Monday, May 2, 2016

Let Us Celebrate "Her"

We're less than one week away from that event which is automatically populated on everyone's SmartPhone Calendars or even typed onto a Hard Copy Calendar perhaps in a light shaded grey font. As someone today said "Everyday should be Mother's day".. ain't that the truth! I think we don't get to acknowledge our appreciation for anyone in our lives each day, as much as we would like to. So once upon a time (and I'm sure Wikipedia has the underlining facts behind it) someone smacked 1 day on the Calendar to make sure Mothers do not get missed amongst the day to day chaos of Life.

As this day approaches each year I hear so many Significant Others say "I don't know what she wants".. "She is so difficult to shop for"... "She said she doesn't want anything"... "No really, she doesn't like anything I get her"... Or there may even be the Post-Mother's day .. "Oh crap....!"

I asked some Moms I know "What would you really appreciate on Mother's Day?" Here is feedback I received and it makes my heart happy to be able to share this. Perhaps, those that want to do something nice for your Mom, your significant other, someone you know who is a Mom, perhaps someone who is like a Mom to you... these ideas will help! As someone who is a Professional Procrastinator... you still have time!


1. Breakfast in bed? Perhaps, Mama just needs a little extra time in the morning to sleep in as maybe in your household she's up early everyday figuring out what to feed everyone. Getting the kids up, finding clean clothes to dress them in, teeth brushed and fed. On Saturday night, turn off her alarm clock and tell her to stay in bed come morning ;-)

2. Or maybe, you know that Mom really well and she would love to walk downstairs and have a table set with her favorite breakfast that she doesn't get to make often since mornings are chaotic and it's always more of finding the quickest meal to scarf down. *Don't forget having a cup of coffee or tea ready!  Brownie points!

3. Be Tim the Toolman! Was there something that needs fixing in the house? You know, that thing that maybe Mama has asked (or you feel nags about) more times than once for, that is broken. Maybe, a picture frame on the wall? Something outside set up, patio furniture? A light fixture that doesn't produce light? The toilet that constantly runs? A leaky faucet? The tub drain that needs emptying? The door(s) that squeaks and just needed a quick spray for WD-40?

4. Exercise that Green Thumb! If the forecast is looking stunning and Mom loves gardening, maybe it'll be fun to head out to a local Garden and have her pick out flowers. Even better yet, pick some up with the kids. Ones that they like, bring them home and have fun in the dirt all together! If you want to send Mom out somewhere for a few hours, this can be a really neat Surprise for when she returns. Just make sure the kiddos are all clean and the dirt prints in the house are washed away. Also, grab a Bouquet of flowers while you're out and about! ;-)

5. Spa Day! Mom may be hinting at getting her hair dolled up, nails done, a long pedicure or massage. Send her off. Let her just relax and enjoy herself. Mama may be due with Baby #2.. or #3.. or #7. If you know she'd love that but wants to be with the family on that day, then get a Gift Certificate with a little note letting her know to choose to go when she feels up to it. "Don't worry I'll hang with the kids!" Just don't say you'll babysit.. we don't babysit our own kids, LOL!

6. Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! Even though Mom doesn't like her picture taken. We always love having pictures with the kids or a family picture. It may be just for herself to have, keep on her phone or make a nice print for the wall. Bring your camera with you and find a pretty spot to snap some photos of her with the kids. Better yet, set the timer (Smart Phones have them too) and take some fun photos together. If it's raining stay inside and open up all of the curtains to get a little lighting in the room. Pull out the umbrellas and go outside for some fun,, memorable photos of the day! If you're out and about do not be shy.. ask a stranger to please take a Photo of all of you! Strangers aren't mean, you wouldn't mind doing that for someone I am sure and they won't mind taking one of you. "Can you please take a photo of our family, their Mom will love it". Offer to take a photo of the Stranger even if they're flying solo, LOL! 
Note: ... and Oh! Don't take this first thing in the morning. Let Mom get herself ready ;-)

7. DIY! Pinterest it! In case you've never actually seen that thing called Pinterest which Mom talks about every day. DIY = Do It Yourself. We all have a little Crafty spark in us! Check out Pinterest for a cute Homemade Craft for Mom. My husband last year made up his own "cement" and did foot & hand prints of our daughter. I asked if he could make this a Ritual every year for Mother's Day. It's those little things that will mean such a great deal. Make a card with the kids. It doesn't have to be perfect. That's not what DIY is about. It's putting your time into something for someone that is your whole world. Mom will look at that as time you spent with the kids which believe me, makes us happy! Hint Hint.. here's a link to Pinterest 

8. Mr. Clean! Mama may feel that all she does is clean, vacuums, dishes, laundry, then repeat. The laundry pile is insane. Who knows what is actually dirty or what can be worn a few more times? We start one thing and then distractions cause us to move onto something else. Then we find ourselves unsure of what we still have to do. Load up that dish washer after Mom goes to sleep Saturday night. Let her wake up to a clean kitchen, counters you can see, a table that doesn't have mail lingering around (hide the bills for another day), If you can't get to all of the laundry put it in baskets so it doesn't look stressful. Maybe throw some outdated things away in the refrigerator. Leftovers that have been "leftover". Empty all of the garbage cans in the house. Take the recyclables out. Vacuum up those hidden cobweb spots and corners where the kids left their snacks. Maybe wash those windows that you see the little hand prints and animals mouth residue on. If the kids are old enough sit down with them and create a Chore Chart. Let's reduce what Mom does so she can focus on some other things at home and in the Family! Ultimately, taking away Mom's chores for even the day that overwhelm us is an incredible gift.

9.  Dinner Date:  Is there a place that she heard others raving about and always say "I want to try that place". Call in some reservations for dinner. Don't forget to ask if it's a kid friendly restaurant and has high chairs, You just never know! ;-)

10. Picnic Anywhere! You can Picnic on a Lake, on the Beach, or somewhere not Far. You Picnic in the Yard, in a field or even in a Car! This is what I call saving a little money but making it a beautiful afternoon. Gather up from the house what's needed. The Diaper Bag, make sandwiches or swing by a local deli or a Subway for some grinders, put fruit in a tupperware (she has plenty of them tucked away in the cabinet). Get drinks, water bottles, juice, milk, whichever is everyone's favorite. Find a large enough blanket that everyone can comfortably sit or lay down on. Venture out or if you can't go far, and it's raining, put a tent up in the backyard. You can make a picnic special anywhere. As long as you're all together and have something to eat and drink, lol.

11. Love Notes:  If the kids are old enough to write everyone grab out paper, markers, crayons or pens. Whatever you can find. Pull out scrap paper or construction paper. Cut everything in different shapes: hearts, circles, squares, Yoda.. etc. Start writing things that you're thankful for with Mom. Does she always make sure there are meals ready? Do you always have clean underwear and matching socks? Does she always make sure everyone gets bedtime kisses and everyone is bathed? Does she remind you not to forget your wallet or keys each morning before you leave? Does she make sure the bills are paid so you have electricity and heat? I could go on, but you know all that a Mom does in a day and then some, what she does in a year. She may be the one to update the Calendar of Birthdays, celebrations and events. She purchases the gifts when you go places and makes sure your clothes are ironed. Let's recognize for all she does. Start filling out little notes to show your appreciation for those little things she does that keeps the home running and lives running smoothly. There may be some things she does which she doesn't even realize what an impact it makes on your life. Let her know through words!

12. Jewelry! Mama loves it even if she may not always get to wear it.  But what exactly would she want? Perhaps, a ring, earrings or necklace with all of the children's birthstones. A bracelet that has significance to what an amazing woman she is. A single pearl necklace to represent her little one or more depending on how many munchkins she has!

13. Wall Photo Decor! There's some photos that Mom absolutely loved. Whether, it was when the children were born or a special event. She loves it and you know she'd love to have that blown up on canvas somewhere in the house. There are so many online places or even local Print Shops that can get that done before Mother's Day. If not, still get it and let her know an extra special gift will be arriving late. Google for coupons/discounts too ;-) 

14. A Walk in the Park or Hike! Throw the strollers in the car and pack some sunscreen. Make it a day in the park, or along the ocean, maybe a pretty pond. If Mama loves hiking, grab the carriers for the kids and make sure everyone has their sneakers on. Don't forget the bug spray and grab a backpack with waters! Either way, you'll be breathing in the fresh air and helping to tire those kiddos out for bedtime. 

15. Wine! You know she has a favorite Wine. Send her a bottle, drop it off, or have it opened and poured in a glass for dinner. If you went to get real crazy you can even purchase her some new wine glasses!

16. Bath & Bed Time! Help! SOS! The kids are tired and cranky but so dirty from all of the day's events. Tell Mom to put her feet up on the couch and pick out a movie. Maybe she's ready for bed herself. In that case send her in the bedroom, and tell her to lock that door. You know just in case a naked little toddler decides they want to run around. Mom doesn't need to know about the trail of water from the bathroom to everywhere else in the house. You're handling the Nighttime Routine! 

17. Mama Needs New Clothes & Shoes! It's a new Season and Mama needs to dress the part! Head out to the Mall or Shopping Outlets and let her choose the stores. Or if she needs a few hours on her own tell her you have plans with the kids. That way Mom can take her time in the dressing and maybe even take a nap on one of their comfortable couches.

18. A Night Away! Do you know how an Elephant sleeps? Well barely, they can take a 15 minute nap tops at a time (while standing). They're always on their feet all day and only let their trunk hit the ground for 4-6 hours a night. Sound familiar? Okay, so us Moms don't have trunks but I'd say our sleep patterns are not too different. Even more, do we even get 15 minutes of nap time? Perhaps that would sound more familiar for our night schedule. Send Mama away Saturday night to get a full night's rest. Then when she returns Sunday spend the day together as a family. She'll love it & love you! Oh! Maybe she can meet up with a girlfriend for dinner before she heads out to her Solo Night Away of Sleep!

19. Weekend Away! Let's step it up a notch. Would Mom love to go away for a weekend with her favorite gals? Not on Mother's Day but if you can somehow coordinate with her favorite chicks and send her a way start planning now. What a surprise would that be? How AWESOME would you be? You'll always be able to think back and say ... "Remember that time I planned a Girl's Weekend away for you?"... Believe me, do that and you'll get a ton of Golf Days ;-)

20. Movie Night! Mama has to delete all of the shows on the DVR to make space for someone's sports games, kids favorite TV shows or the DVR just doesn't exist in your home. She's always sitting their, smiling and watching what everyone loves and just needs a night of her choosing to pick out a movie and control the remote. Sticky hands off everyone! Mama picks what we watch tonight. To make it fair to everyone you can even divvy up the week and have everyone take turns with a night :) 

21. Dine In! Bring the night full circle with a delicious Homemade dinner! Involve the kids too. Remember that Pinterest that we chatted about in #7? Check that out for great Dinner Ideas. Set the table up. Pull out the fine china (as long as you're doing dishes) or grab paper plates, napkins and plastic silverware. Mom will love it all! Here's a perfect time to pour a glass of wine or in a plastic cup!

22. Plan It Out! This ties into just about anything on this list. Something common I hear from other Moms is that they do not care what the day entails as long as their Significant other plans it. Perhaps, the night before or day (s) because.. you still have time says the Professional Procrastinator right here.. create a schedule for the entire day and share with her the itinerary or keep it a surprise! Believe me, there is nothing better then a Mom waking up and her whole day is planned and she doesn't have to do a thing but go along for the ride! Let her brain R-E-L-A-X for the day!

23. No Diapers: What's that? Mama doesn't have to change... one... single.. diaper for the entire day? You are the best!

24. Delivery! If you know of a Mama that's all alone on Mother's day with her kiddos or perhaps they're all grown up. Send her flowers, a meal or some fruit! Mail a card! Send her an e-mail, a voicemail, silly video clips to cheer her up. Send her something that's meaningful to her like a scrapbook or photo album. Just let her know you're thinking of her!

25. X's & O's: From the moment Mama wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep, any moment you can get. Give hugs and kisses. Even at the most random moment while you're waiting in line for a hot dog at a stand on the side of the road. At the parks, feeding the ducks. Whisper in your kids ears "Go hug Mommy..." ... "Give Mama a big wet kiss". Don't be shy, you can do that too! We often forget these little moments and that's all we need. Don't forget the sweet words... "I Love You"

These are just a few ideas out of 100's out there to make that Mom in your life feel special and appreciated. Ideas that can also be done and used each day as well throughout the year. I hope that special woman in your life has a wonderful Mother's Day! 

Let us Celebrate "Her" for all she does! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Story of The "Little Saint" Nevan

Charlie and I began dating when I was 17. From that point on it was just the two of us. Until we moved into our first Apartment 4 years later. We had gotten Nevan just a month prior to moving in on New Year's Eve. Nevan was one of a kind. I really mean that. Let me take a few steps back... 

My Aunt had found Nevan and his brother, Fenway, just newborn kittens with pointy tails right before a huge Blizzard had hit. Had she not have seen them we wouldn't have had Nevan. We originally didn't want a cat, no way, not us. As we were over my Aunt's for Charlie to work on her computer the kittens were running around. To this day I feel Nevan chose us. He climbed on Charlie's lap while he worked on the computer and even he said "this kitten is pretty cool". It goes without question we wanted him.

I chose the name Nevan because it meant "Little Saint". Being the time of the year and the circumstance I felt that fit him just right. And you know... it really did. 

The problem was we were not due to move into our Apartment until New Year's Eve and I was so sad. I mean this was OUR baby and I didn't get to see him everyday for an entire month before moving into our home. Charlie however did.. 

Charlie was amazing. I mean that. He made Nevan a home in his bedroom, it was out of cardboard boxes. Nevan had his own little apartment within Charlie's apartment. He set up a WebCam which was called the "NevCam". He created a link to the WebCam that any time during the day if I were home I could click on it and see what Nevan was doing. I shared it with anyone I knew and friends that were away at College would write me saying that in between their classes, their favorite thing to do was hop on the NevCam and see what mischievous he was up to. He was loved. 

Living in our first apartment together, starting fresh as a couple and with Nevan made us this family. I remember being in that moment still when we had him and put him down in the Apartment the first day. I remember him being cautious, sniffing around and then within an hour he was hyper jumping up the doorways.

He was a cat that ran to the door to greet everyone and always was the center of attention. He loved being loved. That was Nevan.

I won't go into our life story together because well that's 11 years more worth. I will try to sum it up. We later gained more fur babies. Minnie another cat and Peanut our Yorkie. This was our family. We never thought we could have children and these were/are our children. When we went through all we did to have Autumn our lives changed. She immediately was born into a family with loving fur siblings. They all loved her even with the stresses it all entailed. 

I've been documenting Autumn's life since she was born as everyone knows. I'm thankful for that. Especially knowing we lost one of our children sooner than we ever imagined. Nevan passed away last Tuesday. We both felt the fur babies would be around for Autumn to say their names and we can hear her say that she loves them. We'll continue to show her videos and photos of Nevan and talk about him daily because I want her to know about him and always have memories even if it's us sharing them with her. 

Nevan was an incredible cat. A loyal friend. He kept my belly warm every night of his life with us. His paws rest on my belly while Autumn was in there growing. He was there to comfort on days I just felt lost. He stayed by my side during each surgery I've had while healing. He was the sweetest of Cats and we'll love our first baby, our Little Saint, Nevan forever. 


Monday, February 8, 2016

Mommy Judging. True Story.

I think back to High School and how often kids were judging other kids. Whether or not we admit it we all judge in some form or another. We judge through our thoughts, gestures, words or sometimes by doing absolutely nothing at all. 

We're those parents that bring our child out after a snowstorm near waterfalls where it's icy. She loved it. True Story.

 We're those parents that have an extremely daring child that wants to somersault everywhere and anytime. She's nuts. She's crazy. We let her do her thing. She's fallen a lot. She's gotten bruises. She always gets back up. She loves it. True Story. 

I remember growing up feeling judged constantly mainly because in those days friends would let you know when someone was saying something about you. Right? Majority of the time at least. Sometimes you could just sense how someone felt about you, but others didn't want you to feel hurt. I also remember being told by adults that this will soon pass. We all grow up and all of a sudden become adults. When we become adults you no longer judge others? That's how I understood what happens. Boy was I ever more wrong. 

If anything it gets worse. As adults maybe we feel we've lived it? We know what's right and what's wrong. Of course everyone else is wrong. I think people try to be polite and say "no judging... but......." 

I bring this all up because since I became Mom I've never felt more judged in my entire life. I've received "advice" on things I should be doing or perhaps should not be doing as a Mom. I've also feel I've fallen into that category of judging. I ask myself what makes them better than me to look at how I'm parenting? Everyone talks about Mommy Wars and we need to end them, but it seems daily when I look through my Facebook feed or read others blogs on social media, it's never ending. This would become mighty long if I sat here sharing all of the posts I've seen of what parents should be doing (which I don't think I make the cut for). Here I am judging what they are sharing. It's this black hole... stay away... step away!

I'm trying to figure a way around this all. Maybe instead of judging we embrace our flaws or I should correct myself, what others feel are flaws? If I could go back to High School, I'd probably approach my bad hair choices ahead of time before others could critique me. Maybe my attire choices too? 

My question for you. How do you handle being/feeling judged? Not even just the actual words someone says to you, but what you see on Social Media that people share which may or may not be directed towards you but when you know you don't fall into that category, for myself.. I feel judged. Gosh, being a parent is hard. Teaching your children something you have no idea how to control or stop..

Shouldn't we all be in this together? Stepping back to teenage years, we were all in it together, right? Now as parents, as Moms we should be helping one another? 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Affordable & Free Toddler Adventures: Eastern Point Beach

Autumn was a November baby so of course the first 3-4 months I felt that cabin fever being cooped up inside our home every day. Looking back, I wish I had ventured out more from the start. Not that she would remember, but more for myself to get some air. Charlie and I were always out and about doing things before Autumn was born.

Once that 4 months mark hit it, Spring fever hit me too! I felt more alive, motivated and it was constant... "What should we do this weekend?". We have tried to do something just about every weekend that gets us out of the house. It's been fulfilling.. I think that's the word I'm looking for. Memorable.. it makes us happy as a family. Most of all, we can see Autumn in these moments is so genuinely happy. She'll have photos and videos to look back on to see just how happy she was, but we have these moments forever printed in our memory of her giggles and smiles... and just pure awe

I wanted to share some of outings as we also try to do things that don't cost money to give ideas for others. Happiness and Fun shouldn't have to be expensive. Of course having a new baby brings on changes and financial is one of them. We want to still have fun adventures together as a family where we spend the least amount of money and can enjoy the time with one another. 

This particular day we had ventured to two places. This was the second place we stumbled upon . I'll write about the 1st place in another Post. City of Groton, Eastern Point Beach Park. Since it's Winter (off season) there were no fees to enter. Having a tiny human that walks around is incredible. There were small raised rocks where she could climb with our anxious arms inches away.

A beautiful old house that is now used for the Beach with a wrap around porch that she walked and ran around. The patter of her little feet echoing was the sweetest thing along with her laughter as she pretended we were chasing her.

There were tiny moments in time I snuck in for quick smooshie kisses before she ran away, Little Miss Independent.. sigh...  There is also a playground at this park that we didn't even make it too. Autumn tired herself out running around, sitting in the grass, running away from imaginary friends or animals that we never made it to check out the playground. But there is one and it's fenced in. You get to sit there overlooking the ocean. It's a beautiful place to venture to!

As ever adventure begins it must end.. She makes it very clear when her day is over. Those heavy eyes and cute itch of the nose. She's the best.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Moms, You Are Doing A Great Job

As I sit here realizing there are 2 more days left of 2015 I'm thinking back to this past year. Where was I one year ago? 

Autumn was a little over a month. Her months as she grew is basically how I decipher time. A year ago I was having a panic attack nervous breakdown going back to work. She wasn't even 8 weeks yet. Autumn was always crying when she fed (which I was nursing). I felt something was wrong with me, and then I realized something wasn't right with her. I was doing everything by the book with nursing, I was watching what I ate. Her latch was great. Asking everyone and anyone I knew who was nursing if they were going through the same thing. I even took videos of her nursing and how she reacted to send to other moms. I can't tell you how heartbreaking it is when others say "My baby doesn't do that..".. Then there were Moms I found struggling with the same thing. When we finally found out she had Reflux, even though I didn't want her in pain, there was a weight lifted. Just knowing what the "what" was and then the "how" we're going to treat this was already leading us in a better place than we were. 

Those days that turned into months of the struggle with her Reflux left me extremely weak as a Mother. That incredible strength and empowerment I had delivering her was gone. It left me with insecurities, no confidence and I kept myself shut away in our home. I timed any outings so no one could see her nurse. I didn't want anyone seeing her cry. Why? Because of the reactions I received. 
"Why is she crying".. 
"She's always crying.." ... 
"She must have colic".. 
"Your baby has colic"...
"She's hungry" ... 
"Is she getting enough"
"Babies don't cry like that"
"Maybe you should stop nursing.."... 
"If it's this hard then maybe nursing isn't the best option.."
... I could go on.. but I think you get the idea..

For anyone reading this that may realize they have said any of those to someone at some point. Or perhaps, it's thoughts that go through your mind but you never say. There's something I would love to share which will honestly help any mother, whatever their struggle is at anytime. Instead of negative feedback even though it's coming from a good place, or anything that may knock a mother down deeper than they are... just hug them and say ...
.."You are doing a great job. You are strong. I am here for you".

I can't begin to start writing about all of the times I did hear that, how much better it made that obstacle I was facing. I had an incredible support system. Reflux is not the end of the world, I know. I also know there are many other ailments that babies deal with that require extensive treatments. But when you're a new Mom and this is all you know, it's very difficult. You know what... we got through it. I'm fortunate enough now to be able to help others going through this as well.  

I wanted to share this because that's where I was 1 year ago and now as 2015 ends I feel like I could handle just about anything that comes our way. I want to help other new Moms because there are not enough books that could begin to tell you how this all play out. I still have doubts don't get me wrong, and question my parenting or second guess too often, but I know I'm right up there with all you Super Moms. You are ALL Super Moms and inspire me every day! Kudos to you all and I hope you know that! 

                You are doing a great job. You are strong and will forever be. I am here for you


Thursday, December 3, 2015


I lay here writing after what has been a bit of an emotional day. Thinking back to all of the moments that unfolded today there's one special moment that sticks in my mind from this evening. 

Let me set the scene so you can picture it all in your mind...

I'm standing in the kitchen after returning from the store with supplies to make a magnetic board that can stay on our fridge that is stainless steel. I cut it just right and as I asked Charlie to keep Autumn occupied in the living room while I mastered this DIY Project, I said out loud "this fridge is soo dirty!". I opened up the cabinet after wrestling with our new childproof locks to grab the cleaner for our appliances. I then tore 2 pieces of a the paper towel rolls, because let's be serious.. one is never enough?

I was leaning down, seconds away from spraying.. when I caught the reflection just perfectly on the lower part of the fridge. This is the portion of the fridge where Autumn can reach. This is where it's "dirty". But you know what? It's not dirty. It's her toddler baby fingerprints. I'm staring at the highest level she can reach in her world, where she all day pushes the fridge door closed for us when we open it. I'm staring at her little fingerprints when she puts both of her hands against it and roars like a lion at the door in the blurred reflection that maybe she sees of herself. I'm staring down at Autumn looking right back up at me as I make dinner, with one little hand on the fridge, leaning like she's waiting for my delicious cooking (hold the laughter). I'm staring at her teenie, tiny, little prints that she left behind of her baby days..

What did I do? I put the the cleaner away.. and the two paper towels for another day. I know if I wiped them away tonight they'll be back tomorrow. I know that..  But tonight, I just need one more day. One more day to see those little fingerprints from today. Don't we all?

Next time you're about to wash those little surfaces that your babies just can't keep their hands away from, take a moment to enjoy the true moments that created those little fingerprints.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Our Biggest Worry Before the Baby Arrived

When a new baby arrives I think that I can speak for most of us with pets when I say... it's nerve racking to know just how the animals will take to the new being in their home. I remember how stressed we were with our two cats. We researched and contemplated how we would keep her room "cat free". We thought of putting a screen door in replace of her wooden door to the nursery which would still allow air flow. Then we realized the cats would probably tear the screen apart. With our dog, Peanut who is our baby, that made us nervous. Would he be jealous of her? Would his awesome personality change in which he wouldn't be our baby anymore? Would he hate us? 

5 months after Autumn Lily was born and we find ourselves laughing at all of those worries. Peanut was extremely protective of Autumn in the beginning. He wouldn't let the cats go near her never mind even get to smell her. Now they're all friends, with the exception of Nevan (our first cat). He has no interest in anyone or anything but food. Now that Autumn can sit and reach she likes to grab Peanut and the cats. Peanut keeps his distance these days but still watches over her. 

Here is a little taste of the silliness between Autumn and her babies. I believe she's trying to tell Peanut how stressful teething is. 


Monday, March 23, 2015

A Cute, Snuggly, Sick Piglet

Baby feet buried in Peanut's fur. Peanut has been such a great big brother keeping Autumn and Mommy company.

Last week I was sick with what was or close to be a flu. I thought after first delivering Autumn and being home recovering from the birth was tough, but being sick and taking care of a baby was a challenge for sure. Now, our little piglet is sick with congestion and a cold. It's so heartbreaking. I'm getting better but now The Dad is sick!

She's been sleeping through the night for a few months now but with being sick it feels like she's a newborn again. We sure were spoiled this whole time. We've done all the homeopathic steps to help her get better but nothing seems to be helping. We are now putting some vapor rub on her chest and feet which has helped to soothe her at night. We also have a diffuser running with essential oils along with a humidifier. It's just a matter of making her comfortable until this passes.

In the meantime she's extremely playful during the day and has been keeping herself occupied. Then there is the snuggling. Oh I love the sick piglet snuggles. She's also been talking up a storm! I wish I could continue to be sick and take it all from her. 

I long for warm weather and to sit outside in Peanut's area on a blanket with Autumn and watch her reaction to the birds chirping and the squirrels passing through. Soon.. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Our Funny Valentine

This past Valentine's Day was Charlie and I 14th Valentine's together. I remember early on in our relationship something always came up on that day where we couldn't spend it together. After a few years it wasn't so much a big deal anymore. We never went out but we would give each other cards and maybe the occasional gift.

A year ago was our first Valentine's as a married couple, woohoo! Since it felt like a special enough reason to celebrate we had reservations and went to dinner. I remember feeling so happy being out with Charlie at a fancy shmancy restaurant enjoying a glass of wine and chicken parmigiana. I felt pretty and not so broken. Mainly, because a few weeks prior I had gotten positives on a bunch of pregnancy tests. Sadly, for whatever reason those "positives" just were not meant to be that month, they weren't meant to be for us at that time. 

Being out with Charlie that night on Valentine's Day cheered me up, lifted my spirits. I wasn't sitting around questioning "why me? why us?". What I hadn't known then, which I know now.. is that night when we were at dinner celebrating the Holiday of Love as a married couple, we had already conceived Autumn. 

This past Valentine's Day we spent the evening in, snuggling with Autumn, enjoying take-out of Chicken Parmigiana and a bottle of wine. We celebrated the love that Autumn has brought to our lives and forever this Holiday will represent her. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Telling Stories Without Books

We show her love every day.
Every second.
We give her kisses.
We tell her how much she's loved.
Every day she wakes up
I tell her what a miracle she is.
Every day she wakes up
I tell her she completes us.
Even though she won't remember now
I tell her stories.
Stories about Charlie and I 
How we met.
When we found our first apartment.
Moving in on New Year's Eve.
Searching for our own home.
Moving in on Halloween.
How we found Nevan, Minnie and Peanut.
I tell her about Larry the Frog who will never die.
When we found out we were pregnant.
The reactions of announcing to everyone.
I tell her so many stories.
About visits to NYC.
Vacations in Old Orchard.
The time we went to Disney.
Travelling to California.
The time we lost power for a week during a blizzard.
How Charlie would win at Survivor.
Day trips that Charlie and I have taken.
Amazing places we stumbled upon while driving
with no direction.
I tell her about her family.
Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins.
I show her pictures and name the faces.
I've told her about the time I chased a thief in my car 
with her Auntie Michelle. 
Her eyes widen, because I animate my voice every time.
I told her the first time I went fishing with my Memere.
I told her stories of my Memere, Papa and my Grandma.
I told her how much Charlie loved his Grandma.
Stories of people she won't have the chance to meet.
Like the best Birthday gift I ever got.
A cucumber wrapped in newspaper 
from a garden that my Papa and I grew together.
I tell her the things I loved to do as a child.
Biking, rollerblading, catching frogs, snakes and turtles.
Playing kick the can with the my cousins.
I want to teach her that.
Art contests I had won and how it all began
with a coloring book.
I sing the stories to her.
Even though my voice is off key.
I tell her to always be herself, sing and dance her heart out.
You know.. like no one is watching.
I tell her how beautiful she is
and describe her face to her.
I'll continue to tell her stories every day 
someday maybe she'll tell me stories.
Someday maybe she'll tell her children stories
that I once spoke of.


Monday, January 26, 2015

If We Knew Then What We Know Now

In life it seems we are always telling ourselves if we knew then what we knew now, we would have done things differently. Wow, that's a tongue twister of a sentence! In all seriousness... with Autumn close to 10 weeks I think back to when we brought her home. Even more so, when she was born. If I could go back 10 weeks I would like to tell myself ...

...Labor is tough but eventually it ends and won't be forgotten. Labor makes you strong, incredible and like a super hero. You'll feel amazing, like you've moved the world and your husband will see you completely different after. He will love you more than he thought possible.  

...That back that hurt throughout the majority of the 2nd and 3rd trimester, you know. The back that didn't allow you to sleep or sit comfortably anywhere. The back that you thought would break during pushing the baby out. That back was actually just preparing you, strengthening you and once that baby is born you'll have a Back Bone! You won't be afraid to speak your mind anymore as your baby is number one. Your Back Bone will make you truly see that super hero that was created the first moment you heard Autumn cry.

...Breastfeeding will be hard, it's a journey. You will experience mastitis, an infection, Autumn will have tongue tie and you'll cringe anytime she wants to nurse. You will want to give up and you'll come to a point you do give up. That will only last a short time. The tongue tie will be fixed, the infection and mastitis will go away with great antibiotics. The down time when you are pumping and barely breastfeeding while you heal, you are going to miss breastfeeding. You will feel like you've lost your bond with Autumn, but you haven't. Even if you don't continue to nurse you'll never lose that bond. I just want you to know not to give up and to know you'll get through it, because after all.. you are a super hero.

...The nights will be tough. Even though you hadn't slept through the night during the last 8 weeks of your pregnancy, nights will be tough. They won't last long at all. When Autumn starts to smile, you'll wake up every morning and see a smiling baby. Once you see that smile it will make all those weeks prior with lack of sleep worth while. If you knew then what I know now, you'll appreciate every sleepless night that much more.

...The struggle of getting the baby to sleep. The first week will seem like a piece of cake, really. Autumn will sleep what feels like the entire day and when she nurses she will be half asleep during it.  When you put her in the crib, she'll just close her eyes and bam.. asleep! You'll think "this is so easy". Then week two will sneak up on you and it will take longer for Autumn to sleep. It will seem like forever standing in front of her crib with the lights low, swaddled and rocking her from side to side. Your arms will feel sore and legs will be tired. You'll put her down and she'll fuss each time she touches the mattress. I want to tell you to turn all the lights off in her room. She likes the dark. I want to tell you she likes music at night and feels safe. She will fight being swaddled but will feel very secure in it. I want to tell you not to rock her until she's fully asleep, just with her eyes barely opened. As the weeks pass by she will begin to soother herself to sleep and you'll be patting yourself on the back saying "this is so easy".

...Your life has changed forever. You will experience a new relationship. There was a piece missing in your life that you never knew before. When you hold Autumn for the first time, you'll realize that you are complete.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I Found A Snow Bunny Outside

The moment we woke up today I brought Autumn to the front bay window where I always go to myself whenever it snows. There's something so dreamlike of pulling back the curtains and brightness overpowers our living room. White. Just white. The streets aren't plowed yet, the trees are literally glistening with solid snow where you can't see the bark, the cars are barely visible and little animal tracks are everywhere. I love that. I love that Autumn was with me in that moment this morning. I'm not sure what she can really see but I know she saw White. I know it made her relaxed and at ease because she was not fussing for food. She just stared out the window with me and it was so beautiful.  

Even though it was only for a few moments today we brought Autumn outside in the snow so she could feel a few snowflakes touch her face. She was bundled up in a beautiful, soft, pink, fuzzy snowsuit bought by one of her Grandmas. 

We haven't really been outside since Autumn was born except of course the transporting from the house to the car and back again. I suppose that's the tough part with having a Fall/Winter baby. For some people they bring their babies out for walks but my anxiety wouldn't let me. Instead we stay cooped up in the house snuggling day after day until our perfect day arises and we'll give that stroller of hers a whirl! 

Aside from the weather my anxiety of her reflux has also caused me to stay a bit secluded in our home in all honesty. I feel she's had quite a few good days in a row now; however, her reflux and knowing some of the "epsisodes" (what I call a bad a feeding) where she screams in pain I am just not comfortable being around others. She's in pain and I don't want anyone seeing her like that, it's not fair for her either. I rather be home working on methods to make her feel better when she has everything she needs here.

That's something that I'm looking forward to. Everyday that her reflux improves I feel more excited to go for visits and not have to time her feedings so we are back just in time for her to eat. 

Today was special. I absolutely love snow as it's so beautiful and the only excuse where I let Mother Nature cause it to be incredibly cold outside. I'm glad Autumn was able to experience her first snowfall. Next year we can play in the snow, make a snowman, fall over in a snow pile, ride on her father's back, play with Peanut and throw snowballs.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Embrace Moments and Stop Time

I still can't believe Autumn is 2 months old. I know in years from now I'll be saying the same thing. I get emotional by the end of each day knowing that when we wake up she's 1 day older than the last. I wish that we could be given a bunch of moments in which we could stop time. It of course is hard to choose moments... but if I had some chances to go back, I'd hold tight to the moment I was handed Autumn. I would have smelled her little newborn head longer and rubbed my face longer against her fuzzy little newborn hair before it all fell out. Because of this feeling of days rapidly passing by, I embrace all the time I get with Autumn. I tell her what's happening in those moments and why they're so special. Why life is so beautiful. I'm happy to have moments like that captured but I want them back already.
9 Days Old

1 Month Old

2 Months Old


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Infant Reflux.. Not What The Mommy Ordered

This is our smiling baby girl. The happy baby and she really is a happy baby more than 90% of the time. Then there is that small % of time where she is a little sad face. Once I see those pouty lips, scrunchy nose and chin wrinkles appear I know that there is going to be a drop in the fun Autumn roller coaster ride. That happy smile can go to a sad face within seconds, minutes, hours or from a random noise that awakes her while she was peacefully sleeping.

Babies are just as emotional as their new mommies (in my opinion). That's what I have learned in these 8 weeks of Autumn's life. You can do everything you can possible to make them happy which most of the time works but sometimes they just are little fussy faces. 

Aside from those moments our little jelly bean is going through a rough time with Infant Reflux which we just discovered within the last few weeks. Certain symptoms we just took as "she's a newborn and that's how babies are". It wasn't until last week that I just felt something was not right. I didn't realize how common it was and it's been comforting talking to other mommies that went or are going through reflux with their little munchkins. (Shout-out to the most amazing support system!)

I wanted to write a post on this so that I can track Autumn's progress and when we get past this I hope it can help other moms to know they're not alone. That is how I felt, alone... until I found others that are battling this. I am no expert by any means but am sharing our experience. 

To an adult, reflux is not fun, and it may not seem like the worst thing in the world, but when a baby has it and you see the pain they're going through.. it's honestly like someone ripping your heart out and you're told to give it time.

What are her symptoms? She was beginning to arch her back during feedings and scream. She pulls away from the bottle several times as well my breasts during nursing and latches back on. These actions she would repeat. For a breastfeeding mom that looks forward to that comfort of nursing, experiencing this takes quite a toll on you emotionally. Not being able to nurse your baby to sleep or comfort her leaves you feeling extremely depressed, unfulfilled and insecure. She would do this all while crying and seeming as though she's incredibly uncomfortable and frustrated. She spits up quite frequently which of course causes more acid. Mind you, there are good feedings normally earlier in the day. It always progresses as the day does. She would cry at times being placed on her back and wake up at moments screaming (not fussing or baby cries) as if she was in complete pain. Sadly, for a few weeks we thought maybe she's just gassy in which we followed instructions on helping the baby push through that..... but no dice.

Supposedly, reflux can just "go away" between 3-6 months old, vamoosh, outta here! Some have mentioned it took a year before their babies reflux vanished. If you're going through this you know it's not something you can wait out and let it pass. You're missing out on valuable time with your babies during those feedings and at other times during the day. 

What are our Treatment Methods? There's so many things we have read online that work for some and not for others but we are working on trying everything possible! I'm constantly researching to work on getting rid of this reflux or at least controlling it.

*We have bought a sleep wedge for her crib to raise her up. This way when she sleeps, she's on an angle (just as adults need to do when they have reflux). 
*After each feeding we have to keep her upright for 20-30 minutes. For moms that know if a baby is sleepy this definitely is a burden as you know your baby is completely exhausted, but that's what we need to do. 
*Burping, burping, burping.. man does she hate burping. This hasn't changed as it's something we've always done and has to be done reflux or no reflux.
*We have now began adding a very small amount of rice cereal to her bottles she gets in the evening of breast milk. This weighs down the milk which then makes is less likely of her spitting up after the bottle. 
*Medicine - We are parents that do not like giving our baby medicine and prefer other options but in this case we have started her per the pediatrician on Zantac. She's been on this for a week now and we had to increase the dosage to the maximum that is still safe for her weight and age. 
*Mommy Diet - I have began a diet to rule out any allergies that are causing Autumn's reflux. I have taken milk, eggs, nuts, soy and fish out of my diet. Try finding stuff to eat... it's a toughie but it's what this mommy has to do for her baby!

We're hoping that among all of this there were will be some relief for our little Autumn Lily. Already, she is doing well with the rice cereal in her evening bottles. Shes' successfully finished them with no spit up which is wonderful. We haven't noticed a difference yet with the sleep wedge as she's still sleeping the same stretches as before. The medicine as I mentioned we had to increase. If there is no change by next week we'll be seeing other options. The diet, I just began so we wouldn't see a drastic change quite yet.

I am at this moment sending positive thoughts to all of those mommies out there in which their little babes are suffering from reflux. It's definitely a tough time but enjoy all the smiles your baby gives you and embrace all those happy moments you get during the day. That's what keeps you going and provides the light at the end of the tunnel that once there is control over the reflux we'll get that small % of time we're missing out on, back.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mommy Life!

I carry Autumn from room to room as she's focusing more and discovering new things we always stop at any mirror so I can have her admire her cuteness. She smiles and mainly looks up at me. I can't wait until she's giggling and her reflection giggles back. I look at myself sometimes and see this pale, freckled woman with bags under her eyes, chapped lips, frizzy hair pulled back with random pieces hanging down as if I got a bad haircut and pieces got missed. My clothes don't match and nor do my socks if I have any on. I have to say though, I'm OK with it all and I can laugh at myself for it. Because when I turn my head and look at the beautiful girl I'm carrying that's what is most important. So here are some fun facts I've learned about myself that I'm sure one day will change once we have a nice daily routine together, but for now I find it all hilarious.

Mommy's Attire:
I was very happy when I put on a pair of my pre-baby jeans and they fit. I danced in the mirror, spinning around with so much excitement. Amazing, right? Well, I can count on one hand how many times I've worn my jeans since we had Autumn. 

Sweat pants, pajamas, my robe, leggings, sweatshirts and easy access tops to "the ladies" for breastfeeding is my daily wardrobe.

There are days you will change your shirt as often as you change diapers...
There are days you won't bother changing your shirt. 
There are days you don't know how many days in a row you've worn the same thing.
There are days you won't know what is even on your shirt (Did I have chocolate today?)

Mommy's Hair: 
I always loved my hair and curling it. For the longest time in my teens, I wanted to be a hairdresser (in another life possibly). 

I have a tub of bobby pins to pull my bangs up that I'm desperately trying to grow out, hair elastics up the ying-yang as Autumn's new favorite thing is pulling my hair, which I'm not going to lie.. it's the cutest thing ever and makes me thankful it's long enough for her to snug on. 

I am constantly pulling strings of my hair off her clothes and taking back what she rips off my head from her teenie little hands. When taking a shower I find hair elastics and bobby pins on the bottom of the shower as I am in such a rush I forget to take my hair down.

My hairbrush? Where is my brush? I can't even remember the last time I brushed my hair. Perhaps Christmas? Yes, I am pretty sure I brushed my hair on December 25th. 

Mommy's Skin:
I used to never be able to leave the house without making up. Never ever. I would literally have a panic attack if my face wasn't made up as I never wanted anyone to see me without makeup. A true insecurity and something I battled so long. Near the end of my pregnancy I began wearing less and less of my makeup to the point I did not care anymore that I was leaving the house with a blank canvas aka my face. Mainly because I was so uncomfortable!

There's no time for makeup and if there is, its a light brush of foundation where half of the powder falls in the sink or on my bedroom floor. I don't have time to take the clumps of mascara out of the brush so they either end up in my eyeball or I smear my eyelashes and then have to wipe it off my face, removing any or all foundation I was able to apply. Eye Shadow? I'm pretty sure at times I put a different color on each eye instead of blending in two colors on both eyes. 

I have a skin cream that is said to moisten the skin and make it smooth. Well, we will just see about that! It does however make me feel good putting that on twice a day.

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The New Me.... Katie.... Mommy for now and I love it!