Friday, March 27, 2015


Our newest member of the family joined us on Wednesday, March 25th.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:00 am, with induction starting just before 7:30.

Gino Was born at 12:27 pm after a very quick, intense labor. 

He weighed in at 7lb 10oz and was not only my biggest, but also my longest baby--at 21.5" long. 

We're back home (hello, 24 hour discharge! Wham bam, get out of here, ma'am!) and everyone is adjusting. Sal has been a fantastic big brother thus far- sneaking kisses on Gino's forehead and telling him not to be sad when he cries. 

Carla--well, at fourteen months--feels dethroned. Baby brother is ok so long as I'm not holding him or feeding him. So yeah--it's gonna take some time for everyone to find their groove, but it will happen sooner or later.

Right now we are just enjoying visitors and snuggling the newest little one. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Positive feedback

As a mom, I feel fairly confident in my choice of how I (or We, as NZ is in this with me)  parent my (our) children. I have years of education as a Human Development major in college, followed by a career teaching, and ultimately, figuring out with NZ how we wanted to raise these little people of ours based on our own experiences growing up. 

This being said, I despise the judgement that seems so prevalent among mothers towards other mothers these days. I'm a part of a facebook group for mothers in our community, and while I understand that there are many different walks of life, ages and philosophies within this group that will inevitably disagree, I am continually amazed at what assholes some of us can be towards others. I feel like most mothers want what's best for their kids, even if we go about it differently. But often times, a mom will post a question and use a disclaimer " no judgements please!" before stating her issue that she needs suggestions for. 

It shouldn't be that way. 

And it's not just online.

I've felt the stares at the playground when I let my kids take their shoes off and run free..or when I ignore the tantrum my fourteen month old is throwing because I strapped her in the stroller and she wants out. My sister and I took the kids to target a couple of weeks ago and Sal didn't want to be buckled into the double kids cart, so I allowed him to stand on the platform part with the understanding that if he wanted off, he needed to say "stop the cart". My sister pushed the kids through the aisles to help me out. At one point, Sal decided he wanted off and didn't tell her, which resulted in the cart rolling over him. Of course he started to cry, and my first response was to reprimand him for not telling his auntie he wanted off rather than console him. An older woman who saw the incident, stops to tell us "You should really strap him in", and after an exchange with her in which we told her "he's three. He doesn't like to be strapped in", she says something about "poor boy, he's hurt." with a look of disapproval in her eye. 

It irks me. Just keep your opinion to yourself. He's my child. He shouldn't have stepped off the cart without asking to stop. He knows this. Am I sorry he got hurt? Of course. But he knew better. 

Consequences sometimes hurt. He needs to know that. 

Anyways, fast forward to today. 

I took my kids to the park for one of our last play dates as a trio. We had loaded sand toys and drinks into the stroller and hit the playground. I'm trying really hard not to be a helicopter parent, but instead stand back and let them learn (and take falls) on their own. This, I admit, is difficult for me, even though I feel it's best for their development into capable and confident individuals. I knew that letting my kids go in their own direction might earn me a judgement or two, but I took a seat anyways. I checked in with each child every minute or so, but didn't follow either one around. Carla wanted to ride the see saw with other kids, so I went over and helped her make her way up. I then went and sat down again.

At this point another mom came up to me, " ....I just wanted to say......"  and I started thinking, " oh shit, here it comes..she's gonna give me her two cents on my lazy parenting"...." You make having two little ones and being pregnant look so easy!" She added that she and her friends have seen us at the park before and they're always amazed at how well behaved my kids are and how well they listen. 


Did I get some mad mom props today? 

Wish more moms would compliment each other instead of judge. 

....and then we came home to a 30 minute tantrum by the three year old because the French fries we got at chik-FIL-a were not long ones, and the 14 month old is still crying from her crib an hour after I put her down for nap.....

I'm far from perfect. My children are far from perfect. But man oh man, did that other mom make my day today. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

37 weeks....full term!


Weight gain: 24 lbs

Maternity clothes? I'm down to two shirts and a pair of shorts that fit comfortably. 

Stretch marks? Dunno. If I do, they'll be tanned since I've been sitting out in the sun letting it all hang out the last few days while the kids play in the water table.

Sleep: Sporadic at best. Peeing a zillion times a night, plus both kids have been waking up coughing and in need of love ever so conveniently at 4:00 am

Best moment this week: Spending afternoons in our backyard, watching the kids play (and eat dirt) while enjoying some sunshine. 

Miss anything?: Being mobile. 

Movement: Yes....but it's changed from kicks to feeling him shift and contort his body every few hours. It looks and feels like an alien is inside me. 

Food cravings:  Ice. Ice water.  (For those wondering---Yes, I'm anemic. I'm on supplements.)

Anything making you queasy or sick: apparently chocolate milk (my former craving). It still sounds good until about a half hour after I guzzle it, and then I end up throwing it up. Gross.  No more chocolate milk for me!

Gender: Boy..and...I think we have a name...maybe. 

Happy or Moody? Happy but tired. I'm having contractions that last for HOURS. Today I had them from 11:00- 6:30ish non stop, every ten minutes....even during my check up with my OB. Same thing happened Monday night. OB says to come if the intensity or frequency increase. I'm trying to be a good sport about it, but taking care of kids and weathering them out isn't so fun.

Looking forward to: Hopefully he will decide to arrive within this week. If he doesn't, we will discuss possible induction for 39 weeks at my next visit. I'm tired of the contractions leading to nothing and hoping they subside so I can enjoy my last few weeks, or intensify and get this boy out into my arms!

Monday, March 9, 2015

We got our Sun Daze on

" work a little less, play a little more...that's what this day is for.....Workin on my laid back, ain't nothin wrong with getting my sun daze on" - Florida Georgia Line "sun daze"

The weather has been gorgeous for the past few days, so NZ and I decided to kick back this past Sunday and spent the entire afternoon with the kids, neighbors and some family in our backyard. 

It was so so so so nice to finally have everyone over to just hang out. 

NZ manned the BBQ (with beer in hand) and made us some beer can chicken and boullion onions. 


The kids spent most of the afternoon playing in my last minute water table, or using our horseshoe pit as a sandbox. 


They also enjoyed lemons from our tree while the guys drove RC cars and played a round of Bocce ball. Sal loves sour lemons!


I thoroughly enjoyed just watching everything going on around me, and kicked back for the majority of the afternoon in my favorite new outdoor chair as the kids showed me their treasures (lemon rinds, grass, half eaten Cheetos). 


Man, I love being back home. I can't stop saying that, and you're probably all tired of hearing it, but it feels so good to be back where we feel like we belong. Southern California is, and always will be our first love--no matter where our travels may take us.

Friday, February 27, 2015

35 weeks & a hospital visit

Weight gain: 19 lbs 

Maternity clothes? I've been wearing NZ's hoodies and t shirts once I'm home for good each afternoon. The tightness and shortness of my maternity shirts has gotten annoying. Why don't they make maternity shirts longer?! Yoga pants are a staple, and jeans have been stored away. I'm pretty much over it and ready for my "normal" wardrobe again. 

Stretch marks? Don't think so, but my skin is itchy and still stretching. 

Sleep: Decent. Lots of trips to pee, but otherwise okay until about 5:00 am when Carla has been waking. She and I find a corner of the sofa to snuggle into and enjoy feeling each other's breath as we doze back off together. She's had a cold, so I think this snuggle phase will pass soon. Hopefully in time for baby brother to join! 

[ 14 hours later-turns out he was joking]

Best moment this week: Feeling the love as we had to put our "when labor starts" plan into effect. My father in law made it over in less than 10 minutes, we made it to the hospital in 27 minutes and my sister was able to get down here to watch our kids all day after I was admitted due to preterm labor on Wednesday night. It truly takes a village to raise a child. I'm so thankful for friends who have also offered to be on call for us. Thankfully after 14 hours of having contractions 5-6 min apart and being 3cm dilated, nothing progressed and contractions slowed. I was discharged shortly after and told to go home and ride it out til our son decides it's really go time. At this point, they won't do anything to stop labor, nor will they do anything to speed it up. It's just a wait it out game.

Miss anything?: I miss being able to lean over my bathroom vanity to do my makeup. I also miss being able to paint/ do my toes!

Movement: Yes....he's contorting himself into lots of uncomfortable positions.

Food cravings: chocolate milk and ice pellets/ice water. Food? Not so much. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: I feel quesy around dinner every night, no matter whether it sounded good when I started cooking or not. Lots of indigestion.

Gender: Boy

Happy or Moody? Moody. Anxious. Ready.

Looking forward to: Meeting our little guido and picking a name. Looks like it may be happening sooner than later! Hoping to hang on at least one more week of not two. But seeing as I'm walking around, picking up/carrying kids while 3 cm dilated, I'm guessing our time is limited. 

Monday, February 23, 2015



I unearthed our newborn clothes and I think we're ready!

If the pile looks small, that's because it is.

But it's plenty.

I've pared down the stash to our absolute favorites. 

After having two other newborns to dress, I've learned that--although cute--the multi layer, multi piece outfits just end up sitting in our drawers unworn. My kids live in one piece sleepers for the first couple of months, so I ended up donating all of our unworn items to a mom in need.

Sal helped me pick a drawer in our kids' dresser, and we spent a few minutes putting them away and talking about how little the baby will be. I showed him a photo of himself wearing the polar bear sleeper pictured up top as I explained that these clothes used to be his.


He exclaimed, "ohh, dat's a weally cute baby!" 

Yes, Sal. You were (and still are). 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A date with Sal

Our life has been full steam ahead since our return. I don't think either of us anticipated just how much work repatriating and remodeling would turn out to be. 

Last weekend we took a break and went to the beach with the kids. It felt good. We've talked about doing one on one dates with our kids for a while, and since both NZ and Carla have been sidelined with terrible colds this weekend, I decided that I'd take Sal on a one on one date today and leave the sickly at home. 

I told him we could go anywhere he wanted today. Without skipping a beat, he tells me he wants to "go to da mall". I ask if he's sure that's where he wants to go and he says yes. I asked what we would do on our mall date and he said "we will share a lemonade". 

So, that's exactly what we did. 

We did a little walking and window shopping and ran around the playground once or twice before heading to the bookstore to read a few books together. After the bookstore, we headed to Wetzel's for a pretzel and lemonade. 

We happily devoured our pretzel and lemonade and headed back home to take a nice long afternoon "rest". 

Watching my big kid sleep always reminds me that he is still in fact-my baby. In a matter of weeks his life will change yet again, as he will have to share his mama with yet another sibling. But for today, his mama was his all his.