Friday, December 31, 2010

new year's resolutions

Being that 2011 is just around the corner it is time for me to declare some new year's resolutions. It is probably the worst time of the year to make a resolution but it is something that I think about regardless.

There are a few things I would like to focus on in 2011.

First, I would like to lose a little weight. I am not making my goal impossible to attain. I am going to accept that my body will never be the same as it was pre-children. Although I lost all of the weight from the 2nd pregnancy rather quickly {thank you, Teagan, for being a breastfeeding champ}, I have yet to lose close to 40 pounds of my 1st pregnancy weight gain. I would be happy at this point if I could just lose 15 pounds. More importantly, I want and need to make time to exercise. I used to love running and now find it nearly impossible to escape from the house for as little as 10 minutes.

Second, I would like to focus on spending more time enjoying my family and children during the day without the distractions of the internet and cell phone. I don't want to miss out on their childhood. I can't believe how fast the time is going, Nathan is already halfway through the terrible twos, and boy is it terrible, but I don't want to miss it. This is going to be difficult since I do have work to get done during the day. I am totally worthless and far from productive after 9 pm.

So there it is, my 2010 new year's resolutions. But I wont be starting these new year's resolutions tomorrow, on New Year's day, because I think that is ultimately setting myself up for failure. I also don't begin a new goal on a Monday for the same reason. I guess there is no time like the present, I will start today!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Man's Perspective on How to Make Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Find an opened bag of pretzels in the pantry. It doesn't matter how long they have been opened or even if they are expired.

Locate and open the bag of white chocolate chips that your wife purchased for a completely different recipe.

Cover the pretzels with chocolate, or maybe scatter would be a more appropriate word. Yes, scatter the chocolate chips on top of the pretzels. Oh heck, just throw a handful of chocolate chips and pretzels in your mouth at the same time and enjoy.

chocolatecovered pretzels copy

...and a very important last step, when your wife asks what happened to the bag of chocolate chips she needed for a recipe, act clueless.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow Activities for Kids

It's no secret that the east coast just got hit with its first huge snowstorm of 2010. It was a Christmas Blizzard that dumped many inches of snow. I am being vague because I am not sure how many inches or feet of snow we got. The wind gusts were so strong that there would be some areas with a lot of snow and other areas with barely any snow.

After being snowed in the house for an entire day with cabin fever, I had to get the kids all bundled up in their snowsuits and outside to experience the first significant snowfall of the season.

Our favorite winter snow activities

snowstorm - 1

JUMPING in snowbanks!

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Making snow angels {or laying where ever mama put me}.
"I can't get up".
Staying warm in a basket in the garage.

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Helping daddy shovel the driveway.

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And getting pulled around in a sled.

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Mommy took Nathan sleigh riding down a hill but the wind was too strong.

We will try again today.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's a Christmas Miracle!

The miracle is Teagan sleeping through the night at a little under 4 months old. It gets better. Not only did she sleep 7 to 9 hours straight through the night for several nights in a row but she did it in her hand built with love cradle.

teagan cradle

Co-sleeping during the initial months has made the middle of the night feedings a breeze. I pretty much slept through the night anyway as Teagan nursed on demand. But now that she is growing and able to sleep a longer stretch without breastfeeding, I was hoping to get her out of our bed and into her cradle.

I was getting worried that she would never use the cradle that her Grandpa Bill and I spent so much time on building before her arrival. She could be completely passed out in my arms for hours but the moment I tried to transition her into the cradle her eyes would be wide open.

With a little brainstorming, we figured out how to make the transition from mama's arms to the cradle more successful. I would nurse Teagan wrapped in a warm blanket and keep that between her and the cold cradle mattress. She is also sandwiched in between a newborn sleep positioner so she feels like she is still being held.

Co-sleeping doesn't necessarily mean bed sharing, although I am not opposed to safe bed sharing. She still occasionally wakes up during the night hungry. When I hear the hunger cues, I move her back into bed to nurse her and that is where she remains until morning mainly because I fall asleep while feeding her. The side-lying nursing positing is the best!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

When mom's away the boys will...

...will hang out in the bathroom...

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...sit on the toilet...

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...pretend to use the potty...

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...while reading motorcycle magazines.

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*Although it may appear that Nathan is looking at a centerfold of a motorcycle babe, the magazine is entirely appropriate {in the sense that there is no nudity}. My boy just really likes looking at the motorcycles {especially on the toilet}.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the countdown is on

Honestly, I hate countdowns. It is like wishing away the days and hours of your life in anticipation of an exciting event. Those days and hours are a part of your life you will never get back. The days leading up to Christmas may be overwhelming with gifts to purchase and wrap, cards to address and mail, parties to attend, and a messy house to clean. It is even more difficult to know that the anniversary of the death of a very special family member, in my case my mother, is approaching.

But nevertheless, the countdown is on! In 3 days, 14 hours, 43 minutes, and 12 seconds Christmas will be here. So although this time of the year I may consider myself an emotionally loose cannon, I am going to try to pay extra attention to enjoying the days, hours, minutes, and seconds leading up to Christmas. Teagan and I are going to look at Christmas lights with our eyes wide open and drool dribbling down our chins, well maybe just drool dribbling down her chin. Nathan and I are going to wave at giant inflatable snowmen and Santa's set up outside the car dealerships, saying "Hi, Santa! See you soon, Santa!".

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ramblings

I had a long and exhausting weekend which was both productive and very unproductive at the same time. After getting the crib assembled with the help of a fluorescent shop light I knew it was time to get an overhead light fixture for Teagan's nursery. The room was already wired all we had to do was buy the fixture. Of course that fixture cost more than we could afford, which is zero dollars, but at least ceiling fans are not in high demand during the winter season.

We also picked up a new water supply line for our refrigerator since ours broke and water started spraying everywhere when we pulled the fridge out to retrieve the many items that fall off the counter and behind the fridge. Our ice supply is getting low since the hose has been broken for nearly two weeks now. Also, I have been feeling slightly dehydrated without my ice cold filtered water. I just don't drink as much from the kitchen faucet even though the water flow is faster.

Luckily Jay got the ceiling fan and light up on Saturday before he fell ill with either a stomach virus or food poisoning. He was up all Saturday night which in turn kept Teagan up all night which in turn kept me up. Sunday was a very difficult day for me since I had to care for 3 people all by myself. I felt like I was all business, going through the day just taking care of everyone else. When one person needed something, the other two just had to deal without me. Nathan needed all his medications and treatments, plus bottles and diapers. Teagan needed to be nursed, needed diapers, needed me to hold her. She barely napped at all yesterday. Jay needed me to force fluids, and make him dry toast. I was extremely happy that he woke up feeling 100% today.

I am shocked that I managed to fill out our Christmas cards yesterday while the rest of my family napped. Now if I could only find the stamps. Stamps are so expensive and the ones I purchased specifically for our Christmas cards have gone MIA. I guess I will be buying more today.

I had a newborn photo shoot scheduled for today but rescheduled it for Wednesday instead. It worked out better for both myself and the mother of the newborn. I am extremely excited to photograph this adorable newborn boy who, like Teagan, has a gorgeous head of hair.

But for today, I am going to take it easy and recover from the weekend.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Crib Assembly

Teagan's nursery is far from complete. The walls are painted. Well they are not quite finished, two out of the four walls are still awaiting a second coat of paint. However when the crib arrived, I wanted to get it assembled so I could start figuring out where things would go in the room.

My job was to take photographs. No, I am kidding. My unofficial job was to read the instructions faster than my husband installed the bolts. He has a tendency to get ahead of himself and skip steps making the assembly process take twice as long. Teagan's crib was so much easier to assemble than Nathan's, Jay probably could have done this one without instructions. Teagan even pretended to help.

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While we assembled the crib, she stared at her brother's ceiling fan, the best distraction for a baby ever!

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And despite what you may think, her bedroom is not on fire. We have yet to purchase an overhead light for her bedroom so we have a fluorescent shop fixture laying on the ground. Orange walls, not the best color for photography, turn everything orange!! Any photos taken in this room in the future are going to need major white balance adjustment.

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"Are you crazy? You want me, to sleep, in there?"

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"Ok, we are just pretending, I will smile then."

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nathan's 2010 Hallmark Ornament

Every year we each get our own Hallmark Keepsake Ornament. Jay chooses mine, I choose one for him and then we both collaboratively pick one for each child.

Nathan is super interested in ornaments this year so we decided to give him his ornament early. We make sure the ornament we choose "fits" his interests for the current year.

This year we chose Hallmark's Play Family School ornament. Why?

nathan ornament 2010-1

...well, because it looks just like the original Fisher Price Play Family School that I played with in the 80's.

nathan ornament 2010-1-2

...and also because Nathan plays with the very same Play Family School that I played with, and loves it!

nathan ornament 2010-1-3

He loves the little people, he calls them "weebles" even though they aren't Weebles. Jay made the mistake of calling one of the original, vintage Little People a Weeble and it has stuck ever since. "Weeble" is actually a very specific Little People, it is the bald green one {his favorite} that always seems to disappear and the one we are always searching for. You can also see Bert, sometimes known as Ernie, above. Currently missing are "guy", "farmer", "girl", "big bird", etc...

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They look identical, original and miniature!

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The bell even works.

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So cool. A memory from my childhood and now a memory from his. There you have it, Nathan's 2010 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament, the Fisher Price Play Family School.

nathan ornament 2010-1-8

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Take Two

We are having a second go at our Christmas portraits today. Many thanks to Nathan for turning the kids only Christmas portrait into a family portrait, meaning I had to go shopping for coordinating outfits and I now have to do my hair, get dressed, and put on makeup. Please be praying for one decent photograph. As it is my Christmas cards are going to be more like New Years cards.

Also I have still yet to receive Nathan's tobi, which was prescribed one week ago today. Not only have I not received it, but I haven't even received confirmation of a shipment or confirmation that the medical director ever approved of it. Luckily he has begun the cipro, which they ideally wanted to be used in conjunction with the tobi, and thanks to another CF mama's generosity I have now have 4 days of tobi. I drove 3 hours roundtrip to pick up the medication but it was well worth it. Thank you, Jamie. Her son Radek is a cutie pie with just as much energy as Nathan. Unfortunately our little CFer's wont be playing together until a cure is found because they will spread their nasty bugs back and forth. That doesn't mean I can't go back with Teagan and play!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Visit to Santa 2010

I can't believe it, I finally have a decent photograph of both kids together. Even better, I have a photograph of both kids with Santa Claus without any meltdowns or having to wait in line at the mall.

visit to santa 2010-1

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Meeting the Big Man in the Red Suit

Nathan hasn't had the best track record with visiting Santa Claus {or the Easter Bunny for that matter}. He loves the idea of them and loves to watch them from afar but pose him for a picture and let the tears flow. Actually let me back up. He was just fine for his first Christmas and Easter, the problem started to arise after that.

We have been talking about Santa Claus since before Halloween and watching Christmas movies too. No matter how much we talk about Santa being jolly and generous {with presents}, he would always say "Uh oh, Santa Claus" whenever he appeared in a movie. So basically, I wasn't sure how he would take to visiting Santa this year.

Today we had lunch with the big man and I was terrified Nathan would have another meltdown similar to the one he had for his Christmas portraits the other day. He was very timid at first not wanting to leave his daddy's arms but he began to warm up and join the fun.

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Especially when his best pal arrived.

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Nathan danced. He loves to dance and the music was good. I enjoyed watching him shake his tush to the chicken dance, sorry but I missed that shot.

lunch w santa

Some of us ate and some of us {not mentioning names} didn't. I'd love to know what my husband is thinking in this photo.

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The boys also enjoyed balloon animals candy canes.

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The little lady snuggled with Grandma, the maker of the infamous pom pom hat, for a bit.

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She also took one of her infamous cat naps. She loves to doze off to restore just enough energy to last her until her next cat nap. I'm not a huge fan of this but I do love looking at her sleeping face.

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But how did the meeting with the Big Man in the Red Suit go? Were there tears or were there smiles? Did I capture a photograph of a big brother's third visit to Santa? Did he let his baby sister sit in the same photo for her debut visit? What do you think?

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Portrait Problems

We took the kids to the photographer yesterday to have their holiday portraits taken. It's like Nathan knows how bad I want a portrait of him with his baby sister. The more I want it, the more he resists. He would not even cooperate for our family photographer. Teagan was quite content sitting in a gift box playing with gold fabric and red beads while Nathan wanted no part of it. He would not stop pitching a fit, the whining led to tears, the tears led to screaming, the screaming led to coughing, the coughing led to gagging, and the gagging led to vomiting.

All Nathan wanted was to be with his daddy. As soon as we realized the portrait just wasn't going to happen, Nathan ran over to Jay and stopped crying immediately. So guess what the means...It means that I had to drag the entire family to the mall last night so I could find coordinating outfits for my husband and myself. Nathan hates the mall, unlike his best friend who loves the mall. He kept saying from the stroller "I stuck, daddy". He knows he had a better chance getting his daddy to release him from captivity (the stroller) but it didn't work. Jay hates the mall too and told Nathan that it was his fault we were all there in the first place. All he had to do was smile for the photographer earlier in the day.

It is always more difficult to photograph more than one person at a time. I had two photoshoots recently, one of sisters and one of brothers. I had the same problem with both sessions. When reviewing the photos I noticed one child would look perfect in one photograph and the other child would look better in a different photograph.

For example the following photo that I love, isn't one photo at all. It is actually a composite of two different photographs.

sisters composite copy

See:

sisters comp 1

And the same thing happened with these brothers.

brothers comp

brothers comp

This may be my only option with Nathan and Teagan. We will be taking our family portrait regardless but I did want some portraits of the kids alone. So I will photograph Nathan alone and then photograph Teagan separately where she should be. Oh how this little boy makes me work for what I want.

But the kicker is, while we were at the mall last night, Jay wandered off with Nathan while Teagan and I stormed through several stores looking for a top for me. As soon as I left the boys, Nathan waltzed right into The Picture People, started playing with the Christmas trees and props, and tried to get in other families Christmas portraits. If I had known, I would've run right back with their Christmas outfits (which were in my bag for color matching purposes) and had their portraits taken right then and there.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

one of those weeks

The week has only just begun and already it has been one of those weeks. For example:

It's been one of those weeks when...

... I spend several minutes typing an important email on my phone and with one swift swipe of an intrigued hand Teagan clears the entire screen.

...as soon as I get Teagan to sleep, my husband trips over a glass bowl and metal spoon that was forgotten on the floor. {clang!}

...Nathan sits by my side pouring apple juice into my coffee cup without me realizing.

...the harder I try to concentrate on a thought the louder and more repetitive Nathan gets. {ride the car mama, ride the car mama, Ride the Car Mama, RIDE THE CAR MAMA, RIDE THE CAR MAMA, RIDE THE CAR MAMA!}

And the last straw...

...just as I think Nathan has recovered from over 2 months of being ill, I get a call from his doctor saying he has cultured pseudomonas again and needs more antibiotics. {2 weeks oral cipro, 2 months inhaled tobi}

I did enjoy another holiday photoshoot yesterday {and will enjoy another one this weekend} and am finding it therapeutic to edit those photos. At the same time I am getting frustrated with managing the nitty gritty details of Nathan's new medical plan, mostly just orchestrating getting the prescriptions approved and delivered.

His new modified daily airway treatment plan for the next 2 months...

Morning:
Oral Cipro
Albuterol {2 puffs, via spacer}
Hypertonic Saline & 30 minutes of Vest
Tobi
Afternoon:
Albuterol & Vest {as needed every 4 hours}
Evening:
Oral Cipro
Albuterol {2 puffs, via spacer}
Hypertonic Saline Pulmozyme & 30 minutes of Vest
Tobi

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

monsters under the bed {continued}

We recently acquired a complete {platform} bedroom set through the generosity of a near complete stranger, a good friend of my good friend.

Although a platform bed could be a little dangerous for my daredevil monkey of a son, I knew I would be in need of another bedroom set not too far down the road. Being that we had room to store it, or so we thought, we agreed to go pick it up.

When my husband and my father returned from their first trip with a full size platform bed I was beginning to second guess my idea having room to store the furniture. I had originally thought it was a twin size bed. The furniture was too heavy and my mover men were too tired to transport the pieces to the basement so I moved a few things out of the way and had them set it up temporarily in our dining room* play room.

*In response to a question on my previous post, to strike out text you simple surround the text in html tags.

If you typed what you see above, it would appear: text you want to appear with a line through it. In Blogger, the text will transform automatically and you can see the transformation before publishing your post by clicking "Edit Html" at the top right and then clicking back to "Compose".

It took Nathan all of ten seconds to discover a little secret about the bed, a cabinet that leads into a hidden "panic" room under the bed.

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And although our house may be filled with furry monsters, we have no monsters under our beds.

grover

But, even so, it is okay to double check....Nope, no monsters under our beds.

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Unless of course you consider daddy a monster.

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As you can see Nathan has already set up his new platform bed {in the playroom} to his specifications. Tent...check! Lots of stuffed animals, pillows, and blankets...check!

I am not so sure we will be successful at making this piece of furniture disappear into the basement any time soon. I may as well use the drawers for toy, clothing, and cloth diaper storage until we either have an expert from the cast of Hoarders knock on our door or move the bed elsewhere. Until then, when you walk in our front door and see a full size platform bed in our would be dining room know that you are entering our home and not a three ring circus or fun house.

Monday, December 6, 2010

monsters under the bed

There are no monsters under the bed in our house

grover

unless of course you consider... {to be continued}

Another change has been made in our dining room play room and I am beginning to think our house is turning into a circus. Nathan couldn't be happier but mommy and daddy are getting worried that we will be making our television debut on an episode of hoarders.

{to be continued}

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Decorating

We have our work cut out for us this weekend. Decorations are going up little by little and this year we have an extra set of helping hands. Let's hope they are productive hands and not destructive.

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