Wednesday, September 24, 2008

She slept through the night!

You might think i'm referring to my one month old. No, no. Abby has woken up EVERY night since Eliza was born. Sometimes she's crying, sometimes she's shouting, sometimes she's laughing, sometimes she needs us, sometimes she doesn't--but it's been EVERY stinkin' night for a month now! Finally last night she didn't wake me up at all--it was beautiful!

And Eliza has been doing GREAT at night, too. She goes almost 8 hours between her last night feeding and her first morning feeding. and she's sleeping about 5-6 of those 8 hours, wakes up to eat, and goes back to sleep for 4-5 more hours. It's my magic milk, i'm telling you! Now, if only i could get my butt in bed as soon as she falls asleep!!! why do i have to be such a night owl...

Eliza's colic has all but disappeared the past 8 or 9 days. She now only cries for about 30-45 minutes--so much better than the 3 hours we were dealing with before. I'm almost positive it's because I haven't had a drop of dairy for 20 days--even though it's killing me! Over the years many people have wondered what i cook since we don't eat much meat--i'll tell you what, i'd take cutting out meat over dairy ANY day! I just didn't realize how much of what we eat has a little bit of butter, milk, cheese, cream, whey, etc. Like the no-bake cookies that are sitting on my counter right now--killing me!!....But, i resist-and it's worth it to have a happy baby!

I put Eliza in these cute shoes on Sunday and people were stopping me all day at church to tell me how cute they were. Nothing odd about that,right? But then I had one lady ask me if I'd taken a picture of them. Do people do that? Do you take pictures of things that don't change from day to day, aren't part of nature, you're not trying to sell, and will be around for a long time? It had never occured to me to photograph my children's shoes, but now that's all gonna change! :) So, here are Eliza's cute shoes. (Actually, like most other things Eliza wears, they were Abby's first. I gotta take advantage of the endless hand-me-downs while they're young....)

They are pretty stinkin' cute, huh!

On a completely different note, i've been spending any free time I have running from granite warehouses to lumber yards to Home Depot -- trying to make decisions about our kitchen remodel/update. I am learning more and more that redecorating really ISN'T MY THING! I can't make any decisions, I can't decide what I do and don't like. I am torn between wanting to DIY and wanting to make sure it's done right--and soon. I've looked at about a million gorgeous kitchens online and have tried to pull things from each that I love, but i'm just having a hard time putting it all together.

So, it's going to be a while before i post any "before and after" pictures of our whole kitchen. But here's one of our new lighting/ceiling. We are enjoying having our popcorn-free raised ceiling, and we love our over and under cabinet lighting. I'm glad i listened to the electrician's advice on those.
This isn't a very clear picture, so just use your imagination :)

Now i just have to fall in love with a granite counter top that isn't in the "exotic" price range!! And don't try to convince me to go with quartz or corian or anything's taken me a LONG time to finally decide on granite! :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday night Musings

Our front yard has a bit of a slope to it, and, with the recent removal of a few shrubs, it now runs into our neighbors yard. The kids just discovered today that they can roll down this hill. Abby didn't quite get it, but Grace and her neighbor buddies were loving it.

We just LOVE these neighbors! And they happen to have the most AMAZING garden in the world! They've given us enough zucchini to make these brownies 4 times in the past few weeks, plus some amazing tomatoes (since ours didn't fare too well in our sun-less garden), cucumbers, peppers, jalapeno peppers--how lucky are we?!?!?

You've really gotta try these--i half the oil, substitute applesauce, decrease the sugar by 1/4 cup, do half white/half whole wheat and they get scarfed down every time i make them!!

For family night tonight we invited some of our favorite people over. Reid taught the lesson--it was about Daniel in the lion's den. The kids were SOOOO into the story--it was really cute! Reid does such a good job with things like this. He made a lion puppet and let the kids take turns holding the puppet, being the angel, the king and Daniel--which means he told the story 5 times...and i'm pretty sure the kids would have done it 5 more times. Then the kids each got to make their own puppets. Thanks, babe, for being on top of the lesson tonight!

I love having people over. I love the company. I love visiting, and letting the kids run wild in the backyard. I love any excuse to make something yummy. And I love that having company is the ONLY thing that motivates me to clean my house. i don't have any after pictures, but here's what my house looked like before everyone came over. i should really be embarrassed to post these pictures. But, you know what, if i were to die tomorrow, there's a chance that my girls might not ever know how absolutely terrible their mom was at keeping the house clean, and that would be a shame. So, for posterity's sake, here it is.

And yes, that's the back of a Reese's Puffs cereal box on the couch. Who knew that you could find whole grain candy for breakfast?!??! It makes the soy milk i have to put on it almost bearable :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We're surviving!

No, we're better than surviving--we're doing great! I've had the girls on my own for 3 days (4 if you count Sunday which we should since Reid was in meetings ALL day) and honestly, we're doing really well. I don't remember the last time i've enjoyed being a mom this much! It was probably about 9 months and 4 weeks ago. And i'm feeling good. I think i'm mostly "recovered"-- but still not enough to exercise, no, no, that'll take at LEAST 10 more weeks or so, at least! My energy's pretty good though, and honestly, i'm just in LOVE with my girls! we've had a really good 3 days. We've enjoyed a heaven-sent week of GORGEOUS weather here. We've spent lots of time in our backyard, went to a friend's house, and we even made it to a playdate at a park yesterday (and, might I add that i was the FIRST one at the park!!)

I'm feeling a bit like Patti LaBelle--and i apologize for getting this song in your head--but I've got a new attitude! I really do! I'm just really enjoying being a mom right now! Like today when i went to get Abby out of the crib, i had a fussy Eliza in my arms, i needed to pick up my upset 29lb child from her crib, and Grace was clinging to my leg. Five weeks ago this senario would have had my pantyhose all up in a wad (glad to be able to quote my brother here), but today i just thought "When else in my life will I be able to hold all my girls at the same time? how soon is it going to be before they stop openly admitting that they need me? And how soon will it be before Abby won't even be in a crib to take her out of (the thought makes me shiver)? So instead of throwing them all out of the window i just soaked up the moment...and then it passed. And all of these moments, sweet and sour, are just passing. And i want to ENJOY them. So, I'm coming out of my "whine all day because being a mom is hard" rut (not that it isn't hard, cause it is!) and i'm feeling awesome!

Now, that said, three kids is KICKING MY BUTT! Not because they're driving me crazy, or because they're too much to handle--it's just that they're TOO MANY!! Will i ever get ANYWHERE on time again! Will i ever have anything but a ponytail in my hair. Will i ever have a clean kitchen or laundry room again (it didn't happen often before, but it did happen!) Will getting in and out of the car ever take less than 17 minutes? Will my children ever sleep through the night again (we've been having nightmares, etc, since Eliza came home) Will i ever go to sleep before 1am again? It's just crazy! And I know it will get easier--I felt this exact same way when Abby was born, and it definitely got easier. But for now, I just wonder if or when I'll feel like i've "got this down"--perhaps never. Most likely it'll be about 1 minute before we find out we're expecting #4.

The good news of the day is that Eliza didn't cry for 3 straight hours tonight. She did projectile vomit all over my couch--that was a first--but she only fussed for about 30 minutes! Maybe this whole dairy-free business is working! they say it takes 7-10 days to get out of your system, and it's been about 10 days now, so maybe her colic will just dissappear! And i'll just hope for no more puking...

Reid's enjoying being back at work, but he misses the girls, and they miss him. His first day back at "work" he played in a "work sponsored" golf tournament--it was a really tough first day back! It was the 4th round of golf he's played since Eliza was born--see what a good, loving, selfless wife I am? :)

Grace and Abby continue to keep each other "busy" throughout the day. There's a lot of screaming that goes on between those two--sometimes it's happy screaming--most of the time it's not. But the most unusual screaming happened yesterday when they were playing in the backyard. I heard Grace yelling "Cheeses"--or so I thought. But then it occured to me to ask her what she was yelling. She said "Jesus." I told her that we shouldn't yell Jesus' name at the top of our voice cause it wasn't very respectful. She just kinda ignored me. So i go back inside, and she does it again. This time I ask her why she's yelling that name, and she says, "Because I like Jesus. I love Him, and I want him to come here." What do you say to that?!?!

And Eliza officially won me over (as if she hadn't already, i'm a total baby lover!) tonight when she flashed this smile at me. It's her first smile, and I only had the camera out cause i wanted a picture of her cute cheeks at this angle, and right when i clicked the button i got this:

I know it's not a huge smile, but it was a "i'm looking at my mom and I'm happy" smile--not just a "windy" smile. It made my WHOLE night!

Eliza, sleeping with her dad tonight on the couch--would you look
at those cheeks? I really do have "liquid gold" for milk!! And look at that head--do you see why i so desparately wanted that epidural?!?!?!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

3 weeks with 3 girls--and we're still alive!!!

Has it really been three and a half weeks since Eliza was born? It feels like yesterday and like 4 months ago. It's been a crazy and awesome 3 weeks. Having Reid around has been better than i could have imagined, and i don't know how i'm going to survive come tomorrow morning!!!

Grace and Abby have become even better playmates than they were before. And they're both such good big sisters.

It took Abby a few days to figure out that there's more to "being soft" than just petting Eliza's head. She really didn't get that vigorously poking the buttons on Eliza's p.j.'s and squeezing her hand as hard as she could were the opposite of being soft. She also seemed to need a bit longer to clue into the fact that Eliza was here to stay than Grace did when Abby was born. But she's "adapted" really well, and doesn't seem to be having the "i hate my baby sister because she's taken all the attention away from me" syndrome going on...yet! She really is so sweet when she talks to Eliza, and is extremely concerned if ever the binki isn't in Eliza's mouth. And, like all moms of two (or more) know, she seems SOOOO insanely big to me, i can't believe that i used to carry her around!!!

Grace adores her baby sister. She loves to hold her, burp her, talk to her and kiss her...until she cries, and then Grace is happy to give her back and play with her other little sister. Reid's being here has been awesome for Grace, too. Instead of watching a movie while Abby and i nap, she goes out and does fun things with her dad. And Reid's been so good at getting both of the girls out and doing fun things--museums, parks, swimming pools, the library, etc. He even took Grace to see her first movie in a theater-- Wall-e--which they both loved! She's so sweet to Abby, and so much help with her I can't even begin to write it all down. She's just growing up so much, and so quickly. I can't even count all the times in the day that i feel so proud of her for something new she's done or said. In fact, the other day, after cleaning up her toys she exclaimed "i'm so proud of myself!"--she must be hearing me say that lots lately, cause that's a new phrase for her.

And as for Eliza, she's perfect, she's adorable, she's a total snuggler, she's a great eater, she takes a binki, she sleeps tons, BUT she's a bit of a fuss pot! I'm not sure i can use the term "colicky" because it's not non stop, but it's way more than my other two. It's worse in the evenings, and after she eats. We've definitely figured out that she's allregic to dairy in my diet--which is a PAIN to elminate. it's not just a matter of not drinking milk or eating cheese--dairy is EVERYWHERE , hidden in EVERYTHING! (many of you out there have felt my pain!) So, i've cut it out of my diet, but there are other things that bother her, too. We're just still figuring it all out (any advice from moms out there who've had colicky babies would be greatly appreciated!!!), meanwhile i'm surviving on Twizzlers and Tofuti Cuties (thanks, Gillian!!)

But even with her fussiness she's completely won us all over. All it takes is for her to wrap her tiny hand around any of our fingers and we all light up like kids in a candy shop. Having 3 kids really is madness. it's crazier than anyone could have warned me. It's more than 3 times the work of two, honestly. And i'm sure that it's only going to get harder, since Eliza sleeps so much of the day right now....but i keep remembering what a lady from my church told me the other day when she brought dinner to us. She said that she NEVER rushed this stage of life. Her kids are all grown now, and she said she's so glad that she never wished for the toddler age to pass quickly. I realized that i wish for that ALL TOO OFTEN--perhaps daily...or hourly. And i don't know WHY i'm wishing this time to pass. So, I've made a conscious goal to stop waiting for a future that's most definitely going to be way harder than this, and to start really enjoying every moment with these sweet little angels who depend on me, who need me, and who think i am the greatest thing in the world (besides their dad, of course). Of course, this is all sweet and easy to say right now after 3 weeks of having Reid around. The real test is if i can enjoy them tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that...if we make it that far :)

My sweet Ziza
(that's what Abby calls her, and I can't help but call her that, too, sometimes)

So, tomorrow's a big day--a first of many--Wish us luck!!!

Disclaimer: I am fully aware that i'm insanely spoiled having had super-dad Reid around this long and i I REALLY don't know what i would have done without him!!! :)