Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Love, E & G aka "The Egg Hoarders"

Friday, March 29, 2013

What More Do You Need


The best kind of moments....

Are those when you do absolutely nothing of importance but have the biggest meaning.

I love when are are able to be out and about as family. Discover the world around us, together. Teach our children of all the beautiful things in life. Visit every kid attraction there is. I love those moments. I do.

But sometimes? The greatest of memories are those when the husband comes home early from work and we all lay around in the living room enjoying one another. Talking. Laughing. Cuddling. Even in the silence. It's just a great moment.

It's moments like that when you sit back and take in everything around you. Everything that doesn't matter reminds you of everything that does.

Your family.

My family.

My husband and my two beautiful children. What more do you need.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Second Time Around

I broke out. A lot. Post delivery. All around my chin area. It was the strangest thing. I never broke out during pregnancy with either one, however all of a sudden I looked like a teenager all over again. And the worst part about it? They were the painful ones.

My hormones are a little more in check {the teary ones}...I think this may have a lot to do with the fact that I don't get to sit around and watch sappy shows all day like I did with E. Which brings me to....

I never get to watch TV anymore. Very rare, and I only record one TV show now. One. I just don't have the time. Nap time? I like to devote to finishing up blog posts and other projects that I may be working on. At night? I want to spend time with my husband and throwing in loads of laundry. But when we do get to catch up on the tube? It's nice.

My hair didn't fall out. I was very much expecting this. But it hadn't. Or, shall I say, it still hasn't. With Elliana, I lost it and I lost it in large amounts and very quickly. In fact, I had these "mini" bangs for quite some time before they finally grew out.

The weight. It came off pretty quickly. However, I'm definitely a little more flabbier. Which, I know, people may get mad at me saying this.. "but you are so skinny, so tiny," I get that. I'm not saying I'm not. What I am saying is... it's definitely not the pre-kids body. Trust me. And I'm still allowed to be critical of myself, regardless the size of my jeans or the expectations people may have.

I don't feel like a zombie. Strange, I'm getting less sleep it seems and having to do MORE during the day. But I never had that zombie feeling that I had the first time around.

I read more. About parenting. About food making. About food in general. Health. Toxins. Products. I research more. I like to learn more. Really know what is around us and how it is affecting us. I feel like now that I have this motherhood thing by the horns, I want to truly master all the different aspects of it.

I just nod my head at the doctor. They are great to have. Trust me on this. I am thankful that I have a great resource and trusting physician. We attend all our well-visits. We ask the questions that need to be asked. But I no longer rely on the doctor having all the right answers. I remind myself that he is not the parent of my child. He is the expert on medicine, but not the expert on parenting. So I nod my head and say "yes" and smile until next time whenever little tid-bits of advice are thrown out there. Neither of my children have had to go to the doctor besides for well visits. Neither have had an ear infection, a fever, or anything that would alarm me. No Tyelnol, no cold medicine. We love our pediatrician. I have extended chats and discussions with him. But I do not always agree with everything. And that is okay you know, as a parent, to just follow your mothering intuition versus medicine. There is one thing that we do agree on 100%. And that is when he tells me, "You are doing a great job with your kids," after our well-visits. Yes, thank you, I know.

So yeah, I'd like to think that things are different the second time around, but what I really mean to say is that as time goes by, you really do gain more knowledge and wisdom as a mother, you read more, you want to do more, be more, love more, parent more. Better. Wiser. You learn from your mistakes, and you try to do thing differently.

You won't always know it all or have all the right answers, but somehow, it all works out.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My First Night Back To Work

3/11/13 1:00 pm

My mother-in-law just arrived. Elliana was standing, waiting, with her face planted on the glass, and the biggest smile drawn across her face as she watched her grandma step out of the car.

They are sitting on the couch now cuddling, watching a movie. My baby girl is so happy. And in return, this makes me happy. I know my mother-in-law is happy as well.  Beyond happy. She misses her grandbabies. I don't blame her. So it is nice to see the two of them. Completely.... happy. I like that word. Happy. And this? Right now? It reminds me how lucky I am that my babies have such loving grandparents. Something I missed out on in life.

Graham is sleeping, while I listen to sweet noises laying next to me. I peek over at him from time to time and wonder how we ever got so lucky. How this child is ours. Our son.

I threw a load of laundry into the washer. Little baby clothes. Just reminding me how soon these too will be packaged away. Why are baby socks so little? Clothes with snaps, and zippers. Only reminding you of soft skin and squishy cheeks. These clothes. 

I know I am getting off track here. I'm supposed to be talking about my first day back to work. Or, correct me, my first night.

That was last night by the way. And knowing how many posts are ahead of this one, I imagine it will probably be near April by the time this one shows its face on the blog. Sometimes I hate that about writing ahead. I feel as though the moment is lost. But. This is not what this is about, now is it.

Again, off topic.

I like to get off topic sometimes. I feel like that is okay when you have a blog. When you're not a real "writer". And by you, I mean me. When there isn't a book to publish, a column with a due date. Just write. Even if the first 20 sentences consisted of nothing but laundry, little itty bitty clothes, and snuggles on the couch with grandparents. Those are the little memories I want to close my eyes and remember.

Sometimes I want to just freeze time. Someone take a picture of the scene. From above me. Open the roof and just freeze my life. And give it to me in. In a book. In a video. Just give me these memories that I can look back on.

I think that is why I sometimes like to write about the little things that people would find boring to read. Because maybe, just maybe, hopefully, by reading these words down the road... I'll be able to close my eyes and see it now. Me. Sitting on the bed, with my newborn next to me, my daughter downstairs with her grandma, and nothing but silence heard. Except for my fingers running across the keyboard. Which reminds me, my college roommate hated the sound of my typing. Peculiar.

To me, it's a beautiful silence.

And you thought you were going to read about my first night back at work? Well, I can recap that in one sentence.It went great. I missed some good people. I got back into the routine as though I had never left. In fact, I worked on the same team that I had worked the morning I headed to the hospital to deliver Graham.
So, naturally, it brought amazing memories back to me. Special memories.

And now I realize why I cannot sleep. Why this day has been so sentimental to me. It is another chapter in our lives. No longer are we on this "mini-vacation." We are finally getting into a routine, figuring out what works and what doesn't, and actually really making this family of four business work. Like, really work. For now, today, we are working this thing out.

But it all started... on Christmas night, ICU Team 6, roughly 5 in the morning. My work will always be a special memory to me. As both of my babies were born at this hospital. Well, across the street. I went into labor here {sorta}. The last time I worked, I was pregnant. The next time I came back, I was not. Funny how that works. Actually, not funny... people call that...maternity leave.

My first night back.......It was good.
But coming home?
Was even better.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Some Questions Answered: Sleep, Weekly Schedule, Challenge of Two

Every week I will be answering some questions that were asked in my "Ask Me Anything" Post. The reason that it is only a few a week is because of the fact that they are 1. great questions and 2. I talk a lot. A lot, a lot. And therefore, it's hard for me to answer a question in a sentence or two.

Today though, we will focus on the questions related to my sleep/weekly schedule.

When do I sleep.

Ah, yes, the million dollar question. First, lets just throw this out there: I do sleep. And I sleep fairly well. Now the amount? Not sure if it is normal or not. To me it seems normal? I do not ever feel tired, worn out, or as if I am depriving my body of sleep. Again, normal? Probably not. But it works. And although it, my sleep, may be all over the place, I still feel as though I get the adequate amount {for the week}.

So when exactly do I sleep? On the nights that I work, I will nap with the babies. That means all three of us, in bed, napping at the same time. This averages about 2 hours, and sometimes, if I get lucky, I have gotten 3 hours out of them.

I will also nap on my 1 hour break at work. Then I come home and do it again {nap} if I work that next consecutive night. If I don't, then sometimes I won't nap {even though I know I should}, and just use that as my personal time.

Then when I am off work {4 nights a week}, then I will try to catch up on sleep that was missed during those 3 nights that I worked. I think overall, I probably get more sleep than one thinks, its just spaced out and all over the place.

So yes, I do sleep. It's just not exactly on the conventional schedule.

My weekly Schedule:

I'm going to try to make this answer as brief as possible, because in reality, I could devote a whole post to this and really break it down for you. But I will instead share the gist.

I work 3 nights a week---> It's different every week--->Mandatory every 3rd weekend.
I try to schedule myself on 1, off 2, then work 2.
Off 4 nights a week {aka catch up sleep time}.
I'm with my babies all 7 days.
On the nights that I work I try to have everything ready for Andrew from pajamas and diapers laid out, to their day outfits for the next morning, and wash clothes to wash their fashes in the morning and brush E's teeth.

If I worked the night before, Andrew and I will meet in the mornings at one of our designated spots {depending on how late I get out} so we can switch cars. He gets mine. I get his {with the precious cargo inside}.

Tuesdays we have Toddler time from 10-11.

Saturdays are devoted to a sport or activity Elliana partakes in. Last 3 months it was gymnastics, and coming up next week we will have 3 months of dance/ballet. As she gets older, we plan on adding a music and art class on top of a sport, but we will evaluate as we go as to not to overwhelm her.

And Sundays will be devoted to Church in the morning and Sunday School for the kiddos {a post coming on that}, and that is when we do our meal planning for the week and grocery shopping.

As far as what our days are filled with: We try to do 1 hour of school time {may be broken down} throughout the day, where we focus on flashcards, magnets, extended conversations, and crafts. We try to read around 10 books a day {some may be repeated}. Thirty minutes to an hour of TV {super why or leap frog learning}. And at least 30-60 minutes of outside {weather permitting} or running errands {to keep our sanity}. Otherwise, the rest of the time during the day is spent playing, household chores, and cooking. I sound like a housewife here.....

I plan on doing another "Day in the Life" post like I had prior to Graham's arrival, however, until then, this will do.

What has been the most challenging with bringing home Baby #2:

I think the most challenging has definitely been trying to meet two needs at the same time. Two very I-need-you-now-needs. You know that time when both babies wake up from the nap, big girl E starts crying because she woke up too early and wants nothing but her mama. So I pick her up. Little man G then chimes in becauses, well, he's hungry and probably wet and needs me in that way. I have learned ways to get Elliana calmed down as fast as possible, shower with her as many kisses, hugs, and love, and divert her attention to something fun or something she enjoys so I can quickly scoop up the little guy and make him feel comforted and loved as well.

Sometimes, you know, us moms could really use an extra pair of hands on our bodies. Seriously.

Next week, we will focus on more questions: Nursing Related.

Feel free to go to original post if you would like to add onto the questions!

Graham 3 Months

Weight: Over 14 pounds
Length: Not sure {bad mama}
Clothes: 3 months, sleepers: some 3 month, some 6
Shoes: What shoes?

Graham man,

I cannot believe we are here today celebrating your 1/4th of a year birthday. In other words, 3 months. The time flew by, just like it did with your big sissy. But the time was well spent and I cannot stop complimenting you on how wonderful you have been to us. You have been the perfect addition to our family and we truly cannot recall life before you. We love you and are so thrilled to watch you grow and reach those anticipated milestones such as sitting up, crawling, walking, and...talking. I look forward to all the wonderful memories to come!

As for this past month.... let's chat.

You are a great sleeper. To an exent. I could write a whole post about this to elaborate a little more, but I will just throw out a few details of your sleeping patterns here. Since birth, you have loved to sleep. We used to worry that you slept "too much" and even ventured to google to see if this was normal. The reason I say, to an extent, is because you are a funny little guy. You will sleep amazing if you are in our arms, or laying next to us in bed. The bassinet? The crib? Wishy-washy. Sometimes you will sleep in the bassinet for 4-6 hours at a time. Day naps you have taken in the crib anywhere from 20-45 minutes. But the whole sleep through the night and take 3 hour naps? We are not there yet. We usually lay you down around 8-10. Then when you wake up in the middle of the night {usually around 2am}, I feed you and then we end up co-sleeping the rest of the night. As far as mama going back to work and you sleeping? It has been a rough one on your papa. As in you are up all night for him. Mainly because you hate the bottle and taking mama's milk through that. I know, you are a picky little guy. You much prefer the real deal. I guess I can't blame you.

And just like your papa, you LOVE to sleep in. Normally, E and I are up b 730, you on the other hand do not open those beautiful eyes of yours until roughly 845-9am.
Also, just like your papa {when he was a baby}, you are not a fan of a poopy diaper. Your sister could have cared less, but you, oh boy you get so fussy until we change you.

We have been trying to introduce the pacifier to you with no such luck. Not because you truly need it, but because it would help your papa when he has "papa duty" three nights a week while I'm at work. I do not think we will get it, and you know what, I'm okay with that. Your sissy hated the darn thing as well.

Speaking of going back to work... yup, it happened. And we all survived. It actually felt like I never left. Plus, it's pretty significant as it was the last place I was at before I had you baby doll.

You are though, thank goodness, doing much better with the bottle. Still not a fan.. but at least taking it... eventually.

Speaking of feeding, you are doing wonderful. Breastfeeding during the day anywhere from every 2-3 hours. At night, you just wake up for one feeding. Mama has been pumping every morning once to stash away in the freezer and 3 times a night at work. In othe words, you have a lot of "gold" saved up in our fridge.

You have been smiling so much more this past month. You can definitely recognize your mama and papa, and your sister of course, and you throw these contagious smiles at us that it simply melts me to pieces. This is just the beginning of your personality unfolding, and we are loving every second of it.

You are coming around with this whole bath situation. You are liking it more and more. You aren't quite the fan of it as your sister was, but I imagine this too will change over time. I'm actually looking forward to your first bath with your sissy.

You are getting into your toys more. Will lay on the play mat for extended periods of time and stare at the different toys. When I put Sophie the giraffe in your face you start to smile. Which reminds me...I cannot wait to hear your giggle.

Little guy, little man, little monster, baby boy, and baby brother continue to be your common names. We really need to incorporate your real name on a daily basis. You know, Graham.
Still remain to be a great "go-with-the-flow" little man. By that, I mean, you go everywhere with us, and 90% of the time you just sleep right through it. Through gymnastics. Toddler time. Children's museum. Grocery trips. And so forth.

I know I am missing so much, and I'll be back adding things as they come to mind. In the meantime, we are overjoyed to have you in our lives and you have truly, I can't say this enough, made life with four seem so easy.

We love you, forever, and ever, to infinity and beyond,

Mama, Papa, and big sissy E.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Letting Go.

It's a hard concept you know. To let go. To the things that you hold dearest to your heart. The people that mean the most to you in life. To trust in others and have faith. I understand that this is all a part of life...but that doesn't make it any easier.

My daughter. I carried her in my womb for 9 months. I gave her the means to grow in that womb. I gave birth to this beautiful baby girl. Video taped her first laugh. Jumped with joy at her first roll over. And cheered her on as she took her first steps. All her other milestones down the road? I was there for. And with the biggest, proudest, mama pride, I celebrated each and every one of them.

And today, it was hard to celebrate this new milestone......

We have spent 821 days together. Raising, loving, and guiding her. And today, on her 27th month birthday {ah, I swore I wouldn' t be the mom that counted months after age 2}, I sat in the parking lot unsure of myself. Tears.

You see, it was hard enough to put my two feet forward, get the kids ready, put them in the car, and go. Hard. The drive was very quiet, the baby boy was sleeping, and Elliana was tired from being up so much the night before. So she sat peacefully.

It gave me this time during the drive to think. As much as I love drives like this.... quiet and full of thought... I was really hating it at this moment. I was hoping Elliana would chime in and start babbling a 100 words per minute as she usually had... or better yet, the baby boy wake up screaming...but, unfortunately {or fortunately}, that didn't happen. Instead, it was just me, my thoughts, and rascall flatts.

Darn you Rascall, you do this to me every time.

I can't tell you how many times I wanted to turn that car around and go back home. The conversations that were going on in my head. The calm strong rational mama on the right shoulder. And the emotional over-protective mama on the other. Arguing.

The calm strong one clearly won that match as I did eventually make it to that Church parking lot.

Remember? Tears.

I only sat there for a brief moment. Collecting my thoughts and reminding myself that this was best for Elliana. That 8 hours a week away from mama would not be so bad. That other people can and will love her. That she will enjoy the interaction with kids. That I will beam with excitement at every project she brings home to share. That I'll still be that mama cheering and bursting with pride at every little thing my daughter does.

It's a new milestone for us. Letting go. We are heading into a new direction of firsts for us.

I'm sure when this fall comes, there will be many many more tears to come. But I've been strong so far. I think. Probably not, though. I'm learning the power of letting go. But I'm struggling with it. I have 6 more months of preparation. But I want to cry already.

I'm telling you guys, this whole preschool thing is no joke. I don't know how you mamas do it. I keep thinking that I can somehow avoid it. I know I'm not doing it because of the "learning aspect" as Elliana  already knows everything they are planning on teaching her. Instead, it is the experience that I want her to gain from it. The socialization. The fun that I know she will experience.

But fun? For me? Is lacking.

I feel like it will be torture for me.

And I may... I may... just back out.
Don't be surprised.

It's hard for me. Really hard....
To let go. But I just know that I cannot bottle her up forever.... because if I could?

I would.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

This & That

Did this:

Yelled vulgar things at the weather. Because who wouldn't when the first day of spring consisted of 30 degree weather with a wind chill of 14. Seriously. This time last year? It was 80 degrees. I would even settle for 50 at this rate. 50 sounds great. Amazing. Almost bikini perfect weather. Almost.

Went to the Children's museum on Thursday with just the babies and I. Actually spent 3 hours there and it was lots of fun, as always. We have a membership and it has been worth every penny plus some. However, we also have a membership to the zoo as well.... and you know, it is kinda hard to go to the zoo when it's 25 degrees out. Just saying.

In the works for something big coming up for Mother's Day. Cannot wait to share the news :)

Planned our summer vacation! July can't come fast enough....

Instagrammed that:

Ordered this:

They are all coming from.. China. So we shall see. Seems kind of... "sketch"

Cooked that:

Mayo-Clinic Turkey Burgers. Well not exactly new, as we have made them before in the past. However, new to me sharing them here on the blog. We love turkey burgers.

Anyone ever try to the Trader Joe's Organic "Vodka Sauce?" We had it with wheat pasta this week for the first time and it was really really good. Just throwing that out there.

So are the Trader Joe's chocolate covered frozen bananas. Divine.

Read this:

A great article on starting a blog and how to build it. Now, I never did any of the extreme things like submitting my posts to all these different websites, mainly due to time constraints, however the networking part has some helpful tips. I actually have a post scheduled on "How to Start a Blog"... but I don't think it is due for another couple weeks. Might be worth pushing it forward.

Shot that:

Videotaped this:
Elliana got this bike after little G man was born. However, because of the weather being so crummy, we have not been able to really break it in outside. She has only been on it a few times, would get the concept if we helped her, but had not been able to do it on her own... until... now! Look at her go!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

You're So Pretty... You're So Smart...

You're so Special.
I love you with all my heart.
**Video is dark because we were laying in bed going to sleep.

It's something that I started saying to Elliana at a very young age. And now? I get the joy of hearing her sweet voice say it back to me.

I think it is so important for us mothers to continuously remind our children how special they are in this world. Their innocence is so pure at this age and I just wish I could bottle it up forever and give them a piece of their beauty, kindness, and love anytime they have doubts in the future. Because I know they will. Because I know how hard life can be.

But I also know how beautiful it can be as well.

My children are living proof of that.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Steals and Deals

1. Up to 75% off Asics!

They also have clothes on sale, mens shoes, and kids shoes!
I picked up the middle pair up there for work. More here.

4. 30% off advertising!

code: 30offtoday

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