Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hugh - 11 months!

I fell a little short of daily blogging since Hugh's last post BUT I did get a lot of posts published that have been sitting in my drafts list for too long! Also, I am back to thinking about the blog and doing a little writing every couple of days rather than letting it pile up, so that is a start. (edited to add: I had this entire post written and the internet went down. I stupidly refreshed the browser and "poof" it was gone. Even 10+ years out of college that feeling of loss made me irrationally irritated!)

We have had a rough couple of weeks. A few days after Memorial Day my Dad called to say that he would not be able to pick Lily up from school because he was feeling sick...and then like dominoes we all by one. Matt and Ben came down with it first, a nasty cough and fever. A few days later Hugh and Lily were down with the same symptoms. I managed to hang on, playing nurse to everyone, for 8 days...EIGHT DAYS. On the morning of Lily's preschool graduation I woke up in a cold sweat with a fever of 102. No, no, NOOO. I was so miserable, I felt like death, and looked even worse. We actually dropped the boys off with Mimi even though they were both still sick and feverish so that we could even drag ourselves to the graduation. Anyone want to guess who got sick next?!? (Sorry again Mimi!) For all I know we also infected Lily's entire preschool. It actually got worse before it got better when my kids all cycled through the bug a second time. Matt was sick for almost three full weeks. To be honest Hugh still has a runny nose and cough. All in all this was a minor illness and we are so blessed to be healthy overall but man did this knock us on our butts!

So this month passed and we didn't do a whole lot to enjoy it. Not surprisingly Hugh seems to have grown into a man child overnight. Eleven months, how did this happen? There shall be absolutely no mention of what happens next, understood?

My sweet little angel really was such a trooper while being so pathetic. He didn't sleep well at night and naps were frequent and short. Nursing was rough because he was so congested but his appetite for solid foods was also diminished. So for this months' post it is hard to write up where we are now, versus what is "normal".

Likes: First and foremost MOMMY, having paci and blankie at nap, being in the "baby trap" (the hexagon gate thingy), pulling up on everything, giving kisses, being held, riding in the wagon or jogging stroller, baths with the bigs, army crawling, the activity table, nursing, being tickled, the cat, cruising the furniture, any toy that rolls or has wheels, banging things, trying to drink from a sippy cup.

Dislikes: Being told no, having unsafe things taken away, not being permitted to splash in the dog's water bowl, watermelon, being cold, being hungry.

Nicknames: Youkie, Hughtiepie

Milestones: I feel like we are sort of stalled in the mobility and "trick" department. He does not point or blow kisses, he only really says mama when he wants to be picked up, he is getting closer to free standing but isn't there yet, no new lame and boring ;) One major milestone to mention, Hugh had his first overnight with Mimi. He lit up like a Christmas tree upon seeing me the next morning which was pretty much the highlight of my whole life.

Feeding: Hugh is a good eater, not a super fantastic eater, but good. He really likes eggs, grilled cheese, chicken, graham crackers, and any fruit that comes out of a pouch. I have mentioned a few hundred times that spoon feeding a baby has never been my favorite bonding activity so I bought Hugh some very cute refillable pouches. I am ecstatic to announce that he is very proficient at feeding himself! Third baby for the win! There are a few foods that he doesn't like, Gerber "garden vegetables" puree (can't say that I blame him) and watermelon...which is just crazy. Not a whole lot has changed with his meal schedule since last month. He does not like to eat solids in the morning and would much rather nurse. I am trying to insist that he eat at least a little something, usually a banana and a handful of Cheerios. Most days lunch and dinner are easy and he happily eats whatever delicacy I whip up and throw in his direction. He does like to eat dinner at exactly 4:50pm and even one minute later causes him to really lose his mind.

Nursing is still great with only one not so minor exception, Hugh is a biter. He definitely does it to "see what will happen". I will say right now that every stupid article on the subject that makes suggestions like "firmly tell the baby no while maintaining your composure" makes me want to poke the author with a sharp stick. It hurts...but moreover it is impossible not to react! It isn't enough of a problem that I am going to stop nursing him but I certainly hope that the novelty of these new teeth wears off very soon.

Sleeping: Again, tough to say if there has been a whole lot of change to the sleep routine because for so many days sleeping was rough in general. I think now that he is feeling better we are pretty much back to our previous routine: Up at 6, back down immediately after nursing. Up at 8, back down for morning nap at 10. Up by noon, back down for afternoon nap at 2. Up at 4, off to bed at 6:45. If he takes two 2 hour naps in a day he is a happy guy, anything less and the cranky post dinner hour can be a bit of a grind.

Odds and Ends: I sort of forgot how much work a partially mobile baby is in the summer. This in between stage means that I have to carry/wear Hugh pretty much everywhere we go that is not stroller friendly (like the beach) and once we are there I have to chase him around and repeatedly stop him from eating handfuls of sand. I will say that while Hugh does not care for the confinement of a blanket he is too suspicious of grass to really make a break for it in the yard. I am coming to realize that the age difference between the kids right now is going to make summer rough. Hugh is too little to keep up with the big kids' activities and the big kids are not quite big enough to be independent or self sufficient (I'm looking at you Ben). Taking all three kids to my aunt's pool without an additional grownup is way more than I can handle by myself these days. And the beach, forget it! So for now we have been making good use of our babysitters...which has the added effect of making the grandmas pretty happy ;)

I went down the rabbit hole and started looking at old blog posts...and then 10 hours and a full box of tissues later I came back to finish this post. One thing that I did realize is that we all treat Youkie like he is a a baby baby. To remedy this situation I gave him a sip of my beer after dinner. (THAT IS A JOKE) I did however bring up some of the toddler toys from the basement, which were a huge hit with the big kids! Once they had their turn Hugh took the walker for a spin and we were all amazed at how quickly he figured it out. I would say that by the end of the week he will be pushing it like a boss. Sorry it took me so long buddy, does this mean you are done with the circle of neglect?? With three kids I find that I am so much more focused on the routine and the day to day that forget to stop and ask questions. In this case, "Do you think Hugh is ready to walk??" (Two other examples "Why is Lily still using a sippy cup?" and "Does Ben need to wear a diaper to bed??")

I just switched over the clothes, Youkie is officially outfitted for summer. Most of what I put in the drawer is 12m but I did put a few 18m things in there as well so that he doesn't grow right through them. Lily is especially adept at noticing every time her baby bro wears something "new" and is always quick with a compliment.

I can't believe that June is already over. I really need to get my act together and send out the formal invites for Hugh's birthday party/baptism.

Up next: Do not say it. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dream House - Mudroom

This is a pretty small space but I can't even begin to tell you how much I love having a place to hang jackets and put away sneakers. In our first home you walked directly into the living room and both Matt and I grew up in houses where you walk directly into the kitchen. A mudroom was on my "must have" list for the dream house.

For my birthday I asked my super talented in-laws if they could make me a mail station with chalkboard. The end result is just perfect and I love it. With this one special feature completed I just had to paint and finish the rest of the space. I chose a sandy color for the walls, and then decided to paint the entire garage this color also. I had Dingle sand and poly a few pine 1x2s so that I could make two coat racks. So in love with the kids being able to hang their own coats! Lastly, I filled a few new frames with pictures of the kiddos. For once I think I can say that a project is 100% done!

This is the last of the house updates for now...but the bathrooms are calling my name! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dream House - Garage

As is par for the course I completely forgot to take a true "before" picture when we started our garage makeover. *sigh* You'd think one of these times I would remember, but apparently this was not it. In any case I do have a picture of what the garage looked like when we did our inspection. To be honest this is as good of a before picture as any...this just isn't our junk! 

The door opens into the mudroom which I will reveal tomorrow...spoiler alert, there are no before pictures of that either! 

Our house in MA was a perfect starter home in that it didn't need a lot of work, just a lot of updating. We painted and got our feet wet for slightly bigger projects like replacing electrical fixtures and tiling the kitchen. When I told Dingle that I would really love to have a deck in the garage I think his exact words were something like, "well, we've never done that before." "That" of course being really building anything from scratch, you know, like out of wood. We took measurements and priced out the project (in the end the materials cost us about 200 dollars including paint). Before sending him to the hardware store we watched a This Old House episode on how to build a small deck. I am not kidding, that was the entirety of our education. 

We got this!

First we removed the old stairs and saved them to reattach to the new deck. Next we built the frame and added the joists and brackets. Matt made all of the cuts, I wielded the hammer. A boy in a pair of butterfly wings acted as our site manager. 

After the first day of construction we had the entire deck built and all that was left to do was add the railing and attach the decking. 

I'm pretty sure it was at this point that I realized that the new deck was going to look so beautiful and the rest of the garage looked terrible. Obviously, I would need to paint the walls that surround the deck. And if I was going to paint the walls surrounding the deck then we should probably build a bench on the deck...and paint that as well. 

Oh hey...those wall surrounding the deck look amazing! Look how terrible the rest of garage looks!! Better paint those too...

Let's finish this project! Hang some hooks, organize the rest of the garage, and have a beer! 

So it's finally finished...well almost, I still need something for the wall to the right of the door (damn you last 2%, haha). It is SO nice. Now the kids have a place to take off their coats and kick off their muddy shoes. Dingle did an amazing job making my vision a reality. Of all the projects we have done, this one might be favorite! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dream House - Master Bedroom

We have been busy with a few house projects that were long overdue. I wanted to wait to reveal each project until it was 100%'s always that last 2% that gets me! The walls in our house are a mix of split logs and drywall. When we moved in, every single wall that was not split log was white. We do not like white walls! It has taken us quite a while to get the ball rolling, but once again, I am a painting fool!

The new curtains for the master bedroom finally arrived last night (and I totally need to steam them, damn you last 2%).

I thought it would be fun to post the pictures of the house from our inspection...

and when we first moved in...

and before we started painting....

...and now that the room is finally us!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The year of running...more about our crazy race schedule!

After Matt and I set our sights on the year of running I knew there was at least one race that we just had to do! The Beach to Beacon. It is by far the most popular race in Maine. Runners from all over New England as well as well-known international running elite invade the coastal town of Cape Elizabeth for this 10K race. (You can read about it here) Short story: the race was started by the gold medalist in the first ever women's Olympic Marathon (LA, 1984), Joan Benoit Samuelson. She is from Cape Elizabeth and my high school track coach was once her running coach, he always just referred to her as "Joanie". It blows my mind that elite world runners really do come (the winning time last year was 27:36...the fastest 10K in the world at the time) to Maine, minutes down the street from my grandparent's house. Whether you are a runner or not, everyone around here knows about the B2B!

I was so anxious that we would not get bibs that I talked my sister into getting up before 7 on a random Thursday morning in March so that she could also register (They allow bib transfers...which I know is a little underhanded BUT I really really REALLY wanted a spot.) As it turns out, of the six people I knew who were hoping to get in, all but one of us did, including Matt, myself, and my sister. My friend's husband ended up getting a coveted lottery spot, so in the end we all got in! I think for a few days my sister felt slightly duped into registering for the race (I mean really as long as you set an alarm, four minutes was more than enough time to fill out the registration) but after a few "you've totally got this" pep talks she was ready to run...well ready to get ready to run. The race is in August, but at the time we registered, neither of us had ever run a 10K.

Somewhere during the whole Beach to Beacon pep talks someone decided it would be fun to run the Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon. That someone was not me, and I would like to take a moment to remind her of that!!  :::waves hello to Kate::::

It will be fun, she said. Like a mini-vacation, she said.

Okay, I can do this. I can run a half marathon....

...and if I can run one half marathon this year...I can run TWO. Even though it has been months since I made that insane leap, I still can't believe I am doing this. The Disney W&D isn't until November, and I just knew I would need something before then to keep me motivated. For some unknown reason I decided it would be a good idea to run my first ever half marathon in July. You know, when it is 90 degrees. I do all my best running in the high heat of the summer sun...said this lady, NEVER.

In the span of three days we registered for the B2B, the Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon, and The Oldport Half Marathon. Holy crap.

As of today, I have a 100 degree fever and 34 days until my first half marathon. Being sick is the pits, but as long as I don't get injured I should be ready. I hope.

No, I will be ready.

After the Oldport Half we have twenty days to rest, recover, and get in a few training runs before the B2B! Matt really wants to run a fast time at the B2B, but I am going to focus on having a great time. We have been looking forward to this for months and I want to savor it! After the B2B we will have three months to train for Disney and even typing that out I can't believe how much running I will have done this year...I sort of can't wait to geek out over the data! We still need to register for both a September and October race, but those should be easy to find.

Coming up, two more riveting posts about running!
(One about our specific training plans and one about gear)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Preschool Graduation

Fist day of Preschool September 10th, 2014

Last Day of Preschool June 5th, 2015

I cried all the tears.
She is beautiful, kind, and brilliant...a true triple threat. Watch out Kindergarten, here she comes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

These three...

We have been working on a few house projects that I am excited to blog about, in the mean time how about some gratuitous cuteness? 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


We have officially set a date and chosen godparents for our little Hughtiepie! It has been on my to-do list for awhile but I was dragging my feet about calling the minister. In short, he is a very kind man with all the best of intentions but he is sort of passive aggressive about our attendance at church. To be fair, he isn't wrong...we need to be better about getting to church. That being said, we were not yet living in Maine when I had the big kids baptized and he made me feel like an outsider in what I had always thought of as "my church". My mother is a member there and has sung with the choir for as long as I can remember. I, and both of my siblings, were baptized there. We also attended Sunday school there when we were kids. Matt and I were married there, as were my parents and grandparents. Lily attends preschool in their annex! For my entire life this building has been at the center of my faith.

About ten years ago the minister, whom I had always assumed would be there forever, left. Since then the congregation had several interim ministers (one of whom married Matt and I) before choosing the man that is now there permanently. From where I stand, he is the outsider. I know that isn't very Christian of me. We were living in MA during the time that the congregation was going through so many changes but I had always assumed that when we settled down this would again become "our church". The median age of the congregation is approximately 82. There are very few young families. It is a shame that this minister would feel the need to make comments about our attendance (or lack there of) every time he sees me. Doesn't he know you catch more flies with honey?! Instead of making young families feel embarrassed (yes, he says things in front of the entire congregation) on Easter Sunday how about a little praise for the monumental task of getting everyone fed, washed, dressed, and out of the house by 8:15. (bonus praise should be given to those parents who did it all without yelling or crying!)  We are all doing our best.

So I put off the call, dragged my feet, rehearsed my lines. Like most things the actual call was not nearly as painful as I had built it up to be in my head. The minister was pleasant and accommodating. He seemed vaguely unsure of who I was...which is a little insulting, but again I take partial responsibility. We set a date and arranged to meet with him as a family to discuss ceremony details about a week beforehand. Phew!

Choosing godparents in today's day and age mean something different to everyone. For us it does not mean that if something happens to us that our children will be raised by their godparents. Godparents to us are not even necessarily people who consider themselves religious. Each of the people we have chosen have good hearts and want the very best for our kids. Someday I will be able to explain to all of my kids why we chose their specific godparents, what they mean to us, and they will be left knowing deep in their hearts that there are two special people in the world who made a promise to God that they would look after them. (That is the hope anyway!) A few weeks ago we confirmed with Matt's sister that she would honor us by being Hugh's godmother. All that was left to do was ask the godfather. We chose to ask the husband of one of my very best friends. Over the years we have all become super close. He is kind, humble, and generous to a fault. We could not ask for a more loyal friend and (bonus) he loves our children! Hugh and I worked up the following "slideshow" and sent it to him via text! (Disclaimer...we love that Rich was raised Jewish...but we also love to make jokes about it, haha) (ALSO majorly kicking myself for not using the real camera, I realize the baby is blurry!)

July 24th our precious baby will be one step closer to God, reception/killer 1st birthday party to follow!