Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year

I’ve been reluctant to write a New Year’s post this year.  Mostly because I can’t believe this year is coming to an end.  That just doesn’t seem possible and by delaying this post, I’ve been hoping to delay the arrival of a new year.  I wonder if every year going forward will feel like a blur with busy schedules and a full life.  I’m so thankful for this season of life, for a wonderful, mostly healthy husband, little boys that always make me smile, and a job that brings me happiness.  But I also need to remember to take a step back and appreciate each moment.  I have this nagging feeling that things won’t always be so great.  Apparently, I also need to work on being more optimistic. ;)

I looked back at my post from last year and the one word I used to describe 2014 was eventful.  I would describe 2015 as transitional.  Transitional in a good way.  But there were lots of changes that occurred for our little family.  The most obvious and most important was the addition of S.  The newborn days are hazy.  A new family member came with new challenges.  I wouldn’t change anything, but suffices to say that W had a difficult time with the arrival of S and still does in some ways.  We all had to adjust and find new routines.  S, though, he’s a dream come true.  And I often think we hit the baby jackpot with his happy demeanor and easy going nature.

W started preschool in late summer and that was a LOT more difficult than I ever imagined.  I’m happy we stuck with it and I’m relieved that we made it through, but those first few weeks months were very difficult for all of us.  3 and a half months later, I can finally leave W without experiencing any tears.

I started working from home a couple days each week.  This is one of those “seemed like such a good idea at the time” things and I’m happy that my job offers flexibility.  But working from home does come with its share of challenges – spotty internet in the quietest places in the house, a spotty phone signal in the basement (where I often work), a slow printer, a slow scanner, juggling meetings that occur at the same time as preschool drop off.  These are things I never really thought about and yet they make completing work a lot more difficult.

My favorite things from this past year: becoming a family or 4, W speaking in complete sentences, our trip to Maryland, summer Cubs games, working part time after S’s arrival.

I'm sad to say goodbye to 2015.  Here’s to 2016!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tuesday Thoughts - Just Because....

It’s so nice being at work when no one else is… So QUIET.  Ahhhh.

The boys received amazing gifts for Christmas.  If you have preschool boys, my recommendations are as follows:

Magna Tiles – a big hit in our house.
Floor Puzzles – W has mastered most of these.  I love that they are time consuming and require problem solving, shape recognition, and fine motor skills!
Street Rug – W has played on this for an hour straight.  He drives cars and trucks up and down the roads, builds garages, and sets up garbage bins (see below).
Garbage Truck with garbage/recycle bins – Little boys LOVE garbage trucks.  Bonus points if it comes with a garbage bin.  W lines up the bins and tells me it’s garbage day.  He then tells me the recycling has been picked up, but the truck needs to return for the garbage.
Little Tikes vehicles/accessories – We have a fire truck, police car, gas pump, and shopping cart.  All are played with extensively and loved!
Play food – Hape makes adorable play food.  W has made me several pizzas already. ;)

I’ve tried to keep my boys names anonymous on the blog.  I do share plenty of pictures (I didn’t at first), but there’s something about the world having access to both photos and names that makes me a little nervous.  Well, if you read my birthday post yesterday, you likely saw W’s name.  Ooops.  You see, I publish the boys’ birthday posts on Facebook first and then share them on the blog.  So yes, I forgot to remove W’s name.   It’s probably happened previously, but this is the first time I noticed. J

Ok, time to whine.  There’s this girl I know who likes to copy me and it’s been going on forever.  It stared at my first job.  She was my coworker and I noticed she would come in wearing the same exact clothes I had.  Then she had a Lia Sophia party.  Remember when those used to be really popular?  Anyway, she ordered the same exact jewelry I did.  She asked me for information on my wedding planner and ended up hiring her.  When I left my job, she applied for my old job (and didn’t get it – HA).  I posted on Facebook asking if any of my friends were doing Stitch Fix because I wanted to hear about their experiences.  So she signed up for Stitch Fix.  She applied at my current place of employment and asked me to help her get a job (which didn’t happen).  She saw a family picture and asked where it was taken so she could have family pictures taken there (I didn’t respond to her question).  And finally, she just shared a video of her son’s birthday party in which she had the same exact theme/décor as W's birthday party.   Like I found cups on Etsy and somehow she had the same exact cups.  That’s weird, right?  And I find it incredibly annoying.  Maybe I need to be more careful about what I share on social media.  There’s only one me…

And finally, because they're cute...

Monday, December 28, 2015

W Turns 3!!

My Dearest W,
Happy 3rd Birthday!! I can’t believe you are already 3 years old. Time certainly has flown by and yet, at the same time, it feels like you’ve been a part of our family forever.

This was a tough year for you in terms of change and transition. Adding S to our family in February definitely changed your world and I think you’re still adjusting. There are moments where you’ll tell me you don’t like S and there have been countless time outs for hitting and pushing, but then there are other times where you’ll bring S a toy, want to help feed him, and tell me that you love him. I suppose this is typical brotherly behavior and I hope the two of you become close as S learns to interact and play more.

You started going to preschool alone this year. This was incredibly difficult for both of us – lots of tears, lots of frustration, lots of Mommy questioning if we made the right decision in enrolling you. I can finally say, we’re in a really good place. You no longer cry when I leave (only took 3.5 months) and when I pick you up, we talk all about your day. I love getting your paintings and projects. They are proudly displayed throughout our house.

You are my best little buddy and the two of us share a special bond. You’re always up for running errands with me no matter what they are – bank, grocery shopping, mall. You sit with me at church, want to sit next to me at dinner, and always want to ride in mommy’s car. You often tell me that you love me, that I’m special and so nice, that you’ll miss me and think about me when I leave, and that you like me best. Whenever you need help with something, it’s always “Mommy will do it!”. You give the greatest hugs. I’m soaking it all up now because I know there will be a time when I’m not the center of your world and when hanging with your mom just won’t be cool. But I hope you know that I’ll always be here for you and I hope we’ll always be close.

Your personality has really evolved this year. You talk nonstop and even say things like “abominable snowman”, “actually”, “American flag”, and “passenger”. Your vocabulary has expanded so incredibly much. You love to sing and are keen on Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer at the moment. You also make up songs including, “The Breakfast Song”, “The Lunch Song”, and “The Supper Song”. You’ll often come home from school singing new songs. You love to make up stories and nearly every story involves Addie (Dee Dee). Dee Dee ran away and we have to go find her, Dee Dee is in the recycling bin because she is empty, Dee Dee is going to take a bath with you... You’ve always been a problem solver and that has not changed. You’ll offer verbal solutions to problems and think through situations… “Maybe the elf climbed the ornaments to get to the top of the tree?” In a physical sense, you’re really good at puzzles and building. You take tasks very seriously. You hardly cracked a smile while opening birthday presents – you had a job to do. You are sensitive and often ask why someone is upset or crying. You are thoughtful, logical, and stubborn. You’re an observer. You’re also a rule follower (outside of home) and your teachers tell me that you often repeat rules to the other kids.

People still comment on your red hair and someone approaches you nearly every time we go grocery shopping to inquire about your beautiful hair.
This year wasn’t an easy one, but at the same time it was amazing, wonderful, and fulfilling in every sense.
Happy, happy birthday! You are our everything and more.

S is 10 Months Old!

Dear S,
Happy 10 months sweet boy! Double digits!!
This month was a tough one in terms of health. You had two back to back colds. Fortunately, they didn't turn into anything worse and neither required a doctors visit, but you weren't yourself and had lots of trouble sleeping. You also added more teeth - your top two came through and you're working on a few others.

You weigh nearly 25 lbs and you're 29 inches long. 95th percentile and 77th percentile, respectively.
You continue to be a very happy baby. The only thing that really seems to bother you is loud noises.

You have this bashful routine where someone will say hello to you. In response, you flash them a big grin and then bury your head in the shoulder of the person holding you. Very cute!

You've started pointing to things and it seems like you're trying to talk, but I can't definitively say that you're saying words. You've looked at me and said "mama" and said "eee" while looking at the Christmas tree, but I'm chalking it up to coincidence.

You're obsessed with Wheel of Fortune. When it comes on, you refuse to eat until commercial break. You'll sit and watch contently while the letters are called. You love playing with the tv remotes and the other day you flipped through channels and actually stopped on Wheel of Fortune.

smile emoticon
You celebrated your first Thanksgiving this month and we're so excited for your first Christmas.
Happy 10 months! You are our everything and more, S.

Christmas 2015

I am sooo behind on posts.  It just occurred to me that I never shared S’s 10 month post and he’ll be 11 months in a matter of days.  I’ve had it written, I just never published it so I’ll attempt to play catch up on my lunch break.

We had a wonderful, albeit busy, Christmas.  The boys were spoiled beyond belief.  I really enjoyed having a week off with them, though there were more than a few crabby moments.  W definitely wants all of my attention.  I thought that would change by now seeing as S has been a part of our family for nearly a year.  Anyway, I digress.  Back to Christmas.  Christmas Eve was spent with my side of the family - many of whom had not met S.  Naturally, they all loved the smiley, easygoing, sweetness that is S.  That night, I was trying to get W excited for Santa’s visit and all he could focus on was Crispin the Elf leaving us.  He was more upset about the elf than excited for Santa.  Sigh.

 Christmas day started off with W and S coming downstairs to see what Santa had brought.  They were excited to find a bicycle for W and a Cozy Coupe police car for S.  Then, it was off to church.  After church, the boys opened one more present and we headed to Nani and Papa’s house.  Side note: I really wanted the boys to enjoy their gifts and wanted them to take time opening presents and appreciate that someone picked out gifts especially for them.  So we hardly opened anything at home and focused on playing with the toys they did receive.  At Nani and Papa’s house we had a delicious dinner and then all the grandkids opened presents.  We only purchased gifts for the kiddos and parents this year (not brothers-in-law or sister-in-law) and I loved it.  So much less stressful.  S, by the way, had zero interest in opening presents.

 The day after Christmas, A and I cooked a large brunch.  I made breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls and A made pancakes, bacon, and sausage.  We stayed in our pajamas and my mom came over for a bit.  We slowly opened the rest of our gifts and it was just a great, low key day.

I’m sad Christmas is over and I’m sad my baby is nearing 1.  His first Christmas was his last first holiday.  Haha – did that make sense?  Where does the time go??

Friday, December 18, 2015

Santa 2015

It started off ok....

And then we added S...

And it all went downhill.

Poor Santa. :)

I guess S made the naughty list.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


In the past couple days, my brother was admitted to the hospital (he's ok and home now), W has been a bit more “spirited” than usual, S no longer sleeps through the night, W bit his finger at Starbucks and was so upset that he gagged on the bagel that was in his mouth (sorry fellow Starbucks patrons), and I dropped my iPhone and cracked the screen (only a month away from my contract ending and thus being eligible for a new phone).  I thought my phone was fixed only to have it no longer charge - it is currently dead (traded one problem for another).  That meant I missed my morning meeting (which, if I’m being honest, wasn’t all that disappointing, but I did feel like a slacker).  Work has been crazy.  With the added phone repair, I didn’t arrive home until 6:30 yesterday.  A very long day.

And this is hardly worth mentioning aside from the sheer irony, but my fantasy football team made the playoffs only to have 3 players sustain injuries.  I don’t really care, I just wonder what the odds of a QB, tight end, and running back all going down in the same weekend are.

I know these are all minor issues in the grand scheme of things and I’ll resolve the phone problems even if that means shelling out a couple hundred dollars for a new one (on top of the hundred I already spent), but these haven’t exactly been my favorite days.

The boys visited Santa on Saturday and I’ll share those pictures soon.  It was… entertaining.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Thoughts

Can you believe that Christmas is just 2 weeks away??  I sure can’t.  People always complain about Christmas decorations coming out so early in the stores and I get that we need to focus on one holiday at a time.  BUT the Christmas season is so short so I also understand preparing early and celebrating for a longer stretch of time. 

We’re planning to visit Santa tomorrow.  My prediction: W will be fine, but S is going to scream.  W is also sporting a black eye right now so that will make for great pictures. :\

I had the opportunity to view a Blackhawks hockey game from the company’s skybox this week and it was pretty darn amazing.  I felt so important. J  The not so amazing part – I got about 3 hours of sleep that night.  I’m not complaining (ok, maybe I am).  But it was totally worth it to be able to watch the Stanley Cup champs from awesome seats.  On the downside, I feel like I’ve been trying to catch up on sleep (and failing) ever since.

Speaking of no sleep, S has decided he no longer wants to sleep through the night.  He had a rough period of colds and teething and he’s still teething so I think he just got used to waking up.  Not fun for A and me. :P

I also think S is going through a growth spurt.  He downed about 36 ounces of breast milk, purees, waffle, peanut butter toast, cheese, and turkey yesterday.  Holy moly!!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

W Says...

W Says:

Me: Would you like ice in your cup?
W:  I want ice!  Ice, ice baby!!

W: Why the fireman put out the fire?
Me:  Well, fires are very hot.  They can hurt people and they destroy buildings.
W:  Maybe they put the fire in the refrigerator?

W:  Mommy owl needs to be washed!!
Me: Uh oh!  What happened to mommy owl?
W:  She gots a booger.

W: There are lots of garbage cans still out.
Me: Yes, people need to move their garbage cans back into their garages.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Stitch Fix #5

Stitch Fix #5 was a good one!  I received this fix right before Thanksgiving.  I usually wait and check everything out with my mom and A.  I love getting their input.  But this time, A had conferences and my mom wouldn’t be at my house for a couple more days so I caved and took a peek.  I have no patience whatsoever and couldn’t wait 3 more days with that unopened box sitting around just begging to be viewed. J  My initial reaction was ehh… not that exciting.  But the more I thought about the contents, the more excited I got.

I waited for my mom and A to actually try items on with the exception of this scarf - hence the poor quality phone photo.  I requested a scarf to go with my green jacket from the previous fix.  In my mind, I was picturing a plaid scarf with red and green.  When I saw the blue, it totally caught me off guard because I was so sure I was getting something with red.  But I LOVE LOVE this scarf.  I love that it’s an infinity scarf and super soft.  Scarves always make me itchy, but not this one.  I had to wear it right away.  Octavia Chestnut Checkered Infinity Scarf - KEPT

I requested a blazer because I’ve seen some cute ones in others’ fixes.  Blazers are perfect work attire and also keep me warm – I’m the one who’s always freezing and keeps a heater under her desk.  This Le Lis Grenaa Knit Blazer was awesome.  The material was really soft and the length was perfect for my long torso.  It can be dressed down with jeans or dressed up with black pants.  I love it.  KEPT

I also requested plaid (lots of requests and my stylist totally delivered!!).  I adore the plaid top I got in fix #2, which is funny because I didn’t have anything plaid in my closet prior to that fix.  But I love plaid under sweaters and cardigans – it’s a perfect cold weather print.  I received this Colibri Plaid Printed Tab-Sleeve Shirt from Market and Spruce and thought it was really cute.  I love the colors and style of the top.  KEPT

And finally the Loveappella Berni Lace Detail Knit Top and Liverpool Anita Skinny Pant.  Both of these items were super comfortable.  It seems like Stitch Fix always sends tops and pants that are made from high quality materials.  The pants were flattering and the added lace detail on the top was enough to keep it interesting.  Again, I liked the longer length of the top.  KEPT and KEPT

So initially, I was convinced that I’d be sending a few items back and I ended up loving everything.  :) Kudos to my stylist!

And a big thank you to A for taking pictures - so much easier than trying to use the tripod and way better than my terrible selfies!! :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Weekend Recap

Another full weekend for us, but the highlight was W’s 3rd birthday party.  I can’t believe he’s turning 3.  I realize I’ll be saying that for the rest of my life… I can’t believe he’s XX years old… We went with a “things that go” theme because W’s love at the moment includes all the things that go – cars, trucks, trains, planes…  I didn’t get too carried away with the décor.  I made a table cloth out of paper to resemble a street and scattered orange construction cones through the dining room and kitchen.  For snacks, I dipped pretzel rods in chocolate and used red, yellow, and green m&ms to resemble stop lights.  I also put together fruit skewers with strawberries, pineapple, and grapes (red, yellow, green).  I made a car out of cheese and crackers and we ordered pizzas for the main dish.  W had a special shirt with his name on it to match the theme.  I also ordered a cake in the shape of a bus and cookies that were shapes as trains, trucks, airplanes, and the number 3.  Unfortunately, the cake did not taste good, but other than that, the day was perfect.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention...  I picked out some photos and A was able to make a slide show to W's favorite song.  That was one of my favorite parts of the party.  He even included some video of when W was a newborn, which definitely made me cry.

I haven’t uploaded pictures from the camera yet, but will try to remember to share them when I do. J

In addition to W’s 3rd birthday (party), S also turned 10 months on Saturday!!  His monthly post to come.  Where does the time go??

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend

Both boys have been battling colds for the past few weeks.  It seems like as soon as one is getting over a cold, the other is getting a new one.  S came down with cold number 2 Monday night.  It was strange – he went to bed just fine with no symptoms and then was up all night coughing and congested.  I was up from 1:30am off and on.  I think I slept maybe an hour from  1:30 to 5:30am.  Thankfully I worked from home Tuesday.  Both boys seemed better today, but I told my mom to call if she is concerned about anything.  Anyway, I wanted to talk about Thanksgiving before we get too far into December.

As I mentioned, I had 5 blissful days off.  I already detailed Wednesday.  Tuesday, I attended parent/teacher conferences for W.  My very first parent/teacher conference.  And as stupid as it sounds, I was actually nervous.  What if the teacher had concerns?  Would I hear something that would surprise me?  My worries were eased very quickly.  No concerns from the teacher whatsoever.  I asked if W talked much and his teacher told me W talked when he had something to say.  This is me exactly.  My teachers always commented that I was really quiet in class, but if I had something to say, I would say it.  W’s teacher said that W often repeated rules to the other students!  Yes!!  Love my little rule follower… now if only that were the case at home.  Ha.  But I’m very proud of him and so thankful that school is going well after getting off to such a rough start.

So on Thursday, we all headed to Nani and Papa’s house for Thanksgiving.  My mom and my brother joined.  It was awesome to have both of my families together.  W ate more turkey than I did.  He could not get enough and kept asking for more.  He was also a big fan of the red jello.  I think S was a little confused by the whole thing, but he also enjoyed some turkey.  All in all, it was a really great day with family and I stuffed myself silly.  Seriously, I LOVE Thanksgiving food.  Yum!!

Friday, my mom and I hit the stores.  We do this every year and we always have fun together.  I do the majority of my shopping online, but my mom doesn’t even have a computer so she gets a lot of her shopping done on Black Friday.  The stores weren’t super crowded and we found lots of bargains.  Also, I saw a lot of people criticizing Black Friday shopping on FB.  If you don’t like it, then don’t participate.  But condemning others for shopping is a little ridiculous.  Black Friday is beneficial to the stores and employees who work on commission and some people (my mom and myself) enjoy it.  So people can shut it with their judgmental comments.  ANYWAY.  We had fun and were done shopping by 12:30pm.  Afterwards, we met up with the boys at one of our favorite restaurants for pizza.  We headed home and W took a 3 hour nap!! And S took a 2 hour nap!!  AT THE SAME TIME.  That’s happened NEVER.  It was awesome.

Santa??  Are you out there??

Saturday was spent grocery shopping, putting up Christmas lights, and decorating the Christmas tree.  W was really into the decorating the tree and I loved every minute of watching him place the ornaments.  He keeps asking me to come look at the tree with him – we may leave it up until February (kidding… maybe).  I just LOVE everything about Christmastime.

Sunday was our usual.  A and I got lots done around the house and I began preparing for W’s 3rd (say what!?) birthday party that will be this Saturday.  It was so great to have 5 days together and I'm looking forward to more time off with my family as we approach Christmas.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Kindness Day

Our Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful.  5 straight days with the boys was just the pick me up I needed.  And by pick me up, I mean in the emotional/fulfilling sense, because Lord knows they completely wear me out!!

Before I get to Thanksgiving, I want to talk about the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving.  You see, it’s very important to me that my boys learn the importance of being kind and giving back to their community.  With all the negativity in the world today, I’m a big believer in treating others as we’d like to be treated.  One of my greatest memories from high school is leading the food and gift drive for Student Council.  In addition to collecting canned goods, we collected enough money to provide a few families with Christmas gifts.  I imagined them opening all the wrapped gifts on Christmas and it brought me such joy.  My hope for the boys is that they’ll too be find joy in giving.  That they’ll be generous and compassionate individuals who want to help others.

With that said, I took Wednesday off and declared it Kindness Day and we set out on a mission to spread cheer throughout our community.  We started with our neighbors and brought over a plate of cookies.  We mailed a card to W’s friend in Georgia and we also left cookies and a Target gift card in the mailbox for our mail carrier.  Then, it was off to our favorite Starbucks.  We went through the drive thru and paid for coffee for the person behind us.  Our favorite barista happened to be manning the drive thru and we left him a tip.  Next, it was off to Target.  W helped me pick 4 cars in the parking lot and we taped Target gift cards to their windows with a note wishing them a wonderful day.  Then, we headed out to the fire station to drop off more cookies.  Scratch that.  We headed to 4 different fire stations.  The first 3 stations didn’t answer their doors??  The fourth fire station was the city’s headquarters and there was a receptionist.  At first she was confused that I wasn’t there to see anyone in particular, but I explained that we were just dropping off cookies as a kind gesture and she returned with a hat and goody bag for W. J  After that, we met up with A for lunch.  We ended Kindness Day with A bringing treats to doggy day care and W and I bringing flowers to my mom’s 80+ year old neighbor.  We had so much fun and I can’t wait to do it again!!

I should also mention that W has not been kind to his brother lately.  So I hoped that all of the spreading kindness would rub off on him.  He did have a good weekend, but was back to hitting and pushing this morning.  I suppose he IS nearing three years old and the hitting and pushing comes with the territory, but I’m ready for this phase to be over.  I know what you're thinking... they're little boys and they're siblings... this phase will NEVER be over.  I get that.  But I'm at least hoping that W will come to me when he gets frustrated or needs help instead of hitting as an immediate reaction.

Monday, November 23, 2015

This and That

I have not been very good about blogging lately.  Tis the season for lots of plans and little time.  Throw in some extra busy work days and time for blogging is nonexistent.

W has been in a funk lately.  I’m not sure if he’s not feeling well.  I kept him home from school on Thursday because he complained of a tummy ache and did his spit up thing.  He had a cold, but I thought he was getting over it.  So not sure if this is cold number 2?  Along with his symptoms, he’s not sleeping well.  Thankfully he had been sleeping great up until a couple nights ago.  There was a period of time when I didn’t think that would ever happen.  Hoping my little buddy feels better soon. 

Speaking of W, he has been really mean to S lately and it bothers me.  Previously he would say things… put S down, leave S upstairs.  But W’s starting pushing and hitting.  I’m assuming this behavior is typical, but it’s hard to deal with.  Lots of time outs and even some yelling by me, but the bad behavior continues. L

In other news S is working on tooth number 4.  He has a doctor’s appointment this evening and I’m looking forward to finding out how big he actually is.  Whenever we meet people, they assume he’s at least a year and are shocked to find out he’s nine months.  He’s crawling, climbing, and pulling up on everything.  Little guy will be walking in no time.

We got our first snow storm over the weekend.  Truth be told, I actually liked it.  We typically get a few snow flurries in November and the first snowflakes are always exciting.  Mother nature decided to skip the flakes this year and dumped a big old pile of snow.  16 inches to be exact.  I was excited and tried to get the boys out for sledding and snowman building.  S cried and W asked to go back inside.  Wimps.  Just kidding.  The snow was still falling and hitting them in the face while we were out and they were not having it.  So much for that.

The snow was so heavy that it broke power lines and our power actually went out for a bit – I’m assuming that’s what happened anyway  The thought of being stuck inside with no power and two restless boys made me anxious so we decided to head out and do our grocery shopping.  I was very concerned about all the frozen milk I had stored.  Luckily the power was on by the time we got home.

Sunday was our usual routine and we decided to start decorating the house for Christmas.  No tree yet, but it was fun to get out the rest of the décor.  I’m super excited for Christmas this year – W is really into it and it will be S’s first Christmas.  I can’t wait! J

And some randoms:

Stitch Fix number 5 arrives this week!  Woohoo!

I’ve declared Wednesday Kindness Day and the boys and I are setting out on a little mission to bring holiday cheer to a few people around town.  More on that to come.

I have W’s and S’s nurseries posted on Pinterest.  I realized over the weekend that someone copied W’s nursery almost exactly.  I suppose that’s kind of the point of Pinterest, but it caught me off guard.  Maybe I missed my calling as nursery designer – Ha!

I know of at least 4 babies born in the last week!  Holy baby boom!

There are conferences tomorrow at W's school.  Conferences.  In preschool?!?  I didn't know that was a thing.  Hoping for a good report.

I’m not sure if I’ll have another post before Thursday so Happy Thanksgiving!!  So very much to be thankful for!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Are You Done?

Are you done?

If only I had a dollar for every time I was asked this question.  When people ask, it’s in regards to having more children.  I was even getting this question while pregnant with S.  My own mom has asked no less than three times – I think she’s just afraid we’d ask her to watch another child. ;) 

Most people don’t know our story.  Only our families and close friends know that A has CF and only a handful of that group knows that I went through IVF in order to have both boys.  It’s not a secret and I’m not trying to hide anything.  But it is personal.  In general, A and I are relatively private people (which may come as a surprise considering I keep a blog).  The way in which our boys were created is not exactly something that comes up in everyday conversation so I don’t feel the need to discuss it with most people.  I also think most people are clueless about IVF.  And finally, I’d like to be the one who tells my boys their story.  I’d like them to hear about IVF and our journey from me and not anyone else.

So for the majority of people who ask, “Are you done??”, my answer is simple: Probably.

But it’s actually a lot more complicated than that.  A and I agreed to discuss this very topic and our family plans when S is older.  As in closer to two years old.  I love my boys with all my heart, but they do require quite a lot of energy, time, attention, etc.  A and I did agree that I will not go through another fresh IVF cycle.  All those injections, appointments, surgeries, and procedures have taken a toll and I’m just ready to be done with that chapter.  Not to mention insurance will not cover another round of IVF (so thankful that it covered the majority of the 3 fresh cycles I endured).  We do have 2 frozen embryos.  But the reality is that these are not high grade embryos so the chances for success are very very low.  They may not even survive the thaw.

In my heart, I would love another baby.  For some reason I can’t explain, I just feel like I was meant to have 3 boys.  And let’s face it, if I were lucky enough to have another, he would definitely be a boy.  Truth be told, I’d like to give those two embryos a chance, even if the odds are not in my favor.  We’ve never had frozen embryos from previous cycles so maybe, just maybe, those frozen embryos are here for a reason.

We have a lot to consider.  First and foremost – A’s health.  I'm still scarred from the hospital stay and poor health he experienced last summer.  But we also need to consider our ages, our family dynamic, finances, etc.  My brain can think of so many perfectly logical reasons to remain a family of four – expenses, we all fit in one car, we can travel easier as the boys grow up, we have an extra bedroom that can be used however we see fit, we'd likely have to find child care if we had another, we aren’t outnumbered, a third would mean even less sleep, our house is loud enough already, W doesn’t seem to like the one brother he does have, etc…  But then there’s my heart.  And my heart would love another.

So are we done??  Probably.  But the truth is, I hope not…

Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekend Recap

This weekend was one big celebration.  Saturday was my nephew/godson’s first birthday.  I can’t believe he is already one.  I have no idea how that happened.  And I know I’ll be saying the same about S in a couple months.  Anyway, I love to see W and S interact with their cousins.  I was very close with my cousins growing up and still feel a strong connection with them.  I hope the same holds true for W and S.  It was a wonderful birthday party… until W fell backwards and smacked his head on the coffee table.  Sigh.  I’ve never known a toddler who injures himself as much as W.

Sunday was A’s grandma’s birthday party.  She turns 99 on Wednesday.  99!!  Isn’t that amazing?!?  S is her youngest grandbaby.  It was so fun to see the two of them next to each other.  99 versus 9 months.  There was a great turnout and I’m so happy we made the trip.

And I had planned to write about how we waited over an hour for pizza on Friday (what a disaster!) and how we tried to go out for lunch yesterday after the birthday party (another disaster!) only to have W sit on the floor under the table and refuse to eat… but S’s lack of sleep and our busy schedules are catching up to me so I guess I’ll just have to save those stories for another day.  Or never.  Because they really aren’t very good.  Yawn....

Friday, November 13, 2015

Back from TX and W Says...

Happy Friday!  I'm back from south Texas.  I didn't realize what a long trip that was.  I guess I should pay more attention to travel times... duh.  A total of 4 hours in the plane. There were no direct flights so I had to take a connecting flight from Dallas/Fort Worth.  So lots of time in airports and on airplanes.  Everything really is bigger in Texas - including the state itself and DFW airport.  Holy Moly.  Also all the stereotypes about Texas held true - LOTS of cowboy boots, cowboy hats, "y'all", BBQ, guns, and pick up trucks.  South Texas was different than I expected and a bit of a culture shock.  Completely flat, very rural, farmland.  Farmhouses were run down and there were lots of boarded up, deteriorating shacks.  It was sort of a sad little area.  But the people were all very kind.  Chicago could learn a thing or two about hospitality (I'm talking to you, parking lady!  I put my credit card in the slot to pay for my airport parking and it literally shot out at me and landed at the side of my car.  The parking attendant just stared blankly at me while people honked behind me.  My bad.  I didn't realize I was playing catch with the parking pay booth.)  Anyway.  I'm happy to be home, albeit, exhausted.

Also, pumping while traveling is really difficult.  I'll spare you my stories.  BUT here's the thing... workplaces are required to have a dedicated area for nursing moms.  So why the heck aren't airports?!?  Seriously.  It's ridiculous.  And it wouldn't even be difficult - a small, private area with a bench and an outlet.  That's it.

So how about a little edition of W Says because he's been cracking me up lately. :)

W:  What's this song called?
Me:  Umm, let's see... It's called 'Boston'
W:  Where's 'Ice Ice, Baby'?

W:  What are those birdies doing?
A:  They're looking for worms for breakfast
W:  I'm looking for breakfast!!

W:  Mommy, you need a shower tonight?
Me:  Yes, I'm taking a shower tonight.
W:  Are you stinky?

He often makes up stories about our dog... Dee Dee is in the vent, Dee Dee bit the mailman, etc.

W:  Dee Dee is in the recycling bin!
A:  How did she get in the recycling bin?
W:  I put her in there!
A:  Why did you put her in the recycling bin?
W:  Cuz she was empty.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Weekend Recap

Life has been busy, hectic, crazy.  I feel like I’ve been writing that a lot lately.  I didn’t even have time for a weekend recap yesterday.  It went something like this: Saturday – errands with W(bank, Target, shoe store), lunch at Sweet Tomatoes, haircut for W, and a date with A to end the day.  By Saturday evening, it was becoming apparent that W was coming down with a cold and by Sunday morning he was congested.  We still went to church because W was still acting like himself.  But then at Starbucks, W did his spit up thing.  As you can imagine, that was loads of fun.  I never realized kids did this with colds, but W does it any time there is extra mucous.  Sorry to be gross.  But this is completely new territory for me.  Yuck.  We had planned to go grocery shopping after breakfast, but we never made it.

Yesterday, S came down with the same cold.  As you can imagine, it was a super long day for Nani.  Both boys have been really cranky and not sleeping well.  And the icing on the cake is that I have a business trip this week.  I fly to Texas tomorrow.  And I’m sure the cold will hit me while I’m on the plane and A while he’s attempting to care for two cranky boys because that just seems to be our luck.  We’re in survival mode.

BUT I do want to highlight our date night because that was so fun and very much needed.  A and I don’t get out much, which is to be expected with two littles.  Our moms watch the boys during the week and we don’t really know anyone (or trust anyone) to watch them during the weekends.  Family and friends are busy with their own kiddos.  That means we never go out.  So as an anniversary gift, my mom offered to watch the boys and gave us a certificate to a new local restaurant.  A and I LOVED it.  I ordered wine.  A ordered a fancy cocktail that I can’t seem to remember the name of.  I had the brick oven mole chicken and A had a filet.  So so yummy.  Then we ordered the chocolate fountain for dessert.  It was so great to be able to relax and talk to one another without being interrupted 50393 times.  It was also great to be surrounded by adults and normal conversation (versus yelling).  I can’t even remember the last time the two of us went out for dinner.  And I’m not saying I don’t love the constant toddler chatter and baby babble – this was just a nice change of pace.  I’m happy we got some quality time together.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Thoughts

I think this weekend is the only one until Christmas where we don’t have plans or some commitment.  Uggh.  If you know me, you know I crave “down time”.  So this weekend will be filled with random errands and all the “down time” (i.e. play time) I can muster.

I ordered two different styles of boots for fall and was really excited about them.  Then I received them and didn’t like either pair.  They’re both going back.  Doh.  I’m not really a boots girl – not because I don’t like them, but because I can never find a style that looks good on me.  I guess I should’ve known.

W lately is either as sweet as can be or a hitting tyrant.  I realize this is what toddlerhood is all about, but holy moly.  He keeps hitting S and it’s driving me crazy.  No matter how many times I talk to him about it, tell him to let mommy know if he’s upset, tell him to offer S another toy, send him to time out, the hitting ensues.  Last night, I had to be really tough on him and he was sent to bed with no bedtime story.  I struggle with discipline – figuring out what is appropriate and will provide a lasting impression is difficult. :\  And then five minutes later he’s telling me he’s loves me and that I’m soooo special.  Sigh.

On a related note, I asked A who he thought was the tougher parent.  He said me.  I would’ve said him.  So that’s a good thing I think?  We’re doing our best to raise respectful, well behaved boys, while at the same time recognizing that they’re young and appropriate behavior is a learning process.

Starbucks red cups have debuted!  They always put me in a festive mood. :)

Work sent out an email regarding dress code.  The gist of it was that they want us to be comfortable so we can now wear jeans every day (as long as we’re not meeting with clients).  YES!!!  I’m so excited!!!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Baby S is 9 Months Old!

Sweet S,
You are 9 months old today! ¾ of a year. You’re always a joy, but you were especially fun this month. Daddy and I even said multiple times that we wish you could stay 8 months forever. smile emoticon
You had a huge month in terms of development. You perfected your crawling skills and you now crawl throughout the house. You love to crawl to the stairs and try to climb up – yikes. You’re pulling up to stand. You also got your first two teeth. Finally! The bottom two came in at the same time and we noticed a top tooth poking through today. You babble quite a bit and make all kinds of silly noises. It sounds like you’re trying to say words – hello, dada, mama – but I’m fairly certain that these are coincidental. People keep telling me you’ll be an early walker and I’m hoping they’re wrong. I’m determined to keep you a baby for as long as possible.
You love to try new foods and love to eat. I’m so appreciative of this! Meal times with you are easy, my dear. This month, you tried gnocchi, eggs, peanut butter toast, spaghetti, sweet potatoes, grilled cheese, green beans, and stuffing. I can’t recall a single thing you haven’t liked. You seem to prefer actual food to puree, which is the exact opposite of your brother and completely new territory for me.
Speaking of that spirited brother of yours, you still adore him. He is by far your favorite person. I wish I could say the same for him. He’s still struggling with sharing mommy (and sharing his toys :\). But he is especially sweet to you in the morning. Just a couple days ago, you were having your morning bottle and W was sitting next to you. He excitedly yelled, “Mommy, S is holding my hand!!” I live for those moments.
You celebrated your first Halloween as the cutest little Dalmatian pup and we had so much fun participating in all the activities that fall had to offer – corn mazes, pumpkin farms, lots of walks outside, and pumpkin carving.
You’re the happiest little guy I’ve ever known and our church friends always enjoy your smiles and happy squeals. I think they look forward to seeing you every week. So do our Starbucks friends. They’ve been known to save us a table on Sundays.
You’re wearing size 12-18 month clothes and shoes. You’re in size 3 diapers, but can probably go up to the next size. You’re sleeping a total of 10 hours each night, but still wake up during the night at least twice a week – maybe teething related?
On to the next month! I have no doubt that you’ll enjoy your first Thanksgiving, my sweet boy. I’m especially thankful for YOU. You are our everything and more, Sam.
P.S. You share your 9 month birthday with Grandpa Tom in Heaven. He would have been 64 today. I know he’s watching over you and smiling down on you today and always.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

CF Clinic with a Special Visitor

A had CF clinic yesterday and we decided to bring W along.  It’s a long trip to the Chicago hospital – over an hour.  But W was a trooper. J

A’s lung function was a bit down.  Down enough for me to be concerned – less than a 10% difference, but still lower than any of his recent readings.  On the bright side, I seemed more concerned about the lower numbers than A’s doctor.  Doctor B prescribed an antibiotic and A is to check in and let the doctor know how he’s feeling once he’s finished with the antibiotic.  A assured me he feels good, which is most important. But considering A just finished a round of Cayston, we were hoping his numbers would be higher.  One thing that worried me was Doctor B mentioned IV treatment if A’s lung function doesn’t improve at his next appointment.  I have flashbacks to last summer and the hospital stay.  It was such a difficult time for everyone.  I’m praying we don’t have to go through that again.  Not to mention that A’s next appointment is 3 days prior to S’s first birthday.  I’d be heartbroken (as would A) if he wasn’t home for S’s birthday.  With each clinic visit, I fear the lung function results will signal the beginning of a decline.  But I’m taking it as a positive that A doesn’t have to report back for another three months.

I also had a chance to talk to Doctor B about Orkambi and CF drugs on the horizon.  I really really like doctor B.  I never feel like my questions are stupid and he always includes me in discussions regarding A’s health.  He didn’t seem to be very impressed with Orkambi and mentioned that it was getting more difficult to convince insurance to cover it.  It is not approved for A's CF mutation, but I was curious if it might be some day.  He did say that the CF Foundation is working hard to advance it’s pipeline and find drugs that will benefit all 1500 CF mutations and not just a select few.  There is an initiative to have medications identified by 2020.  That doesn’t sound super optimistic, but I left feeling hopeful and thankful that we saw Doctor B this visit.

As for W, he was a big hit.  I’m not sure what it is about this hospital, but each time we go, he has several admirers.  Every time we were in an elevator, at the doctor’s office, in the lab, pharmacy, hallway, etc., someone would complement his hair, eyes, behavior, and even his shoes.  He was extremely popular.  At one point, A was sitting on the exam table and W ran over to him and said something like, “Daddy, I checking on you.  Are you ok, daddy?”.  It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.  We also had a nurse? social worker?... I can’t remember now… introduce herself as Katie.  She was gowned up as each person does when they enter the exam room.  W saw her and replied, “Katie is all wrapped up!!”.  So cute.  He definitely makes a mundane appointment a lot more fun.

After the appointment, we took W to a kid’s café.  It was adorable - complete with a miniature town and ride on cars.  He loved it.