Friday, January 30, 2015

Life Continues

I haven't written here in a while. Things are busy, but in a good way. Monday I have Ramona's kindergarten informational meeting. And it's also time to sign Ruby up for preschool next year. And Eliza turned one. How quickly it all goes.

Today I got sucked into reading a huge article about heroin addiction. (You know how the internet is always doing that sort of thing to people.) It really made me think about how, though some things are hard now, other things are so easy. Our kids are safe with us for now. They are happy and loved and it is enough. There are so many scary things ahead, and all I can do is hope that I will prepare them for the difficult choices they will make in the future. Not just about drugs, but about people, friends, partners, jobs, school- everything. I'm doing my best to enjoy this time when things are easy in the best way, and hard in a way that I can handle.

But now I will reflect on these silly kids and their silly actions.

Enjoy that I can make them wear matching jammies on Christmas morning

And love every little grin I get from these little kids who have no idea how much I love them and how much they mean to me.

And they probably never will unless they have kids of their own. And I hope they can keep their cheesy grins and love of life.

I certainly have kept mine- mostly because of them.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gotta Get Away

A couple of weekends ago, we decided to get out of town. We hadn't gone anywhere in a while and just needed some space for adventure. It was Joe's birthday weekend, so when he mentioned going to Cleveland so we could eat at Great Lakes Brewery, it sounded like a nice, not too expensive way to spend some time together and get out of the house. Joe reserved us a room at a cheap hotel downtown (with one king bed- I did not realize that fact until we got there. All five us slept in the same bed. Yes, it was an interesting night. Surprisingly more sleep than I anticipated, but hardly a restful night's sleep. Remind me not to do that again.)

We went to Great Lakes first. It was bustling by the time we got there, but the kids happily ran around chasing pigeons while we waited to be seated since they had spent most of the morning in the car. The food was good, but Eliza was hungry and wanted to be held and entertained, so it was a bit exhausting. But we did have a great meal, good beer, and a nice spot for outdoor dining and people watching. From there, we hit up the Cleveland Zoo, which was pretty nice. Great exhibits, lots of animals, and informative signs made for a nice afternoon. Ruby desperately needed a nap (resulting in the Great "Mommy Will Not Carry You, Walk Or Ride in the Wagon" Standoff of 2014) but other than that it was a lot of fun. At that point we were all pretty tired, so it was back to the hotel where we ate pizza and attempted to sleep. In the same bed. I just needed to point that out again.

The next day was super fun. We got brunch at a different brewery. (Market something? District Brewing maybe?) Then we headed to the Natural History Museum. We had talked up the dinosaur bones to the kids, but they were not really impressed. Ramona's favorite part was a display of a bunch of animals watching a TV with the world's "most dangerous animal" which just showed footage of you standing there looking at the display. Ramona was delighted to be on television despite the stuffed animals obvious appall at her inherent danger and kept finding ways to wander back to the exhibit.

The cutest moment was when the big girls decided to spontaneously hug and then hold hands as they walked around together.

We got a lot of pictures together. For this one, Joe told us to roar. Ramona and I got really into it. Ruby did not. Eliza wondered if there was a way to pretend not to know me when she was strapped to my chest.
There was a display for kids about getting into nature. It garnered the best picture of the entire trip:
After that we decided to take the little girls to their first National Park (and Ramona's third.) So we went off to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, specifically to Brandywine Falls. It started pouring rain as we pulled into the parking lot, but it died down to sprinkles by the time I had fed Eliza and we got ready to walk off to the falls.

The kids were completely nonplussed. I thought at least Ramona would be impressed, but no. Eliza seemed to like the noise better than her white noise machine at home, so I guess at least one of them liked it. There was a friendly guy down there with his wife and we talked to him a bit and he offered to take a picture of the whole family, which was awesome since we don't have many of those.

You could view the falls from the top as well, so we went up to go check that out, and as soon as we got a few feet down the boardwalk it started POURING again. Ruby found this to be hilarious, and it was kind of fun. It was one of those things where there's nothing you can do but just keep walking, so we were all dripping wet and laughing.
And as suddenly as it had started, it stopped. We got back to the car, changed into some dry clothes and drove back home.

It was a short trip, but a good time. The kids are such good little travelers and I love seeing everything through their eyes. I think we'll find out way out to Cleveland again soon. There are definitely more adventures to be had there.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's- another girl!

Those are the exact words Joe used when he announced the new baby's sex in the delivery room after she was born.

On January 8, I went in for my midwife appointment, and she noted that my blood pressure had been getting higher for the past few appointments, which was unusual for me. There was no protein in my urine, and no real concern that something was seriously wrong, but she suggested I go to the hospital for induction that morning. We had been planning for me to go the next day, when I would have been 42 weeks, but I agreed to go in a day early to play it safe.

So, I called Joe and told him to ask his mom to watch the girls and headed home to pack a quick bag and get to the hospital. I got home and threw my stuff together and let my work know that it was go time and I was off. Joe did the same, and we left the girls with my mother-in-law and told them we were going to the hospital so the new baby could come out.  We had to stop off at the mall on the way so Joe could meet up with one of his co-workers and give him some keys, and then we finally arrived at the hospital.

Going to the hospital for a planned induction is pretty lame. There's no real drama. I told the women at the nurse's station that I was there for an induction and they told me to go down the hall and wait in a room until they could get me set up. Joe and I hung out and discovered the greatest horror of our hospital stay- their wi-fi was down. What a bummer. They finally got me hooked up to the monitors and an IV around 1pm. Joe went and got lunch and picked us up some magazines at some point. I ate a bunch of popsicles. This was the boring waiting part where I always feel guilty making Joe even be there since it's literally sitting in a room waiting for stuff to happen. I was having contractions but they weren't horrible or anything. It was mostly me just laying around and Joe reading magazines.

The staff stopped by and asked how things were going pretty regularly, and I let them know I was having contractions but they weren't killer. They finally checked m around 9pm and said I was about 5 to 6 cm. The midwife suggested we turn off the pitocin since my body seemed to be kicking into gear by itself, and break my water. This was when I started getting nervous. Breaking the water is always when shit gets real for me. Everything starts to hurt more and go faster. And, true to form, once that happened, things kicked up and the contractions started to hurt more and come faster. I told Joe I didn't want to do it. Like, if there was a way to get the baby out without going through another delivery, we should do that. I just really did not want to go through all the pain again.

Joe told me I'd be fine and get through it. I said I didn't think so, and thought I should get an epidural. We went back and forth over it again. I just felt like I was only dilated to 5 and MAYBE 6, so it was going to be hours more of this and I just couldn't take it. So, around 9:40, I asked the nurse for an epidural. She got the anesthesiologist and he showed up around 9:50. He was doing everything and asking me to stay still and it was SO HARD because it hurt SO MUCH and the contractions were coming SO FAST. When he said he was doing the last part, right at 10:05, I felt a gush of water and felt the baby drop into the birth canal and yelled, "This baby is coming NOW!" I instantly started feeling the urge to push.

The anesthesiologist said "I'm done! You can lay down!" Then realized his instruments were all over the bed and yelled, "Wait a minute!" and grabbed his stuff and I laid back. The epidural had not kicked in and I started yelling, "I do NOT want to feel this!" because the baby was wiggling around so much and I had never pushed without an epidural before. But, the urge to push was overwhelming and as the midwife appeared suddenly and asked if I could wait a minute to push because they were setting things up, I told her I just could not resist pushing. It was a force outside of me by that point. She said to go ahead and push if I had to, and I did. She then asked if I wanted stirrups or to hold my legs up and I yelled, "I don't care!" (I did a lot of yelling. Everyone was nice about it.)

I was pushing and the epidural was starting to work a little, but only in my leg it seemed, which I didn't really need. I felt the baby crowning and the infamous "ring of fire" and, yeah, that's appropriately named. On the next contraction, I pushed out the head. Then I kind of relaxed, forgetting that I had to push out the rest of the baby. The midwife and nurses started shouting, "Megan! We still need to get the rest!" And I was internally like, "oh yeah, there's more baby." So, I got back to pushing and out popped the body. Baby was born at 10:15.

And then I laid there. The midwife had said earlier that she would let Joe announce the sex of the baby since it was a surprise. For nearly two full minutes Joe stared at the baby. I began to wonder what was going on. Did Joe somehow not know the difference between boys and girls? Should I have drawn him a diagram? Was something wrong? Finally, he said, "It's- another girl!" And I was happy. I had been so sure she was a boy, but I was wrong. And of course, I was happy. Mainly because I was not super confident about circumcision decisions, and I got to avoid them yet again. But also because I do love my girls and was happy to add another one to the pack. 

One of the coolest things with Eliza is that we got to cuddle with her for the first hour after she was born and I got to nurse her right away. Both Ramona and Ruby were taken to NICU right after they were born, so we had never gotten to do that before. Usually I was left while Joe ran off to be with the baby, but this time we got to spend time together and it was really nice to just bond with the three of us. Finally we were moved to a recovery room around midnight and I received a text from my mom asking if anyone had been born that day, and I responded that her new granddaughter had arrived.

And that's how we added another daughter to this family.

Monday, November 18, 2013

These Kids

Life has continued happening even though I have not been posting about it. Ramona turned 4! I don't think I took any real pictures of her birthday because I was kind of stressed out at the time. I'm kind of sad about it, but meh, she had a lot of fun. We went to trick-or-treat at the zoo and then had family over. She is excited to be four, and already can't wait to be five.

Halloween was good. They delayed our trick-or-treating due to weather fears (that were pretty much unfounded.) Ramona changed her mind about what to be for Halloween about a million times. She finally settled on a fawn about a week before Halloween. Then she changed her mind the night before Halloween when we were getting ready to go to the store to get supplies to make her costume. I admittedly didn't do the best job on this costume, but she was happy with it, so whatever. Ruby was a Ru-bee. (Hahaha, I am funny.) They both did pretty well walking around (well, Ruby was in the stroller) and Ramona was really good at saying trick-or-treat and thank you this year.
Joe was very unimpressed with my rainbow costume. I guess he'll just make the next conceptual costume our child comes up with the day before Halloween.

Pregnant me, my sister and the kids. Miles was a horse. It was pretty cute.

Life has been really really good lately. The kids are just really fun to be around. Ramona is my little buddy. She's getting into doing crafts, baking, and playing games, so we always have some sort of "project" we are working on together. It's fun to teach her new things. She's learning how to write and draw and is obsessed with spelling. Hanging out with her generally feels like  you're in a constant spelling bee, which does get old sometimes, but, I love that she loves to learn.
Ramona with her worm friend.

Ruby is firmly in toddler mode, which means more than a few tantrums (especially when she's tired) but she also has a big grin and can be pretty charming, which makes up for it most of the time. She's an "I do it myself" kid, which was not the case with Ramona. Sometimes that's really great, others, not so much. I mean, she just is incapable of doing some things, so it gets frustrating for both her and us when she desperately wants to do something and can't and won't let us help. But, such is the life of the toddler. She is starting to talk and has a little list of things she says- mama, daddy (although never when Joe wants her to, much to his annoyance. I don't think he would mind as much if she didn't totally mess with him by responding, "Mama?" every time he asks her to say daddy.) She says yeah and no, bye, ball, bubble, apple, balloon, baby, water, thanks, clap, Ramona, and cat and does a few choice animal noises. She also says, "I did it!" and "Yay!" from a book about using the potty that she is obsessed with. "No!" also started from reading Where's Spot? And "Hop on Pop" is something she says when she jumps on Joe as well as what she calls any Dr. Seuss book.
Ruby loves pizza as much as the rest of us

New baby is doing well (I mean, from what I know.) This baby is not dropping and so I cannot breathe, but other than that, the pregnancy is going well. I'm looking forward to being able to climb around with the kids and play more, but I'm trying to enjoy this pregnancy since it is most likely my last. We finally have names picked and are super excited to find out if we'll be an all girl family or if we'll add a boy to the mix. I've got about five weeks left until my due date. Then we'll have another kid. WEIRD.

I'm looking forward to expanding the family. The more kids, the crazier and busier it gets.This family makes me pretty happy.
We have these moments, when we can't make everyone happy.

And these ones- everyone loves playing "elevator" in our closet.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mother's Day pIctures

It's been quite a while since I last wrote in here. I blame school. I've been out of school for a few weeks now and am out until near the end of August, so maybe I'll update this a couple times before I get sucked into that black hole again.

Much has happened since last I wrote. I got a promotion to a new job that I like much more than my old job. I am a happy lady with a fuller bank account. I get satisfaction from my job. It's nice.

We also bought a house. We are moving into it next weekend. This weekend, Joe and I are painting pretty much the entire upstairs. That should be fun. Not really, but at least it will be done. My mom is watching the girls while we do it, so at least we won't have the kids getting into the paint.

I also am pregnant. "Again?" you are thinking. Yes, again. This is theoretically our last kid, but knowing how we are, don't rely to heavily on that statement. It's our last planned kid. Not that this kid was planned. But, whatever. We are excited to bring another baby into the mix. I found out I was pregnant around the time we started our house hunting, so we did manage to get a four bedroom.

So, there's a lot going on and many good things. My life is almost too good right now. It's kind of concerning. Like, what horrible thing is going to happen to counteract all this awesomeness? We shall see. I was convinced our new house would be destroyed by a flash flood or tornado before we even moved in, but so far, so good. As for now, we are happy and things are going well.

Third pregnancy is so weird. The first one is kind of remarkable. It's so cool the way your body just changes and does stuff and just somehow knows how to do it. Very impressive, body! The second time, it's kind of a smug rehashing of the first pregnancy. "I know this deal. I'm not a lame first time mom anymore. I'm too cool!" That is the second pregnancy attitude I possessed. Third pregnancy is more like, "I"m pregnant? I forgot again." I don't have time to think about this pregnancy at all. People ask how far I am, and I'm like, "Uh, somewhere between 15 and 17 weeks. I forget which."

We are not finding out if this one is a boy or a girl (until birth, I mean. I'm assuming it will be fairly obvious after the child is born.) I think it will be fun to have a surprise this time. I need something to shake this pregnancy up and shoot some excitement into it. That's another thing about third pregnancy. Everyone seems less excited and is more like, "Oh, you're doing that again." Like it's your unseemly hobby or something. "Ugh, Megan is having ANOTHER baby we have to pretend to care about. I'm so over it."

Anyway, enough about baby number three (who we are very excited about, despite my joking.) I missed blogging about pretty much everything that happened so far this year, so here are some pictures of things we did over the last few months. First, Ramona ran the kids' marathon again this year. She was more excited about it this year, and "ran" it fairly enthusiastically. She lost her shoe twice, so I guess next year I'll have to get her lace up shoes or something.

And, referring to the title of this post, I also had my fourth annual Mother's Day pictures, and first (and I guess last) pictures as a mother of two. Joe got some good ones, and I was not disappointed.
That was probably the best posed one, in the sense that everyone is looking at the camera. Not great or anything, but me and my kids, on "my" holiday, as requested.
But this was my favorite. I was tickling Ruby and making her laugh and Ramona ran over to get in on the fun.
Giggling babies are the best.

And speaking of the soon-to-be middle child, she is funny and opinionated. She's a handful but also very lovable and sweet. She's an awesome cuddler and she can meltdown like nothing over anything. Every day is an adventure with that kid. She still isn't walking yet, but she's getting close. She has the occasional step every once in a while, but no concentrated intentional walking. It's coming very soon, though. And then no one will be safe. Time to baby proof this new house.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Some Free Time

I've been meaning to write in here (as always) and now I have some more free time. Life has been good. I went through a big funk from the beginning of December through most of January. I don't know why, I just wasn't happy. I can name a lot things that were weighing on me (one very stressful class, the Sandy Hook shooting, exhaustion, and just general malaise) but I have finally started feeling good again.

My classes this semester are much more enjoyable. I have one online and one I actually attend and they are both interesting and require a lot of attention but aren't overwhelming. School is actually a positive thing for me the semester and I'm enjoying it. And, despite what I said when I was in the middle of my drama-fest, I will actually be happy and proud when I graduate. In fact, picturing myself in a graduation gown is pretty much my go-to motivator these days.

Some friends started a weight loss challenge and that has kept me going on my Ruby's pregnancy weight-loss goals. I was having a hard time at it and I finally realized it's because there was no accountability or competitive edge to my efforts. I am so much more productive when there is that aspect involved. (Joe was losing weight after Ramona, which is why I had so much success losing weight after her birth.) I should be back to normal by her birthday and am feeling good about it now.

The girls are really making me smile a lot. Ruby has two teeth now (and the timing on them was spot on-exact to-the-day timing as Ramona if you consider the one week difference in their gestational age versus birth.) She is SO ready to crawl and really REALLY wants to walk. She gets on all fours and rocks, but hasn't actually crawled yet. She gets around through some army crawling and a lot of rolling. It's fun to see her roll around since Ramona didn't really do that (probably because we had so little space when she was this age.) She also started waving recently. I do take pictures of her, but I feel bad because there aren't as many as I took with Ramona. Some of it is just being the second kid, but a big part of it is that I haven't had a point and shoot camera that I really love in awhile. The one Joe got me for Christmas a couple years ago is good outside, but it takes really crappy indoor pictures, which is obviously a majority of what I want to do. So I take most pics with my phone, and they are also really crappy.

Ramona is getting better at having full conversations and thinks of a lot of funny and sometimes clever things to say. For example, potty training has been a big ordeal, and she is pretty much 100% trained in the art of peeing. Pooping is another story, and we are at about 50% there (and that is probably being generous.) So, we were in the car the other day and it was smelly. I wasn't sure if it was her or Ruby, so I asked, "Ramona, did you poop in your pants?" And she responded, "Not yet!" I laughed SO HARD.

Things with Joe are good. We are quite the team these days and are doing lots of saving for a potential house purchase sometime in the hopefully near future. We do have some trips planned for the year just to make life a little more fun (a weekend in Pittsburgh to visit my brother's family and a week up in northern Michigan are in our budget at the moment.) I'd also like to take a weekend trip with just the two of us at some point, but will see how that plays out. We definitely need some time to connect and be grown-ups. (Although, that generally means we need time to be immature together- are we the only ones who mean "be irresponsible" when we say "be grown-ups away from our kids?" I've always assumed that's what most people mean, but maybe I'm wrong.)

Life is good. It's always getting better. I am happily awaiting spring so we can be outdoors and enjoying the fresh air a bit more often. I can't wait to break in the new bicycle trailer for the girls we got for Christmas. There will be picnics at the end of University Trail all summer! That's what I've been thinking about lately.