Thursday, February 28, 2013

For Real?

Bath time. Bath time usually goes off without a hitch. Happy playing child. 

Until, our boy learned to jump up and open EVERY SINGLE DOOR in our house (and scratching the shit out of them). Shoot me. Now, this is what bath time looks like. 

Teddy. He will not leave us alone during bath time. He drinks the bath water, licks the kids, takes EVERY SINGLE TOY out of the tub - then proceeds to run around the house squeezing them and squirting water everywhere. It is putting me over the edge after a very L-O-N-G week.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend of Changes

Changes. So, I already have that feeling. The horrible feeling. The feeling that your baby has changed so much in a week's time and you are missing it. 

This weekend, things seemed different. She seemed different. She was just as happy and pleasant as ever, but she seemed bigger and stronger. She seemed more playful and more active. Today, I couldn't help but hold her, stand her up, tickle her, and help her sit up all day because she was so much fun to be around. Rolling over at every turn, squealing and blowing raspberries, and just having a good old time. She is getting stronger as I help her sit by holding her hands. Today, I was even able to hold her on my hip for the first time ever. She has grown and changed so much in 3 short weeks. *Sigh* When she wasn't rolling and playing, she was laying in my arms and staring me. After eating today, she would simply lay calmly and still and smile at me. She would snuggle in my arms like she never wanted to leave. I like to believe she misses me during the week and misses our snugly nursing sessions so she lived it up this weekend. 

And it felt so good.

We didn't have any plans at all this weekend, but we were so busy just the same. My hubby got home late Friday night from traveling for work, and I was happy to spend the weekend together. On Saturday, we had a family outing and we stopped at a new burger joint that just opened by us. SMASHBURGER. OMG. I am hooked. Seriously.

We splurged on burgers, fries, and we shared a Saturday afternoon milkshake with our favorite girl.

If you have a Smashburger, go to one. Now. That's all I'll say about that.

My other new weekend obsession ... The Laughing Cow Garden Vegetable Spread. After eating burgers and fries on Saturday, we wanted a lighter, healthier lunch on Sunday. This shit is amazing. 

We spread some on whole wheat tortillas and filled them with some turkey, carrots, cucumbers, and avocado. 

Wrapped those suckers up and prayed that she would even try one bite. At least, she loves pomegranate seeds.

A weekend full of chores, errands, and exhaustion, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love being home with my family. Within the craziness, I find moments with my girls that just make this life worth living. After feeling a little negative at the beginning of the weekend, I am going to bed with a full heart. 

Have a great week! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

She's Lucky...

that she is this cute.

The unswaddling is not going according to plan.

Like I said, she's lucky she is this cute.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy 5 Months

Yesterday, Keira Jane turned 5 months old. It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting on my ottoman at 35 weeks telling my family that this baby was coming. Sure enough, she was born a few hours later. When the Dr. said "it's a girl," I almost died of happiness. She has joined our family so seamlessly, and I can't believe I have known this little girl for 5 months. Pure. love.

No, seriously. My heart could explode just from thinking about her.

My sweet Keira Jane. Everyone calls you Gaga because of your sweet sissy. She used to call you Gaga because she had trouble saying Keira, but now I think she purposely calls you Gaga. 

Talk about a happy baby. You are easy to take care of, easy to be around, but most importantly you are easy to love. Everyone that meets you falls in love with your easy going way and your gummy smile.

You have the best eyelashes I have ever seen, the sweetest cheeks, and the sharpest blue eyes. I love when those sweet blue eyes follow me as I walk around a room.

At 5 months, you...

* have tried oatmeal. Other than that, you are exclusively nursing and we are proud of it!
* wear 9 month clothing! I am even starting to have trouble snapping your jammies because you have a long torso.
* were sleeping through the night from 7:30 pm to 6:30 am, but this week, we finally stopped swaddling you. The past few nights, you are trying to figure out this new freedom. You are such a great sleeper so hopefully, we get back to sleeping straight through the night quickly!
* are a rolling machine! You roll from front to back and back to front all day long!
* are gaining so much strength. You can push yourself all the way up on your tummy and you try to sit yourself up when you are in a chair or propped up.  I love watching you get stronger and stronger each day!
* have started really grabbing toys. Some of your favorite toys are your light up ladybug and your light up monkey. You love grabbing your lovey and rubbing it on your face.
* have found your hands. When you are not grabbing toys, you are constantly sucking on your hands and fingers. I am waiting for you to find these cute toes.

* you had your first bath in the big family tub! The first of many with your sissy!

My girl. I love you. You are my special girl. Happy 5 months.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mommy Confessions

Tuesday! Another link up with Heather and Megan! I confess that since going back to work I miss my girls. I miss my Kay. I find myself at bedtime letting her stay in our bed and watch tv, cuddle, and snuggle. Bedtime comes and bedtime goes. We stayed up later than bedtime almost every day last week. 

After bath, we let her lay in our bed until bedtime. This past week, I crawled in bed with her and we just got to relax together. I didn't want to put her to bed because I loved the way she felt laying against me. Her tiny hand would sweetly touch and rub my wrist as she laid in the crook of my arm. Her wild, clean hair tickles my face.

My sweet girl. I know my return to work has confused her a little bit. When I get home, she wants my attention. One night, she hung on my leg while I tried to make dinner. She said, "Mommy, hold me." At the moment, I put everything down and we laid on the couch together. I know this transition has been hard on me, and I failed to realize that my girl could be missing me as much as I am missing her. So, I let her stay up past her bedtime....and I don't care.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Well, I made it through my first two weeks back at work. I was successfully able to pump 2 or 3 times a day while I was away from my sweet baby girl. It isn't easy, but I know what a priority it is for me and for my Keira. From the moment I wake up in the morning, I am planning and scheduling when and how much she will eat and when I can pump. It is like an intricate chess match to make sure she is latching on as many times as possible without me having just pumped. Calculating how much milk she will drink during the day without me and how much I am pumping. Is it enough? Will my freezer supply start to dwindle? My mind is constantly on breastfeeding and pumping. It is a little exhausting, but preparation and planning will make sure not one precious drop is wasted down a drain.

It is work, but it is worth it. Even staying up until 10:30 or 11:00pm when I am completely exhausted to get one last pump in has been worth it.  The last pump of the day is the most important, but the hardest for me to do. I am usually already laying in bed and I have to drag myself downstairs, but the extra 4 or 5 ounces I get is a necessity.

Feeding my daughter has been one of the things that I am most proud of in my life. She has survived because of my body alone. It blows my mind.

Some things I am learning as I go...
- freeze the milk in 2 oz increments. This way, it lessens the chance of any milk going to waste. If she needs more, it defrosts in no time at all. I love the Medela storage bags.
- Medela steam bags have become my best friend at work. 
- looking at pictures and videos of Keira while I am pumping definitely brings on the "let down" like nobody's business.
- do NOT look at how much milk you are pumping while you are pumping. It immediately stresses me out and it is not good for my body.
- no matter how much it sucks - keep chugging the water. When I don't drink enough, I notice a difference in my pumped milk amount. It is ridiculously hard to drink a lot of water at work especially because I can't just run to the bathroom and leave 25 first graders alone. 
- try to stay on a "schedule" - random pumping times are not as successful as sticking to a schedule... but any pumping session is better than none!
- when I sit down in the nurses office to pump, I try to close my eyes and relax for a moment. Sometimes, it is the only chance I get all day to have a quiet moment to myself so I take it for all it is worth. I block out the lesson plans that aren't done, the emails to parents that I have to return, and the dinner that has to be made when I get home. I sit still and think about my Gaga. I picture her smiling or the feel of her hair on my cheek. As rushed as I am to get them, I love those quiet moments. 

When the going gets tough, I just remember how much benefit both my daughter and I are getting out of it. 

When your freezer starts bursting at the seams with milk everywhere, you can organize it by date and put it in Ziplock freezer bags for extra protection and space saving.

Looks like a lot... sadly it probably wouldn't even last 2 weeks :(

How much milk do you usually get when pump for your 5 month old? Do you give your child the amount of breast milk you express? I am having a little trouble figuring out exactly how much she should have. Any advice out there?

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Valentine Treat

For Valentine's Day, I made my girl a special treat...strawberry milk. She LOVED it. Pink milk was a huge hit around here. After a busy week, I didn't plan a lot for Valentine's Day, but making this sweet, pink milk made her day a little more special.

Super easy and minus the artificial shit... this milk is perfect for serving up some love!

All you need is water, sugar, strawberries, and milk! I use frozen strawberries that I always have in my freezer for Kay's smoothies.

First, make your strawberry simple syrup. Strain it. Let it cool. Mix with milk. Look how pretty pink it is! Special milk for your special little one.

Homemade Pink Milk
1 cup of water
1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries (cleaned and hulled)
1/2 cup of sugar

Boil water, strawberries, and sugar over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. After it is thickened, strain the syrup in a mesh strainer over a bowl or measuring cup. You don't want the strawberry seeds in your milk! Once the syrup is cooled, mix it with a tall glass of milk. The more syrup the sweeter the milk and the prettier the pink! Enjoy on Valentine's Day or any day!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Heart

Happy Valentine's Day All! I had a wonderful ...busy but wonderful day. I woke up to my two special girls. Those two girls are my heart. We surprised Kay with a balloon and a little treat, and she loved coming down and seeing it this morning. We had some time together as a family before I headed to work. That was a treat in itself. Usually, it is me quietly getting dressed in the dark and rushing out of the house chaotically hoping to not forget anything.

This week was emotional. We are still trying to find our new normal. I felt very fragile this week, not like my strong I can take on the world self. So, today was a breath of fresh air. A little love goes a long way.

The girls went to our babysitter today. I was a little nervous about our sweet Keira. It was her first time with anyone other than family, but I knew everything would be great. She had a great day, and she was a good, easy going girl as usual. She even made her very first art project.

I am one lucky momma. My sweet babysitter sent me this picture at work, and it most definitely made me smile. I knew at that moment all was good.

After my class supplied me with enough candy to give King Kong a sugar high, I hightailed it to get my sweet loves. We took the girls to a special Valentine dinner. Kay's first hibachi experience.

My Valentine. Her smile makes any day better. That dimple. 

She loved the chopsticks. The big flame - not so much.

My family is my heart. It is insane how much Valentine's Day (well any holiday for that matter) has changed so drastically since having kids. Dave and I get joy out of making things special for these two girls. Our shared smile at each other while watching Kay light up, our gentle hand squeeze as she laughs, or our head nod to have each other notice something cute she is doing is the only gift I need this Valentine's Day. My family is my heart, and I love them beyond words.

Hope you enjoyed your day with a little extra love. Hugs and Kisses xoxo

Monday, February 11, 2013

First Foods

This weekend, my sweet little girl started eating her first foods. I would love to just have her continue exclusively nursing and have her stay my tiny baby forever, but she was ready. She enjoyed her first few tastes of oatmeal. No tears, no fuss. Just looking at her mommy and smiling. She is still figuring out how to swallow, but she is as happy as a clam she learns.

I am feeling some guilt as she learns to eat her oatmeal with her Gigi. I wish I was there to feed her. I wish I was there to watch her open her little mouth up like a bird as she sees the spoon.

This little girl has seriously stolen my heart. She is growing too fast for me. Food now, marriage next. Where has the time gone? Geez.

She really has put a spell over me. I think of her all day long. There isn't a second that I am not thinking of her and wishing I was with her. I can't believe she is eating her oatmeal. I am excited for this new territory of food with our baby, and I am hoping and praying that she will be open to more foods than her sister.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Enjoying the Weekend

I am exhausted and emotional. After my return to work this week, I remembered how exhausting it is being a working mom. It hit me hard. By Friday, I was falling asleep at the wheel on the way home. My body and mind were both spent.

My sweet hubs decided no cooking dinner or cleaning, and we hit a local soda fountain type diner. After milkshakes and greasy food, we decided to let our sweet little girl play a few games in their arcade area. Even though she was too small for all of the games, she loved it just the same. "We" played skeeball, a race car game, and whack-a-mole, but the highlight of her night was jumping in the dirty, old moon bounce with a ball pit.

The weather was crappy here Friday night, and we were some of the only people in the place. As Kay jumped in the moon bounce, my hubby and I challenged each other to a little basketball buzzer game. I whooped up on him, and let him know it for the rest of the night. We had so many laughs. It felt good to just relax after a hard week.

In the morning, we woke up to a freshly fallen snow. We got a tiny bit of the snow from the huge storm that hit New England, but it was enough for my sweet Baby Kay to enjoy for her very first time.

The last time I was outside at 9:00 am to play in the snow, I was probably 6 years old. Good thing this little cutie got a sled for Christmas. She liked being pulled on it, but she LOVED pulling it herself.

After being away from her all week, I was so happy to have a little bit of snow to go play in outside in the morning. It gave us something special to bond over on what would have been an ordinary, lazy morning. It made it feel extra special, and it was just what I needed.

We had big plans that night to help Angela celebrate her 40th birthday party! So after coming in from the snow, I had to catch up on some work during nap time. It has been a hard adjustment for me, but everyday seems to get easier.

We enjoyed our weekend as a family, and I really needed it. I am so proud of my family this week. I am proud of myself for getting back into the swing of things at work, for pumping 2 or 3x a day at work, and for trying to keep the household managed. I am so proud of my husband for stepping up to the plate in a big way since I have gone back to work. Not only does he take care of business, he has been my biggest supporter. I am so proud of my girls for adapting to the change so easily and smoothly.

Most of all, I am grateful to our mommas for giving up their days to be there for us and help make our transition easier. I don't know what I would do without the support and help we have.

Now, I am going to go prepare to do it all over again this week.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rolling Machine

Hey everyone! Look what I learned how to do...

I am now a rolling machine! No more tummy time for me!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mommy Confessions

Happy Tuesday Confessions!

I confess...I put this post together in a haste to get to lesson plans and the mountain of work I have ahead of me. If it sucks, I apologize. At least there is a cute baby involved.

I confess ... I am forcing this lovey on my 4 month old like a maniac. I want her to have one like her big sissy. I am borderline obsessing over it. To show the full range of my craziness, I have yet to name it because the name has to be perfect.

I confess...I managed to get a full rag of soapy water in this kid's eyes, nose, and mouth. It might go down as the worst bath ever given to a child by an adult. I admit my overenthusiastic dog trying to chew every single bath toy and splashing water everywhere distracted me.

I confess... I forgot to put my daughter's coat on her this day. We park in our garage and I was in a rush, and when we got out of the car in the freezing snow, I realized my child did not have a coat on. Nice.

I confess...this is the only place I want to be. EVER. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Back to the Grind

My maternity leave is officially over. That means, I am going to hit publish on this here little post, and I will be logging in to look at lesson plans and emails. It is back to the grind I go. I will miss these little girls with all heart.

I am so lucky because my very supportive momma is coming to stay at my house for a few days to watch the kids and make life easier for us while we get into our new routine. It will be so much easier not having to take the kids out of the house this week while I am trying to figure out how I am going to get myself ready, feed my sweet baby Keira, and pump in the morning. Mornings are NOT my strong suit and that is putting it lightly.

As I enjoy my last few hours of maternity leave, I am reflecting on my time spent at home...making the Big Sis feel special and needed, adjusting to (and LOVING) this new world of breastfeeding, caring for these two girls, and caring for myself. With all of the memories we shared over the past four and a half months, I still question myself. Did I do enough? Did I make the most out of every second? Time has run out, and I worry that I left pages of our book unturned.

Then, I look at this face and the face of her sweet sister and I know deep down in my heart, I have given all of the love and nurturing I have to give. It doesn't matter if our days were not blog worthy, it doesn't matter if we stayed in our pajamas all day, but what matters is the amount of pure love that was passed between us each and every day.

I am going to miss everything about this experience. I am going to miss those special, lazy mornings waking up next to a sweet smelling newborn and seeing her smile. I am going to miss sitting on the floor with Kay while we played with Gaga and watched our main squeeze Michael Strahan. I am going to miss pretending to eat five million bowls of peas that Kay offered me all morning long. I am going to miss watching Gaga get stronger and stronger during her tummy time (I hope I don't miss her first roll because I worked so hard with her).

All smiles when she sees her mommy even during tummy time!
I am going to miss turning the corner to the quiet playroom and finding Kay engaged and happy playing with her toys.

I am going to miss our nursing sessions during the day. I am going to miss the feeling of the world stopping when Keira and I would sit together and snuggle while Kailyn napped. I am going to miss feeding my girls for every meal. I am going to miss being home with my girls. But, I am so blessed and thankful to have had this time at home.

I am ready to face this new world as a mom to two young children. I am eager and excited to continue my journey to bettering myself in a career that I find rewarding and challenging. Look out world, Here I come!