Behind the Author

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Balancing Act (2-Under 2)

Today, I'm joining up with Kelly's Korner again. Topic is "Share your best parenting advice." Oh boy! Before I became a parent I was all knowing..and often gave such amazing advice.. But something happened to me those nine months when I was pregnant with my first that completely slapped me in the face with realization that I was stupid. Ha!

Even though, with my oldest at just 20 months (today), I feel like I am a newbie to this whole parenting world. I’m a constant work in progress. Nonetheless, having 2 kids only 15months apart, I have learned some things that I feel may help a parent in a similar scenario.

1. ASK FOR HELP! This one was really hard for me.  I had an emergency c-section with my first and a scheduled with my 2nd.  After refusing all help with my first, I had to ask for help when my husband went back to work after my 2nd. It was hard swallowing my pride to ask my mom for help watching my oldest.  But is a HUGE adjustment balancing 2 kids, let alone a 15month old and a newborn. It’s ok to need help. That is what friends and family are there for. And trust me, they want to help! Taking help doesn’t mean you are a bad mom, you are a resourceful one!  

2. MOMMY TIME! This isn’t want you are thinking. Although, it’s good to set aside some time for yourself now and again. This is referring to daily one on one time with each of your kids. Especially the older ones if you are adding a baby to the family. My (AWESOME) pediatrician gave me this advice. Since a new baby, especially a breastfeeding one, needs so much time with mommy, it was such a great idea to schedule some much needed one on one with my son. Every day I’ll say, “It’s mommy and you time!” We go for 15 or so minutes and go play one on one with no distractions. No cell phones, no tv, not even his little brother. Just me and him. We might play cars, read a book, or just put together a puzzle. Doesn’t matter what it is, it is just special bonding time together.  (Helps cut down on jealousy too!)

3. Feeding Time with 2under2: KEEP THEM OCCUPIED! My hardest adjustment to life with two kids was the whole breastfeeding time. Every time I would sit down to breastfeed Giovanni, my oldest Dominic would get into something. I would then have to unlatch and go get him and start the whole process over again. I figured out that he was just fighting for my attention. I got together a few things he and I could do while I was feeding his brother. We read books, watch short little videos on the computer, and even sing songs. Keeping him busy helped keep him away from the wrong kind of attention. 

4. PUT THEIR SCHEDULES TOGETHER! With Dominic, I never really had a schedule. We just went with the flow. I slowly learned that with two, nap schedules are the key to happiness!  HA! No seriously, I worked on getting the boys on the same napping schedule. It took time, but now they take two naps at the same time. This gives me time to clean house, cook dinner, heck even take a nap myself! 

5. GO SOMEWHERE! Stay at home moms: Leave your house once in a while. You can do it. It may seem scary to leave with two young kids, but it gets easier each time you do it. Changing the scenery is good for you and your kids.

And lastly, 

Enjoy each moment..for this too shall pass.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Diaper Jackpot

Bargain for the week..

Yesterday, I caught an amazing diaper sale at Babies"R"us. And I mean AMAZING. They had Earth's Best, Seventh Generation, and the Babies"R"us's diaper brands on sale for only $5! Amazing. Not to mention Seventh Generation offered free wipes for every diaper purchase. And hello, there was no limit on how many diapers you could purchase!

I found out about it on the last day of the sale, but still managed to get a huge stock pile. I had both boys with me when I went, so the poor kids were covered in diapers! I managed to get 12 packs of diapers, a pack of pull ups, and 3 free packs of wipes!  Add in coupons and they were practically giving them away!

 All this for $50!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

4th Month Pictures

July 14th we had Giovanni's pictures taken by an amazing photographer, Amy Lipe! She is absolutely brilliant at what she does. Here are my favorites. And do you believe these were all taken outside?! Yep, she's amazing!



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hello Mr. Potty

 <---Meet Mr. Potty. It is time for Mr Potty to meet Dominic. At 19 almost 20 months old, he is ready for it.

Today we made the introduction happen, and so begins our big transition out of diapers.

We had no expectations. We just wanted to get a ball rolling in the right direction.

His first reaction to his new "throne?" To stand in it. Of course!

After this, I had doubts. He spent the next 5-10 minutes exploring and checking out his toilet and his parts...boys.

Then he sat down and PEED!

I'm not sure who was more excited, my husband or myself! Ha!  These truly are the special priceless moments in life.

He was also very excited! He kept saying, "Yay, I peed in potty!!"  Such a smart little guy.

We honestly were completely shocked. Out of the 3 times we placed him on the potty today, he went twice! It could be totally random, but a girl could dream that it is a step to no more diapers!

I'll keep you updated. Wish us luck! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Horizontal Mambo

(Warning - This post contains content not suitable for children, my family,  the in laws, and other people who don't want to hear about me talk about sex)

Today's topic for Kelly's Korner, "your best marriage advice," really got me thinking. What great advice could I share to help other marriages?  There are so many topics and tidbits of wisdom out there, but I really feel like this topic, really doesn't get addressed too often.

I'm talking about... 
The Birds and the Bees

The Hanky Panky

Bow Chicka Bow Wow

The Horizontal Mambo

Let's me honest. It's almost a taboo subject in most churches. Sure, you'll hear them talk about abstinence and adultery, but  it seems as though, some in the church have downplayed the importance of sex in marriage. This Intimacy in marriage between you and your spouse is one of the most important parts of your relationship. It is the "private language" of the relationship, and all the more sacred because it is reserved for just that one person.  

Sex is not sinful, it is to be enjoyed with your spouse. And it isn't about the same old missionary position, that you do on a certain night of the week to "satisfy" your husband. God created sex between a husband and wife to be cherished, passionate and exciting! And yes you can be married, and have a FUN sex life, at any age! I once heard this scenario on how to describe sex in a marriage. It's like you are in your backyard with your spouse and and there are no limits to the fun you can have while fenced in (the marriage).

So have fun.

Spice it up. Try new things.

Enjoy your spouse. And Let him enjoy you. 

And do it OFTEN!

After all that's how God designed it! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Violated

Broken into.
Left feeling violated.
Priceless possessions lost.
You never think it's going to be you. 
You assume when you lock the door to your sanctuary 
you are safe.
A world away from the bad guys.
Truth is, sometimes the bad guys get in.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy 4 Months Gio!

Weight: 14lb 5oz
Height: 24 1/2in

Saturday our little Giovanni turned 4 months. This update is a little late, but I want to get the stats from the Doctor first. He's doing great! He is still in size 1 diaper and is now in that transition stage between 0-3 and 3-6 month clothes. Growing right along. He's gotten so active! He rolls all over, plays with toys, belly laughs, even scoots! It's not crawling though. He pushes his feet down and scoots forward a little bit, he just doesn't move his arms yet, so it usually results in a face-plant. Ha ha. Not sure I'm ready for another early crawler! 

We've entered the world of teething! He drools & gnaws on everything in mouths reach, which is usually my fingers. Although, if he takes like his brother, I don't anticipate him getting any teeth soon. He still sleeps in the bassinet next to our bed, but we will be working on transitioning him to his crib. (He's ready, I'm not.)

Over all he is such a happy baby. He is always smiling and making noises.

*Rolling both ways! He started that early in his 3rd month.

*Grabbing his feet

*Belly laughs

*Splashing in his bathtub :)

His Favorite Things:
*Standing up
*Toys..rattles, links and anything he can fit into his mouth
*Bumpo Chair
*His Pack-N-Play Play mat
*Baby Einstein Videos
*Bath time

Things he hates:
*Being away from mommy.
*Getting stuck on his belly.

Still nursing like a champ. He has made some progress in taking a bottle, but it's definitely not an everyday occurrence. He eats every 3-4 hours, for about 10 minutes. We haven't started him on solids yet. He hasn't showed any interest. We will wait another couple of months or sooner if he seems ready.

And now for his monthly size comparison pictures. By the way, we just had his pictures taken by another AMAZING photographer. I am waiting on getting those back now, but the sneak peak blew me away! More on that later.
He's trying so hard to sit up on his own.
 Such a happy Baby!

And a month by month comparison picture:
(His big brother at this age was 14lbs 12oz & 25in long)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Monday Mayhem

 Some short questions..brought to you by Harriet and Friends.

1. What is the stupidest thing you heard this weekend?
"It's too hot to swim." - Coming from my lovely brother. Seriously.

2. Who should know that it is time to move on…walk away….?
Nancy Grace. For crying out loud, no one has profited more off of that little girl's death than her!

3. What’s your local forecast for the week?
High 90's with high humidity! Is it Fall yet?

4. Are you a Potter fan or are you glad to see it ending?
Not a "groupie." But enjoy the movies. When it comes out on Netflix, we'll probably rent it.

5. If you had the opportunity to win a $250 shopping spree, where would it be to and what would you get?
TARGET! Seriously, I love that store.

Another Family Adventure

(Finally getting our 4th of July post out. Apparently, I forgot to post. Oops!)

I got this crazy awesome, spur of the moment idea. Since it was July 4th weekend, I thought we would pack up the kids and head over to St. Louis for their annual Fair St. Louis. In retrospect it would have been an awesome idea, if it weren't for the fact that it was 100%, we had two nap skipping babies, and the massive storm that was heading our way, that I apparently had no idea about.

You probably see where this is going.
Our little "family adventure" consisted of getting stuck in a middle of a severe thunderstorm out in the open at the Arch, then again on the metro link...not to mention the torrential down poor we experienced walking to our car and the flash flooding we got caught in on the way home... All in all we spent a total of 20 minutes at the fair and $24 dollars.
 Nothing is scarier than being outside with no nearby shelter with your two babies and this storm approaching.

  The difference in the boys personalities. Dominic was all excited about the storm and Gio was all laid back. Ha.
Oh the memories..
After a night like that we decided to keep the actual 4th of July low key. We went out to lunch with my family and then went and visited with Tony's family, before going to watch Fireworks with our friend Jenn.

  Gio loved them.           
 Like father, like son.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Announcement.....

Hold it. No, I'm not pregnant.  I thought I would join up with  Kelly's Korner's link up, and share how we announced to our family and friends that we were pregnant with our youngest little fella. Which happens to be perfect timing, because it was just about a year ago when we found out! (July 8th)

Before I get to how we shared the news. Let me lay out how we found out ourselves. My darling husband, had been telling me all week he thought I was pregnant. I, not so nice, let him know that we were using just about every method to prevent that and after 15 painful months of trying with our first (I have PCOS), it was next to impossible. But he was constantly nagging me to take a test. The following Wednesday, we sat down and flip the channel to "I didn't know I was pregnant." It was the episode where the lady gave birth to a baby and he fell and hit the bathroom floor...that did me in. I very quickly changed my mind and told my husband to get me a test.

Next morning, I peed. On a stick. And sure enough a very faint, but very visible little plus sign was there. I do believe a lot of "OH MY GOD"'s were going on..and not the kind that happened a few weeks before. ;-) We were pregnant. Against all physical odds, but not God's, a little miracle was growing inside me.

Now,  I immediately told my mom. I was still in shock. I had a 7month old at the time and she was with me during my whole trying to conceive journey with my first. So, she was the first family member to know. That same day we got the confirmation with the doctor that we were indeed expecting.

I knew I wanted to do something special and get Dominic involved with the announcement. So we got to planning. I put together a little shirt for him to wear, which read, "Pink or Blue, either will do 'cause mommy's expecting #2!" We also bought him a Big Brother hat at the hospital and went over to our family's house and shared the news!

After all the family and close friends found out. We announced it on Facebook, because we all know nothing is official unless it's Facebook official. We put up a picture of Dominic wearing the shirt & hat and this status, "Rachel is making the "official Facebook Announcement:" We are "baking" another bun, a VERY SURPRISE bun. One of those long-rising ones, that have the 9 month baking cycle. Should be done cooking in March!"

And so began our pregnancy journey!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

July Already?!?

It's been a while since I lasted posted. Time has just escaped me and we've been on the go nonstop for the last few weeks. [Picture've been warned!]

Here's a recap..Late June, my cousin Susan, from California came in. We spent the week showing her around and then had a family reunion with all my dad's side of the family in the area.

She came in on June 22, and that Friday, the 24th was Tony's 29th Birthday. We spent the day up at Pere Marquette, in Grafton, IL. Tony had to work, so the boys & I went with my family. We had lunch, relaxed, and stopped by the fudge shop before driving back home. That night Tony & I celebrated his birthday with dinner & a movie at home with the boys. It was low key and a perfect night for just relaxing at home, before a busy weekend.
 You can see how flooded it is there.
 The best pictures we got of my niece & Dom...That's toddlers for ya ;)

The next day, just about the whole family and I made our first trip of the season, and Giovanni's first trip altogether, to the St. Louis Zoo. You could not have asked for a prettier day. High was only in the 80's, it was cloudy and there was a bit of a breeze. Perfect!

 Playing in the fountains at the Children's Zoo.  And yes, little man is sporting a jean diaper ;)
 G's favorite ride..mainly because it put him straight to sleep!

 Taking a nap on Aunt Susie

 The zoo at it's finest!

 Bear..Big Bear!

 Mama Giraffe & her baby

 Wiped from a full day of fun.
It was a long day, we spent about 6 1/2 hours there. Afterward we got a couple of hours of down time before my niece's 3rd birthday party.
   The party started at 7pm, so by time it was through we were all exhausted. We got home, went to bed and slept in until almost 9. It felt wonderful. Ha. Sunday was our actually family reunion, which luckily didn't start until 1:30.


 My cousin Dave & his beautiful family :)

 Sweet cousins. Joey & Dominic. Joey is only 1day older.

 My niece Sadie, reading to Dominic

It took the kids and even us to recover from a week of nonstop fun. But oh the memories. :)