Lilypie 3rd Birthday Ticker

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Evolution of a smile...

Waking up at 2:30 AM and not allowing mommy to go back to sleep until 6 AM (and even then mommy still has to get up at 7:30 for a stupid dentist appointment) is completely erased when just one day later you smile for the first time! I'm such a sucker for this little doll.

Party Time!

Last weekend we got to meet Jess and her cute kids at her twins birthday party! It was so much fun and I loved getting to meet her incredible family and friends.

Arianna had tons of fun with the ball pit!
Daria enjoyed... um... sleeping.

Birthday Girls - Morgan and Riley, riding the kids train!

Jess and Aiden - I just love this picture!

Riley, enjoying lunch... until...
Mom found her to plant a kiss! :)

Birthday cake time - they look so cute (and far)

Here comes big brother to um... help LOL
I don't think they were getting messy enough for Jess, so she tries to help - it worked! LOL

We had alot of fun and enjoyed a TON of great food. Daria woke up toward the end and enjoyed being passed around to all the gals at the party so they could get their 'baby fix'. I admit, its nice at this age, its when they get to the bratty toddler stage that it ain't so cute no more! LOL

Can't wait to get together again soon Jess!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Breast is best!!

Um, ya... even PETA thinks so!

Sorry, but I highly doubt the rest of the US agrees but I wonder how much I could get paid for my breast milk?

Oh, there's a word for it?

A child who is otherwise well, who cries or is fussy several hours a day, especially from 6 pm to 10 pm, with no apparent reason, may have colic. Also, babies with colic may burp frequently or pass a significant amount of gas, but this is thought to be due to swallowing air while crying, and is not a cause of colic.

I'm so glad to know it has a name! How wonderful its been studied!

Someone want to come over and babysit from 8pm - 12am now?


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Homeschooling surprise...

Today my father came to the house to use our computer to check a few things online. He stayed much longer than I thought he would and we talked about lots of things. Somehow the subject got to homeschooling and he surprised me with his support of the concept. I was so excited I immediately started talking about what we're doing with Arianna and how we were thinking about continuing it past preschool if all goes well.

I was very pleased that he thought it was a great idea. I've been so reluctant to mention anything to my parents because of what I thought their reaction would be. I'm glad to learn I was wrong about them...

Arianna Update

This week we are starting our homeschool preschool again after taking the summer off. This poster shows what we are learning about this week - the letter E, counting and the number 5, the shape Octagon, the nursery rhyme "Bobby Shaftoe" and lighthouses and beacons. We'll be taking a trip down to Beavertail Lighthouse near Newport, RI later this week or this weekend as the special trip associated with this weeks theme.

Arianna knows all her letters, upper and lower case, can count items to 10 but knows all her numbers up to 16 (20 if you don't ask her to say them in order), all of her colors and most of the shapes that are covered in this curriculum - so the majority of this is more for fun than anything else. We're still working on counting but she's vastly improved.

I'm trying my best to keep learning fun even though I want to run a million miles toward reading and writing - she's just not ready and is still too young. I've invested in some 'hooked on phonics' workbooks and visited the parent/teacher store for some books on learning to write so we'll start there. She still doesn't know alot of the items pictured in some of these books, so we'll start working on that first.

Arianna has hit a big brick wall as far as speech is concerned. My husband tells me not to worry but its not going away. Arianna has developed a severe stutter - especially when asking a question or requesting something. Her EI caseworker was at the house this morning and is finally going to set up an appointment with a speech therapist because we both feel she's regressed with her speech. It's almost like her mouth is going to fast for her brain. When we tell her to slow down she'll enunciate much better (all the while pointing her finger at us in rhythm) but overall she's harder to understand. She has a very vast vocabulary and I think her language explosion has happened too fast for her. I hope its something she will soon outgrow but its affected her all summer and now I'm worried. Monday she stuttered with nearly every sentence - it's taught me alot about patience...

Weight wise she is sitting in at 24 lbs. 4 oz. She has taken, what I hope is, a temporary dive in her eating habits because we pulled her from daycare (where she would eat awesomely around the other kids) but she's also been battling several colds since we pulled her down to one day a week. Ironic she would get a cold every week she's there though...

This puts her at the 5th percentile for her actual age - this is the curve she's been on all year and I'm not going to fret about it too much. Even when she was in daycare full time and eating like a horse around the other kids she hadn't gained much weight so this must just be her personal curve. She's lanky and I'm just going to have to live with it. This is hard for me as I've battled weight issues my entire life - I'm not used to the idea of having a kid that doesn't has the same problems.

Nap time and bed time are a real struggle for us. She insists on someone holding her hand until she falls asleep. This can take anywhere between 10 - 90 minutes every night. When Daria's room is finished she is getting all new furniture and we hope to start a new bedtime/nap routine with that change... we need to - I'm not going to keep holding this girls hand when Daria starts getting into things.

Otherwise my being home full time has been a really good change for her. We can focus on potty training, which is going well again, and on her eating habits (which are more consistant again). We're now getting back into her preschool stuff and hope to start working on alot of other stuff associated with learning too.

This fall/winter promises to be challenging for me, but I'm up to the task!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The majority of America is runing my hard work...

The unfolding events in the financial markets have me sick.

Despite having visitors from Wednesday to Saturday I was glued to the television to see what the government was about to screw up... again. It's no secret that the Bush administration is not my favorite - as a matter of fact I'll go as far to say that this administration has ruined much of what America stands for and fixing it will take generations - not years.

The foreign policy inacted has made more enemies than friends and done nothing to actually help the american people, if anything the killing of 4167 American young people has hurt our nation in ways we won't fully understand for many years. Suffice to say there are many families hurting.

Now, let's take a look at the current 'bailout' the government has proposed. More than $1 trillion in debt - this doesn't include debt already accrued or the cost of the war. Never before have the American people gone so far into debt without much to say about it. There were no votes made by the American public. I know our Congress people are our 'voices' in Washington but how many people in the US even know who their congress person is or how to contact them? Personally I've called my Congress people several times, mostly on issues concerning animal rights - but you can rest assured they have heard from me on this issue because I'm pissed off!!

As a national news editor said:

Please explain to me how any of this is different than Hugo Chavez nationalizing companies in Venezuela.

I guess he does it by force.

We just do it by decree.

I'm pissed off that the government set up the credit lending industry to fail like this. I'm pissed off that they knew it and failed to stop it. I'm pissed off that the people elected by the American people failed to protect them.

Even more so I'm pissed off at the majority of Americans! If this applies to you I'm sorry if you are offended but you need a wake up call.

When I first saw this comercial years ago I thought it was very funny. Now I just find it sick because its so true. There are far too many Americans who are living by the seat of their pants with no savings for 'a rainy day'. Prior to the governement changing the lending rules people actually planned for emergencies - now people have an extra credit card for emergencies. Personally I have an account at Emigrent Bank with money for emergencies. I haven't had to touch it for nearly 3 years, but its there if I need it. Can you say that you have money for an emergency?

Today I sent $1500 to Honda Finance to pay off my husbands car. Since January 2006 we have been in a 'debt paydown' because like the majority of America, prior to then we were living from pay check to pay check despite making WAY too much money for that. With Arianna on the way I knew I may want to stay home with her but couldn't do that with the current loans and other debt we had. So we started paying it off and living within our means - what a concept! Since that time we have paid off $45,935.52 in various debts. We were very fortunate to not own our home when we started and had a very good income - but we aren't unusual, lots of Americans could do that too. We owe $9,000 on my 2006 Toyota Corolla and then we are debt free minus our home. I'm very proud of us! We did it all while getting our first house, having two kids and the associated cost that goes with them. We have no credit cards or open lines of credit and both have credit scores over 800 - we did it by making payments on time/paying stuff off, not by opening new lines of credit.

But when I talk to other people, especially in my generation, they don't understand why we would want to live debt free. They actually tell me that having debt is good. Really?? Good for who? You? Heck no! But it sure is good for the credit company. Especially when there is a run on the market and suddenly the banks are failing, a la last week and the cause of the great depression.

For years now 100% mortgages have been the norm and yes we're one of them - we have an 80/20 loan but when we bought we made sure we could afford the payment on just my husbands income. But I see many more problems than that - even in my parents generations. For example, we have an old TV - its 10 years old. I purchased it at WalMart for $250 10 years ago. My Dad gives me crap about not buying an HD TV or at least one with inputs for our stereo system. But we don't have $1200 to shell out on something as trivial as a TV, especially when we MIGHT watch 10 hours of TV per week. He tells us to put it on a credit card/store charge account. I laugh considering he just paid off the leins on his house fromt he IRS.

We have a very strict budget - we give ourselves allowances and only have a certain amount of money per week for gas/groceries and we put aside $400 per month into savings. My Dad thinks its odd that we live so closely to our budget. He always said if he needed more money he always worked some overtime. Hubby works overtime but its to pay for our health insurance, not our budget because we actually live within our means.

But then you have Americans that have two SUVs, a 100% mortgage, several credit cards, expensive clothes and material things, much like the commercial above. These Americans piss me off - not only are they perpetuating this faux 'American Dream' but they are the ones that are being forclosed on causing the banks to fail and now causing the rest of America to bail them out. I'm going into debt for you because you can't live within a budget and within your means.

I'm hoping to be able to stay home with my kids - we're in a position to do so now that the only debt we have remaining is my car. We've worked VERY hard to do this and I'm very excited to be there for all my children will experience when they're young. With the current events unfolding the housing market will tank and we won't gain any equity on our home for many years. Our HELOC (home equity line of credit) changes over from interest only to principal only after 5 years, which is 3 years from now. It was originally our plan to refinance the house to get rid of the $50k HELOC but we won't be able to do that now. Will we survive with the $500/month payment increase? Yes, I'll have to get a job at that point but yes, we will survive - but it SUCKS that we have to do it that way because so many Americans decided to finance a house they couldn't afford.

I hear so many people saying but its the mortgage companies that set this up. Bull crap! Your an adult, you knew, when you signed the papers, that you couldn't afford that house unless it was interest only. You decided to live outside your means - the mortgage company was simply the pied piper giving you the means to do so.

And now your ruining my hard work by tanking the banks and causing the housing market to lose so much value that many people are losing the only equity they have.

At least I'm already saving and planning for that raining day - maybe everyone else will too? Maybe they'll decide to pay cash for cars (or at least don't finance 100%) and cut up the credit cards?

I think that's wishful thinking, but at least I'm already there.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

1 month old

Daria is a month old now and I brought her to the pediatrician for her 1 month appointment and...

...drum roll please...

... she's weighing in at 10 lbs. 5 oz.! What a moose! She's sitting in at the 90th percentile! I love it!! Obviously nothing is going wrong with breastfeeding as far as weight gain is concerned. She still has reflux (duh), but we'll be doubling her Zantac dose as she's technically too young to put on Prevacid yet. If it doesn't help we'll get a referral to the GI group Arianna was just released from. They were great with giving us Prevacid ASAP - didn't ask more than two questions before giving it to us, just hope it'll be that easy with Daria as I hate to see her scream and cry while nursing and the fact that she smells like throw up all day - poor kid. Otherwise she's doing great. While waiting for the pediatrician to come in I had her on the table on her tummy (which helps with her screaming) and she rolled over! her head control is getting so much better too - she's holding it up for longer and longer periods of time.

This is all really exciting for me because we waited for what felt like YEARS for Arianna to do even these small things, so its wonderful to have a baby that is doing it so much earlier!

I don't know if I'll ever get used to this...

Friday, September 19, 2008

For Abby...

Saw that you guys were looking to homeschool pre-school which we are also doing with Arianna.

Wanted to give you the link to a curriculum we're using (free too!) that has worked really well for us and even allows us to set up unit studies every week. I order all the books from the library 2 weeks in advance to ensure we get them in time. Arianna's idea of 'playing toys' is reading books, so this curriculum is great. We leave out all the religion based items and found no problems with the curriculum at all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Giving in...

I did it. I gave in.

In wanting to preserve our great breastfeeding relationship I vowed to not give Daria a pacifier.

Unfortunately Daria will not escape all the problems of being slightly early. She has reflux and has been on Zantac since 2 weeks of age. Some of you may remember this post I made about Arianna nearly a year ago when she started on Prevacid. The change was nearly instantaneous.

When we first took Ari to the GI clinic with her lack of weight gain, fussiness with feeding and spitting up they weren't going to do much more than what the pediatrician had already started, which was putting her on Axid (same active ingredient as Zantac). She was 6 months at the time and their reasoning was that reflux reaches its peak between 4 and 6 months of age and perhaps things would get better from here on out. She continued to have problems with eating and putting on weight and we didn't get her on something new until she was over 1.5 years old. Of course, as soon as we got her on Prevacid she did fabulously.

A conversation with my dad told me alot about the effectiveness of Prevacid. He has had several hernias in his adult life and suffered horribly with acid reflux, which runs rampant through his family (both sexes). As it turns out both of my parents are on Prevacid now and my father said his entire life changed when he started on Prevacid a bit more than 10 years ago. He said Zantac was an 'old medicine' and one that never worked for him. My dad was always the tall skinny guy and he was suddenly able to put on weight and enjoy food for the first time in nearly 20 years. That says something to a drugs effectiveness.

I don't want Daria to go through what Arianna went through.

She cluster feeds at night (between 6 - 11) and as a result has more spit up just from the sheer volume of food in her stomach. Poor thing pulls herself off my breast, screams and quickly spits up nearly everything she ate - its frustrating for me because she then wants to eat again and I think eating, for the most part, helps ease some of her pain, so she wants to do it all the time. Problem for me is that its late in the night and its not like I can take a nap during the day with an active toddler in the house, ya know?

We remember with Arianna that the physical act of sucking on a pacifier helped her - be that because it kept the acid down or because it was soothing - and I finally gave in and gave Daria a pacifier. She was reluctant at first but seems to be soothed with it when we know she's not hungry. Last night was surprisingly good too - she slept well and we enjoyed a pretty darn good sleep.

Preemie moms - Arianna had this problem but not sure if its due to reflux or not... Daria hadn't had a 'messy diaper' in 2 days. Ari would go as much as nearly a week without a messy diaper but we always knew she had motility problems as she was glycerine dependent in the NICU. So anyway, last night after putting some pressure to Daria's abdominal area (which we had to do alot with Arianna at this age) she finally had a messy diaper. Coincidence that she slept well during the night? I don't think so... She's totally breastfed and they're supposed to have an easier time with bowel movements right? I'm not sure if I can blame it on her tummy troubles or if this is normal.

Tomorrow we have her '1 month' pediatrician appointment and I'm going to ask for either a referral to a GI group or for them to try Prevacid on her. If she's having this much trouble at 1 month I'd hate to be here at 4 months when reflux is supposedly at its peak.

Poor baby :(

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This must be wonderful...

I'm forgetting what it's like and need a reminder really badly...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Making the grade!

My mom is still in the hospital. The PICC line went bad and now her entire arm looks like one big bruise. What should have been day surgery has turned into a week in the hospital. To top it all off, if they can't place the PICC line she'll end up going to a rehab facility for 3 months.

Take care of your teeth folks - don't let this happen to you!

Anyway... I couldn't let an entire week go by without seeing her so I drove up to their house and drove into Boston with my Dad. This, of course, is no small feat.

She asked me to bring the kids but I really don't like the idea of bringing a toddler, who is getting over a cold, into a hospital - especially a kid that gets sick so easily. My problem wasn't with her anyway, she could easily stay home with dad - it was Daria. She's not taking a bottle well and I was worried about needing to feed her. My mom said to bring her. Um... no! She's 3 weeks old?! Why would I bring a newborn who's battling a cold to a hospital with sick people?!

So visiting her was going to be difficult. Well, Shawn was up to the task of handling the two of them AND bottling feeding Daria.

Our visit was nice and Mom really appreciated us coming by - she really didn't want us to leave, she's really bored there but parking is $12/hr. in the garage so we couldn't stay long.

Shawn did well, even doing a few small chores I asked - Daria drank 4 oz. from a bottle! Of course, now nursing isn't going all that great so I'll be devoting lots of time to nursing and avoiding time away from her for a while - she's not ready to transition between the two yet.

And yes, hubby thinks that shirt he's wearing is hillarious. I, on the other hand, plan on throwing it out when he's not looking...

I swear I was only gone for a minute!

My apologies...

My apologies to everyone that has emailed me... I will eventually get a moment to sit down and answer emails - I promise!

Friday, September 12, 2008

3 strikes...

Last week Arianna got a cold - nothing new for her and it turned out to be not that bad. She was coughing alot (par for the course) and had alot of nasal congestion.

Getting a 2.5 year old to watch where she coughs is no small feat and as 'luck' would have it Daria caught it this week. You can imagine any parents scare when a newborn gets a cold. When it happened to Arianna just 2 weeks after she came home from the NICU she ended up in the PICU on oxygen for nearly a week - after doing a fully dramatic run through the emergency department for admission (we thought we were part of some wierd TV show as about 10 different doctors ran into the 'trauma room' to help her).

Daria is handling it much better than Arianna did - she's stuffed up and sneezing and coughing quite a bit. But we don't have to watch her for breathing trouble and retractions. I can continue to suction her nose and feed her when she wants and she'll probably pull through just fine...

2 nights ago she kept us up until 4 AM, but last night she slept the whole night. I'm trying to not jinx myself but I hope it wasn't the cold keeping her asleep because I could get used to getting more than 3 hours of straight sleep! I could have rivaled Linda Blair for her exorcist role yesterday morning...

What a nice change - just another preemie/full-term difference I guess...

Wednesday my mother had surgery on her jaw... again. I feel cursed as far as teeth are concerned. My mother has been battling dental osteomyelitis and other assorted teeth/jaw infections for a few months now and it finally came to head a few weeks ago when she nearly died during what should have been a routine teeth extraction. After more than a week in Boston Medical Center she was back there again on Wednesday as the infection is still in her jaw. She had it surgically irrigated again and now has a PICC line for at least 6 weeks for antibiotics. She'll eventually have all her teeth removed as she's had 4 root canals this year alone. My father had all his teeth removed at 18 for similar problems. Me? I've got tons of cavities since I was very young and very soft teeth - I should start saving up for dentures as I'm sure I won't see 40 with my own teeth considering my parents have had all these problems with theirs.

To top it off, yesterday my father took their beloved siamese cat, Baby, age 13, to the vet because she was vomiting alot. The vets office had been watching her for a few months for hypothyroidism and weight loss. So how is it the cat dies at their office? How is it that a cat who had supposedly been watched closely dies so suddenly? I talked to my dad last night and not only was he 'drunk as a skunk' and talking about how they'll never get another cat because this hurts so much, but also talking about how their other siamese cat "Little One" is missing her friend. I know how much it hurts to lose a feline friend suddenly and I'm sad for them - and more sad for my brother because he's in California for school for a few months and can't be here to say good bye to 'his cat'.

We're now awaiting news on my father's uncle who was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, UTI and 'something wrong' with his pancreas. At 76 having 'something wrong' with your pancreas is not good news and if he was to pass away I know that my entire family will be devestated - he's the uncle everyone loves.

We're all praying hard here - lots to pray for unfortunately.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Maybe she's got it?

Since Arianna is enjoying her day with her friends at daycare, I decided to take advantage and get some 'Daria' things done.

First I stopped off at my office to show off the little cherub. Of course she was a big hit - how can she not be?

After we left there we drove into the city for an appointment with a lactation consultant. The last two nights Daria has fed about 8 times between 6 and 11 and done so amidst screaming... she also has been a loud nurser - she would make a 'smacking' sound alot and had me worried her latch wasn't correct. Add the two of them together and I was pretty convinced her poor latch was making breastfeeding pretty ineffective for her.

I got to the LC office and was pleased to have someone who had worked with me and Arianna when we were still trying to breastfeed. She remembered my face which was nice.

She weighed Daria before we started - 9 lbs. 9 oz. she's a moose! Then I got situated on the couch and got the boppy pillow in place and we got her latched on. Not only did she pull the 'let's be an allstar' card but she took in 2 oz. in just 10 minutes - WOW! Then, she went to sleep.

So she made a liar out of me, basically.

But I got some good tips on positions - my problem has been that I'd get her latched on and then get her in the correct position, probably breaking her latch in the process. I also asked her about introducing a bottle - I've been pumping once a day to build up a small freezer stash and would eventually like to introduce an overnight bottle so its not always me feeding her at night. In a moment of weakness last night I attempted to introduce a bottle... it didn't go well. The LC told me that I shouldn't be the one to introduce the bottle as sometimes the baby can tell who's feeding them and it might be confusing to it. So in another week or so we'll try introducing the bottle after we're sure she doesn't have any latch issues.

On the plus side, her cluster feeding between 6 and 11 PM is a good sign - she's storing up for night time so that she can sleep through the night, so we may get reprieve from nighttime fussiness sooner rather than later. Right now she's only up once after 11/11:30 - usually between 3:30 and 4:30 and then she sleeps until 7:30 or so which is great.

After leaving the LC we met hubby for lunch and now I'm home. She's fed 3 times with my new position knowledge and done great - no smacking sounds and her nursing really 'feels' right now. Of course, she was crying each time I'd lay her down - hopefully that's just a 'I'm still hungry' cry and not something else. She seems to be sleeping soundly now... so I'll take advantage and clean the bathrooms before she wakes up and we have to go pick up her big sister...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hard to get used to all this room!

The 'soft of' big stretch

How I manage to do laundry...

She'll be a Picasso wannabe by 4 - cause I do tons of laundry! ha!

PS. Laura - these are nifty fifty photos - I love that lens!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

She's growing up (sob sob)

Yesterday we went to a friends little girls birthday party. Samantha was turning 4 and we've been to all of her parties and every year they have a giant inflatable jump house for all the kids to play in. Last year was the first year Arianna could actually use it (was finally walking well etc.) but she was too timid scared.

She's still timid and scared but I got her to go into the jump house with me! I was so proud of my little munchkin - the other kids could jump/run in it where as Arianna was much happier just walking and holding mommy's hand. She enjoyed sitting on my lap while I bounced her around and we could play 'ring around the rosie', which she loved. It was wonderful to see her doing things that other kids close to her age could do.

Plus, it was fun for me to do something 'kid like' too - I forgot how much fun those jump houses could be! haha

There was another 'new mom' there. Daria is 3 weeks tomorrow and this other new moms little boy was just 6 days younger. She wouldn't go in the jump house because 'she hadn't been given permission to exercise again'. LOL I guess second kids make you super crazy huh?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Beco baby carrier

Last week I ventured out with both of the girls to a maternity shop near the house. Last Sunday we had taken a trip to Edaville Railroad and I realized how much easier the entire day would have been if I could have found my Maya sling I had used with Arianna. But alas, its gone into the abyss that is our basement.

Well I needed another one. I had alot of 'issues' with the Maya sling and wanted to try on some others before I purchased this time so we went to an actual maternity/parenting shop to try some on.

I was introduced to the Beco 'Butterfly' baby carrier pictured here. It holds up to 45 lbs. so technically I could carry Arianna in it until she's 10 (I jest but in reality her non-weight gain is frustrating to us).

It's not cheap at $140 but its easy to get baby in and out of and Daria seems to like it, plus, unlike the Maya sling it frees up BOTH of my hands and feels very secure. The directions say you can nurse an infant in it but I fail to see how so for now I'll just continue to take her out to do that.

So anyway, highly recommended!

Second rate?

Daria was a surprise to us - my 'mommy intuition' told me she was a boy. Her ultrasound pictures showed a very different baby (facial features TOTALLY different from her sisters) and she was in the 90th+ percentile for growth starting at 24 weeks - it had to be a boy right? You can imagine my surprise when hubby announced "It's a girl!" in the delivery room - I think I actually said "Really?" in between tears of joy (because my baby was actually crying this time).

But because we didn't find out the gender ahead of time we didn't buy ANYTHING for her. We had everything we'd need for a new baby from Arianna's baby days. We figured if it was a girl we'd be more than all set for clothes as Arianna has bags and bags of clothes she never even wore, and if it was a boy at least the nursery would be all set as the walls were already painted a deep blue.

Well today is the day we try to put her as a priority. We had nothing new for her and I felt she was getting 'second rate' treatment before she was even born - now I'm trying to make up for it.

She needs a room now. She's a 'noisy sleeper' and I don't work well sleep deprived. As soon as she is sleeping through the night she's going in her room. I pray she follows her sisters route and is sleeping through the night by 4 months! But, she doesn't have a room. Right now its chock full with junk.

We have 2 desks, a 5 draw file cabinet, twin sized bed, 5 shelf bookcase, ironing board and all of Arianna's 'new to her' furniture in there - we can barely open the door without bumping into something.

So today we cleaned up Arianna's room and consolidated space. We have enough room in there now to move all her 'new to her' furniture (courtesy of one of my awesome coworkers! Thanks Sally!) into her room and move all the other pieces into the basement, somewhere.

Then we get to paint. I'm secretly happy Daria was a girl when it comes to decorating and dressing - I get to paint pink! Ya! I'm really looking forward to doing it up 'right' for a girl. Arianna's room is a nice purple-ish blue that technically is unisex but a baby boy was in the room prior to her.

This is the theme her room is going to be. I'm also going to alter some letters that spell her name to go on the wall and hope to get a 'wall quote' for her room also.

Now, if I could only figure out a way to recover the glider rocker that was a gift when Arianna was born I'd be super happy because its seen 'better days'...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Invasion of the body snatchers

This blog totally fell by the wayside during my pregnancy so I haven't been able to share with you all the joys of being a mom to Arianna... aka primadonna, aka dramaqueen

I joke with my Dad that we have to 'save' Daria from the primadonna effect that has so engulfed her sister.

Arianna is very needy and I'm not sure where it came from. My pregnancy had very little effect on her until I was put on bedrest yet her needy-ness started well before that. Up until then I was doing everything with her I had done before, even picking her up and carrying her around - I doubt there was a change in 'lifestyle' to initiate this change in her behavior.

I think it was aliens.

Seriously - how many kids need you to sit by their bed and hold their hands until they fall asleep? And if you make too much noise leaving their room they'll stand at the door and cry until they fall asleep on the floor? I don't see how this is comfortable for her - sleeping on the floor all night, because we can open the door to put her back in bed as she has wedged all 24 lbs. of herself between the door and the wall behind it. It has to be aliens.

How is it that the kid who LOVED bugs in the spring will suddenly totally flip out, almost to the point of tears, if something (doesn't even need to be a bug) is within eyesight? I almost drove off the road one day when from the back seat I hear (in blood curdling scream tone) "MOM!! BUG!! QUICK, GET IT GET IT!! MOM!!!" That one is aliens FOR SURE.

Not only that but its her intense need to be the center of attention at all times that really gets to you - I can't even do laundry anymore. This morning for instance she fell down the basement stairs (much to the chagrin of her nose) while trying to follow me to the laundry room. Bad bad mommy award right here! She knows, all too well, how to get her way. While nursing her sister this morning, in the recliner, she would try to wedge herself onto the arm of the chair, lean over, kiss Daria and rest her head on my shoulder while saying "I love you so much Mom". (Yes, the collected 'awww' can be heard here). But in reality - it gets old quickly. Mainly because when she does this her sister breaks her latch and starts screaming and Arianna has used her elbow as a pivot point (placed ever so nicely on my upper body somewhere) to get up and down from the chair causing me lots of pain. No, its not so cute anymore...

Toddlers... when do the aliens leave? Someone told me it could be 4 or 5... I don't think she'll make it that long.

A change I can live with!

I'm so blessed.

In addition to my wonderful 'take home kid', she is breastfeeding well. Her latch still needs some work but I'm hoping its something she will learn on her own in the next week or so (if not, then I'll be taking a trip to the LC again).

What's nice about having a kid that breastfeeds normally is that... I DON'T NEED THE DANM BREAST PUMP.

And the nice side effect of that is that I'm not 'overproducing' milk! By the time Arianna came home from the NICU I had enough frozen milk for 5 freakin' months of straight bottle feeding - and that was following the traditional pumping schedule of every 3 hours - I'm just a g'danm cow I guess.

So needless to say I had HUGE knockers early in Arianna's life. I was an H/I cup and it really wrecked havoc on my self esteem - I felt huge and fat and hated it.

This time since Daria eats well at the breast and I don't need to overproduce to fill her needs, I'm not huge up top - yes, I'm still big, but not much bigger than I was when I was pregnant and I can totally live with that.

This is totally a change I can live with - just hope they don't get too much bigger as she grows and gets bigger!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Getting back to normal...

Phew - it feels nice to be settling into a routine and getting 'back to normal' - something we haven't known for 9 months now. Of course, 'normal' has changed now that a new baby is in the picture, but its nice to get back into a routine for Arianna's sake.

Sunday we decided to treat her to a 'day out with Thomas (the tank engine)' at Edaville Railroad in Carver, MA. Grandma and Grandpa came too and even though us adults didn't ride a single ride that didn't include her, we all had a fantastic time just watching her have fun. It must be one of the 'signs of parenting' when you leave a kids (mostly toddler) friendly amusement park having had as much fun as the kids. We even ran into one of Shawn's old coworkers and showed off the new baby. She was working with Shawn when Arianna was born and remembers her scary start and was very excited we got our 'big baby' as she called it. Daria was actually really great the whole day - she breastfeed 3 or 4 times and didn't have a ton of trouble latching so that I would have to worry too much about helping her and trying to keep a blanket over the two of us for privacy.

Arianna, of course, had a blast! She rode on the merry-go-round 3 times (in a row!), the turtle express, the caterpillar, the rocket ships, the train, and went down 'the big slide' and rode on the swings - she had a lot of fun. So much fun she fell asleep on the swings when Grandpa was pushing her! But despite the shortened nap she was in a really great mood and very enjoyable - and best part is that she had no accidents all day! We were really proud of her.

5 hours later we made the trip home where both our girls slept soundly in the car allowing Mommy to catch some Zzz's too - this 'up every 3 hours at night' thing is harder to adjust to than I thought!