Thursday, May 21, 2015


I *might* have neglected to mention that I started a new blog.

Around Christmas time.


You can find it here:

This blog is officially retired.

Monday, September 8, 2014

This and That: August 2014

I probably should have started blogging on an at least weekly basis this month, because having your oldest start kindergarten paired with your youngest and last newborn moving through the various stages of infanthood gives a mom a lot to try and remember. So, here it is - all of August, starting off just after Eleanor turned 6 weeks old, and Fitz had run away from home.

I will save you all the suspense of that saga, and let you know that he narrowly made it home alive after hitching a ride to publix in the engine block of our van. He finally started crying for help once it got a little too toasty for comfort. We all are grateful that the outcome was best case, considering how horribly that could have ended.

As mentioned previously, Mikey started Kindergarten. He is just now finishing up his 2nd week, and is doing wonderfully with the new routine. It helps that we really like his teacher - and the school! Of course with a new start in a new school, we also had to say goodbye to some good pals! So far Mikey is still learning names, but we hope he finds a good buddy soon!

{Mikey's last day at Preschool!)

{Eleanor had her 2 month well visit!}

{Jonny walking with me to pick up Mikey from school}

{The fuzzy black caterpillar's that were falling from the sky for a few weeks}
{Mikey mastering various games on the Kindle Fire}

{Eleanor taking a nap}

{Cooing at daddy}

{Papa picking figs off the tree}

{Eleanor watching me fold laundry}

And that was pretty much August. Seeing as it is now a solid week into September, I better get to posting about that!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Eleanor: 6 Weeks

Things are getting a little happier around here. She is still having some food issues (mostly still spitting up) but did give us the gift of sleeping from 10pm to 5am one night last week, so there is that. I think figuring out that you have arms and legs, and can control them, provides much comfort to infants. She has also started cooing, and smiling, which just makes me turn to goo inside.

Here is Eleanor @ 6 weeks:

Friday, August 1, 2014

Little of this, little of that...

I. am. tired.

Truly asleep on my feet. It seems like each week a new personality emerges from our littlest little, and after purchasing a copy of "The Wonder Weeks" I knew to expect (and was reminded of the same weeks with Mikey and Jonny) that week 5 would be difficult. Eleanor has not disappointed. Basically the baby's brain starts to wake up in week 5, and her senses "turn on." The baby is easily overstimulated, and this leads to a lot of crying. A lot. Like, baby is fed, changed, being held, binkied, and still crying. OH MAH GAWD STOP THE CRYING!

I was starting to feel a little distressed because the only way Eleanor was falling asleep was if someone was holding her --- not exactly a precedent that I wanted to set. I don't consider myself as an attachment parent, though I'm perfectly happy to hold my baby to comfort her, but this was starting to drive me crazy. Knowing that she was going to cry regardless of if she was in my arms or somewhere else, I got her completely set up in the glider, including wrapping her up in the baby straight jacket (aka, swaddle) and just let little sister cry her brains out. And she did - for 3 minutes. Three minutes! That is it! The rocking and white noise (provided by the swing) finally did its job, and knocked her out. And there she has happily slept for the last 1.5 hours. She hasn't exactly loved the swing up to this point, and we were only setting her in it as a stationary resting spot after she had already passed out. But now... now I'm thinking I've found my solution to getting the baby used to falling asleep on her own (or at least with a different crutch that doesn't include she and I doing the waltz and 4 am).

I'm still less than happy with the eating situation. I thought I had solved all of her eating issues (spit up, and crying at the bottle, and not wanting to eat more than an oz or two at a time) when we tried the Up & Up version of Enfamil AR (added rice starch). It could just be that she is in that magical wonder week, but it seems like the spit up/crying is getting worse again. She seems to be growing just fine, but I guess I'm just worried that she is going to have other eating issues besides this reflux deal. After trying Zantac unsuccessfully for a few days, we have been able to handle the food issues without medication, and I'm still hoping we can continue that way until she starts on solids around 4 months old.

I'm sure we dealt with similar issues with both boys, and time + the insanity of moving across country made me forget. 

For now, because my brain is barely working, I'm just going to insert these disjointed photos and this will have to count as a real blog post. 

Also, Fitz ran away. /sigh. Didn't notice the boys hadn't closed the garage door, and he slipped out. I hope he finds his way back home again!

 {finally asleep, on her own}
 {enjoying a bath, sort of... and her hair dry after a bath cracks me up}
 {a sweet package arrived from Uncle Andrew and Aunt Stephanie.. toys for the boys, and some sweet gifts for the baby, too}
 {since the boys are entirely too neglected as of late, I've been trying to take them somewhere each weekend. This last weekend we visited a local park for the first time, and had lots of fun!}
 {Little E, much too long for the "small" size swaddle now}
 {Coloring books & stickers!}
{Goatie - the beloved ceramic dog I made for my mother when I was 11. After my mother passed away, I made sure to have my little brother grab him and send him back home to me. Still processing the death of my mother}.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Eleanor: One Month

Eleanor has been around for 1 whole month already. I say already like it wasn't the slowest 4 weeks ever. If you are reading this in the future children, know that I love you all dearly, but taking care of newborns is not my most favorite thing. Sometime around the 2-3 month mark you all turn into impossibly charming, sweet and drooly messes that I can't get enough of, but before then everything (and I mean everything) feels a little impossible.

Throw in an infant that hates a car seat (unless she is swaddled, and that only works for so long) and some mild reflux issues, and I will be feeling a lot more relieved to be at the 3 month mark come September!

Friday, July 18, 2014

14th of July, 2014

It is hard to believe how swiftly the summer is moving around here. I know stirring a new baby into the mix is cause for a lot of the increase speed at which time is passing, but it feels so much faster than when Mikey and Jonny were babies.

Eleanor is lovely, really. She is as snugly as Mikey was easy going, though she does protest being set down for too long (unless she is very deeply asleep). Unfortunately she has some reflux issues, but those seem to be resolving themselves with a change in formula and some extra special attention to making sure she is well burped and letting her sleep in her rock n' play at night (I think the inclined position helps a great deal!). We did try giving her Zantac (pediatrician prescribed) however, she hates the taste, and would spit out as much as she could, so we are trying to not use it. So far, we mostly have this figured out, and I expect that we should be able to switch her back to a regular formula in a few weeks (or certainly by 3 months) once her digestive system has had more time to mature.

The boys are so proud of their little sister, and would dote on her as much as possible if we didn't shield her so much. We are probably ridiculous, but the boys are so ENORMOUS compared to their petite counterpart, and I'm terrified that someone is going to squish/poke/grab a little too hard. Mikey is definitely better at understanding how to interact with her, but even he is a little heavy with the hugging and snuggling. I think Jonny still mostly see's her as a kitten or a doll, and frequently asks if he can pet her. He also wants to pull on her hands/feet/ears. He just can't get over how tiny her little appendages are (and they are small!). I think we will all feel better when she is a few months older and not quite as delicate. I'm also looking forward to being able to reclaim some of my cuddle time with the boys as the baby gets into a better sleep/nap routine.

One thing that has been so amazing this time around is having G-Ma around (only 2 doors away) to dote on her grandchild pretty much any time I ask. I can't imagine how much more difficult the transition from 2 to 3 children would have been if she wasn't so happy to help with picking the boys up from pre-school, and snuggling the littlest little for me so I can run errands (Eleanor hates carseats so far, so any time I can avoid bringing her someplace with me is a blessing!).

It is strange to me as a mother how easy it has been to forget how difficult/trying it can be to care for a newborn. It is NOT my favorite stage of babydom. In fact, if I could fast forward out of the 4th trimester (months 1-3) I would. I know, you aren't supposed to want to, but I really do eagerly anticipate that sweet spot you hit with a baby that isn't mobile, yet is content to swing/play on a mat, or at least can find their hands to nom on happily all through the day. Yet even as difficult as I am now reminded this stage is, I know she is my last newborn, so I'm trying to appreciate the sweetness of it all. Afterall, in the blink of an eye, my 1st newborn has miraculously turned into a Kindergartner!

{my biggest little, and almost kindergartner!}
{Jonny Man!}
{Mikey showing me how big our baby Crepe Myrtles have grown!)
{Daddy & Eleanor}
{The bottles of booze next to the infant meds made me LOL a little bit, not going to lie}
{I don't know why we ever try anything new - of course Eleanor does the best on the same bottles/nipples that worked perfectly for her tongue tied siblings. Glad I kept everything around!}
{Eleanor, 3 weeks}

 {Giving this baby wearing thing a try - so far we love it!}
 {Her umbilical stump fell off, and her belly button is just as cute as can be}
{snuggling up for a bottle after her bath}

Friday, July 11, 2014

Eleanor Grace Gaines

Arrived at 3:04 on June 25th, 2014. 7lbs 6 oz and 19.5 inches long. My littlest little at birth, by a long shot.

She is beautiful. Perfect. Our sweet Eleanor. Our daughter.

Monday, June 23, 2014

39 Weeks Pregnant

In approximately 48 hours, our Eleanor will be here. It is strange to have arrived at this destination, finally, after the many months of counting down with Mikey each night at bed time. I will probably write a little bit more about it, but my mother recently passed away (10 days ago) and it has been a bit surreal to be in this time of transition and growing our family, while losing her. 

I have a few things left on the pre-baby bucket list to knock out, but I expect that my writing will tick up exponentially over the next several months!  

And here I am, at 39 weeks pregnant, the last time I shall ever hold this form!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Checking in...

I realize that casual observers of this blog might assume (given my nearly 3 month absence) that something terrible must have happened to me, or the baby, or someone. Thankfully that isn't the case - I just took an unplanned break. All is well with the pregnancy, and with me, and the rest of us.

I turned 31, spring happened - and now we are heading swiftly into summer. Eleanor is 42 days away! We are planning on spending the next few weeks getting the house read (aka, clean) for baby, staying cool (I broke down several weeks ago and purchased a maternity swim suit, and sincerely hope I get plenty of opportunity to use it before my c-section) and enjoying our last moments together as a family of 4 before we grow by one more. In addition to adding a new family member, sweet Mikey will be starting kindergarten in August, so I'm trying to enjoy the last few months as a mother of children that do not HAVE to be somewhere at a certain time (or face a penalty if we are running late). I know things won't be quite as simple as they have been, but I'm excited for the experiences ahead!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

This and That...

It is strange how slowly a pregnancy goes in the first trimester, waiting for that magical 12 week mark when it is mostly safe to come out of hiding. I mean, I never wait until the 12 week mark, but that is it, supposedly. 

Anyway, we dragged slowly past the 12 week mark, and then flew right on by the 20 week mark like it was nothing. We've been slowly gathering things for our girl (Eleanor, in case I hadn't mentioned it elsewhere) and putting the nursery together (with the help of G-Ma & Pa Pa).

That is the pile of clothing I snagged from Craigslist. I'm feeling very fortunate that everything was in great condition, and Ellie doesn't need a thing until she is in the 6-9 month size (which will probably happen in the fall, but I'm not completely sure since I'm not convinced my girl will be quite as ginormous as her brothers were at that stage).

And the nursery. Isn't it wonderful? And "airy"? The natural daylight in here is great - I foresee taking many beautiful pictures of our sweet little sister in here.

As far as me? I'm 22 weeks along and have developed a nice round belly. I finally broke down and bought some maternity clothing, and then proceeded to cook bacon or some other greasy food while wearing each of the 4 maternity shirts I had purchased, ruining them all, and then had to run out and buy new shirts. I didn't throw out the shirts, as I've been told there is a product called "Grease Lightning" that will remove the stains (even if it is an automotive product). I'll try anything once! 

But other than feeling large, and feeling the ache from the weight shifting to my front (a little lower back pain, a little hip pain) I'm doing pretty great! Sure, I still will randomly vomit on occasion (freaking post nasal drip hitting my gag reflex), but other than that, woo! They call this the honeymoon trimester for a reason I suppose. I've had plenty of energy - and have recently tackled a new cleaning schedule to keep our house in better shape (schedule can be found here). I'm hoping the gestational diabetes & pre-eclampsia that plagued me at the end of my last pregnancy were just a fluke, and that I can keep up the momentum until our 3rd (and likely final) c-section on June 25th. 

Here is a shot of Eleanor at our anatomy ultrasound - everything checked out great!  She now weighs 1 pound, and is the size of a spaghetti squash (11 inches long!). I've been feeling her kicks regularly now, and can finally feel them on the outside if I place a hand on my belly. Cool stuff! 

And besides everything else, I've been doing some purging! Since J and I are fairly certain (like 95% sure) this will be our last baby, I'm not concerned with keeping the boys clothing as they outgrow it. J has a buddy at work that had a little boy back in October, so I was more than happy to "pay it forward" and give her everything we had. I would say 90% of what we had was given to us my BFF Valerie, and another friend of J's, so it was nice to keep the cycle of giving going! Plus, I'm an anti-hoarder, I think. Nothing felts as good as donating all the furniture and "crap" that we did when we moved from AZ to SC. Then again when we moved from our rental to our forever home. More recently I purged nearly ALL of my clothing (most of it was over a decade old, and even if I do get back down to a size 6, I won't be prancing around in leather mini skirts and backless tops). I love getting rid of things!

Finally, to cap off this post, we have reached a very exciting mile stone for Mikey. No more training wheels! He still needs help getting started, and we have a little ways to go, but now that the weather is getting nice, I'm guessing he will be riding all over the place in no time.