One Month In

Photo credit: Kristin Gambino Photography

Three is hard, y’all.

There is no down time.  It’s constantly meeting one of their needs.  It starts first thing in the middle of the night.  Feeding Brooks, then walking Ellis to the bathroom and back to bed.  Then feeding Brooks again.  Then getting breakfast made for the kids and lunch packed.  Getting the kids dressed.  Feeding Brooks again.  Dealing with Asher’s mess or tantrum.  Breaking up fights.  Getting Ellis to school.  Preventing Asher from killing Brooks.  Feeding Brooks again.  Getting Asher a snack.  Cleaning up Asher’s snack that he didn’t eat but instead smeared all over the floor.  Preventing Asher from killing Brooks.  Feeding Brooks while watching Asher destroy the house, because I can’t do anything about it.  Locking Asher in his room so he can’t kill Brooks or destroy the house while I take a shower.  Hopefully getting the chance to dress before feeding Brooks again.  And by this point it’s only 10 in the morning.

Brooks is a pretty typical newborn.  He sleeps all day and only wakes to eat.  He still only goes 2-3 hours at night before waking to eat again.  I had one magical evening where he went 5 hours.  Of course, it was 8pm – 1am, so I didn’t get a 5 hour stretch of sleep, but I know that one day it’ll happen for me.  The hardest part with night time feedings is that he is gassy, and I have the hardest time burping him, and then he gets the hiccups once I’ve put him down.  What should be a quick 30 min night feeding turns into an hour, hour and a half before I can put him down and go back to bed myself.  And then it’s usually 1.5-2 hours before I have to get up again.  It’s a little rough.  Add to that the recent time change, my other two are getting up between 6 and 6:30, while Brooks wakes between 4 and 5 to eat.  So even when I get him back down, I am up for the day with the other two.

 

 

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Brooks’ Birth Story

Brooks Cooper is here!

He came punctually on his due date.  His grandparents got here Saturday night, and I went into labor the following morning.  I woke up around 4:30 with some uncomfortable cramping, but it wasn’t enough to alarm me.  It was the first night I had slept in my bed in at least two weeks.  I had been sleeping on the couch because it was the only way I could a few hours’ stretch of sleep without waking up with pain in my legs, hips, sides, etc.  So I just assumed the cramping was due to the bed.  Around 5:30, after not being able to get back to sleep, I decided to get up, thinking that would help the cramping go away.  But the contractions persisted.  I started to time them thinking they would die off quickly, but they were coming every 3-4 minutes and lasting about 30 seconds each time.  I thought maybe I needed to have a bm, so I went to the bathroom, and that’s when I lost my mucous plug.  At that point, I started to get excited, though very calmly.  I noticed that when I sat down, the contractions weakened, so I decided to stay busy folding a load of laundry standing up, walking around, unloading the dishwasher…

Ellis came downstairs around 6:30.  She’s normally not allowed to come out of her room until 7, but I thought if I went to the hospital that day, it would be a while before I might see her, so I let her stay up and hang out with me.  The rest of the household started stirring around 7, and I was going to make breakfast for everyone, but thought it might be smarter to take a shower and get cleaned up for the day.  As I was getting ready to head up the stairs, I told Travase, “I’m gonna go upstairs and take a shower.  By the way, you may want to do the same because I think I’m in labor.”

I waited until after I had showered and gotten dressed before I called the Ob.  While I waited for the nurse on duty to call me back, I ran around packing the last bit of things and making sure the kids were set with their grandparents.  We left the house a little after 8 and stopped at Starbucks for breakfast since I knew it could be awhile before I was able to eat again.

After getting to the hospital and getting checked, I was only 4 cm dilated.  Sitting in the car and lying in the hospital bed slowed down my contractions so the doctor ordered me to walk around the hospital for an hour and then come back to be checked.  When I came back I had only progressed to about 6 cm, but the doctor decided to go ahead and admit me.  They started my IV, and I was told as soon as I finished the bag they could order my epidural.

At this point, I should mention that even though I had delivered two babies previously, they were both fairly easy deliveries.  My water broke first with each of them, and I had epidurals administered before the contractions ever got too painful.  That was not the case this time around.  I had been laboring since 4:30 in the morning.  The pain and intensity getting more and more severe as the morning went on.  Now my contractions started to pick up just before they decided to give me Pitocin, so my contractions went into overdrive.  On top of that, I was having back labor which hurts even more than regular contractions, and I still didn’t have an epidural.

By the time it was ordered and the anesthesiologist got there to administer it, I was about a 7 on the pain scale.  Having to move and getting a needle stuck into your spine while you’re having contractions 1 minute apart is not a fun experience.  Worse than that?  It didn’t work.  Well, it was working somewhat on the right side but not at all on the left.  If it was possible, the pain was even worse.  The nurse said to give it 5-10 minutes, but I had already given it more than 10 minutes and the pain was unbearable.  There were more nurses in the room at that point, not sure why.  I had no idea what was happening other than the pain of my contractions.  (Oh, thinking back, my water bag popped during a contraction, and it made me scream.  I think that’s what sent all the staff into the room.)  They were trying to reposition me thinking that that would help the .  I had to beg them not to touch me and to call the anesthesiologist back.  Finally, my nurse did, and after contracting through another epidural insertion, I started to feel some relief.  I remember realizing I was sweaty and thinking about all the movies and shows where the women looked like a sweaty mess.  This labor was turning out more and more like the stereotypical labor you see on TV.

Once the epidural took effect, Trav and I were both able to relax a little again.  I think I looked at Facebook, posted a Snapchat, sent some text messages, booked my newborn photographer…  But it wasn’t for long.  Brooks was ready to arrive.  They checked me and could already see him crowning, so it was push time.  We weren’t allowed to video tape the birth, so I had Trav take pictures.  They didn’t offer a mirror, so I told Trav to watch.  He had no desire to, but I said I couldn’t see, so he had to look for me.  He instead used the phone as a mirror so I could watch while he looked away.  It took 3 or 4 pushes, and he was out.  He came quietly into the world at 3:29 weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches long.

Read about Asher’s birth here.

Read about Ellis’s birth here and here.

 

Car Seat Struggles

Or, Perhaps the Worst Part of Parenting

Most days I am confident in my parenting capabilities.  Then there are days like today that kick me in the butt and continue to pummel me while I’m down.

Today we had an appointment to get our 3 new car seats installed.  This has to be one of the most challenging parts of parenthood.  It seems like you need an engineering degree just to be able to pick out the right seat, install it, and use it correctly.  Statistically, 90% of parents who get their car seats checked have installed them incorrectly.  To me, that’s a glaring problem – not the fault of the parents, but the manufacturers who have made these seats almost impossible to use correctly.  In the case of one of our car seats, the manual didn’t address a certain installation issue, and we had to call the manufacturer directly.  And it was an issue most all parents wouldn’t have known to even ask about.  Two hours.  Two hours to install car seats this morning.  And it required all of my husband’s strength and additional support from the technician.  But a pregnant mother with impatient children under her supervision is supposed to be able to do this on her own???  It’s like the chips are stacked against us.

The configuration was less than ideal once all was said and done, but after two hours laboring to get them in, a super-fussy toddler, and a bladder that was about to burst, I was just ready to be done.  The seat that was supposed to be Ellis’s was turned rear-facing in the center for Asher to use, with Ellis’s old car seat on the passenger side and the infant seat behind the driver’s side.  The recline on Asher’s seat was so low he was practically lying on his back and for me to strap him in, I have climb in on either side, squeeze on top of one of the other seats, and wrestle with Asher to get him buckled because he fights getting in his seat every time.  Again, less than ideal.

After leaving the car seat check, I asked Trav to follow me to the nearest fast food restaurant so I could run in and use the restroom without having to get Asher back out of the car.  Afterward, Asher screamed the entire ride to Ellis’s school.  I sang to him, tried to hold his hand, stroked his head, but he was unrelenting.  I had no more snacks for him because he had eaten them all during the two hours it took to get the seats installed.  I should add, he hasn’t screamed in the car since he was an infant.  (Okay, there was one time that he was tired and couldn’t reach his water, but we were close to home so it didn’t last long.)

We got to Ellis’s school in time to pick her up.  That’s right.  My morning consisted of dropping Ellis off, getting the car seats installed, and immediately driving back to pick her up.  I figured we could take a breath after getting her, and the kids would play on the playground for a while after school like we usually do.  Only this day, as the two were running from the classroom to the playground, Ellis tripped and scrapped her knee and both hands.  She’s bleeding and crying.  Asher starts crying again.

I am fully aware that this is a spectacle with many observers.  I know I shouldn’t care what people think about me in the moment, but I do.  Especially the grandparents of one of Ellis’s classmates, who were waiting to pick her up from class.  We had met them at her birthday party on Friday night, and again, of course, my kids were the only ones who cried and were upset at the party (Ellis didn’t want to play the party games.  She just wanted to play with toys and eat cake.  Asher didn’t want me to help feed him).  Embarrassing then, too.  My kids are usually super easy, tough, resilient, happy, fun-loving kids.  I’ve always been proud of how I’ve been raising them, but moments like these I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m completely failing.  And I’m worried others in these moments think the same thing.

I find a way to pick Ellis and Asher both up (made Ellis stand on a bench) and carry them to the car where I have a first aid kit.  I clean and bandage Ellis up, assuring her it won’t sting and which band-aid does she want, while Asher makes trouble in the car without my ability to supervise him.  Then it’s time to strap them in, and Ellis learns that Asher is the one who gets to sit in her new car seat.  She starts crying again, completely upset that she has now been misinformed twice (we told her she was going to get to sit in the third row, which we later learned she couldn’t because it doesn’t have a top tether for her car seat.  Then I was informed this morning that the purple Diono Radian RXT that I purchased for her wouldn’t grow with her past the next year, so the technician chose to use it for Asher, who could use it longer, and keep her in her Graco that will grow with her for longer).  I’m hunched over her trying to finagle Asher into the middle seat that he despises and his sister doesn’t want him in.  He starts having a fit of rage.  Both kids are beyond upset.  I am emotionally tanked at this point.  I call Trav just so I can cry to him instead of unleashing my emotions on the kids who are already distraught.  I realize he is busy and doesn’t have time to deal with our relative problem, but I just need to let it out.  So I do, with the kids crying in the back seat.

They have both exhausted themselves with their tears and are napping, and I am now, with the help of this post, stabilizing.  I was hoping this car seat appointment was going to be a huge check off my to-do list and bring relief that we are finally ready for this baby to come.  Now I feel like I’m back at square one.  We need to return the new seat we had purchased for Asher and either buy the angle adjuster for the Diono, or possibly return it and find something more user friendly  that would allow us to put Ellis back in the middle and Asher on the side.  I am THIS CLOSE to asking Trav if we can trade in my beautiful GX460 that he spent a lot of time researching, finding, and driving to Miami to purchase, for a minivan.

 

 

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The Countdown Is On!

One little monkey jumping in the bed

The third trimester is upon us, and I am very aware how unprepared we are.  We. have. nothing.  I take that back.  I just accumulated a total of 3 newborn onesies, so we should be good, right?!?  This third baby is a blessing, but was not planned.  In fact, I was so done having kids that I sold EVERYTHING.  No car seat.  No bassinet.  No swing/bouncer.  None of the big items.  ellis. I even got rid of all my maternity clothes and undies.  Fortunately, I still have our changing tables and diaper pails – thank you, Asher.  And I have the Tula because I could still use it with Asher even though he doesn’t like to be worn anymore.

Mentally, I’m ready.  Newborn Asher is still a fresh memory as are sleepless nights and feeling exhausted all the time – the latter has yet to pass!

One of the biggest preparations is figuring out how the baby is going to fit into our lives.  Where is he going to sleep?  Where can he hang out?  How will our routine affect him and vice versa?

Then there are all the worries.  I still don’t have this parenting thing perfected (darn kids keep growing and changing, as do their needs, plus they have their own individual identities – what’s that all about?); so I feel less together than when I was impatiently awaiting Ellis’s arrival.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t know what I didn’t know back then and now I’m aware that I know very little.  I tried tweaking and doing things differently with Asher than with Ellis, but none of our tweaks were actual improvements – just changes.  A lot of things we actually did better with Ellis than we did Asher – so I don’t know which way I’ll go with #3.  Will I go back to overprotective and neurotic or will I be so overwhelmed that I will maintain survival mode for years to come?  I tend to overthink and overcomplicate things and then I just become so stressed.  It takes actual work and focus to try to simplify – and I’m talking everything from routines to household maintenance to play time and self-care.

I like Asher’s room because it’s small, un-cluttered, and everything has its place.  Some of my systems need to be rethought, however.  The blue baskets at the top of his closet were for “Too Big” clothes and “Outgrown” clothes.  I have the same system in Ellis’s closet, too.  It kind of works for the “outgrown” clothes, to just throw them up in the basket out of the way until I can decide what to do with them (need bigger baskets, however), but the “Too Big” clothes are sometimes forgotten about.  When I was going through Asher’s clothes at the top of his closet to figure out what I have for his little brother, I found clothes with tags on that he could fit into now.  And a ton of t-shirts in the size that are a little big, but that I’m already putting him in.  I found some size dividers at TJ Maxx and decided that would be a better system, especially now that I will be dressing two different sized boys out of one closet.

The closet situation

The right side of the closet is sizes 12 – 24 months, or Asher’s side.  The left is what I’ve picked up for Baby #3 and Asher’s old clothes, sizes newborn – 12 months.  I didn’t find out I was pregnant until Asher was 1, so I only have his clothes from 9 months and up. I store extra diaper changing supplies in the blue bins on the left.  Behind that is the pack n play which might end up being Baby #3’s crib until he’s ready for a toddler bed or can climb out of it.

Asher doesn’t have a dresser, so his clothes are all organized by baskets:  PJs, sleep sacks, socks, swim clothes, and shoes on his book case, and then his bottoms are divided into shorts, pants, and sweats/leggings in his closet, and I hang his shirts.  I love the baskets because I don’t feel inclined to fold all his tiny clothes, making life easier and putting away his clothes a quick task.  I will probably share my dresser with Baby #3 for things like diapers, pjs, and anything I might need for him at 3 am.  Because diaper blow outs do not discriminate day or night.

I keep diaper creams, brush and comb, Dreft stain remover, nail clippers, etc. in the blue organizer on the side of the changing table.  The first chevron basket has burp cloths/old school cloth diapers that I use under his hiney for #2 changes and patting him dry after wiping.  The next basket has his day and night time diapers, and then he’s got wipes in the last bin.  The large basket underneath is where I store his extra sheets and extra changing pad cover.  And that’s a pair of shorts on top of the table because he never sits still long enough for me to get them on him.  Hence the reason he’s always running around at home in a diaper and no pants!

Asher doesn’t have much else in his room.  He has one activity cube that he really doesn’t use anymore but makes for good decor, I guess, a tub of cars, and tons of books.  I threw his stuffed animals on the floor of his closet because I don’t know what else to do with them.  Sometimes he goes in there and snuggles them, but not often.  He has a rocker (uncomfortable – I make really bad choices when it comes to this essential nursery purchase), a night stand next to the rocker, and an ottoman where I store extra blankets.

My little helpers

 

If you’re feeling charitable…

We have a baby registry set up at Amazon.com.

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18 Weeks with #3

18 Week Bump

So, I’m just using the same questionnaire I used for Ellis.  Sorry, Asher, that I didn’t do this with you.  Middle-child problems. 

Due Date:  October 15th

How far along? 18 Weeks

Baby is the size of: a bell pepper. (I’m assuming this is the same)

Total weight gain/loss: Up 20 lbs.  You must go read my 18 week update with Ellis, so we can both hate first-pregnancy Bethany together.

Belly Bump:  I think my belly is currently the size it was when I was 30 weeks with Ellis.  Again, hating on old/young Bethany right now.  Belly button popped out a while ago, but no Linea Nigra yet.

Gender:  It’s a… nother boy!

Sleep: Thanks to two beautiful children, I usually pass out soon after they are in bed.  I want to stay up later and get things done, but if I stop moving, I don’t start again.  Because I put Ellis to bed, I’m sitting there reading and singing to her and usually snuggling with her, and then there’s just no hope for me to get a blast of energy again.  I’m done.

Best moment this week:  So many good things this week.  Ellis finished PK3 and had her end of year program.  Our church had Parents’ Night Out where we got a few hours of free babysitting, and yesterday I finally cashed in my Ponte Vedra Spa gift card and spent the day at the spa.

Movement: Little kicks and flutters.

Symptoms: Is laziness a symptom?  No, probably not.  I have more aches and pains and get winded on the stairs more easily when I don’t work out, so I try to get to the gym at least a couple days a week.  Oh, and gas.  So much gas.

Cravings:  Food in general.  I still want all the carbs and sugar, but I am trying to redirect myself and choose salads and healthier options, but it’s a struggle.

Aversions:  None.

What I miss: Wine.  I miss wine.  And my pre-baby body.  The one where I didn’t pee my pants every time I sneezed.

What I am looking forward to:  Setting sail on a cruise next weekend for my girlfriend’s wedding!

Next appointment: June 16th I have two appointments scheduled – ROC and my regular OB.

Names:  Travase has conceded to my choice.  I did persuade him by giving him the middle name – one that he’s been wanting to use since before we knew Ellis’s gender.  Also, he got to name Asher, so it was my turn.

 

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I’m Pregnant!

Oh, yes.  You read that right.  I’m pregnant.  Again.  We were just as shocked as you.  Sure, we know how babies are made.  We went 12 years successfully preventing or making pregnancy happen.  We were happy and done at two.  I sold all of our baby stuff.  I sold my maternity clothes.  I looked toward the future as a happy family of four and all that was in store for us.  And then came a huge surprise!  I couldn’t tell you exactly when it happened because I’m not really sure, but happened it did.

Asher was successfully supplementing breast milk with formula, so around 10.5 I decided to wean him before I went on a weekend girls’ cruise.  I didn’t want to mess with pumping or uncomfortably full boobs on the trip.  After the cruise (and maybe before) I noticed that my clothes were getting more snug.  I assumed it was because of holiday, as well as cruise, gluttony and the fact that I stopped nursing but didn’t stop consuming massive amounts of calories.  And I was not working out regularly.  So I cut back on my diet and started making the gym part of my routine and the weirdest thing happened:  I continued to gain weight.  And a substantial amount.  I was back in my postpartum clothes and not fitting into my regular pants.  My stomach was bloated, and I was gaining an average of a pound or two a week.  Crazy!

So I thought I would just take a pregnancy test to rule it out, and to my shock, the test was very, very positive.  It wasn’t one of those faint, maybe I see two lines.  Two lines were very clearly present.  I couldn’t believe it.  And so I chose to be in denial for a couple of weeks.  I didn’t call the doctor immediately.  Trav’s parents were visiting for Asher’s birthday, so I wanted to wait until they had gone back home.  But eventually I made the phone call and had my pregnancy confirmed.  Because of a past miscarriage, they wanted to check my hCG levels to make sure they were doubling at a normal rate.  When the nurse called me with the results, she told me that my numbers didn’t double, but that they were higher than would be expected at this stage in the pregnancy, so they were going to have me come in that week for an ultrasound.  We were guessing I was probably 4 weeks at that point, (because I had what I now know was spotting in early February), but my ultrasound showed that I was measuring at 8 weeks.

So my due date is October 15th.  And though this all started out as a shocker, we are more than ecstatic to grow our family by one more blessing.

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Asher’s 1st Birthday

Man, mom fail!  I’ve just not had the desire to blog in the longest time, but I feel guilty not having these updates for Asher when he’s older.  It’s been a couple of months since Asher’s birthday, but I will do my best to recount his special day(s).

Trav’s parents were in town, so on Asher’s birthday we enjoyed some dinner and ice cream cake.

That Saturday we had a super hero-themed birthday party with a Kilwin’s ice cream catering cart and a bounce house.  I decided to do his party up big more for Ellis than Asher.  Her birthday is in the summer when it’s hot and everyone’s on vacation, so I thought she would love celebrating her brother’s birthday with some of her friends.

Super girls!

 

Cutest Hulk I’ve ever seen!

 

1st ice cream!

 

Here to save the day!

 

Happy and entertained kids

 

Can’t go wrong with freshly made waffle cones!

 

The set up

 

1st birthday went off with a bang!

 

He needed no help enjoying his cupcake

 

Princess super heroes

 

The company was late picking up the bounce house, so Ellis and Asher got some extra night-time bouncing fun in.

 

His face says it all

 

We opened presents the next morning

 

All in all a successful birthday

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10 Months

Getting into trouble already!

Our little climber. Don’t worry – baby gates installed at the top and bottom of the stairs.

Enjoying some chips and queso on this Mexican night.

My sweet boy turned 10 months on the 21st.  Here is a little update on what he’s been up to lately.

  • You have your bottom two teeth, as evidenced by the chew marks all over the inside of your crib.
  • You will not sit still for a diaper change.  It either takes two adults, or most of the time I just do it while you’re standing up playing.  I’ve tried the one leg over you on the floor trick, but you’re a squirmy guy, and then it just looks like I’m wrestling with a baby – and losing.
  • You wave hi/bye and raise your hands above your head to say “so big!”
  • You love to climb the stairs to get to the playroom.
  • You love to eat toilet paper.
  • You love baths but probably don’t get enough of them.
  • You’re starting to dance to music.
  • Because I never posted a 9 month update:  At your 9 month well check you were 29 1/4 inches tall (81st %), 19 lbs 8.5 oz (52nd %), and 18 inch head circumference (69th %).
  • You still nurse, but we’re slowly weaning.  I don’t pump.  You take formula.  Those baby food pouches are the best.  I wish I had given them to Ellis when she was little, but I thought back then that I was a bad mom if I didn’t make her baby food.  I think Asher gets a more well-rounded diet with all the varieties of food he tries.  My only issue is that a lot of them are composed primarily of apple or pear or another sweet fruit with only a small amount of another ingredient added.  I probably should still be serving you home made baby food, but those pouches are just so convenient!  You’re not a big fan of finger foods yet.  Ellis loved shredded cheese, but you don’t care for it.  You’ll eat crackers and sometimes bread.  Every once in a while you’ll eat deli turkey, but you prefer a liquid diet.  I would try to serve you what we eat, but we don’t eat healthy.  You would be getting far too much sodium!
  • You’re not on a schedule, shame on me.  You wake up anywhere between 5 and 6.  I nurse you and try to get you to go back to sleep.  It’s 50/50.  Sometimes you stay up, play for a bit, and then are fussy after 45 min, so then I put you back to bed.  Other times, you’ll give in and sleep until about 7:30.  Usually though, you’re up until about 7:00/7:30, and then Ellis wakes up as soon as you go down.  So I literally have no quiet time in my day.  You take a nap in the morning depending on when you woke up, usually 1.5 to 2 hours after.  Your naps are about 1.5 hours long.  You take an afternoon nap the same way.  Usually you are up as soon as I get Ellis down for her nap, and then you might take a third cat nap after she wakes up.  Seriously, you guys need to get on the same page!  Your bedtime is 7pm.  Sometimes we keep you up later if we’re out, but at 7, you want to be in your bed, so we try not to mess with that.
  • You are generally a happy baby as long as you’re fed, well-rested, and not teething.
  • You love Ellis and her toys, but she doesn’t like you playing with her things when she’s using them. She has shown you some “sisterly love” in the form of pushing, shoving, grabbing toys from you, etc.  Yesterday I witnessed her stopping herself from hitting you when you knocked over her tower. She’s working on controlling her emotions and being patient (and tolerant) of you.  She doesn’t like sharing me with you very much.  If you start crying, she’ll run to me and ask that I hold her.  You two are obsessed with me, but at least you’ll let other people hold you.  Ellis would cry if anyone held her (except Papa Bob, she was cool with him).

Thanksgiving 2016

I want Thanksgiving to be a more meaningful holiday to my kids than it was to me growing up.  I was never excited about the day.  We ate turkey (not a favorite of mine) and the fixings, and then the adults watched football while the cousins would find ways to entertain ourselves.  It was nice to get together with family, but I took it for granted because we all got together for every holiday.  Now we’re all grown up and spread apart, and so for my kids, I want to create special traditions and make the day about more than a table full of food.  And since having kids, the holiday has become more meaningful and special to me.  This year was probably the best yet, and I’m hoping they only get better.

I tried to do activities with Ellis that reinforced the idea of being thankful and what this holiday is about, but she knew what I was doing and quickly shut me down.  Anytime I get “teacher-y,” she changes the plans.  So instead of reading Thanksgiving books, she chose others, or wanted to read them to me.  And she wanted to play the teacher and for me to be the student.  So maybe next year will be the year we can have those conversations about what she’s thankful for.  I mean, the girl doesn’t even get the idea of Santa yet – writing a letter and asking for gifts.  I asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she said “a swing for my butt.”  She likes to talk about her butt and poop a lot these days.

Anyway, this year we had a great Thanksgiving weekend, and I can already see traditions forming.

Thanksgiving Day

2016-11-24-07-44-18 2016-11-24-08-02-44 2016-11-24-12-13-52I decided not to stress or kill myself trying to get everything ready in time for lunch, so I made our dinner time for 5 pm.  That meant an entire day of drinking and cooking, and I don’t really remember eating much of dinner.  I think we’ll go back to eating around 1, but there was no way I was going to make that happen this year.  I did buy a Honeybaked turkey, but I spent the day making green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cauliflower au gratin, macaroni and cheese, and bacon wrapped asparagus for a lunch time appetizer.  Dad and Cindy came over around 10 or 11, and we had a good time watching them interact with their grand kids.  I didn’t remember to pick up anything for dessert, but luckily our neighbors invited us next door that evening, so we got to sample their pies.

Black Friday

2016-11-25-13-33-03 2016-11-25-13-53-49-hdr 2016-11-25-17-00-37 2016-11-25-17-03-32 2016-11-25-17-06-26I spent the morning cleaning and taking down fall decor.  Trav had a funeral to attend, but before he left he went out and purchased a new Christmas tree.  Dad and Cindy came over for leftovers, and we worked on putting up the Christmas tree and decorations.  We went to V’s Pizza for dinner and enjoyed some live music and good company.

Saturday

Trav took Ellis to the gym while I tried to finish up the Christmas decor and clean the house, again.  Later, we met up with Dad and Cindy in St. Augustine to see the lights.

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Sunday

After church, we took the kids to Village Bread Cafe for pancakes, then went out to tour Dad and Cindy’s airstream before coming back to our house to finish watching the Jags’ game.  Our church was having their annual advent festival.  We missed the service due to Asher’s late nap.  We also missed the chili, but we got some mac n cheese, enjoyed the dying bonfire, and Ellis got to take a few spins on the horse and buggy ride.

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It was a fun weekend, and I was definitely not prepared to get back to reality on Monday morning.  Ellis barely made it school on time, and I was rushing to get Asher to his 9 month well-check.

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Turkey Craft

Ellis learned how to write her name a few months ago, but she still doesn’t fully grasp that the order of the letters is important.  So sometimes she writes her name correctly, and sometimes she writes it backwards from right to left.  Her teacher said she doesn’t recognize her name at school yet.  There are several students whose names begin with E, and so she’ll just go to any name tag with an E instead of looking at the whole name.  That’s another skill we’ve got to work on.  This week, though, I saw a cute turkey craft that she would have fun doing, and it would help her practice putting the letters of her name in order.  (She can recite it, but that doesn’t always transfer to application.)  It was also great for her to practice using scissors and working with glue.

Just for fun, she did one for Asher, too, and it was good practice for recognizing other letters that she doesn’t use too often.  I think the ‘R’ was the only letter she didn’t know.

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