Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer Vacay Day 4

The St. Greg's Festival is back in town!! Last year we spent almost every day at this 10 day Festival! It's a lot of fun, and such a great way to kick off summer. I couldn't believe it, but as soon as we arrived, Natalie grabbed my hand and started walking toward where the train ride, saying "I want to go ride the train" - she remembered it from last year! I was shocked!

A little parade in our neighborhood kicks off the festival. The neighbor girls, whom Natalie loves, walk in the parade because they play on the sports team for the school, so we kind of just join in with them and walk the parade too when it comes to our house! (It's a very low-key, parade...)  Natalie loves it, and I can guarantee that for the next few weeks every time we leave our house Natalie will ask if we can go march in a parade:

First up, ride the train:

Then the fire-trucks!

Then, what turned into a private lesson on dart throwing! This woman was incredible!!! She spent a solid 10 minutes at least showing Natalie exactly how to hold a dart, how to throw, she gave her so many chances, she really helped her a lot and Natalie probably popped about 4 balloons and earned herself a paw patrol ball! I am so grateful for this woman and her patience:

I thought Baby Christopher would fall asleep in his stroller but nope - this kid walked the entire length of the festival and then some. with his Oma and Grandma!

and got in some dancing with them to boot!

And of course, zeppoles

Can't wait for more St. Greg's fun and memories this year!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Vacay Day 3

Yesterday I was at work in the city all day - I think I spent 1 hour total with each kid and most of that was nursing Christopher. So that was summer vacay day 2!

Summer Vacay Day 3:
First, the positives:
We took the bike up to the park by our house for a little bit. Ate a snack, played with bubbles, and with a ball. But when we were playing with the ball, she fell and scraped her knee. It wasn't that bad, but she was done with the park after that.
Back at the house,  I set up the water table in the backyard for her to play. We ate lunch, listened to some Raffi and Lori Berkner Band, did some naked painting (Natalie...not me) and spent the rest of the afternoon outside. Our neighbor friends, Lisa and Matthew, came over for a little bit to play in the playhouse and sprinkler too, which was a very nice break-up of the day.

After dinner (lamb roast in the crock-pot and roasted potatoes!), we walked over to the Hershey ice cream shop for some milk-shakes and ice cream!
Then a little photo shoot in our front yard. Don't be fooled - he stood in place the whole time, still not walking more than 8 steps at a time!

So that was the sunshine, rainbows and lollipops version of our day. Here are my actual thoughts:
This is my second day home all day with both kids and honestly, there were several times today I almost waved the white flag. I'm not sure how/if I can do this!! It's actually not so much so that Natalie is home all day now - it's actually that Christopher has become an independent, do what he wants to do, trying to walk, stubborn, and sometimes cranky little toddler! I adore our backyard but there are things I need to do inside (prep lunch, prep dinner, go to the battthhrooom (both me and Natalie) that I can't leave him outside while I do.

So today went something like this:
Play outside at water table
Natalie pushes Christopher away from table
He cries
Finally get Christopher situated with a different toy away from the water table
Natalie has to pee
We all go inside (I finally brought out a kid's potty so that sort of solves that)
Natalie goes to the bathroom while Christopher cries to go back outside
Back outside, they fight over the water table - I get him situated at something else
Natalie says "Mommy, I'm hungry" Time for lunch
I leave Natalie outside, while I take Christopher inside with me to make lunch
Outside for lunch
They fight over blueberries
Bowl of blueberries flies all over the patio
Christopher tries to walk and falls on top of 3 of them
Natalie eats a few off the ground - whatever
I get a work phone call - hope and pray they stay quiet
Christopher plays with the toy car
Natalie decides she wants to play in the toy car
She pushes Christopher
He falls, hurts himself, and in his dramatic cry - ends up hitting his head on the pavers even more
I have to go to the bathroom - take Christopher inside
He cries to go back outside
Ok, let's try painting - Natalie paints, gets acrylic paint on outdoor table (I got it off with a magic eraser. And I know, I know...what was I doing giving her acrylic paint? It was a particular project...)
I answer work emails
Natalie is covered in paint and needs to be cleaned up
All go back inside to wash her hands, clean her down
Christopher needs to nurse
Lisa and Matthew come! Yay! Other people!
Natalie acts up - screams a lot, pushes her brother, she is sent to her room.
She comes back down and apologizes, we play, then time for dinner.

I was given good advice a few weeks ago that I should have at least one thing planned a day. And I have a ton of stuff lined up starting next week - I just didn't really have anything in particular set up this week and I've been lacking motivation to get up and get out. So, I know it will get better and I will get used to this. BUT this summer. This summer is going to be difficult. They aren't at the age where they play together yet, and they each just want to do their own things. I don't even see how I can go to a park or a splash park and watch Christopher the whole time while keeping my eyes on Natalie doing something else.

Many before have done, and I will be fine. I'm just sort of freaking out right now. Anyone have pointers??

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sum, Sum Summa-Time Day 1

Winter is over, our summer calendar is quickly filling up, we are getting busy busy busy and it's time to start recording our lives again.

It is my hope that years from now, when I look back on this past year of my life,  I can say "Wow, that year was hella crazy, I'm so glad my life isn't like that any more." Just as Christopher was born, work at my job picked up like crazy. So just as I'm navigating life with two kids, I had almost double the work to take care of each week and I pretty much have been burning the candle at both ends for the past 13 months. But...summer is here! Work should calm down for a bit, and we have hired someone else to start training and taking on some of my workload - Oh Happy Day!!

I'm nervous and so excited for this summer at the same time. Last summer, Christopher was just an itty-bitty newborn, whom I mostly wore around in my wrap the whole time while I did things with Natalie. This summer, he'll be a walking, babbling, toddler who all of a sudden has a mind of his own and gets into EVERYTHING. I'm nervous I won't be able to do a lot of the normal things I do with Natalie with both of them.

Growing up, I would often journal here and there, but I always kept a summer-time journal. There is just so much to document and remember each summer and I'm determined to get back to documenting my children's lives, either through this blog or my youtube channel.

I didn't fully feel prepared for summer today - I still had a ton of things to put away from a large Costco run, I had some things at work I had to tie up, and I was just winging it entirely. So first up was some painting - but man, this maybe lasted 20 minutes. Christopher just kept getting into the paint and it was harder to keep him away than the whole project seemed worth. But it was a nice 20 minute activity for her:
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 Then it was lunch and off to swim lessons - where Natalie passed level 1 in swimming at Saf-T-Swim!

Then a quick trip to the grocery store for a few items- in which Natalie was rewarded with a Cake Pop for passing level 1 in swim. (FYI - Christopher was supppper fussy today. I left him with my Mother-in-law to run these errands because I couldn't deal with him/both at the same time!)

Then it was more swimming at the in-laws in the afternoon! Natalie adores our neighbors and they are so so good to her. We literally had to fight/bribe her to get out of the pool tonight. This is the first summer that Natalie has a good swim vest and she can be pretty independent in the pool. She is LOVING it - I think we may be creating a little fishy!

Listen to the end here after the jump where Natalie comes up and says "BEST. JUMP. EVEEERR!"

And that is day 1 of Summer vacay 2017!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Christoper Joseph: 11 Months

Name: Christopher Joseph

Weight: 19 pounds? About?

Health: Healthy Healthy :)

Sleep: For the last 2-3 months, this has been a little tough. He'd been getting up 2 or 3 times a night - one night it was even 4 times!! His first "wake-up" had been getting earlier and earlier. It used to be 11:30 which was fine - right before I went to bed so I'd get to feed him before I went to sleep. But what started as 11:00pm, then became 10:45pm, then 10:30pm, Last week he woke up at 9:45pm, just over 2 hours after he went to bed. I kind of reached my breaking point and refused to go get him. It was very clear to me what was happening - and I KNEW he wasn't hungry or needing me at that point. I let him cry it out, and he cried for exactly 30 minutes. Of course those 30 minutes felt like 60, and there were a few times when I almost went to get him. Finally, he put himself back to sleep and he slept straight through until 4:45am!!! So he ended up only getting up 1 time and that was amazing! Since that night, he's been getting up once a night. I'm definitely starting to get more "tough love" on the waking up in the middle of the night thing. Natalie was definitely only getting up once a night by the time she was 11 months, and she started consistently sleeping straight through the night at 13 months. In my mind - He's got 2 more months to really get this sleeping through the night thing down before I start ignoring him altogether (joking, sort of) and then I can SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT AGAIN!!! WAHOOO!!!! The last two nights he has slept straight throught he night, BUT he wakes up at 6:30am and then he's up for the day - when before if he nursed during the night, he would sleep until 7:45/8:00! I'm not sure which one I prefer!

Social: Very friendly and smiley with strangers. Sometimes he acts shy, but it's adorable.

Diet: My goodness - where do I begin here? Admittedly, I've been realllly bad about establishing a three meal a day schedule for Christopher up until this past month. Like I said last month, I live by the "food before 1, just for fun" method BUT in the last 2-3 weeks I've really established meals with him partly because when he sees food he goes crazy and jumps for it SO much, so I just had to put him in the highchair and share my meals with him. Eating is basically his new favorite activity now. His food of the week were peas, carrots, and cucumber! But I also gave him more food this past week because he is NOT NURSING!!!! He's nursing, but literally, and I'm not exaggerating, 5-10 seconds on each side. How is he even getting anything?? Even at night, he's hardly comfort nursing anymore. He nurses then comes off and reaches for the crib and puts himself to sleep. It's sooo different from Natalie. I should be leaping at the fact that he's putting himself to sleep quickly at night, but a part of me is so shocked and sad by it!

Likes: Obsessed with my iphone and the tv remote. He had a toy phone, and a calculator the other day that he kept pointing at the tv to try and change the channel. 

Dislikes: Bananas, eggs, being put down. EVER. getting into his carseat

*First Haircut
*Cut 2 more teeth (top middle 2) he has 4 teeth total!
*Assisted Walking with a walker
*First time in a swing!
*Starting to sleep through the night
*Drinking from a big kid straw cup

General notes:
I can't even believe that he will be 1 in one more month - I really really feel like he's still just a little new baby and we just brought him home. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Christopher Joseph: 10 Month

Name: Christopher Joseph

Weight: 19 lbs. 10 oz. (38th percentile)

Height: 29.2 inches (60th percentile)

Health: Had a bought of bronchitis this past month (which he dutifully passed onto to BOTH grandma's who were hit super HARD with it - sorry Oma and Grandma!!) Other than that he is healthy and growing great. 

Sleep: Just like I wrote last month - he is still consistently waking up 2 times a night. Bed by 7:00/7:30, up around 11:00, and then again anywhere between 3-5am and back to sleep until 7:00/7:30am. 

Social: Super smiley and happy, flirts with people - smiles and giggles at others. 

Diet: There is really nothing I don't give him to try now. He's tried a tiny bit of peanut butter twice, I've been giving him cheerios, peas, steamed carrots, broccoli, etc., etc. The only thing I am really NOT good about is feeding him consistent meals. You know that saying "Food before 1, just for fun"? Yea, I take that phrase VERY literally.  But the problem is, he's not eating a ton of foods that he used to like. I can't get him to eat blueberries or eggs anymore (he LOVED them last month). I feel like he's spitting most foods out that I feed him, I just can't tell day to day what he will accept eating. (i realize that is all the more reason to keep feeding him as many foods as possible. I really don't want another picky eater. Natalie isn't super picky, just with meat she is).

Likes: Being held, standing and walking all the time. He really wants to move move move.

*Walking with a walker! 

*Says "Dada", "Baba", and "Uh-oh" and likes to fake cough. Imitating sounds sooo much all of a sudden. I've heard him say "Mama" one time very clearly but I haven't been able to get him to say it again. 

* Waving - very deliberate waving, it's so cute! And whenever I walk into the bathroom in the morning with him, he waves at himself in the mirror right away.

*fake coughs imitates others when we cough, it's so funny. It's this pathetic little fake cough and I always say "ohhh that sounds baddd I should take you to the doctor" and then he pathetic, fake coughs again. I have to try and get this on video. 

*His two middle bottom teeth are fully in. His top 2 middle teeth are starting to come in too.

General notes:
Natalie weighed in at 20 lbs at her 10 month checkup - so my little chunky monkey has really slowed down with his weight gain and isn't as big as his older sister was at the same age! My parents commented this weekend while they were here how his personality is really starting to shine through. He's starting to really become his own little person now!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Christopher Joseph: 9 Months

Name: Christopher Joseph

Weight: 18 lbs. 10 oz. (at last doctor appt. 2 weeks ago)

Height: 28.5 inches

Health: Very Healthy - He managed to stay free of the stomach virus that I had! Worst 24 hours/week of my life. I didn't eat for about 7 days (well, I had to force myself to) and still nursed him entirely through it! I had such a headache from dehydration, no matter how much I drank! The poor thing got interrupted from nursing TWICE in one day when I had to quick put him down, and run to throw-up while he screamed and cried in the background. It was horrible. Thank goodness he didn't get it (and Natalie didn't either!!)

Sleep: Once he turned 7 months old, I feel like everything changed. I used to pump every night before bed to build up a freezer supply of milk, but my pump has been unused for over 2 months now because he wakes up right around the time I pump! I think it's mostly teething related but he wakes up twice (sometimes 3 times a night now) and that's been consistent for 2 months. He wakes up usually between 11-1 and 3-5 on any given night, although as I type this, it's 9:37 and he just woke up screaming two hours after I put him to bed...le sigh. The same as I did with Natalie, whenever he wakes up, I nurse him back to sleep. It is the only way he goes back to sleep, and it's why I literally can not go a night away from him (I would feel too bad for whomever we/I leave him with.) If there is a night he refuses to go back in the crib, he automatically goes in the swing and sleeps there for the rest of the night. I am NOT staying up for hours in the middle of the night while he fusses! Natalie didn't sleep through the night until 13 months, so I'm giving him until then before I'll do any sort of actual sleep training.

Social: Smiles at everyone. He doesn't seem to exhibit too much "stranger danger" yet.

Diet: Still exclusively breast-fed and as far as food goes: nothing is off limits at this point except honey. I've fed him a teeny tiny bit of peanut butter last week and he was fine so I pretty much feed him a bit of anything now: cauliflower, broccoli, he LOVES blueberries, eggs, strawberries, apple, peas, sweet potato, yogurt, etc. etc. I really only feed him a "meal meal" once a day and then just little snacks throughout the day. I know many people who have their kids on 3 meals of food a day by now, but I still want him to be primarily nursing, the food is really just for "practice" in eating. 

Likes: MICKEY MOUSE! It's sad, but adorable. But whenever Mickey comes on the tv, he gets super super happy!

Mommy and Daddy! He smiles whenever he sees either of us.


Milestones: Crawling!! It took him a bit of time- and he was quite frustrated for a few weeks there- but at 8 1/2 months he finally got it down. Now, there is NO STOPPING him! 

Pulls himself to standing - He LOVES to be standing. He wants to walk so badly now.

One bottom left tooth is completely in, and the one next to it is starting to come. Teething has definitely been affecting him. He's super drooly and stuffy and it has affected his sleep. I've been resorting to Hyland's Teething Tablets way more than I ever did with Natalie!

A ton of first food's! First Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's 

General notes:
I love when he giggles and it's SO EASY to get him to laugh- peek a boo, throwing him up in the air, or pretending to drop him (no lie) makes him giggle. This little boy at the library was making faces at him yesterday and he was literally belly laughing for 5 minutes at him, it was super cute.

Natalie can get rough with him but he, for the most part, just goes along with her and doesn't get upset- until she pushes him and he hits his head- then we have a problem. 

I love how he reacts to Natalie. Some mornings I have her come with me to get him out of the crib and he gets so smiley when he sees her! 

As I say every post: I miss blogging terribly, but my work has taken over any and all free time I ever once had. It's all great news for the company, and they may hire someone else to take a bit of the load off eventually, but I think we are a little ways away from that. I love my job, and I love the opportunity I have to do it from home, so work has started to take precedent above all else (besides the kids- thought honestly, sometimes not) but I do need to either catch up and finally get to a better place with my workload, or tell them this is too much, because it really is a ton of work. 

Natalie is doing well- in the last two weeks it's like a switch has gone off for her- she is finally behaving and listening in school, her teachers have been so much happier with her, and she's been really amazing at entertaining herself at home- largely in part to her dollhouse. She loves her dollhouse and plays with it for hours. I'm knocking on all the wood right now as I type this because I know this could all change at the drop of a hat, but for the past 2 weeks, she's been amazing! 

Be sure to follow me on instagram - I've been trying to do little "mini-posts" about things more often in place of blogging these days. 

Till next time! <3