Monday, December 9, 2013

my bad luck weekend with a happy ending

I had a mental picture of what this past weekend would look like. 

On my list:
-  Get some errands done with Steve
-  Decorate the mantel and Christmas tree
-  Take the kids to see Santa

Seems simple enough right?  That's what I thought.  But I swear we must have had the worst luck this weekend.  And instead of the nice little picture I had painted for myself, our weekend went something like this...

Saturday- while we were out running errands, I locked the keys in the car 30 minutes away from home.  UGH.  I haven't done that since college!!  So instead of getting home to hang out with the kids and having dinner together, Steve's dad had to drive our spare keys to us while poor grandma was at home trying to feed two crazy babies by herself. 

Decorating.... Steve and I brought all the bins down from the attic so we could start putting the tree up while the kids were sleeping.  We got the tree done and I started working on the mantel.  I have a few decorations that were my moms that always make me think of her and remind me of my childhood.  They are my favorite.  One of them is a vintage Noel candle holder that looked like this-

and now it's a pile of broken glass. I accidentally knocked it off the mantel while I was decorating and watched, in what seemed like slow motion, as all of the letters shattered on the ground.  Steve heard the crash and came running, I was already in tears. I can't believe I won't have it to put up every year, so sad.

When the kids woke up they were excited to see the tree!  Emily kept saying, "mommy made a Christmas Tree!". But, there will be no ornaments this year because Gavin immediately grabbed one and nearly choked on a piece he ripped off of it.   

my heart.

Sunday-  I was at the grocery store while Steve was home with the kids.  I get a text that said- "G just split his lip a little".  What?!  So I rushed to finish shopping and came home to find G-buddy with his first facial injury, grinning at me like nothing happened with a big ol' fat lip.  Poor Gavin (and daddy)!

Last but not least, we took the kids to see Santa.  I have been reading lots of books with E and talking about how great Santa is because I didn't want a repeat of last year...with the screaming and the crying.  But with the way our weekend was going, I didn't have very high hopes.  I think I was holding my breath the entire time I was getting the kids dressed, driving to the mall, waiting in line and while they were sitting on Santa's lap because as soon as it was all over, I let out a huge sigh of relief.  We made it through seeing Santa without much crying.  Hallelujah!

Gavin and Grandpa

our big girl sat on Santa's lap without crying!
but she had to hold her spoon...

To celebrate we played on the mechanical cars at the mall and then we all went out to eat.

arm around him and everything!

he just wanted to bounce

E: "G-buddy's bouncin"
G:  "ba, ba, ba, BAA"

A great ending for a not so great start to the weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

4 years ago, I married the best man


I was just going through our wedding pictures and re-living our big day.  Everything was perfect and I will never forget it.  I remember so clearly, walking up behind you so that we could have some time before the ceremony.  You turned around and the look on your face let me know I was so loved.  And then you said, "Can I touch you??"- you always know how to make me laugh.

I can honestly say I love you more now than I did then.  I love you in a different, better way.  I love you as my partner and as the father of our kids.

We have been married 1,461 days.  We have been through countless ups and downs and we are still standing strong, together.  You are supportive of me during my best and worst days and I can't thank you enough for that. 

You are the kindest, bravest, strongest man I know.  I am blessed to be your wife and our kids are beyond lucky to have you for their dad. 

Thank you.  Thank you for choosing me.  I love you more than words can express.

"The best thing in life is finding someone who knows all of your flaws, mistakes, and weaknesses and still thinks you're completely amazing."  ~unknown

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Where did I leave off, let's see..... my babies are going to be 10 months and 25 months this week.


*  Lack of sleep- the same.  I thought (prayed) that his getting tubes would miraculously turn him into a better sleeper.  Keep dreaming mama.  This week he is waking at 10:30pm, 2:00am and up for the day at 5:00am.  We have let him cry, he's stubborn and just keeps on crying.  So we are just working on routine and consistency and hoping he figures this sleep thing out before he turns one.  (please, please, please)

* Tubes-  Like I mentioned up there, Gavin got tubes for his recurring ear infections on November 7th.  He did great, except he was a monster coming out of anesthesia, just like his big sister.  But as soon as we got him out of the recovery area he was all smiles.  There has been some drainage and he seems much happier (if that's even possible).  The only problem is, we cannot find an earplug that we can keep in his ears during bath time.  They all fall out or he knocks them out, annoying. 

I have to share this story- we were sitting in the play area at the hospital waiting for the nurses to take Gavin back and there was a little girl playing in the same area.  She had about 5 family members with her and had big scars across her tiny little head.  She crawled up to Gavin and they played together until the little girl's name was called.  Gavin gave her a kiss before she left, it was the sweetest thing I've ever seen.  We saw the same family in the waiting area and overheard that they were there for a 6-7 hour surgery that included reconstructive surgery on her face.  My heart was so heavy for that family.  I am so thankful for Children's Hospital and all that they have done for my kids and so many other kids.  I felt silly for being as nervous as I was while these poor people were going through something so much worse.

* Eating- not much has changed eating-wise.  He is not into trying "real" food like Emily was.  He eats his pouches, cereal, cheerios, puffs and bottles but when we try to give him finger food he's just not interested.

*  Movement- he is all over the place, crawling, starting to cruise on the furniture and he wants to climb over EVERYTHING.  You put an obstacle in his way and he will crawl over it, he has no fear.  He has started standing for very short periods on his own.

*  Other stuff-  he gives the best open-mouthed kisses when asked, he waves bye-bye, claps and will give high fives.  His sister can make him laugh like no one else and he is the biggest daddy's boy ever in the world.  He could really care less if mom is around.


*  She has been changing so much in this past month.  Talking more, making more sense when she talks, and just so amazing to watch.  My favorite things she has been saying are, "where you at mommy?", "what you doin mommy?"  "where's Gavin/daddy/grandma/grandpa?"  "I love you mommy".  She also says "MINE"  all.the.time.  If Gavin comes near her toys when she is playing she grabs them up and says "mine!"  We have been working with her a lot on sharing and she will hand him toys when reminded that we have to share.  Slowly but surely, she's getting used to having Gavin around.

*  She is kind of over Mickey Mouse which was a little shocking to me.  Her new obsession favorite is Bubble Guppies or as she says, 'Bubba Duppies'. 

*  She has recently been more and more into her babies and the past two nights she has cried and cried until I let her have two babies and their little sippy cup in her crib with her. She feeds them, covers them with blankets, shushes them, burps them, etc.  She also has been playing dress up. Toddlers crack me up.

*  She has started counting a lot.  She gets to 13 and then after that she just says 'fifeen' over and over.  She's not as much into letters as she is numbers but every once in awhile she will start singing her ABC's

*  Girlfriend is very opinionated about a lot of things, shoes in particular.  She will only wear her Chuck Taylor's, no other shoes will do.  I've tried a million pairs of shoes and she has a serious, serious meltdown.  I guess I will just be buying Chucks in every size until she grows out of this phase. 

* Eating- she's an awesome eater but has a new habit of spitting things out she doesn't like and saying "yucky".

* Being outside is still her favorite thing ever and it probably always will be

And that's what we've been up to lately!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

sleep is not happening

Gavin is not a good sleeper.  And we haven't been very good about "sleep training".  I've started writing this post at least 3 times and never finished or posted anything because his sleep habits change so frequently.

I know a little bit about what we need to do to get him to sleep because we did it with Emily and it worked, she's an awesome sleeper.  But with Gavin, it's different- totally different.  It's like he doesn't need sleep!

-- He goes to bed at 7:00 every night- we feed him to sleep- a big no, no in the sleep training world- I know this has to change.
-- He wakes up around 12:00 and has a bottle, goes back to sleep.
-- Then he wakes up at anywhere from 3:45- 5:30 and is up for the day.  Seriously- awake and WILL NOT go back down.  And if you try to keep him in the dark or keep him quiet all hell breaks loose.  Boy wants his toys and he doesn't care if it's 4am.

He only takes 2, 1 hour naps at daycare (sometimes less).

He won't take a paci and the only thing that will calm him down enough to go to sleep is a bottle.

We haven't been able to really let him "cry it out" because he is loud and Emily wakes up.

Any ideas?

Someone send help (and chocolate).

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy...or not so happy...Halloween

I'm sure there will be 9 million Halloween posts floating around today and I'm going to be one of them!

We picked Emily and Gavin up from school yesterday and Emily wasn't as happy as she normally is after school.  I'm not sure if she was tired or what, but I barely got her costume on her after a 30 minute tantrum.

clearly, I torture her

G buddy was all smiles and happiness to be in his costume, of course.

Our town doesn't have trick-or-treating (what??) so my mother-in-law called a couple of our neighbors to ask if they would let Emily and Gavin come over to trick-or-treat.  It wasn't cold out but it was raining, so out came the umbrellas and off we went. 

We went to three houses plus Grandma and Grandpa's house and Emily insisted on having her paci and cried most of the time.  She just kept chanting "grandma's house, grandma's house". 

sharing with her brother
Emily was a 50's girl and her favorite part of the costume were those glasses!  Gavin was Charlie Brown and might I add, the cutest Charlie Brown ever!

Grandma & Grandpa have the best treats!

All in all it was a good night, just a little tiring for mom & dad!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gavin- 9 months

Gavin turned 9 months old on October 23.  NINE.MONTHS.OLD.

This month G was a little more fussy.  He had a lot of ear infections, a cold that wouldn't quit, and lots of doctor appointments.  He was still happier than a lot of babies would be (or at least happier than Emily would be).


Size-  We took Gavin for his 9 month well-check visit and he is a BIG boy.  I'm so proud of how big & healthy he is because I think back to when he was at Children's and they didn't want to let him come home because he wasn't gaining weight.  He is 23 pounds, 9 ounces and 30.25 inches long.
He wears some 12 month clothes but they are getting too short so we have started using some 18 month clothes.  He wears a size 4 diaper.

he's such a boy- always getting dirty!

Teeth- G has 4 teeth on top and 4 on the bottom. He is drooling like crazy and always has something in his mouth so I'm sure more are on the way soon.

Sleep-  This is the only department we have trouble with.... G buddy does not think sleep is important.  A couple of weeks ago he was going to bed at 7pm, waking at 11:00pm and 2:00am and then up for the day at 5:30am.  This week he has been skipping the 11:00pm wake up and the rest is the same.  We have tried to let him "cry it out" but he gets so worked up that he spits up.  He just isn't ready so we are slowly trying to work with him on sleeping. 

Interesting note, when we took him to the ENT at Children's yesterday the Dr. said he thinks Gavin may have reflux.  It makes sense, since he doesn't like laying down, wakes frequently and cannot be calmed down with anything but a bottle.  It's a lot like Emily was but he's just not as loud/crazy as Emily was so we haven't been thinking much of it.  Last night we gave him reflux medicine and propped his mattress up like we used to do for Emily and hopefully when the meds start kicking in we will have a better sleeper (please?).

I don't need sleep!

Eating-  Obviously, Gavin has no trouble eating.  He takes about 5, 5oz bottles during the day and 1, 4oz bottle during the night.  He eats pouches, oatmeal, cheerios, and puffs.  We have tried a few "real" foods but he tends to spit them out.  I did have some luck with avocado the other night (Emily's first food and still one of her favorites). 

Learning-  Gavin is all about the gross motor skills.  He is crawling, climbing over toys and us, pulling up to standing on everything, bear crawling, throwing balls (and anything he can get his hands on).  He says "ba" but no mama or dada yet.  He claps and does "so big". 

monkey see, monkey do

What he loves-  His sister is his favorite, hands down.  He follows her wherever she goes and he gets fussy when she isn't around.  He doesn't like books as much as Emily did, but he will look at them if she is.  He likes playing with the toy kitchen and chasing the cats around.  He lets out the loudest yell when he sees one of the cats and they take off running! He also loves bath time and being outside.

What he doesn't love- Diaper changes & sleeping.

Tubes-  Gavin went to Children's yesterday to see if he needs tubes in his ears.  The Doctor said he has had too many ear infections and that tubes would be his best option.  So we have an appointment on November 7th.  I know it's not a huge surgery, but any prayers would be appreciated. 

Both of my babies at 9 months old.  I don't think they look a lot alike but they have some definite similarities.

Happy 9 month birthday G-buddy!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

we had a busy weekend!

On Friday, my best friend from college came to visit from Portland with her little girl.  We haven't seen each other since my baby shower before Emily was born!  Long overdue (!!!) but we picked up like we had just seen each other a week ago.  I was thrilled that we finally got to meet each other's kids and spend some time catching up and chatting about motherhood.

I miss you girls so much already!!

Saturday we had Emily's birthday party with our family and friends.  It was a perfect day and Emily had a wonderful time!  My dad, his wife, and my aunt were all able to make it from Illinois and we were so happy they made the trip to celebrate with us!  Steve's parents and a few of our friends in town were there too, such a great day!

Minnie Mouse theme- surprise, surprise!

ready to party!

Emily's grandparents
Aunt Jody reading to Emily & Gavin

she was so excited about the singing and the cupcakes, her smile says it all- pure joy!

On Sunday, we carved pumpkins, roasted pumpkin seeds, and went on a "hay rack ride" around our yard.  Later in the day, my Uncle Cliff and Aunt Sharon came to visit.  They are from Chicago and were driving through PA and stopped to see us- yay!!  We hadn't seen each other since Emily was 4 days old!

Emily is an old pro at pumpkins but this was G's first time!

finished product

our "hay rack" ride

meeting Aunt Sharon & Uncle Cliff

It's weekends like this that leave me feeling blessed beyond belief. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Emily Bonnie: 2 Years

Long post ahead, I have so many things I don't want to forget! 


Dear Emily,

You are two years old today! I can't believe how fast this year went and how much you have changed since your first birthday. 

I'm two!

You became a big sister this year and even though it has taken you awhile to get used to having Gavin around, you show your love for him in some pretty sweet ways.  You love making him laugh, you bring him toys, pat his head, give him kisses (only when asked) and you love helping mommy and daddy get him out of bed.  I know very soon you two will be the best of friends and you'll cause all kinds of trouble for me and daddy.

I can't get over how short her hair is compared to now!

You started going to school a few days a week and you have done great with it.  You have become quite the talker, although you are shy about it sometimes.  You are so smart and all of your teachers at school talk about how impressed they are with how much you know already.  You can name and point out all of the colors and shapes, you know a ton of animals, you can say your ABC's (in your own way), count to ten and sometimes higher and you can repeat just about any word we ask you to. 

You are shy around new people.  If you don't know someone really well you hide behind my legs or pretend they aren't there. It takes you a little bit to warm up to new people and situations and that's ok.  You are an observer and I think that is a great quality to have.  Thankfully you warmed up to your teachers at school very quickly and you love going to see them during the week. 

One of your favorite things is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and I think that show has taught you a lot!  When you watch it now you answer the questions, it's the cutest thing.  You also love Baby Einstein on the Farm and you dance to all the songs.  You love music and dancing so much!

Being outside is another of your favorite things.  You like to swing, slide and kick your big pink ball around the yard.  You can climb the ladders of your swing set by yourself now! You love going on walks, riding your trike and running around outside with Grandpa and Grandma. 

Every morning when daddy or I come to get you out of your crib we say, "Good morning sweetie, I'm so happy to see you!" and you have started saying "so happy to see you" back to us.  It is the best thing to hear.

Before bed is my favorite time with you.  You ask for your milk and say "read the books!" then we head to your room, sit in your rocker and read all of your favorite books (Goodnight Moon, Fancy Nancy, Goodnight I Love you, Llama Llama Nighty Night). Just recently you have started to "read" the books along with me.  When we are done reading you say "rock-a-bye baby" and we turn out the lights and rock and sing and you play with my hair.  I love these moments so much sweetie.

You are a great eater most days.  You won't eat any noodles though which blows my mind!  I thought all kids liked mac and cheese.  You love just about any kind of fruit, chicken dipped in ranch, veggies, crackers, yogurt, popcorn and pouches.  Daddy and I call you our healthy eater.  You are still drinking your morning and night time milk out of bottles and you will not budge.  We have tried every sippy cup known to man but you just throw them down and refuse to drink.  You do drink your milk after school out of a sippy cup so there is still hope!  You also still take a pacifier to sleep.  I'm not sure when daddy and I will try to take that away from you- I'm in no rush because you are such a good sleeper.  You will probably need braces one day because of it but both mom and dad had braces so you would probably need them anyway!

Another thing I don't want to forget is how much you love repetition.  You will do the same things over and over and it keeps you busy for a long time.  You bring me every single thing out of your play kitchen, tell me what it is and then you put them back one by one.  When I'm in the kitchen cooking you hang out with me and you either take out each piece of Tupperware and then put it back or you go from one cabinet to another putting one of your toys in, taking it out, going to another cabinet, putting it in and taking it out again- chattering the whole time (I usually have no idea what you're saying).  You concentrate so hard when you're doing these things and it's funny to watch.  I always wonder what's going through your little head!

This summer we took our first family vacation to Lake Erie and you are definitely a beach baby! You loved the boats and the water and we can't wait to take you back every summer.

And of course, I have to mention your "Honey Badger" attitude.  You have a stubborn streak little girl, just like your mommy.  There are days I wonder how my parents got through some of my temper tantrums when I'm trying to get through them with you.  But I wouldn't change one thing about you,   because there are just as many smiles and laughs as there are tears and fits.

Oh Emily it has been a wonderful year, there are so many more things I could list.  You are my best girl and I love you so much!  I can't wait to see what your next year will bring and all the new things you will learn and do.

I love you more than words sweet girl,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Emily is going to be two...

I mean, how is it possible that two years have gone by already?  I don't feel two years older.

It's bittersweet.  Half of me wishes I could freeze her where she is for a bit, I wish these first years could last longer, I wish I could slow it all down.  The other half of me is amazed every day that she's a little taller, knows a new word, and does something new that she didn't do yesterday. 

This week, I've found myself hugging her tighter, kissing her beautiful face even more, and rocking her a little longer at night.  She's our baby girl, she's the one who made us parents, and on Friday we will celebrate her 2nd birthday. 

just hours old

1 year

2 years

She's beautiful, funny, and smart and we are so lucky she's ours.
We love you more than words Emily Bonnie!