Monday, December 19, 2016


It has been a couple of months, and (excuse my language) a shit ton has been going on so I figured it is finally time for an update! 

My last post was how I switched jobs and my mom was undergoing breast cancer treatment so the girls were at day care.  I am happy to report that my mom is now finished with her treatments and feeling great.  She is going to start watching the girls again 3 days a week in January.  The daycare experience hasn’t been too terrible, however, I am glad to get them out of the germ cesspool with winter coming. 

As my mom was getting better health wise, I have had some health issues these past 2 months.  It also started one night in the middle of the night when I woke up with excruciating pain in my abdomen.  It was similar to labor pain, but not quite as bad (maybe an 8 or 9 if labor is a 10).  I felt like something was wrong so we headed to the emergency room.  After a bunch of tests, they found that a portion of my small intestine had slid into my large intestine and got stuck. I underwent surgery to fix this, but by the time they got inside, the small intestine had slid back out and they just took out my appendix (I guess this is common to remove if you are in that same area of the body for surgery to rule it out for future issues.)  I was in the hospital one night and then went home, recovery wasn’t too terrible, but the hardest part was I wasn’t supposed to lift the girls for 30 days (that ended up lasting about 2 weeks for Juliet, because how can you not pick up a 1 year old??). 

To find the cause of my issues, I had a colonoscopy (yup, like 15 years earlier than most!) and they found a 4 cm polyp in my large intestine.  Luckily tests showed it was benign, but would have to come out through another surgery since it was too big to leave in there as it could turn into cancer eventually. So back to the OR I went!  This time was a bit easier because we had some lead time to schedule family to come help us with the girls and get everything in order (it lit a fire to get all the Christmas decorations out, go see Santa, clean the house, etc).  So last week I had surgery where they took out a 6-8 inch section of my small/large intestines and stapled them back together! Apparently you don’t need the full length of your large intestine for it to function well.  10 days post surgery and I am feeling really good.   I am back at work and have minimal pain, but again, I can’t lift the girls for a while.  I am just happy we have so much family close by to help us with the girls, etc.  I don’t know how we would have survived otherwise.  I am glad it is all over before the holidays and I hope to be able to lift Juliet by Christmas.

I also made the decision to wean Juliet (she was down to nursing 1-2 times per day) before my surgery.  Even though it made me a bit sad to stop nursing her, knowing this is probably our last baby, it was the right decision to make because I didn't have to worry about pumping or engourgement, etc while at the hospital.  And it didn't even phase Jules, which made it easier on me. 

Ok, so that is the craziness that has been my life!  (oh I forgot to add that during all this I also had a breast lump biopsy that was luckily also benign). 

The good news is that the girls are healthy (minus the occasional teething, daycare fever, etc) and I pray it stays that way.  I am hoping 2017 is the year of health for my family as we have had our share of issues in 2016! 
And now some pictures! 

Sitting with Santa

 At my company's holiday party before my second surgery

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jules is 1!

Ok so yup very late on this post.  I switched jobs this month so I don’t have a lot of free time to write posts anymore L There are a few other things going on too that I will discuss below. But this post will be sort of an 11 to 12 months post because I can’t remember what has happened in each specific month!

Juliet started taking steps this month!  She starts by holding on to something and can stand for a while on her own then let’s go and takes a step or two towards me before falling down on her butt. She is a super speedy crawler so I think she still prefers that method of transportation. She is also a big climber; she will climb up on the little IKEA chairs then climb on to the table.  She has NO idea how to get down safely so it is scary when she gets up there.

Added: Jules is getting in her top 2 teeth now - bringing the total to 4!

She goes to bed around 7pm still and usually wakes up sometime between 4:30-5:30 am to nurse and then will go back to sleep until about 6:30/7am. 

I started offering her small sippy cups of whole milk a few weeks before her first birthday and she seems eager to try it but doesn’t always like the “colder” milk and sometimes will take a big swig then just let it dribble out of her mouth.  Not sure how I should go about making the full transition over, I can’t remember how I did it with Ellie. 

She is cutting back on nursing – now it is usually when she wakes up the first time and then maybe once in the morning, once in the afternoon then again at bedtime.  I am hoping to cut down pumping to 1 session at work while I wean her to whole milk, but I would like to get my supply where I don’t have to pump at work, but I nurse her before bed at night.    

The Girls

Jules loves to be around Ellie so much and always wants to be doing what she is doing – which can create problems because Ellie is not so good at sharing!  She doesn’t quite see the benefits in being the “big sister” and having a little one follow her around.    

Other Stuff
So I switched jobs during August.  I went from a company where I was “reduced hours” to one where I am officially “part time.”  I like that I am capped at a certain amount of hours a week, but I am hourly now which presents its own challenges.  I am still missing my old company a lot and haven’t quite fully adjusted to the new place yet.  I know I will over time, but I still miss my old coworkers and the freedom at my old place.  My new job is fewer hours overall and closer to home, but it will take a while to really feel like I know what I am doing here. 

And also around the same time I switched jobs my mom found out she has a small lump of breast cancer.  It is very small and luckily hasn’t spread so she was able to have it removed and will start radiation soon.  While she is recovering she can’t watch the girls so we have been sending them to daycare 3 days a week while I work.  I knew I was spoiled having my mom watch the girls while I work, but now I have a new appreciation for how lucky we have been.  Before daycare I didn’t even own a child thermometer.  Ellie and Juliet never had fevers until they started daycare and in the same week they were hit with a cold & fever.  I know I should be thankful for all the time that my mom was able to watch them, but it is just so hard to bring them to daycare every day.  Especially with Ellie because she will tell me she doesn’t want to go.  The first two weeks were terrible – Ellie would scream/cry and cling to me at drop off and Juliet would barely nap at daycare.  Now Ellie is better at going, but there are still days where she says she doesn’t want to go. 

To hold her spot at preschool we are paying for the 3 mornings there as well so it has been quite an expense adjustment at the same time.  I am really hoping this is temporary (both for my mom’s recovery and for the girls).  I know it is good for them, Ellie especially, but I feel like so much change has gone on in 1 month that it is hard to take. 

Juliet had her 1 year birthday party this weekend – it was Hungry Caterpillar themed!  The party went well, except Jules was sick during it so I don’t have 1 picture of her smiling, which makes me so sad because she is the happiest and smiliest baby usually!  I will hopefully do a separate post on her party.  With the new job I don’t know if you will see many more posts from me…hopefully I will come back from time to time to do special posts. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Juliet is 10 Months!

I am a week+ late on this post, but better late than never, right!?

Juliet is motoring around the house!  She is so fast at crawling that she is over at Winnie's food bowl munching on kibble before I even know she has moved!!  She is also doing some cruising around the sofa/coffee table since she can pull herself up on things.  

Still getting up once a night.  Usually around 4 am which isn't too bad, but sometimes she gets up at 2:30 am which is no fun at all. 

Still doing 2 naps a day - 1 long and 1 short.  If I time it right I get a little bit of overlap with Ellie.  The best days are when Jules takes a short nap (30 min) at like 9:30 am and then wants to nap right when Ellie does at 1 pm.  The other day they both napped for about 2 hours at the same time and I didn't even know what to do with myself!

Jules is a big eater!  I often end up giving her what is leftover from what Ellie has been eating for lunch/dinner!  She loves finger foods like:
Scrambled Eggs

There isn't a lot she won't eat, but I do struggle with finding a variety of things that are soft enough for her to eat.  

I am still nursing her but she cut way down on day time nursing this month - she just isn't really into it as much anymore so I think she won't have much of a problem switching over to milk once she turns one - i often find her stealing sips of her sister's milk and water from sippy cups and she is really good at using them now.  

As much as I love nursing her, I am sort of counting down the days until I can ditch my pump for good.  I have been either pregnant or nursing non stop since March 2013, so you can understand why I am ready to have my body back!  I am amazed at how my view of my body has changed over the past few years - going from being angry with it because I couldn't conceive to being so proud and grateful that I have been able to grow and nurse two kids. 
The Girls
Still a lot of pushing going on from Ellie's end, but now that Jules is mobile they seem to interact much more, even if it is just fighting!  Ellie likes to "feed" Jules by tossing her own food onto Juliet's high chair try.  

Still trying to go out on runs 2 times per week!  I have been able to maintain my weight pretty well so far. 

Picture during our visit to daddy's work

 Sisterly love

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Juliet is 9 Months!

Busy month!  Juliet is on the move!  She started crawling shortly after turning 8 months and hasn't slowed down since.  She is so curious.  She loves to pick herself up to standing on the couch and anything else she can get her hands on.  Not sure if Winnie and Ellie are loving the new mobility since any of their things are now within reach!

She usually gets up once per night, hopefully that habit will break soon!  She loves having a pacifier at night so I make sure there are at least 2 in her crib.  Lately she has been sitting up a lot in her crib - I think this makes it harder for her to get back to sleep. Some nights she still puts up a fuss when I put her to sleep, but most of the time she goes to sleep pretty easily.

Most days she has 2 naps still - one long and one short.  The nice thing is she takes pretty decent naps - up to 2 hours at a time. The tricky party is usually she naps early, and doesn't nap at the same time Ellie does. 

This month Juliet doesn't seem to like purees anymore.  Since she has discovered finger foods it is almost as if she doesn't want the "baby" food anymore.  So instead I have been giving her banana pieces, cheese, baby puffs, etc and she loves trying to pick things up and is getting really good but hasn't quite mastered the pincer grasp yet.

I have noticed when I pump at work that I am getting much less than I used to.  I used to pump about 10-12 oz a day at work from 2 times but now I am down to about 8-9 oz.  Hopefully this is because Juliet has started solids and has dropped a bottle.  Luckily I still have a decent frozen stash to fall back on that should take me until when she weans. 

The Girls
I have been catching Ellie pushing over Juliet recently...not a fun situation.  Not sure why this is starting but I think it is because Juliet is able to get into Ellie's toys.  Any pushing gets and immediate time out in her room so I am hoping to kick this habit quickly.  

I did another 5k road race in early June and it went great!  I averaged about 7:20 per mile which is even faster than I used to run pre-kids!  Hopefully as Juliet weans (we are still several months out from that) I will be able to go on longer runs. 

"Look Mom, I'm Driving!"

 Selfies in the park

Father's Day Fun

Peek a Boo!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Ellie is 2 1/2!

I wanted to make sure to get a half year post about Ellie in because it has been all about Juliet lately!

Ellie's first "Big girl" pony tail...I can't get over how much older she looks with her hair this way!

Ellie loves to take forever during the bedtime routine but once she is asleep she usually sleeps like a champ.  We usually start putting her to bed around 7 pm and it takes a while to get her into her crib because she wants to: use the potty, read 349037 books, pick different pajamas, put on a bandaid, get new water, get tucked in with 5 blankets, etc!  And if any of these steps are not obliged then watch out - full freak out!  I need to try to get her on more of a "these are the things and the only things we will do before you go in your crib" because it seems each night she adds another "must do" to her list of things to do before we can put her in her crib.  

And yup she is still in her crib...thank goodness!  Ha she has never tried to climb out so why mess with a good thing?  I have visions of her coming to visit us in our bedroom or running around the house if she was able to come and go.  No current plans to move her to a toddler bed.

Most nights she is asleep by 7:30/7:45pm and up between 6-7 am. She also takes a good midday nap at around 12:30 for 1.5-2.5 hours. Recently she has gotten into a new habit of removing her sleep sack, then her pajama bottoms then taking off her diaper, so when we look at the monitor in the morning she is just laying in her crib bare ass with her top still on.  Most times she has peed the bed too so I have started putting her back in footie pajamas which she can't remove herself! 


She has gotten pickier with foods and it can be a bit of a struggle to get her to eat vegetables but she loves fruit, so that is a win.  Fun fact: she still LOVES smoked salmon.  So weird.  I can get her to do about anything for an M&M or a lollipop :)

Ellie still does the cutest scamper/run to get from one place to another - it is almost like she doesn't want to miss out on anything so she needs to get there as fast as possible.  It is hard to get her to sit in the stroller for walks because she would rather walk herself - which can be a challenge if I am trying to take the two girls and Winnie for a walk! I swear we must be quite a site. 

She loves climbing on things and going to the playground. 

Potty Training
While we haven't started officially potty training we do encourage Ellie to go to the potty several times per day.  She does pretty well and will often request to go on the potty.  

oh just riding on a lion in my Elsa costume at the library!

My silly girl

When Ellie turned 2 she started going to a preschool that is literally 10 houses down from us called Poppets.  There is the main teacher who is British (hence the name Poppets) and an assistant teacher and the class is made up of 2 and 3 year olds.  The first few weeks Ellie had a bit of separation anxiety going since she had only been cared for by family up until that point, but now she loves going to school.  She goes 2 mornings a week.  I love seeing all the fun crafts she brings home and when she talks about her friends at school.  

Sister Love
Now that Juliet is more interactive, it is fun to see the two girls together.  They don't really play together but Ellie acknowledges Juliet now and likes to show her things.  Juliet could watch Ellie all day long.  I have seen a lot of the two year old "mine" coming up with her sister a lot so I am trying to squash that as soon as it comes up but right now there is a lot of Ellie grabbing things from Juliet that Ellie had no interest in 2 seconds ago!  Luckily Juliet doesn't care at the moment...but in a few months I think this will be an issue!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Juliet is 8 Months

Whoa 8 months?  how the heck did that happen??  Jules has been doing really well with sitting up.  She occasionally topples over - mostly when she is reaching for something and forgets about the whole balance thing.  

We switched her to a sleep sack because she started flipping over onto her tummy in the Merlin suit.  I feed her around 6:45 pm and put her down in her crib awake.  She usually puts up a big fuss as I walk over to the crib because she knows what is coming but then she settles down to sleep pretty quickly.  She usually sleeps on her side or rolls onto her tummy to sleep.  She has been more into the pacifier lately and I try to only give it to her when she sleeps so she doesn't get too attached all through the day.  
She usually gets up once per night between 3-4 am.  I tried going in and giving her back her pacifier and soothing her but I have found it is just easier to feed her so that she goes back to sleep for longer (if i don't feed her she would be back up at 5:30-5:45 am but if i feed her she will wake up closer to 6:30 am which gives me time to shower and get ready. 

 That is a struggle right now - not knowing what times the girls will get up.  They could both wake up around 6 am or there are times I have woken up at 5:45 am and showered then they both slept in past 7 am!  Since Brian usually leaves early for work I have to get ready early either way because once they are up I can't jump into the shower.  
She is mostly down to 2 naps per day.  1 long and 1 short. She has 2-3 solid meals per day - usually pureed foods. I have given her a few of those baby wafer things that sort of melts in her mouth - she likes them and it works out well because she is constantly grabbing at our food - so now she has something solid that she can feed herself.  I tried giving her egg yolk and some banana pieces but she gags a bit and isn't quite sure how to process the chunkier stuff just yet.  

The Girls
Now that Juliet is getting grabbier with toys i hear the word "mine" coming out of Ellie's mouth a lot.  Luckily Juliet doesn't seem to mind yet when Ellie grabs a toy out of her hands.  It seems like everytime Juliet is playing with a toy Ellie suddenly wants it too.  I have a feeling we will be dealing with a lot of sharing issues over the next few years!

Family Vacation
We took our first full family vacation during April!  We traveled to Florida and rented a house for a week.  The weather was perfect!  80s everyday and no rain.  The airport part wasn't much fun - the girls did pretty well on the plane but lugging all that stuff (3 big pieces of luggage, 2 car seats and a gigantic stroller) was tough. Most days we started by eating breakfast at the house then heading down to the beach around 9 am.  Jules would take her morning nap in the stroller at the beach while Ellie played in the sand.  Ellie would go into the water a bit while we held her, but mostly liked to stay on the land.  The water temp was awesome - being from new england we never get comfortable water temps up here even in July/August!  We saw a dolphin swimming around in the ocean one day and he even came back to the same spot the next day!  

The community where the house was located also had a pool that we went to a few times.  After the beach we would eat lunch and put the girls down for naps and Brian and I would have some down time. Then we might go for a walk for ice cream or out for dinner.  Most of the time we ate at the house but we went out for dinner a few times too.  The restaurants were great because they usually had outdoor seating with somebody playing the guitar and singing!  This helped entertain the girls.  

I have started running a bit more and have did 5k road race the other week.  It went well so I signed up for another in early June.  I don't get out as much as I would like to, but it is a start! 

House Update
The house is painted and pretty much done on the inside (we still need to put up 1 light fixture and do our closet which is currently just empty space with our clothes/shoes laying around).  The landscaping is taking longer than expected (story of our lives) since the stone we picked for the retaining wall is taking forever to come in.  We were really hoping the landscaping would be done by Juliet's baptism (June 12th) but it isn't looking good. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Juliet is 7 Months!

A bit late since we were on vacation last week but here it is!

Juliet has really improved her sitting this month on her own.  She rarely topples over unless she turns around to look at something or reach for something.  We are getting into what I call the "sweet spot" where she can sit by herself but isn't mobile yet.  

Pretty much on the same schedule for sleeping as last month - Juliet is still waking up about 2 times per night, but I started putting her down awake and letting her get to sleep on her own.  This has made a big difference in night time routines but hasn't really helped her soothe herself back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night.  I am still putting her to sleep around 7 pm and I nurse her before sleep but now instead of rocking her to sleep and trying to put her in her crib asleep I try to make sure she is awake.  She usually puts up a fuss for the first few minutes or so but then gets to sleep.  Some nights she will cry for a bit and I have to go back in and soothe her.  Surprisingly when Ellie comes back into her room to soothe her Juliet usually goes right to sleep after that - who would have thought!  She is still sleeping in a Merlin suit. 

Nap schedule is the same - she usually takes 3 shorter naps (30 min - 1 hour) a day or 2 naps (1 long and one shorter) but no real schedule.  Her longest naps happen when she falls asleep in her car seat.  Naps in her crib don't last quite as long.  

I have tried a few more foods with Jules this month
 So far she has tried:
Oatmeal cereal
Sweet Potatoes

Next month I will try some other things like egg yolks and bananas - she likes to grab for food but doesn't really know what to do with whole pieces of it yet. 

Not much going on at work - I had to work my 2 full weeks of quarter end that make me thankful for my normally part time schedule.  I am getting excited about the weather getting nice (and by nicer I mean mid 50s-60 degrees).  

The Girls
The interaction continues to grow between the girls and Ellie loves to help feed Juliet.  I love having girls because of all the fun outfits I get to put them in:

St Patrick's Day


Juliet watches everything Ellie does and I now have to take Juliet into another room to feed her sometimes because she constantly pops off my breast to look around if she hears Ellie is nearby.  We are taking our first full family vacation to Florida in mid April!  I am both excited and nervous at the same time!  I will have to do a full write up on how it goes.  We are renting a house in Captiva, FL for a week.  We aren't really planning much other than ocean and pool trips.  And ice cream...I plan on eating lots of ice cream!


Exercising is going well. I have stuck with working out about 3-4 times per week.  I can feel my body becoming more toned which is nice since I will be in a bathing suit shortly on vacation.  

House Update
They started painting the outside of the house this week!  I will put up a picture when it is complete.  We also started landscaping so our backyard won't be a mud pit in a few more weeks!