Friday, September 26, 2014

closing out on week two

We are almost through with week two of life with Momma and three kiddos (and the Hubs, of course, when he gets home after work). We've certainly had our good moments and our bad, but we made it! The hardest part is not having a moments break until bedtime. The boys and Zelie don't have the same schedules, so when they are napping, she isn't. She's still a tremendously wonderful and easy going baby, but like all, or most, babies, they like to be held and need to be loved on. Yesterday for the first time I had a brief moment where she was asleep and the boys were watching part of a movie. But in that time, I had to get dinner cooking. They say nap when they nap. I'm pretty certain whoever first quoted that was not a mom of multiple children. Sure, you can maybe get a nap in while your only child naps, but when you have multiple children, especially on different schedules, that is just not possible. At any given "break" that is when the cooking, cleaning, bills and paperwork must get done.

We're dealing with things like picking up and saying whatever they hear, biting, fighting, wrestling, negotiating. But on top of that whole mix of crazy, we're dealing with an immense amount of sweetness. As the days and weeks go on, life will settle in more, a routine will develop and there will be a new normal. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

the journey to (post-pregnancy) better health

As you know, my baby number three was born almost exactly one month ago. And two years prior to that, babies one and two were born. My body never went back to the way it was on my honeymoon... and probably never will. But when I was pregnant with Z I knew I wanted to do something to get myself into better health and better shape again, and soon. I don't have a number I want to hit or an exact size, and I don't have a desire to be too skinny. I just want to feel good again, know my body is in a bit better shape and eat a little better... to make a more conscious effort this time around.

I also have the incentive that I have a matron of honor dress to fit into in a few months. The whole bridal party was fitted months ago... while I was about 40 lbs heavier with a huge baby belly! So I found out the latest I could go to still have my dress in time. Thankfully that was after Z arrived. I'm still not in the shape I am hoping to be in at my cousin's wedding, but at least the dress size will be somewhat more accurate. So it is a good reason to get the ball rolling!

I knew with my recovery time and help for only one week after Z arrived, that I wouldn't be able to do much exercising, so the progress had to begin with what we were eating. We eliminated all of the good stuff and all of my favorite things, like chocolate milk (which is like my glass of wine at night), pasta and goldfish crackers. And instead it's all water, salads, meats, fruits and veggies. Not that I don't like that stuff, but I'd appreciate a little variation with added goodies on occasions. So we are doing a kick start for 30 days to eat super strict and healthy. And then after that, re assess how we feel and adjust our diet, maybe adding in a treat or two. And at that point, I can get to exercising a bit more. I'd love to be able to easily take the three littles for a walk each day, but our neighborhood isn't really walking three kids friendly for an out of shape momma! Too hilly!

So, we are 11 days into eating healthier and it is going pretty well so far. I do miss my chocolate milk and wish it could pop in the diet even just a few nights a week. You know, after the really stressful days with the little ones. I am also really wishing we could add in a few spice muffins, pumpkin breads, etc... the warm, homemade treats we love to enjoy in the fall. The treats you love to wake up to with a warm cup of coffee, the cool air flowing through the open windows with your Autumn Leaves candle burning. Ahhh, such sweet thoughts. ;) Once our 30 days are up, maybe we can add that in once a week.

I certainly don't think I could do this without the Hubs doing it with me. To lessen the stress of it, I don't have the boys eating this way. They eat what we do for dinner, but if they want chicken nuggets for lunch, or it is a quick day I need to make something fast, they get the good food they like, like cereal for breakfast.

This is what my meals look like:
 And this is what I would like them to look like:
My neighbor had a baby two weeks after I had Z and I made her family a meal and while I was baking the bread and making the pasta I was salivating. I wanted to tear up slightly after I dropped it next door and walked home to make our carb-less meal.

So, we will see what the next couple weeks look like. I think we will survive! No, I know we will survive! The harder part is going to be putting exercise in. With little free time, already waking up early and going to bed late, not having the same nap times, and just the hate of exercising, it will be hard.

For any mommas out there that have had to make adjustments to get back to better health after a baby, do you have good tips for fitting things in, healthy eating or just tips in general how you bounced back? I'd love to hear!

Monday, September 22, 2014

momma mondays: oh momma! you dressed!

For the past few weeks since Z has been with us, I am trying to figure out life with three littles. And for the past almost two weeks, I am trying to develop a new routine without the help I had for the first week. I could easily fit a shower in or heck, even brush my teeth when we had family around to help out each morning. But now, with it being just me and the three little ones in the mornings, their schedules don't line up right for me to do any of that first thing in the morning. And, sometimes it doesn't line up right in the afternoon at the boys nap time either.

It really gets to me after a few days when I can't get ready in the morning for the day. I don't even need to get all fancied up, but to just feel good, that helps. So this past week I wasn't able to work out getting ready until a bit later and I hated it. I was feeling awful about myself and about the day. But, yesterday, nap times lined up and I actually had a little bit of time to shower and brush my teeth. The boys took their long nap and Z took just a long enough snooze to get those two things done. I was so pleased.

And so was Will.

When he woke up from his nap, he looked up at me and said, "Oh Momma! You dressed!"
My two year old noticed I actually got dressed and was no longer in my sweats or pjs.

I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. Had I been that bad that even he noticed? I knew then that I had to figure out some sort of plan to get a shower in first thing, without messing ups little sleep I did get. So I figured I would make the attempt to set my alarm for a time that they might still be asleep and try for tomorrow morning. The boys don't always wake up at the same time so it might be tricky, but I'm going to give it a whirl.

So, to all you Mommas of little ones, how do you find and make the time to get yourself ready each morning? Do you have any little things that you do that make you feel better starting your day right? I'd welcome any tidbits of help while I figure out our days with my sweet ones.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

hold your loved ones a little closer

Last Sunday my Dad's younger brother passed away very unexpectedly. He spent the day as he normally would with his family and went out to mow the grass on his tractor that afternoon. My Aunt went out to bring him water and found him sitting back on the tractor, peaceful looking, but he has passed. He was a healthy man with no problems that anyone had known of. They are suspecting he had a heart attack. If you would, please keep our whole family in your prayers.

The picture above was the last time I had seen him. Since we lived so far away from each other, family visits became harder and harder over the years as his kids were busy as was our new and growing family. I am very thankful we had this sweet time with him and he was able to enjoy moments with Gus and Will. And we had wonderful memories a few years back at our wedding. I am so thankful he was able to be there.
My life has so many memories of and with my uncle scattered throughout and I will cherish those always. All of our hearts are broken with sadness right now, but we are able to hold on to each of our special memories of him to help us get through the grief.

One small but special memory for me with him was our mutual love of photography. I think we would both compete for who took the most photos at family events. We both could easily get snap happy with our cameras and I loved that! Even though we had a wonderful photographer at our wedding, my uncle snapped a few special memories that I will treasure even more now after his passing. He had great joy in capturing my special day for me. Below are a few memories he captured.

Arriving at the church and seeing my bridesmaids outside waiting with a few other special people.
Getting out of the limo with my Dad.
Possibly one of my favorite memories... Walking through the double doors, with a huge smile on my face, to walk down to my love when my veil got caught on the door. I leaned back as to not rip it and he caught that moment on film.
I am so very glad he was not only there to celebrate our special day with us, but was there to capture some of the happiest moments of my life.
You never know how long you have with a loved one. They may pass unexpectedly like my uncle, or have a long and tiring battle. Keep in touch with your loved ones, especially those far away or those you don't see often. Treasure the moments you do have while you have them. 

The death of my young uncle caught us all completely off guard and we are still in the state of shock while we grieve, but it really makes me think of how short life can be. Live it well, live it right, live it intentionally.

Like I said earlier, please keep all of our family in your prayers as we get through this hard time, especially his wife, three sons and daughter. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

six months

It has been six months.
 Some days it feels like an eternity ago. Others, like it was just yesterday.
And there are even some days that the feeling that it didn't happen wash over me. 
 I looked at one of the few pictures I have of my Popa with Gus and Will and just stopped and stared. He's gone.

 There will be no more faxes from him sending an article, no more calls to Gus wanting to bet $1 on an upcoming football game, no more cute greeting cards with scratch tickets inside, no more funny notes on random paper written in his black or red pen, no more phone calls to share the latest story of the boys... and now girl, no more breakfasts in their kitchen when he sneaks food he shouldn't eat, no more spills all over his freshly cleaned shirts, no more "glory be's"... no more new memories.
 My heart aches for my grandmother, figuring out for the first time in sixty plus years how to live without him. It aches for my mom and her sisters, knowing their sweet Dad, one of their very best friends is gone and not a visit or phone call away. It aches for the son-in-laws who were always his sons, without the in-law. For the grandkids, all six of us, not having our Popa cheering us on for the latest sport or school project, for the new job, for the hard day of a mom, whatever it may have been. It aches for my husband and my cousins' future spouses that they won't have all the years of love and fond memories that we did. It aches for Gus and Will, that they didn't get to make memories with him; that they really only met him once. For Zelie, that there was no connection with her Great Popa. He knew he would be a Great Popa again, but not to a sweet little girl. For John who just got married to his sweet bride that Popa loved, and for Leanne who is getting married in just a few months to her best friend, who Popa also loved. For the fact that they won't have the precious and treasured moments I was blessed with having with him at my wedding. He will be there. At weddings, at births of new babies, at each and every moment... in our hearts.

 The ache is there in so, so many ways. But I do know he will forever be a part of all of our lives. And we will never forget him. 
 His stories, his specialties in the kitchen, his traditions, his example, his love...
 it will all go on.
 For generations.
 Popa, life has changed so much for all of us since you left us. 
Months have passed with Nana living with Mom and Dad and I hope you are looking down on them as they take care of your sweet wife like you did for so many years of your life.
 We miss you, but know you are still a big part of all of our lives, in our hearts, in our memories and always in our prayers.
 Love you Pops!

Friday, September 5, 2014

quick vists are better than no visits

If you've been a follower for a while, you know that the Hubs whole family lives in the Northeast, as well as most of my family. The only family we have here are my parents, now my grandmother, and my Dad's sister and her family. While we love living down south, we certainly miss our family far away.

Two people in particular are my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. I dream of the days where we live close by (preferably in the south - wink) to each other. Not only do the Hubs and I enjoy their company, but so do our kiddos. They always have great fun with their aunt and uncle... their only aunt and uncle by blood relation. I wish the boys could grow up with them around regularly. But since they don't, we make the best of the distance.

They couldn't be here for Zelie's actual arrival, but they came and spent this past Monday and Tuesday with us. After they arrived on Monday, everyone (except Z and I) went out to lunch and then they took the boys to the zoo for a while and came back and we enjoyed hanging out for the evening at the house. And on Tuesday we went out to lunch. It was my first little outing since Z's birth. I really enjoyed it. My Hubs sweet mom stayed in the car with Zelie and Gus, since he was taking a good long nap and the four of us and Will had a very enjoyable lunch together. I wish we could do these outings together more frequently. Unfortunately, I am guessing the next time we are all together is at Christmas. 

For my readers who live far away from family and loved ones, what do you do to make the distance sweeter?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

meet zelie

We are still not evenly split, this party of five, but a little extra feminine sweetness joined us.
Zelie Sofia was born on non other than August 28th, the very same birthday as her older brothers.
Now Gus, Will and Zelie all have something in common. Guaranteed. Forever.

8 pounds, 2 ounces and 20 1/4 inches of sweetness entered our lives at 8:42 am last Thursday. Her due date was today, but things happened for us a week early. She is the sweetest and calmest little one. Things are certainly different with her.

One baby is so different than two. So much easier. I'm not saying that all of you with one baby have it easy because babies are always a lot of work. But going from having two the first time around to one has been a dream. I also had a really bad recovery from the boys and this time I bounced back better and much faster.

The boys are such wonderful and sweet older brothers. I knew they were sweet boys, but it went to a whole new level when their baby arrived. They are sweet and tender and very attentive to her needs. I love watching them love on her.

I have family here helping me adjust and recover, and that has been a complete blessing. I'm not allowed to pick up the boys and put them in and take them out of their crib so help will be needed for a little bit, but I am looking forward to knowing what our new normal is going to become. What will our new routine be as a stay-at-home momma to three kiddos 2 and under?

I'm hoping to eventually get back into a good groove of blogging more regularly, but I have to see how our routine plays out before that happens. I wanted to introduce you to our little one though! Stick around and I'll be back!