3 wake ups per night. And they both like to nurse and are super happy and adorable (biased opinion). Truman let Nate help out a lot more with soothing than Cecelia will allow, but CC is still pretty social and loves interacting with others just like Truman always did. They both have done great at daycare at the 6 month mark. She is still a dainty, petite version of her giant-baby brother, with red hair and blue eyes (Truman's were already hazel by now). I definitely feel more 'attached' to Cecelia at this point than I did with Truman, from what I can remember anyway, because I am the one who attends to/feeds/soothes/puts back to sleep with her. She loves to be worn and loves to be held, so I just think she is more of a mommy's girl than Truman was a mommy's boy. She's definitely more stubborn and opinionated (Estrogen rules!). But then again, that might be my momnesia flaring up again and maybe I felt attached at the hip to my son, too.


Currently Cecelia is still in love with her big brother and he returns the love right back to baby sis. Sometimes if she is napping upstairs he will say, 'I want to see Cece right now!' or 'Where is my sister?' And he's genuinely upset if I don't let him see her immediately. When he sees her he will say, 'Oh, HI, baby!' and will get right in her face to smile and give unprompted kisses. For real. So why wouldn't she love him to death, right? If she hears his voice she will search around for him until she spots the big guy and then she will smile at him as they speak their own sibling language.


I love you, Cecelia/Cease/Cecil/CC. You are the best daughter I could have ever asked for and I cannot wait to watch you grow. But I'd like to keep you little forever, too ;) 

Airplanes, turkey, teeth, and a black eye

A lot of photos from my real camera to capture our amazing Missouri trip's memories:

(fun with Thomas at the airport)

(really excited about being allowed to watch a DVD on our laptop here and also in the air)

(home! My mom has officially converted her famous 'wedding tree' into a 'Thanksgiving tree'. It only took 5 years for our wedding pictures to be overtaken by grandkids;) )

(Truman's new bedroom is FULL of amazing finds from my childhood. Case in point: this awesome land line phone that I had in high school, painted with my nailpolish. Gah!)


(the crew on Tuesday afternoon)

(freshly squeezed OJ = only something he gets with Go Go)

(someone loves Golf Digest)

(and new barrettes from Go Go)

(Wednesday morning--full of smiles with her first tooth!)

(Memaw and her great grand)

(a very Go Go/Pinterest lunch)

(Hannah's fam came to visit a bit! Everyone is looking and half-way smiling!)

(pool shark--and my parents have the best game room ever in the basement)

(Thursday morning smiles!)

(this kid)


(Truman let me line up old match box cars into a rainbow. Both kids are thoroughly impressed, obvi)


(one of the chefs taking baby girl out for fresh air. Why do I love this pic so?)


(loves his new room with toys, I told you)

(warning: Great-Grandpa and Cecelia are TOO cute. Framers.)


(loves to cook)




(great attempt at a shot with me and the kids)

(and our impromptu photo shoot by mom. Love these!)

(the chosen one for cards, although T isn't looking at the camera. Still a winner)

(Cecelia! Why that face?)

(a new all-time fave--my kids and their great grandparents)

(playing with Great Aunt Beth and a new book/Thomas toys)


(Friday morning with Po Po)

(these two!)


(sink bath time)

(Uncle Mike came in from Colorado! First time meeting his niece)


(puzzles are a tradition for our visits in MO)


(she cracks me up with her prop sitting!)


(Sunday--anyone remember this Marble Madness game?)


(her with her TWO teeth now!)


(fun with bubbles--another Pinterest thing, no doubt)


And now my awful story for this post:

Truman got his first black eye on our trip and it was seriously horrifying to watch. We were all downstairs and I was about 3 feet away from him as he started running toward the foosball table, really excited to play the game with us. I saw him trip---which happens at least 2-3 times per day---but this time it was right in front of the table. As he went down my heart literally stopped and when the loudest CRACK known to mankind rang out across the house, I felt ill. I thought he had knocked out every.single.tooth we'd all suffered so much to get. I thought that as I pulled him off the floor I would see a ton of blood. But he was screaming in pain and I just rocked him and searched his face for any signs of blood. At first I didn't see anything and then I watched his right outer eye swell up immediately with a small cut along side of it.

Is there anything worse than seeing your child get hurt? Truman is a typical 2.5 year old boy and he definitely has his share of bumps and bruises. But nothing like this. His first black eye was a doozie---both Nate and I were questioning a trip to the ER to rule out any fractures or issues with bleeding behind his eye socket. Nate is usually so calm and collected in situations like these but even he was freaking out a bit. My mind just went into 'medical focus' and all I could think about was how our insurance might not cover an ER trip outside of the Wisconsin network, and how if I was with Truman at the hospital Cecelia might actually starve to death. Very rational, right? But I don't think I could wrap my head around the fact that Truman was actually going to be okay. How was it possible that he didn't need stitches after an injury like that? How did he not break his nose or teeth? I really do believe that it could have been 100 times worse and thank God for protecting him during Truman's fight with the table. He was so brave and surprisingly got over it pretty quickly, considering that even a scraped knee means at least 4 days of constant talking about his owie.

It was incredible to me to watch his black eye change with time. Kids are SO resilient and the human body is so cool!

Night it happened: Sunday

The next morning: super swollen!



Not even 24 hours later, at the airport: swelling went down and it got a lot darker

And about 36 hours after the fight with the table, Tuesday morning: ready to show off his owie at daycare, which is a LOT better already



He has been a trooper and is NOT being extra careful at all right now. Meaning, he is still running full steam like a mad man and I'm constantly telling him to slow down and be cautious. Boys. Makes a mama extra nervous to watch him be so wild.

The best part is that on the plane ride home on Monday, a lot of people had been commenting about his shiner all day. And as we walked to the back of the plane down the aisle, he just started pointing at his eye with a very serious face, looking around at the strangers to make sure they noticed. Such a ham. Gotta milk this one for all it's worth!

Quite the eventful trip, but worth it! It's good to be home, trying to regain some sense of a routine again, though. And now it's time to focus on Christmas!

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