Forgot to mention another early christmas present...
across the street from t-man's school is (actually, was) an old gas station. since august they have been tearing down the building, pulling the old tanks out of the ground, etc. so there is always some construction vehicle to point out to the kids on the way to and from school. a few months ago, i asked t-man what he thought they were building there and he told me "it's a dunkin' donuts mama." i had to laugh - he thinks we're still in boston! there are 2 dunkin' donuts here in town, but the closest one is a 15 minute drive away. how i wish...
anyway, t-man has been telling me it's going to be a D&D for months now. so i finally asked him 2 weeks ago,
"why do you think it is going to be a dunkin' donuts?" "because my teacher told me." "which teacher?" "miss deb."
oooh - miss deb is not one to exaggerate. so i asked her when i picked t-man up from school - and she confirmed it! best of all (when you have 3 kids), i think i saw a drive thru - which is also very dangerous - it makes it too easy to get a coffee there all the time. i've just got to buy stock in the company...
In all the excitement and chaos of the holidays with 3 little ones, i forgot to mention the wonderful early xmas present from sweet baby j - starting monday or tuesday night (damn i need to get better about writing these things down), she has been sleeping a solid 6 - 8 hours at night! whoohoo! lets hope this trend continues! i haven't been getting this many hours of consecutive sleep in months!
this morning was my turn to "sleep in". baby j woke up at 7 am for a feeding. i was so tired that i decided to nurse her in bed. this means she fell back asleep while eating and i did as well. when i woke up around 8:30, i was staring at an angel.
she looked so sweet with her eyes closed accentuating her long lashes, mouth slightly open in the shape of a tiny heart, and her little breaths with the occasional sigh. it is such a catch-22. i wanted to hold onto this moment forever but at the same time i'm ready for her to grow up and start sleeping through the night.
well i grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots in hopes of having it both ways - she can start getting older and i can remember this moment always...
picked up our xmas cards today - they don't look so good. i screwed up the family photo and didn't lighten it. i didn't realize how dark it was until i saw it printed out. part of me plans on sending them out anyway - the other part of me can't let go of how bad they look. it doesn't help that when i showed them to hubby, the first words out of his mouth were "it looks like crap." i can't decide which part of me will win this one.*
* who are we kidding - it will be a miracle if i even get xmas cards out before valentine's day...
went to a neighborhood ladies night out friday in effort to have some sort of social life again. i had been at the host's house for over an hour when i happened to noticed a small print hanging in her kitchen.
"is that? - never mind..." "what?" "well, that picture looks like touchdown jesus." "it is touchdown jesus. my husband and i went to notre dame." "my husband and i went to notre dame too!"
i'm in a small city (pop. <100,000) in NC and a couple who graduated with hubby live on the same street as us. i don't think there are many ND grads in the area...what are the odds????
t-man's christmas program at his preschool was this morning. i was the proud mama of not only joseph, but baby jesus as well!
the sweetest moment was when baby j was crying her head off because it was time for her to fall asleep (which she of course did in the manager AFTER the program was over) and t-man looked down at his baby sister, leaned over, and kissed her on the forehead to settle her a bit. it made my heart melt.
unfortunately, i was not able to get a great picture of all 3 of my little cuties together, but here are a few of my attempts...
xmas and hell probably shouldn't be in the same sentence but today it is for me. baked sugar cookies this morning with little miss k - what a mess! flour everywhere, pieces of dough all over the place - baking with the kids just stresses me out. i think it is because unlike cooking, you need to be exact with your ingredients with baking - which is hard to do when the kids insist on putting a tsp of vanilla in and half lands on the countertop or when you turn your back for a second and they shove their face in the bowl to inhale raw butter before you even mix in the sugar! i know i need to relax about this - but i just haven't learned to do so yet. patience is what i want for xmas, but until then i'll just try to forget that we still need to decorate the damn cookies.
talked to t-man's new allergist this morning. we got back the results of his blood work and it was mixed. no great news, some good news, and some not so great news. for those who don't know, t-man was diagnosed with an egg and a peanut allergy about 3 1/2 years ago.
the background: when he was 11 months old, i gave him some of my pancakes and he broke out in hives around his mouth. his eyes were itchy and watery as well. it wasn't a severe reaction but it was enough to mention it at his 1 year appointment. so they tested him for not only egg but a slew of other common food allergens (shellfish, wheat, corn, soy, peanuts, walnuts, etc.). he came back positive for egg and peanut.
for the past few years, i've been ultra-anal in eliminating the allergens from his diet in hope of giving him the best chance of outgrowing the allergies. when we got the initial diagnosis, i gave my mom not only all the products in our kitchen containing egg and nuts, but those that could have been contaminated as well - jelly (from knives with peanut butter), mustard (traces of mayo from double dipping a knife), etc. we are an egg and a nut free house, and we limit the food he eats outside of our house. we even avoid products that have been produced in a facility with eggs and nuts. it has been inconvenient to say the least.
i can't fully explain how stressful it is to go out to eat, travel, and even play at other people's homes. i'm constantly on alert - when he was first diagnosed, i even had dreams of t-man having an anaphylactic reaction and me having to administer the epi-pen to him. fortunately with time, i've learned how to "live around" his allergies - using egg replacers when baking, bringing "safe" cupcakes to birthday parties, cleaning the airplane floor of any peanuts before he gets into his seat, etc. it has become habit. and now it is the strangest feeling when i am out with just little miss k - when we can grab some munchkins with my D&D or that we can stop to eat anywhere without a second thought - it is the feeling of freedom.
anyway, t-man's numbers are very low for egg now. that's the good news. the ok news is that they are not low enough to do a food challenge this year, but if this trend continues, we should be able to do one next fall and hopefully (keep your fingers crossed) he will be able to tolerate egg in a year. as for the peanut, that is the bad news - his numbers were trending down. he was at 0.9 2 years ago. now, it jumped to 18! the allergist can't explain it. and the allergist is not convinced that he is even allergic to peanuts because he has never had a reaction (we've never given him peanuts) and the tests have a high rate of false positives (as much as 50%). but the numbers are way too high now to do a food challenge (could have done one at 0.9 - but he was only 2 at the time). so we don't know what is going on and won't know more until next year when we do another blood test. so it is status quo - we keep doing what we're doing. i just keep reminding myself, it could be worse. this is manageable.
if i had been able to pull together a coherent sentence the past 6 1/2 weeks and had been posting on a regular basis, this is what the title of almost every post would be. last night sucked. baby j was up every hour and a half and then j was up at 6 am to leave early for work and then little miss k came into my room at 6:45 am. this is when i really need to skip over the decaf and head straight for the hard core stuff - nursing be damned...
ok - i still need to buy a baby book for baby j. until then, i'll have to use this to remember the big milestones that i have already forgotten with t-man and little miss k. so here's my first online entry - baby j officially smiled last night at 6 weeks and 3 days! i can't remember with little miss k but i do remember t-man smiling at 5 weeks and 3 days (i still remember this because that was when i decided we would keep our very colicky first child).
i admit i've been on a mission to get her to smile the past week because she has been lagging. i read that babies smile between 4 and 6 weeks and i know that my first 2 had smiled around now so i've been a bit anxious. also i wanted to prove that i'm not a bad mom to my 3rd child - that i'm not completely ignoring her while referee-ing between my 2 older hoodlums and that i'm not providing a completely unstimulating environment. poor baby j.
P.S. - the wait was worth it, she's got a pretty damn cute smile in my humble opinion...
shout out to brigita!!! got an edible edna bouquet of fruit as a gift to welcome baby j to the family. here are a few pix - check out the fruitless sticks in front of t-man - needless to say the gift was a huge hit that the whole family can enjoy (albeit indirectly for baby j).
she was born a week ago on october 1, 2008 at 8:21 am in a relatively fast (we did make it to the hospital in time for me to check in this time) and painful (no epidural - what was i thinking????) manner.
little miss k loves kissing her constantly and t-man has been very sweet as well (although he did order up a brother when he visited us at the hospital).
my parents left monday morning and hubby is at work today, so i am on my own with a preschooler, a toddler, and a newborn. i'll somehow make it through today - even if it means that the kids end up watching hours of tv...
(due to the hurricane shutting down some refineries in texas, there is NO gas here. all the gas stations have plastic bags over their pumps. people are waiting 3 hours for gas if they find a station with any. people are following the few tanker trucks in the area from the highway into the gas station. it is crazy - i feel like i am living in the seventies.)
Took the kids apple picking on Sunday - it was GREAT!
growing up my parents would take my sister and i when we lived in massachusetts. i remember always wanting to sit on my dad's shoulders to reach the apples up on top. when j moved to boston, we started going each fall and it was an activity that i've always envisioned being a family tradition. last fall in CA was the first year in over a decade that we didn't go - and i missed it so. i missed getting sick on eating too many apples, i missed the fresh cold apple cider, i missed the hot cider donuts, i missed the hayride, etc. well i am thrilled to report that last year was a blip - we're back on track!
and best of all, the location here was gorgeous!!! it was a farm up on the mountain side - i can only imagine what it will look like in a few weeks with more leaves changing color...
so today i witnessed my first ever pig race (i can't believe i just typed that). i went to the state fair with the kids (j is out of town for a wedding) - saw alot of livestock, hit a few rides, and watched pig races with a small goat and a duck race to boot. the ducks were pretty funny to watch since they waddle (like me these days) but the best were the newbie pigs race. one pig stopped in the middle of the race to take a piss. the other pigs stopped and politely waited until the first pig was done - then they continued their race. classic.
so i arrived here with the kids 3 weeks and 2 days ago and i know i have to catch people up on how everything is going - but i just briefly have to fast forward to today because i know the ND gang will truly appreciate this. little miss k and i went to the grocery store this morning and as i was pulling out of my parking space at 11:47 am on a wednesday, a young clean cut preppy guy walked out of the store carrying only a case of WBL.* i think i'm going to like it here!
so i've been racking my brain as to what the name for this blog should be - it actually delayed the premiere of this blog (along with the unpacking, getting everything switched over to our new address, enrolling t-man in a preschool, finishing potty training little miss k - #2 is a killer, oh and dealing with the enjoyment of being almost 8 months pregnant). anyway, shoutout to j9 who i still owe a formal thank you to for sending us a house warming gift last week - a yankee's guide to living in dixie titled "Suddenly Southern".
Many (well, really just a few) friends who actually read my posts were asking what i was going to do after my move. would i continue with my blog? what would i rename it since i would no longer be in the 112 degree heat? i hadn't really given it much thought, but after reading their comments i knew what i would do. i knew i would conclude that blog with the conclusion of that chapter in my life. i knew that i would start a new blog as my family and i started out on this next adventure.
so if you are reading this - you found me in a small north carolina city (but at least it's a city this time!) welcome and enjoy my ramblings of a yankee now trying to adjust to the south...