fun february weekend, part - the last!

I can't believe tomorrow is March already. February flew by pretty quickly.

This weekend was another nice one. A busy Saturday, followed by a lazy Sunday... a good combo.

Saturday Gwen and I dropped Trav off at Lehigh, then headed to my parent's. I had a hair appointment, and we hung out for the rest of the day (including dinner), before putting Gwenie in her PJs, then picking Trav up and heading home.

Sunday we relaxed at home for the most part, except for a nice walk since it was gorgeously sunny out (it really feels like spring might actually be around the corner). Trav and Gwen got some snuggly hugs in too.

Now its on to another busy week.


when it rains it pours...

Literally and figuratively. Its pouring outside right now, and I actually heard some thunder. There are wind warnings in effect too. Crazy! I'm glad to be inside right now.

In a more figurative sense. I just found out my Aunt died this morning. She had been in the hospital, very sick, for a few days. It was not unexpected. Still, very very sad. I hadn't seen her in a while (since college, I think), since she is my Uncle's (by blood) ex-wife, but we kept in contact and she was a great lady.

I also just got a call from my dad that my Gram is back in the hospital for issues with her sodium levels. They keep dropping dramatically and the docs can't figure out why. They always seem to get it resolve, so I'm sure she'll be fine... but its scary and I want her to be well.

My supply has also plummeted because of my illness on Monday night and hasn't recovered yet, though its getting better. I'm running out to get some fenugreek/blessed thistle ASAP.

Other then all that, life is good and things are progressing as normal.  :-p 


fun february weekend, part three (the 3-day one)

Prepare for picture overload, you are welcome.

This weekend was a lot of fun (until Monday night and the sickness!) and very full. On Saturday we met Pat and GG at Linvilla Orchards for their raptor program. We missed getting pictures of the first bird, a hawk, but the second was this gorgeous barn owl.

I adore owls lately... on my clothes, my jewelry, and in person.

(He wasn't actually surly... lol.)

After that we headed to the Orchard's bakery and picked up some pies, apple cider donuts, and apple cider which we enjoyed at some of their indoor tables since the wind was crazy. We also enjoyed their orchid exhibit.

I also picked up an acorn squash at Linvilla, which I decided to cook for dinner on Sunday night... this was following a busy day getting Gwen's 1 year photos done, and some errands at ::gulp:: the mall. Gwen wanted to help, so up she went in the wrap.

And together we made this:

I can't even tell you how delish this is!!

Got my recipe here: McMama's Squash.  I can't remember exactly what I changed, so I'll give you my approximate recipe too:

Halve acorn squash and clean out seeds.
Melt 1/3 - 1/4 a stick of butter, mix with ~1 Tbsp brown sugar.
Spread butter/b sugar mixture over inside and cut edge of squash.
Sprinkle with pepper and coarse salt.
Roast at 350* for ~ 1 hour, until fork tender.

Meanwhile, chop up 3 slices of bacon and saute until done.
Remove from pan, but leave drippings.
Add 1/4 of an onion and saute until translucent.
Add 2 cubed chicken breasts, sprinkle with pepper, and cook until done.
Re-add bacon and stir.

Put acorn squash on a plate or in bowl and fill with chicken/bacon/onion mixture.

Seriously, make this. I wasn't even sure that i would like acorn squash, but it is sweet and savory and hearty and wonderful. Even Trav liked it.  :-)

Monday Gwen had her 1-year appointment. She gained well in the past week (4 oz.), and is tall (58%), but they still want to watch her weight. So we go in again in a month.

At lunch we headed over to see Deb and the boys. They are getting so big!!

These heads of hair are just ridiculous and adorable. It was a great afternoon.

I also got one quick video of Gwen dancing.. I love her little butt shake.

That night I started feeling a little nauseous and just off around dinner. I put Gwen to bed and decided to go to bed early myself, hoping that some extra sleep would clear me up. Well, that didn't happen... I was up 20 minutes later running for the toilet, and every 40 minutes after that for the first half of the night. I was puking, um, etc... until about 1 or 2, when I started getting about and hour plus between wakings. Trav was great and took over Gwen duty, actually sleeping in her room so we could all get better rest.

Tuesday morning I felt like death. Weak, exhausted, still nauseous, dehydrated, and my whole body hurt (from the full body heaves). Obviously I stayed home. I slept four hours in the morning and another hour in the afternoon. I also spent a lot of time just laying in bed and relaxing or reading. If I didn't feel like ass, it would have been a great day! Lol.

Today I'm feeling better, though still tired and a bit weak. I'm trying to take it easy on myself, drink lots of water, and get some extra calories. Hopefully I'll be back up to snuff soon.


Post in the works about the fun 3-day weekend... but right now I have to get over this stomach bug which makes me feel like dying. I want a new body from the ribs down. I wish I had Mrs. Grass noodle soup.  :-(  Back to bed.


(Finally accepting that I have a 1year old... my new shock was the fact that accepting that meant realizing I'm now counting down to 2!!)

Busy, productive days here. Slightly frustrating nights with a babe who's been fighting sleep. I think she's making the move on her own from nursing to sleep over to wanting to lay down to go to sleep... right now she's somewhere in between and she isn't sure what she wants. Maybe this is permanent, or maybe this is another temporary sleep change. We'll get through these frustrations, and see where she ends up on the other side.

This week is another "fun February weekend" ... we have lots planned. I'm so so glad its friday and I have 3 days ahead with my fam to look forward too. Hope you all have a great weekend.


one year ago today...

Dear Gwenivere,
One year ago today I was waking up to my water breaking. One year ago today I was doing the hardest work I'd ever done. One year ago today I was delivering the one that would steal my heart. I can't believe it, I just can't... now I can measure your life in years. That is just unfathomable!

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see, she was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be in my daughter's eyes

Gwen, you are truly my heart's song in physical form.
You are what I didn't know was missing from my life. I can't look back and say that life wasn't good without you, because it was good... but I can say with certainty that it is better with you!!

Life is fuller, busier... crazier! You are funny and fun, you are trying and frustrating, you are so much more then what I hoped for. You talk all the time, and when you make me laugh, you think its hysterical and it makes you laugh too, which I find funny, and it just builds. You are sweet and loving, and so attached to both your dada and I... not to mention your Daisy.

Gwen, it has been a blessing to watch you grow so far... and I can't only image how it will be to watch you in the years to come. I'm constantly amazed at the new things you pick up... the words you repeat, the fact that you are toddling around now, the sense of humor you display.

...And when she wraps her hand around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

So, here we are at a year, and still breastfeeding. What a milestone! Its been so trying and so rewarding.

Together we've made it through one milk blister, 2 bouts of mastitis, a handful of clogged ducts, hundreds of night wakings, hundreds of hours attached to a pump, and thousands of hours with at least one of my boobs hanging out!! But I've also gotten to experience the sweetest moments because of breastfeeding too. Extra snuggles, milk drunk grins, a sweet babe heavy with sleep in my arms.

With all the times that I feel like yelling, "Stop! Slow down! Its all going too fast!" ... breastfeeding gives us our quiet moments together. Moments when we do both stop, slow down, and just enjoy being together in the moment. You comforted, calmed by my closeness, and nourished. Me calmed by the rhythm of your breathing.

We're still going strong and it will be interesting to see when you decide you don't need it anymore. I'm not sure how I'll feel when that day comes, but I'm sure I'll be sad.

Oh little girl, your smile lights up my day. I knew before you were here that I would want to be with you, that I would be an attached mama. What I didn't realize was my need to be with you. Its a biological imperative! I need my baby. I enjoy going out with your dada sometimes, or with a friend, and I work full-time. But if there is a time that we're normally together (say evenings, or weekends) and I end up having to be somewhere else, it feels like a physical ache. I never expected that. But you are such a part of me now, Gwen, you are the biggest part of my heart transported outside of me.

You know, I don't think I've told you yet, but I always thought that I was going to be the mama to a boy. Your dada's family has a lot of boys, and I just thought that I would end up having another little boy... but Gwenie, since the moment I found out you were going to be a girl, I could not imagine it any other way. And now that I know you as you, and not just as any little girl, well I couldn't imagine myself not being your mama. The two of us, we make a good pair.

...In my daughter’s eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she’ll grow and someday leave, maybe raise a family
When I’m gone I hope you see how happy she made me
For I’ll be there in my daughter’s eyes

You definitely keep me on my toes too. You're pushing now, testing boundaries and seeing how we'll react to different things. Suddenly you aren't just my compliant little infant anymore... content to be carried around. Now you're moving all over on your own, you want up, you want down, hands out of the garbage sweetie - that's yucky, here - play with this instead, yay for Tupperware, awww hugging the dog, Gwenie I said no garbage please... ::deep breathes::  There is just no stopping you!!

You go from the minute you wake up in the morning, climbing all over us and talking, to the minute I put you down to sleep in your crib at night.
You are even transferring from two naps to one now! Some days you still need more, but most days its one 2-hour nap in the afternoon, and otherwise, you're going going going! Crawling, toddling, dancing (I love when you bounce up and down, and shake your little butt!), and babbling.

 Oh sleep! The ever changing, ever challenging rollercoaster we're navigating together.

Recently you had some of the best nights that you've had since you were just a few months old! You slept in your crib, the whole night, with only a single waking. Unfortunately some serious teething and a bout of fever pushed us back a bit, but I think (hope!) that we are working towards that again... since it was so wonderful for all of us.

This weekend we head to visit our photographer Brandy to get your 1-year pictures taken... the last in series of them that we were so lucky to get to document your first year. But there is so much more that can't be documented by pictures.

At one year you:
- are eating everything (except big allergy causers like peanuts and honey). You especially love yogurt.
- love to give hugs... especially when we say goodbye in the morning or see each other for the first time at the end of the day. If its a particularly good hug, you'll say "Awwww" while you give it.
- will pat my back gently when I pick you up from your crib (since that's what I do to you).
- have five teeth broken through the gums! And one more about to break through.
- are in size 3 diapers, and wearing 6 - 9 and 9 - 12 month clothes.
- love to blow kisses, complete with 'muah' sound.
- say "ahhh" when I pull out your toothbrush.
- babble all the time. Your words are mama, dada, daisy, hi, dat (that), no-no, done (said while tugging on your bib). You'll also repeat drink if you want your sippy cup, and are saying more things to mimic us everyday!
- need to be bribed with a toy to lay down for a diaper change. 

Gwen, this past weekend, I looked around at the faces of those who were over to help us celebrate your birthday and felt so blessed, so happy.
I love being with those people I love, but even better was being surrounded by people who love you. Not everyone who loves you was there (I don't think we have a big enough house for that!), but everyone who was there loves you. You'll learn this as you grow up, but having love Gwenie, having love makes the world richer, the days fuller, and life better. You have made everything richer, fuller, and better for those who love you; I hope everyday that I can do that for you, now and always. I cannot wait to see what life has in store for us, for you.

Happy Birthday Gwenie. I love you more each day... each year!



fun february weekend, part 2 (a tiring part)

This weekend we had Gwen's first birthday party!!

But let me back up, because it doesn't really start there... and there is a reason I haven't written for days. Thursday I left work early, because you know how I said we were all feeling better? Gwen made me a liar, spiking a 102* fever. Again. So I headed home to get her, and we hung out Thursday afternoon and Friday. Her fever was up and down, up and down.

By Friday afternoon we needed to get out of the house for a while, so I bundled Gwen up, tied her on, grabbed the dog, and we went for a walk around the block.

Fresh air leads to naps:

Sleep though, was not great for the most part. Between fever and stuffy nose, she was up about every 40 minutes for the first part of every night! So she slept with us most of the weekend.

Unfortunately, Saturday morning (b-day party morning) the fever was still present, so we headed to the pediatrician. Not how we wanted to start the day, but better safe then sorry. Doc said that it was just a virus (no strep, no ear infections) and has to run its course... so tylenol, motrin, lots of liquids it is. We go back next week for her regular 1 year check up... lets hope we have some good weigh gain by then. She's hasn't been eating very well with all this sickness (plus teething... 3 more have broken through the gums, with one about to anytime now), and her weigh gain isn't great.

Back on to the good stuff. The party must go on... and since it was at our house with all but one guest being an adult, we felt comfortable continuing the party (we did alert the one guest bringing a kid).

The finished banner.

Newborn picture - permanently attached.

Now picture - temporarily attached, so it can be replaced yearly.
It was great having everyone over to celebrate with us. My parents came down, Ethan came up, Ro & Pat & GG were there, as was Willy and his lady friend, Lorraine. 

It was small, but fun. We at loads of food, and my dad played with the babies.

Gwen wore two dresses... one pre-cake, and one post-cake.  ;-) 

Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the cake to share... since I was busy bringing it out and Trav was video taping. Hopefully I'll have video to share soon, and maybe I can get some stills from that, or my mom might have taken some pictures.

Midway through the party we ducked upstairs for a minute and Sky.ped with Trav's parents. We finally broke down and got a webcam, and I'm glad we did, since its great for them to see Gwen and visa versa.

Willy came upstairs to for the first time too... which also made it worthwhile. Lol.

Birthday girl had fun, despite illness... and by Sunday she was fever free!! Thank goodness.

Sunday Gwen and I rode with Ethan into the city to see him to his bus. The trip was nice, as was the extra time with my brother, and it wore Gwen out.

Love a snuggly, sleeping baby.

After that it was back home to pass the rest of the day with just the three of us. Thankfully last night, today, and tonight Gwen has eaten so much better! I'm hoping we'll post a good weigh gain next week.  Sleep was a bit better last night too. Not anywhere near the loveliness of last week, but so much better then the horror that was this weekend. Hopefully that continues to improve too.

As for today... well a big Happy Valentine's Day to all!!
We had work and all like normal (super busy for both of us)... and besides making Trav some really bitchin cookies last night (seriously, make these!), we are keeping it very low-key. We never go out to eat on the actual day, and this year we are just otherwise distracted. But Trav got a new belt, and I got some great snow boots (romantics, aren't we?), so we're satisfied.

For now though, I'm running off to eat some cookies and snuggle with my husband. Hope your weekend and Valentine's Day were good...  :-)