he’s ((been)) here!!

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it’s certainly past due, but it is with pure joy and love that i present to you baby finn!

born late march and one day before his due date, he’s a gem whose presence we’ve truly treasured from the start.

i, along with others, predicted an early arrival for the li’l man. why? well, i was huuuuuge. how huge? my own mother was struck with disbelief upon seeing my belly @ week 39.

the surprising size of my pregnant belly received frequent comments and gasps from the time I was noticeably pregnant. strangers would kindly admire my expanding womb and go on to inquire about my due date. upon hearing late march, jaws dropped. a common retort from the peanut gallery, “are you sure it’s not twins???”

i felt rotund, but could only really grasp the magnitude of my size when snapped in a picture.

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my “finn pregnancy” differed tremendously from my “lucy pregnancy”. obviously noteworthy: the size of my belly. it was a marvel on this five-feet-two-inches frame of mine. each time i lathered it in moisturizer, i was mesmerized by how my body adapted – a true biological spectacle that was fascinating to witness day by day. because of my girth, general movements were only possible if i paired them with a dramatic grunt, a la Steffi Graff (at Wimbledon circa the early 90s).

another difference: we could NOT agree on a name for the li’l guy. naming lu was super easy and the name has fit her well since before we welcomed her.

to begin, i’ve only been attached to one male name. in between lu and finn, i was pregnant. my instincts informed me that i was carrying a boy and i began to feel attached to the idea that we’d welcome a boy we’d name jude. when i miscarried, i wasn’t able to get over my love for that name. i don’t think that was the case for ry. i can’t say with certainty what caused him to detach from that name – and it was one we mutually adored; however, we were tasked with jointly finding a new name that we could connect upon.

ry would actively create and propose lists of names for our li’l fella. and i, although i said i’d do the same, would instead critique the names he shared. there is something worth acknowledging when it comes to his perseverance because i was not an easy audience to please. i could not help it – every name made me think of something or someone that would lead me to not care for it. all of my rationale for why a name was being rejected made sense to me, yet to ryan, i was over-the-top. alas, we continued to come back to the idea of finn and eventually it became his name.

so, here we are with our finn, who makes us complete as a new party of four.

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fall festivities

who doesn’t love fall? minus raking and piling and disposing of leaves that come from your neighbor’s trees [and not your own], everything is wondrous during this season.

here’s a glimpse into what we’ve done to celebrate a-u-t-u-m-n:

a trip to stokoe farms 

riding on the train

it was sunny + someone was feeling a lil’ divalicious

spying on bunnies

yakety yak yak yak

punkin

hayride with PaPa & gamma

trick-or-treating @ wegmans with our lil’ gnome:

treats!

looks just like her father

dance party of one

@ the conclusion of our excursion, we reached Oz!

no better way to end than to say: fall is fun!

the hunger games

as previously noted, food has been the root of good & evil in my recent months.

through about week 17, it was pure evil, yet there were occasional bright spots when food cameo-ed as a friend. around week 6, i managed to devour an entire ultimate feast from red lobster. i found myself really enjoying a trip to james brown’s for the sake of sausage gravy & biscuits. i strangely thought a run for the border was what my appetite summoned; however, i was so wrong.

one undeniable feature of my pregnancy diet: MEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. oh, yeah. nearly every day. in some form – normally via my school’s lunch [not always a bad thing]. it’s not something i crave; it’s mostly something that i have welcomed without objection.

my meat consumption led me to think i was carrying a caveman-the hairy, leopard-print wearing, snorting, & grunting variety.

most recently i was asked about cravings. aside from steak fries with ranch, grapefruit juice, & the olive garden, i’ve experienced cravings to a much smaller extent than compared with round #1. i’d say i have more experience with fixations: i’ll get stuck on something that i must have. i’ll have it & the fixation fades, with the food likely ending up on the “i don’t really want to eat that again” list [minus sour cream potatoes–oh my gosh, i really can’t wait for the thanksgiving holiday].

it seems that it’s easier to identify everything i don’t want to eat vs. what i do. i don’t want fish. i don’t want japanese. i don’t want nachos [i do, but it never seems right when they become mine]. i don’t want melon. the list probably extends for days, so i’ll stop.

eating is becoming easier and less of a torturous procedure. for that, i’ll celebrate jubilantly.

sippin’ on some non-alcoholic sizzyrup during the 2010 babymoon

bummed about a bum bum

diaper rash has taken residency of the toosh of our best girl.

when the two-week mark had passed and it seemed we didn’t have the solution in our medicine cabinet, a trip to the doctor was arranged. our doctor suggested the rash was correlated with a possible food allergy, so the BRAT [banana, rice, apple, toast] diet went into effect alongside applications of cortisone. her patience has been beyond tested–lucy loves food. initially, we hid our food from her because of the moments when she caught us eating “normal” fare, she beggggggggggggggggged for a helping and maybe even cried a bit. mer. so sad.

she adopted the diet & especially favored the inclusion of white grape juice. the diet & cortisone regiment has been diligently followed; however, the rash has crept into new crevices and seems to like its new home on lu’s bummy. another call to the doctor & we’re now advised to incorporate an anti-fungal cream in lieu of cortisone. lots of “no diaper time” has also been recommended. funnily, the last time we tried this, lucy dropped a freshie in her crib & proceeded to clean herself and the mess using a new package of  wipes. and strangely, the lil’ nugget she released was never found. the sans-diaper procedure is being tried again this evening [which could lead to a “ruh roh, part II” post in the near future].

as a result of this sensitive time, i’ve taken a new interest and connected with my inner Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, to learn how to make my own wipe solution. we thought about using cloth wipes when we committed to cloth diapers before i delivered our babe. the idea never made its way into fruition. now i keep thinking about how i can keep this interest and practice growing for lu’s sake, as well as for the incoming teeter-tot. if ever the thought strikes you and you want to engage in the same research, i have found b-ecochic.com to be quite useful.

until next time [and more positive news], here are happier moments from summertime:


 

 

“nastics!”

in august, lu immediately recognized how much fun came from bouncing. be it a bounce house, a mini trampoline with some assistance, or a couch – an addiction to bouncing was slowly developing.

then, the dare-devil tactics rose to the next level: she independently began front rolls.

huh? where did she acquire this skill at 1.8 years?

a decision was made to seek out a toddler gymnastics class. with some research and a few calls, we soon learned we had received a spot in a parent-child class. ry and i were pumped and a trip to target was made to locate the right “gymnastics” attire.

so came the first class and along with it: tears. the gym is situated within a monstrous warehouse and [without exaggeration] has hundreds of activities. however, 1/3 of the activities for that session included the use of carpet squares. hmmm. foam pit vs. carpet squares. trampoline tracks vs. carpet squares. i think we can agree on what is more enticing to us; that doubly applies to an almost two year old. when lu & i were instructed to engage in the organized activities, she wasn’t able to understand. tears flowed.

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here, i’m coaching her to embrace the squares. GIANT fail.

the most traumatic experience came when i was forcing her to do the activities. here is lulu practicing log rolls:

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[thank you to the photographer for permanently sealing these memories for a lifetime]

the tears – although certainly shed – ceased upon the release to free time. when free time began and daddy hit the floor, lu found love with flying.

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lucy totally found love in [what she deemed to be] a hopeless place.

since the first session, lu has learned to accept the structured time and to give tremendous credit to the gym, they always manage to incorporate something new into this time or implement a range of varied activities. lucy reallllllllly loves it there. it seems she knows when the week is concluding because we start fielding questions about “nastics.” and when saturday arrives, lucy is super stoked.

“nastics” was/is certainly worth the time and fee. now that more smiles accompany her into each session, i’ll be sure to capture these as she enters her last class. and then we start with session #2!

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ruh roh

as most lil’ ones approaching their second birthday, lulu is developing a dense vocabulary. it’s pretty spectacular to hear her craft strings of words to articulate what she sees/hears/feels/thinks.

ry carefully selects words to help lu’s understanding of syntax and word-choice by using “emulsify” and “locate”. good dad.

my newest contribution to her language acquisition: “dammit.”

what might be scariest is her ability to determine when to appropriately insert the word.

spilled cheerios? “dammit.”

computer froze while playing your favorite song? “dammit.”

dropped a piece of pizza and now the dogs are chomping at the bits to get to it? “dammit.”

mmmhmm. my child uses the word “dammit” and quite accurately. now, before your panties become bunched, let me elaborate on what is true of this current situation:

  • we are not a foul-mouthed family. ry rarely mutters “words of choice” & i believed the same to be true of myself…until lu acquired this unfortunate vocab word while her father was away @ a conference [whoops].
  • seems to be that this word finds its way into my language in two circumstances. the first would be when i’m cleaning stella’s muddy paws. she always escapes me with one paw remaining. so – naturally, unconsciously – i say, “dammit. come here.” lu initially attached “come here” onto her “dammit”, but that is now done infrequently. i also use the d-word word when i misplace items. such was the case on saturday when i couldn’t find my keys after loading lu into the car. i said it. she said it back to me. and so it began. [whoops #2].
  • lu’s use of the word is not condoned. i shamelessly chuckle [and shield my face while doing so] when i hear it leave her mouth because she says it with meaning – not to provoke laughter from an audience, but…well…something frustrating occurred. we are currently attempting to curtail “dammit” by helping her to know it is not a good word and shouldn’t be said. she’s also learning to replace it with “darn it.”

while the dreaded d-word still circulates in lu’s vocabulary, i’m trying to be more mindful of how i verbally express myself [especially in my interactions with stella]. and for you, i’d recommend the same. these little sponges take everything in.

before the post ends and i gaze out my dining room windows to see that autumn has found its way to upstate, i’ll share some photos of lulu cozying up in her new poncho. talk soon!

Back to blogging!

hi, everyone!

yes, the title of the post is true! you are reading a new blog post…and it’s one that promises more blogging action! 

not that there hasn’t been a reason to blog – it’s just that there is more of a reason to do it because, friends, the womb is occupied! welcome to cheeks of rose and tiny toes: round 2!

as our party of three grows to a party of four, there will undoubtedly be a bevy of story-sharing coming from this end.

how about i begin this new series with this treasure: teeter tot #2 is a saboteur.

with the approach of week five came nausea. intense. debilitating. painful. wrecking. lucy’s initial fetal development brought trouble and pain to me, as well. however, with the onset of this bout came the most overwhelming sense of desperation & helplessness.

i spent days in bed or on the couch [and luckily, i was afforded such an opportunity because of summer vacation]. i did everything to avoid the kitchen. i don’t think i stepped foot inside in from mid-july to mid-august.

when you can’t move for fear of vomiting, you become entrenched in your personal pity party. tears were shed, in person & in front of ry: “but, i can’t do anything…i just want this to pass…this is the worst…it never gets better…you might have a rough go at work, but you get to come home and experience relief; i get NO RELIEF…wahhhhhh.”

with my return to work, i did nothing to disguise how rotten i felt. i was shameless with my display because the only feeling that mattered was the one that rarely came, yet with it came the most zen: stillness. like nothing was troubling my body and my mind was fresh of worry. so, i propped myself against any standing wall when conversing with others, put my head down upon my desk, and took mini naps on the cot in the nurse’s office [kinda gross, right?]. again, none of this mattered. if i had to proceed through the day, i had to make it work any way i saw fit. 

with pregnancy – part I, relief did arrive and it greeted me right around week 16 [as my neighbor had projected it would]. week 16, part deux, starts tomorrow and i can’t say that this nausea bit has chosen to end itself and its insanity. surely, life is tolerable again & i can function; this came about 4 weeks ago. the occasional brushing of teeth can bring me down, but i’m better able to prevent such an occurrence with a little trick called “timing”. and another trick is eating all the time. no exaggeration – i eat nearly once an hour. if i don’t eat frequently, i jeopardize my stability. 

one component of this pregnancy is being able to only stomach certain foods while needing to extremely distance myself from others. some of the fare i love [MACARONI & CHEESE–double gag, mexican, japanese, salads], i don’t enjoy eating or smelling or seeing. if i do have some variation, i must carefully select the ingredients to avoid an encounter with the porcelain piece situated within the bathroom. 

oh, teeter-tot-in-the-making, do talk to mommy’s hormones & help them to understand the need for me to move on. we have lots to do to prepare for your arrival [we cannot wait!]. be a good tot, ok?

reevaluation

the transition to mommyhood has been one that constantly requires me to evaluate my life.

in attempts to be my best version of a mom, wife, friend, employee, & person, it seems that some of my efforts are concentrated in one area which leaves something to be overlooked.

these past two weeks have required me to focus a lot on my career and the responsibilities within it. the work day would leave me feeling exhausted & mentally drained; however, there was still the expectation that i’d transition into the joys and duties of tending to lucy & her development in a 10-minute window of time once the school day ended. during this time, i didn’t give much time to connecting with people in my life or working out or being active outside my standard roles of “mom”, “employee”, or “maid”. Goo.

last weekend left me feeling GREAT–i felt a sense of purpose & accomplishment when reflecting on how i spent my time. nothing tremendous was achieved that weekend [lu advanced to a new car seat–wahoo], but i think–without intention–i created a sense of balance. when reflecting on what exactly happened to create this feeling, i noticed a few similarities between each day: they began early & they involved a morning activity that got me out of the house on my own. as i age, i recognize how much sleeping in is something i don’t enjoy in hindsight simply because i don’t like wasting time [my days of being akin to eeyore are over–kinda]. the morning activities i did aren’t worth detailing. they matter because they got my day going!

i’m gradually identifying myself as a person that enjoys other people. i notice more how much i relish interactions–big & small. part of me wants to cling on to the introverted side that shelters me. it’s a safe zone. i sometimes think i’ll flop and flounder when i mingle with people, but i’ve had more experiences that suggest that’s all in my head.

i think two takeaways are most evident: i do best when there’s a little structure to my day & i need to push myself to engage in more opportunities that get me engaging with other people.

so with this realization, i make these proclamations for myself:

  • i’m going to think about 2-3 activities/tasks i want to involve in my week & determine when they’d be best accomplished. these will become priorities.
  • find time that goes unused. example: when ry comes home after lax practice, there is a 45-minute period i can claim as “workout/physical activity” time. again, this will be a priority.
  • take advantage of meetup–a social network tool that helps you to connect with local people that share similar interests. for too long i’ve lamented about the unlikelihood that i’d meet people in this area where we’ll likely live for sometime. in the past, i’d avoid an idea of this sort like the plague because anxiety would deter me from thinking i would actually have fun doing this. and even though i’ll likely have to wrangle myself away from instantly reverting to this mindset, i’ll try to calm my mind and ease it from traveling in that direction. if i can get past this and train my mind to believe that most things are worth experiencing once, i’ll be a success.

have you ever felt the need to reevaluate & reclaim? what mindsets did you have to shift to feel reconnected & revitalized?