..Imagination...

10:34 AM

...
I love his little birthmark.

I caught him reading a book for about fifteen minutes today. We read for hours a day, literally. But, this was the first time he devoured a book. He sat in the corner by the book shelf and was just mesmerized by the pictures. I wish I would know what he was thinking.

Gianna has thigh dimples. I think they might be the most adorable thing I have ever seen. She is just about to find her feet. 

Gabe is just reaching the stage where his imagination and creativity are taking off. 

These are his beloved socks. He named them Brian (black) and Kristi (red) after his uncle and soon to be aunt. 

He places them on his hands and uses them as puppets for doing various things. They have conversations, pick up toys, eat vitamins...the things his friends would do.

The innocence and creativity are beautiful. I love how he can appreciate the simplicity and I wish I was still always like that. 


 ...

...Christmas 2014...

6:48 AM

...


Christmas 2014. 
Gabe, didn't understand the excitement, which was very sweet. We went to Mass on Christmas eve (in the driving rain!). We didn't go up North as we had before, so it was a quiet Christmas Eve with just the four of us. We had nachos for dinner.

Our morning started at 7 with cinnamon rolls. Gabe didn't really want to open anything. We try to keep things simple. Bath bubbles, a bike, and a practical stocking (playdoh, an ornament, crayons etc.) My grandparents gift the great-grandkids (family) with a Hess truck. They are absolutely beloved toys. The rest of the day was spent just enjoying each other. 

Uncle Jacob and Aunt Sammi stopped by the next day for the afternoon. Uncle Brian and Kristi arrived as well and stayed for the weekend. Lots of laughter, food, pictionary and love.

We celebrated Christmas with Grandpa, Grandma, and Busia on January 2. We did a Christmas book basket this year via the library. It was relatively successful, however you almost always requested the Grinch. We read it almost every day during Advent. You were actually able to watch it at Grandpa and Grandmas and shout "Poo Poo" to the Whos. 

The best part? Having Dad home every day for two weeks.  

...

...Those days...

6:48 AM

...

We have all had them.
Really hard days.
I know this won't be my last. My baby girl has been sick all week. This is her first illness, actually for either of my children. 

I walked by the mirror this morning and just smiled. 
Disheveled messy bun, three days running. I am not sure if that is mascara or if those rings are here to stay for the week. I think I have only worn this shirt for two days? Or is it three??

Part of me wanted to cry. I can count the numbers of uninterrupted hours of sleep I have had in four days on one hand. (and I know I am not alone) We are running on veritable fumes. I have probably walked miles around my kitchen island (carrying her all day) or in her bedroom at 3 AM. But, I am thankful I chose to smile.

I have really been working on enjoying the moment this year. I started down a vicious cycle of wishing the days away. You know, "I can't wait until this weekend" or "it will be easier when...". 

But it isn't and it wont. This is motherhood. Yes, there are plenty of picture perfect moments, where I have slept, my house is clean, my children are smiling and everything is easy. Then there are these moments. The less than picture perfect moments. Moments where I so desperately need His Grace. Where my husband and I lean hard on each other. Moments where I don't think I can last another second.

And there He is.

Happiness is a choice. I am trying to chose it. Believe me, I fall short so many times. There have been plenty of moments in the last few days, when I finally sneak into bed, only to rush to her room for another coughing fit. I try to chase those thoughts of "easier when" away. Grace. 


I pray that you can find those moments too.
...

...Coloring...

11:02 AM

                                                                          

You love to color.
At first, you only liked pens.
Then coloring pencils.
Now, crayons. You got a set for Christmas and are really fond of them right now.
I love to hear you say the name of the color as you pull it out of the bag.  "Oh, Purpup!"
 
We spent the morning coloring.
 
I love your face in this. This is a common expression and it is usually accompanied by an "Oh, yeah" headnod.
  
 




...a week of firsts...

10:57 AM

...


Gabe...
You used scissors for the first time this week. We got you a pair for Christmas, but hadn't found a day that I "needed" the new activity yet. I opened them yesterday and have been "utting" nonstop. You leave a trail of little newspaper clippings all over the house. :)

Your vocabulary is expanding daily. I think you add a few words every day. This week: Map, cut, batteries (dad's babbies).

I was very sick at the beginning of the week. I was so happy to sneak in a few cuddles with you. You were quite protective of me and gently kept your hand on my chest and did your "pat pat rub" over and over. I wanted to freeze those moments.

 
You say "Hey Mom" every time you enter the room I am in, every time you are outside with Dad, or just when you feel like it. Precious. My heart melts every time.




Gianna...
You finally rolled over!! You have been rolling over front-to-back (consistently) since month two. You rolled over back-to-front for the first time today. You had such a grin!

You had vaccinations this week. You were a bit under the weather (but so was I!) for a day.

You are ridiculously close to laughing. We hear a few giggles here and there. Any day now.






...

..a glimpse at today...

10:26 AM

...

Making: Chili and cornbread for dinner. Another single digit day.
Drinking: My coffee. I am two sips in and it is 934.
Reading: I just took back all of the library books (for me). For Gabe? He is stuck on The Little Engine that Could.
Wanting: To feel better. This is my first bout with the flu. Right now, the loss of a voice is wildly amusing to a toddler. Me? Not really.
Watching: The sun make the crusty snow sparkle outside my window. Beautiful.
Listening: Adele
Eating: Carrot/Apple salad. It is now nap time.
Smelling:  My bubbling crockpot.
Wishing: I could go run. Steve was home. One more snuggle from each kid before naps.
Enjoying: Looking my sweet children sleeping on the monitor. I love watching them sleep.
Loving: Having two kids, honestly.
Hoping: Warm weather later in the week. Countless sled rides. A weekend with friends.
Needing: To clean.
Feeling: Content.
Wearing: I shouldn't admit that it is 1:08 and I am not dressed, yet.
...

...4 months...

1:03 PM

...

Gianna Marie.
You are 14.9lbs and 26in.
You are one long skinny girl.
You sleep from 7PM until 8 (usually).
You take two naps a day (930-1130; 1-330).
You love baths.
Rolling from front to back has been your favorite for a long time now.
You love to "walk."
Velociraptor. You screech and talk constantly. Nana says you are truly my daughter.
You chew on everything and drool constantly. No sign of teeth!
You wear 12 month clothes (or should be :)).

...Little Lady...

11:35 AM

You are so close to laughing.
 
You have given us a few glimpses of what it might sound like, but I can hardly wait.
 
Your brother sits outside of your door many mornings and waits for you to wake up. Any noise results in an "Oh, sis up!" There have even been a few days that I wake up you as I can't wait to see your smile.
. . .
 
. . .

You slept through the night for the first time this week. You typically go to sleep around 7PM. You didn't wake up until 530AM and then slept until 8AM.
 
I love how you hold your right ear when you nurse.
 
You smile for everything. Bathes. Diaper changes. Seeing Dad or hearing his voice. When you wake up. Your brother.
I can't believe how happy you are.
 
I love those arm rolls. Love.

  We have nicknamed you "Velociraptor" as you make this adorable screeching sound when you are happy.
 
Your babies breath is intoxicating. I honestly didn't notice it until you were about three months. Now, I can't get enough of it.
 
You have an appointment next week and I can't wait to see how tall you are. Nine month clothes have no room. You have a few 18 month onesies that fit perfectly.
 
Stop. Growing.

...26 Months...

11:33 AM

Our days are filled with so much laughter because of Gabe. Look at that smile and those eyes.
. . .

 . . .

I can't believe you are two.

Some favorite things about you right now:
You are a very sweet young man. You love your "Sis" and always make sure she is covered with a blanket. "Oh, no! Ba!"

You love: buses, (Wheels on the bus is your favorite), tools, measuring with a tape measure, using a hammer (Glug glug), drills (zzz), cream cheese, waffles, your bubble mower from Uncle Brian.

You learned the word sit this week and said your first independent sentence. I asked if you wanted to lay on Gianna's play mat. You said, "No. Me sit." I hope I remember that look on your face forever. You were so proud. Later that night, when Dad was playing with you in your room, you placed Frog, Duck and Dino on the red chair. You then said, "Frog sit. Duck sit. Dino sit."

You love to read. We read dozens of books a day. Well, truth be told, it is usually the same book over and over. Each week it changes.
You have a friend for a few days. Some days it is Frog from Nana, some days Monkey.

You are quite smitten with blanketing your toys. Right now, the three monkeys follow you from room to room and you carefully cover them in wet wipes. We are working on not needing fresh ones every time we switch rooms. I caught a glimpse with my phone.

You love Jesus. (Geez).

You love to help bake. You help me unload the dishwasher every morning.

One of my favorite things is our Monday vacuuming tradition. That is the only time you are allowed to use the ghastly mower from Busia. After we put Gianna down for her morning nap, you help "Mow." You were terrified of the vacuum initially and would often kennel you and Liesel.

 
Any large object is spoken in a deep "BIG (object)." Any small object is a "small (object)."

Love you, little man.

...Gianna Marie...

11:50 AM



Can anyone tell you what it is like to add to your family? I stressed about the transition from one to two. Would I love her enough? Would I love Gabe enough?
She has taught me so much.
 . . .
 
. . .
 
Gianna Marie, this is your story.
 
 My Doctor assured me there was no way I would make it past 37 weeks. I stopped running at 34 weeks due to contractions as he was concerned I would deliver you earlier than your brother. Each week ticked by, slowly. I had the same prodromal labor that I had with your brother. Contractions every few minutes that lasted a minute or longer, for weeks.
 
Nothing.
 
Your Nana said I would wait until she arrived. She was right. She arrived on September 6th, 2014. We got back the house around five thirty. That evening, we discussed making a plan the next day as my Doctor really wanted to induce me on Monday due to my short labor with Gabe and our hour drive to the hospital. We went back and forth about induction, but I was ready.
 
We went to bed around 10PM and the contractions picked up, as they did every evening. I woke Steve at midnight and we timed them as I paced until three. He dozed off and on from then until 530 AM. I finally told him I was going to take a shower to see if they picked up. I new we had an hour drive a head of us. He woke up Nana and got me something to eat. I was out and dressed by about 6AM. I went downstairs and talked with Nana for a few minutes trying to decide if we should go in. The contractions were sporadic. Two minutes. Fourteen minutes. Eight minutes.
 
Steve went up to shower as we figured we would head in about 8AM. I remember walking around the fridge in the kitchen and saying, "We are in trouble." We scrambled (as fast as that sounds when pregnant) to get to the car and I mumbled, "We should have left hours ago!"
 
We left at about 645 AM. Steve squealed the tires as we left. I don't recommend laboring in a car. Ever. We called the hospital and my OB. They both new how quickly my labor might last. The car ride was miserable. We were about twenty minutes away and everything started changing. I was really afraid of delivering in the car.
 
One thing "they" stress is, make sure you know where you are going when you get to the hospital. Oops. We got lost. We called the receptionist and at this point I was not patient. We made it in 46 minutes. Steve dropped me off at the front and I barreled toward the door. Stopping every so often for a contraction.
 
Why is L/D always up a few floors. We arrived to the third floor and the nurse handed me a stack of papers. I mumbled, made a line for my name. She started to tell me I needed to fill it all out. I glared, turned, and said get me a room. They checked me into triage (735 AM) and wanted to place an IV, do fetal monitoring, and whatever else. I kept telling them they didn't have time, no IV, get my Dr. and get me a room.
 
The intern checked me..."I don't know an 8??" He asked me if my water had broken. No. The nurse was super concerned about no fetal monitoring yet. He agreed and said, no time, get her a room. I booked it down the hospital (not the discussed 50 ft...) dragging the cords behind me.
 
I made it to the middle of the delivery room. 750AM. Dr. Fleming arrived in Mass clothes and asked if he had time to change.
I believe I said something to the effect of: "No. Fleming. I am pushing."
I am not that polite during labor.
He convinced me to have one more contraction as I need to get to a bed. The staff was incredibly unprepared. The bed wasn't ready. They were SO! CONCERNED! about not obtaining 20 minutes of fetal monitoring.
Dr. Fleming looks at Stressed Nurse #1 and says, "You can monitor her after she is born."
 
751AM. Complete and told to push.
Your cord was wrapped around your neck (thank God we made it).
 
801.
 
You were born. 7lbs. 20 inches. Beautiful head of black hair.
 
And once again....my life changed for ever.
 


 
 
 



...Our Year in Review...

11:20 AM

 
I decided to stop blogging almost a year ago.
 
We were too busy.
 
I was to ill. (babe #2)
 
I didn't have the right focus.
  
But I want to remember that last year and the simple details every day.
 
Where to start:
 2014
January
 We were in the midst of selling our house. I was very sick and struggling to stay a float with nasty weather, a toddler, and home showings.

February/March/April/May

...One Day at a time...

11:01 AM

I decided to resurrect the blog.
There are so many details that I want to remember.
. . .

. . .
 
Like those feet. How on earth are they already four months old?