August 31, 2014

Happy Dreams

Bedtime is one of my favorite times of the day, as it probably is for most parents. I don't mean that just because the kids go to sleep and we get some peace and quiet (though some days that's exactly why it's my favorite), but also because I love the little routine we have and I love snuggling with both babes before they drift off to sleep.

Last week was Finn's first week sleeping without the railing on his big boy bed. He's done great and we haven't heard any loud thuds in the middle of the night, so hopefully he will continue to be fine without it. As you can see in the picture below, we put a pillow on the edge of the nightstand just in case, but I don't think he's a big mover in his sleep as he is usually still right in the middle of the bed after nap and in the morning.

Our bedtime routine usually starts around 7:45. Bath night is every other night, and the goal is to have the kids in bed right around 8pm. Sometimes Mary goes to bed a little earlier and Finn a little later, but it's usually somewhere in that ballpark.

Each night Finn picks out one or two books and one of us (usually Miles) lays in bed and reads to him. Mary occasionally joins in on story time.

But she usually is too tired and hungry to have any patience for stories. So our normal routine consists of me feeding Mary in the nursery while Miles reads to Finn. I rock with Mary for a little bit and sing her "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" before I put her down for the night. She is still wrapped in a swaddle wrap, we just leave her hands free. Once I've put her to bed, I go in and join Finn and Miles who are usually close to done with reading by that point.

Lately, Finn wants us to both get in bed with him and snuggle, so we happily oblige. After we've finished stories, we say goodnight to whatever random toy Finn wants to say goodnight to, "goodnight cement mixer, goodnight long train" and then we snuggle and say our own goodnights. Finn is still very much a daddy's boy, but he always requests to "snuggle with Mama" right before he goes to sleep which makes my heart a big puddle of mush.

 I say the same thing to both kids, "goodnight, I love you. Happy dreams," and then close the door - thankful for the precious kiddos I get to put to bed each night. . . .and for the peace and quiet.

August 24, 2014

From the Mouth of Finn

Three has been a fun age for the conversation aspect. This age can be very trying at times, but I do love being able to not only communicate with Finn, but to actually have conversations with him as well and listen to the silly and adorable and often insightful things that come out of his mouth. Here are a few of the ones I've kept a note of:

As I'm buckling him in the car after I worked out at the park:
Finn: Thank you for exercising, Mama.
Me: Oh, Finn. You are your father's son.

As I'm holding him up to pee (in a bathroom without a stool for him to stand on), he farts on my leg!
Finn (laughing): Did I fart on you?
Me: You sure did.
Finn: Dats funny

After a long drive (part of my last rode trip), I'm unloading the car and Mary's crying:
Finn: Mama, Mary's losing it

Upon seeing a small digger on the side of the highway:
Finn: A digger!
Me: yeah, buddy. That's just a baby digger huh?
Finn: It is. It will grow bigger.

Sitting down to eat dinner, totally unprotected:
Finn: Thank You for making dinner for me, mommy.

When making a right turn while driving, I hit the curb:
Finn: What was dat?!
Me: oh, mommy hit the curb with her tire.
Finn: You shouldn't do dat, it's bery bad.

While staying at a hotel last weekend, Captain America was on TV and had just undergone the experiment turning him in to Captain America:
Finn: who's dat?
Miles: That's Captain America, he has big muscles now.
Finn: Dats Captain America. He has big muscles like Mama.
(He did say later that Captain America also had big muscles like Daddy, but I was thrilled (and shocked) when he said Mama. My brilliant boy.)

Finn: Dadda, wanna pick me up?
Miles: Sure, I'll pick you up for a little bit, bud.
Finn (to me): Mama, Dadda wanna pick me up for A LOT!


August 18, 2014

The Meatball Meets Her Match

So just a few posts ago, I got all braggy about how well Mary was eating and how much she loved food and yadda, yadda, yadda.

Rule #1 of parenting - if something is going well, don't share with the interwebs.

So yeah things have taken a turn in the baby food eating department. I mentioned that Mary threw up after a nap one day (about a month ago). Finn has literally only thrown up once (well twice, but for the same illness - the damn norovirus he got when he was 18 months), so when Mary threw up it was pretty unsettling. She had eaten butternut squash and avocado, but I wasn't sure if it was a bug or something she it, and fortunately it was very short lived. She threw up several times in a row that afternoon and then was fine by evening. She was still happy and nursing well, so I wasn't too panicky. My friend Julie is a nurse and helped alleviate and talk through my concerns.

Then we went on our trip to Wisconsin and our long road trip after and she didn't have much interest in food the whole time we were gone. I figured that may in part be due to travelling, so didn't think much of it. The other problem Mary encountered with food was how constipated it was making her. I was putting prunes in everything, but it wasn't helping much. I even tried prune juice in a bottle and she had no interest in it. Her poop was hard and painful and took a lot of effort for her to get out as it was about the size and consistency of a softened tootsie roll (you're welcome for the visual and for ruining tootsie rolls).

Mary did have a massive poop while we were in Wisconsin, but then nothing for NINE DAYS. I ended up giving her an enema which cleaned her right on out. But she still isn't interested in food with the same enthusiasm and I wonder if she has figured out that eating food = painful poops? Or maybe she just has no room for food since the girl is so backed up! I'm really not sure.

Then last week I gave Mary avocado at lunch and about three hours later we were grocery shopping (fortunately I decided to keep her in the carseat and not wear her in the Ergo) when she vomited. Like massive, projectile vomit. It soaked her, but just dripped in to the carseat which was in the shopping cart. Then it happened again. It was so much that I literally thought it was going to drip through the seat and on to the floor. Fortunately it did not, but I hustled to get out of the store. Mary was content and smiling up at me, but I was still really concerned. I called my sister-in-law on the way home as she has experience with food allergies in her kids and also called my friend Renel whose daughter has had some extremely scary reactions to food. Both agreed that it's good that Mary is still happy and nursing just fine (she hasn't had a reaction to anything I've eaten - knock on wood), but that I should be highly suspicious of the avocado. It seems like such an odd thing to have a reaction to, but I don't plan on giving her any until she's around one just to be on the safe side. My nephew had reaction to zucchini and Renel said bananas were problematic with her daughter - so sometimes the "safe" foods can still be cause for concern.

So now I'm making sure I pop fenugreek regularly to keep my supply up as she is nursing a bit more (to include back to waking up during the night - argh) and am just slowing way down with the baby food. She has been eating sweet potatoes well, but I only offer food about once a day now. I'm also giving her probiotics in the hope that it helps keep her regular, but I did have to give her another enema after she went another week with no poop!

I realize that this is one of the loveliest posts I've written and I hope that you read it just in time for dinner!

Meatball Mary seems to have met her match with avocado, but fortunately she's happy and healthy . . . and still deliciously chunky. I mean there are tan lines in her rolls for crying out loud.


August 10, 2014

Hidalgo/Warner Golf Outing

Before my long road trip with the kids, we spent some time in Wisconsin and got to attend the Hidalgo/Warner Golf Outing. This was the second annual outing, but the first time we were able to make it. This event was to pay tribute to Daren as well as Rich Warner. Rich was from Wisconsin and was the good friend of Miles' older brother Jared. He was a Lance Corporal in the Marines when he was killed in Iraq in 2004. His family and Miles' family have been close over the years, but even more so when seven years after his death, Daren was killed - a tragedy these families now both share.

The golf outing was organized by one of Daren's close friends, Courtney. She not only came up with the idea for the event, got sponsors for holes on the golf course, organized teams for golfing, organized a raffle and prizes for winners (and losers) from the golf outing, solicited donations for a silent auction to help with the fundraising (things like autographed Green Bay Packers helmets and posters, spa treatments, cookware, etc., as well as organize a dinner after completion of the tournament. It was a really, really well done and impressive event.

Last year to proceeds from the tournament went to the Wounded Warrior Project as well as Daren and Rich's Memorial Funds. This year, however, the funds all went to support the new Fisher House being built in Milwaukee. The Fisher House provides lodging to families of wounded Soldiers who are receiving treatment away from home. It gives a family the ability to be with their Soldier as they recover and not have to worry about the burden of paying for a hotel.

With the turnout from this years Hidalgo/Warner Golf Outing, all of Courtney's hard work and all those who came out to honor Daren and Rich, the Fisher House Milwaukee will receive a check for $29,000.

We are so glad we got to be there this year and hope to make it back next year.

Beers + Hidalgo boys + golfcarts = accident   (accident = stupidity)
Finn could have ridden around on this ALL day.
Each table had a centerpiece with pictures of Rich and Daren. The top right picture is Daren at his West Point Graduation with Rich's parents, Pat and Mary. There was also a fallen comrade table reserved for them.


August 3, 2014

Road Trip

A little over a week ago, Miles, the kids, and I flew to Madison, Wisconsin. The point of our visit was mainly to attend the Hidalgo/Warner Memorial Golf Outing, but was also a way for me to pick up a new car (for Miles) and drive it home. I'll share more of the golf outing after I've downloaded more pictures, but it was a really special event and I'm so glad we were able to attend this year.

While in Wisconsin, it was so nice to get to spend some times with Miles' side of the family. His sister's family lives nearby and his brother Jared and his family (who live in Texas) also were able to come up for the weekend so it was really fun seeing the cousins reunited. They seemed to pick up right where they left off! We packed a lot in our short trip; getting a new car, a visit to downtown Madison and the farmer's market, trip to the Zoo, a Brewer's game, children's museum, haircut from Aunt Jenny, and of course the obligatory eating of cheese curds and butter burgers. We also managed to see a digger. Because of course.

After the weekend was over Miles had to fly home to return to work so I took my time driving back by breaking up the drive and visiting several friends along the way home. Our first stop was just outside of Chicago to visit my friend Brandy and her family. Brandy hosted the baby loss get together last summer. At the time of that wonderful trip both she and I were newly pregnant with our third child. Brandy lost her first son, Andrew, in a near identical fashion to how we lost Cale and like us went on to have another boy and then a girl. Mary and baby Claire are one month a part and it was so special to see these two lovely girls together as well as get to see their older bothers interact.

After Chicago we drove down to St. Louis to visit with another dear baby loss friend, Brooke. Brooke is due ANY DAY with her third baby (her first, Eliza, also lost to stillbirth) and I was kinda hoping she would go into labor while I was there! No such luck, but I did get to feel little Rerun kick and move in mama's belly and will treasure that memory. Finn and Brooke's daughter Caroline had a lot of fun at the parks we went to, but seemed to play alongside one another more than with each other, probably due to their one year age gap, but they were still pretty stinking cute together.

After St. Louis we drove a little over four hours to Clarksville, TN but just for a dinner with some friends and to let Finn burn off some energy for a couple hours. I then loaded the kids back in the car at their bed time and drove five hours to Atlanta, arriving at 2am local time. It was a long day in the car, but the last stretch was nice because the kids slept the entire time. My sister is in Atlanta for work so we were able to crash in her hotel room where the kids slept in until 9:30 allowing me to get some decent(ish) sleep. After a late breakfast we were back on the road for the last three and a half hour stretch home. All told it was 1,268 miles and while I am very pleased (and a little surprised) with how well the kids did, I'm definitely in no hurry to make another road trip anytime soon. Despite the happy faces, I don't think they are either!