Sunday, October 31, 2010

trick or treat!

it's official...halloween is a million times more fun with kids!

cookie monster! *made by me! easiest pong "googly eye" balls sewed onto blue hooded sweatshirt. felt cookies stiched onto body of sweatshirt. after halloween...snip the thread and it's a blue sweatsuit!

chocolate chip cookie! *made by me! even easier...felt chocolate chip cookie safety pinned onto brown shirt w/ brown pants and brown socks!

cookie monster and cookie!

maya and her buddy torsten, stuck in the strollers while their olders sibs trick or treat!

chocolate chip cookie has had enough!

cookie monster, pinkalicious, pilot and robot fairy!

earlier in the week we had some friends over to paint pumpkins. these are all of my nike mom friends who are all now staying home with their kiddos. so fun to "work" together again!

very proud of his pumpkin!

Friday, October 22, 2010

big boy bed!

we waited for so long...but finally last week, we decided to take the side off of k's crib to turn it into a "big boy" bed or "big boy" crib as he likes to call it!

the transition has been relatively easy, although he did fall out of the bed the first night. i heard the thud and waited for a cry or for him to call for us, but nothing. i woke aa up and he went in to find a dazed and confused kellen. aa helped him into bed and that was that! in the morning i asked him how he liked his bed - good he said! i asked him if he had fallen out and he said nope, but my ba (what he calls his pacifier...yes, he still sleeps with a pacifier. that or potty training is next!) fell out!

he has been waking up more often in the night - usually asking for his teddy who has fallen out of the bed. surprisingly he does not get out of bed in the morning or at nap by himself. he still calls for one of us to come and get him and still greets us with a smile and says "i woke up!". so cute.

a new favorite pastime of the kids - jumping on the bed. probably shouldn't let them do this...but they have so much fun!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

my sweet maya girl's birth day

i sit here 24 hours before my girl turns officially turns 1 and i'm finally taking the time to document her birth story (bear with me!)! what a day that very first day of maternity leave from nike. i had actually hoped to be off the previous friday, but of course, there was so much left for me to do, that i decided to work monday and tuesday and would have wednesday, the 21st...MY birthday be my first day of leave.

since aa and i have very few moments to ourselves, we decided to drop k off at school and set out to celebrate my birthday all day long! a couple of things happened that morning...1. my mucus plug (sorry, tmi...i know!) was lost and 2. i heard "i gotta feeling" by the black eyed peas and it ran through my head all day.

after we dropped off k, we went to starbucks to decide how we would spend our day together. i decided to splurge on a chocolate old fashioned donut since it was my b-day! :) we decided to go see a movie, since we rarely had the opportunity and knew that it would be even harder with "rolo" on the way in 10 days (give or take). we headed to bridgeport to see the informant (with matt damon...i recall it being pretty good). before we went into the movie, we stopped by the at&t store because i had been wanting to get a memory card for my blackberry so that i could take pics of rolo when he or she was born.

as we watched the movie, i started paying attention to the tightening in my stomach...but wasn't entirely sure that i was experiencing contractions. i really had convinced myself that i would not go into labor, since i was two weeks overdue, on pitocin for 25 hours and then c-section with kellen. but...there was a small part of me that thought, hmmm...this is interesting. we finished the movie and decided to go enjoy a nice lunch at meriwether's before my doctor's appt at 3pm. lunch was yummy. saint cupcakes was conveniently nearby and since it was my birthday, we picked up some cupcakes for after dinner! toasted coconut cream for me of course.

we were set to discuss our plan for this baby at the doctor's appointment. we had been trying to figure out if we just wait to go into labor and try for a vbac, induce in hopes of a vbac or schedule a c-section. just like with kellen, i really struggled with picking the birth date by scheduling something - i SO wanted it to just happen. the good news is that i had progressed from 1 cm to 3cm at that appt. i told her about the plug and about the tightening/contractions and she was hopeful that my body was showing signs of going into labor on it's own and thought that a vbac was a strong possiblity. with that, we decided to just let my body do it's work and if nothing happened by monday, november 2 (2 days past my due date of october 31), we would go in that day to either induce (if things had progressed and with the option to call it at any time to go for a c-section) or just go for a c-section. feeling great about our plan, she gave me a hug and said she'd either see us at the next appt or hopefully sooner!

immediately after we left that appt, the contractions started stepping it up...but i was still unsure about what i was actually experiencing. not wanting the day to end, aa and i headed to hall street grill for happy hour. aa had a beer or two and i had tempura green beans. we finalized our a girl middle name, should we have a girl and confirmed the spelling. we started timing the contractions. they were 2-3 min. apart and started to become uncomfortable. i still didn't believe i was in labor and we continued on to new seasons to buy groceries for my birthday dinner. as i walked into new seasons, i actually had to stop and catch my breath with each contraction - i still did not believe i was in labor. but, we decided we should hustle, get kellen at school and get home. just. in. case.

aa made dinner - halibut parmesean. i checked my facebook and at 6:11 posted his status update: "feels VERY loved by all her friends and family! Thanks for the bday wishes...had a great, lunch and happy hour with my hubby. now my boys are making me dinner and st. cupcake for dessert. it doesn't get much better!" if only i knew! the contractions continued still around every 2-3 minutes and quite painful - but i still thought this can't be the real deal. so i ate the whole dinner and the cupcake. we put kellen to bed and i called my sister to tell her she might need to be prepared to come over. i then called my friend andi and described the situation - plug gone, contracting through the day, in pain now...could i be in labor? yes!

it was about 8pm. from here, we decided to get serious about timing the contractions. i laid on the couch and for about 45 min we timed them...they were anywhere from 1-2 min. apart and this is where i realized i might be in labor. for real. i had aaron call the hospital to describe my situation. they made me talk despite my having to breathe though each contraction every minute or so and after describing my situation they said that i better hurry up and get to the hospital because we were having a baby! ah!!!!!!!!

my sister was called. i took a shower. packed a bag and waited for my sister to arrive. she showed up. took some pictures of us and we hit the road. time is about 9:45pm. about 2 minutes away from our house, i realize i forgot the special paper that i had intended to bring for the baby's footprints. i insist we turn around and get it. back on our way and aaron is driving in the right hand lane on 217 with cars passing us. i am clinging to the handle and ask him why tonight he decides to follow the speed limit. all i remember thinking/saying is that i wonder how quickly i can get an epidural and that i can't think clearly to decide if i really want to go for that vbac until i get an epidural!! we arrive in the ER parking lot and i go in and am immediately placed in a wheel chair. aaron comes along toting our 50 pounds of crap - but forgets the paper!!!

we arrive in labor and delivery around 10:15-30pm. they confirm just by my demeanor that yes i am in labor and i ask for an epidural immediately. they start doing their business of setting me up, prepping for epidural. dr barrett arrives and she is excited. the anethesiologist arrives and begins putting in the epi. dr. barrett sits and watches the monitor. once the epidural is in she tells us she wants to do an exam because she saw the babies heartrate go up quite a bit and she wants to make sure everything is good. instantly she says something is not right - she feels something and believes it is a tear on my cervix. she continues to check it out and within minutes she says the vbac is off and that we need to get the contractions stopped and baby out. (by the way...only dilated to four - seriously...was so painful and only to four!!!) we could tell that things were quite serious, but i was never worried. i was given a shot to stop the contractions and things were pretty frenzied. i was watching the clock very closely now because it was approximately 11:30pm. i ask if she thought the baby would be out before midnight and she said absolutely. hmm...selfishly i think to myself...i don't want to share my birthday! i also have doubts that it will happen because the second doctor had not even been called at that point and he would still need to arrive!

by 11:40 i was being wheeled to the OR, aa had his scrubs on and i was all prepped and just waiting for the oncall dr (dr davis) to arrive. he flew in and true to her word...our baby was delivered at 11:57pm on wednesday, october 21, 2009. SHE was beautiful!!! she weighed 6 pounds 13 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. i could hardly believe it...she was a she! what fun it was to not find out. tonight was a good night. even though the vbac was not accomplished...i couldn't be happier with the way things happened. it was thrilling to experience going into labor and it was meant to be because it just happened. my baby girl was meant to share a birthday with me (by the way...i share my birthday with my uncle who is 9 years older than me. so that means my grandma, my mom and i have all delivered a baby on oct. 21st! crazy!).

while baby girl was being measured and cleaned...i was being examined and then the tear was confirmed and repaired (so thankful for my wonderful doctor...disaster averted!). aaron and i enjoyed our baby girl in the wee hours of the morning. aa finally needed to get some sleep, but i was on pure adrenaline and couldn't take my eyes off of her. she ate right away and slept peacefully in my arms. pure bliss. {oh and it was a good thing that i stopped and got the memory card for the blackberry! text and picture announcing her birth was sent out!!}

we had a very quiet hospital stay due to h1n1. i was only allowed two support people - aaron and jan (who was wonderful to skip a family wedding and stay with our boy!). i missed my boy terribly and felt awful that he couldn't come to the hospital to see his baby sister. i was able to see him one time during the stay - we met in the cafeteria and i couldn't believe how big he had suddenly become! four days later we arrived home as a family of four. what a ride this last year has been! i couldn't be more thankful for my sweet baby girl.

happy birthday to our maya girl! we love you baby girl!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

the patch

one of the nice things about me being at home and aa having a weekday off every other week is that we can do some of our family activities during the week sans the weekend crowds! yesterday we enjoyed one of our favorite family traditions - the pumpkin patch. in fact...we've been going for around ten years - we started years ago when my nephew, tylre, was kellen's age! crazy. it was the perfect day - so warm and sunny!

this was actually maya's first strip to the pumpking patch. last year we went three days before she was born! miss no nap was a trooper and enjoyed the hayride out to the pumpkin field. but her favorite, was just sitting on a pumpkin! we sat her there for a photo op and she just continued to sit there like it was a chair. k and aa hunted around for the perfect pumpkins and finally ended up with a tall, skinny one and a short, round one - bert and ernie is what we've been calling them around here! carving will commence this weekend (hopefully!).

oh and the one downside to going during the week - no corn on the cob or elephant ears!

Monday, October 11, 2010

dairy-free, gluten-free {almost!}

as i mentioned below, we are having major issues with maya and food. because of a persistant rash on her face from about the time she was four months old, we suspect she has some food intolerances, gut issues and possibly (but hopefully not!) food allergies. because i am still a food source for her, my diet can have a major impact on her, so that makes it even more challenging to figure out what triggers the rash. she has been seeing a naturopath for the last several months and i believe we are making strides. one thing that i believe has helped is eliminating dairy from
our diet. truth be told, we/i haven't completely eliminated, but we've greatly reduced and aren't eating anything straight dairy. where i haven't been so good is looking at every ingredient on things like bread. i've also tried to reduce the amount of gluten in my diet and maya has been completely gluten free.

this can be challenging. every time i am weak and eat a bit of dairy, i feel terrible if it results in her face breaking out. talk about major mama guilt! anyway...i stumbled upon a delicious and healthy, gluten and dairy free salad that i thought i'd share. i tasted it at new seasons and then happened to find the exact recipe on

{marthas stewart}

Quinoa and Apple Curry Salad

1/4 cup raw almonds

1 cup whole grain or white quinoa

1 tsp honey

1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot

1 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp coarse salt

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp EVOO

2 Tbsp dried currants

1 small McIntosh apple, diced

1/4 c. loosely packed fresh mint leaves chopped


1. Toast almonds on a sheet pan in a 375 degree oven. Cool and coarsly chop.

2. Rinse Quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve; drain. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil. Stir, cover and reduce heat. Simmer until quinoa is tender, but still chewy, about 15 min. Fluff with a fork and let cool.

3. Whisk together honey, shallot, curry powser, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Whisking constantly, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream. Whisk until dressing is emulsified. Add Quinoa, currants, apple, mint and nuts;. toss well. Garnish with mint.

of course, i had to make a few adjustments. i didn't have shallots, so instead of adding them to the dressing, i sauteed a little bit of onion and garlic in a pan and just added them into the salad. i also could not find currants, so replaced them with dried cranberries and didn't have mint so i left it out! you can also use any type of apple you might have in your house. i used one off of our tree! this salad is delish and the quinoa packs a healthly punch of protein, so it can make a complete meal!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


this week maya learned her first sign - more! we sat on the kitchen floor with some chicken and after just a few times of me showing her the sign and then giving her more, she caught on! we did the same thing with kellen, only with veggie booty! not only is she signing it, but she says it as, mo. she was so excited the about her new skill that she woke up at 4am the first night signing and saying more! it's the cutest thing when your baby can start to communicate with you and seriously makes me burst with joy! she doesn't always use it in the right context, but she's only 11 months! i'm pretty sure that milk is up next and we're working on eat and water as well.

{in case you are wondering, my kids both signed more with one finger to the palm. i believe the main (correct) way to sign more is the two fingertips touching, although the finger to the palm is quite common. may be wondering why maya always has a rash on her face. we are wondering too! actually, she has some major food intolerances (hopefully not allergies) that we are working with her doctor and naturapath to figure out. it's actually much better (although pretty bad in these pictures) and we're hopeful she'll grow out of it. it does make me sad though to see her pretty face constantly covered in a nasty rash.}

Thursday, October 7, 2010

why couldn't we have gotten a sleeper?!

when kellen was a baby, aa and i were pretty sure that we had been lucky enough to get an "easy" baby. not that we didn't have our challenges, but he was pretty easy-going, rarely cried and slept relatively well (not through the night for a long time, but went to sleep on his own practically!). it didn't take long after maya was born for us to realize that what we thought about kellen being an easy baby was in fact VERY true! don't trust them when they say second babies are easy!

very few things about maya has been easy. feeding - not easy...not a bit! sleeping - THE worst! and as a parent of a toddler, sleeping throughout the day was not an option, so into our bed she came. we all seemed to get the most sleep that way and we thought it wouldn't last long. SO wrong! she is STILL in our bed...but only if i am in it does she sleep comfortably, so we've created some very bad habits. in fact, if you read any of the sleep books out there, you will find that i am breaking every rule.

an article from one of the parenting magazines i receive had an article to inform parents of the five habits that make nighttime a nightmare for parents.

sleep trap #1: feeding or rocking your baby to sleep - yep! maya searches for me at night when she is getting tired and wants nothing to do with anyone else...she just wants the goods. i don't know how to break her of this. i actually wish that she took a pacifier, but of pacifier for her, I am her pacifier!

sleep trap #2: picking up the baby each time she cries - for sure! there are a couple of reasons for this - but mainly because she's in our room/bed it makes it hard to let her cry because we need our sleep and i know that if i just hold her, she'll go right back to sleep. also don't want kellen to wake up...but seriously that kid sleeps like a log, so it's probably just an excuse...i don't like to hear my baby cry! here's another thing...the girl pukes if we do let her cry. i have actually tried a few times and every time she's puked. just wasn't worth it!

sleep trap#3: extending night feedings - of course! remember, i am her pacificer and i feed her to sleep and i pick her up or snuggle her every time she cries, so of course in order to get her back to sleep, i feed her. ugh.

sleep trap#4: napping on the go - duh...she's the second baby! that is the only time she gets a nap! especially now that i'm home and we don't want to just stay home. besides, i've tried to stay home and create a nice napping routine, but the girl hates to nap...unless someone is holding her that is!

sleep trap#5: letting your baby stay up too late - well, she only sleeps with me and i'm not interested in going to bed at 8:30! but seriously, we have tried tried tried to get her to go to sleep at a decent hour, but she just doesn't like to go to sleep before 9 or 10! i so used to judge parents for not putting their baby to bed at a decent hour and now i'm that parent.

yikes! poor girl sleeps on the couch until i'm ready to go to bed and this is how i found her the other night when i came into the room! it was the first time she's done something like that...i'm just so glad she didn't fall off...cause that would have for sure woke her up! ;)

you'd think that because she is our second baby we would know better...but i'm truly convinced that it is more about the baby and what is going on inside of them, then it is about the parents doing something right! at least that is what i keep telling myself to make myself feel better.

when she was about four months, i thought that perhaps the sleep thing was coming around - she had actually slept in her own bed from 11pm - 4am. that my friends is the longest stretch she has ever slept and it happened ONCE! i'm starting to feel like she may never be out of our bed, but really that is not an option for us! i know there will come a point where i/we will have enough and we'll come up with a plan. i'm pretty sure that the first thing we need to do is really create a room or space of her own. poor baby girl doesn't actually have a bedroom. that would probably be a good start! she has a pack and play in the office, but i haven't been able to get her to sleep for even a half hour in it for about a month.

Aa taking a turn at holding her before we all retire to bed.

so...any sleep advice for me? i actually think i know it all and that really i/we just need to be ready. but there is part of me that is starting to feel like i'm failing her by not teaching her to soothe herself and wondering if she is actually getting enough good sleep. so, just in case you have some miracle solution...please let me know.

in the meantime, i'm actually just going to enjoy it as much as i can. waking up to your baby with her arm around you and being able to kiss her head before you drift off to sleep isn't the worst thing in the world. i'm not having any more babies and i know how fast this goes, so i'm just going to be thankful for it...because there will be a time when all i want to do is snuggle up with my girl and she will roll her eyes at me with disgust!

if she's not in one of our arms, we can usually get the boppy to simulate the feeling of her being held...but she'll only be tricked for so long until she wakes up and we have to soothe her back to sleep again! she sure looks sweet though!

Monday, October 4, 2010

happy birthday, aa!

happy birthday to the one we love the most!