Monday, January 27, 2014

Baby #3 - 14 Weeks!

Hello second trimester!

Baby stats: This week the baby is about the size of a lemon. She has facial reflexes now and can blink and scrunch her nose. At this point she may also begin to suck her thumb.

Bump picture. I picked up my real camera finally so the quality is better but I can't say the same for the set up. I might have to more seriously consider the grocery store bathroom.

At my appointment this past Wednesday they said that I am up 6 lbs from my initial weight, which honestly feels about right...and it is all in my midsection. I am carrying very round and very high so far.

How you doin'?: This was not an easy week so honestly I am feeling drained, but I don't think much of it has to do with this pregnancy. The kids have been sick now for what feels like forever and this past weekend Matt also succumbed to Ben's stomach bug for real. It is hard living at my in laws because there really isn't space for us to spread out. Having two sick kids and one sick husband only magnified the close quarters. I work hard to keep the house clean and keep our presence in the common spaces under control but I will admit after this week, I am fed up. I know I shouldn't complain because through it all I was feeling better than all of them combined.  Lets just say I am grateful that everyone seems to be feeling a whole lot better today. I will be going to be early tonight!

Aside from being surrounded by whiny, clingy, demanding tyrants, I had a good week. As I mentioned the other day, my appointment went great. Baby looks perfect and all of my stats are right where they should be. I will be curious to see if my iron rises over the next four weeks. The OB was pleased to hear that I was eating again and that some of my energy was returning. Little did I know at the time that I would pay for my afternoon off for the next four consecutive days/nights.

Hormones are still a nightmare. I know that in part my completely over emotional response to almost every situation is due to fatigue, but holy wow. I am way more moody/emotional than I was with either of my other pregnancies at this point. I also know that we are all going through a lot right now with the move and living at Matt's parents, not to mention Matt staying over in the city two nights per week, and that it would be normal for not pregnant April to be frazzled. Let's just say that I have had to (on more than one occasion) remind myself that Lily and Ben are just little kids being kids and that they are not actually plotting to have me committed.

In other news, I am taking Ben to an indoor walking track tomorrow to see when their "stroller" hours are and if I think taking him there is a reasonable activity. I am excited to get moving!

Aversions/Cravings: About the same as last week. I am hungry pretty much all the time and can only hope that by spreading out my meals and snacks throughout the day that (A) I continue to be a person that others can tolerate being around and (B) do not gain 60 lbs.

I still really don't like potato, although I have found that french fries are sort of ok again!

I crave extremes, spicy and sour to be more precise. I would literally get both of my sleeping children up out of bed, put them in the car, and drive to a nearby sandwich place for a sour pickle right now if I was 100% certain they would have them at this time of night. Where is my husband when I really need him?!? (He is in the city tonight)

Sleeping: I sleep terribly, every night. I really hope that this isn't just how it is going to be for the rest of my life, but some days (like right now when I am tired) it sure does feel that way.

Movement: Matt thinks I am crazy but I swear over the weekend I felt tiny baby taps. 14 weeks would be earlier than either of my other two but now I know what it feels like, so it makes sense that I would notice it sooner, right? In any case, nothing definite but definitely maybe.

Milestones: Officially into my second trimester. Saw the baby on the big screen on Wednesday.

What I am looking forward to: Getting into our new house. Now that I know we will be staying in our hometown I need to start to settle in. No more living like we might be moving 30 minutes away. Time to get connected, make some friends, and get into a new routine! We have the home inspection on Friday and I absolutely can not wait to get back into the house, take a million pictures, and start planning the move!

Worries: I am a little worried that all of the stress and emotional turmoil isn't good for the baby. I don't want her to come into the world all high strung thinking that I am miserable person. I know that rationally stress is much more dangerous to me, but I would rather have endorphins flowing through her little body than all of this bad stuff I have been feeling this week.

I apologize if the tone of this entire post has left you feeling blah. I hate being such a downer and when I sat down to write out my weekly summary I had no idea I was feeling sort of low. I am totally going to chalk it up to being tired and feeling like we didn't really get a weekend since everyone was sick. I am sure that after a few days of "normal" sleep for the kids I will be all sunshine and rainbows again!

Let's compare: 

At my 12/13 week appointment with both Lily and Ben I had gained 2 pounds total, this time it is 6. Yikes! I also started off 15lbs heavier with Lily and 10lbs heavier with Ben.

With Lily by 14 weeks I was feeling great, school had just started, I was definitely not showing. This time I am much more tired and look like I am smuggling a small melon out of the grocery store.

Never have there been mood swings like this before!

With Ben I had terrible headaches, every day, all day. So far I have only had sinus headaches related to fighting a cold. Could not be more grateful for this one!

Best moment of the week: Definitely seeing the baby on Wednesday. I just laid there watching for 15 minutes...trying to soak it all in and really appreciate this pregnancy for the miracle that it is.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Final Thoughts on a Whole Lot of Blogging

So technically I should have been done blogging yesterday but since I missed a day you get a bonus post, happy Friday night to you!

I am bummed that for a lot of different reasons, mainly my total lack of posting, my readership really declined over the last six months. I feel like I have let people down by not writing more and keeping the updates coming. I do write this blog mainly for myself but it has always been a way for my friends and family (and a few dozen internet folks) to keep up with our stories. A friend once told me that she loved reading the blog even though I saw her regularly because there was always something written here that I had left out while we were having lunch. Stories that had I not written down, would be long forgotten months and years from now.

For the most part blogging every day was pretty easy. Not having my camera meant that the bulk of my posts were just text but I do plan to go back and add photos, hopefully this weekend. There were only a few nights that coming up with a post was sort of a chore. As I so prophetically said three weeks ago, in order to blog this much something else would have to go. I thought it was going to be my afternoon nap down time but I found that blogging between 8-10 usually worked the best. There were a few nights that my editor couldn't proof read for me and I apologize for the typos...I've tried to go back and fix them as I see them! Blogging for me is definitely time consuming but right now I am lucky enough to have a few hours of free time in the evenings. I'm sure things will change again when we move into the new house but for now I think you can expect very regulars posts.

There are still several posts in draft form that I need to finish up, the Epic Moving Story as well as a 101 Things Recap (split into several posts) just to name a few. My mom really wants me to blog about the dinner we just had as a family so I will try an oblige her too. I have two children under four, a new house, and a new baby on the way...there is no shortage of material coming your way in 2014!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mommy's day out!

If you have been paying attention then you probably missed yesterday's post. On the twentieth day of my twenty one day blogging streak I didn't post. Oops, I doubt anyone but me really cares, if you even noticed at all, haha.

Yesterday was such a great day but I got home late and Matt wasn't feeling well, before I knew it we had gone to bed. We always go to bed together, have I ever mentioned that? I don't know if that is common or not. Admittedly, it is usually me who wants to go to bed before Matt and more often than not he sits in bed and works long after I have fallen asleep.  I don't like to go to bed alone and the clickety clack of his typing doesn't bother me one bit. Anyway, when he wanted to go to bed before 10 last night I figured I owed him one.

Wednesdays are "work from home" days for Matt. We all woke up yesterday feeling off. I am definitely coming down with Lily's cold. Matt on the other hand seems to be fighting off the virus that Ben has. I can't say that I would want it the other way around, but I am definitely the toughest when it comes to being sick so in some ways I wish it was always my turn. I had a doctor's appointment in MA so the plan was to leave the kids with Matt even though he was working and just let them run wild all day. We knew it wasn't a great plan but Matt's mom is in Florida and she is our most flexible midweek babysitter extraordinaire.

I had originally thought that my appointment wasn't until 2 but when I double checked I realized that my ultrasound was scheduled for 12:30. Unfortunately for Dingle that meant that I had to leave Maine around 10:30 and that Daddy Daycare had been extended by 2 hours.

It was frigid yesterday and parts of MA had gotten quite a bit of snow the day before so I left a few minutes early just to make sure that I had plenty of time. The drive was easy, the roads were fine, and I made it to our old neighborhood in about an hour and a half. Since I was early I popped into CVS to get a thank you card for one of our old neighbors who had sent the kids some gifts at Christmas. I  arrived at the OB's office at about 12:10 fully prepared to wait at least a half hour but figured I would have time to write out the card and goof around on my phone.

The receptionist informed me that they had a ton of preemptive cancellations due to the storm so the appointments were wide open. Less than five minutes later the ultrasound tech came out to get me. My u/s went great. That baby is measuring right on track. It took the tech a long time to take her neck measurement (nuchal fold) but I didn't mind one bit because it meant more screen time. I cried like a baby again and I was very sorry that Matt couldn't be there. Baby's heartbeat is now 149, down from 164, so wive's tale says boy but we'll see.

After my u/s I got to see my doc right away. Blood pressure was good, weight gain was a reasonable 2 lbs, and my OB was happy to hear that overall I have been feeling better. We won't know until my next appointment if the iron supplements are really working but he seemed encouraged by my increase in energy, slight as it may be. Next it was off to the lab. I had my blood drawn for the first of the quad screen tests and got my long overdue flu shot. When everything was said and done I was finished at the doctor's by 1:15, almost two hours early. I had dinner plans at 5:30 so I had a lot of time to kill.

I filled out the thank you card and dropped it off at the neighbor's, did a slow drive by of the old house, and decided to got get my nails done. I got a leisurely mani/pedi (in a great dark purple color) and read a magazine. Afterward I was craving something sweet so I went across the street to Panera for a hot chocolate but school had just let out and the place was packed with hungry teenagers. I decided that it was no place to relax and decided to make the drive towards the Boston area (where I was meeting my friend for dinner) to beat the traffic and figured I could do a little shopping. Of course I came home with 50 dollars worth of clothes for the kids and nothing for myself. Old Navy is having a huge clearance sale in case you are interested!

I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it was to have a full afternoon of leisure. The nails, the magazines, the shopping alone. Oh my goodness. I felt totally guilty but not because Matt was with the kids, more that he was supposed to be working a regular day and he wasn't feeling well. I know I say that I am going to make more time for myself but I never do. I learned something yesterday though. I don't just want an hour to get my nails done and then rush back to the kids, that isn't relaxing. What I need is so much time that I run out of things to do and want to go home, which by 4pm yesterday was totally the case. Don't get me wrong I was thrilled to go out to dinner and like I said, stayed too late (which is always the case) but as far as getting a break from the kids I was ready to go back. I don't expect four hour blocks of time to fall into my lap with any regularity but I bet I could make it happen again with a little planning!

Huge shout out to my amazing husband who worked a full day, held down the fort, and battled a stomach bug all so that I could have some alone time. I owe you one babe!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Best moment of the week!

Yesterday was a not a fun day. I was very much looking forward to an extra day with Daddy home so that we could go out to lunch or some other special treat. Instead Ben threw up his breakfast all down the front of my pajamas, his pajamas, both of our blankies, the bedroom rug, the hallway floor and the bathroom shower. Of course it happened in the blink of an eye, baby throw up...I'm telling you, it will catch you off guard. He has never had a throw up type bug before so I am still learning his "tells". Unfortunately his only tell yesterday was wanting to be held, not much of a tell for those of you who know my son. So instead of a carefree fun day we had a code red sick day. On such days my children are confined to a sheet or blanket and only allowed teeny sips of water and dry toast. Lily is usually pretty agreeable to being treated like a prisoner of war, Ben was less than thrilled. It was a long day.

Around dinner time we decided that since it had been a few hours since last up chuck, it was probably safe to open the bedroom door and let Ben roam the house. Matt went out to pick up dinner and Lily and I snuggled on the bed watching TV. Neither of my kids wanted to eat a formal meal so when Matt got home I didn't even go out to the kitchen to see what he was up to. I just figured there wasn't any real rush on getting dinner on the table. After a few minutes Matt made his way back to the bedroom and he was shaking his head as he walked through the door. I looked at him and feared the worst, that Ben had thrown up on the living room rug or worse yet that Matt was feeling sick.

He told me he had just gotten off the phone with SS and my heart sank. Then he said four amazing words...





Holy crap you guys! I immediately asked him to repeat himself and threatened him that if he was joking I was going to be furious. No joke, they accepted our offer. No counter, no back and forth, no added conditions.

Of course now you will all be subjected to countless posts about the details of our new house, the home inspection, closing, the move, and of course all of the little projects I have in mind. For tonight I will simply treat you to the pictures!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Baby #3 - 13 Weeks

Getting very close to what I call the official end of the first trimester!

Baby stats: This week the baby is the length of a pea pod (about 3"). She had fingerprints which blows my mind! Her skin is still transparent and all of her organs are fully visible.

Bump picture. Thanks to the long weekend Dingle was here tonight to take my picture, whether it is any better than the terrible selfies is up to you. The lighting is terrible! I swear I am not actually a vampire. I promise I will pick up my real camera from my friend's parents' house this week! Also please ignore my stupid face in the second one, not only am I not a vampire I am not being tortured either!

The size of the bump still varies throughout the day. I had intended to take this picture earlier in the day but Ben is still not feeling great and after tossing his breakfast all over me I forgot about much else until after dinner. He seems to be feeling better but we are still on high alert for signs of more puking.

Anyway, still feeling like I look huge but not much, if any, bigger than last week.

How you doin'?This week was another week of feeling better than the last. There are still foods that do not taste right and give me the gags. But overall I would say that the random unprovoked nausea is gone.

Last week I was busy trying to dodge a cold, this week I am doing everything in my power to not come down with whatever it is that Ben has. I am sure it is just a virus or something but he has had the runs since Friday and added the pukes today, just to make sure we were paying attention. Of course I still wipe noses and butts, give kisses and hugs, and spend half the day with someone else's germ infested blankie on my when I say I am doing everything I can to not get sick, what I really mean is that I am doing nothing to prevent myself from getting sick and really I just hope it doesn't happen.

I have an ultrasound/bloodwork/ob appointment on Wednesday. The ultrasound is part of the scary quad screen which checks for Down's and other chromosomal abnormalities. This is the test that came back positive with Lily and I had to have a level II ultrasound to rule out spina bifida (which she does have, but it is so mild that she will likely never suffer any nerve problems). In any case having had a positive screen in the past this testing obviously scares the crap out of me and I will be very relieved when it is over and we have the results. I am very excited to see the baby again. I have been checking her with the doppler but there is nothing better than getting a few minutes of wiggling jelly bean screen time. I am also curious to see how my bloodwork comes back. I have been taking my iron pill every day and doing my best with the water. I would say most days I fall short of my 100oz goal but usually get between 60-70, it is a work in progress.

Hormones were all over the place this week. I had a seriously epic meltdown on Saturday and my poor husband and children all had to bear witness to the whole U-G-L-Y thing. I was a woman on the edge all weekend actually, as if the dream house situation wouldn't be emotional enough on its own!

Aversions/Cravings: Food and I are officially friends again, maybe too good of friends. I am so hungry in the mornings now it is out of hand. Every day I have a big bowl of cheerios with at least a 1/2 cup of fruit. Around 10:30 I have a balance bar and take my iron pill. For lunch I normally have a sandwich (PB&J or grilled cheese), banana, chips or pretzels, and something sweet for lunch desert like a peanut butter cup or a cookie. At least twice throughout the day I also grab a handful of almonds. Dinner is some sort of meat or fish and veggies with a salad, I am still very much off potato. I have been eating my share of desert too which when not pregnant I almost always skip. The hardest part is that I always have that, "yeah, I could eat" feeling which I remember having with Ben but it so atypical for me that I really have a hard time with the constant hunger.

Still craving alcohol, which I assume is not going to go away any time soon. With Lily I don't think I had more than two sips of beer for the entire nine months. With Ben it was probably one sip a month. With this baby it is every chance I get! To be honest that still isn't that frequent (once every other week maybe) because my sweet husband has a rule that he doesn't buy beer for himself when I am pregnant. What that means is that we only have beer around if someone else buys it or if Matt buys it for guests...the later of which isn't happening so long as we are living with his parents. But I did have a sip of Cherry Wheat yesterday and it was crazemazing!

BUT I have for the most part completely abstained from caffeine so that counts for something right??

Also I still love spicy mustard and have found many creative excuses to eat it.

Sleeping: Same as last week, not sleeping great. Between one or both of the kids being sick, the excitement and nerves over the house hunt, and the already racing mind, I have a hard time staying asleep. Once I wake up I feel like I lay there forever trying to fall back asleep and before I know it, it is morning again.

Movement: Nada.

Milestones: This was officially the last week of my first trimester. Maybe my last first trimester?? Ugh that still hurts, forget I said that! Matt told his coworkers and I told a few of the mom's from Lily's preschool. We still haven't posted any kind of announcement of FB so if my "friends" don't read my blog then they are out of luck!

What I am looking forward to: Seeing the baby on Wednesday! I am also going to start exercising more. I really need to do something if not for my body then for my mind. Like everything else I just have to get back into the habit and make it part of my routine.

Worries: Just need to get past the quad screen, then I will definitely relax a little more.

Let's compare: 

Still not sleeping great, ugh...this never got any better with Ben.

The endless hungry feeling is back, didn't have it with Lily but I remember crying to Matt one day that I was going to gain 60 pounds with Ben because I wanted to eat everything in the house. (No no, thank you pregnancy hormones!) I did not gain 60 pounds and the starving feeling did eventually subside.

I think with all of my previous pregnancies I have had really terrible mood swings and hormonal turmoil but until this most recent pregnancy I was never able to stop and say, "Oh hey, this is crazy pregnancy's ok!" In the past I beat myself up for days after having a bad day or two. This time I know what is happening and can sort of acknowledge that it is out of my control and not feel so convinced that I actually have a terrible personality.

Best moment of the week: It's a secret, I'll let you in on it tomorrow!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dream House Update

This past Wednesday we met with our realtor (who going forth I will nickname SS) and a pool contractor at a new construction property to discuss the possibilities of putting in a swimming pool. While we were there I jumped around like an excited puppy and talked his face off causally made polite conversation about our dream house and how excited we were that it had been re-listed. I made it very clear that we wanted a showing as soon as possible.

As is usually the case we hadn't heard from SS on Friday evening even though we were fairly certain that we were doing showings on Saturday morning. Neither Matt nor I were particularly concerned, we have both been very laid back about the whole house hunting scene. Finally around 7pm on Friday he texted us with the address of the first place we were viewing and said we could discuss the full schedule in the morning. At no point did Matt and I assume that we were not seeing the dream house. 

We drove the kids over to my parents' early on Saturday morning and set off to meet up with SS. The first house we saw was beyond beautiful...and well out of our price range. It was perfect minus the hefty price tag. During the showing SS let us know that we would not be seeing the dream house. He had called the day before to set up a showing and the house was booked solid, no open appointments, for the whole day. My heart sank into my stomach and it was all I could do to not cry, thank you pregnancy hormones. I sort of walked around the house like a zombie fighting back tears as I thought about how certain I was that we are not going to get the dream house. 

In reality I am/was just angry with myself for falling in love with a house sight unseen and foolishly thinking that if we wanted it we could just make and offer and have it. The market here has been so slow and the house had been listed before with no luck. The owners hired a new realty company and clearly they had a strategy in mind. SS suspects, as do we, that they listed the house well under the appraised value in an attempt to draw in several interested parties, start a bidding war, and make a quick sell. 

SS was able to get us a showing today so at 11am I walked through the door of what truly is the house of my dreams. It is a log home with stunning 40 foot ceilings in the great room, a very nice open kitchen, wood stove, fireplace (that also has a opening in the master bedroom, crazy), four bedroom, a great loft for the kids to play, and a huge private yard. The interior is definitely a very particular style, but it is our style. This home is a forever house if ever there was one. There are a ton of little projects that I would love to do but nothing major or beyond our abilities. 

Long story short we braced ourselves for SS to tell us that the sellers had 6 offers or something equally ridiculous. So far, they only have one other offer on the table and tonight we officially threw our hat into the ring. We made the sellers a full price offer in hopes that at the very least they will counter us if the other offer is better. I know that SS doubts that our offer will be good enough, but at the same time with only one other competing offer it seemed rash of us to offer well over asking on the blind. The sellers are out of town and have asked that offers be good for 72 hours (24 is typical) so it could be several days before we hear anything. Waiting is always the worst part! 

I don't normally ask for things when I pray (other than for protection and health for my family) but today I made an exception and selfishly asked God to help us get this house. For the time being all we can do is wait and try not to obsess over the things that are out of control. I am really excited that today we may have made an offer on our future home without holding back. I've said it before, but it bears repeating, I am not going to be any less disappointed if the deal falls through if I try and keep from being excited. 

I'll keep you all posted!

In other news, pinterest is about to become a real problem in my life. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What I know about the goings on at preschool

I mentioned in Lily's post the other day that she seems really happy at her new preschool. I also mentioned that some days she tells me more than others. I thought it might be funny to read later on down the road all of the things that I "know" about preschool. How much if any, of the following details are true...the world may never know.

Every day she sits in the same seat at the table. The other kids also sit in their same seats.

Mrs. W has a loud voice and loves to sing.

Some days the crafts involve glue, I always hear about the craft on "glue days"

There are two little girls, June and Rose, whose clothes are almost always worthy of mentioning. (It makes me smile to think of Lily, Rose, and June all playing together, in a garden of course)  *Also I promise I am working on vanity and choosing friends for their qualities and not their appearance but girl has an eye for fashion.*

There is a song for picking up that goes, "This is the way we pick up our toys, pick up our toys,..." Lily was thrilled that I knew the tune until we got to the last verse and I didn't sing the correct words. I was asked not to sing school songs anymore because, "mommy you just don't know."

Snack is always crackers, either round (ritz?) or square (saltines?) with water AND juice.

There is a time of day called "ticket time" during which the kids are allowed to choose a ticket which corresponds to a designated play area of the classroom. Lily always chooses a "red circle" ticket which apparently grants her access to the ponies and the the play castle. Except on days when she chooses "pink rectangle" which is baby dolls and the play kitchen. The later area is called "housekeeping".

Lily always hangs her jacket on the "L" hook, she thinks it is hers, it definitely is not.

Some days she gets to bring "Heartly" on these glorious show and tell days, she puts him on the shelf. Yes, she always brings the same thing.

There is a girl named Addison and a boy named Colin. (we are pretty sure that last one is not true)

The church bells ringing at the end of school (noon) is often the highlight of her day.

She has a journal.

They read "Polar Bear Polar Bear what to you hear?" and now she uses the word hibernating.

At cleanup time she chooses "wash the tables" with Mrs. H.

That's it. That's everything I know about preschool.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Odds and Ends

I have a lot of random nonsense rolling around in my head these days. I figure an odds and ends post is a good way to clear up some space in my brain...for more nonsense I suppose.

First, have you seen Peg Plus Cat on PBS? If not then you are missing out. I will admit that I prefer Disney Jr. for entertainment value but also acknowledge that PBS has more purely education programming. Problem is, there are a bunch of shows on PBS that I just can't sit through, Caillou being the absolute worst. Anyway Peg Plus Cat is the cutest show I have ever seen. I am sure that in part I love Peg because she wears a wool hat like another small person I know. The show teaches math, the dialogue is hilarious, and the little songs are so stinking cute. Seriously, I am a little ashamed to admit that I am more inclined to let Lily have "just one more show" if she agrees to Peg. Go watch, you will not be disappointed.

Speaking of TV, Dingle and I are SO far behind on every show we watch. Between Matt being gone two nights a week and sharing the living room TV with his parents we just haven't watched much TV since moving out of our house. Matt works for a software company that allows its users to earn credits by watching advertisements and then redeem the credits for TV shows or Amazon content. They are still in their Beta (early stages) but if you would like to check it out go to Anyway, we are lucky that we have access to most of the shows we would like to watch but I have no idea when we will get around to watching. In the mean time I have to be careful about what I read on the internet or social media...there are too many spoilers lurking out there!

I need to find a way to work out again. I hate the idea of going to and paying for a gym just to walk/jog on a treadmill. In fact treadmills and pregnant bellies actually make me very nervous. But it has been such a bitterly cold winter and I don't feel particularly safe running on roads that are not in great condition. But I have to do something. I am going crazy. I don't get much time to myself if any to do a workout DVD but I guess I would be open to trying something like that. I am freaking out partially because I was in such great shape and I hate the idea of starting from zero.  Being pregnant most of the summer will not afford a whole lot of running and I am worried about losing the baby weight in the fall, and I feel like I have already gained 10 lbs with this pregnancy. Stressing about it is accomplishing nothing, gotta start tomorrow. Suggestions welcome.

Lily used the word "Behold!" in context today, it was hilarious. No idea where she picked it up.

We are going to see our dream house tomorrow. It is so beautiful I almost can't stand it. It is huge and has amazing lofted ceilings with cedar paneling. I could look at the pictures all day. I will be crushed if we get there and there is something tragically wrong with the place. I really do think this house is our destiny. First, about four years ago we dropped off a horse bridal for a teacher friend that I knew in MA at a little house in our hometown. He had sold it to this guy in ME and when my friend told me where the place was we offered to deliver it since it wasn't that far out of the way and we were headed to Matt's parents for the weekend. We were driving down this crazy little dirt road stalking the dream house a few weeks ago and I said to Matt, "we have been here before"...then it hit me, anyone want to guess who lives next door to the dream house!? Horse guy. Secondly we saw the listing for the dream house back in July when our home was first listed, we were sure it would sell before we got a chance to take a look. Turns out the sellers took it off the market around the same time we did in September...and then relisted three days ago. I am so excited to go see it I may not sleep tonight.

Ben had a 24 hour stomach bug that began at about 8am yesterday morning and has pretty much run its course. Luckily this particular bug was of the nasty diaper variety and not the upchuck all over the crib sort that I am used to with LV. Unfortunately for Ben, dude hates to have his diaper changed. Acts as though he is being tortured, every single time. After the third middle of the night dirty diaper he looked at me through huge alligator tears and said, "mama, please." I think he was begging me to make it stop. Poor baby. I rocked him in the rocking chair much like I did every night when he was a baby and to my total surprise he actually fell asleep. Kids are awful sweet when they are sick aren't they? He seemed to be feeling much better today and with no less than an inch of butt cream over his entire bum I am hoping he sleeps more soundly tonight.

I am starving, all day. I do not like it one bit.

On that note I estimated that I have cleared up about 1% of my brain space which can now be occupied by some adorable ditty from Peg Plus Cat.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rooming in

A friend of mine instagramed (that is a verb now right?) a picture of her kiddos in their room today because they are preparing for a third baby and are moving the two older children into the same room. It really got me thinking about our past, current, and future living arrangements when it comes to the kids.

In our old house we had three bedrooms. We knew that it was not our forever house and we frequently hosted weekend guests. For those reasons we never intended to convert the guestroom into a second kid's room, even after we found out that baby #2 was a boy. (I will confess that I had every intention of redoing Lily's nursery to make it more gender neutral and yeah, that never happened) First Lily and then Ben slept in a pack n play in our room until they were about four months old. By the time we moved Lily into her own room across the hall she had been sleeping through the night for weeks but since our room had the only air conditioner we kept her with us until the fall. We assumed we would do the same with Ben, which we did, except that when we kicked him out of our room it was because I hadn't slept in well over 100 days and I was starting to lose my mind (had I only known that I would go without sleep for almost 200 more days I probably wouldn't have survived). Since Ben really was the world's worst baby sleeper we moved Lily into the guestroom and Ben started not-sleeping in the crib across the hall, as opposed to the one right next to my head. For what seemed like an eternity this sleeping arrangement worked fine, I could still hear Ben in the night but I didn't get up every single time he cried, but I did feel bad that Lily never slept in her own room.

In May of 2013, just after Ben's first birthday, my sister moved in and the guestroom was no longer an option for Lil. We decided we would just throw the two kids in together and see what happened. Worst case scenario we were going to let Lily sleep on a mattress in our room. By no small miracle Ben took to room sharing right away. He LOVED being in the room at night with his sister. Almost immediately he started sleeping more soundly and over the course of about a month started sleeping through the night...can I get an AMEN! The one drawback, and it was a biggie, was that our late riser was no longer allowed to sleep peacefully into the eight o'clock hour. No no, Ben insisted that she wake with the sun like the rest of us. Poor little girl, someday she is really going to resent him for that one! For the remainder of the summer and this past fall the kids slept in the room together. Every night between 7 and 7:15 I closed the door to their room and had the remainder of the evening to myself. For those mommies out there who's toddlers are up until 9pm...I understand fully why you do it in most cases, but on this one I wouldn't trade places with you for the world.

When we moved into my inlaw's house we knew that the kids would one again be sleeping in the same room. For the most part we have had the same success here. I think I mentioned the other day that Ben is still not a great sleeper but to her credit, Lily has never once complained about his middle of the night antics. For the most part she actually sleeps right through them. Every night the kids go to bed together around 7 and Ben is usually up by 6, he often doesn't make enough of a fuss to wake Lily until closer to 6:30 and I refuse to get them until 7. I know that some children are even earlier risers and for that you have my deepest sympathy. I used to get up every day at 5:30 when I was teaching but I never once liked it. I just can't justify getting up to play that early. I will also totally own up to the fact that there is usually about an hour of total shenanigans before either of them fall asleep each night. I am totally fine with that though, they sing, and talk, and giggle, and only once a week or so do we have to go in and remind them that it is time to settle down. I wish they would be more content to just hang out in the morning! We actually got Lily a "Ok to Wake" clock for Christmas but either it is broken or we are total idiots because I can't for the life of me get the thing to change colors. I have been meaning to google it...maybe when I am done here. Anyway, we are not morning people per se and it would be fantastic if the kids would sleep later BUT did I mention how much I love that they go to bed early :) And for those of you wondering if they would sleep in if we kept them up later at night the answer is a definitive NO. Ben is literally awoken by the sound the sun makes as it rises out of the Atlantic Ocean.

And now as we spend our weekends scouring surrounding towns for our new home I can't help but visualize what our life will be like there. There are a few houses that we have seen, one in particular, that we love but only have three bedrooms. While I love the idea of my kids sharing rooms, I also owe it to them to be reasonable. If this is our forever house we have to make sure that we have the space we need to room share. For example if Baby #3 is a boy we will have a 17yo and a 15yo in one room, the question here is, how much stench can one person (me) be expected to survive? There is a good chance that if our boys take after their father we will have two adult size men sharing one tiny room. Alternatively what is baby #3 is a girl, can two teenage girls really share one tiny closet? We are so blessed to even have these first world problems and I don't want to sound like I think we need a mansion, I certainly didn't grow up in one. It was different for me because the age gap (10yrs) is so huge between me and my sister that none of my siblings or I shared a room when we were teenagers. I do firmly believe that even if we move into a four bedroom home that for the next 10 years or so our kids will share rooms. As they grow however, it would be nice to have a little space to grow in to.

For us room sharing has been a great experience. I love that my kids laugh and chatter in the dark when they think no one is listening. There are nights when Matt and I have been in stitches listening to the nonsense that takes place behind their closed door. Just last night we could hear Lily saying, "Calm down, calm down. You're acting too crazy." We aren't sure if she was talking to herself or her brother but in either case it was hysterical.

I can't wait to see how a third kiddo will add to the dynamic between those two. There are two things I know for sure, for now everyone is staying right where they are, and tomorrow morning we will be up with the sun!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Looking for a good laugh.

The title is a statement, not a question.

I apologize if you excitedly clicked the link expecting to get a laugh at my expense, so friends, not today. But there's always tomorrow, keep the faith.

Today it is me looking for a laugh. I took the kids to the local library last week stupidly thinking that I would get five minutes to myself to seek out a few new reads while the kids scaled the stacks in the kids section. Sadly, Ben is only interested in death defying antics if I am watching. Lily would have been more content to play by herself except that my children have made a pact which clearly states that if one child is content and the other is not than the default state of both children shall be one of discontent. Long story short, we spent 51 minutes in the library and I did not even locate the adult fiction section. I did however complete three rather complex puzzles, well they probably would have been easier had Ben not mixed all of the pieces together into one big pile. This is also a good time to mention that I love Maine. The library in my hometown issued me a library card with a forwarded utility bill (with Matt's name on it) and a packing slip from Khols as proof of address. Amazing.

So here we are at the point, I would like reading suggestions. I am sure that I could perform some impersonal Google search or something to obtain this information but then really what is the point of having friends anymore?! I have really enjoyed being a daily blogger thus far and I do have a bunch more post lined up (ie unfinished drafts) but I have learned that it is hard for me to write during the day when there is a lot of activity in the house. That being the case, I need something to do during the day that will make me happy and isn't totally mindless. The kids have a lot of playmates these days which is great, except when I am bored because another human in interacting with my children. I recently scanned my 101 things list and overall I am in good shape, but "Read 20 Books", dude...I'm not even close. It is a shame because I do like to read but I have always had a hard time choosing books. Is it just me or librarians sort of scary? I don't know what it is but I hate having to ask the librarians for the bathroom key as Lily dances nervously around my knees, let alone book suggestions!

I don't have any favorite authors and I haven't read more than 5 books that weren't printed on cardboard since 2010. My only real criteria is that I do not like to be scared. I have a vivid enough imagination on my own, I do not need further reasons to sleep with the lights on. Preferably I would like to read books that will make me laugh, because laughing is fun and did I mention, being scared is not.

Please leave your suggestions in the comments section, or if you would prefer you can email me at

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Iphone photo dump

Tonight is the first night since I started my 21 days of blogging that I am phoning it in*. I have a headache and for some reason am just beat. So for tonight you get the contents of my iphone, in no particular order...tada!

(edit: *this was not intended to be a bad pun, goes to show how unintentionally funny I am!)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Baby #3: 12 weeks

Another week in the books!

Baby stats: This week the baby is the size of a lime (about 2" long). Over the course of the week she developed reflexes! Intestines and kidneys are beginning to function and brain synapses are forming. Watch out MIT :)

Bump picture. I am still working on a better system. I might have to start taking my bump pictures in the grocery store bathroom, at least it is well lit.

The size of the bump definitely varies throughout the day. This week I am treating you to the bump in all it's glory, just before bed!

Still feeling like I look huge but I have not yet been asked by an acquaintance/stranger if I am expecting so I am guessing that people assume I am just a bit little fat. We went and looked at houses this weekend and our realtor definitely seemed surprised by the bump when I took my coat off.

How you doin'?What a difference a week makes. I can not believe that as of just last week I was still feeling terribly nauseated at least once a day. This week I had a few bouts of the sea sick feeling but they passed relatively quickly. Most notable this week was the round ligament pain. I never noticed it with Lily, had it a few times with Ben, but this whole week if I got up too fast my body let me know it. It isn't a "scary there must be something wrong" kind of pain but it will slow you down and make you rethink ever standing up from the couch again. Luckily it also never lasts long.

I think I successfully kicked last week's cold without ever really coming down with it fully. I am very relieved. For the most part I do not take medication when I am pregnant. I am sure that the list the OB gave me is relatively safe to take, but for me personally, I just don't like the idea of those chemicals in the baby's bloodstream. Suffering through a cold while pregnant is the pits, but like I said I seemed to have dodged the bullet this time!

The OB called me this week to say that he was less than thrilled about my recent set of blood work. My thyroid level is low, 0.56 (normal range is 0.33-5.0) and my iron level was basically in the basement. Before doing anything about the thyroid they would like to see a significant increase in my iron levels so it was off to the fancy pants specialty food store for supplements. In the past iron supplements containing mined iron have wreaked havoc on my digestion so I chose a supplement that contains iron found naturally in fruits and vegetables, for twice the price. I will let you know if I think it is twice as gentle on my tummy. I was told by the doc to take the maximum dose, yay!

Because of the real risk of constipation and hemorrhoids, combined with my history of low fluid levels, I was also put back on the "drown yourself" with 80-100oz of water/day regime. It is just so.much.water.

Aversions/Cravings: Food and I are reuniting, slowly. Since this is the been the first week in many many weeks that I have wanted to eat anything, I ate whatever I wanted. Nothing too exciting or staggeringly unhealthy but I certainly didn't gag down spinach salads all week either. Well I did one night, but I put dressing on it (which I normally wouldn't do) so that was cheating.

Still craving the big A. It certainly didn't help when Matt's dad (who is not at all a beer drinker) randomly brought home two 12oz bottles of Samual Adams Cherry of my all time favorite beers, and then proceeded to split them with my husband right in front of me all while going on and on (and ON) about how delicious it was. My husband being the wise man that he is kept his mouth shut, and when we went to bed was kind enough to tell me, "it wasn't even that good".

I have been having another craving that thankfully I am allowed to indulge in, mustard! Hot brown mustard is the most delicious food on the Earth and proof that God loves me. I put it on everything within reason. Pretzels are my go delivery instrument for straight up mustard consumption but earlier this week we were out so I just used triscuts. No shame in my game.

Sleeping: Still not sleeping great. I have no trouble falling asleep but I feel like I am sleeping so lightly that at any given moment all night I could just get out of bed and start my day. My mind is definitely racing and with all the water my bladder is always full, even right after I pee, so I just have a hard time staying soundly asleep. Lily girl and I are co-sleeping tonight since Matt is in the city on Mondays. I have been looking forward to it all day since I know I will sleep great tonight.

Movement: Still nothing. I am not really expecting any for at least 3 or 4 more weeks

Milestones: Some books/obstetricians use 12 weeks as the end of the first trimester. Personally I think that makes no sense. Last time I checked 'tri' means three and forty (weeks) divided by three is 13.3. Feel free to continue using 12 weeks as a benchmark, just know that the math is not in your favor. In any case don't think I had any major milestones this week, other than feeling better and better as the week went on. Oh and of course there was getting my hair colored, that was a biggie.

What I am looking forward to: Having an actual baby bump and not whatever this is. Feeling the baby move. I have also started to daydream about bringing this baby home to our new house and what it will be like to be a family of five!

Worries: All the usual worst case scenarios. I had some cramping over the weekend that sent me into full on panic mode for several hours. I've said it before and I'm sure I will say it again, thank you doppler you were the best fifty dollars I ever spent! (Baby sounds perfectly fine)

Let's compare: 

The OB has me back on the extra water regime, but much earlier than last time.

Not sleeping great even early on, yup sounds too familiar.

Craving mustard, hating potato (still). With Lily the thought of eating eggs literally made me cry one night (my most epic pregnancy meltdown to date) and with Ben I ate buffalo sauce as though my life depended on I found out that triscuts make such an efficient delivery instrument.

Best moment of the week: The house hunt continued this weekend and we saw two more great houses (and FIVE terrible ones). No one house is in the top seed, each comes with its own compromise, but I definitely feel like we are on the right track to finding and deciding on "the one"!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lily: 3 1/2 (give or take)

The fact that Lily is closer to four to than three will be ignored for the remainder of this post.

Just like with Ben I haven't weighed Lily in a long time and I am not really sure how tall she is. In the last few weeks she has had a major growth spurt and it feels like overnight she grew straight threw all of her 3T clothes. As I mentioned yesterday a friend of mine and I swap clothes for our kids. I gave her three bins of clothes for her daughter before we moved to make sure her bases were covered while the majority of our things sit in storage. After going through the bins she asked me, "Did Lily wear 12m clothes for full year!?!" Yup. I am sure that when she first started wearing them they were a touch big and by the end they were snug but she did, in fact, wear 12m clothes for four seasons. She wore 18m clothes for a much shorter amount of time only to wear 2T/24m for a very long time. So given the pattern she blew through 3T and will now be in 4T until next fall, haha. Time will tell. She was given too many new clothes for Christmas (thank you Mimi!), most of which have been a hit so far. Her go to garments are leggings with a long sleeve t-shirt, which she calls a tunic whether it is true or not. On any given day if allowed she will accessorize her outfit with a tutu or skirt and several headbands. Lily is a little girl who knows what she likes and within reason I let her chose her own clothes. We struggle with weather appropriate clothing and it was a fifteen minute battle to get her into a pair of fleece sweatpants this morning. In the end she conceded and agreed that the pants were "kind of cute, but not as cute as leggings." I am well aware that I am in big trouble.

Lily has done an amazing job with the move. For the most part she has transitioned to living at Mimi and Doe's with only minor annoying changes to her personality. For one she is no longer capable of playing by herself. She seems to be under the impression that Mimi is her personal full time playmate, and when Mimi isn't available I am her stand in. Additionally, it didn't take her long to figure out that Mimi and Doe do not know all of the rules...I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt but let's be honest, girl works the system. Her manners are slipping and she definitely fights me more than ever BUT she is three and this whole move has got to be hard. I hold her to a high standard so when her behavior is good we float through the day on rainbows and butterflies but when her behavior isn't so great...even I get tired of the sound of my own relentless scolding. It is hard to be a constant disciplinarian but at the same time I do not feel like it is anyone else's job. That being said, I have had to lay down rules at Mimi and Doe's that Lily really resents and I can't say that I blame her. One of the things I am most looking forward to when we move into our own house is that everyone will be able to assume their prior rolls. Mimi and Doe can spoil her on special days and sleepovers and I can go back to being her biggest fan and the imposer of rules in our own house.

Sleeping is amazing. She hasn't taken a nap in two years but every day she plays on a bed with the door closed for a least an hour while Ben naps in the next room. (Ok, once a week she does actually sleep, but most days it is all playing) Every night she and Ben go to bed together between 7 and 7:15. She is sleeping in a big girl bed with a safety rail. Uncle Josh got her a bed tent for Christmas which was a huge hit during the day but when it came time to sleep in it, forget about it. It was too dark apparently. These days she is still doing the secret handshake but is much less rigid about it then she used to be. I promise I will post a video of the shenanigans before she (hopefully) grows out of it. She has started saying that she is afraid of the dark so we let her sleep with a night light. I think it makes it a little harder for Ben to settle down at night but most nights they play and chatter for about thirty minutes and then we don't hear a peep from Lily until morning. The collection of "friends" in her bed is currently totally out of control but it I had to chose her current favorite I would say Heartly, a white stuffed dog with red hearts for spots. A few of the nights that Matt has been staying with a friend in Boston I have let Lily sleep in bed with me. Admittedly I think I love it as much as she does. We both sleep great and if it weren't for Ben hollering from across the hall at daybreak we would probably sleep until 8am or something completely absurd like that! I did learn that she grinds her teeth in the night so I will definitely be bringing it up with the dentist.

Eating is a total pain. She likes chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly, and Kraft mac&cheese. Most nights I insist that she eats what the rest of us are eating (that goes for both of my kids), but a lot of times I don't cook dinner until after I make the kids their dinner at 5. Those are her favorite nights and usually the only times she makes it all the way through dinner without a time out. She doesn't dislike food, she is actually pretty good about trying new things (thank you Daniel Tiger), but just like everything else she knows what she likes (wants) and will stop at nothing to try and get it. What I don't understand is the fact that we never give in and make her a second dinner, why she thinks terrible behavior will result in anything other than time out is beyond me.

As I mentioned yesterday Lily is in the midst of perfecting the tantrum, both private and public, and Ben doesn't miss a second of her tutorials. In some ways it is easier to deal with her temper in a crowded house or grocery store because it forces me in a way to be the best version on myself and keep my cool. When it is just she and I, I do not always keep my cool and I have been known to snap and yell. When I really lose it I have slammed doors, a behavior I am sure she will regrettably inherit. All I can say is that I am always trying to be my best for her, so that she will try and be her best for me...and that three is way worse than two!

Like yesterday it is only fair if I end on a high note for my girl. Lily is loving school right now. Her teachers report that she is kind to the other children and always willing to lend a helping hand to the grownups. At the end of every school day (noon) the church bells chime as we make our way out to the parking lot. It is one of the highlights of her day. I don't know what it is exactly that she loves about them but I love to watch her light up as she listens. Some days she tells me very little about school but other days she is an open book and will give me the full play by play. I am so grateful that she is happy there.

Lily still loves to play pretend with figurines of any kind. She also loves to have some screen time, either on the TV or using my phone to watch PBS. She usually chooses to watch Doc McStuffins, Daniel Tiger, or Peg Plus Cat. Recently she has also learned to play a few card games and fully understands the concept behind Candy Land but would rather play with the pieces than following the rules. Her vocabulary and correct command of the English language continues to amaze us all. Not only does she seem to grasp tense and sentence structure naturally she is also very receptive to being taught and will often self correct when she knows she has misspoken.  I for one just love and appreciate how clearly she speaks in general.

There is a lot of personality in that tiny package and that is just fine with me, I can relate! She is funny and sassy and sweet as pie. I love her more than I ever thought I could love anyone and when she kisses me for no reason my glass is once again filled to the tippy top.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ben: 20.5 Months

It has been a long time since I really gave a status update on either of the kids. For no particular reason I will start with Ben. I will add picture in the next few days I promise!

At the end of the month Ben will be 21 months old. I haven't weighed him for awhile and I have no clue how tall he is but I do suspect that he is pretty average for his age. Yesterday I spent two and a half hours going through all of the hand-me-down bins from one of my best friends. She has a son who is just a few months younger than Lily and a daughter who is about a year younger than Ben. In terms of clothes sharing and prearranged marriage it really could not have worked out any better. We have a pretty good system in place for swapping the clothes, although I almost always apologize when I hand over my bins. It seems harder for me to keep the clothes organized by size and season than it does for her. This last batch I got from her was in space bags and once you open those babies there is no going back! Ben desperately needed to go up to the 2T clothes so I bit the bullet during nap and opened, folded and sorted all of the 18m, 2T, and 24m clothes which included two if not three seasons worth of clothes. As I always do, I found a bunch of stuff that was super cute that for whatever reason I didn't find the first time going through the clothes...too late now, refolded and back in the bag you go. If I am being honest I am not thrilled about little boy clothes. I loved overalls last winter, they were the one thing I purposefully bought to add to the collective boy wardrobe. This winter has been all about easy, comfy clothes, which we have no shortage of! Boy clothes in general are just not as effortlessly cute as girl clothes. I mean seriously, throw a tutu on with leggings and a onsie and Lily was a show stopper every day of the week! So long story short Ben is officially in 2T/24m clothes and they are not nearly as roomy as I thought they were going to be.

In the past few weeks we really have noticed a burst in his speech and vocabulary. I chose the word burst carefully, it has not been an explosion like some people experience. To be honest he doesn't say a whole lot, but he is getting better and each word is becoming more clear. I am hyper sensitive to it because Lily was such an early talker and has always spoken with the articulation of a grown up. By comparison, and yes I think it is okay to compare and contrast my kids, Ben is a caveman. I am not worried about it and I do think that developmentally he is perfectly normal but I don't have to like it. I get very frustrated with the grunting and pointing. If I am being honest I think that living at Matt's parents and spending a lot of our time at my parents' house is hindering his verbal skills, there is always a loving grandparent, aunt or uncle present to simply hand him whatever it may be that he is grunting at. Lily almost never had that luxury! Every day now we play "Ben can you say?". He does pretty well with animal sounds, my personal favorite is his duck. He does imitate counting sounds when he and Lily play hide and seek but they are just sounds not actual words. Aside from "what's that?" which he has said no less that 7 million times since September he just now started putting two words together, "where's ____" is getting more and more frequent. If I had to guess I would say he has about 40 words only half of which he says very clearly.

Sleeping is still a challenge. I know that transitioning from MA to ME has been hard on him. He is a light sleeper and I think he stirs every time the heat kicks because he can hear the furnace. Naps are tough because there really is not a lot of separation between their bedroom and the main living area and Ben can't stand it if he thinks he is missing something. We dropped morning nap recently and that too has been a real struggle. He is a pacifier addict and kicking that habit in not going to be fun for anyone involved. We have been trying to limit his paci time to within those white bars with limited success.

Eating has also become somewhat of a challenge. He likes food, including vegetables, but he simply can't be bothered to take the time to eat. If I would simply throw the food on the floor and let him forage like a wild animal we would never see another tantrum from him. Alas I make him sit at the table and use utensils and every other meal I end up feeding him because I am soft in my old age.

Talking tantrums, lord help me. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Lily should feel very secure in her relationship with her brother. She can tantrum with the best of them and Ben is her intern. I love him dearly but I do not love the fact that he literally has zero patience, for anything, ever.

In order to end on a high note I will say the Ben continues to be an exceptionally happy guy most of the time. He has a fantastic belly laugh and it is impossible not to engage him when he flashes his devilish "come chase me" grin. He is obsessed with trucks, cars, tractors and trains. The vacuum is one of his favorite toys which makes total sense, it has four wheels and makes a loud noise. He is all boy, though he does like to accessorize with Lily's headbands and necklaces. My dad rolls his eyes each time he runs by in a blur pushing the baby stroller but again, it has four wheels, clearly it is just a modified truck! He has good coordination and can throw a ball with surprising accuracy. Today we watched him balance on a kick ball, already working on his core. Aside from being on the go I will also add that Ben loves to be read to and still has a very long attention span for books. He also loves to watch puppy videos on youtube and will sit through about 15 minutes of Doc McStuffins.

The move has not come without its transitions and adjustments. Some days are certainly easier than others. No matter what is going on around us one thing has not changed. I am Ben's go to person. I can't say that I mind being the one he runs to. I was not worried in the least that having a baby would ruin Lily's life, I am not so sure that Ben will be as willing to share. For now I just try and appreciate every minute of my time with him, especially the few hours a week when Lily is at school.

My smiley, snugly, warm and loving little potato.

Friday, January 10, 2014

House Hunters

We have been living with Matt's parents since the week of Thanksgiving. For the most part we have all made the transition fairly seamlessly. There are definitely days that I feel bad for my in-laws, we are a lot to handle in the late afternoon! There are other days when I feel bad for the kids, it has got to be hard to have five grownups talking to/at you at any given time. Matt seems to be handling the commute and his new work schedule really well. He leaves Maine on Monday morning around 9 and gets to work by 11. On Monday night he stays at a friend's house near his office, works early on Tuesday morning and is back in Maine by dinner time. On Wednesday he works from home and then repeats the M/T schedule on TH/F. The kids and I are pretty darn excited when he walks through the door on Friday evening.

I am a creature of habit and it has been hard for me to go without any semblance of a routine for the past 7 weeks. The holidays are definitely partly to blame, with siblings in town and various grandparents on vacation no one was really in their normal routine. This last week everyone went back to work and a week from today my brother flies back to VA. I'm not exactly sure what the kids and I will do with ourselves but establishing a routine is high on my list. Lily is enrolled at a preschool so we do have a least a little structure. Aside from everyone being on vacation I am finding it a little hard to really get into a routine because just like our old house we are living with one foot out the door. I would like to settle down here but there are several other surrounding towns that we are looking at and making friends is hard enough without feeling like everything could be temporary. I am really hoping we love our new neighbors, whoever they may be!

Having just sold a house I think we are very sympathetic buyers. We waited until this past weekend to start scheduling showing because I thought it was really unfair to ask people to let us traipse around their home the week before Christmas. We take our shoes off, take our time to look around, and then leave everything just as we found it. You wouldn't believe how many people came in to our home and made a mess or broke something. And this is the part were I count my blessing again that the home selling process is behind us! (I promise the epic moving post is coming this weekend)

So here are the criteria for the dream house hunt:

3 bedrooms is a must but we would prefer 4
A large yard where we can put in a pool
A playroom/bonus room where the kids can bring their friends (now and in 10 years)
A mudroom or entryway where we can drop our winter gear

That's it. I would like first floor laundry but as long as the basement isn't a dungeon I can live with lugging the basket.

Matt has a few other things he would like. He is a sucker for a great front porch and would like some land but we have come to the conclusion that even an acre is a lot of space. We would both like to have a wood stove but again, that isn't a deal breaker.

We have seen a few houses in our hometown that we really liked. This weekend we are heading north about 30 minutes to look at a bunch of properties in a few surrounding towns. The inventory isn't great this time of year but we are hoping that we can find a place and close before the spring when inevitably home prices and interest rates will rise.

I'll keep you posted, keep your fingers crossed that our dream house is out there just waiting!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I got my hair done, it was a big day!

My hair...yikes.

All of my close friends will tell you...I do not have great hair. In fact I can almost guarantee that if asked to make a list of all of my positive attributes not one of them would write, "has beautiful hair!". Although, these ladies that I speak of are all clever and quite witty, I wouldn't put it past any of them to write something like, "does the best she can with her hair...sometimes."

This has been a ROUGH few months for the hair. Genetically I am totally screwed. I was born with baby fine hair that is also very thin. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that a chin length bob serves me pretty well. After I gave birth to Lily I had a terrible experience at a salon and as a result went almost two years without a hair cut. My hair was longer than it has ever been and not a strand thicker. It didn't look terrible but it didn't look particularly healthy either. Most days I threw it in a sloppy pony tail and called it good. When I finally did get it cut I felt much more like myself.

The post is about to become overrun with terrible selfies, you have been warned.

A few weeks later I chopped it all off 5.8.13
At it's longest 4.24.13
After my initial cut and color in May I decided that there was no way I was ever going to go so long again without taking care of my hair situation. Pregnancy has not been kind to my poor hair. It falls out and breaks and when it grows back in it is spiky and totally unmanageable...and as of this past year, 110% of my new hair growth is gray. Awesome. Oh hey, did I mention I have been pregnant 27 of the last 45 months?? Not a single day of that has been beneficial to my hair. I definitely do not mean to sounds as if I resent my pregnancies, more just pointing out that for some of us pregnancy is not a magical time for gorgeous locks like the books might have you believe.

I had my hair cut and colored in September when I knew for sure that I was not pregnant. I told the stylist that we were trying to get pregnant and that I would like a color that would hide the gray but also wouldn't look terrible if I had to go a few months without having it done. For some reason she thought that meant giving me highlights much lighter than my natural hair color. For the past month I have worn my hair pulled up because I couldn't stand the dark roots!
(I am not at all happy with the pictures, my old iphone camera just looks terrible compared to the iphone 5 pics everyone else posts!)

At long last I decided that I am close enough to the end of my first trimester that I felt comfortable getting my hair colored and cut today. Added bonus we live in Maine now and the woman who has been cutting my hair since middle school is still working at a salon near by. I think she did a great job with the color, hides most of the grays and feels like me :) The cut was really just a trim, I think next time I will go an inch shorter. 

I think the moral of the story is that today was overdue. I have been telling Matt for weeks that I feel like I am going through an ugly phase. The reality for me is that first trimester is hard on my looks. I do not glow. I look tired and pale. I get breakouts on my chin and along my hairline. I get addition dark spots, as if being fully freckled wasn't enough. My hair is even more limp and thin looking...and this time I desperately needed to have it colored pretty much from day one. If I am not careful it starts to take a toll on my day to day attitude. In general I would say that I am very comfortable and happy with my appearance. I am no super model but I think I am pretty in a 'girl next door' sort of way. I don't typically wear much makeup but will usually swipe on some mascara if I am leaving the house. With a mostly carefree attitude, (which is not to be confused with an 'I don't care attitude') it is easy for me to neglect the little things, like getting my brows done or having my hair trimmed, and before too long I start to skip the mascara and settle on a pony tail every day. The trick is making time to take care of the little things before I get to my "ugly phase".  One of the reasons I am so grateful to be living near family again is that it is no longer an issue of finding the time...I just have to get in the habit of taking the time. 

Today I got my hair done, it was a big day!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Our sweet Shark

The epic moving story is in the works but before I can finish it up I owe my girl Shark her very own farewell post.

The day before the moving truck arrived I drove the kids and the cats to my parent's house. The kids would just be staying the weekend but the cats were to live there until we find our new house. Over the years they have made the trip to my parents' house many times. My parents also have cats and although there is no love lost between them, they get along ok for the most part. 

As is usual for Shark upon being released from her tiny cat prison (cat carrier) she fled to the basement to listen to Alanis Morissette and hate the world. It only lasted a few days and by the end of the weekend she had decided that it is actually warmer upstairs in my brothers old room anyway. The next ten days or so went by in a blur. The kids and I came and went from my parents' every few days, there were definitely days when Shark did not grace us with her presence but that was not unusual. 

My mom mentioned that one or both of the cats had been throwing up, which I completely dismissed because they have always been pukers. The vet told us when they were kittens, "some cats are just like that." I wasn't overly concerned about the news, more apologetic that my mom was having to clean up cat throw up several times a day. A few days later Matt and I took the kids over for a visit, and Sunday night dinner. Shark was laying on the living room rug not looking her best. I picked her up and she felt very thin to me. I put her on my lap and pet her for a few minutes seeing if she would perk up, but mostly she just laid there very still. I started to get a little worried so I asked my parents if they had seen her eat or if they knew whether or not she was the one throwing up. The thing about a reclusive cat is that they are hard to monitor, Shark had definitely been hiding the fact that she didn't feel well. 

After about an hour I started to get a sick feeling in my stomach. I was able to get her drink a little water but afterwards she laid down on the kitchen floor. I told Matt that I thought we should take her to the emergency vet (of course these things always happen on a Sunday after hours). I am not going to say a whole lot about the experience at the vet. It was horrible, they treated us as though Shark had been neglected. We didn't want to pay thousands of dollars (that is not an exaggeration) to run the diagnostic tests and the staff would not treat her without them. She was very sick, the vet suspected that her liver was failing and didn't think she would make it through the night if we brought her home. 

I simply couldn't bear the thought of leaving her there, I was certain that she would die alone in the night. After fifteen minutes of holding her and crying our eyes out we made the gut wrenching decision to have her put to sleep. 

In the name of full disclosure, putting her down was harder on me and my husband than I ever in a million years would have predicted. There was a lot of crying, a lot, and it lasted for several days. I felt like I had let her down. We sold the house to move to Maine as a family and now we will be moving in to our new house without her. It hurts. Even though it happened the week after Thanksgiving it still hurts now and I have had to take a break from writing this post twice to get a tissue. 

Telling Lily was hard and I tried my very best not to project my own feelings on to her. As it turns out she had some pretty deep feelings of her own and she spontaneously sobbed at lunch a few days after we had told her what happened. My philosophy, in general not just in this instance, is to only answer the questions she asks as truthfully as I can, without elaborating or adding details that she might not understand. In the end she had three really profound questions. 1. Are Colby and Blackbeary sick too, will they need to go to the vet? (I told her no, they were not sick, and that getting sick does not always mean that an animal will not get better and come home) 2. Is Shark happy where she is now or is she still sick? (I told her that Shark was definitely not sick anymore, that she had gone to sleep and was probably dreaming about being at home with us) 3. Will I miss her forever? (Yes, we all will and that is okay.)

Shark was, to this day, the absolute cutest kitten I have ever seen. Matt and I adopted her and her brother when they were just 8 weeks old. They were so tiny and I can still hear their little cries as we drove them to our apartment. They were our first babies. We took hundreds of pictures of them, bought them presents, and missed them while we were at work. Sharky had these giant eyes and we would often make hooting noises, to imply that she was more owl than cat, to each other when we would catch her staring at us. Over the course of nine years we subjected her to four moves, a dog, and two babies. It really is a wonder she didn't kill me in my sleep. For the most part she liked to be left alone to lay on the clean laundry except in the winter, then she would return to me and would spend all day and all night on my lap if I would let her. I was her person. She was our fatty boo, pain in the ass, grumpy, lazy old cat...and I loved her with my whole heart. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Admittedly this one is from a few months ago but every time it comes to mind I chuckle.

I was sitting on the couch in the sunroom talking about cars with Ben when Lily stumbled in with an arm full of stuffed animals.

Lily: "Mommy, can you babysit my kids for me?"

Me: "Sure honey, where are you off to?"

Lily: "I need to go for a run."

Me: "I'm proud of you for going for a run, sure I can watch your kids." I added, "Don't forget to put on your running sneakers!"

Lily: "Can I use your phone to listen to music?"

Me: "Sure, it is on the table by the door."

She seemed pretty pleased with my answer and that I was so fully going along with her game. So I continued to sit on the couch, bursting with pride that my daughter (who was clearly playing out a scene that she had witnessed between me and her daddy) was confident, independent, and taking care of her body. Clearly I must be doing something right!

Seconds later she called to me from the other room:

"When I get can get me a beer!"