Nursery Tour

The nursery tour doesn’t take too long since the room is itsy-bitsy. That being said, we have done our best to make it a sweet little space for Culhane McGeever. Our inspiration for the room came from the little stuffed bunny in the corner of the crib. Also, anyone who knows Michael knows his favorite color is orange, so we went with that. Big props & thanks to Trent Hudson for making the Colt Harper sign, the side table beside the dresser and for hanging everything on the walls!

Back when I was pregnant -- getting the room ready!

Back when I was pregnant — getting the room ready!


Crib: Jenny Lind
Crib bedding: Trend Lab
Bed sheets: Target
Curtains: Target
Mobile & Stuffed Bunny: Blabla
Dresser: Ikea
Dresser Overlays: My O’verlays
Lamp: World Market
Toy Bin: Land of Nod
Changing Pad Cover: Land of Nod
Rug: Overstock
Boston Print: World Market (old – Michael has had it for years)
Shoes: Toms – From Godparents Mike Saign & Moira O’Connell!
Green Alligator Toy: Gift from São Paulo friends!
Orange Sweater: Hand knit by my Aunt Sheryl!
Colt Harper Sign: Hand made by Trent Hudson!

Magic in Mississippi

Last month on November 16, my dear friend Emily Penn got married!Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 2.52.09 PM

Emily and I were roommates in Washington DC and have remained close friends ever since. We were living together when I met/dated/got engaged to Michael and we were also living together when she met and started dating Kern. We were all so thrilled when they got engaged that Michael and I decided that going to the wedding was the perfect reason to do our first international trip with Culhane!

We took off on a Wednesday night and were lucky to have reserved a bassinet seat with United. They gave us a “bassinet” (aka a big shoe-box) that we put on the floor and after feeding a little at takeoff, Culhane slept for the next 7 1/2 hours! We flew through Houston and he was up for the last hour or two of the flight but was well-rested and happy – no tears! We had a quick connection and then arrived in Jackson, Mississippi Thursday morning only to be picked up at the airport by the bride & groom! What a luxury! Then we went to Emily’s house for breakfast, lunch and some good hang out time before getting checked into our hotel. IMG_3529We enjoyed more quality time with the bride and her family for a fabulous southern dinner before settling in for the night. Since we were dealing with a 4 hour time difference we just kept Culhane up for an extra feed. He woke up the next morning at 6am which was a little early, but much better than 4am which I had been worried about. IMG_3542

Michael babysat Culhane Friday afternoon while I joined the girls for Emily’s bridal brunch. I don’t have pictures from it (because I was taking them all on her camera!) but it was so lovely and so Emily. It was also a great time to reunite with old friends and meet some new ones!

Friday night, Michael and I left Culhane with non-family babysitters for the first time ever to attend the Rehearsal Dinner. One of Emily’s girlfriends also has a little guy, so she let us bring Culhane over to her house and share her babysitters for both Friday and Saturday nights — so sweet! I felt pretty good about everything when we dropped him off, but a few hours into the night I made the mistake of calling to check in. The babysitter said that, although he was asleep then, Colt had been fussing and crying a lot. She almost sounded mad at me and I just burst into tears, wanting to hold and comfort my little love. Emily’s sweet friends offered to drive us back by the house to check on him but I knew in my head that he was OK and everything was fine, and we had made the trip so that I could be there for Emily, so we decided to just do our best to enjoy the rest of the night and I’m so glad we did. It was kind of a tough night for me but I also think it was good to just get it over with. Aside from that little hiccup, the night was amazing and was a beautiful tribute to Kern and Emily. So many people gave beautiful speeches testifying to their strong character as individuals and their love as a couple. Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 2.55.02 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-17 at 2.55.57 PM

On Saturday afternoon, Michael babysat again as I spent the afternoon with Emily and the girls getting ready for the big night. She was seriously the calmest and most beautiful bride of all time. Michael left Culhane with a babysitter again and then joined me for the ceremony which was so lovely – only to be followed by a perfect, party reception!smileScreen Shot 2013-12-17 at 10.36.39 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-17 at 10.38.15 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-17 at 10.38.59 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-17 at 10.40.15 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-05 at 8.42.29 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-17 at 10.52.01 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-17 at 10.50.47 PMexit

The trickiest part was, because I had to leave Culhane with Michael or babysitters a lot and obviously I couldn’t pack any milk (and Culhane refuses formula), I was worried about being able to produce enough to feed him and pump enough bottles, but it actually ended up being like the loaves & fishes – God provided and there was extra left over that we tossed before heading back.

We headed to the airport on Sunday for a long trip home. We flew through Chicago which was experiencing tons of delays due to weather. We were lucky that our flight was only delayed a few hours and then we hit the jackpot with an empty seat on our row so we left Culhane in his carseat where he slept like a total champ for almost the entire flight.


Emily & Kern – thank you so much for including us in your special weekend and congratulations to you both!!  XO

** All Rehearsal Dinner & Wedding photo credit to Sully Clemmer! **

Culhane’s 5th Month!

Parabéns Little Bit! You’re 5 months old today!5 months

Colt developments: Baby, you’re growing so much! This month you finally discovered your toes and grab them constantly when you’re laying on your back. It’s actually kind of helpful when you’re getting changed! You have also started chewing on your hands like crazy. You are always slobbering all over them and everything else! Gigi thinks that you’re in the beginning stages of teething, but I’m not so sure / I’m hoping we’re not quite there yet…

You’re much better at holding and maneuvering objects and toys which is fun to watch. And just a few days ago you rolled over from your back to your tummy for the first time! You’re not crawling yet but you are getting more mobile — scooting around a little. You enjoy all of your little devices (crib, bunny seat, bumbo chair, johnny jump up, activity mat…) but one of your favorite things to do is to practice standing up while we hold your hands. You also went swinging at the park for the first time this month and you seemed to love it! You would smile and squint your eyes as if the wind in your face was almost too much. It was amazing.

You have laughed a few more times this month, but you still generally reserve laughs for special occasions. You’re a very happy baby and smile all the time, but you’re a little bit on the serious side too.

Health: I’m so thankful that you continue to be perfectly healthy. At your appointment yesterday you weighed in at 15 lbs 7 oz and were almost 26″ long. You had a mosquito attack one night this past week and when I went into your room in the morning, I found 14 bites all over you, you poor thing. That mean mosquito got you on the top of your head, your face, your fingers, your toes, and anything else it could find. I was so heartbroken but honestly I couldn’t blame the mosquito – you’re skin is just so soft and irresistible. If I were a mosquito I’d chomp on you too.

Eating: Still all me. We are currently feeding 5 times/day but I have to say, this past month has been quite a challenge. When we were in Mississippi I had to leave you a lot with Michael or babysitters so you ended up feeding from bottles much more than usual, and as a result, you went on what is apparently called a “nursing strike,” and that’s exactly what it felt like! You would arch your back and fling your head and cry, cry, cry, as if to say, “I’m on strike!” For the next week I fought through it and exclusively nursed you which seemed to break the strike, however you can still get difficult after a few minutes and sometimes you are tough even with a bottle. You’re lucky you’re cute when you cry!

Sleeping: You’re still a great sleeper, although I do think that all of the visitors (taking us off our schedule) and all of the traveling (+ a 4 hour time change in Mississippi) has thrown you off a little. You are going down at 10pm but are often waking up around 6:30am. I can always get you back to sleep and never feed you before 8:00am, but sometimes it takes a few trips to your room to give you the paci. And every now and then you will wake in the middle of the night for your paci too. I’m not really sure what this is all about, as it never happened before our big trip, but ever since then your sleep has just been a little less like clockwork. At any rate, you basically sleep from 10:00pm-8:15am so even if I have to get up once or twice for 30 seconds, I can’t complain. Also you are beyond adorable when you sleep. I almost can’t handle it.

Schedule: It’s basically the same as reported last month – feeds generally at/around: 8:15am, 11:30am, 2:30pm, 5:45pm, 8:30pm, down for bed by 10:00pm. You nap throughout the day – usually 1 big nap and 3 small ones.

Mama: I think I love motherhood more and more each day. What fun it is to be your mom and to watch Michael be your dad. We have so much fun with you and are cherishing these moments.

Thoughts: Sweet love, I can’t believe what a precious little boy you’re becoming. I am so excited to take you home for the holidays and show you off to our friends and family.

When your Zais grandparents visited, Gigi brought us a sweet Advent calendar. Each morning, we take you to the calendar and your dad explains that we are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus. He tells you about Jesus’ life and death and resurrection. He tells you that you have a Savior and a Rescuer in Jesus, and Culhane, we are praying every day that you will know Him. We pray that you will know Him and know the freedom of life lived in and through Him. We pray that you will know the joy and peace of one who knows he is fully known and fully loved. We pray that you will come to the table of your God and freely “delight in the richest of fare,” all the days of your life. (Isaiah 55:1-2)DSC_0559DSC_0574DSC_0555DSC_0549DSC_0585

Gigi & Pasha Part 3: São Paulo

My parents finished off their visit with more São Paulo fun – parks, restaurants, and lots of time with baby Colt.

Fun at Parque Ibirapuera! The swan was twice the size of Culhane!
IMG_5008 IMG_5009 IMG_5022 IMG_5027 Don’t mind the sun-bathers. IMG_5033 Everyone eating at 348.DSC_0426 Parque do Povo.IMG_5045 IMG_5050 Culhane’s first time in a swing – he loved it!IMG_2771São Paulo’s Mercado Municipal.
DSC_0437 DSC_0449 Getting all ready for the big Clemson vs. South Carolina game! (Papa – I promise I was cheering for Clemson but my parents hijacked the baby!)DSC_0383 Culhane, none too impressed with BC’s performance.DSC_0453 Happy Gamecocks.DSC_0467 All tuckered out.DSC_0482 Sunday mass at Nossa Senhora do Brasil.DSC_0519Closing cocktails & the best views of the city from Terraço Italia.DSC_0494 DSC_0505

It was sad to say goodbye to my parents when they left on Sunday, but it was a little easier than usual since we will be seeing them in just 2 weeks for Christmas! We loved your visit and can’t wait to see you again soon!

Gigi & Pasha Part 2: Thanksgiving!

This year we were blessed enough to celebrate Thanksgiving in our current home-city, São Paulo, with my parents and amazing friends who feel like family. Shout out to Suzanna Jones who took the lead and organized the amazing evening at Chez Mis – complete with custom-made cinnamon-stick place cards and a customized menu with every Thanksgiving favorite! It was a perfect evening that we’ll never forget!

Getting ready to go!DSC_0330DSC_0334Family picture at Chez Mis. DSC_0351The tables:DSC_0369DSC_0371DSC_0366Action at our table:DSC_0376DSC_0363DSC_0364DSC_0361DSC_0358

So much to be thankful for!!

Up Next: Gigi & Pasha Part 3 – SP

Gigi & Pasha Part 1: Rio & SP

Over the past few weeks, Culhane has been busy getting lots of special time with lots of special people. A few days after Aunt Lise left, Michael, Culhane and I flew to Jackson, Mississippi to celebrate two of our dear friends getting married – yay Kern & Emily! I’m obviously behind on blogging and will do a post on that trip soon, but right after we got back to São Paulo, my parents arrived for a fabulous 10 day visit! My mom was here for a few weeks right after Culhane was born, but this was my dad’s first visit and his first time meeting his sweet grandson who shares his middle name – McGeever!

My parents arrived in Brazil on November 22. We met them at the São Paulo airport and then all flew together to Rio de Janeiro. We were unlucky with the weather there and it rained every single day so we weren’t able to do the beach or other fun, touristy things, however this did make for lots of extra grandparent-snuggle time with Colt. Also — little known fact about my dad — he is an avid stamp collector so the trip to Rio was actually dual-purpose as the annual international stamp show was happening, so we did that as well.

Meeting at the airport! photoVisiting the famous and beautiful Copacabana Palace for lunch and a little tour. IMG_2702IMG_2684

Culhane’s first sink-bath in our Rio apartment! IMG_0905The Stamp Show! My dad and these 2 gentlemen are the 3 co-VPs of the American Philatelic Society. DSC_0220Fun dinner at a fav spot – Zaza-Bistro! IMG_4910

After a rainy weekend we headed back to São Paulo where we enjoyed beautiful weather, great friends and lots of amazing restaurants.

Day 1 started with lunch at Museu da Casa BrasileraDSC_0222DSC_0231Then a visit to Michael’s office. DSC_0233DSC_0242DSC_0236DSC_0243Finally, we headed across the street to Shopping Iguatemi for some holiday cheer! DSC_0247DSC_0254DSC_0270Outside the mall — Santa and his dog in their rainy-day attire. IMG_4990

We capped off the night with a visit to Hotel Unique for cocktails and beautiful views of the city. DSC_0273DSC_0276DSC_0277DSC_0297DSC_0291DSC_0306DSC_0310

Up Next: Gigi & Pasha Part 2 – Thanksgiving!