Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas/birth announcement cards

I'm so excited to send out our holiday cards this year! When Roman was due on December 20th, I had it all planned to get a picture of all three kids as soon as he was born, and then send out New Year's cards and use them as birth announcements. Instead, he came November 21st, but that doesn't mean I've gotten a good picture yet! As soon as Roman fits into the outfit I planned for him, I'll attempt a picture of them - he's a lot tinier than we expected!

I've looked around at many photo sites at holiday cards, and Shutterfly has some really modern designs that I love! My favorite is the Mod Snowflakes Story Christmas Card: there's room for a picture of each child individually, along with a little information about each of them. In all likelihood, I won't succeed in getting a good picture of them all together, so this could be a better option. I'd also have room to put all of Roman's birth information below his picture to make it serve as his birth announcement too! And it's not "Christmas" specific, since most likely I won't get it out in time. The colorful snowflakes are so pretty too!

(image from

Shutterfly also has photo calendars with so many beautiful designs. Since both sets of the grandparents live far away, this is our favorite go-to Christmas gift idea: it's practical, and they get tons of pictures of the grandkids! I like their new feature that allows you to add personalized dates to the calendar - what an easy way to make sure they never forget the grandkids' birthdays!

One other feature I didn't realize Shutterfly offered is their canvas wall art. I'd love to blow up a picture of each of my children as babies and line our stairway with them. They come in a variety of sizes, and the picture fully wraps around the canvas for a nice modern look.

If you act quickly, Shutterfly is offering 50 free holiday cards to bloggers! Go here to sign up: I've ordered many photo prints from Shutterfly, and always received a quality product!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Roman Daniel

4lbs 14.8oz, 19in

Sunday, November 21st, I was 35 weeks, 6 days. I was laying in my bed, nursing Arianna after her nap like I always do. All of a sudden, I felt a big poke and then a pop. I threw Arianna off me at Dan and ran to the bathroom, where I made it over the toilet just in time for a giant gush - my water broke! We freaked out, and raced around like crazy people, packing bags, and getting random things ready. I called my midwife, and she said I didn't need to come in yet, especially since I wasn't having any contractions, but to definitely come in by Monday morning no matter what. Marissa's class was scheduled to sing in front of church that evening, so we all went to church! I was feeling completely fine, but after she sang, and we sat there a little longer, I started to feel lightheaded and nauseous a little. We decided we should get to the hospital, so we drove back home to get the girls' things, came back to church, and said goodbye to the girls. They spent the next 24 hours with a wonderful family with a 4 year old boy Cole, and a toddler Haley.
Dan and I got to L&D Triage at 8:15, and I still wasn't having any contractions. Shortly after we got there, I started throwing up quite a bit. Then around 9:30 I started having contractions. Every time I threw up, I gushed more amniotic fluid. At 9:30, the triage nurse said we could walk around the halls to see if things picked up and to come back at 10:30 to get checked.
[Background info: I was hoping to give birth in the birth center at the hospital. But they only do term births, which means I had to be 37 weeks. I was really hoping for another water birth like Arianna's, so when we got there, we talked with the midwife about the dates. Originally, my due date was Dec. 13th, but after a few early ultrasounds, they moved it to Dec. 20th. So the midwife said she could use the original dates to get me into the birth center at midnight on Sunday, which would make me 37 weeks. So I was trying to make it to midnight!]
So Dan and I walked the halls, but only for about 15 minutes. The contractions were quickly getting worse, and I still had to throw up. So we went back to triage, and the midwife (Cat) was there. I asked her how serious she was about the midnight deal - and she said they'd start filling up the tub! Around this time, my hands started to go numb and constrict really oddly. I had a hard time holding the puke bucket. So they pushed me to the birth center, where I had to wait for the tub to fill up since it's so huge. I think we got there around 10:45. I might have gotten in the tub around 11. My hands were getting worse, and then my legs started to do the same thing. Then for just a quick minute, I felt like my language was slurring. The midwife and nurses and Dan were all trying to massage my hands/legs, and the midwife told me to breathe into the bucket I was holding. I guess I was breathing too fast. It was really annoying to have the throwing up PLUS the weird numbness/constricting/pain, all in addition to horrible contractions! Anyways, shortly after I got in the tub, I started to want to push. I pushed once, heard them say his head was out, and as I continued the push, he popped right out! My hands were still messed up, so I could barely hold him. The cord was pretty short, and the nurse was helping me hold him. So Dan cut the cord pretty quickly. He was all slimy and super tiny, but fine. They took him to the warmer so I could get out of the tub and lay on the bed. Then I got to hold him for a while, and let him try to latch on. He did, but only for a second here and there. I was glad it was so quick, since I was still having the other weird problems! At some point, they put him back on the warmer, and checked him out. They weighed him and I was surprised by how little he was.

After a little while, he started grunting with each breath, and breathing fast, which meant he was having a hard time breathing. They called some NICU nurses and they all agreed he should go to the NICU. With their assessment, they decided he actually was only 36 weeks, so we were kind of "illegal" in the birth center! They took him to the NICU around 3am, and I was left to use the hospital pump every 3-4 hours
I felt great, but didn't have much appetite and was still feeling a little nauseous sometimes. I took one Ibuprofen around 4am after he was born, and that's all I had.
Monday night/Tuesday morning at around 11:30pm I woke up kinda panicky and having a nightmare. I walked around the lounge for a bit before I was able to get back to sleep. Then at 12:30am, the NICU doctor woke us up and told us Roman had developed a pneumothorax and kinda turned worse "about an hour ago". His breathing was extremely fast (140 breaths/minute instead of around 60), and he was whining/grunting with every breath. It was so upsetting to watch. They also had done an x-ray on his lungs and thought he probably had pneumonia and that's also where they saw the pneumothorax. It was a bubble of nitrogen in his chest cavity. So they put him in an "oxyhood" with 100% oxygen, which gives the body more use for the nitrogen bubble and it slowly dissipates. If it didn't work, they'd have to insert a tube in his chest and manually get rid of the bubble. Either way, it wasn't a HUGE bad thing, just quite jarring in the middle of the night. We immediately went down to see him and that was hard.
The oxygen worked though, and after a few more x-rays, they determined the pneumothorax was gone. They did have to start him on a 7-day antibiotic for the pneumonia, so that became his minimum time for being in there.
I was discharged Tuesday night, but they have "parenting rooms" to just sleep in for NICU parents. It's only a twin though, so Dan couldn't stay with me. I made sure to pump every 3-4 hours, and my milk supply increased very quickly!
Wednesday morning, his breathing slowed completely down, and stayed consistently in the 60-70 breaths/minute range. That was the requirement for beginning to feed him, starting with bottles of my expressed milk. He did ok with the bottles, and the second day they allowed him to eat as much as he seemed to want, and each feeding he went up a little bit. At his max, he was taking 1oz. In the afternoon on Friday, we were getting ready to feed him, and the doctor came to do his circumcision. I did NOT expect to be there for it, but we ended up staying. Dan didn't watch, but I was able to see most of it, and I'm sure my face was hilarious. It was a bit disturbing, but he barely cried while they were doing it. Our favorite nurse, Lindsey, was calming him down with a paci, and he was a trooper. After that, he wasn't really into eating much for a few feedings, and he had some crying spells (Lindsey said he probably had just peed for the first time - ouch!), but he really did so well.
Saturday, the doctor said we could start to "direct breastfeed" him, so we tried it for the first time at his 2:00pm feeding. He latched on great (which is what I was worried about), and sucked heartily for about 5 minutes, and then started to get worn out. I managed to keep him on for 10 minutes, which I thought was great. They wanted him to be on for 15 minutes, but for the first try I was very pleased. He continued to do great with breastfeeding, and didn't develop any more of his respiratory issues.
We brought his car seat in for his car seat study, to make sure he could get enough oxygen and breathe properly when he's in it. He passed his hearing test, they took his IV out, and he finally came home with us on Monday, November 29th, after a week in the NICU!

The girls had a really hard week while he was in the NICU, mainly because I spent most of my time at the hospital, and when I was able to come home for meals, I had to rush back to pump (we didn't think it was necessary to buy/rent a pump since he was only going to be in there a week) or breastfeed. Marissa seemed to be dealing with it better than Arianna, but Arianna was (and still is) a mess. Every time I came home, she wouldn't leave my side, and flipped out every time I had to leave again. They haven't had chicken pox, so they weren't allowed in the NICU, so they couldn't even see him (other than pictures) until he was discharged the following Monday. Every day, Marissa asked if she could see him yet! In the week we've all been home, Arianna has still been NOT herself. She was a handful BEFORE all of this happened. But she's just a huge mess these days. She won't leave my side, not even for a second. She is also nursing A LOT. I had planned to continue breastfeeding her until Roman came (mainly to avoid all the pain issues I had with beginning breastfeeding with both girls), and she was very addicted to breastfeeding still, so that was easy. But with me being gone so much, she's taken it to a new level. She asks to nurse a lot, not just nap/bedtime like before. But she also gets soooooo excited when she gets to nurse. She claps her hands, grins, and says "please, please" over and over. The hardest part is when I need to nurse Roman, and she freaks out! I've had to nurse them at the same time a few times, and it's not easy! I definitely do NOT want to wean her right now since she clearly needs the extra support from me. But I really hope this dies down relatively soon! Sometimes when I walk toward his pack-n-play if he starts crying, she'll throw herself in front of me, begging "UP! UP!" just so I don't go near him. It's so pitiful and sad, but so frustrating. Mealtimes are a million times worse (never thought that'd be possible!) with her too. I'm hoping that since I'm stuck home for a while now, she'll start to calm down. Marissa's obviously much better than this, but she's also suddenly super sensitive, and breaks down into hysterical tears for the slightest reason. She's also asking to cuddle a lot more. It's definitely a big adjustment in general to have another baby, but that week of me being gone has made things much harder than I expected.

I feel completely healed and normal, and have felt great since the Tuesday after he was born. It's wonderful to feel great, since it would have been so much harder to be by myself at the hospital if I was in a lot of pain. I'm also enjoying the "newborn-ness" of Roman in a whole new way. With Marissa, I was a mess, and on super drugs for 2 weeks straight afterward. And with both girls, I dreaded every little noise they made for 2 whole months because it hurt so much to breastfeed them. But this time around, either due to nursing Arianna still, or all the pumping I did in the hospital, breastfeeding is just a joy, and I'm loving (almost) every minute of it (last night was a little rough - he was up a lot!). My milk came in HUGELY the Monday afternoon we brought Roman home, and I was sorely missing the hospital pump. But my body finally adjusted to as much as he wanted (which was obviously MUCH less than I had been pumping), and now we have TONS of milk stored in the freezer. Marissa had been asking (while I was still pregnant) to be able to feed "Baby Roman" so I think we'll probably let her every once in a while. I've never had a supply of milk in the freezer before, so maybe I'll actually get to go out and do things by myself - as long as he'll still take a bottle!

Dan's parents and my sister came as soon as they could after Roman was born. It was Thanksgiving week, so they had the extra time off, and were all a HUGE help: with meals (the hospital wasn't feeding me anymore since I was just in a "parenting room") and with the girls, since Dan obviously wanted to spend as much time with me and Roman as he could. We had a yummy Thanksgiving meal prepared by Dan's mom and my sister, and I was so glad the girls had familiar faces to spend time with. They all left that first weekend, and then my parents came Sunday night before Roman was discharged Monday. My parents were also a HUGE help with meals and with the girls. It was wonderful to have all the visitors and help, but I think the girls are ready to find a new normal - it was a little chaotic for these last two weeks! We are so blessed by loving family and friends - this coming week our church small group will be providing meals for us! I'm starting to wonder how I'll ever get ANYTHING done around here, especially with the way Arianna is reacting to everything, so all this help is wonderful.

Early on Black Friday morning, Dan and some of his friends went out shopping, and I told Dan to look out for a great couch deal (since our couch ripped our carpet and we tossed it to the curb a month ago). So Friday afternoon, in between pumping, Dan took me to see the couch he fell in love with at Ashley Furniture! We ended up ordering it that afternoon, and it should be arriving in a few weeks! It's dark gray, soft corduroy, and a huge chunky sectional with a super cozy chaise on the right side of it. We have a long living room, so I'm excited to see how it looks! I have to say, though, that was the hardest decision I've made in a long time! My brain wasn't very clear to begin with, because of all the crazy stuff going on back home and at the hospital. But the real problem was making a decision RIGHT THEN! The couch was regularly $1800, and was on sale for $800 just for that day! Talk about pressure. So we sat on the couch, and I stared at it for AGES, and just finally decided to go for it! If you know me at all, you also know I keep receipts and clothes and tags together for a long time after I buy things, because I'm always so indecisive that I end up returning things and buying something different all the time. That's not really something you can do with a couch, so that made it even harder! But I'm happy with our purchase, and can't wait to sit on it in our living room!

I think that covers just about everything. It's been a whirlwind the last 2 weeks, especially since we weren't expecting any of this until LATE December - I was a week late with Arianna, so we really thought it would be Christmas or later that Roman made his appearance! He was a little earlier than we would have liked, but recovered quickly and now I'm loving having him home with us already. I still have a hard time believing he made his appearance so suddenly and forcefully, and that all of this really happened! I also can't believe we have 3 kids!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's November!

I can't believe it's November already! I feel very antsy for Christmas this year, since that's when Roman will be arriving! I'm almost 34 weeks pregnant right now, and definitely starting to feel very uncomfortable! I feel like I need my torso to be about a foot longer! Lol. But I still love being pregnant, and feeling baby wiggles inside me.

I finally started doing some school things with Marissa. She absolutely loves it, and begs every day to start school NOW! We've mostly been working on some writing. Every day she writes her full name, the day of the week, the month/date/year, and then practices a number and upper case/lower case letter. Today we did 12 and L's. She's getting so confident with her writing! We always try to think of works that start with the letter of the day, and I make a list of what we come up with. For "extra fun" she asks to write those words too! I found an awesome website that I'll be pulling more stuff from soon. I think I like homeschooling preschool - no pressure at all! I'm a little nervous about next year though. We'll definitely have to do something more structured.

Marissa is finally going to bed better. For a while, she was flipping out every night, for no apparent reason. So now she sleeps with her light on, door open, loud Bible music on, and her covers completely over her face. Lol. I have no idea, but somehow it helps! She is definitely strong-willed and what she wants, SHE WANTS, and a certain way too!

Arianna is really starting to talk a lot! It's about time! For a while there, I was starting to get worried, but she is really learning more every day now. She says all done, all gone, bye, hi, up, hot, hat, ball, cup, please, thank you (dee-dee), mama, dada, 'issa (Marissa - so cute!), apple, eat, and I'm sure a bunch more that I can't even think of right now. She's also doing better at repeating what we ask her to say, which is so much fun. She is totally in love with her big sister, and follows her around copying everything Marissa does. It's super cute, but can get annoying sometimes! They both like to spend hours at the kitchen table, playing with toys - most recently the Pocohontas and Powhatan figures we got for Marissa at Goodwill. Arianna also loves to play with her babies, push them in the stroller, and hug and kiss them. It's adorable. She also loves to push the stroller around like a maniac - as fast as she can - around and around and around the kitchen island! She's so crazy and wild, and both girls love to wrestle/tackle Daddy lately. Marissa is a bit hesitant to throw herself in there, but Arianna just goes for it, and I'm shocked every time that she's not hurt by everything she does!

I'm in the middle of a nice break from work, so I've got some big plans! I need to update some of the music on my iPod (it's been forever, and I've been waiting for Dan to set up the computer downstairs again - that's where all my songs are). I also am going to sew some burp cloths and blankets for Roman. I got some super cute fabrics, and I can't wait to get going on them. We've been slowly accumulating some clothes for our baby boy, much of it thanks to gifts from my wonderful family. I love washing them and putting them all together in a dresser, just waiting for a tiny little body to go in them! I just filled out the paperwork for the birth center, and in 2 weeks I have to go in and pre-register - I can't believe it's that close already! We're not going on any more trips now, obviously, so Thanksgiving we'll just be here. I think Dan's parents were thinking about coming out for that. Then my parents and Rach are coming out for Christmas, and that way Rach will be here a little early (after her finals) just in case Roman comes early - she can watch the girls while we're in the hospital. I'm also going to a Christmas event through my work, and Rach is going to watch the girls then too. It's at a dinner theater, and I've been dying to go there! It's Dec. 16th, so hopefully Roman at least waits past then! I'm actually due the 20th, so it's cutting it a little close, but I really wanna go!

Arianna is still nursing in the morning and after naptime. It's actually quite painful for some reason, in addition to causing Roman to make me VERY uncomfortable! I have to push him down and out of the way, or I feel like he's going to come crawling out my throat! But I am really trying to continue nursing Arianna until Roman comes - hopefully that will help with the misery I've had with beginning nursing with the girls. I'm so proud to have nursed Arianna to 20 months now. I made it to 16 with Marissa, but had to stop because of a miscarriage/antibiotic. I have a feeling Arianna would be ok if we stopped now, just like Marissa was back then. But Arianna still asks for it, and really seems to enjoy it still, so I'm holding on as long as possible! Once Roman is born, I'd be ok with Arianna nursing for a little while longer, especially since she might be a little freaked out by not being "the baby" anymore. But I'd also be ok with her stopping pretty quickly. She's acting so big lately, even though she's still tiny

We threw out our couch and recliner last month! We got our carpets cleaned professionally, and were planning on getting rid of the recliner anyways, since it leaves a gross black residue underneath. And then when we picked up the stupid couch to move it, a loose spring caught the carpet and ripped a 3-4 inch hole! I was so ticked! So it joined the recliner on the curb, where some poor person from craigslist took them! Haha! So for a few days we had nothing in the living room, then Dan moved the old futon up from the basement, and that's what we have right now. We are on the hunt for a couch, but don't have a very large budget, and I'm determined to find "the perfect one". I really want a nice modern dark gray one, and that's not really a common color. There are a few possibilities that we found, but we'll have to save up a bit more before they become a reality. I'm just happy to have that old piece of junk couch finally GONE! I hated that thing from the moment we moved into this house. It was great in my college apartment, and fine in our first apartment together, but as soon as we moved in here, I knew it HAD to go!

Well, I hear Arianna coughing, so I'm betting she's going to wake up any second now. I typed as fast as I could, so hopefully I caught all the typos already! I really enjoy "my" naptime, but it's usually shorter than I expect. Arianna is NOT a great napper, and sometimes thinks 45 minutes is a good nap! Ridiculous! But I bring her into bed with me and she usually sleeps a little more, which is great since I've been needing the extra rest lately!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


  • I'm 25 weeks, 2 days pregnant and it's a BOY! I'm feeling pretty good, besides the exhaustion and sore muscles. This morning I had to drink that nasty orange drink and get bloodwork done for the gestational diabetes test. They always make me nervous, since I love my junk food so much!
  • Last night Marissa and I went on a "date" to look for fall dress shoes for her. Strike-out at both Payless and Target, but we had fun, and I found some awesome Target clearance deals. A bunch of summer things for M for $1 each! And some cute flip-flops for next summer for her too. I also got a few summer boy clothes for $1, $2, and $3. I'm estimating him to be in 6-9 for summer/fall, so hopefully I'm right! I highly doubt he'll be much different in size from his two older sisters!
  • I'd like to take a minute and talk about my oldest. She's growing into a fascinating big girl and I don't want to forget anything! She's currently obsessed with the Wonder Pets. We watch it on Netflix (mainly when I'm getting ready in the mornings) and she turns EVERY situation in life into a "Wonder Pets" situation. She sings the song OVER and OVER at the top of her lungs, her voice cracking because she's singing so hard. She changes the words to fit our situation: "Save the baby princess (toy in car)" "We have to hurry, to get to Mommy's doctor appointment", etc. It's hilarious, but we're starting to get a little sick of the Wonder Pets! She still does not stop talking. She has a question or observation about everything. She is very helpful with Arianna, loves to get her cup for her, hold her hand, and help her play with toys. They play together REALLY well at times, and other times they shriek at each other every time one of them tries to do something. Arianna copies EVERYTHING Marissa does, good or bad. My favorite is when we send Marissa to time-out in the corner. Arianna will NOT stay away from her! And Marissa usually crosses her arms when she's mad, and Arianna crosses her arms too, and it makes us all laugh, and puts Marissa out of her bad mood. Marissa is so talkative at home, and in the car. But when we go to my doctor's appointments, she is very hesitant to talk to the nurses and other people there. But once she decides she's going to talk, she talks about the most random things! She is "so exciting" (excited) about her new baby brother, and is already asking to carry him around Meijer! She has a hard time understanding how Arianna is her little sister, but will be Roman's big sister. She's still taking a "rest time" every day, but not sleeping as often. Today she is singing, probably Wonder Pets! Her imagination is through the roof, as evidenced by her changing the Wonder Pets song. Especially in the car, we have a few little toys, and they always have a Wonder Pets situation for her to resolve. She loves to play with the castle/house and Little People, when Arianna will let her (she carries them around all day!). We went to a church outdoor movie night this past weekend, and the movie was Up. She is terrified of the dogs that talk (Arianna LOVES them), so we ended up leaving early. We drove an hour and back TWICE this past weekend to buy/pick up our new blue Honda Odyssey! It's wonderful, and Marissa loves it too. She keeps asking about which car Daddy is driving, and if we're keeping the van. We haven't started any "school" stuff yet, but I hope to sometime in the next few weeks. She's been asking about certain things and if we can learn them in "school" so I think she's really going to enjoy it!
  • And now for Arianna. I really just don't understand her yet! She still only says "up" and "off" regularly, but CAN say "mama" "dada" "help" "tree" and one more that I can't think of right now. She'd much rather just point or "eh" to get her point across. She completely understands EVERYTHING we say though. She puts toys away like a pro, follows directions (when it's convenient for her). And LOVES to play with her big sister! They LOVE to run around like crazy people, holding hands, spinning, racing down the hallway, tickling each other. It's super cute, until one of them starts shrieking! She copies everything Marissa does, and is always watching to see what else she can get into. She has learned how to move stools/toys so she can climb on them to reach something. She can reach all our doorknobs, but so far doesn't know how to turn them. She can reach things on just about every surface in the downstairs, so we keep piling things up on top of the piano! She's awesome at napping and going to bed. The nightmare of her sleep issues was only about a year long. Lol. She sleeps with a pink bear head/blanket thing, and just lays down and babbles to herself until she falls asleep. It's wonderful! Her naps are still only about 45 minutes long, though lately she's been doing better and sleeping for 1.5 hours. She goes to bed at 8, and usually wakes up at 7:15 as Dan is leaving for work. She's still nursing, but only in the morning, and after nap. She LOVES it though, and has a hysterical meltdown if I try to refuse her. I love the time we get to cuddle while she nurses, and I'm still hoping to continue nursing until the new baby comes. It's starting to get very difficult though, since there's no place for her on my lap anymore, and she loves to squish my belly! She has the biggest grin, and is so funny and so much fun. But she is SO difficult, and so very different from Marissa. She is TOUGH: she did a total body flop onto Marissa's pillow the other night and thought it was so fun she'd do it again. But the second time she did a total forehead plant into the WALL, and we all flipped out! But she didn't even cry, just looked at us like "what?"! She has NO fear, which is terrifying! She loves dogs and LOVES babies, and points them both out all the time. I think she's going to LOVE having a baby brother, but she obviously doesn't have a clue that he's coming. I'm terrified of moving her into a big girl bed, so we are going to postpone that as long as possible! She is a mischievous little thing - and I do mean LITTLE. At her 18-month check up, she weighed 19lbs 14oz! She's still about 33 inches tall (their measurements are always wacky), but so itty bitty! But she eats like a horse! She almost always eats more than Marissa at meals, and sometimes eats more than I do! I don't know where she puts it though!
  • And baby Roman. Roman Daniel (after Daddy). He is a jumper and roller! Marissa loves to feel him moving through my belly. I love the feeling too. It's so reassuring, even though sometimes the kicks are almost jarring! I love being pregnant, and I love looking forward to labor and delivery. I'm planning on having him in the tub too, just like Arianna. I'm also expecting him to come late, like Arianna! He's due December 20th, and Dan really wants a Christmas baby (like he is), but I'm willing to go as late as Jan. 4 (I think that's 2 weeks late). After that, I wouldn't be able to have him in the birthing center. But I really hope we don't go that late! My sister is coming straight here for her Christmas break, so she'll be here when I go into labor (hopefully) so we won't have to take the girls anywhere. And my parents are coming the week between Christmas and New Year's, so hopefully he's here by then! I'm not sure when Dan's parents are coming, but hopefully around then too! We are slowly starting to buy a few boy things here and there. Marissa picked out an elephant head/blanket thing, and I just ordered a bunch of fabrics to sew into blankets and burp cloths. We have a few newborn clothing items, and now a few bigger things. But it's so weird to start from scratch with clothes! When Marissa was born, I had a wonderful shower, and got TONS of clothes from the family (of triplets) that I was working for. And obviously Arianna had a ton of clothes too. It's kinda fun though. Except for the fact that I don't love all the sports-themed boy clothes. I do like the dinosaur, monkey, dog stuff though.
  • Well, I never expected to have this much time to write! I thought for sure Arianna would be awake by now. Tonight is the first actual night of Cubbies, and Marissa is excited! I've got pizza dough in the bread maker for homemade pizza tonight - yum! I'm hosting Bunco this coming Tuesday, so I'm doing a lot of "cleaning" in my head in preparation. I'm gonna make Oreo "mud" since I've been craving it, and I'm not sure what else...probably the same stuff I made last time, since I don't really have a lot of variety of stuff I like to make.
  • Oh, I finally found some maternity clothes! I've really been having a hard time with the sizes of most maternity clothes. They certainly make XL and plus-sized clothes, but for some reason XS are ridiculously hard to find. Motherhood is supposedly getting XS in their fall line, but Motherhood is always so pricey! But Target is always my favorite place. I got JEANS there, since they actually have sizes, instead of S, M, L. I thought I was going to have to go to Gap and shell out $70 for maternity jeans, but Target came through, like it always does! I also found a super cute sweater and Kohl's, and actually didn't need an XS there. Although why they have to be so expensive is beyond me. I guess they get away with it, since there's NOTHING else to pick from in maternity! I also got a few huge bags of maternity clothes from a friend at church who is about my size. I still was only able to use a handful of things, but the few capris that were in there were really what I needed. For some reason, this time I'm not able to really wear as many of my usual bottoms. With Marissa and Arianna, I kept wearing the same jeans, capris, etc. as I always wore anyways. But I guess my muscles have had it! I just can't button them this time! I love it though
  • I'm starting to get excited for a few things this fall. The first weekend of October is our 5th reunion at Cedarville! My good friend Nicole is coming up and staying at our house for the weekend with her two kids (girl 5 months older than Arianna, and a baby - 5 months I think?). Then we're going to the reunion dinner on Saturday. Dan will be camping (guy trip they've been planning) but we'll have fun walking around campus and reminiscing! Then my "little" brother is getting married Oct. 16th! I still can't believe it! Marissa is their flower girl (she's an old pro by now!) and I'm a bridesmaid. Yes, I'll be huge - 31 weeks I think?! Oy. But the dresses are pretty, as long as I don't stick out like a huge sore thumb. Lol. It's a 9 hour drive, so it will be a long weekend, but at least we will be able to drive it in our nice new van!

Well, I think I'm done! Arianna is almost at 2 hours for her nap today! Yay!

Friday, June 11, 2010


I wrote this yesterday, and just got around to posting it today:

  • I'm pregnant! Due December 20th, and we're so excited! We waited to tell Marissa until I was almost 12 weeks, and she actually guessed at the ultrasound appointment before we could even tell her! (Oh, did I mention I'm going to be in my brother's wedding in October? At 30 weeks pregnant? Talk about a whale...)

  • We just got back from a business trip with Dan for his work. We drove to Chicago Monday, spent Tuesday and Wednesday there, and drove back today. Tuesday and Wednesday Dan had training, so the girls and I (along with the wife and 3 year old of another guy from Dan's work) spent the days together.

  • Monday night, the first night in the hotel, Arianna went to sleep quickly, then woke up 2 hours later and screamed her guts out for hours and hours and hours. Nothing we did could calm her down (except let her sleep on our shoulder while we stood up - not exactly ideal). Finally, after some tylenol and a few hours wandering the hotel lobby with Dan, she ended up asleep in our bed, on top of the covers in between us. That made us extremely worried about the other two nights, but she was back to her usual "only wake once or twice, go back to sleep easily" routine for the rest of the time. Otherwise we would have driven right back!

  • Tuesday, Lisa, Kaiya (3), me, and our girls went out for breakfast, came back to the hotel and swam at the pool for a while, then went out for lunch, then came back for nap. It was a nasty rainy day, so we didn't do much else. That night we all went out for Giordano's stuffed deep dish pizza.

  • Wednesday, all us girls got up, had breakfast at 9, and then headed out to the Lincoln Park Zoo. We took a bus from the hotel to the airport, then a train from there, then another train to Armitage Road, which we had to walk to the end of to get to the zoo. Well, the trains took about an hour total, the whole time Arianna was trying to climb out of the carrier (Baby Hawk Mei Tei - awesome, wouldn't have survived without it!) by pulling both her arms out the top and pulling on both of my earrings, pulling my hair out of my ponytail, and screaming. I was carrying our travel-system-stroller, had a backpack on, had Arianna in the front carrier, and was strongly holding Marissa's hand (I don't do well in cities) We had to go up 3+ escalators (the elevator was broken!), and the first time we got on one, Marissa kinda missed the stairs, so I pulled her back down and we tried again, then again! Then by that point she was terrified of them. So a nice guy ended up carrying the stroller up 3 escalators for us, while I picked up Marissa and put her on the stairs properly, all while still holding Arianna in the carrier. Then once we got on Armitage, we walked the wrong way, so we had to turn around and walk to the opposite end (we looked it up later, the road was 3 miles long I think!). I put Arianna in the stroller for the walk on Armitage, but Marissa had a hard time making it that far, and ended up riding in the other girl's stroller for a while, then I tried to carry her, then I tried to put A and M in our stroller together (it worked when they were smaller!), then I tried to carry Arianna and let Marissa ride in the stroller, but Arianna wanted to get down and that would have NEVER worked. Needless to say, it was a loooooong walk! When we finally made it to the zoo, it was lunchtime already! So we ate lunch, then took one loop around the zoo and saw zebras, alpaca, moose, and a few others. We saw some cows and goats in the farm section, and Marissa freaked out when the cows started walking. She was screaming and crying and running away, even when I told her they were stuck in a fence. Then we tried to go into the lion house. Marissa completely flipped out, terrified again. I explained over and over that there were fences and gates and windows, and the people who made the zoo make it all safe so we can't get in and the animals can't get out. But she ran away crying when I tried to show her. So we didn't see the lions! Then we went in search of the carousel for the girls to ride on. When we finally found it, we realized it was cash only (duh) and neither of us had any cash! So both big girls were completely crushed. We ended up going to get ice cream for a treat, and then we were ready to leave! So we walked almost another 3 miles back to the train station, rode the first train for a while, then got on the second train, and there were so many people there was no room for us to sit! So I was standing, trying to hold onto the bar, and the stroller, and Marissa so we wouldn't all go flying every time the train moved. We almost wiped out a few times, but recovered. Finally a nice lady offered us her seat, but we really needed 2 seats for all of us, so Marissa just ended up sitting. Then FINALLY enough people got off that there was enough room for us to sit together. And unfortunately, I'm not even really showing pregnant, plus I was wearing Arianna on my front, so nobody else offered their seat to us, even though the train was full of young healthy adults. That was probably the longest day of my life, and I was wearing flip flops! I am SO SORE today - the tops of my feet from the flip flop straps (at least they were nice flip flops and didn't wear down to nothing), my calves from pushing a heavy stroller over 6+ miles of bumpy sidewalk/road, my forearms from pushing the stroller one-handed while I held Marissa's hand, but most of all my neck/shoulders/back are sore just to touch them from the straps of carrying Arianna in the carrier. It was quite an adventure, and when we got back, Lisa said I get to pick where we go for dinner no matter what! We ended up eating at Ihop because no one else could decide. Lol.

  • Today we drove back, and the girls did pretty well in the car, but we are SOOOOO exhausted, and Dan says he will NEVER let us come on a trip with him again! And I agree! He really wanted to go downtown and enjoy some of the city, and get more Chicago pizza. But it was just so difficult, and the night he wanted to go downtown was the day we had our horrific adventure, so we couldn't possibly do all that again. I did enjoy spending time with the other family we went with though.

  • I'M GLAD TO BE HOME! It just seems like we're so busy around here all the time!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vacation nightmare

Last Friday we drove to WV to spend most of the week with Dan's parents. The plan was to stay at their house until Friday, when we'd drive to our hotel in PA, go to my brother Jeff's college graduation on Saturday, and drive back home late Saturday.

Our vacation started out great. We spent a wonderful weekend with Dan's parents, and ate Mother's Day lunch out at a fancy restaurant - and both girls were wonderfully behaved and ate well. It was surprising and refreshing to have an enjoyable meal out at a restaurant! Dan's mom took Monday off from work, and we went to eat lunch at Dan's absolute favorite Mexican restaurant, and shopped at Home Goods (!). While it was a bit frustrating to chase Arianna everywhere and keep her from getting into all their stuff, it was a fun few days!

Then Tuesday morning, I got a phone call from my mom, telling me my Grandpa, Papa, had died late the night before. It was not a surprise at all - we'd been saying "This could be his last..." for 10 years. But it was still sad. He was 80 and had been married to my Grandma for 56 years I think. She dedicated 50+ years to taking care of him and all his medical issues over the years. Everyone knew it was best for him to finally go and be healed in Heaven, but that doesn't change the fact that he will be missed.

So anyway, we changed our plans and decided to drive up to NY Wednesday, spend time with extended family who were coming into town, go to the funeral Friday, then finish with the rest of the original plans. We left to drive there right after lunch, so the girls could nap in the car. They did, but Arianna woke up after a short nap and screamed for the last 1.5 hours of the drive, unless one of us was singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" - which you can only do for so long until you want to pull your hair out.

We got to NY around dinner time, and for the next few days spent time with every member of our family. Papa's 3 kids and their spouses, Brian's 2 kids (who I hadn't seen in years!), my Mom's 3 kids, and the 2 great-grandkids. We hadn't been to NY since last August, and it was fun to catch up with everyone. However, it was a little chaotic with all the new people for the girls to get used to, no familiar toys, no gated-off play areas, etc. Friday we all got up super early to get to the church for the calling hours and funeral. We asked a friend of ours to watch Marissa and Arianna in the church nursery (and she brought her own 2 little girls). They had a great time (I assume!) and it was such a relief not to worry about them at all throughout the morning. SO MANY people came by to pay their respects. My Grandma has so many good, close friends in her neighborhood and church. It was so sweet to see them all. Lots of them were people who we used to know from the church (we went there when I was LITTLE) and the rest of them were people from our old neighborhood where my Grandma still lives. They were all shocked to see how grown up we were, and even though it was a sad time, it was neat to see so many people I hadn't seen in probably 15+ years.

When we first got to the church, we all walked in and saw pictures, flowers, and an urn with my Grandpa's ashes in it. That was hard. It didn't really seem real to me until then. I was in there already when my Grandma got there, and I will never forget the look on her face when she first walked in.

After the funeral, the church provided a luncheon for everyone, and that was extremely chaotic. We got the girls out of the nursery, so people could see them too, and so we could all eat lunch. But Arianna decided she wanted to scream her guts out for no reason, and refused to eat anything or go to anyone except me. So I basically never was frustrating.

Afterwards, we said lots of goodbyes, and my parents, and Rach and Jeff, and me, Dan and the girls left a little early to pack and start driving down to PA. Jeff had some event the night before graduation, and we wanted to drive down during naptime again. They slept well in the car, but there was a freak storm, accidents, power outages at traffic lights, and who knows what else. So between all that, and a detour to avoid stopped traffic, it took us an extra 2 hours! We had to stop for dinner before we even got there, and then we finally crashed at the hotel just in time for bed. The girls slept great at the hotel, and we got up early to get ready, eat breakfast, and check out of the hotel.

Then we went to Jeff's graduation from Messiah! It was a beautiful day for it, but it was HOT in the sun, and FREEZING when it was windy. Graduation itself was LONG, and it was difficult holding Arianna still on high bleachers for so long. Dan ended up letting her and Marissa run around the grass behind the bleachers for a while. When it finally ended, we all found Jeff, and his fiancée Jenna, and took some pictures. I wore the most uncomfortable heels EVER, and almost died walking around the grounds in them.

Afterwards, we all changed clothes and went to a park for a big picnic with all of Jeff and Jenna's friends and families. Arianna fell asleep in the car on the way there, so Dan stayed in the car with her for a while, and almost missed getting any food! There was a playground and Marissa had a blast there. We all ate a big lunch, and then finished off our horrific sunburns. OUCH. I have the strangest looking one because I was wearing huge sunglasses to avoid a sun-headache! Marissa only got a tiny bit on her nose, Arianna got a little worse on her cheeks and head (she had a tiny ponytail, which made it worse), Rach had a pretty bad one too. No one even thought about sunscreen til it was too late! I felt like a horrible mother!

After the picnic was over, we went to another area of the park that was an even bigger playground. Marissa ran around and was the only person who still had energy left - well, besides Arianna. Lol. Dan put Arianna on a little zip-line and she gripped that thing so tightly, he was able to let go and she flew down the line (only about 10 feet) multiple times - she loved it!

Then we decided to go to dinner with my parents and Rach before we left to drive back to Ohio. We went to a Friendly's, which was chaotic enough without us there! I was NOT feeling very well, but managed to eat a small dinner anyways. Arianna crammed her face with anything she could get her hands on, since she refused to eat lunch at the picnic. It was a ridiculous meal - my dad spilled an entire cup full of water all over the table and my mom, he squirted ketchup all over his new white shirt, I knocked over only a half cup of water, and Arianna of course always makes a huge mess! We all got ice cream after (of course), then said our goodbyes. We finally got on the road around 8:30pm.

**TMI alert**

The beginning of the drive was great! We were making good time, the girls played for a bit, then fell asleep. I even fell asleep around 9:30, I was so tired! Then Arianna started waking up around 10:30, and kinda just crying one cry every 10 minutes. Then around 1am, we stopped at a Sheetz for gas, and Dan got his favorite snack there (buffalo chicken sub). Just before we got there, I was starting to wake up and feel REALLY awful. When we pulled in, I went into the bathroom and knew it was about to get a lot worse! But nothing was happening, I just felt like I was gonna die. So we left and got a mile down the road, when I realized I finally needed to throw up. Dan pulled over and I made it into the grass on the side of the highway, as it was starting to rain. When I got back in the car, I knew I needed a bathroom next, so we got off the next exit, but of course there wasn't ANYTHING there, so we turned around to go back to Sheetz. While I was in the bathroom at Sheetz, Dan called my phone, only I didn't pick up. When I got back to the car, he told me Marissa was crying that she had to "poop so bad!" so I took her in to the bathroom. But when we got in there, and she saw that they were the toilets that flush automatically, she REFUSED to even sit down. I even got a paper towel, and put it over the sensor, and put a tp roll on top of it. But she started crying and just wouldn't. So we left, and already I felt TONS better. Almost normal. About 30 minutes later, as I had just started to doze off again, I heard the most horrid sound I have ever heard. I jumped out of my buckle, turned the back light on, and saw vomit spewing ALLLLL over Marissa's lap, shirt, pants, buckles, the baby she sleeps with, and a few other things below her car seat. I was helpless to stop it, and even though I tried to get a plastic bag in front of her, it was useless. We stopped at the next exit, and even though I'd rather not recount what happened next, I think it's important to get it down in history. With my still sensitive stomach, I attempted to clean her up. Between all the chunks, we realized it was just not going to happen. So we just bit through it, and unbuckled her, then stripped all her clothes off in the parking lot. Thankfully we had some clothes easily accessible in the trunk, so she got some pj's on and I took her into the bathroom to clean a little better. Dan attempted to clean her car seat, but you have no idea how bad it was. The baby she sleeps with - it's in the trash at that gas station. There was no hope for it! The entire way home, we still smelled vomit in the car, and I just kept waiting for Arianna to be next, or Dan to start too. But no one else did! Sunday I spent an hour taking the seat apart, then put as much as I could in the washer, and handwashed the rest. Then I spent another hour putting it back together. If we hadn't spent $170 on her car seat, that would have gone in the trash too! So between me getting sick, Marissa getting sick, and then the attempted clean-up at 2am, that added another 2 hours onto that drive. We didn't get home until 4:30 Sunday morning!

**end TMI**

We spent all Sunday doing NOTHING and trying to recover from our vacation-gone-bad. It started out great, slowly got worse, and ended with a bang! I don't think it's one we will forget soon, though we would certainly like to!

On an unrelated note, Monday Arianna had her 15-month check-up. She is 32 inches tall (which is the 95%!) and weighs 18 pounds, 10 ounces (which isn't even on the chart, it's so low!). She is certainly our skinny-mini, just like Marissa was at this age. The pediatrician wasn't concerned though, and I'm not really either. She also got a few shots, but she was fine the rest of the day. I was soooooooo ticked though. Her appointment was at 10:30. We got there at 10:25, and went back to the exam room at 10:30. We then waited until 11:00 for the doctor to come in (the nurse came in to weigh her, etc in between then), then after the doctor was there for 5 minutes, we had to wait another 15 minutes for the nurse to come back with the shots! I was soo frustrated, and Arianna was screaming the entire time we were waiting. Several times I opened the door so they could hear her screaming, because HELLO WE HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TIME! It didn't even seem like there were that many people there, because the halls were always empty and not all the rooms were full. I suppose since it was a Monday morning, that might have something to do with it. It just really made me mad that they couldn't freaking honor an appointment time, even though they called to confirm it a few days before!

Well, I guess that's all for now. We have a family from our church staying in our basement for a little while. They had some housing issues, we had the extra space, plus a full bathroom down there, and so there they are! I'm not really sure what we're doing about meals with them here - they were here while we were out of town, so now we have to figure stuff out. But I should probably start thinking about that. Arianna has been asleep since 1:45, and it's a miracle! Usually she only sleeps for 1.5 hours! Her sleep was perfect right before vacation (of course) and it's still pretty good now (sleeping through the night), but she's suddenly a stinker about GOING to sleep. She has to see one of us, or else she just lets out these one-syllable yells, like "hey, I'm in here and not happy about it!" It's frustrating, but if that's the only thing that got worse about her sleep from vacation, I suppose we can handle it! I've enjoyed the silence of this naptime, since Marissa is obviously sleeping today too. But I'm sure it will end shortly - Marissa always gets up right at 4!

Friday, April 2, 2010


So I really should be doing dishes right now, but the house is quiet (both girls are napping at the same time!) and I don't have any work hanging over my head (it's the slow week at work, so they handle it all in the office!). I also should be doing dishes, but I've been wanting to get on here for a long time, so that's what I'm doing!

* Arianna is napping great these days, but still not going to bed - at all. When she got sick a month ago, it all started to go downhill and hasn't really stopped! She is down to one nap a day though, so it's longer, and she goes to sleep like an angel. But she just will not calm down to go to sleep at night. No matter what time I try - 8pm, same time as Marissa; 9pm, after some quality time alone with Mommy and Daddy; 10pm, when we go to bed - it's ridiculous! Sometimes she falls asleep well around 10 or 10:30, but sometimes I have to nurse her to sleep still. It's so frustrating, especially because Work is going to start having lots of extra work for me to do, and I would love to have the time to do it (and earn extra money for the COUCH FUND!), but if Arianna won't sleep, it really limits the time I have to work. On the nights she won't go to sleep (most nights), she is a complete and total monster for Dan - she ONLY wants me! She screams her head off hysterically, it's almost comical. She loves Daddy any other time of day, but after 8pm - no way! Hopefully she will continue to slowly fix herself, since we're sticking to a routine.
* She's still nursing - A LOT. I'm glad she's still nursing, and I don't mind it. But she figured out how to ask, and it's starting to get old! She asks A LOT, and isn't quite at a distractable age yet. But I'm glad to still be doing it - it makes me feel better about the tiny amounts of real food she's eating! She is also pretty upset most Sundays in the nursery at church, so I usually nurse her halfway through the morning still. Sometimes I can tell she's asking because she's bored (mainly when Marissa is asleep or busy playing by herself), other times I just wonder WHY? I'm not planning on weaning any time soon, I just kind of thought by 13 months we could go more than 3 hours between! Well, she can, especially if we're out and about, but still...At least she's been sleeping almost all the way through the night lately. Finally. Again (remember 0-5 months old? She slept 10+ hours straight from 1 week old on...those were the days!).
* Marissa isn't napping every day now. Not surprising, since she'll be 4 at the end of this month. How is my baby 4 already?! It seems like just yesterday she was toddling around and refusing to walk on the grass (like Arianna is now). Dan and I were talking yesterday about what it must have been like for Marissa as a 1 year old. We must have been playing around on the floor like fools all the time. Now, Marissa and Arianna play around on the floor together, and we watch and laugh! They have such a special bond, it's beautiful to see. Marissa loves to share her Cheerio snack with Arianna - she passes her one at a time across the back seat, and I love to see their hands meet in the middle for the exchange. They can just barely reach each other from their car seats! Marissa also always tries to fix "the problem" if Arianna is upset or crying. She acts silly, gets toys for her, shares Cheerios, gets Arianna's's precious!
* My parents are hopefully coming out to celebrate Marissa's birthday at the end of the month. We bought her presents off Amazon with Swagbucks gift cards - so they were free! I'm looking forward to seeing her reaction to the things we picked out!
* We just found out today that we get to buy at least one new car seat, possibly two. A while back, my sister was in a minor accident while driving Marissa in our car, and if car seats have been in an accident, you're supposed to replace them. I had totally forgotten about that fact til the other day, so Dan talked to the insurance company about it today. It's kinda fun to pick out new car seats, especially since if we end up getting two (I'm not sure how it all works) one will be a new infant carrier. Hopefully we can find one that's easier to carry (and hopefully we'll be able to use it within the next year or so ). The other one (the one for sure we'll be getting) will be a convertible one, since Arianna's still rear-facing (still under 20 lbs - she was 17 at her checkup), and I have a feeling that any future children will follow in Marissa's and Arianna's "weight footsteps"!
* It's gorgeous weather here, and I love it so much! Dan always says "If you love this weather so much, we should move somewhere that has this weather all the time" but I disagree. I think the reason I enjoy it so much is that we DON'T have it all the time! I call it "happy" weather, because I just can't help but be in a good mood! Yesterday I put both girls in some cute springy clothes and we went outside for a while. I took the camera and took 133 pictures in under an hour! The sun was pretty bright, so I couldn't really see what I was taking in the LCD screen. Lol. But we went for a long walk (every time Arianna came to a driveway, she tried to run into the road!) and wore the girls out! It was kinda too bad though, since they both kinda had to skip nap! We had a family dentist appointment at 2 (naptime for both! Ooops!). Marissa's and Dan's teeth are fine and great, but mine are a mess. I have 2.5 wisdom teeth and they're all too far back to reach with a toothbrush (even the hygenist can't reach them), so they're all gradually getting cavities. The plan is to have them out ASAP, once we figure out how insurance will handle it. I'm not looking forward to it - I've had enough teeth pulled (thanks to years and years and $$$$ of orthodontic appointments, retainers, and head gear! (Thanks Mom and Dad!)) that I know how bad it might be! At least my teeth are straight now
* My sister was here last week, or maybe the week before (I lost track) and we had so much fun! We went shopping A LOT! She has 3 and I have 4 weddings to go to this summer/fall, so we both "needed" some dresses for the occasions. I also have massive buyer's remorse about everything, so I ended up exchanging half the stuff we bought! I'm so indecisive, it's ridiculous! She got the cutest green/brown polka dot dress. I got a gorgeous dark purple dress, that feels like I'm wearing pjs. I also got a cute black ruffled neckline dress at Target (I LOVE Target!) for only $20 because a whole bunch of them were on the wrong wrack - it was supposed to be $40! Score! I also might buy a few more off Amazon with our gift cards from Swagbucks ( - sign up! It's so easy to get free stuff!).
* We tried on so many dresses, it was crazy! One of the dresses I DIDN'T buy, I keep thinking about, wondering if I could make it. Hopefully this week, since I don't have any work (WORK work, of course I still have housework!), I will get to try some of the crafty/sewing things I've been wanting to do. I also plan to FINALLY paint the polka dots in Marissa's bedroom that I told her I'd paint LAST YEAR!

I was going to add pictures, but the external hard drive we keep everything on (from Marissa's birth to the present) is acting up, so Dan needs to take a look at it. I'm trying not to be too nervous about losing things, since he didn't seem worried. But oh man...*calm down* So anyways, maybe new pictures next time, hopefully before a month has passed again

Well, I can't think of much else to catch up on. Arianna might sleep for another whole hour, so maybe I can get in some crafty time before she wakes up!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Arianna turned 1 on February 24th. Marissa took this picture of us when we got back from Arianna's well check-up:

Arianna weighed in at 17lbs 13oz (3oz heavier than Marissa at 1 year) and was 30.25 inches tall. She is in the 80th percentile for height, and 3rd-5th percentile for weight. I mentioned some concerns about her eating (or lack thereof) and her pooping (or lack thereof), but she wasn't concerned about her weight at all (like they were about Marissa at this age) - guess they can tell I make skinny-minis now!

I also expressed concern over her sleeping (or lack thereof), and how she wakes up at night still, quite often. Here is how that part of the conversation went:

Me: "She's been waking up several times in the night, sometimes every hour."
Dr: "What do you do then?"
Me: "I go in and put her back down with her blanket."
Dr: "What does she do if you let her cry?"
Me: "I don't."
Dr: "You should. It's best for her development."
Me: "I won't."

BLARGH! Why does everyone seem to think THEY have the answers, and that it's surprising that babies are ATTACHED to their parents? Why is it a BAD thing for a baby to be attached to their parents?More on this later...

Anways, the rest of her appointment went fine, and the doctor noticed that she had to write in that Arianna was walking at her 9 month appointment, since it wasn't even on the developmental check-list. I was a little worried when she asked about Arianna's language, since she only had one word ("uh-oh"), but just in the short week since then, Arianna's suddenly decided to babble on about anything and everything, and even say "Mamamamamamama" over and over again. So my worries are gone - although I'm still convinced she's going to talk SLOW because there's never a quiet moment around here.

Speaking of Marissa, we were driving to my work the other day, and I told her she didn't have to talk the whole time in the car (like she obviously was). She could listen to music, look out the window, or just think about things. Her response? "I can't hold my talk in!" That about sums up her life philosophy!

Dan's parents came to visit for the weekend, and we had a little celebration for Arianna's birthday. Nothing huge, but it was fun. The menu for her party consisted of food she ACTUALLY eats: homemade pizza, homemade mac & cheese, and corn. To fulfill the requirement of getting her hooked on chocolate, I made from scratch chocolate cupcakes and topped them with from scratch icing - MMmmmmmmm! There is just NOTHING better than homemade desserts! "Her" main present was a new car seat, although she can't ride in for another 6+ months when she's 20lbs (Marissa didn't hit 20lbs til 18 months). So for now Arianna is using Marissa's old one, still rear facing. And Marissa is in the new one, which will last either girl forever - it turns into a booster that goes up to 100lbs. So Arianna didn't have many presents to open, but both sets of her grandparents gave her a few gifts to open. However, I think she only ripped the wrapping paper once! She preferred to watch Marissa do it, and Marissa was fine with that! Arianna really enjoyed playing with the bows, and I managed to stick one on her head for most of the present time. She got some adorable dresses from my parents, and a Sesame Street play house and Little People princess blocks from Dan's parents. Marissa is thoroughly enjoying "teaching" Arianna how to play with them - and Arianna enjoys running off with all the characters!

Yesterday, I got up early to take both girls to get Arianna's picture taken at Olan Mills - we had to get there when they opened at 10 because we were a walk-in (YES, that is EARLY for us to be out and about!). So we went to the one closest to us, and as we were walking towards the studio, I saw a man in there and realized that we would need a miracle to get successful pictures. Arianna is TERRIFIED of men, even men she knows! Anyways, I figured we'd at least try it, since the pictures were going to be free (birthday package). So we went into the studio, and I tried to put her down. Suddenly, BOTH girls were crying and clinging to me desperately. I knew the guy (he took Marissa's 3 year pics), and knew he was nice, so I just told him it was nothing to do with him, but I knew it wasn't going to work. I tried valiantly, but it didn't happen. So we packed up to go to a different Olan Mills where I knew there was a girl working.

As we were getting our coats back on, and I was apologizing, he said something to the effect of "You know it's your own fault right? She's spoiled and wants you!" I agreed with him, and said that it was fine with me that she act like this at her age! I just couldn't believe he said that. Is it SO WRONG to have your child prefer you over a stranger? Is it so wrong to have your child be scared of strangers/strange men? Is it so wrong that I want her to feel loved and safe in my arms ALL THE TIME?! I feel this same way when people talk about letting their babies cry to sleep. Maybe some people can do it (don't get offended, I'm just venting), but to me it feels like I'm abandoning her! It feels like "Mommy knows I'm upset, and she's ignoring me. She doesn't care why I'm sad!" That will never be the answer for me, no matter how horribly my babies sleep (and I think I got a good example with Arianna!).

[stepping down from soapbox]

I am SO ready for a relaxing weekend. I will only have a little work to do (it's their slow period at the beginning of the month), and I'm looking forward to having some quiet time (ha, I guess I mean after Marissa goes to bed!). The girls are I are going to a birthday party for one of Marissa's friends on Saturday, and other than that, we have NOTHING to do! My sister is coming in a few weeks, so I'm going to make time to clear off all the clean laundry that's on the bed she wants to sleep in. It's so nice to have an entire bed free for laundry folding, but it usually just doesn't get folded!

Well, Marissa just woke up from nap (I think she actually slept today, instead of just stay in her bed quietly), so I'm going to cuddle my oldest!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Today is Friday. Last Sunday was the start of a wonderful week of sleep for Arianna (and me)! Sunday night around 9pm, Arianna had been nursing and sleepy for a little while, and I just randomly decided to try to put her in her crib for bed. The only times I'd ever done it before, she's screamed her guts out immediately and never calmed down (in the few minutes I waited impatiently). And even the times she's fallen asleep nursing at that time, she's always woken up an hour later ready to play again! But Sunday night, she cried for maybe 2 seconds til I closed her door, and then she was quiet and fell asleep all on her own, and stayed asleep! Up until that night, I'd been nursing her to sleep for every nap and bedtime! She only woke up a few short times that night, and went right back to sleep! Since then, she has been doing the same thing for naps and bedtime! Sometimes she cries for a couple minutes, but if I go back in there, she lays right back down. If she's having trouble falling asleep, all it takes is a couple minutes of resting my hand on her back, and she's OUT! She already knows, as soon as we walk into her dimly lit room, that it's time to sleep. Her grip around my neck gets tighter, and we cuddle and hug and kiss for a few minutes. Then she lays right down! It's almost as if she flipped a switch somewhere and now she's a little miracle sleeper! The first time it happened, I didn't really believe it. But after a whole week, I think it's safe to be excited!

Here's how I fixed her. Lol. First, the only thing I did was start waking her up at 8 or 8:30 every morning. I didn't do anything else different - she still nursed to sleep for nap and bedtime, she was still taking naps randomly throughout the day, and she was still up til 11 or midnight. Then, everyday I started purposefully nursing her so she'd take a nap around 11 and then again 3 hours after she woke up from that nap. She was still staying up til 11 or midnight. Then Sunday night I just got the idea to try to put her down awake, and that was it! Now, whenever she seems tired (around 11 and around 4) I put her down for a nap. And she's been ready for bed earlier and earlier every night. The first few times she started seeming sleepy around 9, then 8:45 - last night I was out, and Dan put her down just before 8 and she fell right asleep! She's never cried herself to sleep! She is still nursing a lot, and she still wakes up a little in the middle of the night. But we're all much happier now! Just in time for her 1st birthday on Wednesday! 1 year ago I was sitting around like an enormous blob, 2 days past my due date, with 5 days left!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

All about me

Things I want to do in my spare time (since I don't have any work to do til next week):

* sew jean skirt (check)
* sew curtains for kitchen and tiny stair window?
* sew ruffle cardigan
* paint Marissa's polka-dots on her walls
* paint canvases
* sew corn hole bags for Dan (check)
* sew ruffle shirt?
* sew skinny jeans (check)
* sew ruffle pillow
* sew Marissa's Cubbie patches on (check)
* sew Arianna's felt Mr. Potato Head pieces for her birthday
* write Xanga post about what I want to do and what I'm interested in lately, but don't have time to do, so I just read about it instead (check)

Well, Dan and Marissa are at Cubbies right now, and Arianna is taking her 2nd nap of the day. So I have some quiet "me" time, and no work to do! Well, I mean no *paid* work to do - I should probably be doing dishes, but I already did them once today, so I don't feel too guilty. Hehe.

Lately I've been feeling like I never get to do what *I* want. I enjoy plenty of the things that I've been doing, but it's just not usually what I'd choose to do. But since it's a slow time of the month for work, I've had some spare time lately, and it's been so nice! It's still not quite the same though, since the girls still need a lot of attention, and I still am kinda lazy But I've really been getting into sewing, as you can see by my reminder list at the top of this post. I have a crappy tiny sewing machine, but it works pretty well, and it has served it's purpose: I really just wanted to know if I *could* sew and if I enjoyed it. I can, and I do, and I would LOVE to have a nice big normal sewing machine now. There's only one stitch on mine, and it can't even go backwards, do buttons, or pretty much anything else - just sew one straight line. But nice sewing machines are so expensive! Today on craigslist I spotted a free one nearby, so I had a friend pick it up. I won't get it til Saturday, but I so hope it works! The person didn't know if it worked or not, and didn't know much else about it except that it's a Kenmore. But I've got my hopes up!

I was supposed to host Bunco for ladies from church yesterday, but with all the snow we've been getting, I figured it would be best to reschedule it for next Tuesday. But I had already got the prizes and planned the menu, so I don't have much to prepare for it for next Tuesday. I didn't have a lot of money to work with for the prizes (since there weren't many people there last month when we collect money for the following month), but I hit Target clearance, JoAnn's $1 spot, and the dollar store, and I think I got an awesome gift pack for each of the three winners (most wins, most big buncos, and travel). It was kinda fun to pick everything out! And I realized again how much I love our dollar store (I think it's a Dollar Tree). There's a lot of junk there, but amidst all the junk there are some real finds! They have cute mirrors, picture frames, vases, "sticks" to put in vases, odor-control bags for dirty diapers...I even got Marissa a brush there and it works just as well as a Wal*Mart brush. Lol. I got myself a little black box that says "Love" on it, and a oval mirror in a fancy frame - and they both match my downstairs decor perfectly! Last week I bought a chalkboard at Hobby Lobby that has a fancy black frame around it, and put it up over my new side table (Malm occasional table from IKEA) in the dining room. Now instead of a plastic kiddie kitchen in that nook, I have a beautiful table with a drawer to hide junk, a nifty chalkboard calendar above it, and my three musical plaques above that! I wish I had endless amounts of money to decorate our home with, but sometimes (and only *sometimes*) it's fun to use what I have and decorate slowly. If it wasn't for our HIDEOUS couch and recliner, I would call our living room "done." I would love a modern black dining table set sometime in the future, but I'm kinda scared what kids would do to something like that - so I'm ok with sticking with what we have for now.

Speaking of that, I found this blog not too long ago that gives the plans for building tons of expensive furniture for much cheaper: and Dan just recently bought a table saw. When I showed him the website, he got super excited, and we'll probably start building our own furniture now. It's fun to have him get excited about "house" stuff too. We'll probably start with an "island" to put in the nook in our dining room (and I'll move the Malm table upstairs to use as a vanity in our bedroom), and then if that goes well we'll probably do a dining table next. I'm not really sure if we have the skills (or the time) to do it, but it will be fun to try!

Speaking of having the time, I realized that instead of decorating or sewing, it's easier for me to *read about* decorating and sewing, since I can basically do that while the girls are awake and playing. I'm subscribed to so many decorating and crafting blogs, it's ridiculous - and I've started to unsubscribe to some because I just can't keep up with them all! But I love getting inspiration from them, and I have a list (and bookmarks in Firefox) a mile long of things I want to try when I have the time or the money. As a SAHM it's really hard to have time and money to devote to hobbies. But at least I get to live vicariously through all these bloggers that I read about. I just keep telling myself "someday..."

As I sit here, I'm looking at the toys on the floor. Marissa and Arianna were playing some "shopping" game before dinner, and Marissa put alllllllllllllllllllllllll the small toys in a bag and then dumped them all out on the opposite side of the room. It was so cute watching them play together, and hearing Marissa say "come here Arianna, do this Arianna" etc. that I couldn't bear to tell her to stop. I feel like my house usually looks pretty decent most of the time - except dishes every once in a while - and of course except for all the toys! Arianna will watch me start picking up toys, and then she darts over to the toybox, checks to make sure I'm watching, and starts flinging them out of the toybox as fast as she can. It's stinking hilarious, but so frustrating! We had a couple from church over a few days ago, and Arianna was napping when they got here so it actually stayed clean for more than 5 seconds. Lol.

Well, it felt good to get that all out. I kinda just typed and typed and didn't really read through it like I usually do when I write. But I feel better now. Maybe I'll start working on a "M & A" post now...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Prettying up my 1/2 bath

So we moved in over 2 years ago, and I had done absolutely NOTHING to the 1/2 bath on our main level. It was boring, beige, builder-basic and I HATED it! I didn't feel like I should paint the walls anything different, even though the rest of our main level is a springy green, so I decided to just add some fun accents. We are in a money crunch, so I couldn't go out and buy a bunch of stuff, but I LOVE it so far! There's still more to do, but here is what I've done already (it's nearly impossible to take a decent picture in this tiny room!):

I painted a faux frame around the boring mirror. We got a free quart of black paint from Glidden over the summer, and I finally put it to good use! I measured so each point and curve was the same distance as the others, but did it all free-hand. I am SUCH a perfectionist that it took a few days of looking at it to get it just right (and even now, I have to ignore a few spots), but I think it's so fun to look into!

(Again, excuse the poor lighting) I had a little money from Christmas gifts, so I got a yard of fabric from Jo-Ann's. It's black and white damask, and it was actually twice as long (wide?) as normal fabric at 108" so it was perfect, and I still have a bunch left! I didn't want a traditional sink skirt that's gathered and poofy, so I just hemmed the edges, added a simple pleat in the front, and velcro-ed it to the sink! I love that it hides the nasty stuff I like to keep handy: plunger (don't you hate it when you have to go searching for one at someone else's house?!), toilet brush, and toilet cleaner.

10 months old and Christmas

Well, I wrote a post last week, but forgot to post it! So here it is:
We're back from Georgia! We drove 10 hours to spend 3 days with Dan's extended family for Christmas, then drove 9 hours overnight (which is why it was shorter) to get back home at 5am Sunday. Phew! We had a wonderful time visiting, and the girls did GREAT with all the new people they didn't know/remember. Marissa played with Emily (who was our flowergirl) and Stephanie, talked everyone's ears off, and slept great for naps/bedtime. Arianna was surprisingly willing to let most anyone hold her, and she walked around and got into everything, especially their Christmas tree! Arianna did NOT sleep well at all (big surprise), especially since we all slept together in the same room. She ended up sleeping with me in our bed most of the time, which is fine for her, and fine for a little while, but when I can't move a muscle for 4+ hours, I HURT! We survived it though, and it was worth it. We hadn't seen most of these relatives since 2 years ago when Marissa was 1.5. The girls got some wonderful Christmas presents, and I got a gift card to IKEA that I can't wait to spend!

Let me back up a little: When my parents came out at the beginning of December, they brought presents with them, so before we left for Georgia, we had Christmas with just us four. Marissa was funny - when she opened up a present with clothes in it, she exclaimed "CUTE!" The girls got some wonderful presents from my parents as well, and so did Dan and I. We are so lucky to have two sets of parents (and grandparents) that dote on all of us!

Arianna was 10 months old on Christmas Eve. It's hard to believe. She wears 9 month or 12 month clothes, except for a few pants that are 12-18 months, since she's 2 inches taller than Marissa was at this age. She's walking like a 1.5 year old. Lol. She can stand up without pulling up on anything. She speed-walks away when she knows she's in trouble (like when we caught her playing with the Christmas tree in Georgia). She's still not saying much, but when she wants to, she never stops babbling! She's been signing "more" for a while, and I think she's getting "all done" too. She's finally starting to eat better, but is still picky. But at least she eats a lot of what she likes! I managed to bring frozen homemade baby food to GA, and I was surprised at how easy it was. I pre-mixed the fruit/veggies I had pureed, and so far she still has not had a drop of store-bought baby food. It's a dumb thing to be proud of, but I am. Lol. Not a drop of formula either. She's still nursing quite often (which I realized when we were in GA, since she didn't nurse nearly as much down there), but that's still fine with me. On the car ride home, she didn't nurse for 6+ hours, so now that I know she can survive (lol), I might start limiting her at night. She was still nursing TONS at night, simply because that was the easiest way to get her back to sleep during the 5+ times she woke up at night. But last night and the night before she actually only woke up I have a tiny bit of hope! I actually got 5 hours straight of sleep - BLISS!
[edited to add: she went back downhill for a while, but the last two nights have been wonderful!]

She did the cutest thing in the car on the drive home. She woke up because Marissa was being too loud, so I climbed into the back seat, and wedged myself between the two car seats (not easy!). I put my hand on her cheek, so my arm was across her stomach. And she just grabbed my arm with her hand and held me there! Anytime she started to drift to sleep, she lost her grip so I took my arm out. But the second she realized it was gone, she woke up and cried. I was starting to worry she was in deep in a "Mommy only" stage, but since we've been home, she's totally been a Daddy's girl. It's so sweet how she lights up at him, and follows him around. Her laughter is so contagious and silly. She loves to giggle, and we all love to make her giggle, especially Marissa. It's so hard to believe that in 2 months we'll have a party for her!

We had a bunch of friends over for New Year's and it was tons of fun!
My sister is coming for a visit soon too, and we're going to IKEA so I can spend my gift card! Then Dan's parents are coming for a weekend - I have a lot to do to get ready!

Here is a picture of our family on Christmas Day in Georgia: