Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Card 2009

I made our Christmas cards for the second year in a row. I LOVE how they turned out this year and had to share.

They were actually a combination Christmas Card/Lydia's birth announcement/we've moved announcement. (The envelope had our address change on it with a label that said We've Moved!) We had a big year if you remember.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

So my life is all about being behind these days. I am one day shy of a week late in posting our Christmas. It was a great holiday. Madeline and Lydia made out like bandits. Not to mention Kevin and I... our families were very generous to us this year. We only hope they feel the same way towards our gifts!

So festivities officially begin on Christmas Eve Eve when Madeline and I had the traditional "making of the Chocolate Pies!" Let me explain... this chocolate pie is a tradition of Kevin's family. Until just three or so years ago Kevin's grandmother, who will be 99 next month, made this pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas. When she moved out of her own home three year ago (at the ripe age of 96) I took over this task. I hope I live up to her tradition and standards. I really do try.

Having an adorable side kick to help you do the work can't hurt. That photo was taken during Madeline's favorite part. It took two adults, Kevin and myself, to stop her from sticking her fingers in the pie mix the entire time we were making them!

The next day our holidays truly kicked into high gear with Christmas Eve at my parents house. I took so few pictures I am kind of ashamed of myself. (Mom and Dad please tell me you have more photos... I was a slacker.)

I did get this totally awesome shot of Super Madeline.... my sister-in-law Kathy made the BEST cape and magic wand for Madeline... I think that is going to need an entire post of its own however...

After family presents were opened Mom and Dad opened their house to some of our extended family, including my mom's cousin's and their families. It was a fantastic evening with my very colorful family!

Then we continue with Christmas Day. Kevin and I were awake and laying in bed long before either one of our girls were up. Talk about kids on Christmas morning!
Once Madeline and Lydia finally got up we all came down to see that Santa had indeed stopped at our house!

Our tree with all of our presents.

Madeline didn't react the way I had anticipated. She was excited, but I am just not sure she really gets the concept of Santa and I know she didn't understand that all of the presents were for her. She just kept trying to give all of the gifts to other people. I guess I shouldn't complain. She does have a very considerate soul and a servants heart that is for sure.

Madeline asked Santa for two things in particular. Her very own camera and her own tools (like daddy's). I think Santa got the message. (I'll be posting her fabulous photography skills very soon.)

Lydia hanging out in her bouncy chair with her Christmas stocking. She looks really happy to be there doesn't she?

So after opening our gifts, eating breakfast (a sausage strata, yummo) and packing up our gear and children we headed to Kevin's parents house for the afternoon.

Lyda warmed up to Christmas after all.

Oh my gosh is she a doll. I mean really?!?! Look at that little face! I want to kiss her forever!

Anyone need a handy woman. I know just the person to call.

After naps Madeline and Lydia put on their Christmas best and posed for some photos.

Four generations. (L to R) Bruce, Madeline, Kevin, Grandma (or GG as we call her) and Lydia.

GG got some snuggle time with Lydia. (Lydia is named for GG, but that story deserves a post of it's own as well.) The love that GG has for her great granddaughters is amazing. Her face lights up when they are around and Madeline LOVES her back so deeply. It is an amazing bond. I am so glad that they are getting to know their great grandmother. She is an exceptionally strong woman. I am awefully fond of strong women being one myself... :)

I had to try to get a photo of my girls together too... but Lydia, as you can see, was DONE with being handled.

I still love this photo. (Can you see the scrape on Madeline's chin? Two days prior she was running though the house and tripped on the carpet which sent her face first into a speaker. She scraped her chin on a support bar in the speaker and brused the bottom of her chin and bit the inside of her lip. Because of the amount of blood in her mouth I was worried she'd knocked out a tooth. Gladly I was wrong and she is just fine now... )

So that was our Christmas. A wonderfully busy two days. This week has been crazy and with New Years and my dad's family's Christmas celebration the next three days will be even crazier. Look for me some time in 2010. Until then... HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The one where I can't decide what to title this post...

I just spent the last two hours putting Lydia to bed.

Why Maureen, you exaggerate! It can't possibly take THAT long, can it?

Oh, how I wish I were kidding. My littlest was swaddled at 9:15 pm and two hours later she is in her own bed for the third time. I am just hoping that she doesn't wake up again.

So when asked why I haven't blogged that is why. Everything takes just a little longer. Getting ready in the morning takes longer. Preparing a meal takes longer. Putting shoes on takes longer. Getting us in coats and out the door takes longer. Playing a game of "checks" (aka. Doctor) or "Where's Madeline" (an elaborate game of hiding that no one but Madeline actually knows the rules too, which usually ends in tears because we aren't playing it right) takes longer. Putting everyone to bed takes longer. All of that time adds up and what is displaced?


Sad I know, but it is the truth. Children must be fed. Clothes must be cleaned. Baths must be given. Work shirts must be ironed. Trash must be taken out. Dishes must be done. So my past-times suffer.

I love this blog. It is almost silly to think that the reason I blog is to remember the crazy times in our life, but the crazier it gets the less time I have to record it all. I don't want to forget this time in our life, but I don't even remember what I had for breakfast today let alone anything cute/silly/memorable that may have happened today.

I hope that after the holidays life will calm a bit. I am hopeful. Not at all convinced, but none the less hopeful.

It is now 11:15pm. I hope to post again tonight; Lydia turned 2 months on Saturday and I don't want to forget. After that I should go to bed. I'll probably stay up crocheting Christmas presents. I'm crazy like that. To be honest, crafting makes me feel like I am reclaiming a little bit of myself again. I love being a mother. I just miss doing something I really enjoy, just for me. Even if it is as simple as crocheting a simple gift or reading a book that makes me smile.



Lydia- 2 months (and a fried egg)

On Saturday Lydia celebrated her 2 month birthday. I know it is cliche, but it is hard to believe that 1) that much time as passed because it seems like just yesterday she was born and 2) that it has been such a short period of time because it is almost impossible to remember what life was like before she was here.

December 9
She almost looks like a doll in this photo.

Height: 24 3/8 inches (off the charts)
Weight: 11 # 12 oz. (75th percentile)

*taken at her 2 month check up on Dec. 17th.

December 9
Oh how I love her faces!

Lydia is a pretty easy going baby. She is easy to sooth and very content to sit in her bouncy seat or on the floor as long as there are people around for her too look at. She loves to be held facing away from the person holding her. She just wants to see the world around her. She also has amazing head control and has since the day she was born. She loves to sit up (with support from an adult of course) and has been holding herself up in a seated position for the past few days.

December 9
All smiles!

She smiles and coos frequently now. She smiles the biggest for Madeline and loves watching her sister play around her. (Although Madeline has started telling me to just put Lydia down and play... "don't hold her mommy, play!") I keep trying to get her "talking" on video and as soon as I do I'll post that. Her jabbers and coos are adorable. Madeline was a very talkative baby and I am thinking Lydia will be too!

Getting ready for the big guy:

December 20

As for the big question:

How is she sleeping?

It could be worse. She still cat naps throughout the day. Some days it seems like she sleeps all day. Other days she seems more alert, but no matter the situation, she is sleeping in one or two larger stretches at night. We've had two nights in the last week and a half (not consecutive) where she slept for a 6 hour block. Most of the time she sleeps for 4-5 hours, nurses and then sleeps another 2-3 hours. Our biggest problem right now is that she doesn't really go to bed until much later than we want her too.

Like tonight: she was up from 5pm to 9 pm almost straight. Then I nursed her and she fell asleep at 9:20pm. I attempted to put her in her crib in her room (which she has been in since she was 6 weeks old) but she woke up in less than 5 minutes. I rocked her back to sleep and put her down again at 10:10pm. She woke up crying in less than a minute. So I nursed her one more time and she was in bed at 11:10pm sleeping peacefully. We'd love to have her just sleep in her bed from 9-11pm even if she isn't down for the night. I'd just like to have my arms free for a little while. (see my previous post!)

In short, she is lovely. So far she is easy to love and easy to care for, just like her sister was at this age. I feel so very lucky to have had two such peaceful and easygoing infants. I only hope Lydia doesn't follow Madeline's footsteps at the age of 2 1/2. But that is a whole other post!


And totally unrelated to ANYTHING normally posted on this blog:

I found an egg with a double yolk this week. That has to be good luck or something doesn't it?!?!? Kevin ate it. He assures me it was yummy.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hugging them into submission

A few weeks ago my friend Anna came over for a playdate with her two kiddos, Madeline (Maddie) and Cullen.

My Maddy spent most of the hour and a half they visited hugging Maddie.  A lot.  It got so bad that we had to physically remove Maddy from Maddie after a particularly long and firm hugging session.  With Lydia only being a few weeks old I think it had everything to do with Madeline trying to get attention from her friend AND from me. 

It is hard to see in this photo but Cullen is HUGE in comparison to Lydia.  I guess that is the difference between 4 weeks and 4 months!  He was rolling all over like a champ and just wanted to love on Lydia.  Totally adorable!

And I have no idea why that second photo is turned sideways.  Just tilt your head to the right.  They are still aweful cute, even with a neck ache.

Come back soon friends!  That is if Maddy hasn't scared you away with her hugs.


First of many

One of the first things I said to Kevin after Lydia was born was that having two girls meant dressing them in matching outfits.  Theses jammies, courtesy of Maw Maw and Paw Paw, are just the begining.

Love it.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

If you give us cookies...

It is far too late for me to be up.  But once Kevin got off work at 10pm and got home at 10:30pm we decided the tree we purchased yesterday needed to come inside to avoid the rain/flurries projected for the next few days.

Have you ever read the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff?  It is a fabulous children's book.  This is my version:

If you want to move your Christmas Tree in doors:

First, your going to have to move the rugs.

Then, once they are moved you will notice how dirty the floor is.

You'll have to sweep it.

Once you get the broom out and have swept the floor, you'll notice the tree stand is a little deeper then you thought. 

You'll have to measure (and remeasure) to see if you have to cut branches off the bottom. 

You settle on putting rocks in the bottom of the tree stand.  You steal them from the makeshift patio umbrella holder on the deck.  (That umbrella stand rocks, literally, and so does my creative husband who made it btw.)

You finally get to bring the tree in the house. 

You sweep some more.

Once you are done with that, you struggle to get the tree into the tree stand because it is about 5 inches too tall.

You run to the shed to get the hand LAUPPAS (for those of you who don't watch Roger on This Old House that is loppers).

You forget your flashlight and have to go out in the dark (because it is now almost 11pm).

You cut the top branches off the tree.

You finally get it into the stand.

You move it into place.

You don't like where it is.


You move the dining room table.

So you can move the rug under it.

Then you move the table back.

You move an arm chair to make room for the tree.

You have to tilt the tree down to get it through the archway and then slide it across the room.

You sweep again.

You decide the couch needs to be moved. 

You sweep.

Then you have to move the arm chair back.

You realize the dining room table is too far over now and you have to move the table so you can move the rug so you can move the table.

You sweep.

Finally, you stand back and admire the tree.

And maybe move the rug a few more times.

So that is why it is 12:30am and I am just now going to bed.  After a day where both girls, BOTH OF THEM, napped for an hour and a half, AT THE SAME TIME, and I didn't nap because I'm crazy I am going to be totally wasted tomorrow.  Maybe, just maybe they'll sleep in.  I'll let you know how that goes for me!


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Pretty Special

Me: I love you.
Madeline: I think you're pretty special.

I think my heart melted.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

So in Love

I am going to be honest here. Really, really honest. I am totally in love with my newborn and I feel really bad about it.

Silly? Yes.

Unnecessary? Yes.

Unexpected? No.

I am a worrier. When we brought Madeline home from the hospital my anxiety kicked into high gear. Would I be able to care for a baby? Was she getting enough to eat? Why wasn't she sleeping? Why is she sleeping so much? Was she crying because she knows I am an inadequate mother? What if she doesn't like my hair cut, or the wall color, or my sense of fashion and all of that makes her break out in a rash?!?!?

So in those first few months how did I deal with my stress? I cried. A LOT. I remember the day Kevin went back to work after Madeline was born. We had been home together for a full week and I was terrified to be alone. Ok, not alone alone, but home with a baby by myself. What if she was crying and I couldn't calm her? What if the doorbell rang and I was still in my pajamas? What if a bird got trapped in the chimney and I accidentally let it into the house and it pecked my eyes out? (Do you see how crazy I am? I told you I was going to be honest.) What if....... So I cried. Every time Kevin called to check in on us I was crying. I couldn't even tell him WHY I was crying. (There never were knocks at the door, or birds pecking my eyes out.) I just chalked it up to my anxiety and hormones.

Eventually, (meaning many MANY weeks later.) the crying stopped. We survived those early days and because of that I am a much better mother than I was two and a half years ago. I've had practice and Madeline has taught me so much about what being a mother is really all about. She is STILL teaching me so much about myself and about what kind of mother I am and what kind of a mother I want to be.

After Lydia was born I still cried. Normal crying. I cried the first time I saw my girls together. I cried holding Lydia in my arms because she was real and beautiful and ours. I cried thinking about what our future holds, both good and bad. I cried. A lot less. When Kevin went back to work, after only 4 days at home with us, I missed him terribly, but I wasn't in tears every time he called. Now just six weeks after bringing Lydia home I can't remember the last time I cried. It has been at least three weeks. At least.

And man do I feel guilty.

Because I am so less anxious I am enjoying Lydia more. I am gazing into her eyes as she nurses, smelling her head, and drinking in all of her little noises and squeaks. (Don't you love how babies squeak?) I am simply enjoying having a newborn.


I enjoyed Madeline as an infant, but I enjoyed it through tears. I was stressed out and dramatic and tired and wet. I feel guilty because I don't remember loving Madeline this much. All that other stuff got in the way of the real deep emotions I had for my daughter. My love was cloudy. Of course I loved and still love her. After the initial shock of new mother hood I felt that deep love for her fully. I guess I just feel guilty because although Madeline made me a mother for the first time, Lydia has made me a better mother.

I don't love her more, I just love her differently right now. I am not clouded by tears and anxiety.

So I feel guilty. Mainly because I worry about what all that anxiety did to Madeline as a baby. Is Lydia going to get a better mother than Madeline did, just because I have made all my mistakes with the first one? Any moms out there want to share their incite? It may help to ease my guilt. That is until they are teens and I blame myself for EVERYTHING that goes wrong in their lives. But at least I won't be alone in that. I am sure they will blame me too.


December 2009

Love and Joy abounds in our house these days. I can see it in Madeline's eyes. Can you?

Here's to the holidays!

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