Dec 28, 2021


 2021, another year in a pandemic.  Most of the year was us both working from home (I'm still at the same job and Bill is still day trading), taking care of kids without losing our minds, and basically not going many places. 

We brought baby Hank home on January 1st! What a wonderful day! It felt so nice to have him home.

We spent much of the first few months trying to figure out how to parent 2 children -- woof, it proved much harder than I expected.

Haddie turned 3 and we celebrated with a Trolls-themed birthday party and a drive-by birthday celebration.

We had a lovely Easter - I got the kids new baskets and Haddie wore a dress that used to be mine.  We dyed eggs and had an egg hunt in the yard. 

We visited Ohio at some point -- I literally can't remember when? June? September? Both? Lolllll is my brain broken? I think it was June.  I think we were here for my dad's birthday. (I'm in Ohio now too)

Over the 4th of July, we went to Bill's childhood home for the last time. His parents moved to Florida so we went up there to bid adieu to the house.  Hank scratched Haddie's cornea which led to an urgent care visit.

In late summer/early fall, we dealt with a mouse invasion.  They tried to take over our house while we were visiting family and it was such a hassle to get it under control, but knock on wood, they are at least way more under control.

We brought our new kitten Margaret home in July as well.  She is ornery and tiny, but the kids love her so much. 

Haddie started preschool in September - her school is totally outside.  She has a best friend, loves her teacher, and happily stays for lunch and aftercare. It has been an adjustment to have to drive 20 min to and from her school 2x a day, but it's been worth it! She only goes 3 days a week this year and I think it's been a great timeline for the transition into school.

Hank has grown so much over the course of the year.  The first few months were difficult as we navigated his acid reflux and tried to figure out how to take care of 2 kids at once.  The adjustment to having a baby brother took awhile as well, but a year into it, we are finally getting our groove.

I finally started seeing a neurologist and got my migraines under control! I take a preventative medicine and I have an abortive med that works when I have one. It is unbelievably nice to no longer feel crippled by migraines for days on end.

Bill and I both got our Covid shots in May and were boosted in October. Both times we felt crappy and tired with sore arms, but it's worth it.  I can't wait until the kids can be vaccinated, especially Haddie since Hank is protected through my milk.

The vast majority of the year was spent similarly to last year - we mainly stay at home.  Near the last third of the year, we started venturing out again - I went to Hannah's engagement party, shower, bachelorette party, Bill went to Nick's bachelor party, and we went to her wedding.  We were actually in her wedding! I was a bridesmaid and Haddie was a flower girl.  It was her very first wedding and she did great!  Hank also looked super cute.  I was pretty nervous to be maskless around groups and stay in a hotel, but it was fine.  I also went to Hannah's birthday party, a couple of hangs with Sharae including her 50th birthday where I did a surprise decoration extravaganza, and an oyster fest.  Amy was in town for Neil's family reunion and we got dinner. Haddie got to go to a neighbor girl's birthday party. 

Haddie started doing gymnastics and she absolutely loves it.  We did a few sessions throughout the year and she's ready for the next one!  I participated with her, but at her next session, she'll be in the class alone, while we watch from the sidelines.  Oh in the spring she tried soccer - she did a class and then soccer camp.  It was less of a success, but I think she might like to try it again. 

We went to a couple of town events like our annual Cheverly Day and Safety Day.  It was fun to be out and about, but nervewracking to be around so many people.

For Halloween, we dressed as the Paw Patrol and trick or treated. 

I canceled my Instacart Express membership and started going back to the grocery in person, which I promptly started back up again for my birthday gift to myself LOL. 

Bill and I celebrated our 5th anniversary by going to dinner in Old Town.  I had a delightful wedge salad where I discovered that I like bleu cheese now!  Hank is able to tolerate dairy now and it's been so nice eating it.  Karlee and Matt watched the kids while we took our date which was just so nice! 

We celebrated Thanksgiving just the 4 of us at home and a week later, Bill's parents came for an early Christmas.  I redid a dollhouse for a Maileg mice house for Haddie! 

For my birthday, we went to Enchant DC where I ran into a real housewife! We ice skated, ate tater tots, tasty drinks, and walked through the light maze. 

We were set to fly home for Christmas last week, but Covid started ramping up again and I got nervous, so we ended up driving.  We celebrated Hank's first birthday with a cat-themed celebration and had a lovely Christmas.  Bill drove back today and we will be flying home next week. 

I'll update this as I remember things and maybe I'll add pics, but maybe not.  Figured this was better than nothing! 

Jul 21, 2021

End of Summer Bucket List

I was minding my own business the other day, scrolling through Instagram stories, and this woman I follow was saying how after the 4th of July, she pulls down her summer d├ęcor and starts putting up fall and Halloween. Normally, I am all for summer ending and fall beginning.  Like give me cooler temps, falling leaves, and everything pumpkin spice, but for some reason, seeing fall stuff made me feel panicked!  I feel like summer just started (it kinda technically did) and we haven't really done any traditional summer things yet!  I mostly hate summer, but for some reason the idea of being cooped up again in our house while it's cold and gray outside is just too much for me.  I'm not ready yet! Also, I feel like we've deprived Haddie of a childhood summer by staying in the AC all the time!  So it inspired me to get us together and come up with a bucket list for things to do the rest of the summer.  We've already crossed one item off the list! 

Here is the Hager Family 2021 End-of-Summer Bucket List:

  • Set up our "backyard waterpark"
    • Pool
    • Giant unicorn sprinkler
    • Splash pad

  • Go berry/pea picking

  • Watch the Olympics

  • Sunflower patch

  • Take Hank's 6 month milk bath photos

  • Go to a splash pad/park

  • Get ice cream ✅ 

    • Done! I took Haddie to Jeni's in Navy Yard and it was her first ever ice cream cone! I am so grateful for non-dairy ice cream options <3 

    • I want to also take her to get vegan soft serv and froyo

  • Farmer's market

  • Go flower picking

  • Use our new Solo stove for a fire

  • Water balloons

  • Buy/rent a power washer and do our drive and sidewalk

  • Go to the beach

  • Go on a picnic

  • Eat more summery foods

  • ...including blue crabs!

  • Carousel (only if I can find one that feels distanced/safe).  This was not on my bucket list until Haddie saw one on our walk yesterday and lost her mind.  She was like "that looks fun!!!" but of course it happened to be one that was closed

  • And Haddie's #1 item, row a boat 

I'm looking forward to using the rest of our summer to complete this list!! What's on your bucket list for the rest of the summer? Are you ready for fall this year?

Jul 19, 2021

I'm back and also I'm done but don't worry I really am back

So it's been AWHILE since I've posted, like almost a year and I'm back with a stream of conscious post and no pics. 

I was so into the idea of potentially making my blog a source of income and doing the same with Instagram that I lost sight of why I even like blogging.  I like it FOR ME.  I like having running memories of everything to look back on. I also got completely obsessed over the fear of having my children's faces, names, and information about them out there online that it stymied me and I just stopped posting.  My Instagram has totally dwindled out too, to the point where I never post and I kind of hate how my feed even looks. I have no idea how trying to take better photos ended up making me take worse photos, but whatever.  It's like the harder I try, the worst it gets. I was looking back through my old, personal IG account the other day and I had so many memories of Haddie as a baby until she was about 2 and then it stopped.  And now Instagram is saying it's not even a photo sharing app any more, but a video app and I'm just not into that.  I have no desire to learn how to make reels or TikToks.  I just don't feel like adapting.  I think video might be where my interest in social media kind of taps out.  And so, I'm back to my blog.  

I want write more often and just do it however I want. Not every post has to be "pin-worthy" or "provide value to my reader."  I want to journal my family's life and maintain a snapshot in time.  If some helpful content comes along the way, then so be it but I'm done trying to make a second career out of this when I have literally zero time and minimal desire to conform to what is necessary to be successful. There is so much pressure out there amongst the social media community with quotes like "people quit when it's hard" or "you have the same number of hours in the day as everyone else" and I'm just over it. I don't CARE anymore.  I'm just over following people for the sake of following people so that they'll follow me.  I'm tired of following people from follow chains back in the day.  I'm tired of only following moms and people "in my niche." I'm tired of thinking what my pictures will look like when I post them.  I'm tired of getting my kids to pose certain ways so that it looks good.  I'm tired of editing photos.   I'm just over trying to make it happen.   Maybe one day I'll get back to it, but having a DC area mom IG account is just not it for me.  I don't have it in me. I'm literally maxed out and it's an added stress that I just do not need.  I'm not going to get rid of my account because I still like having it and I want to get back to just doing my blog and IG for me and my family and friends (and whoever actually enjoys following me bc they like me and not bc they have to).  I like that I have a safe space where there aren't a ton of pics that show their faces and I do like the GENERAL theme of my blog, like I do live in the nation's capital, so I hope to show more of that as we get out and about more often, but I'm just done trying to make it A THING and not just a fun hobby.

OKAY wow that was a ramble and honestly I have no idea if it even made sense but I'm hitting publish. 

Aug 20, 2020

First Trimester Recap

*Note: I wrote this a few weeks ago, so some things have actually changed, but I'll write a recap on second trimester later!*

*NOTE 2: I put pictures in here and I have no idea why they aren't showing up*

I stopped my Covid real-time posts on here and took it to my journal because it was just constantly changing and stressful and then slowly just became a way of life. This has been such a hard year for our country and there are constantly things happening.  I've been trying to capture it all in my journal so that I never forget what it's like to live during these times, but we are all experiencing it and we all have our own thoughts so I decided to stop putting all mine here and keep it in my journal. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw our news that we are expecting baby #2 in January!  I didn't blog much the last time I was pregnant, so I want to try to at least get a few posts up here and there. 

I think the main things people are curious about are how I'm feeling, what I'm craving, does Haddie know and what's her reaction, am I showing, do we know the sex, do we have names picked out, and I've actually gotten a lot of questions about the nursery.  SO, here we go.  

First, I want to say that this baby is very much wanted and planned.  We've been wanting to grow our family basically since Haddie was born, but life had other plans. We have been trying for awhile, so no, this is not a "quarantine baby."  We feel truly so grateful and blessed and don't take a second of this for granted, hard moments and all.  

How am I feeling?
I could write an entire treatise on how I've been feeling, but I'll sum it up by saying the first 3.5 months were literally miserable.  I had thought that I'd had bad morning sickness with Haddie, but this has been next level.  I felt great for the first couple of weeks we found out (and we found out very early, like 10 days past ovulation early) and then one day it was like a flip switched and I was hit with illness.  I was nauseous 24/7.  From the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, and then also all night long.  I mean, rolling waves of nausea, constantly.  Some days I would throw up 5-6 times a day, some days I wouldn't throw up at all.  Whenever I did throw up, it didn't bring any relief.  I was shaking and lightheaded too.  When I laid down, the room would spin.  I also had near-constant headaches and migraines.  I was basically non-functional.  I did the bare minimum at work, home, and mothering.  I felt like a horrible mom, a bad wife, and a crappy employee.  I would say I didn't feel well and Haddie would say "again?"  It was like a dagger to my heart.  I tried taking Unisom at night and B6 during the day.  It didn't do much, but it did help me sleep.  My OB also prescribed me Zofran but I was nervous to taking it after reading side effects. Eventually, she prescribed me Diclegis and it cured me!  That drug is a miracle.  I was like a new woman overnight. It worked so well that I was actually afraid something was wrong!  Since starting that around week 14, I have barely felt nauseous -- sometimes certain smells will set me off or I'll forget to take my morning dose, but it's been super manageable since then.  The migraines are another story.  I've started taking magnesium in the morning which has helped a bit and I do take my prescription, Fioricet, when I absolutely have to.  I've also had every other textbook pregnancy symptom along the way so far from cramping to tailbone pain to sciatica and heartburn.  It kind of cracks me up how I seem to hit every single symptom! One symptom that plagued me last time seems to be a lot better this time and that is anxiety.  I've tried my absolute hardest to just stay off of Google and to just not let my mind go where it shouldn't go.  I didn't allow myself to enjoy any of my pregnancy with Haddie and my main goal has been not to allow that to happen this time.  

Accurate portrayal of how I looked and felt for 4 months ha. 

Any cravings? 

Onto my diet, LOL.  I've been craving sushi, salt and vinegar chips, fries, tomato-based things, and SWEETS.  My sweet tooth is OUT of control and until recently, I had totally been indulging it -- I'm talking cookies, cake, brownies, icing, candy, fruit snacks, ice cream, popsicles, cereal, the list goes on and on!  As for sushi, I've fulfilled my craving a few times by getting veggie or cooked sushi, and I even tried to make it once which didn't go well.  I've eaten more bags of chips than I can count, and my consumption of sweets has just been wild. I mean truly disgusting.  For the few couple weeks/months, I felt too sick to cook and was just eating whatever crap I could get my hands on.  Bill would make normal food for us like grilled chicken and salad, but I had no interest in that.  I've been feeling well enough to finally get back to cooking and I was making some "bad" stuff for awhile, like lots of pasta dishes and fishsticks and fries, but starting last week, I'm finally on a healthier kick.  I'm forcing myself to get more nutrient-rich meals in and I got rid of (by eating, heh) all the sweets in the house and I didn't allow myself to buy any more.  The cravings are still unreal, but I'm trying to satisfy them by healthier things like fruit.  As a comparison, with Haddie I craved pizza-everything (pizza rolls, pizza bagels, pizza Lunchables, etc) and salty things. 

Does Haddie know?

Haddie does know and she's so excited to be a "big brother."  That's what Daniel Tiger is, so that's what she thinks she is going to be.  We haven't been able to get her to understand the concept of sister vs. brother, but that's ok.  We weren't going to tell her until much later, but she overheard us talking and found the sonogram picture, so we told her.  She keeps talking about the "baby in mommy's tummy" and patting it and saying "hi baby, I'm Haddie!" It's been very cute.  She is excited to hold him and feed him.

Do we know the gender?

Which brings me to my next point, yes we know the sex! We found out early via our NIPT testing that we are having a BOY! We didn't do anything cute to find out, but I wish I had at least recorded us.  We got the test results in the middle of a work day so we both gathered around the computer and saw the results saying everything genetically was fine which was such a relief.  The doctors keep pointing out my "advanced maternal age" so I was nervous.  Then we saw the button that said click here for the sex!  We were going to try to wait and do cute cupcakes or something but we couldn't wait -- we clicked it and it said you're having a... boy! We both screamed! I think we were in shock haha.  I truly wasn't sure what I was hoping for, but I know now that I think I was leaning boy -- I feel so lucky to get to have one of each that I can hardly believe it! I have no idea what to do with a boy, but everyone says they are so special and their love for their mama is just special and different, so I'm very excited for that.  At this point, this poor child is going to have no clothes, lol.  We got most of Haddie's clothes for the entire year from my showers and I didn't realize how lucky I was until now!  Baby clothes ain't cheap!  I am going to go through her clothes and sort through anything a boy can wear.  I got a few hand-me-downs from a neighbor and my friend and I plan to slowly stock up over the next few months.  

Am I showing?

I am definitely showing.  They aren't lying when they say you show quicker with subsequent pregnancies!  I feel like I went to bed one day looking normal and the next woke up with a bump that hasn't gone away since!  I'm really uncomfortable in regular clothes, so I'm wearing the few summer maternity pieces I have and just ordered a bunch more.  I didn't really need to start wearing them last time until fall! I have two pairs of maternity shorts now and they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Any plans for the nursery?

Everyone keeps asking me what room will be the nursery and do we have a theme planned.  We are going to use the guest room for his nursery, and I think we are going to move the guest bed into our office for the time being.  It will be a guest room/office combo until we can get our basement fixed up.  When I planned Haddie's nursery, I told Bill that if we ever had a boy, he could plan his nursery.  I was hoping he'd forget that promise, but no luck haha.  Luckily, we both had sort of the same vision -- he wants to do a mountain/adventure theme, which is precisely what I was thinking! I have been doing some preliminary planning on Pinterest and I can't wait to get started.  Our job situations are both in flex right now, so we don't want to get too far into the nursery in case we need to end up moving, but I'm still itching to start! 

Any names? 

Absolutely not haha.  I had some cute girls named picked out (like Hazel James!) and I know my preferred boy name, but Bill and I can't agree on anything.  We loved Jackson/Jax for awhile, but the moment passed.  Haddie has suggested something which is growing on both of us, but for now the baby is nameless.  

Something not many people have asked about, but has been a huge thing for me has been being pregnant during a pandemic.  It's worth a post of it's own and I intend to write one, but suffice it to say it's been different.  It hasn't been all bad, but it's definitely different. 

So that's it for now.  Is there anything else you want to know? 

Please send me all your boy name recommendations!!!
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