Monday, July 14, 2014

THE 4TH & 5TH OF JULY.

 







weirdest 4th of july ever. rainy & stormy. most fireworks and parades were moved to the 5th, but we made the best of the day inside. it's not hard to do when you're "almost two" and the center of attention. rorie loves playing with all my little cousins and they feel the same. it's fun to watch her because she keeps up with them wonderfully. she loves older kids. jake slept most of the 4th, so he can't really comment on the comings or goings of that day.





the 5th of july was lots of fun. it was rorie's 2nd birthday, our annual family reunion clambake, and mock 4th of july. i think rorie heard, "how old are you?" and "is it your birthday?" a million times! we tried to make it as special as possible. which is sometimes hard to do when your birthday falls so close to a major holiday- aaron can attest to that. hey-yo christmas birthdays! i spent most of the day nursing jacob, but it was a fantastic 2nd birthday celebration. all my sibilings were able to come from camp for the day as well as uncle big cat, who was extremely nervous to hold jacob, him being so small and all. but we reminded him of how well he did with rorie and he reminded us of how nervous he was then too. in the end i think they will be best buds.

i still can't believe she's two. but i really can. she's probably the smartest kid i've ever met. and she's so wonderfully outgoing it makes my heart happy to watch her navigate the world on her own. she makes fast friends with babies, toddlers her own age, big kids, and even old men. it's adorable. i think she has more friends than me. and i really hope this aspect of her personality sticks around for years to come.

we are super excited to have my dad come to stay with us on tuesday. he will finally meet jake! and spend three well-deserved weeks with us. rorie is pumped to have papa in the flesh, rather than in the ipad... i know this because my arms are straddling her squirmy body as i type. she actually said "in the flesh". ok, so that's a lie... but auntie mikayla did teacher her to say "i live on the edge!" so, you never know.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

MMM...MAMA! FROZEN TREATS EDITION.

the weather is warming up here in NH and we have been making some frozen treats to keep cool. i hope you get a chance to try them all... because i've been making them around the clock just to have something sweet to eat after dinner (ok, after nap, too). 


invisible cookie dough ice pops
2 1/2 c. almond milk
2/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
couple pinches salt
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 c. + 1 t. mini dairy-free chocolate chips

place milk in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for ~1 minute, or until warm to the touch. stir in brown sugar and salt until dissolved. stir in vanilla.

place 1/2 T. of chocolate chips in the bottom of your popsicle molds. fill to the top with milk mixture. insert sticks and freeze until solid.

adapted from this recipe.


orange creamsicles
1 c. orange juice
1 c. full fat coconut milk
3 T. honey
1/4 t.orange extract
1/2 t. vanilla extract

in a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together.
pour mixture into popsicle molds. let set for 30-60 minutes, then add popsicle sticks. freeze for another 4-6 hours or until frozen.

this recipe can be found here.


chocolate covered frozen bananas
    2 medium bananas
    1/2 c. semi-sweet or dark dairy-free chocolate chips
    1 T. coconut oil

    slice the bananas into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch rounds and place them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for at least two hours. once frozen, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave- careful not to burn. remove the bananas from freezer dip each banana slice into the melted chocolate. eat immediately or place them back into the freezer until refrozen.


red, white, & blue popsicles*
leftover coconut milk (the clear liquid)
sliced strawberries 
blueberries
honey, to taste

*i make these after i make the orange creamsicles with the leftover clear coconut milk. no need to waste it!

place fruit in the popsicle mold. mix coconut milk and honey and pour into molds. freeze and enjoy.



enjoy some summer frozen treats!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SUMMER WATERCOLORS.









last week when both my sisters were staying with me it got warm. we were also getting a little stir crazy staying inside all day (newborns, psh). so we stripped down the babe, stuck a disposable on her butt, and broke out the watercolors. rorie loved it. there were a lot of laughs. and paint got everywhere. i'd highly suggest this... no matter your age :)


photo credit to my 1st little sister...thank you for these pictures.

Monday, June 23, 2014

SO SOUNDLY I ENVY HIM.



i'm at home alone with him. my husband has taken my littlest sister and daughter to barbecue, or "bar-ba-qwee-yoo"... as my almost-two year old says. that's what she'll tell you if you ask her. how old she is, i mean, " almost two." like she's actually "almost twelve".

i'm home alone with him. i fed him right before they left and he squirmed and burped and spit up until his tiny body succumbed to the drowsy look in his dark blue eyes. i wrapped him in a swaddler and put him in his tiny crib. it's chilly out today, so i draped his knit blankie over his torso and legs. they are beginning to fatten up. ever so slowly, but it's happening.

i'm home alone with him. he's been sleeping in his crib since they left. it might have been an hour? i'm not sure because i'm having a hard time leaving him alone. he's been sleeping peacefully the whole time. but i'm scared to leave him. scared that he will spit up and choke. scared that it will burn his little throat. it's brand new... i just made it from scratch. scared that he won't be able to sleep because he's in pain.


i'm scared because his sister's suffering as an infant has left scars on my heart and mind. and i'm terrified he will have to go through the same thing. our first time alone with him in the hospital he started to choke.  we hadn't had him more than half an hour. his face turned red and he became rigid. his small, limp baby neck bulged with all the muscle and veins he had in him as he fought for a breath. my husband patted his back, turned him upside-down for an infant heimlich. he tried to save him, but nothing was working. he sprinted into the hallway with our purple faced son. i had pressed the call button before he ran out, but then i sat there. empty from birth in an empty room. not knowing if my baby was ok or not.

ultimately he was fine. they told me he was born so quickly that he didn't get a big squeeze like other babies do. "the squeeze" helps the liquid and mucus in their body get pushed out. his was still lingering in his body causing havoc. he spent the night in the nursery that night. just in case he choked again. he didn't. it took a few days, but he eventually cleared himself out.

he's been sleeping this whole time.


yes, he spits up and chokes a bit sometimes... but he's brand new. still getting the hang of this thing called life. he hasn't choked like the hospital since the hospital. he sleeps so soundly that I envy him. he eats like a champ. we have nothing to worry about (so far) with our boy. i'm sure it will take time before i stop checking if he's breathing. before i feel comfortable letting him nap behind a closed door. but for now, i'll sit here and watch my baby's chest rise and fall with the sound of rain as i delve into a new book and wait for my firstborn to come crashing home in all her toddler glory. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

OUR 1ST TWO WEEKS WITH JAKE.

















these past two weeks have just been full of emotion...

the fear of realizing i was in labor and it was happening.
the joy of pregnancy being over and my baby being slopped onto my chest.
the pride in my husband after seeing how quickly our son entered the world.
the excitement of showing rorie her new brother.
the extreme tired and soreness that quickly sets in after birth.
the fear of jacob not breathing or not gaining weight (he's fine...no worries).
the love of my support system of visitors while recovering.
the happiness of being able to hug rorie straight on (gosh i missed that!).
the cheerful "look it's jacob!" we hear from rorie daily.

...to name a few.

most people tell you that the days go by slow, but the years go by quickly. while this may seem to be true, i feel like i have fought for each day i've had with both my babies. each day i learn something new and each day i'm more equipped to handle what i'm given. i'm truly getting better and better at soaking up the sweet moments and not letting them slip by unnoticed or unappreciated. her ever growing torso and his thighs beginning to chunk up. the way she memorizes a song in a day and how he snorts when he's unhappy. these keep me going when i'm exhausted.

after having jacob i realize how unprepared we were to have rorie. i am thankful for the strength we have now since enduring rorie's first traumatic year of life. i am so thankful that rorie is now a big, happy, healthy girl. for a while there it was touch and go. we know so much more about sleep patterns, growth spurts, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, car seat safety, cloth diapers, allergies and formula to name a few.

we have a uniquely positive outlook on life, babies, hardships, and our own relationship. it has made this second step into parenting a lot smoother and full of more love than we ever thought possible.

here's to our new life as a family of four. thank you jacob, for being born to us.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

YOUR NAME IS IMPORTANT: JACOB EDITION.


we are just so happy that jacob finally decided he wanted to be born! we did a post similar to this about rorie's name, if you missed the rorie edition... click here to view it, so we thought it would be fitting to do one for jacob as well. i hope you enjoy it. i can't wait to share more of our life as a family of four. so far, it's been pretty wonderful.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

if jacob were to ask me why his father and i picked his name i would tell him this:

jacob. your name was decided quite quickly. very similarly to your big sister's name, actually. after we found our you were a boy we talked and talked about names. nothing sounded good. nothing seemed to fit. we couldn't agree on any name. then your dad and i decided to sit down, go through names, and get serious about the whole "naming you" business. he landed on the letter j and started going through the names. when he said "jacob" i looked at him and shrugged. saying, "it works." he said, "i've always liked that name." and i thought, "that's crazy... because so have i", but i never actually said it out loud. your daddy said he also has always like your name. so that was that... and we never looked back. what's really cool about your name is, not only is it a name used in the bible (something your dad wanted for one of his children), but it is derived from the same source as the name James... which just happens to be your dad's middle name. many languages don't even have different spellings of the two names. we think that's pretty special.

kian. the funny thing about your middle name is that your papa actually found it. your dad and i couldn't come up with a middle name to save our lives. nothing sounded right. nothing fit. sound similar to your first name?! i told my family that we were stuck on a middle name and my dad stayed up all night looking up names. in the morning he told me about kian [key-in]. it's an old irish name that can be translated into "keene" in english. keene, nh is the town where your daddy and i had our first date ever.  we also wanted to use a family name, but nothing sounded right. well, your papa's middle name is keith and your grandpa dave's middle name was allen. and if you smoosh those two names together it's sounds very similar to your middle name. which we love.

i love you so much jacob kian. you were purposely created and purposefully named. does that answer your question?



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A NOTE TO MY DAUGHTER.


dearest, sweetest,  rorie gwendolyn.

i'd like you to know how hard we are working, your dad and i. it's really difficult to try and be an adult when your whole life you've been so well taken care of by the adults around you. and when things keep getting out of hand in the most insane of ways. like sicknesses and jobs that work us too hard. like arguing with family and moving half way across the country. like traveling all over the world and trying to sleep when we miss your presence so much. it's really hard, baby girl. but we do it all because we love you so much. more than we could ever, ever imagine or understand.

 

right now we are waiting on your brother's arrival. each night i go to sleep wondering if he will make his arrival. but each morning i wake up and he's still in my tummy. and that means it's another day we get to have with just you. and that is just as sweet and worth every minute of being pregnant for longer.

do you know how much you've taught me? do you know how much we've learned together? do you know how much fun we have every day? you might not... you're two months away from being two years old and it's definitely showing. you are extremely vocal and we can understand each other a lot. but we're starting to butt heads. you like to scream now. it's a frustrated scream most of the time, which i can understand. your body and mind are changing faster than you can keep up with. i get it. i just don't particularly like when you do it when you're looking at me with that little twinkle in your eye which tells me you're doing it on purpose. that's slightly annoying.


you're also starting to get really good at manipulation. your daddy and i like to think that parenting is "the art of distraction". we can usually snap you out of a fit with a change of topic like, "look at this flower" or "look at elle!" you are also very good at this, "rorie, what color is this?" "ooooh, yook at the trees!" you can change a topic faster than we can. touche my love, touche.

speaking of manipulation. i can't forget to mention your eyes. frequently, i'll tell you, "look at me" when i'm trying to talk to you about your previous behavior in a situation. usually, you look at me... we talk about it... and we remind ourselves that's not how we behave in this house. but sometimes... and usually with your daddy... we will say, "look at me" and you will make your blue eyes as big as they can be, tilt your chin down so your gazing at us in the creepiest way, and slowly move your face towards ours, without breaking the stare, until your forehead it touching ours...and then continue to stare with those huge blue eyes. knowing that you have the most upper of upper hands.

now, i can usually stop this before it happens, because i'm very used to your antics and mama don't play games... but you have your daddy wrapped around your tiny finger. you know that if you do that he's not going to be able to keep a straight face and whatever he was going to talk about is history. that art of distraction... you've learned it, too! oh he tries, he tries so very hard to keep it together. but his laughter burst through his mouth before he can stop . it's the most adorable thing for a mother to watch, but also the most annoying... because bad cop here has to finish the job. (in his defense, he's totally getting better at this. and you are losing your power- sorry girl).


we could have a few more weeks with just you, or a couple days, or i could click publish and it would be go time. and both of our lives will change forever. you will have a brother and i will have a son. and it will never be just you and me. i'm kind of sad about this, because i have loved being your mother. i have loved giving you all my attention.

but you are meant to be a big sister, just as i was. this is something that only you and i will share in our family. we are the big sisters. we take care of each other in a unique way. we are alike in a unique way. and that is something i am so grateful for. and i'm excited to watch you grow on this journey.

so here's to you. my first baby. my daughter. my almost big sister.

cheers.