Monday, November 29, 2010

Can't Stop Scratching!

Last week we got a call from my the nurse at my stepdaughter's school...

dun dun dun...


It happens.

She hadn't been here with us for a few days, so she actually got her shampoo treatment at her mom's. But, of course to be on the safe side, the great laundry event of 2010 began in our house too.  Can I just tell you how many baby blankets Lily has????? 

I bagged up Reagan's stuffed animals after they'd taken their hot water bath in the washing machine, ran the steps to the laundry room (in the basement) to the bedrooms (on the 2nd floor) 984938294948271 times carrying laundry to and from, checked my head, checked the husband's head, and as soon as Andrew came home from school, he was checked too. Lily has no hair. :)  Everybody clear! THANK GOD!

That all took place Monday.  Reagan comes back home with us on Wednesdays every week and *this* week was one of our extended periods with her---so she'd be here 10 days instead of the usual split week.  Since nothing was found here, I wanted to be sure to get everything washed before she got back so we were starting fresh.

I pretty much knew we were clear because on the previous Sunday morning, Lily had gotten up at 6am and this mama was wayyyyyy too tired to get up so early. Soooooo, Lily and I climbed in Reagan's bed so we didn't wake up Daddy and Andrew and slept for another hour and a half.  I laid on her pillow. I didn't have lice.

Still don't.


I've kept Reag's hair up everyday and retreated her over the weekend and found ZERO. ZILCH. ZIP.


The psychological itch is driving me crazy!

So, last night I dreamed about lice. 
Yes, disgusting lice...has permeated my dreams.

And although no lice were ever in my's been too close for comfort for me.

And my poor stepdaughter is tired of her mother and me picking through her head and not being able to have her stuffed animals. :( 

Friday, November 26, 2010

4 months old!

On Wednesday, Lily turned 4 months old!
I seriously cannot believe she's already 4 months.

She had her pediatrician appointment actually that very day.
I'd been anxious to see how much she's grown in the last 2 months!

She's weighed in at 12lbs., 14oz...
...which puts her at 30% for her weight.
Considering during her early weeks she was at 3%, she's come a long way.

She's 24.75 inches long (55%).

And well, her head measures at 42.2cm which is in the 80th percentile!
It's that big for her growing brain, of course. :)

Her heart sounded great. ♥

She LOVES Dr. Kelly! ♥

Dr. Kelly was really pleased to see how much Lily has grown and how she's developing.
She said Lily has the strength of what she typically sees in a 6-9 month old. :)

She's had an umbilical hernia...her belly button REALLY popped out after her 2 month visit to the doctor and it's still out (you can see in some of the pictures), but it's healing on it's own and no need for surgery.
At one time it was probably out a good inch, maybe an inch and a half! 
Daddy used to call it her turkey belly timer. :)

It's hard to believe that it's already time that our baby girl can start eating rice cereal and once she gets the hang of that, onto to veggies. I truly just cannot believe she's already old enough.
A couple days ago, even Andrew said to me, "Mom, I don't want her to get any bigger than this!" 
She's just at such a fun age where she laughs and smiles and 'talks' with everyone.
 I love that Andrew is even loving each moment!

Lily was pretty smiley and happy after being seen by Dr. Kelly who gave her an A+! 

Next up: vaccinations.
The first which is the oral...Lily takes with no problem at all.

Then she had to get 2 shots...
She was NOT a fan. :(
One in each leg.
I cried this time...and then was hit with a memory of Andrew getting shots when he was 12 months...
remembering that the older they get the harder it is...
They look at you with this look of "why are you letting them hurt me?"
And then I cried harder.

But rest assured, on that Thanksgiving Eve,
was back to her normal happy self
very quickly. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Come They Told Me Paa Turkey Bum Bum

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving this year!
We were all very excited as it was Lily's 1st turkey day! Gobble gobble!
Our day starts with the Macy's Parade watching in our pajammies. Andrew and I have been playing Thanksgiving parade bingo since he was a toddler --(I used to draw pictures on the boards for him before he could read) and we were excited that Reagan was with us all day this year to be able to play!
 Lily was in on the parade watching too!
and so excited she was eating her hands

It makes the parade watching a lot more fun for them since they're looking for specific items on their bingo boards. :)   When Andrew was little, my then sister-in-law gave me a subscription to Family Fun magazine and that's where I discovered the bingo! Now, I just print off the boards each year from Family Fun's website:  Thanksgiving Parade Bingo

While the kids kept playing bingo, I started the turkey and got it ready to be in by noon. I think one of the GREATEST inventions was the turkey bag. It makes the moistest (hate that word) turkey with basting at all, plus I still have all the drippings for gravy. I get it all rubbed with the spices and seasoning and in the bag it goes.  It literally cuts off at least an hour of cooking, as well!

Lily took a mid morning nap in her swing...

We've talked a lot this year about family and the definition of what really makes a family. As I watched, Andrew, Reagan and George with Lily, I had this overwhelming feeling of pride--we DID it! We have successfully blended our family and Lily is the one who truly made us cohesive. She's part of all of us.

Along those lines of what makes family, we had friends over to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. They are the family we choose.

The night before Thanksgiving, we made "Thankful Turkeys" for centerpieces for the table.

We had a kids' table this year which was new for us. The kids loved it!

Supper was good, the company was good and we were definitely happy. ♥

                                             Lily fell asleep at the table.

We played the Wii after dinner to work off all the yumminess and I have to say, my inner teenybopper kicked 3 kids' butts on Just Dance 2 on Kesha's "Tik Tok". We hung out, talked, laughed and enjoyed ourselves together.

And I am thankful, so thankful for her.♥
Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Wrapping Up

We are heading in to a busy week with Thanksgiving and Andrew's birthday.  So, I want to recap the weekend before I end up much further behind than I already am!
(I still haven't done Lily's TWO or THREE month updates and she's about to be FOUR months.)

Late last week, Andrew's hockey team finished up round one of the a 3 game series, his team won 2 games to advance to the championship series! It was a FANTASTIC series --his team was ahead in all 3 games and the other team came back to tie them up and each game went into overtime!
It was one of the best series he's played in 3 years. 

This was one of my favorite pictures I've ever gotten of him playing:

The championship series--also best 2 of 3--started Saturday and Andrew's team won the 1st game. So, tonight, if they win, they're the champs! Go Andrew!

We went to Pittsburgh's annual Light Up Night downtown Friday night and Lily was on the news! How fun was that? We'd just gotten there, walked across the bridge and we ran into Santa! We asked him to take a picture with Lily and the news happened to be there and captured it. :)  Famous baby for her 1st time seeing Santa Claus! Lily on the News ... 52 seconds in!  We got home in time to see it and record it, but they had it online too and I'm glad so I was able to send it to my mom in AZ!
Here's a still from the news footage:

We had a fun time!
The kids were excited to be able to look inside the Wienermobile:

My babies:

Our favorite part of the night is the fireworks from the bridge:

Lily was asleep in her stroller during the fireworks. :)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Six

BWS tips button

1.) What is something you do to pamper yourself?

These days with a new baby...simply getting a REAL shower --you know, one that is longer than 5 minutesrandomly some time in the day.   It would mean getting to bask in the hot water, shave my legs and showering without the baby monitor in sight.

2.) What is your favorite day of the week?
Sunday---it's the lack of anything scheduled and just hanging out.

3.) What shows are you currently obsessing over?
Cannot wait for True Blood to return...COME ON ALREADY!
I'm still a fanatic for teenie bopper shows like: 16&Pregnant, TeenMom
 (apparently I feel like shouting about tv)

4.) What are you currently reading or what is the last book you finished?
The last book I finished was the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows...I wanted to re-read before the movie!
I need some book suggestions for a new one...

5.) What's on your Christmas wish list?
A food processor for baby food making and a new, bigger crockpot.  My husband thinks I'm trying to trick him.

6.) What was the highlight and the low point of your week?
Highlight of the week:  Andrew's overtime win in hockey to move onto the championship!

Low point: A dear friend's baby loss. I'm saddened more than I can express and I'm pissed.  It's unfair.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Random Monday Musings

How is it really already mid November?

I had a dream last night that we were pregnant.
So vivid I woke up and had to get myself awake enough to shake my head and think,"Am I?" because my dream was in present time.
In my dream I was literally checking my calendar and our due date was July 31, 2011.  Ok, for those of you trying to do math in your heads, that would mean I was 3 weeks. Ummm....Lily's birthday is July 24. I am  NOT  ready for a baby while my baby is still a baby. 

But wow.

I took Andrew down to the bus stop this morning because it was SUPER foggy and cold. Umm, yeah, so there was ICE on my windshield.  This Arizona girl is clearly not ready for winter!  It's supposed to be sunny today, so there's that.

Thanksgiving is next week, so I need to get my shopping list written and my coupons clipped. I've been saving up my food perks with our local grocery specifically for Thanksgiving and I have 10% off my total purchase!  I lovelovelove a bargain and saving 10% at the grocery store off the top is incredible!

Lily's 4 month check up is next week too and she'll be having rice cereal for Thanksgiving dinner. How is this baby already nearly FOUR MONTHS old?!?!

And my original baby, Andrew, will be celebrating his 11th birthday next week! How in the world did that happen so fast?!?!  Can't wait to celebrate! He loves to hear the story about how he was born and this year is the same way it was in 1999...Thanksgiving and then 2 days later he was born.

Funny how both pregnancies, I went in late Friday nights and had Saturday babies.

Lily came in 7th place in the Halloween picture contest...thanks for all your help voting!  She stayed in the top ten the whole time. :)

Ok, I'm all randomed out for now. Gotta get on with it.

The baby's napping and that, my friends, is precious time...


Isn't She Lovely?

Lily went to her first official wedding (outside the womb). 
Remember we got married 4 days before she was born. :)

She was a big hit!  My husband's extended family hadn't all seen us since she was born and the last time we did see everyone was while we were pregnant about 6 months ago.

Lots of cousins and aunts and uncles ~fell in love with our baby girl. ♥

We danced, ate, laughed and had a great time!

Lily was fascinated with the lights the dj had and the reflection of the discoball!

Andrew and I had some really good conversations over dinner...discussing why I'm glad he's almost 11 and how much I enjoy his thoughtfulness. He's been asking a lot of interesting life questions lately which have prompted great discussions. It's been amazing watching this young man grow and wonder about life and express his thoughts about what he's taken in.  I am loving this age!

My babies and me:

This baby girl LOVESLOVESLOVES her Daddy!

My husband and I danced together for the 1st time as husband and wife...
And I love that as soon as the song started, he knew it was one I loved, stood up, held out his hand and asked me to dance with him.

We had such a hectic day with hockey games, it was wonderful to enjoy each other in such a happy and romantic setting. ♥ 

p.s. Never ask your MIL who hates you to take a picture of your family....
Blurry. Three times.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Santa Needs Help

The contest is coming to a close... She's currently in 6th place (i stopped looking at how many entries when I got to 201)
and it ends Sunday!
It's a $100 prize and Santa sure could use it!
Please click the link above and vote for our lil pumpkin!
Thanks so much!!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Outside Elements

Last week, I was watching the news here locally and was surprised to see a story about a murder in Arizona on Pittsburgh local news.
I had seen snippets of this murder on my news feeds I follow from AZ, but I hadn't yet read any details.

It was a case about a 35 year old woman who was dropping her children off at a karate lesson at a church and her ex-husband showed up and shot her.

The reason it was on the local news in Pittsburgh...She was originally from this area.

The woman's now husband...a friend I went to high school with.

I was shocked and saddened to see this man who I had known in my younger years on my local news grieving the tragic loss of the love of his life.

As a result, I have had a lot on my mind lately regarding relationships and the outside elements that affect our current ones.

My husband and I are happily married.
Now, it's most definitely not sunshine and daisies all the time.
We fight. We struggle. We disconnect.

The one thing I have noticed is when we're in that discontented state, neither of us is ok.

We both may retreat to our corners for a little while and then reconnect to talk and work through it.

Outside stressers used to be a greater source of our struggle.
But, my husband and I both agree that we are united against the outside elements that may try to divide us. 

Sounds pretty simple just typing it.

But, add in elements of crazy family, exes, and custodial issues, it has been challenging in the past.
Now, not so challenging.

I think about my friend who now will live his life without his wife because her ex-husband MURDERED her and I'm disgusted by what people do to one another. 
Who knows what he was thinking or what he said when he shot the mother of his children while those children were just inside the building. But the destruction and devestation will last a lifetime for her children and her husband. 

Which brings me back to the thinking I have been doing regarding my own relationships...

I can't escape the ex factor in my life.
Simply because we share children. 

As I have said before, my ex-husband and I simply talk about our son. We have a cordial relationship and our son benefits because there is no conflict.
We don't use him as "the middle man" to relay messages, we don't fight and when we DO disagree about something, we discuss it privately without our son's involvement. We discuss school, custody, birthday and Christmas gifts, insurance, doctor visits --you name it--as our son's parents. It's not a tumultuous relationship... More like a business relationship with the same vested interest.
We've both moved on in our romantic lives --I've remarried and he's engaged to marry a woman my son loves.  Our son has benefitted from having all of these people to love him.

Well, if you've read my blog, you already know about the ex factor on my husband's side. It's consistently filled with that same disgusting destruction I feel about what my friend and his stepchildren are now enduring. Unnecessary.
In comparison to the one ex factor in our home, there is no business relationship between my husband and his daughter's mother. Information is not given to us, discussions are not had, the child relays messages, the child hears disparaging and hurtful comments about people she loves. It is ugly and after 3 1/2 years, it appears there's no end.  It is something we recognize that no matter how much and hard we've tried, is what it is.

Life's too short.

The tumultuous ex factor in our lives was one of those outside elements that created issues we otherwise wouldn't have had.

For us, so much time and energy was devoted to preparation for our court case that we were simply emotionally exhausted at the end and there was nothing left to give. Add in dealing with our own feelings ABOUT the circumstances and occurances all centered around custody, it was really difficult at times.
Today, that outside element doesn't affect our relationship. We spent enough time learning how to work together externally and also within our home, that we're simply in sync about it 100% of the time.  It's a peaceful, satisfying feeling, as it wasn't always this way.

My husband and I were discussing this the other night after we had a different outside element attempt to stir the pot.

I'm grateful for the peace and happiness we have together. I'm grateful for the peace and happiness my son and my daughter have. I continue to work for my stepdaughter to know the same.

My high school friend is in town for his wife's local services.
The outside element in their lives, destroyed lives.
I wish my friend peace and happiness...


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Perfect Christmas Card

(*Reminder: Vote for Lily every day! ~she's in 5th place today)

~There are HOW many days until Christmas?????

It's been a few years since I've sent out Christmas cards.


Well, the last few years have been overwhelming at times and quite honestly, we were simply spent.

George and I were discussing this very thing last night --how the ease of our family has really fallen into place. Maybe it's the perspective of a new baby and simply watching this amazing creation grow and how she knows no evil of the world.

She is the connection for all of us--G, Andrew, Reagan, and myself. 
She is pure happiness.

So, not only because it's Lily's first Christmas, but because we, as a family, have found more peace and even greater connection, we'll definitely be sending out Christmas cards this year!

I often scour blogs and emails and company sites for deals--I love a bargain!
In addition to simply loving a good deal, that frugality enables me to be home. What a gift!

This year, Shutterfly is offering 50 Free Cards to bloggers !  Now, that's MY kind of bargain!

The problem I'm going to face...just which one to choose!

I picked my top three:
This One:

This One:

This One:

I just recently received 50 free prints from Shutterfly for being a new customer and I took advantage of that when they had FREE SHIPPING! So, now thanks to Shutterfly I have some awesome new prints that arrived in the mail just a few days later--purely a gift!

I still have a Shutterfly Gift Card to use that I received in my baby registry, so I'm thinking about a wall calendar for 2011. I've learned to WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN because pregnancy brain turned into mommy brain! And calendars are the perfect way to record everything...what better than a calendar with my kids' faces. :) pick the perfect photo!
Did I mention I have an obsession with photographs...