Saturday, August 30, 2008

Adventures in Hiking

I took all 3 girls on a little hike yesterday so that we might enjoy a little of what's left of summer. It was Acadia's 1st hike, although I am sure she couldn't see much from inside the sling. We went to a dam that Ariana loves to play around on and Annika quickly picked up some rock climbing skills. I wasn't thinking about how much Annika like to follow Ariana and how adventurous Ariana is. I had my heart in my throat more than once as Annika climbed all around the dam. But she held her own.

When we first arrived, Annika promptly had to pee. So I held her hands, had her lean down & try to pee... never works so well with a 2 year old... she peed all over her undies. So we took those off and she went commando for the hike.

After being at the dam only a few minutes, I heard Ariana yell "Annika!" with disgust in her voice. They were about 20 feet away & I could see that Annika was just standing there. What I couldn't see was that she had her dress pulled up and she was pooping! Man, what is it about the woods that makes kids have to go to the bathroom. And then, no more than 10 minutes later, I look over and see her with her dress hiked up again, peeing down the rocks! Ughhhh.

After that, the girls just played as I snapped lots of pictures. Ariana also took some of me & Acadia, she did pretty well. Acadia was really good the whole time. She slept most of the time in the sling and when I brought her out, she just looked around & watched the dam & the scenery quietly.

Unfortunately, after about an hour, we had to head back since Ariana had to poop! It was a very nice trip out with my girls, hopefully we can do it again soon when the mosquitoes clear up a little.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Autumn Reading

Here are the books I would like to read next... I would like to diversify my reading a little.

The Secret History
by Donna Tartt

Three Cups of Tea
by: Greg Mortenson

Same Kind of Different As Me
by: Ron Hall & Denver Moore

Geek Love (Update: Read, it was OK)
by Katherine Dunn

The Quality of Life Report
by Meghan Daum

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World
by Eric Weiner

by Donald Ray Pollock

The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Poor Poor Baby

I don't know if Acadia is going to survive her sister! I left Acadia in her swing as I went to the bathroom to grab a load of laundry... when I emerged 2 minutes later, Acadia was upside down in her swing! UPSIDE DOWN! Now, I watch CSI, so I knew how to solve this mystery (Ok, there was only one other person in the house) All I had to do was take these pudding fingerprints that were all over Acadia and rush them to the lab. Then I could have the pudding kiss on her head tested for DNA.

The evidence is clear, I have an over-anxious 2 year old on my hands!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Ariana had her physical yesterday. She had a chicken pox vaccine and you'd think she was having her arm amputated the way she cried & tried to get away from the nurse. I mean, hysteria here! And then there was Annika asking the doctor to take the baby out of her belly. What an adventure 3 kids can be. Thankfully Acadia was sleeping the whole time.

Ariana has shrunk to only to 75th percentile for her height. (She has always been in the 90th.) Hopefully she won't be quite as gangly as I was throughtout my youth. Although she is still quite underweight, but there isn't much we can do about that.

Kids Say the Darndest Things:
The girls put sweatshirts on when it got cool outside yesterday afternoon. Ariana bent down over Annika & said "Let's zip this baby up." Annika looked up at her and said "Sweatshirts have babies?" She is such a dork!

Annika is going through a stage of not wanting to sleep in her bed. She sneaks out and we'll find her on the bathroom floor, our bedroom floor... even the stairs! The weird part is, she puts her blankie over her face... she thinks we can't see her then since she's invisible.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to School

Ariana started 3rd grade today! My big girl. It was the first year she wanted to look cool, and not pretty. She wanted to wear her funkiest jeans & her new Converse sneakers. She said she was nervous as she was getting ready. But all 5 of us went to drop her off at school and she seemed pretty at ease as she walked into her classroom. And of course, Annika wanted desperately to go to school. I have a feeling that she will not be the type of child who cries the first day of school, she'll just run in without looking back.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Brown Eyed Girls

We officially have 2 brown eyed girls.... well, almost. Acadia's left eye has turned brown. It is odd, since I never saw the other 2 girls eyes change color, but yesterday I saw that Acadia's eye was 3/4 brown, and today it is all brown. She will look like Ariana.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The end is near

The end of summer, that is. Ariana starts school Tuesday, so this was our last weekend of summer. Colb took Ariana & Kaitlin to an Elvis show (All Shook Up) on Friday. Saturday Ariana got to go to the beach with the Turmels while Colb hiked with Joe. I had the pleasure of Danielle's company as we pondered Mars & Venus.

Danielle was also kind enough to bring many spare vegetables from her garden. Colb & I then had a delicious pasta & clam dinner made with fresh pesto. So yummy. And I have to get a good recipe for all the zucchini she gave me.

Dow then came over to hang in the evening with us, haven't seen him in awhile, so it was good to catch up. Poor baby was pretty downtrodden that we didn't have ESPN this morning so he could catch his sports updates. He had to rush home after that since we had our fantasy football draft today... only to find out an hour before the draft that he couldn't attend as his wife had made plans!!! HAHAHAH- now that's some funny stuff, especially when you see the team he got & the fact that we started a keeper league!!! OH, AND the fact that I got the first draft pick & picked up Tom Brady! Oh, man, what a great start!

Brock & Tina joined us at our house for the draft, which was nice since we hadn't seen them in forever either. We caught up with them, seems as though they have had a busy summer. Both of them had gorgeous new ink. Tina has a beautiful butterfly, very feminine, which I love. Hopefully we can see more of them now that football is here.

Colb & I did a few things around the yard and then Dan & Les brought Ariana home & stuck around for a beer & a little gossip on the deck. More Mars & Venus!

Isolde is brilliant!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Great Day

“One of the greatest titles we can have is "old friend". We never appreciate how important old friends are until we are older. The problem is we need to start our old friendships when we are young. We then have to nurture and grow those friendships over our middle age when a busy life and changing geographies can cause us to neglect those friends. Today is the day to invest in those people we hope will call us 'old friend" in the years to come.”

There was the sunshine, the wonderful company and laughter of children. I got to see Jen today, which is always a good day, although few and far between. She is actually a good reason to go to Maine more often... hmmm....

I realized after she left there was so much I wanted to talk to her about & questions to ask... man I must have talked a lot. I guess it is from lack of female companionship on a regular basis... that sucks! At least the companionship I do have is quality, if not quantity.

We also had Acadia's first doctors appointment today at 2 weeks old. She gained 6 ounces but hasn't grown at all. She has some sort of heat rash that requires some cream for a week, poor baby... but, other than that, she is healthy as can be, just like her sisters.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I recently had a friend that I hadn't talked to in ten years contact me. I was happy because it is always wonderful to hear from an old friend. Ironically, a couple of months back, my best childhood friend from 20 years ago got in touch with me. It has brought my thought around to the wonderful friends I have acquired in my lifetime. As life goes on, we go through periods where we grow apart, whether to go off to college, move away & marry, having children who take up a majority of your time. But the friendships are always still there, if just quietly in the background.

There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound. ~Diana Cortes

Since I have lived in New Hampshire, I have only made a couple of really close friends (one who moved to Ohio!). It seems as though our closest friendships are forged in the first 20 years of our lives. After that, you are just sort of pushed into mundane relationships with those people you are physically around... coworkers, moms at the park, parents from the PTA, most of whom you have nothing in common with except your children.

Those friendships don't compare to the friends I can giggle with for hours like a schoolgirl, or call on the phone when I am overwhelmed with life. Sometimes I get bummed that I don't have a best friend right next door that I can run over & have a tea with on a Wednesday afternoon. But then I am so lucky to have the most energetic, beautiful, funny, dynamic, independent friends in the world! Even if they live across the country in Washington, or 40 minutes away in the mountains- they are still my friends & I love them and enjoy every minute I have with them, whether it is side by side or over email! I am a lucky girl!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Why I do it.

If 10,000 Biter parents avoid purchasing formula for a year, we'll keep half the weight of the International Space Station in empty formula cans out of landfills.

Break out the full moons. In addition to smartening up your newborn, breastfeeding is less expensive than bottle-feeding, and has health payoffs for both mom and child that are outta this world.

The Benefits
Getting NASA scouts knocking on your door. A study of almost 14,000 kids found that breastfed tots had an average of 7.5 more IQ points than nonbreastfed kids (possibly due to a beneficial chem in breast milk).
Unearthly health benefits for moms. Women who lactate for two-plus years over their lifetimes reduce breast cancer risk by 24%. Bonus: Fat gained during pregnancy is an energy source for lactation (so yeah - you'll lose weight as you "feed"...about 500 calories a day).
Galaxy-size cash savings. Moms who breastfeed can expect to save $800 or more per year on formula.
A cleaner solar system. Breastfeeding avoids the packaging and energy used to make baby formula products.

But, man, is it hard!
I have such a hard time staying on schedule. Since I am not the type of mom to whip out her boob in public, I have to plan to be in a private place every 2-3 hours of EVERY day!

But it is near impossible. Take last Wednesday... I took the girls to the park at noon and pumped right before we left. I was able to feed Acadia at 2 at the park with the bottle, which was good. Unfortunately it did not relieve my engorged chest! We went home around 4:30 to get Annika ready for dance class and ended up being late, so I brought a bottle of formula & fed Acadia that at the dance studio. (Chest continually growing...) I then had a meeting from 6:30 to 8. (Could everyone see my upper body might just explode???) And then I hadn't been out of the house in a week so I needed to stop for a couple of groceries.

By the time I got back home, I barely got in the house before I had my bra off to nurse.

It is hard. But I know since my other 2 girls are so healthy & smart, I don't want to mess with what works so far.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things PART TROIS

I took Ariana and her best friend to TGI Fridays for her birthday lunch. When it was time to order drinks, the friend ordered a soda and Ariana ordered a chocolate milk. The friend commented "Why didn't you order soda?" Ariana replied, "Oh no, that's against the law of Ma." Hahahaha!!!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Birthday My Jewel

Tomorrow is Ariana's 8th birthday! She is growing so fast. I watched her tonight as she, Annika and Colby sat & did collages. I had my IPod playing sappy music in the background (Jack Johnson, OCMS) and it just brought tears to my eyes... she looked so much older already. It is probably my post-baby hormones or the baby at my breast... I just hate to see them grow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Acadia's Arrival Part 2

The epidural came quick enough, I think I got it by 10pm, which was wonderful. I am not one of those women who thinks enduring the pain of childbirth is 'empowering'. I think it's just painful!

My mom arrived in plenty of time... she & Colb got to watch the Red Sox game while I rested. I wanted to wait for the very last second to start pushing so that she would (hopefully) pop right out. It was all pretty peaceful until I turned to Colby and said something mundane like 'How 'bout them Sox?' and the urge to vomit hit like a ton of bricks! (This is 'transition' for those of you who have not birthed a child.) Colb got the bucket under my mouth in the nick of time! After this ordeal, I knew it was time. The nurse came in within minutes as she had seen the change on my monitors. I told her it was time to push so she summoned the doctor. With the doctor came an intern from Dartmouth Hitchcock. He was supposed to do the delivery with her supervision.

I only needed to push 3 or 4 times, my plan had worked. Although Acadia came with her hand at her face (from sucking her thumb), so the doctor had to take over & get her out, this did cause me to need a couple of stitches.

When she came out, she was as perfect as could be... round head, 10 fingers, 10 toes... wonderful. She looked so tiny, but she was 7 pounds, 3 ounces.

It was very surreal at that moment, Colby & I watched her with awe on my chest, my mom looked on and I lay there with my legs spread wide as 2 doctors had an anatomy lesson between my legs. My doctor was showing the intern how to stitch me and it seemed to take half an hour. I could hear them discussing the size of needle, the type of stitch to use, stitching the muscle and then the skin... etc. There really is no other time in life where it would be normal to have a conversation with your mom & husband while 2 other people are conversing between your naked legs.

She was born at 1:37am and Colb & my mom left around 4 so that we could rest. Neither of us got any sleep that night, she just seemed to want to feed all night, which was fine with me because I wanted her in my arms all night. The next 2 days in the hospital were wonderful, I held her constantly as we lounged peacefully. It was very quiet and the staff pretty much let us be since she was my 3rd child, they didn't feel they needed to bother us.

My homecoming was great too. It was the first sunny day in a long time. My house was spotless and friends & family had left food so I didn't need to cook. Colb, myself, the girls & my mother & father-in-law relaxed outside all day. My in-laws took the girls for walks & bike rides, we sat on the deck soaking up the sun & then sat in front of the fire pit & had Smores once the sun went down. It really was a perfect day... & probably the last day of peace for a very long time!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Acadia's Arrival

(This will be a recollection of the day Acadia was born, so if that sort of stuff does not interest you, you might skip this entry...)

Wednesday the 6th started like any other. At that point I was 3 days past my due date & very uncomfortable. I started to feel the uneasiness of labor early in the day. I knew it was early and I did not want to alarm Colb, so I just called & told him I wasn't feeling well and asked that he made it home by 5:30 to get Annika to dance class. I told him I was ok to pick Ariana up from dance camp at 4.

At around 2ish I put Annika down for a nap & laid down on the couch. At 2:38, I felt my first contraction, although very light. I laid quietly so I could see when the next one would come, but it was at least half an hour. I called Colby back & told him the contractions had started and asked him to start heading home. I Then gathered Annika & got myself together & headed off to pick up Ariana. When I got to the dance studio, Ariana gave me her typical hard time about leaving... just at that moment I stood in the middle of the studio asking her to hurry along, surrounded by little kids, Annika bolts for the stairs & a contraction kicks in! I breathed the best I could, ran after Annika & right out the door to my car. Ariana followed a couple of minutes behind me & we headed home. I only had one more contraction on that trip, but unfortunately I was driving a standard car & at a stop sign... Now, I am very versed at driving a standard, it is second nature, but, at the peak of a contraction, trying to concentrate on my body & shifting and pushing the clutch & watching for traffic as I pulled out... it is all very hard to do... especially with 2 kids in the back trying to get my attention.

I made it home after that and we had dinner (which, thankfully I had put in the crockpot earlier in the day. I told Colb around 6 that I was going to lay down & get some rest. He put a movie in for the girls & they settled in for mellow time. I did relax & read a book for about half an hour, but then the contractions seemed to start coming much quicker. I called Colb's mom at 7:04 to tell her what was going on. At 7:04 I had a contraction & had to let her go. At 7:16 the next contraction came so I called Colby upstairs & told him to get the bags in the car & start preparing, we would be going to the hospital. "Tonight?" He said. "I wasn't really prepared for this." He apparently didn't realize that I was really in labor! I also asked him to go fill the truck with gas as it was on empty.

The next contraction hit at 7:22... it went from 12 minutes apart to 6!!!! I called Colby back upstairs. "Call the Doctor. Call Lori (our friend coming to watch the girls). We are going to the hospital NOW!" I knew that with the 3rd child, this would come quick. The doctor agreed and was immediately on her way to the hospital also. Thankfully Lori was there within 2 minutes and we were off.

By the time we got to the hospital, my contractions were only 2 minutes apart and getting very strong. We got into triage & before I even got my clothes off, I told the nurse to get the epidural ready!

I will continue this entry later, as I only have 10 free minutes at a time now with 3 kids!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008


We had a mellow weekend, I worked my last day at Staples, I am on official maternity leave! Yay. I did continue with my TripAdvisor, since that does not take too much physical effort. Colby spent a lot of time with the girls, & his stress level showed it by the end of the weekend. He is certainly not accustomed to that much dedicated time with them, but they enjoyed it, Annika takes to being a daddy's girl. He even brought home a mini trampoline from a neighborhood yard sale, so she is psyched! Ariana started dance camp today, which I didn't even realize until about 7:30am! That will make my days slightly easier this week as I wait for Acadia to arrive. Of course, Annika is really sad that her sister is at dance and she is stuck home with me. She is still wearing her dance clothes, apparently hoping that I will whisk her away to dance class at any moment.

So, now, more waiting......

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The waiting game

I bought our Boppy & our baby tubby... I have gotten the video camera out & charging, the still camera charged, my clothes washed & packed... now it is all about the waiting! Giving birth is one of the true surprises in life that is filled with so much excitement. There are times in your life that you wait with incalculable anticipation. Like when you are 5 and you seem as though you might burst waiting for Christmas. Or as your wedding day approached, it seemed as though it will never come.

But birth is different. It is the only time when you do not know when it will happen, so your expectancy seems to grow with every minute. And it could be hours or days or weeks! So your heart continues to beat faster & your mind races wildly and you just don't know when it will end...

Relish each minute of it....