Joylab

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Sweatshirt: Joylab for Target (sold out) – also like this one / Side Tie Leggings: Joylab for Target / Sneakers: Blondo via Trunk Club / Sunnies: Brickyard Buffalo (old)

Okay, you guys. I am seriously behind on blog posts! This shoot was done back in NOVEMBER. I know, I know. Look how long my hair was! And this was before the baby bump even existed. But better late than never right? And guess what? Joylab, the now new-ish activewear line from Target is still fabulous…and comfortable and adorable…and totally perfect for that busy mom-on-the-go life.

I’m telling you, this sweatshirt is the softest, most comfortable ever, and was my go-to all winter long. The fit is loose with plenty of room for that belly that continued (and still continues) to grow as well. The leggings no longer fit with the bump, however, I look forward to wearing them again once baby arrives. Super sleek, comfy and perfect for either a workout, running errands, or hanging at the playground with your kiddos.

The rest of their line is adorable too, so I would check it out if you haven’t already!

This week has been a bit gloomy here in the Big Apple, and I’m personally missing the sunshine. However, mama and baby had a good doctor’s appointment this week…which if you have been following me on Facebook, you know it’s been a crazy roller coaster. I haven’t really shared over here, but we had a super big health scare with baby a couple weeks back which required some further testing, and luckily the results came back looking good, thank GOD. So to hit Week 26 this week with another good appointment is frankly the only real sunshine I TRULY need.

Happy Friday to all, and cheers to getting some more uber-belated blog posts up in the next few weeks!

XO,

Gina

 

Another Present Under the Tree!

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Welp, today is Day #1 of the long anticipated 80 Day Obsession, but looks like I won’t be starting today afterall…God has another plan!!!

Looks like there was one more present under the tree. The Notes Fam is expecting Baby 3! ūüôā ūüôā

We’re only 9 weeks so say some prayers to the man upstairs¬†and send some good vibes for a healthy human to arrive to us in August!

I know some of you are probably wondering why I am announcing so “early” because it’s not the “norm,” but after hearing about a recent terrible pregnancy loss from a high school friend, it was another reminder to me to celebrate every moment. I have something to celebrate NOW. And yes, I know the terrible that could happen…it has happened before…but announcing “early” and celebrating the life inside me now doesn’t change any outcomes. I don’t want to hide in fear of what could happen but instead celebrate what IS happening now..and that is I’m growing a human! And no matter what happens, I will only be stronger for having all of the support around me.

Plus, I’m starting to pop out already big time. ¬†I share much of my life on social media, and it just feels so unnatural for me to hide and not be able to share everything that has been going on behind the scenes of the first trimester…like being super hungry and incredibly tired this week and not even wanting to exercise. And having that nausea finally kick in. Apparently this is normal for this week of pregnancy, so I’m trying to ride the wave, but happy to share what’s been going on as I navigate this pregnancy with two little boys. This weekend I have been SO thankful for my helpful hubby! And that we have him for an extra day.

Thanks for all the love and support you all have shown my fam thus far, and we are so excited for this new journey as a family of 5! 

 

XO,

Gina

2015 in Review

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A lot has happened in this past year…

I embarked on a new career as a health & fitness coach last January and I have since been able to help over 120 challengers to reach their goals and 8 coaches to build a business of their own. I am continuing to help those who want to make changes in this brand new year.

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I found out I was pregnant with our second child in January, and we did a fun little photo shoot in Prospect Park to find out we were expecting a BOY!

Baby Notes 2 Announcement

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I felt a little bit tougher this time around during my pregnancy and made my health and fitness a big priority for both myself and my family.

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We took a trip to Tulum, Mexico as a family and it was a crazy fun adventure.

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I rocked a two piece dress during my pregnancy which Lord knows I never thought would happen! I also rocked a bikini.

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I came up with a post all about exercises during pregnancy which many of you read and loved…I call them pregercises.

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I had some fun collaborations with both Stella & Dot and Irresistible Me…I have to say I am obsessed with Stella & Dot jewelry, and I can now FINALLY use a curling iron without butchering my hair!

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Before & After

I surprised my husband with a trip to the NOLA for our 4 year wedding anniversary.

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We had an adorable family maternity photo shoot with my phenomenal cousin and professional photographer Misa Me.

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We took our annual lake trip over the summer…this time we landed in Seneca Lake in the Finger Lake region of Upstate New York.

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I also traveled 8 months pregnant to Nashville for the annual Beachbody Summit, and met my fabulous team of coaches in person to share a phenomenal life-changing experience. I also broke it down on the CIZE dance floor. (yes I was the awkward dancing pregnant lady)

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My beautiful baby Luca was brought into the world and our world was forever changed for the better. This kid is the smiliest, happiest baby I have ever met and we are so in love.

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My Nico Bonzo turned TWO this year with a TMNT b-day party. He started preschool, has become so independent, is making friends, and having full conversations these days. He astonishes me daily with how much memory he can retain in that little brain of his. I know he is destined for great things.

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I started my own 21 Day Fix journey to get back to my pre-baby, healthy, active self again, and so far things are going really well. I told myself I would not wait so long like I did with my first babe to get back into shape, and I have stuck to my word.

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We have celebrated many beautiful friends getting married this past year and wonderful holidays together with family. We are so very lucky and I am thankful for my blessings each and every day.

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Misa Me Family Christmas

(Photo by Misa Me Photography)

I look forward to what 2016 has to offer, and I am wishing you all a happy, healthy New Year!

XO,

Gina

Fit Mama Thoughts

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Shortly after I became a fitness coach, I discovered I was pregnant. I panicked. Not because of the whole extra child part. For that I was pretty excited, even though we were a tad surprised at the time. But I panicked about just starting a new job where people would rely on me to reach their health & fitness goals, because how could I set a good example while pregnant? I obviously wasn‚Äôt going to be showing any ‚Äúresults‚ÄĚ photos from my program. I had to switch my program. I would be getting BIGGER‚Ķnot smaller. What if I couldn‚Äôt keep up? Would people want to work with a coach who couldn‚Äôt practice everything they preach?

But I decided to give it a shot…give it my all…and see what came out of it. I have been working out as much as I can, eating healthy, and sharing my journey through pregnancy as a fit mama.

And you know what? I now have over 30 challengers in my groups and THREE of them are prego mamas just like me! I never would have dreamed I would be able to help and inspire so many people to reach their goals and stay healthy…especially the pregnant mamas. I am actually so incredibly inspired by THEM and all of my challengers to keep going on a daily basis.

This job has given me an amazing opportunity to not only help others but to better myself in the process ūüôā A year ago, I never would have thought I would be able to stay at home with my son and still accomplish so much in the working world. I am incredibly blessed and thankful, and I can‚Äôt wait to see what else is in store!

Hope you all are having a great week!

XO,

Gina

Why I’m Tougher This Pregnancy

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Pregnancy. What a wild ride it is…and each time is different. My first pregnancy was cut tragically short due to a miscarriage after 7.5 weeks and ended in devastation and sadness. My 2nd pregnancy, I was a nervous wreck for the entire 1st trimester and then some. Afraid to work out. Afraid of another loss. Eventually as time wore on, I started to become less nervous and embrace my pregnancy along with all the ups and down, scares, vomiting, nausea, itchiness, heartburn, early contractions, duck waddling, and more. With every sonogram (and I had a lot of them) I felt closer and closer to my Little Monkey. Eventually, on August 29, 2013, my little boy was brought into the world and everything made sense. All of that craziness was worth it, and my life was forever changed. I can’t believe that little boy is now almost 2 years old, and I have another on the way.

Most women would say that being pregnant the 2nd (or in my case 3rd) time around is more difficult. I would have to agree that it has been quite challenging. However, I think it has somehow made me TOUGHER. And here’s why:

1st Trimester Nausea & Exhaustion

I thought this was bad before, but this pregnancy was much worse! Previously, I would get sick, and then feel better, but I pretty much felt a constant wave of nausea all day every day for the entire first trimester. Even if I got sick, I did not feel any better. I tried ginger candies (I was repulsed), preggie pop drops, eating small frequent meals, and sea bands, but¬†nothing really seemed to do the trick except letting time pass. I was also much more exhausted, but couldn’t exactly fall asleep whenever I wanted to. Knowing that I was able to get through this first rough of a 1st trimester with everything else going on in my life makes me feel like one tough cookie.

I Have a Toddler This Time Around

This is probably BY FAR the most challenging aspect of this pregnancy! Previously, if I needed a nap or I felt sick I could lay down and rest. As a stay-at-home working mom this time around, I cannot just take a break when I need to. My toddler is very active and wants to run around and play all day. He takes one nap a day, and at the beginning, I was napping right along with him! With the 2nd trimester, I gained a lot of energy back, and now I work during his nap time, but it was a a struggle in the beginning. There was a lot of time for planning during my last pregnancy, but I feel as if this pregnancy is just flying right by! Anyone that can get through a pregnancy while taking care of a toddler is tough in my book!

I am Running My Own Business

Speaking of work…since the¬†company I was working for folded in September, I decided to take a step in a new direction as a fitness coach and freelance writer. I now stay at home with my son, work from home, and make my own schedule, but it’s also extremely tough to fit everything in in one day on top of being pregnant. Toddler playdates, doctor’s appointments, conference calls, emails, quiet time to write, taking care of the house, building a business…there is so much to fit in each day, and only so much time. I find myself working a lot of late nights trying to get it all done, and luckily my husband is good about letting me sleep in a lot so that I don’t run myself ragged.

I am Working on My Fitness

As I said before, I was previously scared to work out during my last pregnancy. I walked a lot, which was a great way to keep active, but I did not feel “in shape” at all. This pregnancy, I have been doing the PiYo program (combo of pilates and yoga) at least 4-5 times per week for at least 30 min per day, hiking on weekends, etc. My body feels so much more physically fit, strong, & toned, and my lungs have so much more endurance and capacity. I feel so much more energized on a daily basis after I have completed my workouts, and I generally just feel tougher!

I am Eating Healthier

I do feel that I generally ate pretty healthy during my last pregnancy, but since becoming a fitness coach, I have paid even more attention to what I am putting in my body on a daily basis…especially processed foods and sugars. Of course, this pregnant mama is never going to completely cut ice cream out of her diet…I mean we all have to live a little, right?!?! ¬†Sometimes those pregnancy cravings will get the best of me for sure. I am not perfect, and will never claim to be! ¬†But on the whole, I am conscious of what I am eating and I strive to make healthy, clean choices for myself and my growing babe.

I Have Been Through It Before

I have a newfound confidence this time around. I mentioned being afraid a lot during my last pregnancy…but this time I am more confident with my decisions, I realize that there are some things that are just out of my control, and I have to let go a little. ¬†I generally have an idea of what to expect this time for labor and delivery (although I do understand that things could be completely different), so I am not super anxious about what’s going to happen. I understand that things may happen unexpectedly, I now know what contractions feel like (and I know to drink tons of WATER to prevent dehydration and early contractions), and I know not to freak out if I go into my regular check up and they tell me I am not leaving without a baby. I feel prepped and I feel calm. ¬†I’m actually more anxious about how things are going to go POST-delivery when I have two children! Haha.

Curious as to what you other mamas are going through out there? How have you been feeling throughout your pregnancy? If you are pregnant for a 2nd time around, have you felt that it’s been easier or harder? Do you feel tougher as well or has it all been a lot to handle?

I definitely feel that my workouts combined with my nutrition have played a HUGE role in my “toughness” this pregnancy, both mentally and physically. It keeps me going and keeps me strong.

Happy Monday to all you Mamas, and everyone else out there reading! We had a nice weekend with family and friends. Today marks 28 weeks pregnant for this gal.

Let’s make it a great week!

XO,

Gina

Southern Charm

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Dress: Express (sold out – similar here) / Shoes: Cynthia Vincent / Sunnies: Vintage / Bracelet: Stella & Dot (sold out – shop bracelets here) / Watch: Betsey Johnson / Lip: Revlon Hydrangea

Happy Monday gang!!! ¬†It’s been busy around here with holiday travel last week, playing catch up with work and family, etc. Wanted to share another look from my anniversary trip to New Orleans. I was about 25 weeks here, and can you believe today marks 27 weeks!?!?!? That’s right, I’m officially in the THIRD trimester!!! This pregnancy is just flying right by. ¬†We had some good updates from the doc last week, so I am feeling good.

This week is off to a great start with a good workout, healthy eats, and getting down to business. We had a nice weekend celebrating the wedding of dear friends, and it was a lot of fun seeing high school bests from Maryland in my city.

Can’t believe it’s already June, and I’m so excited for what this summer has in store!

XO,

Gina

{33} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading¬†¬†The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. I have been reading a lot of personal development non-fiction lately. As an entrepreneur, I think it’s extremely beneficial to help keep myself on track with my goals for my life and my business. ¬†It’s a practice that I have picked up since becoming a coach with Beachbody, and I think it has really made a difference overall in helping to improve my business as well as my life. The particular book talks about how a few simple daily disciplines can really turn into a massive change in terms of success and happiness.

writing  A workout routine for my new upcoming Bikini Boot Camp Challenge that will focus on the core using crunch-less ab exercises. The challenge will kick off next week right before Memorial Day Weekend, so let me know if you want in!

listening  Loving this new jam by Martin Solveig РIntoxicated

thinking ¬†That I am a very lucky lady. I had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend spent with my boys. We had a playdate with friends on Saturday, a date night Saturday, and spent Sunday getting pampered with breakfast and gifts, hiking, and having an early dinner on the water. ¬†I am so very lucky to have incredible moms in my life to call my own (mom, mother-in-law, grandmothers, godmother, aunts, friends, family friends, etc), and I am lucky to be a mom myself to my amazing little boy and babe on the way. I am also super lucky to have such an incredible partner in my journey through life. We are going to be celebrating 4 married years together (and 10.5 together) this Thursday, and I just feel so blessed for the relationship that we have built and will continue to build.

smelling  The fabulous chai that I am consuming at this very moment. Mmm.

watching¬†¬†Was lucky enough to get a date night with the hubby courtesy of our fabulous parent’s group in our hood. We decided to catch a movie and saw, The Age of Adaline. Starring Blake Lively, this period piece was interesting and although unbelievable at times, if you vow to just be purely entertained and not focus so much on how it can be a little ridiculous…it was a really good movie. It’s almost as if she is time traveling because she is able to live through so many different time periods. And I just love her classic style throughout the film. Would definitely recommend! Even the hubs enjoyed it.

wishing ¬†If I tell you this wish…it might not come true…so I’m going to stay mum for now. ūüėČ

hoping ¬†To finish up the planning this week for my BFF’s Bachelorette Weekend coming up! We already have some fun ideas in store, but putting together the final touches with my fellow Matron of Honor this week. Cannot wait for this little gal’s getaway! ¬†Thanks for getting married, bestie, so we have an excuse to all get together! Hehe.

wearing  Plaid button down, ripped casual jeans, and flip flops! Yes, flip flops!  Cheers to warm weather!

loving  My new pregnancy pillow and the prenatal massage that I have booked for June. Spoiled mama!

wanting ¬†Baby to move up a little bit in my belly! Apparently my placenta is lying a little low and so I am feeling all kinds of movements very low as well…feels kinda weird! But good news is, he is moving a lot!! Always kicking around in there. We go to the doc again on Wednesday for a growth check, so keeping fingers crossed that baby is getting bigger! (I am getting bigger, so I am hopeful!) Today marks 24 weeks!

needing  More sleep! I am so bad at going to bed early as I feel I need to stay up and complete so many more things on my to-do list each night! I really need to start forcing myself to hit the sack just a little bit earlier each night and tell myself that things can wait until tomorrow.

feeling ¬†Tired! Like I said above…I need to get more sleep! I also did the PiYo Drench workout this morning and whew! Talk about sweating up a storm. They were not kidding about the whole “drench” thing. Felt good to get back to PiYo though after taking the weekend off. Never miss a Monday!

craving ¬†Sweets. My pregnancy sweet tooth is starting to come back in full force! Nothing new really though, pregnant or not. I need to start eating more fruit to nix those unhealthy cravings for sugar! Watermelon was my fruit of choice last pregnancy. I would be happy to return to that routine ūüôā

clicking  Through the recently launched site Co11ective, where 11 ladies have come together to share stories of health,  nutrition, fitness, fashion, digital marketing, entrepreneurship and more. I am so happy to be included in this dynamic group of powerful and successful women.

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HAPPY MONDAY!

Hope all the mommies out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

P.S. I usually only share one photo in my “Lately” posts. However, we had such a fun day yesterday, that I wanted to share a little more:

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***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

Pregercises

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Should you exercise during your pregnancy? During your first trimester, it can be hard to even get out of bed let alone exercise, because you are so exhausted. However, I am a big fan of exercise during pregnancy. Not only does it surprisingly give you more energy, it also boosts your mood, improves sleep, and helps with the aches and pains of pregnancy. Exercise strengthens your muscles for labor and delivery, and makes it much easier to get back to normal after the birth of your baby.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women exercise for at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week. You want to get your heart pumping, increase your flexibility, manage weight gain, and prep your muscles, but you also need to make sure you don’t overdo it and cause stress for you or the baby.

If you were exercising before your pregnancy, there is no reason to stop once you get pregnant. Many women continue to run or weight train during their pregnancies. However, you do not want to start a rigorous routine when you are pregnant if you were not a big exerciser beforehand. Modify your workouts based on your fitness level and speak to your doctor about what the best plan would be for you.

Some people may think that pregnancy limits your exercise. That is true to an extent, but there are SO many things you can do during your pregnancy for exercise. Here are some of my favorites that you can do at home or on your own:

Pregercises_Planks

Since crunches are off the table for me during pregnancy (I am afraid of that ab split! No thank you!), planks are a GREAT alternative to keep your core strong. My favorite are the elbow and side planks. When in elbow plank, make sure to keep your back flat so¬†that it’s not drooping as that will put stress on your back. Hold for as long as you are able!

Pregercises_LegLifts

Side leg lifts are great for the outside of your legs and your boo-tay. Move your leg up and down on each side. For the second version of the leg lift, start on all fours and push one leg out and up. Then bring it back in toward your chest and repeat. This exercise is really good for the hamstrings and the boo-tay as well.

Pregercises_PushUps

Push-ups of course work that upper body! If you have been doing regular push-ups before your pregnancy, then you could go ahead and continue. If not, then you may want to do push-ups on your knees or against a wall to be safer.

Pregercises_Squats

For regular squats, place your legs shoulder width apart, keep your chest up and your shoulders back. Look up and make sure to put your weight on your heels. Pretend like you are sitting back in a chair and make sure your knees are behind your toes. You will definitely feel the burn in your quads and glutes! For plié squats or wide squats, open up your stance and your will feel those inner thighs getting strong.

Pregercises_WalkStretch

Walking is one of the best exercises you can do while pregnant. Walk at a quicker pace to get that heart rate up as well, and make sure to always stretch. Stretching (especially lower body) is really great overall to prep your body for labor and delivery.

Pregercises_StepUps

Step-Ups are fantastic for your legs and bum, and also counts as cardio!

Pregercises_Calf Raises

Start with your feet flat and raise up to your tippy toes. Repeat for at least 30 reps. You can do each leg separate or at the same time–whichever is more comfortable for you. Your calves might be screaming by the end, but they will be strong and toned as well.

Pregercises_Yoga

One of the most relaxing ways to build strength, tone, and stretch during your pregnancy. Some of my favorite poses include downward dog, upward dog, warrior 2, warrior 3, and child’s pose. As someone with an ever-aching back, it only gets worse during pregnancy, so these yoga poses really do wonders for me. ¬†I have actually been participating in PiYo for the past couple months which is a combination of yoga and pilates. It’s a faster paced program that keeps you moving the whole time, and I have felt so much stronger and healthier in my pregnancy this time around because of it. Happy to share more info if you are interested!

Pregercises_Dance

Last but not least, one of my favorite exercises during pregnancy…dancing! ¬†I hope I don’t really look like this when I dance. Maybe I do. I’m a nerd and was trying to end this post on a silly note, but in all seriousness, dancing is a fantastic (and fun!) way to stay active and fit during your pregnancy.

Some other exercises not pictured here that are wonderful during pregnancy include: swimming, low-impact aerobics, pelvic tilts, seated rows, weight training, running (if you were a runner before), and spinning or barre classes.

Did you stay active during your pregnancy? If so, what was your favorite way to exercise?

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

XO,

Gina

P.S.¬†Nico had his first photo shoot for an ad catalog yesterday (my husband’s company.) ¬†He got to model the most adorable lion coat! It was pretty cute, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Stay tuned. ūüôā

Blue & Yellow

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Took these photos back on Easter/Passover weekend when we were in Maryland visiting family. It was a GORGEOUS day outside allowing me to wear this sleeveless number without a jacket and fully enjoy the sunshine. Oh boy am I happy that spring is finally here!

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Dress: ModCloth (sold out, but similar here) / Boots: Target / Watch: Michael Kors Рnow on sale!

My little bump is starting to pop here in these photos at 19 weeks. I am now at 21 weeks today, and we will head to the doctor on Wednesday for our 2nd anatomy sonogram and to check in with my midwife to see how baby is progressing. ¬†I always get so excited/nervous for these appointments! ¬†I am feeling good and starting to feel baby’s movements so I’m hoping that this means we will be getting a good report!

We had a nice weekend and decided to enjoy the fabulous weather by taking a little family trip to the Bronx Zoo. Nico was in complete awe of the giant tigers and bears. We ended the day with a trip to Arthur Avenue for some delicious Italian fare. Nom nom nom.  Yesterday we headed to Long Island City in Queens for a 2nd birthday party, so I guess you could say we borough hopped around this weekend!

Today I got my PiYo Buns workout in this morning (buns are burning ya’ll!), and I am hunkered down working from home trying to stay out of the wind, cold, and rain. Hoping tomorrow will bring the sunshine back. ¬†Happy Monday everyone! Let’s make it a great week!

XO,

Gina

Nico’s Little _______ !!!

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Happy Monday everyone!!! I know I have been driving you all crazy with the anticipation of our gender reveal for Baby Notes #2! ¬†The photographs are in, and today is finally the day! ¬†Zack, Nico and I went to the doctor on Thursday for our monthly appointment. ¬†First things first, everything is looking good so far for a HEALTHY baby, which is most important! ¬†We are so very lucky and blessed. ¬†While at the doc, we opted not to find out the sex of the baby in the office, rather as you may remember from Nico’s reveal two years ago, we had the doc write the gender along with a sonogram pic in a sealed envelope. ¬†Let me tell you how difficult it was not to rip open that envelope for those two agonizing days!!!

We purchased a pull-string pi√Īata in¬†both pink and blue confetti in advance. ¬†Our trusted neighbor, Tammy, stepped in to help us with our operation, and she was actually the first to know the baby’s gender before anyone, including us! ¬†She opened the card in secret and filled the pi√Īata for us with the correct color confetti. ¬†She also placed the sonogram photo inside so we could have it for later. ¬†We headed to Prospect Park on Saturday early evening with our other neighbor and photographer, Cara Kantrowitz George, to document the big reveal. ¬†We pulled the string and SURPRISE!!!!!! ¬†Take a look at what unfolded below. ūüôā

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Photography by: Cara Kantrowitz George

Pi√Īata by: LaLa’s Party

What a special moment in our lives! ¬†We are so excited for Nico to have a little brother! ¬†Little boys are so much fun, and I’m hoping they will be the best of buds, just like Zack and his brother are. ¬†I still sometimes can’t believe that our family is growing so quickly, but this moment definitely made it feel like a reality! ¬†We are so grateful to have such amazing neighbors to help us creatively document this wonderful surprise. ¬†We thank you Tammy and Cara for taking the time to make this day so special!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

XO,

Gina