Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 - wow!

2011 was very good to our family. First up was the birth of Ellie McKenna on 2/16. Ellie is such a joy to our entire family - sweet, smiley, and slightly devilish as she becomes more and more mobile. She's a crawling fool who recently started pulling to standing, so we know walking isn't far behind. At her 9 month appt she tipped the scales at 26 lbs and 29 inches and charmed the pediatrician by waving and shaking her head no when the shots came. She loved Christmas, mainly the ornaments and lights on the tree and the little pieces of paper that were left behind for her to eat.

Mia has had a big year too. Miss Thing became a big sister and has been spectacular in her new role. She loves Ellie and is becoming a pro at sharing her toys and her parents. Mia also potty trained this summer and started school two days a week, which has been a big (and fun) adjustment. It's hard for Mom to see her growing up so quickly! The blonde curls remain, much to my delight.

As for us, we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. We're proud of this big milestone and look forward to many years to come!

Happy 2012 everyone!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lazy summer days

I've been quiet on here lately. We're deep in the heart of summer - long, hot, sunny days where we try to squeeze in as much fun as possible, soaking up every second to make it through an impossibly long winter.

Mia is loving summer. This little blondie probably should have been born to surfers or year round beach people. We've had so much fun with her this summer. In spite of the tantrums and angry two year old drama, Mia has become a fun little person. Gone is the baby from last summer, toddling through the sand or timidly navigating the playground. Now, we have a conversation carrying kid who tackles the play equipment with determination and who plows through the waves, laughing as the surf knocks her down. She's been to the beach numerous times, the lake, Boston, wave pools, amusement parks, playgrounds, farms, etc. And the biggest summer news for this little one? Mia is potty trained. Started on 7/1 and was in "big girl undies" from 7/5 on. It's so fun to watch her master something and see her beam in pride.

I got a chance to have one of those proud mommy moments the other day. Auntie Katie took Mia on a day of fun - lunch out, a playdate at the park and swimming at her condo. On the drive home, she told me that Mia piped up from the back unprompted, "thank you for taking me to your house. I had a fun time today." How gratifying to know that she is becoming a polite, respectful child who deep down knows how lucky she is.

Ellie is doing well too! Miss E is almost 6 months old - time is flying yet again. She's been rolling belly to back since 4.5 months and now rolls back to belly. She's trying to get up on her hands and knees and has figured out how to propel herself forward for toys. She tried food for the first time the other night (sweet peas - yum) and rather than gag or spit it out, she guided the second spoonful directly into her waiting mouth. Maybe Ellie will be my good eater?! She still as sweet as can be, although she's fussier now than ever before. We're blaming teething and the "I'm so close to sitting/moving/doing anything independently but I can't" blues.

We've got about 5 more weeks until school starts for Mia. I can't believe I'm sending her to school. I woke up last night in a panic, wondering if she'd know how to make friends or if she'd feel sad at school. Maybe it's time to cut the cord and all, but we've been a pretty tight twosome for the past 2.5 years. It's hard to let her go. She is so excited and can't wait...and truthfully, it's only 2.25 hours, twice a week. I think I can handle it.

Hope you're all enjoying your summer!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

She's a good girl, loves her mama...

Free Fallin' by Tom Petty, for those of you who were unsure. This is my Ellie song as of late. Miss E is a mama's girl and even James doesn't cut it in those instances. Mia is totally in a "Daddy" phase, so being needed by the little one is pretty nice and soothes my ego.

It's hard to believe it's June already. We've been on the go for much of the last month, as the temperatures warmed up and spring really set in. This mommy is on a mission to get in shape, so we've been walking everywhere and I'm starting to run (really). We're also visiting all the parks we can find locally. Mia is loving her swing set and pool and Ellie is happy as long as we bring something she can chew on.

May was a challenging month with the toddler. Stubborn and smart are a dangerous mix in a two year old. We have had many battles and lots of tears (mostly mine) but some sage mommies gave me some great advice and a lot of perspective. Happily, things are going much better. And of course, she's as funny as ever. Tonight, James put her to bed. We're going to a man to man defense with regards to bedtime. I take Ellie because Ellie wants it that way and James takes Mia. I hear them over the monitor and Mia is crying. James asks her what she needs and I hear her answer in a pathetic little voice, "Mommy's iPad and some marshmallows make me feel better Daddy" sniffle, sniffle. The drama! The manipulation! I'm also dealing with frequent requests to wear her gladiator sandals and her "bathing ute" to the grocery store/Target/library/cleaners, etc. Miss Fashionista.

Ellie became a fun little monkey this month. She can grab all her toys on the playmat and bouncer and figures out how to get them in her mouth, even if she has to twist in six different directions. Anything in her reach is fair game. Unfortunately, this includes Mia's hair and Mia is not a fan of this. She's so close to rolling and scoots herself 360 degrees while on her back. She's cooing and "talking" to us, and smiling up a storm. I call her "the diplomat" because she'll catch a stranger's eye and started grinning at them and cooing. Instantly charmed! She's sleeping fantastically - usually goes to bed around 8 and sleeps until 5 or 6. At that point she eats and goes back to bed for another 2 hours or so. We are supremely lucky with this, we know.

We're gearing up for a very fun summer. We'll be spending lots of time outside, because when you only get a few months of nice weather you want to make the most of it. Plus, I owe Mia a much better summer than the last one, where I was sick as can be and we stayed indoors most of the time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

2 months and 28 months

We've been busy little bees around here lately. Ellie is 2 months old today! She's changed so much in such a short time. Unfortunately, she spent the first month sick (toddler in the house, need I say more?) but has rebounded and is feeling much better. Even with a long lasting cold, Ellie wins the award for most mellow baby. She is so happy, smiley, and easy going. Ellie has made going from one to two a very easy transition...she even makes her mommy want a third!


Weight: 12 lbs 3 oz as of last week.

Eating: 4 oz every 3 hours during the day

Sleep: Getting into a good routine - Miss E sleeps roughly 8 hours at night now and is starting to develop a good nap schedule as well.

Milestones: She has been smiling for a few weeks now, tracks us as we move around, and is starting to bat at her toys on the play gym. No rolling yet, but she's a mover nonetheless. Still wearing 3 mo clothing and some 6 month sleepers for torso length.

Nicknames: Ellie-belle, Els, Elle, Ellie bug.

And my sweet two year old is doing great as a big sister. Sure, there's a little bit of jealousy and possessiveness going on, but who can blame her? She's been the Queen Bee around here for quite awhile and now there's another one to compete with. However, she is nothing but sweet to Ellie and loves her like crazy.

Mia has changed a lot lately too. She talks non-stop - full sentences, stories, etc. She's also found her mischevious streak (I thought I was going to get away without it happening - ha). In the past week, she's poured syrup on the carpet to create a swimming pool for her dolls, and broke into the pantry for some candy while I was showering. She is funny as can be and she knows it too. She sings constantly and has decided that she really likes Katy Perry and Rhianna. If you know me well, you know I'm a country music girl, so this throws me a little. We have afternoon dance parties to all her favorites and I'm slowly learning all the "cool" songs. We Skype a lot with the grandparents and she's become a pro at carrying on a conversation with them. She is a great mommy to her babies and cooks me lots of soup in her kitchen. I'm continually amazed at her memory - she recalls things from months ago and remembers stuff from hearing it just once. Mia is also going to preschool in the fall! We got her acceptance letter a few weeks ago and she'll be going two mornings a week. I can't believe my (first) baby is that old already.


Weight: 32.5 lbs

Height: 35.5 inches

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ellie McKenna is here!

Finally! Ellie McKenna was born on February 16, 2011 at 5:44 AM. She weighed 9 lbs 6 oz and was 20 inches in length. Perfect, healthy, and a blessing!

Long story: Ellie was originally due on 2/8/11. This pregnancy was a little more challenging than my first (also not a picnic). I was sick constantly until about 18 weeks and then progressed to throwing up several times a week until the day before I delivered. I was put on modified rest and restrictions several times, which is practically impossible when you are the main caregiver of a toddler! Fortunately the troubles weren't more serious than that and the pregnancy was considered healthy otherwise.

On Monday 2/14, we had an ultrasound to check on the baby's status. She was swimming all around. The tech took some measurements and then turned to me and said, "Just so you are aware, she's going to be a big baby. Very big." Turns out her measurements showed that Ellie was going to be approximately 9 lbs 11 oz. Um, what? I nearly cried and my husband started choking back laughter. Mia wasn't a little baby either at 8 lbs 11 oz, but an entire pound more? Really? I'd only gained 15 lbs total this entire pregnancy and the midwife had told me a week before that she'd be surprised if Ellie weighed more than 8 lbs.

My OB called later that afternoon and we discussed the idea of going the C-section route because of her size. I was adamantly opposed and asked that the induction scheduled for 2/17 be moved up instead. He agreed to that and we ended the call with the plans for me to be induced on 2/16.

I spent 2/15 running around doing errands. Laundry, organizing the last of the baby stuff, boiling bottles, a Target trip. At Target I complained to my mom that my back was killing me and I just wanted to sit down. When we got home, I kept up the chores and finally sat down to eat dinner when Mia went to bed. Immediately after, I started having stomach pains. Not unusual...pregnancy is hard on your system. I dealt with the cramps while lying on the couch and catching up on DVR'd shows. Finally at 11, I decided to go to bed. Here's where I become a little slow. Folks, this isn't my first child. I have gone through labor. The last time, my aunt had to gently suggest that I might be in labor before it sunk in. This time, I had to go to bed and realize the pains were coming quicker and harder in order to realize that huh, I might be in labor. At this point, they were 6 minutes apart and starting to really hurt. I stayed in bed next to my snoring, clueless husband and breathed through them for awhile before realizing they were now 4 minutes apart. At this point, I woke up James and said that the baby was not going to be waiting for tomorrow's scheduled induction - we needed to go now. He panicked and helped me pack my bag (procrastination, much?) while I called my mom and asked her to come over. At this point it was 1:30 AM. By the time she got here, 10 minutes later, the contractions were now on top of each other and I was in a ton of pain.

We got to the hospital by 2 AM and I had to stop 4 times on the short walk up to Labor and Delivery. I immediately got into bed and had several hard contractions that had me yelping. The midwife checked me and found I was now almost 8 cm and my water was about to break. I panicked and asked for the epidural, ASAP. My delivery with my first daughter was long and hard, with three hours of pushing and tearing that required more stitches than I care to remember. The recovery was awful and it took me almost 12 weeks before I could say I was feeling fairly normal again. I wasn't going through that without the drugs. I labored hard for another 40 minutes and was finally able to get the epidural at 9 cm. This gave me a few minutes to breathe and get myself together. And this time, the epidural was fabulous. I could still move my legs and feel things, but I had a lot of pain relief as well. With Mia, I was completely immobile with it and couldn't feel a darn thing. Didn't love that.

At 4:40 AM, my water broke and I was completely dilated. We decided to let the baby move down a bit on her own and at 5:15, I started pushing. The midwife was fabulous and knew I was very nervous about the tearing again - I couldn't imagine being in that much pain for an extended amount of time while caring for two kids. She worked with me and at 5:44 AM, Ellie McKenna was born. She had a head of dark hair and was a little quiet, which worried me. Her intial Apgar score was a 6 (not fabulous) and they suctioned her a bit. Second score was a 9 - whew. I put her right on my chest and she looked around with wide eyes. I couldn't get over how alert she was - and she was vocal! Ellie started crying and would not stop until she was fed and comfortable. She was weighed and measured and the nurses couldn't believe her size. I was stunned when they said she weighed 9 lbs 6 oz, because everything was so quick! The midwife confirmed that I had a small tear, but nothing like Mia's. We were upstairs in the maternity ward by 11 AM on Wednesday and accepting visitors shortly thereafter. Mia met her sister and it was seriously the sweetest thing ever, as she proclaimed "baby is cute!" and "1,2,3 wake up Baby Ellie." By noon the next day, we were home and on cloud nine. I feel fantastic - barely any pain and I'm up and doing things comfortably.

Ellie is a fantastic baby - she's calm, sweet, and easy going. I am totally enjoying every moment with my two girls and relishing in our family of four. I've watched close friends battle with fertility issues and it makes it all the more poignant for me. I know how lucky we are to have Mia and Ellie and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bad, bad blogger

I'm so glad I came back here in April with the declaration that I'd be a good blogger. I did have every intention of keeping it up...and then I got pregnant. For me, the first half of pregnancy means being sick and miserable. This time, I had an 18 month old to care for at the same time, so my all my energy went there.

Well, now I'm 40 weeks 4 days pregnant and ready to write again. We are anxiously awaiting our new baby girl, who apparently is a stubborn one. I've had three due dates (2/1, 2/5, and 2/8) and we have now surpassed all of them. I'm trying to keep it light and funny and pretend it's not bothering me, but truth is that I'm done and ready for her to get here. So is Mia - she likes to tap my belly and say "baby come out NOW?" I wish, sweetheart.

Even though I am so excited to meet this little one, I'm also sad to see the end of Mia being an only child. After having contractions for 6 hours last night and being convinced this was it, I stood by her crib and cried. We've got a pretty good thing going, my little bug and me, and I know it'll be hard for her to share Mommy and Daddy. But at the same time, I watch her take care of her babies and see how much love she has and I know it'll all be just fine. I can't imagine life without my sisters and can't wait to see my two girls grow up together.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Giving this another shot

When I was pregnant with Mia, I started a blog for a few reasons. I thought it would be fun to have a place where everything was recorded, so I could look back and say "remember when..." It also seemed like a great way to keep family and friends up to date.

Well, that only works if you actually write the blog. :) I did pretty well when pregnant, but when Mia came, I just never got around to it. And no, it was not because of lack of time, surprisingly. I'd sit down often and start writing, but I could never hit publish. Publishing what I wrote made it so final and confirmed that Mia is indeed getting bigger and becoming her own person.

Now I have a 16 month old with a personality the size of Texas. She can light up a room and loves an audience. She talks like crazy (we understand half of it) and has learned to blame everything on Jakey, our dog and her partner in crime. Part of the time I want to tear my hair out and the rest of the time, I'm thanking my lucky stars for this little hurricane on two legs.