The reveal!

We had our anatomy ultrasound yesterday morning and we definitely wanted to know the gender, but we decided to at least have a little fun with it. We attempted to have some family get together, but when the parents from both sides couldn’t make it on a particular day we decided to just do it ourselves so no one would feel left out. We averted our eyes during the “down stairs” parts scanning and then the ultrasound tech secured it in an envelope for us. The rest of the scan went great, the baby looks perfect and we got some cute little pictures.

I decorated a box the night before in preparation and Ashley and Addy went to party city after work/school to have them fill the box. Ashley said the balloon girl felt quite honored that she was going to know what our baby was before us! I met them at party city after  call and we walked around Petsmart for a few minutes to make sure we gave her enough time and didn’t return early and ruin the surprise.

Once we had our box, we headed home. We attempted to get our parents on FaceTime but only were able to reach my parents as Ashley’s were out of town and service was questionable. We set up a video recording as well and the three of us opened the box together. My parents were thrilled to get to watch, and when Ashley’s mom finally was able to get through 20 minutes later, we shoved the balloons back in the box and did it again for her mom and dad!

Since I can’t imbed videos here I will just post a picture of the box after:

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So there it is! We are welcoming a baby boy end of October/early November! Honestly we were both shocked. We had sort of both wanted a girl because we both agree sisters are great friends (sometimes!), and lets be honest, reusing clothes is awesome, so I think we had both kind of “sold” ourselves on a girl. We both knew there was a 50/50 chance either way, but when we looked into our future we had made up 2 girls in our minds! Don’t get me wrong, we are still positively thrilled, but we have both had to alter our reality and are trying to see what our lives will look like now with a little boy. He is going to be one outnumbered little fella in this house, where even the girl is a dog. We are excited for this new opportunity though, to see parenting from the opposite gender, I think this little peanut is going to teach us a thing or two!

Now to acquire some boy things!

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Moving on up! And it starts already!?!

I’m almost a month behind on this but Adelaide transitioned to the next classroom at the beginning of May. Yup, she moved classrooms again, which means she moved early. Most kids move to the next classroom around 21-23 months depending on readiness. The classroom is mean for “young 2’s” meaning they come in right around/before they turn two and stay until they are around 2.5 and then move to the “older 2’s.” Our little nugget moved over just before she turned 19 months. We eyed the birthday chart on the wall of her classroom and realized she was moving up before 7, yes 7 other children who are older than she is. She was the third youngest in her classroom. We expressed our concerns to the director (our close friend as well) and she said that in some cases, age simply doesn’t matter. They base the transition on readiness mostly and she is SO ready. She shared that her language skills were the best in her current classroom and even better than many children in the next classroom. She was becoming bored. They were seeing her try to hold conversations with friends at lunch who couldn’t talk back. She wanted to participate in “circle time” which in this classroom really is the teacher talking and the kids  mostly not paying attention. Addy on the other hand paid attention and would participate in naming the picture cards, colors, and shapes being reviewed. The teacher from the next classroom had even commented on several visits to her class that she needed to move up, that she belonged with them. So of course we agreed. We want her stimulated and educated at the level she’s at. The transition week went great. Some friends that had moved up in previous weeks/months were there and she LOVED being with them again. These are friends that can and do talk to her and that she enjoys playing with. We had no tears at drop off and it seemed like it was going to be a seamless transition. Then the second week I brought her and during drop off a little boy came over and gave her  a “hug” that was more like a headlock. Addy was hysterical and screaming for me to help her. I gently removed the boys hands and said “no thank you, we don’t want hugs right now” but the damage was done, she was VERY upset. It ended with the teacher having to pry her from my arms and me leaving feeling terrible. They mentioned that this boy was a little “rough” and didn’t know how to treat girls. I’d say! The next drop off, he came over and Addy immediately tensed up so I backed her away from him and reassured her. As I was doing this I watched him shove another little girl to the ground. The next time I dropped her off they were sitting down to morning snack. Her friend asked her to sit at her table and she walked over and sat down in the only empty seat left. She then looked to her right, noted the same boy was sitting there and got up and literally rand from the table yelling “no no no no” and went to the other table to sit for her snack. The teacher kind of laughed and said “she knows!” I left again feeling uneasy. I know they are too young for “bullying” but there was definitely something going on here. Over the next couple days we began to hear more about this kid at home. “Alex push,” “Alex, hurt,” “Alex, NO, STOP.” ***Names have been changed to protect the “innocent.”

In addition to this we started getting some resistance to school in general which is very unusual. When asked if she wanted to go to school, instead of running to the door like she did before, she would just bluntly state, “no.” Then when she would see us pulling into the school parking lot she would start to cry and scream “no no no” in distress. Usually once we walked into the building the tears were gone, but she would be very quiet and not really wanting to say hi to the administrators at the desk like usual.

The last straw was a drop off similar to the one I had but with Ashley, and instead of an aggressive hug, the child hugged Addy, then back up and shoved her. Addy was again hysterical and eventually needed to be pried from Ashley’s arms and carried off by the teacher.

We wrote the other director later that day. We didn’t want to seem as though we were using our position as friends of the director as a way to get what we wanted, but we were concerned. We were open to ideas and to moving her back to her previous classroom. They agreed to a meeting the next morning. Our friend agreed she should stay out of it due to our relationship and her love of Addy. She didn’t want to have a biased opinion which would be difficult.

The meeting went great. They went over a few courses of action they were going to put in place regarding this child, as well as increasing Addy’s confidence and comfort in her new setting. They firmly believe she is in the right classroom and promised they wouldn’t allow her get lost in the mix of bigger kids. Apparently she has taken to one of the teachers and follows her around, and conveniently the other child tends to prefer the other teacher. They feel this will decrease their chances of interactions as well. They will be changing the room around, adding new toys to stimulate them, and rearranging schedules to change the environment of the whole room as well. They recommended some age appropriate books for Addy, and discussed some they plan to read in the room as well. We left feeling good and hope in a few weeks things will settle down. They have also been advocating for Addy in the classroom as have we at home. She is frequently heard practicing with Bailey and her mama’s to remind people to “back off!” “walk away!” and “stop!” and she even holds up her little hand as visual stop sign. It’s absolutely adorable that she is figuring out how to stand up for herself, the right away. She says it with so much conviction that it’s hilarious to hear come out of her little tiny body/mouth.

Already tonight when getting ready for school after a long weekend due to the holiday she excitedly named her friends she would see there-it’s a start! She also did name “Alex” and immediately said “no push” so clearly she is still intimated by him but it’s only been a week since the meeting.

An exciting school tidbit, is that the school started with a new app last week that allows the teachers to send us pictures throughout the day of the activities they are doing and so we can see that she really IS happy once she is there and settled in (and not being pushed around!). Daily sheets are also now electronic and while I will miss the paper sheets since I save special ones for her memory box, the paperless system is nice.

EPS1 Photo

EPS1 Photo

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Two mamas!

There’s a lot of catch up this blog needs, but for now I just wanted to share a cute little story/realization.

Addy has been working on counting lately. You will often here her “two, four, five, seven” while playing with her toys and stuff. She has been fascinated for a while with having “two” of something and will hold up her pointer fingers on each hand to make “twooaaa!” Well we were at the pool yesterday and she suddenly smiled, pointed at us both then held up her two pointer fingers and said “two mamas!” Not that she has any realization yet that most kids don’t have two mamas, but we thought it was pretty cute that she already recognizes her unique family and hope she knows how lucky she is to be loved unconditionally by TWO mamas!

PS T-1 week until we find out if she is being joined by a little brother or sister-so excited!!

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Overheard on video chat tonight

Ashley and I often FaceTime when I’m on late calls so I can talk to Addy for a bit before she goes to bed since I won’t see her. Basically she just leaves the computer on and I have my phone up on my dash holder and we just “ride” together and chit chat. Tonight Addy asked for an ice pop and Ashley sat her in her highchair with it to proven a mess. After a bit Addy says “all done” and Ashley goes to remove her tray and it falls to the floor, making  a mess anyway. Right on cue Addy says-

” OHHH SNAP!!!”

There’s that nature vs nurture thing…she is Ashley’s kid! Love that girl.

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2015 SBL Challenge

I didn’t participate in the Summer Bucket list challenge last year but would like to make an attempt to do it this year! I’m not always great at keeping up with this blog so we will hope I can follow this one through. The idea for this came from Little Monster and Mommies-though I’m not sure if they started it or not, but I know many other blogs are doing it too! Here is the link to their blog to see what other fun things other families are up to!

http://littlemonsterandmommies.blogspot.com/2015/05/sbl-2015-blog-challenge.html

1. Take Addy to at least 2 of the splash parks in the area.

2. Visit the zoo

3. Go to the beach with the M side of the family.

4. Go to the beach with the C side of the family.

5. Use our outdoor fireplace as much as possible.

6. Fix Addy’s outdoor swing frame, or buy a new one so she can actually use it!

7. Visit the neighborhood pool, A LOT!

8. Prepare for new baby with a “sprinkle” honoring Ashley.

9. Go strawberry picking.

10. Go to a local baseball game, or two!

11. Work on outdoor patio in the back.

12. Play in our bounce house

13. Make pool noodle boats and sail them in the baby pool

14. Ashley and I will have a date night for our anniversary!

15. Make advancement in potty use for Addy (pull-ups, daily sit time etc)

16. Get rid of the baba! ( Pacifier). This needs to be done by age 2/new baby arrival so better start now!

17. Go for a nature hike and look for bugs and worms.

I think that should sum it up. Nothing too extravagant, but I’m looking forward to all the fun! Join in and add your SBL and link to this post or any other to get in on the fun!

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Show me how you listen!?

Adelaide has the typical toddler trait of selective listening. She chooses what she wants to hear and is getting more stubborn about ignoring the things she doesn’t want to hear. I find myself repeating things over and over til I’m blue in the face. She often doesn’t come when called if it’s something she doesn’t want to do and I have to chase her down. Her school teaches sign language and they send home sign cards regularly with new classroom signs. Recently one came home with the sign for listen. Despite her excellent speech skills she still uses some signs with words and sometimes seems to respond to certain things better when paired with a sign. I found the picture card and signed and said “listen” to her to see if it was familiar and she appeared to know the sign. I decided to try to use that to get her attention, it was a way she could “actively” listen and show me she was doing such. I started signing it when I needed her to listen and asking her to show me “listen” and she would sign it back. That would usually get her attention enough that she would actually listen! It became clear it was working tonight when in the bathtub we were entering toddler meltdown. She was getting tired after a long 2 days (more on that later!) and wanted out of the tub but still had a head full of soap. I was trying to get her to let me rinse her hair but she was screaming and crying about getting out and even trying to hit me. I then said “Adelaide I understand you want to get out but I need you to listen first, show me you are listening!” Between tears she said put her little hand up to her head in the sign and said “yiiiistennnn” and sniffled and looked at me. The tantrum stopped, I was able to explain that I was going to get her out, but I needed to rinse her hair, and we got it done and she was out! I’m very proud of her and excited we have found a way to ease some of the frustration of the ignoring toddler!

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18 Months. 1.5 years.

And we have an 18 month old! I cannot believe she is half way to 2 years old. It seems so long ago that she was that tiny, wrinkly newborn, but at the same time, it has gone SO fast.  I have to say I absolutely LOVE being the mom to a toddler. She is so much fun despite being so busy. Everyday she does or learns something new and her little personality has developed so much. I had no idea she would grow into this hilarious, playful, curious, SMART, sweet, lovable little girl. When she was brand new I loved her because she was mine, and I made her, but I had NO idea the person she would become and how much my love would grow as she did. Someone told us that we would love her more and more as she learned to talk and interact but part of me didn’t believe it. There was no way to ever love her more, I loved her completely already, but I was so wrong. Getting to know her has been the best part of my life and I do love her more today than I did yesterday, a month ago, and 18 months ago. I can’t wait to see her grow even more and become the person she is going to become, yet at the same time if I could keep her here, in this innocent, adorable phase forever, that’s pretty tempting too.

I missed her 18 month appointment-the first MD appointment I’ve not gone to. It was a little bittersweet, but I changed my schedule at the last minute so I could get a 4 day weekend this weekend so in the end it’s worth it. Ashley still hasn’t started the new job, so she was able to take her. She got her last vaccine needed before kindergarten, which she apparently was VERY unhappy about. Her pediatrician continues to be amazed by her speech development and has no concerns for her at all. They discussed the continued use of the pacifier and as long as we ditch it by 2, she is ok for now.

Stats:

Weight: 22lbs 5.5oz  46% —that surprised me since she has always been so low on weight!

Height: 30.75 in 17%—looks like she is getting my height and not her donors, poor kid!

Head: 47cm 70%—she has always had a huge head, guess it’s holding those big ol’ brains!

 Personality:  I know everyone says their kid is the smartest, funniest, cutest etc, but seriously, this kid. She incredibly silly and has a great personality. She enjoys making jokes and finding ways to make people laugh. She will put something silly on her head, or do a funny dance or walk to get you laughing. She has developed quite a bit of a strong will though and needs to be reminded often to “listen.” She knows what she wants when she wants it and therefore toddler tantrums are a regular thing around here. We will have some issues with hitting when she is mad, but she are making progress there. She immediately asks for a “huggie” when she knows she was wrong or hurt you. She also says and signs sorry. She is also so very sweet. If she is sad or knows your sad, she wants to hug you. She loves to curl up in your lap for snuggles and give kisses. She is very inquisitive and wants to know what everything is. She will walk around naming things she sees and when she doesn’t know, she will ask “this?” Once you tell her once, she’s got it. She inspects everything to figure out what it does and how it works. She has a love for all things small and cute-animals, bugs (cute?!?) and babies. She has a soft spot and often worries if she things they are hurt or sad. She will ask if they are sad, or crying and want to touch them and give them hugs. We’ve had to explain a lot about how she can’t touch birds, bunnies etc. 

Likes:  

Babies: we still have a love for babies over here. She rocks them, feeds them, covers them with blankets, makes them dance, reads to them, shows them her toys, sleeps with them. She gets upset if she thinks they are hurt. Last week Ashley popped the leg off a baby that went in the tub to get water out and she was CRUSHED. She cried and demanded she “fix it” and even after it was fixed, she was devastated her baby was hurt. So sweet.

Art: she talks about art constantly! She always wants to make art and is excited to show her projects from school as well.

Bailey (our dog): Bailey is seriously like her best friend. She is the reasons we know she needs a sibling. Bailey must go everywhere in the house she does. She brings her treats, gives her dinner, and shares her toys with Bailey. Seriously, she gives Bailey a crayon/chalk if she is coloring, a block if she is building, blows bubbles at her for her to “see,” shows Bailey her books and toys, wants her to dance with her etc. She often seems confused or frustrated when Bailey won’t take a toy from her, or use the actual crayon, which is both adorable and sad at the same time! She shares her food with her despite us asking her not to, gives her lots of hugs and pats, and covers her with her blankets.

Outside: Especially now that the weather has warmed up, she wants to be outside ALL day. She gets upset when it’s time to come back in and is constantly asking to go outside. She is happy to run up and down the sidewalk, she doesn’t even have to be doing anything in particular. She does enjoy drawing with sidewalk chalk and blowing bubbles though. She likes walks in her wagon and now even has her own mini wagon form her great grandma that she pulls along and takes her babies for walks in. We’ve even gotten a few days warm enough for her water table, which she LOVES. Trips to the park are always a win and she is now brave enough to do most slides by herself and loves the “big kid” swings more than the toddler swings. She holds on really well too. She still had trouble propelling her ride on toys too well on her own and prefers for you to push her along. She enjoys looking for rocks and sticks as well as bugs and birds while we are outside. One of her favorite pastimes is to throw rocks in the pond across the street and watch them splash. She has learned bout jumping in puddles too, so we often end up with wet feet after a spring rain.

Cooking: She always wants to help “cook.” She will help stir or pour safe ingredients and often wants to sit on the counter (at a safe distance) and watch us make lunch/dinner.

Animals: Real or fake, this kid loves animals. She plays with her farm animals a lot throughout the day, and even makes her little people pretend to be animals by “hopping.” She has been very into bird watching for a couple months now and we finally got her a bird feeder to bring the birds right up to the patio. She gets so excited when they get close, and even enjoys the monstrous squirrel that has taken over the feeder recently. She asks to go outside to check on the geese and ducks on the pond daily. Wants to look at pictures/videos of animals on the computer and can do that for extended periods of time. She always pats her legs and calls to animals she sees saying “come here”, and we have to explain a lot that they won’t come to her and they don’t like to be touched, they are just for looking! I feel bad that more animals aren’t friendly enough for close encounters because she wants to touch them SO bad! She also shows them whatever she’s got. She will hold out a toy or her paci for the animal or bird to “see.” She knows the name and sound of most commonly known animals. She can even say the hard ones like “alligator” “elephant” and “walrus.” She enjoys trips to the life and science museum here where she can see some animals closer than usual and even got to hold a butterfly on her arm for a bit one time we went.

Minnie/Mickey Mouse: She loves the squeaks! She called them squeak for the longest time (since that’s what mice say of course!) but here recently has started calling them Minnie and Mickey mouse too-which I can’t lie, broke a little piece of my heart! She has about 4-5 Minnie dolls and a Mickey train. She has rediscovered Mickey.Mouse Club.house too, which is a welcome change after months of Yo.Gabba.Gabba! She loves the theme song and hot dog dance and we usually have to watch those parts several times each show. She also calls for “tooooodles!!” which is precious.

Bathtime: We do a bath most nights out of necessity now that there is a lot more outside time happening, but also because she LOVES bath time. It’s a good activity for when we are winding down the evening and wanting the toys to be put away. She can play in the bath for a good 45 minutes or more some nights. Filling and dumping cups, playing in bubbles, soaking mama’s, it’s all fun. When she is done she will ask me to “hold like baby” meaning she wants me to wrap her up and snuggle her in a towel, it’s my favorite thing! She also asks me to do that when she is sleepy and I always oblige because I know those days will be numbered as she gets older!

Bubbles: She wants to blow bubbles and have you blow them almost every day. She got a butterfly shaped bubble horn in her Easter basket and loves that she can now easily blow her own bubbles. She blows them right in poor Bailey’s face making sure she sees each one!

Pacis/blanket: This continues! Blankets and pacis are still a staple. Though we have weaned her down from the paci at school, we are still working on it at home. We aren’t pushing it too hard since she doesn’t cry for it at school but know we have to get rid it by the time she is two. We would like for it to be gone before the new baby too, so that we don’t have to worry about jealously or stealing of pacis!

Language: This girl is a gabber. She talks non-stop all day long. She can name most things in her environment and can ask for what she needs by name. If she needs help or doesn’t know how to ask, she will come get you and take you by the hand saying “come here” or “walk me” and show you want she wants. She will ask for help as well, but says “help you” instead of me, which is absolutely adorable. She says 2-4 word sentences and is trying for longer/harder phrases. Sometimes it comes out a little like gibberish, but usually we can figure out what she is saying. According to her teachers she is the best talker in the room despite being the 3rd youngest out of a class of 12. They put her speech on par with an older 2 year old. Her annunciation is impressive and says “l’s,” “r’s” and “s’s” very well which isn’t typical for her age. Even strangers typically understand what she is saying. She absorbs new words like a sponge. She will ask what something is or hear you say a phrase and it becomes part of her vocabulary after the first time hearing it. I told her to “walk away” from something the other day, and she now says that several times a day when she knows she shouldn’t be touching something-adorable! She has been calling anytime I give her a hot meal “dinner” lately too which I love. 

Cute phrases lately are: “Have a nice day” (from a school song originally), “Walk-away,” “hold like baby,” “I love you,” “lets go outside,” “too small,” (refers to things she is too small for, i.e. recently a ride at the water park), “I see you!.”

Physical skills: She can run fairly well now, sometimes getting tripped up if she goes too fast down a hill or something. She climbs upstairs perfectly and can go down but often still wants help. She is working on jumping and can occasionally get both feet off the ground. She can now climb on the couch/adult height furniture only sometimes needing help. She can use a big kid swing and can go down most slides independently. She can walk carrying large toys or handfuls of things. She has a great arm and gets a good distance when throwing a ball. She has some trouble kicking a ball and maintaining balance, but is getting better. She uses silverware pretty well most of the time now, but gives up and goes back to her hands if it’s too hard. She seems to be right handed, though they said handedness isn’t decide until 2-3 years old, she definitely prefers her right hand and has better control with it with fine motor tasks. She propels her ride on, but still prefers to be pushed since it obviously goes faster that way. 

Sleep: We remain lucky in the sleep department. Bedtime is still around 8pm nightly. She gets a bath most evenings then one of us will rock her in her rocking chair for a bit, read some books and sing some songs. She will on a busy day fall asleep in our lap, on others she will ask for her “bed” and want you to “pat” her back. Usually will give a couple pats and leave with her still awake but drowsy. Rarely she will cry and is usually done before we  hit the end of the hallway. She sleeps through the night, with the rare wake up requiring her paci to be found or remind her we are still around, but no holding, rocking or other needs. She is up usually anywhere between 7:15-8:15. She sleeps in her own bed. At times when she is sick or I’ve been missing her with work we will put her in our bed, but usually move her back to hers in the middle of the night because she flip flops around SO much and ends up mad we are in her way! She takes one nap a day now and it usually lasts 1.5-2hrs. She will doze in the car on the way home from school most days though resulting in a second 30 minute nap those days.

Eating: She is  typical toddler, one day she will eat non-stop anything you give her, the next day she barely puts two bites of food in her mouth all day. With all the holidays since her birthday she has learned and now loves what sweets are! She asks for candy, cookies, and “chaaaaclit” ( LOVE the way she says that word), regularly and we have to limit her consumption and strictly prohibit treats when a meal hasn’t been eaten. She loves meat and depending on the day some vegetables. She loves carbs just like her mama-bring on the potatoes and biscuits! She prefers dinner to all other meals and is usually the most well rounded full meal she gets each day. She still loves soup as well. She picks at breakfast, which is much like me as well.

School: She still really enjoys going to school. She will run to the door saying “lets go!” when she knows that’s where we are going. Once in a  while she will cling a little at drop off, but most days she is excited to join her friends in whatever they are doing. She especially loves art and their dance/music program. She participates in the traveling gym that comes on Fridays as well and from what I hear, loves that as well. Her teachers say she is happy, gentle with her friends, eager to learn/participate and an overall joy to have. She rarely hear bad things and often ask to make sure there isn’t something we are missing. Being friends of the director, we don’t want them to sugar coat any worrisome or troubling behaviors or excuse any naughtiness! They swear up and down, she just is a “dream child” at school. In addition to that they are all so impressed with her cognition. We recently got the 18-24 month assessment packet they do and she has marked off nearly all skills through 24 months that they look for. As a result they have decided to move her up to the next classroom early…way early. She is the 4th youngest in her class of 12, but is the next one moving up as they believe she is too smart for the room she is in and needs more challenge and structured activities. The next room is for “young 2’s” though children often move up around 22 months, so she will be about 4 months early. We are slightly worried they’re rushing her, but are trusting their experience and knowledge of the curriculum and just going with it. She will start transition the last week of the month and be over by first week of May. The upshot is, there are several friends that she was very close with that already moved up and she misses them and talks about them a lot, so we know she will be glad to be in the class with them. Also I think that speaks to her cognitive level that her closest friends were quite a bit older than her, so that makes it feel more right as well.

Well here are some photos of our big 18 month old!!

Doing "art!" Helping us paint the living room.

Doing “art!” Helping us paint the living room.

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Trying out her new bubble blower!

Trying out her new bubble blower!

Taking a walk with her Bailey!

Taking a walk with her Bailey!

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Spoiled on the directors desk at school.

Spoiled on the directors desk at school.

For the second time-sitting on the directors desk. Someone is ROTTEN.

For the second time-sitting on the directors desk. Someone is ROTTEN.

Big girl swings!

Big girl swings!

First frozen yogurt of the season!

First frozen yogurt of the season!

Reading books with her baby.

Reading books with her baby.

Having a little "calm down" time.

Having a little “calm down” time.

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Bird watching while eating.

Bird watching while eating.

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Hoppy Easter!!

I got lucky recently and my manager asked me to switch weekends a few weeks ago and opened up Easter weekend for me. I was originally pretty upset that I would be working it, especially since it was my side of the family’s turn to have the holiday as they missed both the last two big ones. Ashley’s parents are only 2 hrs away and mine are 3.5, so it makes more sense for her to go solo with Addy for the day to her mom’s than drive up to VA and stay with my family for the weekend without me.

So I worked the two weekends prior to get the switch worked out and then enjoyed Easter weekend with my family. I still worked Friday night, so we couldn’t head up until Saturday, but I negotiated some PTO for Monday morning so we could leave then and not on Easter.

The week leading up to Easter was hectic. Ashley went for a night with Addy to her moms house because she was tired of evenings home alone with my work schedule as it’s been lately. She was also feeling pretty down about the job situation and wanted to see her parents for a pick-me-up. I met them there, but not until almost midnight! We debated driving to the beach for a few hours the next day, but since we had two cars and no good place to leave one that would make sense for the return pickup we decided to just head back to our neck of the woods the next morning. On the ride back, Ashley called me (from the car in front!) to let me know she was receiving a job offer that day!! About an hour later she got the offer, and there were a few negotiations to be made. They told her they would get back to her ASAP. We were on pins and needles the rest of the day but heard nothing, which left us both a little uneasy. We distracted ourselves with a trip to the park and grocery shopping, followed by a little more outside time with Addy that evening.

The next morning she decided to pal around with me for a bit while I went to some local-ish calls. She spoke with the recruiter that morning who assured her everything was fine, the manger had just been busy with all day meetings and he hoped to speak with her today. Later on in the day she got the good news and the offer was official!! She will be doing something slightly different, so she is really excited to learn something new and add some skills to her growing resume. She will start in two weeks, so for now she is enjoying her “paid vacation” as she is calling it. I can’t lie I’m a little jealous and sort of wish we had known this would happen, because we would totally be taking advantage of the time and going somewhere fun if I had the time off. But oh well.

On Thursday we went to an Easter themed music and art class with Addy where we sang and danced to bunny/spring themed songs and made easter egg and bunny crafts. Addy loved it. We attempted to see the Easter bunny too since he was in the mall we were at, but that was a no go. Poor girl was absolutely terrified. He gave her a high five and she shook like a leaf and gripped me so tight. She then started sobbing and screaming “no no no” and reaching for Ashley who was a few steps back away from the the big guy. We didn’t force a screaming picture, seems too cruel, so we told her it was ok and we scurried away! The rest of the day she kept repeating “Ease-a bunny..cry.” It was so pitiful, talk about PTSD.

In the afternoon we swung by her school and brought some juice boxes so she could share “special snack” with her friends. It wasn’t much of a party because we were the only parents to show and no on brought the sweet goodies, but Addy was still happy to see her friends for a bit.

Friday I worked late and Addy and Ashley entertained themselves. Saturday we hit the road super early so we could get to VA in time for the neighborhood egg hunt with my sister’s kiddos. We made it with time to spare and Addy enjoyed her very first hunt! She found a couple eggs, then found one with a stick coming out of it (a lollipop was inside) and shook it like a maraca for the next 10 minutes, oblivious to the other eggs around. She was pleased. Even more so once she realized when she opened them there was candy inside! The Easter Bunny (a verrrry creepy one) showed up for this even too. Addy was interested, but only from afar. She would say “hiiii ease-a bunny!” And I would ask if she wanted to see him and she would say yes, but once we were about 10 paces away, she was start backing up saying “no no no!”

That evening the kiddos dyed some real eggs and once they were in bed the Easter bunnies got to work hiding eggs and making baskets. Addy’s would be at my moms house since we were sleeping there, but the eggs would all be at my sister’s.

Addy was adorable getting ready for bed. Things were starting to “click.” She kept saying “ease-a bunny, hi iii, ease-a bunny treat!!” I explained that yes he would come and bring a treat once she was in bed. I know she doesn’t totally “get it” but she was putting some pieces together.

The next morning, as soon as I went in to get her out of bed she said “Easa-bunny!!!” and clapped her hands. I asked if she thought she had a treat and she said yes! We went down stairs and sure enough, he had come! She took one look a the basket, patted the babies she got and shoved a handful of jelly beans in her mouth!

We headed to church to my parents Catholic church for Easter mass, then back to my sisters for the egg hunts. The kids had a blast, then sorted through their loot and fought over candy and prizes-typical! Then we headed back to my moms for a breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage and biscuits..yum!

Later in the day we all headed to my oldest brother’s house for dinner. The kids did ANOTHER egg hunt and all ran around and played for hours. Addy had a blast swinging on the big kid swings at their house and playing with all the toys/big kids. We had a delicious ham dinner with tasty sides, followed by dessert. Once everyone was good and tired we headed back to my moms house. Addy passed out on the way home and slept straight through til morning.

We let her play for a bit the next morning to get her silly’s out before the car ride, then headed home so I could be in town for my call shift by 3. I lucked out with no calls-one false alarm and got to enjoy my family another day. All in all it was an exhausting, but fun weekend!

Here are my cell phone pictures. There are more on the real cameras, but I don’t have access to them, so these will do for now!

Snack at school

Snack at school

Addy and Abby-Abby LOVES her

Addy and Abby-Abby LOVES her

Ready to dye eggs!

Ready to dye eggs!

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Needing close supervision-splashing in the dye was so much fun!

Needing close supervision-splashing in the dye was so much fun!

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Her and Kellen hard at work

Her and Kellen hard at work

Easter Bunny came!

Easter Bunny came!

Checking out the loot

Checking out the loot

Bed head with a mouth full of jelly beans!

Bed head with a mouth full of jelly beans!

Indoor egg hung

Indoor egg hung

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Maira explaining the importance of Pez!

Maira explaining the importance of Pez!

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All 5 kiddos-sans brother's kids.

All 5 kiddos-sans brother’s kids.

outdoor hunt!

outdoor hunt!

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First find of the day!

First find of the day!

Rockin's Cousins!

Rockin’s Cousins!

"we want food, we want food"

“we want food, we want food”

Hey give me that paci…(this happens all day long)

Hey give me that paci…(this happens all day long)

Who me?! I didn't take her paci, were just holding hands!

Who me?! I didn’t take her paci, were just holding hands!

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The new little bean!

Ashley went to her first appointment on Monday. I was utterly bummed I couldn’t go with her, but she had to reschedule the appointment to go to a job interview, and it was scheduled for a call day for me. Of course, as luck would have it, I got called out an hour before the appointment and missed it. I hated that she had to go alone since she was so nervous, and hated that I missed seeing our new little bean on the big screen. She texted me a picture as soon as she got one though.

Everything looked great at a little over 8 weeks along. She was able to hear the heartbeat at 173bpm and measurements looked good. They took some labs, gave her the big blue folder we used to keep track of all things baby during my pregnancy and sent her on her way. We go back at 12 weeks for the diagnostic ultrasound. In our hearts we know we wouldn’t do anything with the results, but after working NICU for so many years, knowledge is key. Families that are prepared always seem to handle any challenges better than those whose apple cart was tipped upside down unexpectedly. And honestly, it’s another good excuse to see our baby on the ultrasound!

Ashley is feeling ok most. She saids she feels “a little bit gross” most of the time. Not overwhelmingly nauseated, and she hasn’t vomited, but usually just feels a little icky. Smells bother her and there are certain foods she can’t even fathom eating right now. She is exhausted, which is expected. Maybe being laid off and having a little bit of a relaxed schedule for some of the first trimester isn’t so awful! Silver linings people!

Well here is an exclusive shot of our newest family member!

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Layoffs suck.

You hear so many things about our economy picking back up, job market is getting better etc etc. It really leads you to believe that jobs are stable. It hit us like a brick wall, we never saw it coming. We honestly didn’t. Ashley went to work Tuesday of last week, and at some point during the day she said we need to get our personal phones up and running again, they were making some financial cutbacks and her work phone was going to be part of that cutback. Ok no big deal, we still have our personal phones, we just don’t use them much since it’s hard to keep up with two a piece. (We both have work cell phones provided by our companies). Then I was sitting on the couch, enjoying some afternoon coffee while the little one took her nap (it was my day off) and all the sudden I hear someone trying to open the front door. After my stomach left my throat I looked down the hall and saw Ashley at through the glass slam door. She was holding a big blue folder and I could tell she had been upset recently. I yelled through the door “what are you doing here!?! Did you lose your job?!?” Insensitive I know, but I was completely thrown aback and the thought of her getting fired, while pregnant was not good. Being fired means no unemployment, harder job hunting etc. She gave me a grim smile and as she came through the door explained that there had been layoffs and she was affected. In fact her whole business unit was eliminated which meant about 150 jobs were lost. The blue folder held information about severance, benefits, retirement etc. She had been planning work trips, starting new projects, had recently had her performance review and merit raise. Nothing had indicated this would be happening.

We have gone through the emotions of disbelief, anger, worry. She is now 8 weeks pregnant and jobless. Benefits will last through May and we got a small severance to help out for a very short while. She has lost her paid maternity leave which is terrifying. It really couldn’t have come at a worst moment, but we are powering through. We had so many financial goals for this year so that when the new kiddo came we would feel even more stable and the cost of additional childcare wouldn’t be such a blow. Now we aren’t really sure what’s going to happen with any of that now.

Luckily Ashley is well educated and we live in an area of NC which a large bio/med/tech industry and feel she is marketable and a new job will come along, and hopefully quickly. She already has had a few phone interviews, and will have a face to face interview tomorrow. She is trying to branch out and market her skills for a wider net and so far she is getting some bites. We are hoping to stay in our area. In my heart I would love to move to VA to be nearer to my family, but Addy loves her school, we love this area, and really the cost of moving when one is unemployed would be tricky.

I’m proud of my wife. She has anxiety and is no longer taking any medications to assist with this due to the pregnancy, and despite having so much to be worried about, she is handling it spectacularly. I’m so impressed. I think the mommy hormones just kick in and you realize you got to just move on and get it done and that’s what she is doing.

And at least we are both working and it didn’t completely wipe out our income. I still have my job, albeit one that is really starting to weigh on our family, it’s a job and a good paying one at that. We are a tough family and I know we will be just fine.

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