Thursday, July 25, 2013

Four Months Old: the amazingness of Cassandra

Cassandra turned Four Months Old on Monday. I can't even believe how fast it's gone already. These second babies grow so much faster than their predecessor siblings do!

Here are her stats:
Weight: 17.5 pounds
Height: 24 inches

I make big healthy babies lol - she is 90th percentile for weight and 70th percentile for height. Gooooo Cassie!

I remember with Henry, every day was steeped in the newness of it all. It was both wondrous and terrifying. Amazing and challenging. This time around it's much easier for me to go with the flow, to know that things are okay, to just let things happen.

It's all this whirlwind experience of amazingness. Even the crazy parts. Even the first six weeks of having two children which, in retrospect, were really, really tough because the adjustment of a new family dynamic was huge. But the baby stuff is just so great. I literally try to soak her in as much as I can: her fat little thighs, her wonderful cheeks, the way she smiles, how she laughs, how she likes being held up in the air over my head, the way she's a master at rolling onto her tummy nearly the second you put her down. My gosh, she's amazing.

She grabs her feet, she sucks on her fingers. She talks to her toys and roars like a dinosaur at them. She loves being naked and loves looking in mirrors. And oh, how she smiles. My gosh, it is heartmelting.

She is this happy little burst of sunshine in our home. Ryan, Henry and I tend to be a bit broody and pensive and she is this little explosion of lightness and joy. She brings such a breath of relief to our lives. We ALL adore her. Henry kisses her and sings to her and tells her that he loves her. Ryan basically walks in the door with his arms out to hold her. I think the best part of my day is getting her when she wakes up because she greets me with nonstop smiles for about five minutes straight. She is just such an absolute gorgeous, wonderful joy.

And don't get me wrong, Henry is a joy too. But this post isn't about all the wonderfulness of Henry so I'll just leave it at that :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Sand" a recipe for playing ;)

it's been hot as everyone knows. And, well, unfortunately our backyard is a breeding ground for mosquitos so we can't get out there to play as much as I'd like us to.

So I've been coming up with fun creative inside things for us to do. And recently a big hit around here has been "sand" (I think this is also known as moonsand to some people). It's really, really ridiculously easy to make this:

Oil (any kind works: olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, canola oil, you get the idea)

that's it.

I just eyeball it: I pour a bunch of flour into a dishpan and then add oil in and stir until it gets an almost grainy texture. This stuff is great, it can hold a shape loosely for a bit and it's fun to squeeze in your hands but it's still loose and light. Henry loves driving his cars in it and I always put his construction vehicles in the dishpan so they can dig and load up their trunks or whatever with it. it's great and usually provides quite a bit of entertainment.

And today I used coconut oil in my sand so my house smells divine lol.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Stitch Fix! AKA Help Me Style Gods!

I know a lot of my friends and readers are moms and other ladies with busy schedules so I wanted to tell you about this cool service I signed up for: it's called Stitch Fix and it seems like the greatest idea ever.

You've all heard of those services that send you boxes of various things in the mail every month. This is like that only it's with fashion. And it's personalized to you!

I am not being sponsored for this post, I'm just super excited about it and wanted to write it on my own :)

With Stitch Fix, the way I understand it is that you get a stylist and after you complete this pretty thorough style-profile they pick items that they think you might like, send them to you and then you get to keep what you want and send the rest back! SO COOL.

My first fix is supposed to come on Friday so I'll do a review ASAP.

In the meantime if this idea appeals to you and you wanna sign up, click this link and I'll get a credit once your first fix ships ;)

Woo hoo! Yay to having a fashion sense again. At least, hopefully lol

original link:
(lol this is what came up when i googled how to be stylish (the mere fact that i googled that shows i need massive amounts of help)

the unscheduled schedule

I realized recently that I have this need to constantly be On The Go. Every day me and the kids have some kind of activity. It keeps my sanity (or so I think) and it gets the kids out of the house.

But I get really stressed out on the days where I don't have anything scheduled. I look at the kids and I think, "okay, now what?" because filling the space of 11 hours of time is daunting when it is just you and two small people who need you for basically everything. I think that's why I always get us out and about. There is time to devote in the process of going somewhere: I prepare food and feed children before leaving, I shower, I clean the kids, I dress them, I dress myself, I pack a lunch, pack the diaper bag, load us all up in the car, drive to our destination. All of these activities make the day go faster and they give us all a break and a change of scenery.

But I am pretty exhausted and pretty burned out at the moment from always being on the go. And as my bout with Heat Exhaustion last week taught me: I don't really know how to take it easy.

So this week I didn't make any effort to make any plans. We have one scheduled class on Friday, we have standing playdates with a few people throughout the week but the Universe has made it unclear whether those will even happen or not (my Tuesday playdate has already rescheduled for a possible Thursday, my typical Thursday playdate has had sick kids for the past two weeks, so who knows where that stands) and Ryan and I have our eye on a big prize so we are trying to save money which means I really don't have many errands to run at all.

And I guess I'm trying to embrace this downtime as a chance to learn to be at home with the kids again. Henry has all these toys and I always have all of these craft projects that I think it's important for us to just stay home once in a while. It's already at the point where every day around 10:30 Henry starts demanding to know where we're going and what we're doing that day. I want him to be comfortable being home AND going out. And I want to be comfortable doing that too.

So here we are, home...for now.

Friday, July 19, 2013

My bout with Heat Exhaustion

We are having a heatwave right now in my area (okay, who isn't having a heat wave right now in this hemisphere?). It is beyond intense out there. It literally is like you can feel the heat with your hands while you push your way through the atmosphere outside.

In short: this was a bad week for our air conditioner to break. Which of course, it did last Sunday.

As Henry put it: "Our air conditioning has rain in it!"

We have an older home which unfortunately doesn't have central air. We've got an AC unit in the wall of our living room and that's the one that "had rain in it" and the "rain" started leaking down our wall and all over our couch last weekend. And then the unit just stopped working entirely. Right before this massive heat wave was headed our way.

After some drama (and about $500) we were able to get the air conditioner replaced on Tuesday which was an absolute blessing. However Sunday, Monday and most of Tuesday were brutal to get through. We had air on Wednesday but we had a lot of errands to do that day and spent most of the day out of the house.

Thursday came and it was the hottest day of the heat wave - temperatures soared up to 97 degrees which isn't really THAT high however the heat index was off the chart and the humidity was like something I have never experienced before which is saying a lot. We had errands to run again and I thought it would be good for us to be in retail stores anyway because while our wall unit was working okay enough to take the edge off, it was still averaging 82 degrees in our house and seriously, that's intense.

We went to three stores yesterday. And in a typical move, I forgot to bring water for myself. I brought water for Henry, I nursed Cassandra several times while we were out but I forgot about me. I had a big iced coffee with me but that was it. (note: coffee is a baaaad idea in these situations, coffee dehydrates you. I didn't remember this while I was toting it around with me)

By the time we got to Barnes and Noble so Henry could play at the train table, I had started shaking. I thought it was just because of all the nursing and my blood sugar dropping. I bought us some lunch and juice and ushered us towards home. But it didn't get better. I started feeling weaker and weaker, exhausted and dizzy. I worried I was going to faint or black out (which has happened to me once before so I recognized the warning signs). I got us home, put Cassie down for her nap and set up Henry with Daniel Tiger while I took a cool shower. My eyes were having trouble focusing, I was disorientated and confused. I started having trouble reaching the ends of my sentences. This is when I knew something was really wrong and I started talking to Ryan and asking for help. Then the nausea hit. I was so nauseous I took a zofran left over from my pregnancy. We weren't sure what to do so eventually I called my mom and she came up and sat with me and forced me to hydrate while we waited a while to see how things were.

Luckily I slowly improved. I drank a ton of water, I sat, I tried to stay cool. I tried to rest.

I probably should have gone to the doctor but I am stubborn and that is a bad thing. If this happens ever again I will probably go.

I had all the symptoms of heat exhaustion and I'm lucky it didn't progress worse than it did. I think I caught it in time and rested and hydrated enough to head it off. But it easily could have been really bad and that's scary.

I know it's very "mom like" to forget about yourself and neglect your needs (hello hydrating while nursing!) but that's not smart, it's not safe, and it's not a good example for those very kids who you are prioritizing. I got lucky this time but I learned to knock it off a bit with all the rushing and hustling around and to realize that I'm a priority too.

I'm still exhausted today and feel like I got hit by a truck a bit but I'm not worried about my own safety (and therefore the safety of my babies) anymore and that's important.

But the point here is: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES. Whether it's heat, cold, whatever, you have to be safe and take care of yourself. This weather is intense right now and since Global Climate Change is upon us in a big way i have a feeling that the summers are just going to trend in this direction more and more in the future so seriously, do it. Heat exhaustion is a cumulative thing - I spent several days over heated, under hydrated and doing way too much for the circumstances. It all built up and nearly caused me to black out and put myself and my kids in jeopardy. And that's not okay.

Stay cool out there, guys. Both literally and figuratively. lol