Sunday, September 27, 2015

Introducing Baby Aliza Kate

We would like to introduce baby Aliza Kate, who joined our family on Friday, September 11, 2015 and immediately stole everyone's heart!  It had been a long, hard pregnancy, but it was so worth it to have this sweet baby complete our family.

 We went in at 6am for a c-section at 7:30 and by then I had actually been in labor since Sunday afternoon and more than ready to have this baby!!!  I had been to the hospital the Sunday before when I first felt I was in labor, but my contractions were not regular enough to have her at 37 weeks.  I literally spent the next 5 days in bed or in the bathtub trying to keep her in until Friday morning's scheduled appointment.  I got one final (although I didn't get many over the previous 33 weeks) bump picture and one with my big boy on our way out of the door.

Aliza was born at 8:03am and before they even had her out I kept hearing my doctor say "this is a big baby with a lot of hair!"  He was NOT kidding!  
She weighed 8 pounds and 10 ounces and we were told she was 20.5 inches that day, but at our 2 week pediatrician appointment, she was up to 23 inches, so our pediatrician thinks she was actually around 22-22.5 inches!  She was only 1 ounce smaller than her brother was!

We were in a room by 10:00 and Michael went to get the proud big brother and Grandparents from the waiting room.  Needless to say, everyone couldn't get over her size or hair!  Haha!  Nicholas was in love immediately and so excited to get to hold his long awaited baby sister!

Yes, I dressed them alike for the occasion! It was cute and Nicholas loved matching Daddy! :-)

This was at the end of a long day, but we finally made it for a family picture around 9:00 that night.

We had a very long, hard first night and when my doctor came in around 10:00 the following morning I asked to go home.  He said that since I was already on oral pain meds and walking around well, I could go.  I am so thankful they let us leave early.  It made our transition home much easier and Nicholas was able to be with us after less than 36 hours.  Aliza came home in the same dress I did 34 years earlier and wore a family heirloom bonnet.  She looked like a little doll!

When we got home I tried to get some pictures of her in her fancy dress in her fancy crib, but she wasn't having it.

We did manage to get one of Aliza, Nicholas, and I in front of our stork and big brother sign.  This was my favorite picture of the entire weekend.  I laughed so hard at Nicholas showing his big brother muscles!

We are so blessed to have 2 healthy, beautiful children.  Six years ago right now I was taking fertility drugs and no one was sure we would ever have one, much less two children.  Sometimes it is just so  overwhelming to think they are both mine!  We have had a good 2 weeks at home and I will blog more about the weeks leading up to this post and the weeks after later.  I hope to get all caught up this week now that Gigi and Michael have gone back to work and it is just the baby and I at home during the day.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

First Day of School

Yesterday was the day we had looked forward to for a long time, the first day at our new school!  As you know, we elected to give Nicholas a "bonus year" by attending the state funded PreK at his elementary school. So far, that has been the best decision we've ever made for him!  He LOVES it!  

Sunday night we read back to school books after we got our bath and got in bed early for the big day. He was excited and nervous, but not as much as Mommy! I had such mixed emotions, and still do 2 days into it. For 5 years he has rode to work with me and been at daycare right next door to my office. Now he is 25 minutes away. I also worry about him going to the cafeteria, after school care, and those type of things. It's a big step!

He was so excited to get up and get to school!  When we dropped him off he didn't seem to care at all! (Huge improvement over last year) He ran in to find his cubby, put his stuff up and get to a table to sit. He sat at a puzzle table and was happy as he could be! 

I cried a lot Sunday night and did fine on Monday until his teacher asked how I was doing then I lost it. I was the crazy sniffing pregnant mom leaving the classroom after telling him bye 5 times. After I got back home and thought about how excited he was and happy, I finally felt better. 

I picked him up around 4:00 so he could get used to going to after school care before he had to go until 5:30 today. He loved it too and when I picked him up he ran up to me with a big hug and kiss and said he loved school! I couldn't have been more relieved. We immediately went to get an ice cream to celebrate both of us surviving big day! 

This morning he got up on his own, ran into our room excited for another day!  He walked around for 10 minutes with his backpack waiting on me to fix his lunch and for Michael to take him to school. After Michael took him to school he called me to say he did great!  He walked in, put his stuff up, went over to a table to sit, and never looked back!

I am so proud of my big boy! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thoughts For Thursday

1. Nicholas is LOVING day camp!  Last week was his first full week week and he had so much fun! They go swimming twice a week and a field trip to somewhere fun once a week. His teacher sent me this last Tuesday and it made my day!  

It has been close to 100 degrees here all week and I'm starting to swell as I hit the 30 week mark! I couldn't even find any shoes in my closet for church on Sunday except flip flops and some sandals! I went out Sunday night and got some Epsom salt...not sure it's working though. Any tips for a hot, swollen pregnant girl? 

I'm really struggling not to buy all the seasonal baby things. And I mean ALL the things!  I would have bought one of each of these had they not been 6-12m last weekend at Hobby Lobby!  I need an intervention! STAT!

 Life keeps getting ahead of us. Between two demanding jobs, a 5 year old, pregnancy, and taking care of two homes (ours and Michael's grandfather's home) we cannot keep up anymore. I bought this calendar at Hobby Lobby in hopes it would make it easier to track who is doing what when and what bill is due when. 

I've developed a craving for V8 drinks. Sadly, they have over 900mg sodium in them (see number 2) so I've had to quit drinking them. Also, note that they are not a suitable replacement for the weekend morning Bloody Mary. 

6.  I've begun looking at birth announcements, but nothing has just jumped out at me. Any suggestions on a good place to order them? 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Going From One to Two

One thing that has always worried me about having two children is how it would effect Nicholas. I already love our new little addition and can't wait to meet her, but I worry how it will impact them both. Being an only child, I feel like I have no clue how to love two children or how to show two children equal attention. I'm starting to get really anxious and nervous about baby sister's arrival because of that. 

For five years it's just been the three of us. Within the last couple of years we have finally gotten into a great routine and comfortable in our role as parents. I have no clue what a second child will do to our lives. I'm so excited to welcome her and get to know her, but at the same time, worried about how she will fit into our family. I know she will be loved, a lot, but will they both feel loved equally? Will one resent the other or us? 

I know these are normal feelings (I think??? I hope???) and pray every night that we have made sure Nicholas feels secure and loved no matter what. Lately, when he wants to cuddle I drop whatever I'm doing or if he wants to play video games, we do it. I want him to know he is still important and loved just as much as ever. 

We've decided to do one activity every weekend before she arrives to focus on Nicholas and each other by doing something we all love to do that may not be easy to do with a baby. So far we have really enjoyed that special family time!  We have 10 weekends at the very most to spend just the three of us and I plan to make the most of it! (I also have some fun mommy and Nicholas dates planned for us to do once a month or so after sister comes)

Last weekend we went to Buffalo Wild Wings and played games and trivia. It was so much fun and something we loved doing before we had Nicholas. Even Nicholas loved it and has already asked to go back! Ha!

This past weekend we went to see the Minion movie and ate popcorn for dinner!  That's living on the edge for me! Haha!

It's so hard to believe we are so close to meeting the little person who will complete our family. I'm so excited! I cannot wait to see the love between my two babies and how she will bless our family, but in the meantime, I plan to soak in all of the time I can with my sweet little man and his Daddy. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fourth Of July Recipe: Nana's Peach Ice Cream

This is a repost from 2013, but it's a classic family recipe I wanted to share again! 

When I was a little girl there was a couple of things you could ALWAYS count on eating at Nana's house in the Summer: homemade tea cakes, rice krispy treats, and peach ice cream!  Nana loves peach ice cream and she always had some made and ready.  I never realized how much it symbolized Summer to me until I made some this weekend for her birthday.  As soon as I tasted it I felt like I was back at her house and it was 1990s all over again!  :-)

6-8 sliced, peeled peaches (I cheated this time because they aren't really in season yet and used thawed frozen peaches)
1 cup of sugar
4 cups half and half
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Slice and peel peaches, mix with sugar.  Stir and let sit for about an hour.

After an hour, place the peaches and sugar in a food processor (do not use a blender, it will not work as well) and puree until it is a chunky puree.  We like to have chunks of peaches in our ice cream so I do not puree all the way.

In a large mixing bowl, stir pudding and evaporated milk.  Add peach puree, condensed milk, and half and half.  Stir well. 

Pour into ice cream freezer and freeze according to the freezer's instructions.

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Today You Are Five

Dear Nicholas,

As of 4:28 this morning you are FIVE years old!  It is so hard for Mommy to believe that you've been with us that long and that you are that old!  We celebrated your birthday on Saturday with your friends, but today we get to celebrate just the three of us.  This is a BIG birthday!  You are no longer considered a baby in any way, you are definitely a big boy now!!!  

The next few weeks will bring so many changes in your life.  This week you get to go on your first field trip in kids camp, in about 6 weeks will be your first day of elementary school, and in 12 week or less, you will become a big brother!  We are so proud of the boy you've become. You are no longer our little boy, but rather our big boy who is ready to take on the world. (Even if we aren't ready for you to go out into the big world without us!) 

My prayer for you as you begin all of these big changes is that you always have a desire to learn, help those who may be struggling around you, and they you always love the Lord. 

I also wanted to document a few things about you on your 5th birthday for me to be able to remember when you are a really big boy! 

- You are 44 pounds and 45 inches tall
- You wear size 5 clothes and an 11.5 wide shoe
- You love your friends and your best friends are Tate, Braxton, Trey, Lucas, and Will. 
- Your favorite thing to do is play on your Nabi
- Your favorite food is fish or shrimp and any dessert
- You would rather have chocolate milk than anything to drink.
- You love Legos, Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, and Transformers. 

One day you will look back and remember your first day of elementary school, the day your sister was born, and the many changes of this year and I hope you have good memories. Your 5th year is going to have so many wonderful changes and I pray you embrace them with the enthusiasm you embrace life. 

Daddy and I love you so much!  We are so proud of you and the sweet, loving little guy you've become!  Happy birthday buddy! 

Love, Mommy 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thoughts For Thursday

1. It's birthday party week at our house! It feels strange not to be crafting and making all of the decorations, but we are going much smaller and simpler this year and it's all from the party stores. We only invited immediate family and his close friends, and booked it at a party facility, not the back yard. He even insisted his cake be "a grocery store cake only!"  I may have mourned a little over the cake situation!

2. Nicholas swam for the first time without his floaties on Sunday!  Because I had to be in the water with him, I didn't get any pictures, but he did well. He even got into the deep end on accident and dog paddled his way out. 

3.  Baby sister's canvas scripture came last week. It is beyond perfect! I found it on etsy and it couldn't match any better!
I chose Proverbs 31:25 because it was a scripture my Nana had on her refrigerator for years and the one I read at her funeral. I had actually declared it my scripture for the year 2 weeks before she died and 3 weeks before we found out about Aliza Kate. There was never a doubt what I would hang in her room! 

4.  Speaking of Aliza Kate, I realized this week I only have 59 more work days until maternity leave (including 2 holidays and a vacation day!). Needless to say, that freaked me out a little! There is a lot to do in a short time! Ahhhh! 

5.  Six months from today is Christmas!!! I have such a cute vision of my house on Christmas morning: kids in matching pjs, playing with our new toys, and watching the Disney parade while we wait on family to come in the afternoon. It's hard for me to believe that there will be TWO children posing for pictures in front of our tree this year (and in coordinating outfits of course)!!! And I can't wait!!!! 


A few weeks ago we were having a lazy Saturday morning and Nicholas laid on my legs and said he wanted to cuddle with his sister. Yes, I almost died right there. I pray he always loves her as much as he does right now. He is so excited and can't wait to be a big brother!!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day 2015

We had a fabulous, low key day all about Michael yesterday.  We spent Saturday seeing the grandfathers so that yesterday could be a day just for the 3 of us. I loved making sure he had his own special day!

When we got married I had an idea in my mind of how I wanted our family to be and what kind of a dad I wanted him to be. It is an understatement to say he has far exceeded my expectations!  

From the moment he first held Nicholas to spending all day on his special day just throwing him across the pool and doing whatever the 5 year old wanted, Nicholas is his focus. He told me yesterday that being a dad is the most important role he has and I think he puts 100% in all the time.  

However, it's the other times in our lives that have made such an impact on me.  It's the times no one can see but me: helping with homework, giving Nicholas a bath or brushing his teeth when he is crying because he doesn't want to do it and Michael stays calm (unlike me), or reading a book at bedtime when they are both tired and I know Michael would rather be on the couch watching TV. Those are the moments that really matter and those are the moments I'll always be thankful for. 

Michael, I want you to know that we love and appreciate all you do to make our family function. I couldn't do it without you. You are our rock, our strength, and our best friend. We love you more than I could ever express and can't wait to see you with our new little girl! I've been blessed beyond measure to be your wife and share in the role of parenting our children with you. There is no one I would rather share this crazy journey with! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I'm I know, I know. I did so good for a couple of weeks, then fell off the wagon again. The last few weeks have taken a toll on me between work, home, and being pregnant. I'm behind in every aspect right now. Here is what has been going on and what has been on my mind lately... 

1.  Grilling out and lots of fresh veggies! 
Michael has taken over as our main cook lately. Bless him! Baby sister has caused me to have pubis symphysis diastasis (meaning my pelvis is essentially dislocated and I'm in pain) and by the time I get home at night I'm done and can barely walk. We buy meats at Costco and this was our buggy at the grocery store last week. All nice and colorful! I love eating in the Summer! Nicholas is a huge fresh fruit eater and had been begging for a watermelon. He loved it so much he wouldn't open his eyes for a picture! Lol! 

2.  Lazy, hazy pool Sundays 
We've been at the pool the last 2 Sundays. This was last week and it just cracked me up. He is swimming really well this summer and LOVES the water. 

3. Busy Days 
Nicholas and I have both been worn out by the end of the day. It's my busy trauma season and I'm slammed with patients and not sleeping well. Nicholas is just playing hard! Last Monday he had day camp all day and as soon as he hit the door I found him on the couch under a blanket! He stayed like this until dinner and bath time! Haha!

4. Summer TV
I'm not a big TV watcher anyway, but Summer TV is terrible. I'm counting the days until Scandal comes on...which happens to be Aliza's due date!  It is actually only 99 DAYS AWAY now! We may be watching together in the hospital!  

5.  25 weeks! 
Well, now that I'm almost 26 weeks, I'll post a comparison shot from Nicholas to Aliza. I've said it before and I'll say it again, pregnancy is a lot harder at 34 than it was at 29! Ha! 

6. Nursery Progress! 
I'm not going to post much until it is all together, but our guest room is starting to look like a nursery!!!  Nicholas and Michael put the crib together last weekend and this weekend my mom and I will be organizing and hanging some wall hangings. Our family is hosting a shower at our house, so I want her room ready by then!  Hard to believe we are just a little over 3 months away from meeting our little princess!  

7. Cuddles 
Nicholas is already showing what a sweet big brother he is going to be. He loves to "hug sister" by rubbing my belly or giving me big hugs and last week when he was so tired he wanted to rock in the glider. If you think I didn't capitalize on this bedtime stall tactic you're crazy! We spent 30 minutes delaying bedtime so we could rock!  I tell him several times a day that he will always be my first and special baby and we love him SO much. 

8. Babies Don't Keep
It's so hard for me to believe this sweet baby is almost FIVE! On the days he goes to day camp he comes home acting like such a big kid. It's amazing how his vocabulary is bigger, he walks right into school without hesitating, and just acts big! In two weeks he will officially be in day camp, on his way to big school, and FIVE YEARS OLD!  I'm struggling with that and I'm 99% sure God knew I couldn't handle it if he were still an only child, so he gave us baby sister!