Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas with the Cranks!

It took me six separate photo shoots to take this years Christmas card picture. In fact it took me so many attempts that I had to scrap the idea of sending photo cards in favor of real cards with a photo enclosed. For your viewing pleasure I have for you, the highlights.

Merry Christmas from my children!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hugh - 5 Months!

I am so sorry sweet baby that I missed your four month post. Please know that you are just so wonderful that I have an impossible time giving up even one minute with you in favor of writing up a post. Seriously.

The past two months have flown by as usual and I have to catch myself from saying "three months" when a friendly stranger asks me how old you are. Five months, sigh. I know there are so many fun stages ahead of us BUT I love these baby days so much that I don't even care that I am repeating myself for the tenth time. Having a third child has certainly changed our day to day lives and I would love to say that there is a post in the works detailing my thoughts on having three kids vs two but we all know that is a lie. What I do have is a bullet list of random thoughts, quotes, and musings on my phone...and that will have to do for now. Future self don't be too mad that there isn't more substance here. You won't remember, because your brain is now almost 100% mush, but the lack of posting will not have been out of is virtually impossible to type while snuggling a sleeping baby.

Likes: Mommy, being held, nursing, being tickled, having a fresh diaper, paci, the swing, riding in the car, tummy time, snuggles, the play mat, jingly sounds, attention from Ben and Lily, pulling hair, trying to suck his thumb, screaming from 7:01-7:30 every night.

Dislikes: Being over tired, baths, getting stuck on his belly

Nicknames: Hoo, Hughtiepie, Hoopie, HJ, Youkie (this is becoming by far the most prefered by Lily)

Milestones: Sleeping through the night, rolling back to belly, reaching for toys, being able to put paci in his own mouth (success rate 40%)

Feeding:  It could just be my fuzzy memory but I think Hugh likes nursing more than my other two babies. Lily was my most efficient nurser, wasted no time and promptly fell asleep when she was full. Ben was victim of overactive let down, poor thing, I remember a lot of choking and sputtering. By the time Ben was five months he nursed when he was hungry but the outside world was just so exciting that I had to sit alone in the dark to get more than a few minutes out of him. Hugh LOVES to nurse. He loves the milk and the snuggles, he nurses to fill his belly but he also nurses for comfort. Getting him on a schedule has proven to be an exercise in futility but the lack of a schedule works for us so it is what it is. I would say Hugh nurses anywhere from 5-7 times a day. He also takes a 6-7oz bottle from Matt before bed at 9:00.

No solids until next month. Feeding a baby is not one of my favorite activities (I know some people love it) so I will be putting it off for as long as I can ;) For now Hugh is very clearly getting everything he needs from milk.

Sleeping: So overjoyed to report that for the most part Hugh sleeps through the night. The past few nights have been a little rough, lots of two minute wake ups, but long nights like those are the exception.

The pediatrician seemed a little surprised that we were still swaddling Hugh like a mental patient. I can't remember exactly when we stopped with the other two. Definitely earlier than this with Ben because he hated everything it. I think I swaddled Lily until she could roll which was also earlier than now because she weighed about as much as a feather and a stiff breeze was all she needed to send her tumbling over. She also preferred to be on her belly, which Hugh does not. It is probably time to start weaning him off from it. I will say it would be pretty great if he could find his own paci in the night.

Right now Hugh takes his bottle from Daddy around 9pm and by 10pm is swaddled and sound asleep in his crib. Most nights he sleeps until sometime between 5 and 6am. He nurses on one side and goes back to bed until 8:30ish. There are no words for how glorious this is! Naps are becoming more regimented and I try and get him in the crib for a real nap at least twice a day, though this does not always happen for a lot of reasons. Hugh is also a cat napper and will randomly fall asleep on the playmat or in the bouncy seat for 20 minutes, neither of my other two babies ever did this, like ever.

We are a 'cry it out' family and sooner rather than later I will start putting Hugh down slightly drowsy as opposed to holding him until he is soundly sleeping. I think that he will take that better than I do! Harder for him will be those 3am chirps that go unanswered. I firmly believe in sleep training and self soothing but I also don't want to rock the boat and change a whole bunch of things that are totally working for us right now. Hugh is still sleeping in the crib in our closet and will probably stay there through the winter.

Odds and Ends: Hugh is still the biggest baby in the whole world. At his four month appointment he was in the 80-90% for height and weight but I refuse to believe that there are actually babies out there who are bigger at this age. He wears almost exclusively 9m clothes! The exception being all of the hand me down holiday jammies and outfits which are all 6m, He only cries for a minute when I cram him into those ;)

From very early on we coined the phrase "serious baby, be serious" to describe Hugh's overall disposition. He is certainly more smiley and much less stingy with the giggles these days but I would still argue that most of the time he looks like he has a lot on his mind by default. I really hope this is the face of contentment and not worry, only time will tell. He is serious but very rarely unhappy and almost always easily comforted.

I think it is finally safe to say, I got my BROWN EYED BABY! His eyes get darker by the day and easily take up half of his face. I almost can't even stand it!

Up next: Ho ho ho, solid food, and loooong winter days.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

DITL - Fall 2014

Okay, so I no longer have a 13 day old baby (see previous DITL) but I still had a hard time grinding out this post. For the second session in a row I suspect I will be one of the very last people to email their post to our fabulous host at

These really are my favorite posts to go back and read which totally makes them worth the time they take. I was going to do last Friday (a school day) but decided not to since Halloween was hectic enough without me stressing about writing up a big post. As it turns out today was a great day to document. I hope it will serve as a reminder down the line that not every day was exhausting. Sometimes when I set out to do a DITL post it's like I have something to prove, to my future self and to my readers, like "look at me and how much I get done every day!" Ha! That isn't to say that my previous posts aren't an accurate depiction of our life, it is rather that for some reason I feel the need to document a day that I know will be busy. Today was a typical day for me when Mimi takes both Ben and Lily for most of the day, which doesn't happen every day or even every week, but when it does I need to remind myself that these days are just as worthy of remembering as the crazy hectic ones.

DITL - Fall 2014
Monday November 3, 2014

I am 33
Matt - 32 (finally!)
Lily - 4 years 6 months
Ben - 2 years 6 months
Hugh - 3 months 2 weeks

12:01am - Holy wow, Hugh why are we awake?!? This is what I get for getting all of my stuff done and getting to bed by 10. Matt is no where to be found but the computer is still open on his nightstand so I assume he is still working. He comes into the bedroom from the bathroom and insists that I go back to bed. He sits in the glider with Hugh and I am instantly asleep.

3:18am - Oh h*ll no! Hugh, buddy, just no. I will blame daylight savings time for this one since after four would be an acceptable first wakeup. (Side note: In a total rookie parent move Matt and I forgot to set the kids' tot clock ahead on Saturday night so we did not get an extra hour of anything other than breakfast on Sunday morning. wah wah) For about a millisecond I try and get Hugh to take a paci rather than nurse him but he is dangerously close to full blown screaming and I know Dingle went to bed very late. I nurse Hugh in the bed and just as he is falling asleep Lily starts SCREAMING from upstairs. It is a serious problem,,,she has to pee. Matt gets up to go to her and I remind him to change their tot clock. Matt comes back and I put Hugh in the bouncy seat next to the bed.

6:10am - Again an hour later would be okay but Hugh doesn't seem to understand time change. Too bad for Mommy. I nurse him and he almost immediately falls asleep. Our room is cold (62 degrees) and I suspect that this wake up was more about being snuggled than wanting to eat. I wrap him in an extra blanket and put him back down.

7:18am - Hugh is awake again, sigh. It has been four hours since he really nursed. Someone should probably tell him that a 16 pound baby does not need to eat every four (ahem, or two) hours.

7:30am - Right on cue, big kids come crashing down the stairs. Everyone climbs into bed and Lily asks for my phone. This really isn't a common occurrence although I know this is how my last DITL started. Matt gets up to let Colby out and start the wood stove. Lily and Ben watch a Daniel Tiger snippet and I will now have, "when a baby makes things different, find a way to make it fun" in my head for the rest of the day.

7:40am - I change Hugh's diaper. get Ben a pair of underwear, and pick out clothes for Lily from the unsightly pile of clean clothes on the floor near our bed. I decide to make the bed and put the clothes in a pile there so that I will be more likely to actually sort them and get them put away.

8:00-8:30am - Matt makes oatmeal/toast for himself and the kids and a cup of coffee for me. We all sit together at the table. Hugh hangs out in the bouncy seat. I can't find my phone so I grab the real camera and snap a bunch of random pictures.

8:30am - I take Lily upstairs to get dressed, brush her teeth, and tame her crazy toddler hair. I grab Ben an Elmo backpack to take to Mimi's along with a few extra Thomas undies and a change of pants just in case.

8:44am - Kisses, hugs, and big squeezes are exchanged and Matt takes the kids out to the car. We just got a 2013 Honda Pilot a few weeks ago and the kids are still excited every time they get to ride in it.

8:45am - I realize that the potty is still sitting on the floor next to the door so grab it and chase Matt down just as he is pulling out of the garage, close one!

I sit down on the couch to nurse Hugh and flip through the pictures I have already taken today and make a few notes on my phone. I am low on storage which means I will have to continue to use a mix of the real camera and my phone to document the day.

Hugh falls asleep and I enjoy my blissfully silent house. The wood stove is cranking out heat and the sunlight is pouring in through every window. Hugh and I are snuggled up on the couch, it is a perfect moment. I sip my coffee and scroll through social media on my phone. I try not to spend much time on FB these days, it can be such a time suck with all of the junk that people post, but today I come across a post from "Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond" that really resonates and I spend a few minutes reading their most recent posts.

 9:30am - I text Matt to ask if he can check his parents' house for Lily's snow pants. We got a little snow yesterday and the poor thing went out to play in sweats with wind pants over them because I couldn't find her hot pink snow pants. No clue where they could be. Hmm.

9:32am - Dingle arrives back from dropping off the kids...I'm guessing my text about the snow pants was a little late. His mom made us pumpkin cinnamon rolls, OMG are they delicious. Matt and I sit at the table with Hugh and eat our breakfast treat and I have a second cup of coffee. We talk about the upcoming election and have a friendly debate over who to vote for ;) Neither Matt nor I are overly political but we do like to be well informed in our voting decisions and to fulfill our civic duty.

10:00am - I change Hugh and set him in the swing to tackle some of the daily chores. Today it is mostly just general picking up and much laundry! I do the most indulgent thing ever and turn on the TV in our bedroom while I fold. I scan through the guide and seriously consider watching Sofia the First out of habit but instead choose Rachel Ray. I find a paci mixed in with the clothes that I am certain went through the least this is better than the time I found a used diaper that had gone through the wash. 

11:40 - Hugh wakes up, I change his diaper and then sit in the glider in our room and nurse him.

12:10pm - The bathrooms are clean, all but one load of laundry is completely washed/dried/folded and put away, the floor is swept, the wood stove is stocked, the pets are fed, snow pants are still MIA. I am starving.

I put Hugh in the bouncy seat and make grilled cheese sandwiches for Dingle and myself. I realize I have only had one glass of water all day so I drink one quickly and then pour myself another before sitting at the table to eat. While we are eating lunch Matt works and Hugh tells me a lengthy story in dramatic fashion.


I really want to get my run over with before the big kids get home so I double check with Matt that he can watch the baby and get motivated as quickly as I can considering I have just eaten lunch, blech. I nurse Hugh so that he will fall asleep, change into my running clothes, untie the most irritating earbud knot in history (stop touching my stuff Dingle!!) and am out the door a little after 1pm, not too shabby.

I only intended to run about 3 miles but after the first two I am feeling good so I decide to push it to 4. The app I use glitched while I was running down our dirt road and informed me that I had gone about a quarter mile further than I know I had actually unless I delete the run from my log I will never beat that first mile time. I can't really explain why, but this is super irritating to me! FWP. Overall it was a great fall day for a run and I am very proud that going out for a four mile run doesn't actually hurt too bad.

1:50pm - When I get back to the house I am hot and tired. All I want to do is grab a glass of water and sit outside to stretch. Unfortunately Hugh is SCREAMING and Daddy is looking a bit frazzled. Ugh. I go inside where it is approximately 85 degrees and take the baby who has blown out his diaper...which explains the screaming. I strip him down, wash him with a few wipes, and get him a clean onesie. Since it is a million degrees I decide he can skip the pants. After the trauma of his pooptacular diaper explosion he desperately wants to nurse. I now feel as though I am standing on the surface of the sun and desperately do not want to nurse him. Guess who won that one?

I sneeze a few times and my nose will not stop running but I don't really give it too much thought.

2:20pm - Matt is on a work call so I bring Hugh in the bouncy seat into the bathroom so that I can shower. I get about 7 minutes before he starts to fuss, which is two minutes more than I thought I would get. I get dressed quickly, brush my hair and teeth (gross, the day is half over!), and take the baby back out to the living room to play while we wait for the big kids to get home.

We were supposed to have our front windows cleaned today but the guy told me over the phone that if we didn't hear from him by 2pm then he was going to have to push us back until Tuesday. Imagine my surprise at 3:10 when they arrived and I was sitting on the couch nursing Hugh (for the eighteenth time) with absolutely no cover. Oh well.

3:30pm - Shortly after the window guys start working Mimi and Doe arrive with the big kids. Ben loses his mind over the VAN!! and the LADDERS!! and the WATER!! You would think that this might actually be the best day of his life. I make a mental note to never spend money on another toy ever again. I thank Matt's mom for taking the kids all day and we chat for a few minutes while the kids run around like wild animals. My nose is still running and I notice that I am starting to get a headache, bummer.

4:00pm - The window guys have now moved inside so I take the kids upstairs where they can still watch without being under foot. Matt finishes up his call and joins us for a few minutes before taking his computer back down stairs to finish up work for the day.

The kids and I play and read books. Hugh has some tummy time and shows off his ability to roll from belly to back much to Lily's delight. I tried to capture it on video but my phone is totally full.

The window guys are taking longer than I had hoped and I ditch my plan to make a casserole for dinner in favor of something quick and easy. I get the kids on board with breakfast for dinner without a whole lot of arm twisting.

5:00pm - The window guys are still finishing up but the kids are begging me to feed them. Ben is the worst and is now melting down every 22 seconds. I bring Hugh downstairs with me and instruct the big kids to stay upstairs for a few more minutes. Matt holds the baby so that I can get dinner started.

I start the bacon and get out some oranges to slice. I quickly realize I do not have any eggs, crap. I rummage through the cupboards for ideas but my head hurts, my nose is still running, and I am just not feeling it. The window guys finally finish up and head out.

After about 15 minutes of trying to come up with something to eat with the now fully cooked bacon, Matt finishes up work and offers to run out to the store for eggs, milk, and bread. French toast is back on!

5:50pm - This is so late for my kids to be eating! Poor Ben is a disaster, luckily bacon fixes everything. The big kids then proceed to eat more than I do and in the blink of an eye all of the food is just gone!

6:30pm - Matt cleans up dinner, I nurse Hugh, the kids dance around and beg Daddy to chase them. I am feeling even worse and I want everyone to get settled down for bed. No one appreciates "Mommy the wet blanket" and they go upstairs to run around.

6:45pm - Hugh is asleep in my arms but I know that in order to help get the big kids in bed I have to set him down. His eyes shoot open the instant I try and get up from the couch. I try for a minute to put him down and give him a paci but he is really just freaking out. I pick him back up and head upstairs.

Hugh screams the entire time that Matt and I get Lily and Ben ready for bed, it is stressful and I realize that I am not really even being that helpful. I take Hugh into the hallway and let Matt take over with the kids' pajamas and story. Hugh then spits up all over both of us, I suspect it is a result of the screaming and not at all the cause. In either case I quickly kiss the kids, skip the singing, rush through the secret handshake, and take Hugh downstairs to get cleaned up.

7:10pm - My sister texts to ask if I want to chat on the phone but I ask for a rain check. If I didn't have to pump/nurse I would go to bed right now.

Matt goes back to working which leaves me on baby duty.

7:30pm - Lily comes to the railing to inform us that Ben is out of bed and has turned on the light in their room. Hugh is not sleeping but he isn't crying either so I don't want to set him down. I take him with me to reset the kids. Matt barely looks up from his computer which indicates that he is totally in the work zone.

Ben has pooped his diaper. Perfect. He is fully potty trained during the day but has taken a page from Lily's potty training playbook and favors pooping in a diaper...and so he does, the first chance he gets. Gross.

7:40pm - Ben is clean, kids are tucked in again, Hugh is acting as though I haven't nursed him all day. I return to the living room to watch Jeopardy. Hugh nurses himself to sleep and I set him down on the couch next to me so that I can work on this post.

8:00pm - Hugh is crying again and is just so overtired. I put down my computer and hold him...I wasn't getting that much written anyway. Matt puts on some random sitcoms from the DVR. I blow my nose 73 times and grumble about how I can't believe that I am getting a cold!

9:00pm - I put Hugh down on the couch again and try and get some more of this post written. Matt gets me a cup of tea and some cheez-its. We both sit and focus on our computers without really much interaction except to complain every time there is a commercial break and every ad is a political one. So glad the election is tomorrow.

10:00-10:40pm - I can barely keep my eyes open. I shut down my computer, go up to check on the kids, gather my pump stuff and head into the bedroom to get ready for bed. Matt warms a 5 ounce bottle for Hugh and another cup of tea for me. I get all of Hugh's things (diaper, jammies, swaddle, receiving blanket, burp cloth, paci) ready on the bed. Matt brings the baby in and gives him the bottle while I pump. Normally I choose some rerun or something mindless on TV to watch but Matt has chosen Casino Royale which I have no interest in getting sucked into. As soon as I am done pumping I kiss the baby and Dingle and roll over to go to sleep. I feel a little guilty that Matt is still up with more to do before bed but I am going to be useless tomorrow if I don't get some rest. Just as I am about to fall asleep I realize... I never did find Lily's snow pants!