Tuesday, August 07, 2018

My last post about breastfeeding then I'll shut up.

I never dreamed that breastfeeding would be such an emotional rollercoaster.  I never thought that I would fight so hard to get it to work and I never thought I would be brought to my knees at the thought of stopping.  The floodgates open when I think about it.  I'm not even sure what it is exactly that is so upsetting to me.  It's not like I ever felt like it brought us closer because I know we just ARE close.  Today is the second day of not letting Harrison nurse.  They have been mildly difficult and sad but he has been easily distracted when he has tried real hard to lift my shirt so that's made it a little easier.  I think I expected him to be distraught and it would just kill me.
The timing worked out because Chris and I went away for 4 days to Quebec City and I needed to increase some medication that would dry up the milk anyway.  I was lucky it wasn't uncomfortable for me to not breastfeed for those 4 days.  I expected it to be much worse.  When we walked into Chris's parents' house to pick up the kids Harrison ran right into my arms and was demanding I go in the other room to sit on the couch by pointing madly and saying "DEE DEE DEE" (his word for basically everything that he wants but doesn't know the word for LOL).  We were able to distract him but I felt so bad :-(

I wish I had kept a list of the places we nursed or I pumped milk.  It would have been quite funny.  I remember pumping in my car during a bar mitzvah I was photographing and in a garage area of a function hall while I was photographing a wedding.  I'm drawing a blank on any other places but obviously there were way more.

I guess that's it.  The end of nursing.  

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Mid year update

School's out, the pool's open, and we are ready for summer! 
5th grade came to a close so quickly.  Madison and Jackson had high points and low points throughout the year but overall they were very happy about their first full year at their new school.  They both played in the band again this year and plan to next year as well which makes me very happy!  Jackson is doing very well on the clarinet and Madison is owning the trumpet.
They got to watch the puberty video this year and go to their first dance.  Luckily they didn't understand why the other kids were all weirded out by the puberty video.  We aren't shy talking about things here so it all seemed like no big deal to them.  They went with friends to the dance although Jackson did ask a girl friend to go with him but she said "Well, I'm 10 so I can't"  LOL

Jackson's club soccer team (with whom he has trained since he was 5) had a great season this spring.  Practices and games were quite tricky with Harrison being a toddler and not wanting to sit still.  He had games in Portland, Maine, Braintree, MA, as well as more local.  His team has a goal keeper but Jackson had to step in quite a few times and luckily he is pretty good there.  My heart is in my throat watching him though.  I much prefer to watch him in a field position.  He has been playing defense this year and doing very well at it.  He does prefer to play forward though.
Jackson has been seeing an orthodontist for a couple years now.  He had a palette expander to make some room for his baby teeth to fall out and adult teeth to grow in.  He got it out last December and now we are just waiting for the rest of his baby teeth to fall out.  I think he still has 4 or 5!

Madison just had her dance recital last weekend.  She did a Lyrical class and I love seeing her mature in her body control and confidence.  She's been doing great with her guitar lessons.  She and her teacher work on learning a song to play then they record it then they record her singing too.  She won't let ANYONE listen to them which is such a bummer.  Madison has not had to see an orthodontist.  Her baby teeth have all fallen out (the last baby tooth is holding on by a thread at the moment) just fine and her adult teeth have grown in perfectly.

Harrison at 21 months has 23 words and uses them a LOT.  He makes the CUTEST facial expressions and knows when he's being funny or naughty.  Madison and Jackson absolutely adore him and love to play with him every day.  They love to chase him around and pretend to get hurt and fall down when he bumps into them.  He cracks up.  Harrison continues to be a very easy baby.  He is almost always happy and if he's not it's very easy to make happy again. He has recently learned that TV has good stuff on it and always hands the remote to us and says "Cuh" which means "Color Crew" a show on the baby channel.  Not a day goes by when I don't marvel in how lucky we are to have him.

Exciting news for me is that since my miles were up on my minivan lease I had to look for a new car.  I was able to get a great deal on my ultimate dream car.  I'm completely in love with it and all of the amazing features it has.  It essentially drives itself by keeping it in the lane and keeping a certain distance from the car in front of you as well as stopping automatically if you miss something.  If you're looking for a seriously cool, fun to drive SUV I highly recommend the 2019 Volvo XC40 in red :-)

Friday, February 23, 2018

Harrison's First Birthday (last September)

I knew Harrison's first birthday would sneak up on me so I started planning a few months before even sending out invitations so no one would have any other plans!  It was going to be the first time we were having a party at our new house so I invited basically everyone I knew.  At least 90 people were invited which doesn't include their kids and we ended up with around 50 adults plus 23 kids which was a very packed house.  Luckily it was a beautiful day so people were able to be out on the deck and the kids outside.  The party was a complete blur for me.  I felt like I barely talked to anyone.  I kept getting pulled away to deal with something else.  I had made it through the first year with the diapers I received at my baby shower so my goal was to make it through the next year by asking for diapers for his birthday.  We might not make it ALL the way but it will definitely be close.  He got a bunch of toys and clothes as well.

12 months!

12 month cake smash!

12 months!

Birthday cake made by Lynanne who has done all of our cakes since our wedding in 2001

All of his monthly photos from the past year

Proud big sister

Cake smash!

That face!!!

With Grandpa and Grandma

Proud parents

With Grandpa and Great Grandma

With one of his favorite toys

Thursday, July 27, 2017


The next thing I want to talk about is breastfeeding.  You probably don't care.  You can stop reading now.

When I had Madison and Jackson I was determined to breastfeed them.  With them being born 4 weeks early I tried over and over to get them to latch but I was told (by nurses and LCs) they were too little.  I pumped as much as I could and bottle fed them that but the majority of their food was formula.  I was suffering with postpartum depression and not taking care of myself.  I had zero support on the breastfeeding front so when my milk stopped coming out I just gave up.  I didn't know I had options

When I miraculously got pregnant with Harrison NOTHING was going to stop me.  The first 4 weeks were an absolute uphill battle.  I had no idea how hard it would be.  I almost gave up a few times.  One of my saving graces was a nipple shield that a LC gave me in the hospital.  Harrison was having the same problem latching as the twins did but he wasn't early.  The shield was a god send and I was able to feed my baby!  But my most important saving grace was my friend Shauna who refused to let me give up even when I was in the throes of anxiety and depression and not eating or drinking and losing my supply and watching Harrison LOSE weight.  It was scary for a bit and at 2 weeks old his pediatrician insisted I give him formula.  I cried and cried in the room with my mother and doctor and because of Shauna's support I told the doctor no, that I would make it work, I just needed help.  Instead of giving up and giving him formula we came up with a plan.  My mother (I was living with her at the time) would make sure I was fed and hydrated and I would breastfeed Harrison then pump until I was empty in order to signal my body to make more milk.  I froze what I pumped.  We did that for a week.  My depression and anxiety cleared up immediately thank god but Harrison didn't gain as much weight as the doctor wanted.  So we tweaked the plan by now bottle feeding him what I pumped after each breastfeeding.  By 4 weeks he had gained enough weight and my supply was great.  I'm sure there were some small issues after that but very quickly it became such an easy thing.  I just can't describe how thankful I am for Shauna's support.

At 5 months old he was still waking in the middle of the night but I was able to get him back to sleep without feeding him.  I resisted so hard to let him cry it out but at 6 months I did it and it only took one bad night which wasn't even that bad.  He's been an amazing napper and sleeper since then.  I did seek the help of a professional sleep consultant in order to get that to happen and I know there is no way I could have gotten him to that point without her.

At 10 months old now he is breastfeeding 4 times a day and has some food here and there for practice.  He will eat anything I give him but I mostly give him avocado, whole milk plain greek yogurt, blueberries, and chicken.  He is easily pulling up to standing, got his first tooth last week, does lots of babbling and absolutely lights up when ever he sees Madison or Jackson.  He just adores them and the feeling is mutual.

10 months old.  I seriously couldn't love him more.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 26th

AAAANNNNDDD it's July.  I hate how fast time goes.  I never even made a post about Madison and Jackson's 10th birthday.  I need to do that next.  But first I want to talk about our house.

Obviously my last house update from August 28th was very grim.  I know this is silly to some but I was kind of amazed by it.  I was feeling very depressed last August and on a whim I went in to have my tarot cards read.  She told me that my baby would be healthy, that I would have a very long and happy marriage and that we would find a house before the baby was born.  She specifically said we wouldn't be IN the house before he was born but that it would be under agreement.  I wanted nothing more than to believe her but I was just in such a dark place.  It seemed like the impossible.

On August 31st, a house popped up in our daily email listings.  It caught my attention and I shortly got a text from Chris telling me to look at it.  The price had just dropped $15K so it was now in our price range.  There was an open house scheduled for the next evening but we immediately called to see if we could get in that night.  I showed it to my father and he said "you should be prepared to put an offer in tonight".  I had been thinking the same thing and so had Chris.  My father and I drove up with Madison and Jackson and met Chris and Billy at the house in Groveland.  I would have bought the house just based on the pictures but I wanted to see what the area was like.  As I drove up the quiet dead end street lined with beautiful spaced out colonial houses I said "This is it".  I walked in the kitchen door and was overcome with tears.  Jackson was jumping up and down yelling "Can we buy it? Can we buy it??  PLEEEEAAAASSSSEE??".  We walked through the rest of the house but I honestly wasn't looking at anything.  Chris and I got together out in the driveway and both smiled at each other.  It was the first time (except for the New Hampshire house) we were on the same page.  After looking at so many houses and feeling like we were literally on different teams it was such an amazing moment.  All we needed to do now was make an offer and pray the biggest prayer of our lives that it was accepted.

We offered asking price along with a letter pleading that they accept it.  Billy called me the next morning and said "I have bad news...they are canceling the open house....BECAUSE THEY ACCEPTED YOUR OFFER!!!!  I stood in my parents living room and cried fantastically happy tears for the first time in a long time.  Within a few days we had an inspection (with some issues but we just didn't care).  Harrison was born 15 days after the offer was accepted.  The psychic was oddly specifically right on with her prediction.

The mortgage paperwork seemed to take forever and ever but almost two months after seeing the house for the first time we closed on the house and moved in that night.  Harrison was 5 weeks old.

Our house high up on a hill
The view our my bedroom window.  The sky never disappoints up here!

The view out the 3rd floor (Jackson's bedroom)

Another view out my bedroom window.  That's a ski hill way in the distance.  We can see people skiing from our house and hear the snow makers.

Our holiday card last year

Our house as you drive back down the road

Some cool things we were lucky enough to find in this home that I really never dreamed we would...
1.  a fireplace
2.  on top of a  hill for a fantastic view all around
3.  underground electricity!
4.  central air
5.  A POOL!!!
6.  plenty of space
7.  a master bathroom
8.  a finished attic where all of the kids toys go!
9.  first floor laundry (better than no laundry but I HATED going to my basement to do it in my old house)

Since moving in I have painted Jackson's room, Madison's room, Harrison's room, our bathroom, the first floor bathroom, the kitchen and main hall.  I have the kids bathroom started and just need to buckle down and finish it.  We had to get a new washer and dryer which I love!  I took a bunch of pictures of the inside when the rooms were empty but I haven't taken any since we've been all moved in.  I should do that.

Our wishlist for improvements...
1.  take up carpet in living room/put in wood floors and build some built ins around the fireplace
2.  update all of the bathrooms
3.  update the kitchen with a new layout
4.  new carpet on second and third floor
5.  paint the master bedroom, the second floor hall, and the playroom