Tuesday, July 23, 2013

For Avery

I have this little girl you see,
I've loved her from the start.
When I first laid my eyes on her
She captured all my heart.

She appeared into my life
As if I willed it so
And since that day I met her,
Into a mother I did grow.

Before I ever saw her,
She came with me to work.  
We did everything together
We even shared our hurt.
I'd sing to her and pray for her
 And wonder who she'd be.  
She's now a tiny person,
All her own it's plain to see.

Fiercely independent
But she is also mine.  
She's a little bit a part of me, 
I see it all the time.

She is mine to teach, to love,
To care for and protect.  
To show her what this life's about
And all there is to get.

I'll teach her how to play,
Imagine, and create.
How to be responsible
And never show up late.

I'll tell her it's okay to cry,
But cry with others too.  
Have empathy for those who hurt.
Show them the good in you.

I'll teach her to be proud, yet humble.
Stand up for what's right.
Don't date the boys that only flatter,
Don't stay out late at night.

I'll show her what it means to serve,
To help a friend in need.
That it's okay to sometimes follow
But also how to lead.

I want her to be happy
But life is often hard.
It isn't fair, nor always right,
It's not a Hallmark card.

But when the world is dark and gloomy,
When heartache grips her tight
I hope she'll know that she is loved
And always see the light.

I have this little girl you see
I've loved her from the start
And every day I spend with her
She recaptures my heart.

Friday, July 5, 2013

3 Months!

My baby Kellen is 3 months old!

Height: 25 in. I think??
Weight: 10 lbs

holding hands
the bouncy chair
being swaddled
holding onto my shirt
slapping me in the face when he's nursing
being talked to
sucking on his hands

being naked
loud noises

I cannot say enough what a sweet baby he really is. I'm so head over heels for him that I don't even so much mind getting up to feed him a couple times a night. He goes to sleep easily, eats well, cries little, and smiles lots. I predict he will be a mama's boy forever. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Some days

Having 2 kids isn't as terrifying as I had feared it would be. In fact, some days I got it all together. I get my work done early in the day, we go for an outing, everyone naps, dinner is ready when Kyle gets home and the house isn't too messy.  And if I'm REALLY good, I even put on makeup. !

And then there are days like today. Days that begin with a Diet Coke (or 2) and quickly deteriorate to hell when the Terrible Twos suddenly manifests itself in the form of a screaming, thrashing toddler who is practically foaming at the mouth.  In the middle of Target.

I'm not exaggerating. It. Was. Bad. 

I tried stern discipline. I tried begging. I tried bribery. I tried creative distraction. And then I tried opening a pouch of baby food and shoving it in her mouth. Bingo! I bought myself 3 more minutes of frantic shopping and a $1.28 package of Banana Mango. Ok I bought 10 and she downed 2 before I made it through the check out.  

I thought things would get better after nap time but that dream quickly went to crap. The highlight of the day might have been when Avery smashed a toy in my head, causing cranial lumpage and a 4 hour headache. 

Enter Diet Coke #3. 

By the time Kyle got home I was in tears, Avery was in solitary confinement, and Kellen was still wailing from his latest sister-induced injury.   

I know as a parent I'm not supposed to have favorites, but if I DID it ain't gonna be the one throwing blocks and food in my face and coloring on the furniture. At least not on a day like today. 

Here's to tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


My baby boy is 2 months old!

9 lb. 7 oz.
23 in.
5 shots in his scrawny baby legs :(

But let's talk here about the elephant in the room.  My hair.  Did you notice?  (How could you not) 

Not to take away from my darling son's 60 day life milestone, but I'm going to talk about me.  Me and my elephant hair.  

It's not that I HATE it per say, but I'm having a hard time loving it. I suppose it really is my fault because I told my (new) stylist I wanted to be blonde for crying out loud (the last 2 I've been to spent an hour coloring my hair "blonde" only for it to look the same as when I walked in).  I even picked out the blondes myself.   But really, who trusts ME to pick out hair color?  That's what I pay them to do, no?  

It took 3 hours to get my hair this shade of yellow.

I have hopes that after another week or two of religious use of purple shampoo, I might come to love my new shade of blonde.  If not, I'm going back in a month anyway.  I'm giving him another shot at it.  Also, I was served tasty snacks and got a facial massage while I was there and it was perhaps the most relaxing 3 hour hair appointment I've ever had.

My only problem now is trying to figure out what I can wear with this hair!  My favorite mustard cardigan is officially on vacation now.  Also, I need a tan.

But tell me, why does hair have to be so complicated?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Heritage Park

We had such a nice Saturday recently that we decided to take our first family of four outing to This is The Place Heritage Park.  As luck would have it, we ended up there during Avery's nap time and the poor kid was so tired the whole time.  There was so much for her to see and do that she stayed awake and happy but was passed out in the car not even 5 minutes after we left.  Kellen did was Kellen does best right now and slept like a baby.

We only had to wait a whole half an hour for Avery and Kyle to ride the slowest train on the planet.
She still talks about it though so I guess it was worth it.

Kyle got stuck practically sitting on a little girl with every stuffed in front of him.  Whoever designed this ride is genius....

Three trips around the pond.

There was the cutest little pioneer play houses there and now I desperately want one in our backyard.

Avery took it upon herself to empty the houses of all their furniture.

She carried that chair a loooong way for a little girl.

I was so excited for her to see the baby animals but she was a little less than enthused to say the least.  We did get her to hold this baby chick but the poor thing looked miserable.  And as soon as it tried to wiggle away from her she dropped it and screamed.

We didn't fare much better with the pony rides.
She loved them until Kyle tried to put her on the saddle and she freaked out.
Now she frequently recollects the "scary horses."

Trying out a real feather bed was also "scary."

In the end, we had so much fun (all the "scary" included) that this sleepy girl face napped all the way home.

Monday, April 29, 2013

moody & unpredictable

so i'm not much of a cat person.
cats are great and all from a distance, but in my experience, they are very moody and unpredictable.  you might be sitting comfortably, a cat purring softly nearby, and the next thing you know it's claws are in your face.  you just never know with cats.  they make me nervous.

also, toddlers.  specifically, my toddler.

i've decided that avery, as cute as she may be, is also very much like a cat.
moody and unpredictable.

we will be having a great time playing with toys or something and all of a sudden she will lunge at my face, brandishing her tiny fingernail claws.  or my new "favorite", if i'm sitting on the floor, she will come up behind me, pull up my shirt and swipe a scratch on my back.  why?!  just last night she was riding on kyle's shoulders and she suddenly grabbed at his face, drawing blood from his eyelid.  on several occasions, my mom has been holding avery and out of nowhere she's viciously ripped her glasses off her face.

at this point, i'm seriously afraid to put my face anywhere near avery's hands.
you just never know when she's going to strike. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

i may never

once upon a time i took kellen to be circumcised.
i had to go by myself.  with avery.  i was so nervous.

i opted to stay in the room during the procedure but i didn't want to watch.  i braced myself for the emotional trauma of hearing my sweet baby screaming.

but you know what?  he didn't make a peep!  he didn't cry or whimper once.  it was amazing.  what's even more amazing is avery sat quietly on my lap and looked at pictures on my phone the whole time.  i was so proud of my two perfectly behaved babies.  leaving the office, i called kyle to brag about how awesome our kids are.  i was so confident in their ability to be perfect that afternoon that i stopped at the store on my way home.

i got two perfectly behaved babies in the grocery cart and all hell broke loose.
kellen started screaming bloody murder and would not be consoled in the car seat so i took him out and held him with one arm while pushing the cart with my free hand while avery sat strapped in the cart seat.  i would have just given up but there was one thing i really needed (and couldn't find) so i found a chair by the bathrooms and sat down to nurse kellen back to quiet sanity.  kellen stopped screaming but then avery decided to wiggle herself free of the safety belt and stand precariously on the cart seat, threatening to jump.  i talked her out of jumping but instead she leaned over the cart and pulled off a rack of pill dispensers.  i think i might have flashed a few people.

i somehow managed to get kellen consoled and avery strapped back in the cart seat.  i even managed to find what i needed.  sanity restored, i felt brazen enough to wander around a few extra aisles, kellen still in my arms and avery playing with my phone.  thank heaven for iphones and toddler apps.  really, i should have left during the calm of the storm because soon avery chucked my phone on the floor, wiggled out of the safety belt and literally jumped on top of me and kellen.  

holding two really unhappy babies and pushing the cart with a free finger, i made sure to grab myself two bags of m&ms and a diet soda before stumbling through the checkout.  

i may never leave the house with two kids again.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

i had a baby: another birth story

Kellen Christopher
7 lb. 2 oz.
19 in.
born friday, april 4, 2013

it seems like writing about this little guy is a good way to get myself back into regular blogging.  after all, i've had a lot of thoughts going on these days that may or may not be of interest to anyone out there, but i forgot how much my blog is my own personal therapy.  and believe me, i could use some therapy these days, what with having 2 under 2 now.  brace yourselves.

despite what i had planned, i ended up going in for an induction on april 4th.  my due date was the 5th, so it was one day early.  just trust me when i tell you it had to be done.  so i checked in at 9:00 am and an hour later i was hooked up to an iv and a low dose of pitocin.  i was progressing quickly and sometime around 10:30 my doctor came in and broke my water (woohoo! what an experience that is...).  around 11:00 or so i got an epidural and by 11:50 i knew it was time to push.  it all happened SO FAST!  i only pushed for maybe 15 minutes and it was a dang good thing because i quickly found out my epidural had worked well to numb everything but down there.  i wasn't feeling much by the way of contractions but trust me when i tell you i felt everything else.  i yelled a lot during those 15 minutes.  and it's all on video.  and no i'm not going to post it.

kellen was born at 12:10 pm, a little blue, but healthy and gorgeous nonetheless.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Sometimes I feel brave. After all having a baby is something I've done before. Sitting in the doctor's office the past few weeks I've felt brave and confident, perhaps even nonchalant about the coming birth of my second child.

But tonight I am not so brave. I'm plagued by the unpleasant and even traumatic memories of my only childbirth experience. Sleep is replaced by every tiny detail of birth, recovery, and 6 months of sleeplessness.

Truth be told, tonight I am anything but brave.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wall Makeover

One day I decided this wall needed a makeover.
And then we ended up with white walls, a new TV and media console of sorts.
I think this is what happens when I spend too much time sitting on my couch being pregnant.
Also, I blame Pinterest.

It's kind of a long (uninteresting) story on how we got to this point, but suffice it to say that I found this tutorial and decided it was PERFECT.  Also, it was about $1000 cheaper than the pre-made Ikea media center that I loved but also wouldn't fit the 60" TV.

The whole thing is made up of 5 separate Ikea Billy bookshelves.  The middle 3 are pulled out 3" from the rest.  I screwed them all together, added 3 pieces of MDF to the top (to make it look like 1 unit) and added chair rail around the top.  In the end, I decided to paint the whole thing a brighter white as the Ikea white was more yellow than I wanted.  Kyle thought I was crazy but I swear it made such a difference.  Even if only to me :)  The trick now is to keep Avery from emptying them every day.

Friday, March 8, 2013

So it's been awhile

life lately

I can always count on my mom to remind me to blog when it's been awhile.  Apparently I've not been blogging enough.  I'd like to blame the fact that I was working pretty much full time from October through February and now I'm totally out of the habit and just plain pregnant and lazy.  Frankly, it's just so much easier to go to Facebook and Instagram.  Also I have nothing to say maybe?

So I'm 36 weeks pregnant.  I'm huge.  I feel like a giant human globe with a toddler acting as my orbiting moon.  She literally runs circles around me all day long.  I still have 4 1/2 weeks til my due date.  You must know that 1 week pregnant is like unto an eternity.  4 1/2 eternities til my due date...  it is a very long time.

My face is fat.  It's swollen and puffy and I'm not so delusional this time as to pretend it isn't so.
It comes with the territory.  I know this.
I'm less freaked out about my puffy face because I have experience that it will go away eventually.  It's just too bad that eventually is probably more like 100 eternities.  But whatever.

The baby is healthy, I'm healthy, all is good.
Also, I don't have gestational diabetes this time!  Woohoo!  It's pretty great, is what it is.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I am proud to announce that we are bottle free!
It is a freakin' MIRACLE.
I seriously thought it would never happen.
I stressed about it for MONTHS.
And I am now one proud mama.

I first tried taking the bottle away all at once and that did not go over so well.  Then I got to thinking about Avery's personality and maybe what would work for her instead of doing it "my way."  

Avery is appropriately obstinate for 18 months but also likes to be in control (I have NO Idea where she got that from ...).  She likes things to be her idea.  Getting her to eat food usually requires me to give her a few different choices on her plate and letting her pick what she wants at the moment.  She wants to feed herself, dress herself, shut all the doors herself...  

Anyway, the point being that I decided if we were going to be successful at ditching the bottles, we were going to have to convince Avery to choose for herself.  

I started by just offering her a cup more often.  Sometimes she would take it but she usually wanted a bottle anyway.  Then one morning when she woke up she asked for a bottle first thing (typical) and I took her to the kitchen to help me make her formula.  Before I was done measuring and mixing, she had seen a cup in the pantry and asked for a cup.  I decided it was a good time to try what worked for my friend Liz and hide all the bottles.  

Avery took the cup with formula but didn't drink much of it.  I poured formula into 3 other sippy cups and put them on a shelf in the fridge.  When she asked for a bottle I took her to the cupboard to show her there were no bottles in there.  Then I showed her there weren't any in the fridge either, but I let her stand with the fridge door open and see the cups she could choose from.  

For awhile she would take all of them but wouldn't drink anything.  FINALLY when she went down for a nap, she drank a whole sippy cup of formula and went to sleep and I cried mama tears of joy.  A miraculous feat, to be sure, given that for months she not only chanted "baba" nearly 24 hours a day, but would gag and cry whenever we gave her formula in a cup.

her current favorite cup: G2 Wave

So thanks to everyone who offered advice and suggestions!
I'm now going to go celebrate the fact that I do not have any bottles to wash tonight.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Feelin' It

today was a cookies-and-juice-on-the-kitchen-counter kinda day

Hey remember that time I was pregnant with baby #2?
Yeah, still here.

29 weeks now, I can't even believe it.
Truth be told, I think I've been far too busy this time around to really notice that I'm pregnant until the last couple of weeks.  And let me tell you, now I am feelin' it.

I had forgotten how uncomfortable it is to sleep at night.
Or, as I like to call it, roll around on a pile of pillows for 8 dark hours and periodically flip through Pinterest because there is no longer any such thing as sleep.

And then nap whenever humanly possible during the day.  
Which, with a toddler and a couple of part time jobs, is like, never.

I did, however manage to find a nap this morning.
Avery got me up at 7AM, I made her formula for the day, turned on PBS Kids and promptly fell asleep on the couch.  I woke up 2 hours later covered in toys and paper.  PEOPLE, 2 HOURS!!

1.  How did I manage to actually sleep that long through unending PBS Kids cartoons and a toddler running about?
2.  How on earth did the toddler not destroy absolutely everything in the family room, minus the notebook of paper?

It was a Christmas miracle, I tell you.
Albeit not one of my finer parenting moments.

And to answer the dozens of people who have asked, no I do not have any belly pics.  I mean none.  Not one!  I don't have ANY!  It's not on purpose, and I must say I suffer daily guilt about it.  Poor Baby #2 has not yet been properly documented.

I will repent.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Operation: Kick The Bottle

Someone needs to come up with a 12 step program for toddlers who are addicted to their bottles.
Avery is 18 months now and she is super attached to her bottle.

Have I mentioned this before?  Because I feel like I'm constantly complaining about this little problem.  I know it's technically not the end of the world for her to still have a bottle at 18 months but what worries me most is that she is so desperately in love with it.  
She goes to bed with a bottle 
(I know, I know, I'm going to hell for that one, just ask the pediatricians... and dentists)  
She gets her feelings hurt?  "Baba"
She falls down?  "Baba"  
She gets mad?  "Baba"
Bored in the car?  "Baba"

I mean really, the kid will snuggle her empty bottle all night if we let her.
It's happened before.

So I had a bit of a heart to heart with one of Avery's dietitians today and hung up the phone determined to get this kid off the bottle.  After all, it's not going to get any easier as time goes on.  

My first step?  I'm not putting her to bed with a bottle.
The result?  She cried, screamed and kicked the wall for 75 MINUTES.  Over an hour.  I'm telling you, I feel like I'm having deja vu of about a year ago when we first let her cry it out for sleep training.  A miserable, however necessary, experience to be sure.  

Tip for moms who have yet to sleep train:  Don't sleep train your baby by letting him/her go to bed with their bottle.  In the end, you will have to sleep train all over again and life sucks hardcore twice in your life instead of just once.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gas Leak

Before I ever got pregnant I heard a lot about "pregnancy symptoms."

The list went like this:
morning sickness
mood swings

At that point in my life I was naively unaware of a pregnancy symptom that has far-reaching, devastating consequences: The Pregnancy Farts.

You guys, I am taking one for the team today in sharing with you one of the most humiliating facets of my current state of life.  I share for one reason, and one reason only: I feel it is far too funny to keep to myself.

As my Kyle so often proclaims, "Farts are funny."
Of this, I believe he is right.

So here's the thing.  I have The Pregnancy Farts.  And truth be told, they are often bad.  Like, really bad.  Eye-watering bad.  I have no idea what is happening with this baby to cause such a terrible plight, but I hope he is all the more sweeter for our suffering.

You want to know how bad it is?
I will tell you.
Today I had The Pregnancy Farts.
The bad kind.
Today I had to work.
Today I might have let one slip.
(You MUST know, that The Pregnancy Farts cannot be controlled.  They have a mind of their own)
The office was crowded, but no one was standing VERY near me so I hoped I was in the clear.
Not TEN MINUTES LATER, someone from the far side of the room announces that security has received a phone call complaining of a natural gas or sulfurous odor coming from our office.  "Has anyone smelled any natural gas recently?"  An investigation ensued.  I kept quiet and the findings were inconclusive.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Big Deal

Dinner tonight was kind of a big deal.
We had pancakes at home.
From Bisquick.
Made with eggs and milk.
And ALL of us ate the same pancakes.
Avery, too.
I know it probably doesn't seem like anything much, but it makes me so happy to feed my whole family the same meal, even if it's stupid pancakes.  The only thing different is that I had to weigh out all the ingredients, but that I can handle.  A few months ago (before Kuvan) whenever I made pancakes I had to make Avery a low protein version separate from our regular pancakes.  Granted her pancake tonight was rather small, but it didn't matter to me.  
The best part of all: she ate ALL of it!
I take what victories I can.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It has been something of a long time

This has definitely been the longest I've gone without posting since I started blogging 3 years ago. Truth is, I've just been flat out busy. Busy like crazy. Busy like never before. Here's a short list of the craziness that has sucked my life of all blogging opportunities:

•working pretty much full time away from home and 2 hours daily from home. Since the beginning of October.
•a girl called Avery
•sharing one car (R.I.P. Honda)
•refinancing our mortgage
•multiple illnesses (including an especially pukey weekend in which Avery threw up on probably everything)
•doing awesome fun things with awesome fun friends

I write these things from the comfort of my flannel sheets which Kyle complains are hot like unto hell but I worship them because I know they are perfection. Also I win because I'm pregnant and he's always hot when he sleeps. (I only have the waking hots. Pregnancy is trump)

Also I think I'm sick.
I sound like a man.
For real.

Goodnight blog.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Saturday night we went to a murder mystery dinner party and managed to throw together some last-minute costumes to fit our roles.

Kyle was Bo, ze French winemaker.

His sequined beret was $5.00 at the little girls' clearance section at Target.
The shirt is thrifted.  And a women's.
He wore my black pants.
I drew the mustache.  One side is bigger than the other.
He does a great French accent.

 I was Angel, an Italian girl living in Manhattan and living a life of crime.
I channeled Snooki for inspiration.

I pinned leggings in my hair to make the bump.
I used homemade bronzer to create an orange glow (even though I was still far from true guidette) and made a huge mess in our bathroom.
This picture does not accurately represent the true amount of makeup I had on.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Good Day!

This week concludes the 4 week Kuvan trial for Avery.
I think I've mentioned before...  Kuvan is a prescription for people with PKU that can help them to be able to eat more natural protein.  Not all people respond to it though, so we've been trying it out for 4 weeks to see if it works for Avery.

And guess what?


We're so excited!

We still don't know what her protein tolerance is exactly, and frankly the way she is eating and growing right now it might be awhile before it levels off.  But, the hope is that she will be able to eat more fruits, vegetables, and low protein foods every day and she may possibly be able to eat regular breads, pastas and dairy!  No meat, but still.  We'll take what we can get!

Hooray for modern medicine!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Garden Wars

So today we decided to tear up the garden.
Apparently our carrots really thrived in there....
On the plus side, we had insane tomato and squash crops and we never lifted a finger for that garden!

Ok so Kyle was actually the one to tear up the garden.
I had much more important things to do.
I declared war on the host of spiders emerging from the garden.

No joke, I killed AT LEAST 30 spiders.  And they were NOT tiny spiders either. The spiders and I, we are mortal enemies.  There would be no survivors.

I stood guard around the empty garden with a can of Raid waiting for the spiders to flee their earthy home and then I sprayed the crap out of them.  I had to wait for them to actually leave the garden because, hello! Poison!  But really I would have rather lost the entire garden by pouring toxic waste in there just to destroy them all at once.

Kyle was not pleased with my methods.

What he does not understand is this:
1.  Squishing spiders with your foot is super gross
2.  Spiders may live outside, but when winter comes, they don't just lie down and die.  No.  They find every tiny hole into your house, creep their way into your underwear drawer and bite you when you least expect it.
3.  Tiny spiders turn into big spiders who have a bagillion babies who turn into big spiders who find every tiny hole into your house, creep their way into your underwear drawer and bite you when you least expect it.
4.  I will never not be terrified of spiders.
5.  There will be no spider survivors.

Dear spiders,
Tell your friends.