Thursday, April 30, 2009

My baby is huge. A picture post.

Karl is gigantic. No, he's not big for his age or anything like that. I'm sure he's still within the 50-60 percentile, but I'm just not used to it. Or I'm just in denial. I just look at him and he looks so big! This is a picture of my mom holding him (ignore Allie, who was pissed she couldn't get in her lap too.)




This one is a bit blurry, but I just love his expression here. Such a cutie smile.




This one is him sleeping in my arms after breastfeeding. How come my favorite pictures are taken with my cell phone?




And finally, here is one of my baby girl, Allison. She is SO girlie and loves doing her hair. She came out of the bathroom the other morning before school with this hairdo. She did it all by herself! I couldn't believe it! I just think 3 1/2 years old is pretty young for doing piggy tails all by herself, complete with using actual hair ties and barrettes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Daycare volunteering.

Since today is surgery day, I thought I would distract myself by volunteering in my kids' classrooms at daycare. It was actually fun. Who knew reading books to groups of children would be so satisfying?

I don't know if I was a pain in the ass for the teachers or they enjoyed it, but I sure did. I spent a bit over an hour in Allie's room and read and sat with them over lunch and then moved to Ella's room and did the same thing, since their lunch time is scheduled later. I also used some award stickers (given to me by one of the teachers earlier) to 'bribe' all the kids into eating their broccoli. I was cheering on everyone to eat their broccoli so they can get this stupid sticker, declaring it the "broccoli eating award". Boy oh boy, those kids ate it up! Literally and figuratively.

Except for one kid actually, one kid in each room just refused. I felt bad they were sitting there without a sticker. I tried so hard to just get a ~bite~ in there so they could have one, but they wouldn't budge. Oh well, they were old enough to understand it was their decision.

My point here is - have you ever volunteered in your kid's classroom in their early years?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Holy Shit.

It's ICLW and I haven't updated since Thursday. I officially suck.

Okay, I really don't think I suck. But I sucked at updating daily.

Let's see.... What is there blogworthy to write about?

Hrm.

Thursday - we went out to dinner for Ella's birthday. She picked Red Lobster. For what you ask? "Because I love the macaroni and cheese" she says. Uh-huh. Mac and cheese. At Red Lobster. And what kind of mac-n-cheese do they make at Red Lobster? Yup. Kraft. The classic boxed noodles. So. Our pre-tip total? $97. For a bowl of $0.49 box of kraft macaroni and cheese. I ate a big giant fat lobster tail though. And lots of crab legs. Oh. And I got accidentally drunk on wine. What an awesome mom I am. Take my 5 year old, my 3 1/2 year old and 3 month old baby out to dinner and I get loaded.

Friday - Not much to say. I did go to the evil BRU to buy new bottles for Karl to take to daycare. I send them full of breastmilk, but I have only had small 4 oz bottles and he's drinking 6oz at a time now. And DAMN ... bottles are expensive. I bought Avent 9 oz bottles which cost $18.99 for two. I got 6 bottles all together and 3 sets of 3-6 month nipples. So what was the total there? $68.97 for siz bottles. The worst was I took out 9 perfectly good Avent bottles from Allison's daycare days and had to throw them out because I think it was before the bpa free days. Although Allison is perfectly okay having used them, I couldn't knowingly feed karl from them. LAME.

Vent - Fucking bottle companies and their nipples. I initially got Playtex VentAir for Karl because their nipples were very breast like, but they had too many parts to clean. I didn't realize they had a screw-off bottoms with a little rubber piece inside that. It's the "vent" part, but had I known how exactly it worked, I wouldn't of bought them to begin with. And due to these little holes at the bottom under the rubber piece, it leaked when you shook it. Stupid.

Avent's nipples have a vent thingy in the ring of the nipples themselves, so no other parts. BUT ... they have like 5 different nipples you have to buy - 0 month, 1-3 month, 3-6 month, and either a 6-9 and 9-12 month or just a 6-12 month. Regardless, it's lame. The salesgirl at BRU actually told me to just take a safety pin and poke a hole in the nipples at each milestone. Heh.

Saturday - I went out friday night and got to sleep at 3am, only to have karl wake at 330a and 630a and Tom went to work at 7am (sat hours is a new thing). I also had nightmare~ish sleep and never got REM so I was utterly worthless. I went down for a nap at 2pm and slept until 6p! Whoops. Anywho - nothing blogworthy.

Sunday (today) - Slept until 1030a (bless my awesome husband), took a shower and took the kids out to my parents house. Just got home a bit ago to a perfectly clean house and hubby making dinner. (seriously, how did I score such a man?).

Here is a picture of my dad and karl (karl is the one on the left) ...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's been five years.

5 years ago today, I was terrified to have my first baby. She was still very safe inside of my belly...



22 hours of labor and 45 minutes of pushing, Ella Marie was introduced to the world...


At home, I was so exhausted and this picture shows it, but she was mine.



5 years later, I see this little girl, throwing me so much attitude ...


No matter what she is doing, she can always stop to give me a photo perfect pose...


I can, occassionally, surprise her with a kiss from mommy.


Ella. My beautiful 5 year old.



Happy Birthday my dear Ella, my first born. You are my sunshine. You are my everything.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Welcome ICLW kickoff!

This is my secondary blog to my primary blog, TheNewLifeOfNancy, which I discuss everything. This one is pretty much dedicated to being a mommy and kid updates. In the community we are all in, I thought it was important, to me at least, to separate them. Although I haven't been good in the past week, I try to blog in each one everyday.

Since it's the beginning of ICLW, here is a quick 10 things about me (as it applies to this blog):

1. I've got 3 kids. Ella (5 next week), Allison (3 1/2) and Karl (3 months).

2. My pregnancy with Ella - Easy (still with all normal aches/pains of a pregnancy) yet put on bedrest at 37 weeks for high blood pressure. I was induced at 39w5d due to my placenta maturing too rapidly and my OB was afraid it was going to rupture. I had a ~horrible~ pitocin induction due to my body was NOT ready yet to give birth. I was zero dilated nor effaced. It was horribly painful and I will be anti-induction before your body is ready for the rest of my days. I gave birth naturally, after 22 hours of hard labor and pushing for 45 minutes to a perfectly healthy little girl. Recovery was easy too, as I did not tear nor have an episiotomy.

3. My pregnancy with Allison - Easy. At 39w2d, I went into early labor which continued to give me contractions for 2 full days, all about 10-12 minutes apart. Strong enough to hurt, not strong enough for my cervix to dilate. At 39w4d, my bag of waters was bulging and I was only at 1/2cm so my doc had me meet him at the hospital in 2 hours and he broke my water. Active labor started immediately and I delivered naturally 6 hours later with 17 minutes of pushing. Another perfectly healthy little girl.

4. My pregnancy with Karl. Oy vey. Let's just get this all out quickly - low beta baby (15 @ 11dp3dt), docs said it was not viable but beta kept doubling, doc said it was most likely ectopic but u/s when beta reached 1,073 was in uterus, 12w NT scan diagnosed Velamentous Cord Insertion (very scary, when cord transverses placenta), Quad screen showed high risk for downs, 13w CVS showed chromosomes normal and it's a boy, 28 ultrasounds total watching for VCI risks, at 38 weeks, baby was breech so we had a successful manual version done by OB, water broke that night at 4am, 830a I was 10cm, ready to push at 939a, baby boy delivered 2 weeks early, had moist lungs, but otherwise healthy. 5 minutes later I was in emergency surgery for retained placenta because I was bleeding to death. Stopped bleeding after losing 68% of my blood supply. A few days and a blood transfusion later, I was home.

5. There are almost 16 months between Ella and Allison. There are almost 3 1/2 years between Karl and Allison. Damned infertility.

6. I've got lots of tattoos.

7. I'm afraid my kids are going to rebel against me by hating tattoos, listening to something like Christian rock and go to church.

8. Although if my kids did any of those things in #7, I would hope to be okay with it because I want them to be themselves. They don't have to be mini versions of my husband and I.

9. I pick adidas over nike. In fact, I refuse to wear nike at all.

10. I buy my girls little vans shoes to wear all the time. Yet they like the walm.art princess shoes way better.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lord help me.

I don't know what shocks me more. The fact that ...

~ Ella's ticker at the bottom of the page says she is "4 years, 11 months, 3 weeks & 5 days old." ~
~*~ or ~*~
~ Her birthday party today is being held at Chuck E Cheese. ~

Wow. My firstborn is almost 5. More on that next week on her actual birthday. But today I'll will speak of the evil's of Chuck E. Cheese.

I fully planned on never telling my children of this place. I figured they would never want to go there if they didn't know it existed. Great plan! But I forgot about commercials. And how commercials somehow ingrain themselves on the brains of children.

(This is the part where the holier-than-thou non t.v. watchers can gloat and do their little dance of "well MY children don't watch tv." But we're tv watchers. And although the children usually watch movies, tv is a necessary evil for us. You try working from home with one, much less three children! If I sound defensive, it's because I am - even though I shouldn't be. I don't know why this topic bugs me so much. Nor do I know why many non tv watchers are SO damned smug about it. But anywho ... )

So. While Ella runs to tell me I need to "call now!" to buy the wonder hangers or one of the other 18 bajillion products hawked on television, she knows all about Chuck E Cheese. And my wallet will soon know of Chuck E Cheese. It's expensive! $15.99/child and that does not include any food or drinks for the adults. 11 children have replied "yes" to the invite so that's $176 for the kids alone! I haven't even thought of how much it will be to buy lunch for the 16 or so adults.

Chuck E Cheese can suck it. (after my daughter has a ~wonderful~ birthday though). Do they serve beer? ~wink~

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's raining, it's pouring,

my little baby is snoring.

It's hilarious.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today we switched places.

Tom and I switched drop off / pick up today with the kids. (weird that I can't say "girls" anymore, which I always said.)

I went straight to karl's room today due to the horrible baby news from the past week. My heart cracked wide open when I picked him up and hugged and kissed him. It's broken for what I have and those other mommy's don't have today. And how that could change any second. It's terrifying.

I've been around the blogworld and message board world for a long time - well over 6 years. I've seen a lot of tragic loss. But today's news of Thalon's death rocked my boat big time. I never read her blog until today and I really don't even know what he died from. I went and read a bunch of her previous posts and couldn't make it past too many after seeing pictures of such a healthy boy and just "normal" day to day postings. And then I saw a picture of that beautiful boy wearing the exact jammies which are one of my top 2 favorites of karl's.

I have never cried over a "stranger" more than I did today. I've cried lots of times, but this time, well, it was different to me. Like I was looking at my own son's mortality.

I am so very sorry for any family who has to go through something of this nature. A child's death. A pregnancy loss. Sickness. Jesus, anything at all that isn't perfectly a picture perfect day for their child (or soon to be).

I just can't fathom their pain. And I hope that in time, they can begin to heal. Their loss will NEVER be "okay". But I just hope they can all smile again in time.

my god.

two babies in the blogworld died within the last few days. A sentance from one of their blogs will haunt me forever and ever. I'm using every piece of my body not to leave work right now and pick up my baby.

i don't know what to do. I have them in my thoughts, yet I am overwhelmed in my reaction.

I'm linking to Lilith's blog which links to both the sites for Thalon and Maddie. Please read and support.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy 3 months *Mister!

(don't miss the killer butterfly post underneath this one. It's pretty funny.)

Karl is 3 months old today. Happy 3 month my little guy. Here are 3 pictures for 3 months.

From just now in the only time our bed is the communal bed - morning snuggle time...


Taken just a few days ago, hanging out in his bumbo seat...


* Funny how nicknames evolve. Mister actually comes from my best friend's cat. My favorite of her 6 cats (yes, she's a crazy cat lady) was named Fat Man. The way you'd say the name was a big part of it too, but I don't know how to get that across in type. Anywho, all I've ever had has been female my entire life (my dog as a child, my cats and then my kids) so when I had Karl, I found myself calling him VERY feminine names. Noticing this, I started calling him Fat Man, the same way I'd call my favorite (and only) male cat. Fat Man had recently died, so I didn't want to call my kid the name of a dead cat, nevertheless the name of a cat itself, so I started calling him Mister Man, with the same enunciation. The Man got dropped and and now it's simply Mister.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Attack of the Killer Butterflies!!

I just saw one of the funniest things ever. And it was at my children's expense.

A few weeks ago, we purchased a butterfly treehouse. It's pretty much just a pop-up empty container, sold to house butterflies. There is an order form on the inside, which for a mere $6, you get 5 live caterpillars.

We received the caterpillars in the mail pretty quickly. The box contained a small plastic cup filled about 1/2 inch with a super thick peanut butter looking substance and 5 TINY larvae. Seriously, they were teeny tiny. A week later the larvae were ginormous caterpillars. It was ridiculous how large they were. They started out the size of maggots and 7~ish days later, they were the size of the the top two knuckles of my pinkie finger. Crazy huge comparatively speaking! Within a day, they hardened into their cocoons (it's like their bodies just folded over and hardened) and I had 5 hanging soon to be butterflies in the cup. Then, another 7~ish days, they all hatch within a day of each other and we are the owners of 5 painted ladies butterflies.

Amazing.

The butterflies eat sugar water during the time we'll keep them in captivity. As I opened the little door this evening, one escaped. I yelped with surprise as I didn't want it to get away in the house and the girls gave one hell of an amazing reaction.

TERROR.

They screamed and took off running. The screams continued down the hallway, honest to goodness screams, as I hear their bedroom door slam shut. After catching the butterfly and returning it to it's house, a mere 10 seconds later, I open the door to their room to see two little girls scared to death. They were crying at this point, sitting with one another on the floor, huddled together. So scared.

As me and the hubby tried to sooth them, I hear Ella mention something about spongebob squarepants. And then I remember.

There was an episode where there was a butterfly in an air bubble at the bottom of the sea. The spongebob crew, never seeing a butterfly, thought it was a monster and the entire population of the sea were paralyzed with fear over the sight of this creature. In addition to the creatures at the bottom of the sea, my girls were now also petrified. Of butterflies. For real.

Damn that spongebob.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

they are doing fine~

Just a quick moment to tell you know that Karl is doing great in daycare. Thank god for day care centers!!!

It's taking quite some scheduling to get it all done, but once there and gone, I have no worry throughout the day.

More later... But I have too much to do at the moment...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

3 quick videos

Trying to get Karl "talking" on camera and not being very successful ...


video


Ella's video submission ...

video


Allison's very exciting video ...

video


Allie ~so~ wanted to do a video too, but she simply didn't have anything to say. It made me laugh though.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I'm going back to work monday!!!!

Holy shit. Monday. 3 days away. I am SO very excited. SO excited.

Now. I love my children more than my own life. Thankfully I know not staying home with them doesn't mean I love them any less. In fact, I think sending my kids to daycare makes me a better mom ~and~ is very beneficial to my children.

I need to make a note here before going forward. I've had ~many~ conversations about this and some stay at home moms will always get upset with me and my opinions. They get very defensive and think that I am dissing their choice. They will inadvertently assume my positives of daycare are automatically negatives to their situation. But that is NOT my thinking. Just because I think daycare is better than staying home in certain ways, it does ~not~ mean it's bad for everyone. The negatives may not be negatives for someone else OR someone else may have a way to turn a particular negative into a positive. I'm taking the time right now to say this because over the years, I have seen this turn into a war. And a funny phenomenon I see during each "war" is it's always the stay at home moms (sahm) who get defensive and pissed, never the daycare moms (dm) from the arguments the sahms bring up (which unfortunately most always happens.) Hopefully this post won't turn into some big debate, but if it does, please debate YOUR side, don't just talk shit about the other side, okay?

Now, back to my opinions ...

First is the case of me being a better mom. Staying at home everyday is hard. Any mother will tell you this. It's definitely a full time job. But the career of being a stay at home mom is 24x7. Seven days a week. No weekends. No days off (for the most part). No sick days. No vacation days. You. work. every. single. day. You know how when you work M-F you can't wait for the weekend? And you feel refreshed come Monday? Yeah, when staying at home, I don't get that feeling. I end up being very reactionary. Reacting to everything.

There is rarely time to myself because there is always something to do. Having three kids under 5 years old makes for a very large to-do list. But I'll admit, having just one child was pretty darned hard too. With one child, there is no one else for that child to socialize with. So it's all up to Mommy. Having another kid really helped out in giving me more freedom to do things I needed to get done.

I end up being spread very thin throughout the hours and being largely mediocre to my kids. I'm still a good mom, but without a break, I end up being very average. But when I go to work, I got 8 hours to be Nancy. The adult Nancy. The career Nancy. And I come home to my 2nd job REFRESHED. And you know what? When I'm working, I make it a point to make every moment I am home ~special~. I understand we get less time when I'm working. 40 hours a week less. But it's amazing at the difference in quality the hours I do have at home are. From the moment I get home until the moment they close their eyes for bed, I'm my children's MOM. We cook dinner together. We play. We read books. We giggle during tuck-in time. This just doesn't happen when I'm home all day. Since I am home all day, cooking dinner, bathtime and bedtime are just another one of a thousand things I do each day. The phrase "absence makes the heart grow fonder" really does apply here for me. (again, I'm not suggesting a sahm doesn't make everyday special for her children - it's just how it ends up being for ME.)

Secondly, I think daycare is good for my children. Without going into too much of the obvious, for the same reasons I think I'm a better mom for going to work, my kids are better kids after school. No, I don't mean my kids are better than stay at home kids. What I'm trying to convey is they are happier/less bored after spending a day somewhere else. The change of venue does them good. And of course this has a lot to do with them loving their school too.

Another reason I think daycare is good is for the socialization. Of course, a kid doesn't have to go to daycare to become social, but it certainly is a place which will give them the practice on a day to day basis. My girls are very easily integrated into new situations, as they will seek out new friends to play with. They ~never~ cry when I leave them with a babysitter either. It helps out in various ways for me too - like if I want to drop them off in the gym's daycare for an hour while I work out, there are no tears. They just see it as a new place to play. And again, I'm noting it doesn't take daycare to make a well socially adjusted child. I've seen plenty of sah kids be just as social and I've seen daycare kids never come out of their shells. Just in my own experience, my kids love daycare and are also very well adapted in most all social situations. Was it because of daycare? Most likely some of it was. I know that I probably wouldn't of been the best to revolve my stay at home life around playdates and whatnot, so for ~me~, daycare was invaluable.

I just wish I wasn't going to have to start writing that $2800/month check for daycare next week!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Does anyone want these coupons?

(5) $5 similac coupons -- Taken
(1) $2 GoodStart
(1) $1 GoodStart
(1) $10 GoodStart on 25.7 oz can.

If anyone wants either/all of these and will ~use~ them, comment to me and I'll get your address via email.

(They are those check coupons, but I've always given them away with all 3 babies and anyone can use them.)

Protectiveness.

I may have already mentioned it, but my memory is for shit lately. But in having both daughters and now a son, I've noticed a really strange difference.

When I think of my girls dating, I don't worry about it at all. Of course I'll be protective and hate that they will most likely have their hearts broken at one time or another, but I am really excited for their future in dating. I loved dating and I'm happy that they have it ahead of them. (Of course my husband already wants to shoot any prospective suitors, but that's normal for dads I'm sure.)

But Karl. Oh boy. I think of him dating and it literally pisses me off. I do not want ANY girls to get their hands on him. Grrrrr.