Me and Wee: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012


Enjoying the Birthday song and ready to blow out the candles! (You got them all in one puff!)

Dear Little P,
My little darling, on Saturday you turned three! It seems like yesterday you were a soft squishy new baby in my awkward arms. And now you are running, jumping, laughing and joking. You are a marvel!
Paige, you are so energetic and inventive. You always make up a new fantasy world to play in--whether we are flying in helicopters to "jungle supper" (Rainforest Cafe) or hiding from the "happy volcano."
You are so sweet, polite, and gentle--I've never seen you exhibit one iota of malice toward anyone. You are just so cheerful and always up to try anything. Especially if it looks daring, adventurous and fun.
This past year you have really blossomed into all you can be. You've made beautiful progress in your speech and sensory issues. One would never know you'd struggled! You're quite the chatterbox now.
You're smart as a know all your letters and you can recognize them all by sight and you know every sound. You can tell us the beginning letter of any word we give you. You also know your numbers (one through fourteen) and you can identify them and even do subtraction. I don't know how you picked up on it! You just seem to absorb anything you see. You have an amazing memory--lucky duck--and I believe it will serve you well. You have a special talent for putting puzzles together. You can bang out a 25 piece or more puzzle like it's nothing! I'll try to do a puzzle with you, but you always end up having to help me. Ha!
Paige, being your Mama is such an honor and a blessing. You are truly a  joy to be with and an overall wonderful person. Your cheerful smile and sunny outlook make my days complete. One hug from you can set my racing heart at ease.
You became a big sister to Noah this year. I've been proud to watch you be so loving, gentle and caring toward your brother. You've never been jealous or mean. You always seem so happy to see him and give him a kiss. He's lucky to have such a doting big sister!
I'm so proud of all the hard work you've done this year and am excited for all the fun things that are next. You started preschool today and I can tell you love it; so I'll do the next post about that. Preschool is only one exciting new adventure...many more are to come!
I want you to know that you are my shining star and always will be. You're a wonderful daughter, sister and friend. May this year bring you much joy and wonder. Thank you for being you---you make my every day all the more special because of that. I love you always and forever.
Happy third birthday Paigie.
I love you,

Proof that I was at the party

Nana and Grampa gave you some cool dino toys

We had your party at Jam Time and cousin M loved the dollhouse!

You got your arm painted with a frog and the other arm got a dinosaur

Grammie got in the ball pit with you and cousin C while a friend played too

The Farm toy set is always a hit!
Nana and Grampa came too...and hung out with baby Noah

The toy train and table hockey are always fun

Guests enjoyed fun stuff to do

J.T. the Moose visited you. This is as close as you got.



Out of steam!

We got you a tricycle. You still can't pedal it yet, but you'll come around!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Deep and Simple

A few weeks ago, Chris was kind enough to record a documentary that aired on PBS called "Mr. Rogers and Me" for me (knowing that Mr. Rogers is a hero of mine). It was incredible! Moreso, it was very inspirational for me and set many ideas in motion (in my head, at least!).  Something Fred Rogers said to the documentary writer really stood out to me: "Deep and simple is so much more essential than shallow and complex." It was said in response to the writer's specific job at MTV.  That phrase seems to have many good uses for inspiration in all aspects of our lives, doesn't it? Give it some thought and see how it can apply to you!
For me, it is a great guide for mothering. Kids not only thrive in simplicity but through forging deep bonding relationships with them. It's not the toys they have, it's the time we spend. I find that the simplest activities hold the most impact. The simpler language is best understood. The simple pleasures are the most enjoyed. The quieter the home, the more smoothly the day goes.
When I allow myself to turn off the outside world and outside distractions (tv, internet, phones and noise) I can focus on my babies and on the kind of mother I most want to be. They know they have my full attention, even if it's more exhausting on my part. But when I feel overwhelmed (and Paige is running around in a nutty ball of fire), I realize it's usually because I am making things too complex...too shallow to have calming impact. The days are long, but the years are short. When I remind myself that this time with them is brief in the scope of life-- I want our time to be special and wonderful--magical things happen. I remember to simplify and everything falls back into place. It's easy to fall out of this practice, but I never beat myself up about it. I just hop back on the horse! By going deep in my bonds with my children, I believe they will become successful and responsible adults who can look fondly back on their childhoods and forge great bonds with others in THEIR lives. And I will have a treasure trove of memories to draw upon. I'm off to get back to it! See you soon!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012





Chris and Paige (mostly Chris) put out this year's mulch over the weekend. That pile still wasn't enough!
Chris and I have also gotten back into our "two date-nights per month" routine. We schedule with the babysitter at the beginning of the month so that it's planned and on the calendar (most likely to do it then!) Saturday night found us at the fancy mall doing some childless shopping (you know, the non-rushed kind where you can browse) and ate a long meal at the Cheesecake Factory where we went nuts over the taquitos. I love that man!
Next Saturday Paige turns 3. Oh my!

Friday, April 20, 2012


Today I have been dealing with this.


Someone's gotta do it! So much on my mind, but it's good y'all! I'll chat more next week!
Hugs for a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Noah's hands

Noah has discovered his hands today! At least, the left one.
Here's a boring video of him using his left to play with a toy. But it's a first, so I'm happy to have it documented, lol.

I had a successful doctor visit yesterday...I'm now on Celexa (waiting the 2-3 weeks for it to kick in) and she gave me Ativan to take as needed during "episodes." I tried one yesterday and that stuff is no joke. I will reserve it for sleepless nights. It made me way too sedated for functioning during the day. I looked drunk. Or better yet, I looked like Paula Abdul during her American Idol tirades. Creepy!

I'm excited to *hopefully* feel more relaxed and calm in the coming weeks. *happy dance!*

Monday, April 16, 2012


Hi friends!
Ugh. My pressing anxiety is back in full force. I wish it weren't so. At least I'm not also feeling depressed, so that's something!
It hit me like a wave...slowly until I finally realized it was happening when it crashed over my head and sent me underwater. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow morning and hopefully I'll come away with some medication that will make life manageable again. I so enjoy my life when I feel good. But every little thing is entirely overwhelming at the moment (and for the past while) and it sends me into fits of rage and frustration at the slightest things. Then, I feel guilty for yelling at P or freaking out at the dog. They don't deserve that. sigh. I wish it were something I could control. I've worked so hard at trying all the calming techniques I know. It truly is a chemical imbalance that I'm no match for.
God is helping me though. After crying a lot last night and praying, a thought popped into my head this morning. "I trusted My angels to your care while they are on Earth; I wouldn't have done it if I didn't think you were fit." Thank you, God. And, by the way, I have many friends that are looking forward to caring for more of Your angels if you want to send them along to wonderful Earlthly homes...but you know that already. I know you have big plans in motion.

I'm really looking forward to feeling like myself again and like I can DO things. (All I have been able to do is TALK about doing things). I'm looking forward to participating in life again once it doesn't feel like too much to handle.
Besides, I can't miss out on relishing moments like THIS can I?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

3 Months!

Noah 3 months
Dear Little N,

Hi Little Fella! Yesterday you turned 3 months old. What can I say? The time is flying by. (grumble). This past month you decided to start sleeping through the night more often. Thank you! It is so awesome, I cannot even describe it. You'll fall asleep, on average, by 8:00pm and wake up; on average, at 4:30 or 5am to eat. Then, you'll usually sleep until around 7 or 7:30. Sometimes you wake up earlier to eat, but as long as I'm getting decent sleep I'm happy! You know that about me. Your napping isn't regulated still are all over the place with it. But I read that it's normal for now and that pretty soon you'll start falling into a little routine.

In other news, you're growing so fast! You are already in your 6 month clothes and some of those are too short or snug. I have no idea how much you weigh, your next checkup is when you are 4 months old and I want the weight to be accurate so we'll just say you weigh a healthy amount for a baby!

You've started cooing at us and making fun little shrieks and squeals. Your smile is unequaled. You are quiet and serious a lot of the time, but if I catch you in the right mood you will smile on and on at me. It's like being in the glow of an angel, I promise you. It warms my heart when you look right into my eyes and grin or coo. I can already tell that you are sweet and gentle.

Hmmm. What other new things are you up to?

You have great neck control when we hold you up, but you have a bit of a struggle with tummy time. I blame your big head. :) I can pick on you because I have a big head too, see?
I notice you have started to find your hands and you attempt to suck on them and you make these loud smacking sound with your lips and tongue. If I put a toy in your hand for you, you'll hold it for a while. But you don't seem to notice or care much.

So that's your little update!
Having you in our lives has been such a joy, little Nut. You are such a pleasure to be with; we are all so lucky to know and love you. You're my snuggly little bear; my little sunshine. I love you for always and forever and being your Mama is a dream come true. With you close by, there's nothing I can't do.

I love you forever and always,

Hmm. That Mama is a crazy lady.
Noah 3 months

Friday, April 13, 2012

Books galore

Hi there! As promised, I am back today to share my favorite books that have gotten me through some tough moments with a young baby!

I consider these to be MUST-HAVES. We're talking MUST READ BEFORE baby arrives. This way, when something perplexes you, you may have something you've read about pop into your mind to help you. I wish I'd read all these before I had Paige, but I read them once I was desperate for help during her scream fits. Once I read these, I was able to curb our issues and move forward smoothly. Yay!

1. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
This is my FAVORITE. It's very "sciencey" in the beginning. I read some of it and wanted to snore, so I skipped to the parts about the baby; newborn through 4 months. That's what's great about this can skip around and read what is going to be helpful for you in the moment without having to read the whole thing in order. I've followed his techniques to the letter and the kiddos are great sleepers thus far. I use it even now for Paige and am refreshing my reading now that Noah is in the mix. It's comforting and full of tips when you are at wits end about a new issue that pops up (inevitably).

2. Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
This book is another MUST before baby arrives. If you are adopting an older child, you may not need this one. It's specific to newborn/more early infancy. This book focuses on how to most efficiently and effectively SOOTHE your baby when fussy or upset. It discusses the famous "5 S's"...Swaddle, Side, Swish/Sway, Shhhh, and Suck. But, it's not just knowing these that helps. It's HOW to do them properly and effectively and in exact order. For example, I was swaying Paige, but never in the right way. Once I followed the book's suggestions, she would settle right away. And I use all the techniques with Noah to soothe him before sleep time and he hasn't had any crying fits/rages. He's 3 months old tomorrow! Again, read this book before baby arrives and you'll be totally prepared from day one!

3. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg
This one is a combination of books 1 and 2 above. But, there's lots of other advice and information in it that I found very helpful. She mentions keeping to a sort of routine each day to maintain sanity, order and expectation for you and baby. I loved having this book in tandem with the others. You can read it before baby and it's helpful once baby has lots of great simple advice and I highly recommend it!

4. Supernanny: How to get the best from your children by Jo Frost
This book has been helpful with Paige when she was about a year old and beyond. It discusses more about good hygiene habits, eating, discipline, etc. It's written in a really simple and helpful way. Not a must-have, but I feel it's a good read.

Of course, I have the "What to Expect" series...helpful, but the small anecdotes always leaving me wanting more information. I prefer the Dr. Spock sort of medical manuals for the nuts & bolts of baby/child care. The information is a little more expanded and a bit easier to find.

So, those are my top picks! I've read a ton of different books, but those are my "bibles" and feel that you can conquer anything with them. LOL.
Hope you find this little list helpful!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Favorite Items

Hi friends!
I'd promised to do a post about some of my favorite baby products we've used...the things we've found to be essential in the care of our little ones. Because it's just me here all day, I don't have a chance to gather photos of each thing...I'm sorry for that. But, I figure a list is better than nothing!
1. Some sort of stroller:
With Little P we used an Orbit stroller and car seat combo. We loved it!! But, the bucket seat is EXTREMELY heavy. Nonetheless, we loved it and it even glided through the sand at the beach no problem.
Now, we are using a Joovy's a "stroller and a half" where it fits Noah's bucket seat (a borrowed Graco EasyRide) and has a place for Paige to stand in back. She may also choose to use the little seat it has. It seems uncomfortable for her, but she always likes to sit and doesn't seem to mind. I like that Paige has the option to ride as well, but the stroller isn't as large as a double stroller. It's so easy to open and close too. But, I've found it doesn't glide through the sand at our local beach/pond as easily. Can't have it all!
2. Baby Carrier: I LOVE the Ergo baby carrier. You can choose to hold baby to the front, hip, or back. The down side is that it really is more convenient when the baby is 5 months old and his hips can go to either side of the carrier. There's a way for him to ride inside at a younger age if you use an infant insert. This option has worked out fine, but I prefer to use the Baby Bjorn for these early months. It's just easier to get him in and out at this size. So, we'll use this until he gets much bigger, then it will be the Ergo.
3. Crib: Neither kiddo used a bassinet or anything else. The first night was all about the crib and learning that this is where sleep happens. It's worked out great!
4. Baby Monitor: If you have a larger house and feel the need, we love our Sony 900 MHz BabyCall Nursery Monitor with Receivers. It's not a video monitor (I don't need more to obsess over) and the sound is crystal clear. It's never had any problem with reception and is never "fuzzy sounding." We keep one receiver downstairs so we can listen in the evenings, and one stays in our bedroom.
5. Sound Machine: We live within decent earshot of a freight train that has a different daily schedule. Day or night, I don't need it waking up the kiddos. So, they each sleep with white noise. We LOVE the Brookstone Tranquil Moments Sound Machine for Baby. The quality is absolute and the sound options are great (there's even a "mother's heartbeat" and a "car" option!)
6. Miracle Blanket. I didn't use one with Paige until her 6 week fussies set in. It made all the difference and saved our lives. We used them with Noah from the start and he's never had problems with night-time fussiness and he is sleeping through the night now at under 3 months old. He naps well too. I would say that having 3 is a good to wash and a backup in case of spit ups or blow-outs. Never want to be caught without!
7. Bouncy seat with vibration: You need a place to lay the baby, and perhaps a place that has little toys when the baby is older and more interested. I like the soothing vibration option from time to time...some babies love it, some don't. They even make small swings that also vibrate and act as a bouncy seat in a small footprint! Great for having all the options when you aren't sure what baby will prefer.
8. A place for tummy time:
We use a Fisher Price rainforest theme playmat/Gym. Paige LOVED it and still does at almost 3! She fights Noah for it. LOL! Noah likes to lay there and do his tummy time and flip over to look at the toys. It's a nice place for entertaining.
9. Bottles: We use the Dr. Brown brand. Less gas, more parts to clean, but overall we've loved them.
10.High Chair: We love the Graco Blossom 4-in-1 High Chair. It serves you from the infant months all the way through to the young child years. It even comes apart to be a travel chair! Paige is currently using the booster portion, but we can still rig up the high chair portion for Noah when he's ready. Great if you have a roomy kitchen and plans for more than one child. If not, we like the Phil & Ted clip on chair. It's easy to use, you can take it with you everywhere (love it at restaurants!) and you can throw it in the wash. Part of me is considering just using this option for Noah, but we'll see what happens.

So, these have been our essentials. Don't forget to add a crap-load of bibs and kitchen-towel sized burp cloths (or larger! we like to use those little receiving blankets) and you're good to go!

I'll do my next post about my favorite "baby care" books. I've read a ton and have it narrowed down to my favorites that I still look at again and again and would recommend to every new parent or expecting parent.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Treasured Moment

Yesterday I poured Paige some orange juice into her requested "princess cup." She sort of snatched it from me to take a drink and I said "Ohhh, it seems to me that you forgot to say Thank You to Mama for your juice....what do you say?"
Paige: "Oooops?"

Bravo, Paige. Bravo.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Next Step

Hi friends!
I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Ours was fun and fabulous. Of course, now I feel like I need a weekend from my weekend. I bet many people feel the same way.
I wanted to share a little bit about what has been going on with Paige and her time with our state's Early Intervention program. Well, she's almost done! You see, when the child enrolled in the program turns 3, the services end. Her birthday is on the 28th of this month, so her time is coming to a close! Services do abruptly end, but the law makes it so that the kids can get continued care through their own town's public school system. Our town has a wonderful integrated public preschool where there are a mix of typically developing kids and kids with developmental delays of one kind or another. Paige was evaluated by their wonderful special education team to see if she qualified for their was an hour long assessment with little tests and games they did with her. And they observed her at her Friday playgroup time at daycare. Much to our relief, she qualified! I was excited to see she scored above average in her pre-academic skills and the high end of average for her speech and self-help skills. They did find that she still needs a lot of help in the social skills area and a bit in her motor planning. So, she will go to preschool 4 mornings per week (half-days). 2 of the days will have the full class of kids and 2 of the days will be a small group of kids who are working on specific skills. Yay! She'll also get a session of Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy each week. To top it off, they included the summer session in her plan so that she doesn't regress in any skills during what would be a long time off. Another nice thing for us is that we don't have to pay for this as it is provided by the town when the child qualifies. We are so lucky to be in a town that has a lot of support for special education. There are many towns that aren't as equipped and children who need services to help them succeed are not provided due to red tape and other various financial reasons. They are also providing bus service, so Paige will get to go to school and come home on her own! She's excited for the adventure of it all.
At first, I was feeling a bit sad about all this. I always pictured my child would start her first day of school when she was 5 and going off to kindergarten. I want her to stay home with me and be my baby for longer! Most of you reading this know what we went through to bring her into our lives! But, I need to remember to do what is best for her and set her up for success. That means putting my own selfish feelings aside for the good of her future. Now, I'm feeling thrilled about the chance she is getting! She will be getting direct one-on-one instruction in her small groups to learn how to play appropriately, share, introduce herself, have conversations, etc. She's going to be set up to make friends, have fun, and enjoy her days ahead. That makes me feel good.
So, when her 3rd birthday hits us soon, she must say goodbye to all the wonderful people (6 different people to be exact) who have helped her get caught up in her skills for the past year and a half. It makes me teary to think about. She has come to love these people, and they will just stop coming. But, she has a new adventure ahead with her new teacher (Ms. Anne) and I know she'll be just fine. Now I just need someone to console ME about all these changes!

Friday, April 6, 2012


I hope you all have a happy weekend! We are celebrating Easter and Paige will also be going to her buddy's birthday party. Fun is in the air! As is spring, thank GOD!

I have some thoughts on next week's posts...Paige has just completed her evaluation and transition process readying her for preschool (our local public integrated preschool). She qualified for 4 half-days per week and the summer program to prevent regression in her skills. We're thrilled! So, you'll hear more about that.

Also, I thought I would share my favorite baby products with you...after 2 kiddos I've determined our must-haves. Although, everyone's must-haves are different, aren't they? I'll share nonetheless.

"She must smell MY dog!"
maren and noah
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