Wednesday, February 29, 2012

From Screaming to Smiling Lilly

I can not believe that Lilly is 4 months old already!  In some ways it has flown by and in others it has seemed never ending.

The doctor said she's colicky.  My Grandmother said she's spoiled.  I've heard it all from she needs more food to her diapers too tight.  The bottom line is that she can scream.  Not cry, SCREAM.  The longer she goes on, the more worked up she gets.

I have tried pacifiers, they make her even more angry.  So I usually try food, sometimes it works like a charm and sometimes she takes a few sips and screams some more.

I have tried white noise.  I have tried rocking, swinging, bouncing, swaddling, singing, making a 'shhhhhh' noise.

I have tried almost every formula, including that crazy expensive Nutramigen, for the recommended 2 weeks with no success.

There is no fool proof way to calm her down, I just reach into my bag of tricks and try everything until something works.  She needs to get her angst out and eventually she will sleep.

And those moments of quiet are AMAZING!

There was a time throughout these last few months that I thought there was no hope.  I was tired and frustrated and feared that I just couldn't do it.

I feared that Abby would get resentful and wouldn't get the attention she needed.

But here we are, 4 months in, and I am happy report that things are slowly changing.  The screaming is less frequent and I am able to rest my arms throughout the day.

Abby is not resentful or jealous at all.  When Lilly fusses, she does everything she can to make her happy.  She loves to sing to her and tell her stories and Lilly lights up when she walks into the room.

The endless rocking, comforting, bouncing, and cuddling is leading to a very happy, smiley little girl.

It has been a long couple of months, Lilly Bean, but we are getting there.  We are figuring things out together and I am not so afraid anymore.  Sometimes I just don't know what's wrong but it doesn't mean I stop trying to make you feel better.

My advice to moms who may have a baby who they just can't seem to figure out:  Stay calm, keep trying, and show them love.  You will be amazed by the things you can do one handed.  You will learn how to create more time within a 24 hour day.  You will learn what things need to be done and what doesn't matter.  You will feel like you are about to lose your mind.  It will get better, things will change, and the payoff is worth it.
There is nothing more rewarding than walking into a room and seeing this smile.  Yup, losing my mind is definitely worth it!


We are finally home after a LONG 10 day vacation.  We went to my in laws which is about 8 hours away and, being the GENIUSES we are, we decided to leave after a birthday party at 10pm.  So, we drove (well, Dan drove) and the girls slept all night long.  Great idea, right?  It worked out perfectly except it set the tone for the theme of the week... sleep deprivation.

Lilly decided that she was no longer going to sleep through the night and woke up 3 times every night.  THREE TIMES!  That wouldn't have been too bad but she also decided that she was going to stay up late screaming for 2 hours every night as well.  Obviously she doesn't like travel!

Other than that the trip was great.  It was a week full of family and mini adventures that has given Abby lots to talk about.  We were able to stop by my dad's on the way home which was an added bonus.  On our way to my dad's we drove past my old middle school and I pointed it out to Abby.

Me:  Abby, mommy went to school there!
Abby:  I gonna go to school too.  You gonna take me momma?
Me:  Sure I'll take you but then I have to leave just like for dancing school.
Abby:  Did your mommy take you there?
Me:  Yup, she sure did.
Abby:  Where's your mommy?

Uh, ya.  This is what I've been afraid of for weeks.  Here we are in the car and there is no way to bypass the question.  She finally asked what I know she's been wanting to ask.  So, I answered her as honestly and as chipper as I could.

Me:  My mommy is Heaven.  Like Jesus.
Abby:  ***CHIRP**** SILENCE

The conversation over but the look on her face told me she was confused.  She just didn't know what to ask next... and I am grateful.

I am still racking my brain for the right words when more questions come but I'm hoping that she will ask them gradually.

On a positive note, my cranky Lilly was all smiles when we finally got home and only woke up twice last night.  Unfortunately, I was still up 3 times because I somehow managed to forget to put Abby's diaper on for bed.  Let's just say that she's definitely not ready to be in undies at bedtime!  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Internet Shopping Disasters!

Internet shopping attempt #1:
Trying to buy Piggy Paint nail polish for Abby and I somehow managed to send it to my old apartment.  It took me 10 days to realize my mistake.  Thankfully, the new tenants were kind enough not to keep my order and my old landlord grabbed it for me.

Internet shopping attempt #2:
I ordered a bunch of Christmas presents and had them sent to my mom's old house.  I haven't lived there since 2006.  This mistake only took me a few hours to realize.  A couple companies let me change my address but one refused.  After a million emails, they allowed me to cancel my order.

Internet shopping attempt #3:
Today.  I tried to order a basket for my grandmother's walker.  I have been promising it to her since January.  I really wanted to have it shipped to her house so I didn't pay shipping twice.  Of course, I had it shipped to my house.  I quickly changed the shipping address but somehow also changed my billing address.  I literally received 4 order updates from Amazon but I think I FINALLY got it right.

I think I need to quit ordering things online.  Obviously, I am too much of an airhead to get it together.  You would think I would have learned my lesson after attempt #1 but I'm pretty sure I'll be back at it.  There's still a few more places that I have lived that I haven't sent stuff to yet!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Flu and a Laugh

Being a mom is gross.

I have been pooped on, peed on, and puked on.  Last week, I was mainly puked on.

I never want to relive that week again but inevitably there will be another bug that travels through our house at some point.  No amount of Lysol and hand sanitizer can prevent it.

Nothing is worse than dealing with sickness when you are, in fact, sick as well.  Of course, my husband's sickness lasted the longest because he is a man and men are clearly the weaker sex.

During one of our many trips to Target to pick up sick supplies (tissues, medicine, etc), I was desperately searching the shelves for something while trying to keep track of Abby who insists on walking through the store.

I kept asking her to please stay near me while I look for something.

Abby:  "I know, I find something that daddy needs."

Me:  "Ok, but look right here by me."

Abby:  "Ok mama.  I will find what daddy needs."

I was thankful for the moment of silence while she was searching next to me for who knows what.  Just as I found what I was looking for, I hear:

Abby:  "YAY! I found it!  Daddy really needs this."

I look over and see her proudly holding.........

Me:  (laughing)  "That's for stinky feet!  Do you think daddy has stinky feet?"

Abby:  "Yup, he needs this.  His feet are stinky!"

It took a little convincing but she finally put it back on the shelf.

That girl cracks me up!

Monday, February 13, 2012

DIY Jelly Fish

First, can I just say that having kids makes growing older much more enjoyable!  Well, maybe not the growing older part but the birthday part.  Abby was super excited for my birthday.  She loved giving me my presents and insisted on having the cake in front of her and helping me blow out the candles.  So cute!  I think the cake is the best part of birthdays for her... what do you think?

Sometimes we get in a rut around here and seem to play the same things... over and over and over.  Abby never gets bored but there are only so many times that I can pretend to be Buzz Lightyear or Mama Minnie before I feel like I'm going to lose my mind.  So, I decided we needed to get a little bit creative around here.

Nemo has been a huge hit lately so I used that for inspiration and we spent one morning making jelly fish.  It was pretty easy, and there are lots of variations but here's how we did it.

First, we took coffee filters and dropped some food dye on them.  We initially used markers but Abby got bored with that really quick and you need way more color than these few little dots:

Then we took a spray bottle filled with water to wet the coffee filters down.  The colors will start to run.

While your letting the coffee filters dry (we ran out to the store so I'm not sure how long this took), take a plastic cup and tape tentacles to it.  We used tissue paper but I'm sure you can use plain paper or plastic bags.
That Halloween cup has nothing to do with this project but she saw it and insisted on playing with it... kids!
Once the tentacles are taped on and your filters are dry, tape the filter to the cup and voila!  You now have a jelly fish!  Abby was a little bored by this project at first but was super excited to see the finish product and now she can't wait to make more!

We hung hers from her fan, which she insisted needed to be on!  Turned out that Lilly loved looking at our DIY mobile... BONUS!

Unfortunately, by the end of the day all of her jelly fish had lost there tentacles so we needed to go back use glue to hold them on so experiment with what you have on hand and what works best for you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Gift of Perspective

Today is my 31st Birthday!  Happy Birthday to me!  Well, and to Abby who would like to share my day with me!  Ha ha!

Hopefully by the time this post is scheduled to go live I will be enjoying breakfast in bed after a nice long morning of sleeping in!  It's highly unlikely since Dan is working nights but a girl can dream!

I actually gave myself a pretty good birthday gift:  the gift of perspective.  Back in July, my aunt gave me 3 CDs of 'Ask Grandma Days'.  This was something my mom, her sisters, her aunts, etc would do back when my Great Grandmother was alive (I think she lived to be 150 but I'm not sure).  They would all get together and just ask her lots of questions.  A few of them were recorded on those old school tape recorders which my aunt, the family historian, had put onto CDs.  An awesome gift of family history but for some reason I had a hard time listening to them so they just sat in my car.

I don't know why but I put one in on my way to the mall.  It was hard to listen to at first since there was a lot of static but there everyone was... my Great Grandmother, my great Aunt Florence, my Mom.  Voices from the past, surrounding me as if I were sitting in a room with them.

A few things really hit me.  First, I barely recognized my Mom's voice.  Weird, right?  These were recorded over 20 years ago and she lost most of her Jersey accent throughout the years but it was so strange to hear her sound so young.  As I was listening, I noticed that certain things she said were the same.  How she told stories was the same.  I thought it would make me sad but instead I felt comforted.

Second, I was amazed at the grace in which my Great Grandmother lived her life.  The recording were taken at 2 separate 'Ask Grandma Days' and each time she reiterated that THEY had a great life.  Now, not to give you too many details but my family has faced it's share of tragedy.  My Great Grandma lost her daughter, my Grandmother, violently and suddenly.  However, she never mentions that.  No one does.  She actually says, 'We have had a good life.  You have to expect that there will be some bad but we really did have a good life.'

And that was the theme of the talks.  How good everything was.  Everything she talked about, she did so with a giggle in her voice.  I think about the times I get together with my family and all the conversations we have about someone or some drama that's going on and realize that happens all too often.  The common ground we tend to find with each other is misery.  Heres my Great Grandmother who washed clothes by hand, walked to the grocery store, and scrubbed a hallway for a break on rent yet still has not a single complaint.  Not a single why me, whoa is me, how could this be happening to me.  She accepted life for what it is, good and bad but mostly good.

That's how I want to be.  I dwell too much on what's not being done for me, what someone's doing wrong, how hard it is to deal with certain things.  It gets the best of me.  The drama can suck me in like a vortex and I find myself saying things I can't take back.

My goal, as I enter into my early 30's, is to change all that.  Enjoy people, family, for who they are without worrying about what they are not.  I want to look at my life and, regardless of the cards that I'm dealt, I want to be able to say with certainty that I had a good life.

I think I was meant to listen to those recordings now.  I don't think I would have been able to find the lesson in them until now.  They made me laugh, cry a little, and they inspired me to be better, to live better and to make life better for my girls.

Thank you Great Grandma and to the wonderful women in my family for giving me a gift that at the time you may not have known was meant for me.  Lessons learned and notes taken!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Why I Hate Shopping

Dan gave me an early birthday present of going shopping, alone, for some new clothes which I am in desperate need of.  It would be lovely to own a pair of jeans so that I can stop mooning the whole house every time I bent down.  Unfortunately, the best part of my day out was coming home.

Ok, I admit, it was nice to get out on my own (although I did miss my girls and was totally contemplating bringing Abby until I thought about how much she loves the play area which would lead to lots of tears when we left which would lead to me regretting bringing her).  However, I have no idea where to shop any more.  Is my body so mis-proportioned that they're are no stores that sell clothes to fit me?

Here are my top 5 reasons I now HATE shopping:

1.  Organization 
Searching the bottom of the pile for the normal size clothes makes me want to lose my mind.  Why do stores have 1,000,001 pairs of size 2 jeans, or better yet size 0?  Because those sizes are not normal!  By the way, every store I shopped in today, I honestly do not feel bad that I had to mess up your nice neat piles just to find a normal size since you made it a point to crush my self esteem from the moment I walked into your store, 

2.  Fitting rooms
It drives me crazy to have to look for someone to unlock a dressing room.  I don't understand why they have to be locked in the first place since no one ever counts my clothes when I leave.  

3.  Fitting rooms (part 2)
I also don't understand why they ask you how you did.  I'm walking out of here empty handed, how do you think I did?!?  Thanks for making me say aloud that that nothing fit.  Also could someone tell me why you had to come check on me 30 seconds after I got in the fitting room?  Yes, I am ok, I am currently trying to stuff my fluff in these too tight jeans!

4.  Fitting rooms (part 3)
The funhouse mirrors and cellulite enhancing lighting.  Again, thank you for giving me an extra boost of low esteem today!

5.  Sales Associates
Do they not realize that some people just want to be left alone?  I do not want you, Mr. Tall and Skinny, to help me find pants in size GINORMOUS.  Again, if I am putting these jeans back then I guess they didn't fit and if I wanted to discuss my waist size with you then I will come and find you.  Obviously, I would like to keep it to myself since my waist is as round as you are tall!

Ok, I know I'm being a little harsh but shopping is seriously depressing when you are trying to lose weight.  Since I was having a completely unproductive day, I decided to make myself feel better by stopping at Auntie's Anne's and getting a pretzel with cheese sauce. - You know you're a fatty when you go to mall and all you buy is FOOD!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Evolution of the Super Bowl: Through a Toddler's Eyes

I was totally going to write a post about the evolution of a Super Bowl game through the eyes of a Super Fan but because I'm a sensitive wife, I decided not to.  That and towards the end of the game I was no longer allowed to take pictures.  Apparently, the Pats did not read my letter... shocking!

Dan literally paced the floors, was sweating bullets and was as angry as the Hulk.  At the very end he began acting like a full blown baby.  I don't get it and never will but I gave him his time to cool down.  Once he was calm, he apologized and said the sweetest thing.

Dan:  "I still win because I have you."
Me:  "Awe, but even if the Pats won that wouldn't make YOU a winner.  It would make them a winner.  Maybe you should just change the team you like to a team that WINS."

Yes, I am the most sensitive wife a man could ask for!

So, since he didn't approve of me making him blog fodder, here's the Evolution of the Super Bowl through the eyes of a toddler!


The family is ready to go.  Even the dog got into the spirit!

Abby was super excited to hear the Patriots sing God Bless America.  Yes, she was confused.  And no, that's not what they sang.

Although she did stand appropriately during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.  She so patriotic!

After all the confusion was straightened out and the singing was over, I realized that the REAL source of her excitement was for the tortilla chips!  Ah, a girl after my own heart!

The Game: 

The game did not live up to the level of excitement that she thought it would so we played doll house and with Mr. Potato Head.

Then it was half time.  Again, she thought the Patriots were going to sing.  She was hugely disappointed until I told her that Madonna was going to sing.  Her response was priceless, "Who's Donna?"

However, she LOVED it!  First, she was super impressed that 'Donna' was in fact a King (She already dealt with enough disappointment so I didn't correct her.)  She loved the dancing and showed off some of her own moves.  She even broke out her microphone.

I may be biased, but I think we may be looking at the future half time show!

For her, half time was over way too quick.  She was so uninterested in football that she actually agreed to go to bed shortly after half time.  She even got ready in record time.  I'd say that was a win for me!  Both girls asleep by 8:30 (until Dan's yelling woke Lilly).

How was game day in your house?  Do you have a Super Fan who was happy or were was the tension thick in your home too?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Show Me Your Pins!

Are you all using Pinterest?

I LOVE it!  There are so many great ideas out there and they are all just a click away.  It's given me a place to organize my finds and clear up my desktop... which Dan is super happy about.  You can find everything:  from the inspirational quote to the DIY remodel.  I can spend hours on there just

Here are my last 5 pins:

Source: via Kasey on Pinterest

Notice anything?  One of these things is not like the other.  Apparently, even on Pinterest I have no will power.  (Thats a sticky bun made with Pillsbury Grands Biscuits and you can find the recipe here.)

It seems like since I started dieting, one yummy, delicious, fattening, mouth watering concoction after another is all that pops up.  I seem to always see all these sweet indulgences late at night when I have a serious case of the munchies.  It's torture!

I know I could just stop looking at them and put an end to the agony but I can not stop myself.  They are like a magnet pulling me in, tempting my sweet tooth.  For now, I indulge with eyes and daydream about baking (and eating) one of the many pieces of eye candy I have pinned.

On the bright side, eye candy does not add calories to my diet and I have actually been doing really well eating healthy AND working out.  I am craving some sort of loaded potato, complete with sour cream, bacon, cheese... the works!  Other than that, I feel great and I think I am finally getting into a new habit... YAY ME!

I'm linking up with Mama Kat's Writers Workshop today... feel free to stop on by and visit some other bloggers!


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