Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scenes from Turning Six

First off, Happy Halloween!
Secondly, can you believe I'm posting two days in a row?
I thought I would share some picture from my niece's sixth birthday a couple of weeks ago. I finally got around to editing the pictures so I thought I'd give everyone a break from all the Halloween posts going up today and give you a party in the park instead. It was "Monster High" themed so it's still a little bit festive, right?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Two Months



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Dear Finley,

It's pretty crazy that you've been with us for two months now. You're getting more fun by the day. Your dad and I aren't big "newborn people" so we are enjoying the steps you have been taking towards babyhood. The past week you have been smiling and cooing like crazy. Mostly at me though which I don't mind one bit, but sometimes I think that people think I'm exaggerating because you rarely do it for anyone else. Your dad also makes fun of me for saying cooing. He acts like a made the word up even though I swear I didn't. I guess it is kind of a funny word but I don't know what else to call it. Another great thing about you getting a little older is that you have been crying a lot less. Don't get me wrong, you still are a handful but nothing like you were a couple of weeks ago. Now you mainly get fussy when you are overtired.

The one thing that you're not so great at is sleeping. The most you have ever slept at a clip is six hours and that was only one time. You have slept five hours a few times but ever since you got sick two weeks ago, you haven't slept more than four. A typical night for you is four hours then two and two. I really wish you'd sleep a little longer little one, I know that you are chunky enough for it. Thankfully you usually go right back down after you get up to eat. Although sometimes you like to party around 3 am. You have also started sleeping on your back in the pack n' play instead of on an incline. I usually move you back to the rock n' play the last time you get up because you seem stuffier then but you sleep the bulk of the night in the pack n' play. I am hoping to move you into your crib within the next month.

It's still pretty hard at this point but I am so happy that you are part of our family. So are your cousins, they love you so much. Especially Nicholas, he wants to hold you all the time and gets sad when your sleeping and we won't let him. We can already tell that you are going to be a little spitfire and I kind of love that. I'm looking forward to see how much you continue to develop over the next month and hopefully you'll let me sleep a little more by the time we hit month three.

Lots of love,
Mama

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Likes: Sleeping and hanging out in wrap style carrier, being outside, back patting, watching ceiling fans, music & baby talk.

Dislikes: Sleeping, being put in her car seat, baths, waiting at traffic lights & mamaRoo seat.

Stats: 11 lbs 10 oz (78%), 22 inches long (35%), 14.75 inch head circumference (18%), Clothes size 0-3, 3 months and a few 3-6 month & Size 1 diapers


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Like Father Like Daughter- Hubby Guest Post


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Hello everyone, this is Joe Mallory’s hubby. I am writing on Mallory’s blog for the first time and for a good reason. To give you a little background on myself. I was raised in a house of 4 boys, consisting of 2 older brothers and a twin brother. It was a very crazy, testosterone fueled mess to say to least. My father worked in New York City and like Mallory I grew up in the Poconos. So most of the time my poor step mom was stuck with all 4 of us by herself. The worst part is she didn't know how to drive. Without knowing how to drive my brothers and myself had to be more creative on what to do. I can’t tell you how many times we said “I am so bored today”, we'd get the same answer back from our parents every time “go read a book or play outside”. Which do you think 4 boys would take? It’s pretty simple. Being outside all the time had us playing football, basketball,baseball, going swimming, running through the woods like we were Jean-Claude Van Damme. We were also very involved in Karate as kids, my 2 older brothers being black belts and my twin and I were almost black belts. You may be asking yourself were I am going with this. Well here we go.

When Mallory and I planned on having our first child we were both very opened minded. We were both asked 1000 times, "You guys want to have a boy right???" My older brother has 2 boys and it just seemed like all of us were headed in that direction. Well we were wrong. When we went for our ultrasound to discover what the sex of our child was going to be I couldn't stop laughing when the tech kept saying let’s see if you are having a “hot dog or a hamburger”. When the doctor revealed that we were having a “hamburger” I felt the tears coming. But since I am man’s man I had to hold them back. Even though I am probably the most emotional man’s man you will ever met I really didn't think twice, I was so excited for Mallory and myself I really don’t think “what if”.

We are so lucky to have Aubrey or as most of you know you as doodle. I know it’s a funny nickname but it fits. Aubrey was truly the best thing that ever happened to Mallory and I, two kids from a small town, living in Florida, growing up together. I know some people get driven apart by kids because they are so stressful but not us. Aubrey definitely made us have more purpose. As you all know she is a crazy, funny, emotional and loving little kid. Now she is more than that. She is a big sister which brings me to our new addition, Finley Kate.

When we discovered Mallory was prego again I think that this time we were a little more nervous, just because we were getting kind of used to having just Aubs. This time around again everyone was saying “You want a boy this time right,” and my answer stayed the same, I just want a healthy baby. I think that Mal on the other hand wanted another girl because she has told me before she always wanted a sister. Nothing against her brother, I am just sure she wanted someone to share the same interest with.

So now after having 2 girls, a wife and even a dog that's a girl, I am totally out numbered. One thing I think is very important in a family regardless if all are boys or all girls are sports. The main reason I think sports are so important to kids is because it is one of those things the harder you try to better you will become. I took this to the bank as a kid. I was a swimmer growing up most of my life. If you watch the Olympics you probably noticed those swimmers are monsters, standing 6’5 feel tall and are strong as a brick house. Me on the other hand, I stand maybe 5 foot 8 inches tall and have always been on the “big boned” side. I never let this get to me while competing in swimming. I would work my ass off and when the swim meets came around I always looked on the other blocks to see Andre the giant swimming next to me and I know going through his head was “I am going to kill this little chubby Italian kid”. That usually didn't happen, I would swim my heart out and with the support of my brother and teammates I hardly ever lost. I knew if I tried harder than the giant I always stood a chance.

I really believe it doesn't matter whether you have a boy or girl when it comes to sports. Something I think that is very important to learn discipline and good work ethic and participating in sports definitely re-enforces that. It can help you accomplish a lot, usually more then what you even thought you could. With my beautiful daughters I am not going to treat them different in that aspect.
Every Sunday when I wear my Eagles hat to watch football Aubrey comes up to me and says “Go Eagles”, in that cute 2.5 year old voice. I want my children to know it doesn't matter if you have a "hamburger" or a "hot dog", being active is for everyone.

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So in the end I am a very lucky man, I have 4 beautiful girls in my house (including ruby our dog our 3rd child) that I know I am going to have fun playing sports with them and also dressing up like a princess while they plaster make-up all over my face. Trust me I will let them have FUN because in the end that is how I view sports and being active. Its fun for everyone, you get great exercise and above all iy brings the whole family closer, like it did in my house.

And to my crazy, non-stop photo taking, blogging, hormonal, breast feeding, sleep deprived beautiful wife you are the best wife, best friend I could ever ask for and I wouldn't change one thing about our family if I could change anything. What I have is what I would think most people hope for.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Twins


Last night I was looking through some old photos of Aubrey to compare what Aubs was doing at Finley's age and to see what I can expect next. My orginal intention wasn't to see if they looked alike or not but as I scrolled through I found that I was having to remind myself that the pictures were of Aubs and not Fin. Seriously guys- it's kind of scary how much they look alike.

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Aubs is the top photo and Finley is the bottom. Not the cutest pictures of them but I can't get over how they even do the same thing with their eyes. Freaky- right?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hospital Visits


Before I had kids I had only been to a hospital once unless you count when I was a little girl and caroled at Christmas time with my girl scout troop. The only other time was when I was 23 or 24 and I twisted my ankle while playing tag in the park with my husband's three year old cousins. Since having kids I have been to the hospital more than I would like. Aubrey is a frequent customer at All Children's because of her eyes and she was also there when she had nursemaid's elbow. Finley has already been there twice and she is not even two months old. She was there for an ultrasound on her hips and just the other night because of a high fever. So basically I'm a horrible parent, well maybe not but sometimes it sure feels that way.

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My littlest in a teeny tiny hospital gown

Last Thursday I noticed that Finley was a little bit stuffed up. Aubrey had a runny nose most of the week so assumed that she had just caught big sis's cold. Typically this would be no biggie but Finley was only 6 weeks old and a 6 week old who is sick is kind of scary. Aubrey didn't get her first cold until she was about 8 months old so I was a little panicked as what to do with such a little one with the sniffles.

I called my doctor and she had me bring Finley in on Friday morning. She told me what I had suspected, Finley had most likely caught Aubrey's cold. She told me what I should expect and to keep an eye on her fever. That morning at the doctor, it was 99.8 which is high but not terrible. She told me to look out for anything 100.4 or higher and to call them if that were the case. We made it through the weekend pretty well. Finley's sleeping wasn't great because she was having trouble breathing out of her nose but other than that she didn't seem too warm to me. Tuesday afternoon while I was nursing her, I noticed that her head felt particularly warm. I decided to suck it up and take her rectal temperature and found that it was 100.5. I called the doctor and she advised me to take Finley to the ER because she didn't want to take a chance with her being so young with a fever.

We dropped Aubs off at Joey's mom's house and headed off to All Children's Hospital. Going to the hospital is like one big waiting game. Out of the four hours that we were there, we were only with actual doctors or nurses for maybe a half hour. The worst of it was when they had to take samples from Fin to check for infection- blood, urine and mucous. It is the worst feeling in the world to see your child go through all that poking and prodding. Thankfully her white blood cell count came back normal and we were able to avoid a spinal tap. We were sent home and told to keep a close eye on her temperature which thankfully has stayed down.

Being a parent is tough. I always knew that I never wanted to see my children in pain but actually going through it is a different story. I feel fortunate that while my kids medical records aren't completely clean that they are still relatively healthy children. My heart goes out to all the parents who spend more time than they ever had imagined in hospitals and at doctor's offices with their little ones. I have only had a taste of what it is like and I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Place Holder


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This picture is the perfect representation of my life right now. Finley in the wrap because that is the only place she is content and Aubrey and Ruby on my lap because they want attention too. Joe captured this gem tonight and I think it's absolutely hysterical even though I look like complete crap.(I'm really hoping my roots just look that bad because of the flash)

I just wanted to pop in and say that I am still alive and semi-well. I have three posts that are half way done but no time to complete them. I am hoping that tomorrow morning while Aubs is at preschool I can get at least one of them done. Finley doesn't always corporate though. If you're reading this I thank you for coming by and checking on us during this busy time in my life and slow time on my blog. I promise to be back in full swing as soon as I possibly can.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This too Shall Pass



...hopefully sooner than later.

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Before I really get into this post I just want to say that every experience is different and every child is different. I know there are a lot of pregnant mamas out there expecting their second child and I don't want to scare anyone. This post is just to vent the troubles I had during my first week home alone with two. It is also so I can look back and see that it does indeed get better.

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I swear she was content before I picked up my camera

Even before I got pregnant with Finley I would always ask woman who had a toddler and an infant if it was hard. Their response was always yes. Now that I am in their shoes, I have found that I am no exception to the rule. It is hard, it is REALLY hard.

I had it pretty easy the first month of Finley's life because I had a lot of help. My husband is self employed so he was able to stay home for a whole month to help out with Aubrey. Also my parents who usually only winter down here in Florida came down for the month of September to meet the baby and also help out. My nights of course were still hard but having people around to distract Aubs while I was taking care of the baby was so great. That all changed on October 1st when the hubs went back to work and my parents went back up to Pennsylvania not to return until December. On top of that Joey's mom who usually makes us or has us over for dinner at least twice a week happened to go on a business trip that same week. So basically I was thrown to the wolves.

Monday through Wednesday were really bad. There was a lot of crying- from all three of us. Aubs went into a little bit of a shock mode not having an additional person here to play with her and wanted me to pick her up every time I picked the baby up and sit on my lap every time the baby was on my lap. My independent girl who prefers to play by herself most of the time was now wanting constant attention. On top of Aubrey being super clingy, Finley is was I guess you would call a "high maintenance" baby. She doesn't like to be put down pretty much ever and when I am holding her she prefers to walk around, be bounced or be patted on the back at all times. So 8 times out of 10 if you stop moving she starts screaming. I could go on and on but I think that sums up the main reasons why being home alone with two kids two and under from 8:30 am- 6:30 pm had been so incredibly difficult. I knew it was going to be hard but I never imagined that it would be quite this hard.

Even though it's only been a week, I have already found some ways of coping and no they don't include alcohol (although I kind of wish they did- if I only had the energy). I found that it is best to get out of the house. My worst days (including yesterday- which was my worst yet) happen when I don't leave the house at all. I sort of have a fear of breastfeeding in public and that's why I avoid going anywhere. I would of course do it as discreetly as possible but I'm terrified of encountering someone who is rude to me about it. I decided that I am just going to have to get over that fear if I want to maintain my sanity. I have still avoided having to do it so far because I am only out a couple of hours at a time but I am at least willing to try if I have to. Another necessity is baby wearing. I have Fin in a wrap an average of 3 to 4 hours a day. Finley can be so colicky that a lot of the time the only way she will calm and go to sleep is when I have her in the wrap. This also give me a chance to do things with Aubs that I wouldn't be able to do otherwise because I wouldn't have my hands free. It especially comes in "handy" the 50 times a day that I have to help her pull down her undies so she can use the potty. Lastly I wouldn't be able to survive without coffee, granola bars and apples. The coffee for obvious reasons and the apples and granola bars because sometimes I have absolutely no time to eat.

So it's basically we are in a state of emergency over here and that's why I haven't been posting. For the first time in a few days both girls are sleeping at the same time and Finley isn't demanding to be held. Although I have to admit that the swing is doing my job for me right now. She only likes it sometimes so I take it when I can. At night I don't have time because I am still going to sleep between 8 and 9 because Finley is still sleeping like the newborn that she is and I am unable to get naps in because I am up with Aubs. Anyway, I have faith that it will get better and this will all be worth it in the end. Please feel free to leave positive vibes and success stories in the comments because this overtired mama could really use them.




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Friday, October 5, 2012

Coping with the Autumn Blues + a Giveaway


Living in Florida during the fall pretty much blows. It's still crazy hot out and there are no leaves changing into glorious shades of orange, red and gold. Even shopping for Halloween costumes for the kiddos can be quite challenging. Aubrey's first Halloween was so hot and humid even after the sun went down that it was hard to stay outside for very long. Oh and then there is all the gorgeous fall clothing and boots taunting Floridians in every store and catalog that they look. What's an original mountain girl to do when stuck in the sticky and hot sunshine state while the season is changing in pretty much the rest of the North America?

Whelp- I just drink lots of pumpkin flavored coffee and pretend that drinking hot coffee outside in the morning doesn't make me sweat a little bit. I personally have been drinking my coffee with pumpkin creamer on a daily basis. I have also made banana and pumpkin bread over the past couple of weeks and plan on making more soon. Most importantly I light pumpkin and apple crisp candles around my house to give it that warm fuzzy autumn feeling. Later this month we will go to the pumpkin festival but until then I can get my fall fix by looking at fall beautiful photographs. The lovely photographer Jill Sarah behind Adore du Jour Photo is being kind enough to offer my readers their choice of 4 of her 5x7 of 5x5 prints. She has a gorgeous variety of autumn prints in her shop but she also has many more prints that you can choose from if you'd prefer not to stick to one season. All you have to do if follow the Rafflecopter directions below and you'll be entered to win.

You can also check out Jill's Tumblr page here and her facebook page here.


Some of favorite Autumn inspired shots
For October


Pumpkins at the Co-op

Wilted Poppy

Happy Halloween!

Crisp

I know this isn't Fall-ish but I couldn't resist sharing this Boston Terrier.
Smiley Dog

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WW: Evening Sun


Sorry for my lack of posts lately. Joe is back at work so during the day it's just me and the girls, which leaves me with little time for anything at the moment. Anyways I thought I'd share a few photos from when we were hanging out on my parent's back deck over the weekend. Also check back for a lovely giveaway from Adore Du Jour Photography either tomorrow or Friday.

Peek-a-boo with Aubs
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Snuggles with Gam
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Sunset
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Linking up with Jenni from the Blog

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