Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Whoa.... over 2 years.

I didn't intend to let this blog die, but it did.  I've started a bunch of posts, but they never got finished.   For the past few years, my iPhone and Instagram have replaced writing here.  But now for the first time in a long time, I've found myself fighting boredom (more on that soon), so I'm back.  The blog needs a refresh.  Or maybe I'll just move somewhere else and start over entirely.  I can't decide.  But I have some things to say, so one way or another I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Complaining is not conversation so I went silent.

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So where have I been?  Huh.  Well, to say that 2014 was a little crazy is a wild understatement.  2014 was hard in ways I didn't expect.  After Olive was born (the highest of highs for the year), it felt like we were constantly on the go.  In April I went back to work and Rykert stayed home on parental leave.  We were starting to get into a groove and then it was time for him to go back.  We had finally adjusted to that change and the dual daycare drop-offs when, in early September, he ripped his hamstring and the surgery and recovery relegated him to crutches for 2 months.   Phew.  Then it was time for the holidays.  I think we're just now finally getting our bearings.

It's been hard to figure out how to care for 2 kids with very different needs, work full-time, manage my husband's opposite night shift schedule, keep the house from looking like an episode of Hoarders, and cook dinner (most) every night.  Plus, because I lack judgment, I signed Scout up for dance and swim lessons this fall.   Adding extra crazy.  I spent a few months in pure survival mode.  And Olive is a happy and sweet baby with many adorable and charming traits and we couldn't love her more, but she has not been a champion sleeper.  There were a few months where I was functioning on less than 4 hours of sleep.  I complained about it, but I know the day is coming when she won't want me to rock her so I tried to remember that as much as I could.  Because those baby moments?  They're already fading away.   She's finally, at almost 1 year, turned the corner on sleep and things have improved, and it's amazing what reliable sleep can do for everyone.  We realized the poor thing has had fluid behind her ears for a long time and her ear infections aren't clearing up, so she's getting a shiny set of tubes next week.

Now don't get me wrong.  We've had lots of help from family and from our capable and reliable daycare, and Rykert, when able-bodied, is a champion co-parent.  But I still don't know if I'm coming or going some days.  A couple of weeks ago I drove to daycare to drop the girls off even though they were at home with Rykert that morning and I had just kissed them goodbye minutes before.  I spent 5 minutes in the parking lot last week trying to unlock and open my car door only to realize, way later than normal, that it was not, in fact, my car.   I think we're finally finding our groove and finding a true routine.  So it hasn't been easy.  No one said it would be.  But it's been worth it, more than I could have imagined, and I'm coming out of the fog. Which brings me to the blog...

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Last spring, something(s) had to give.  I was killing myself trying to do everything or at least trying to do everything at the same time.    Sometimes, things have to take a back seat.  Taking care of myself and my family always take the priority.  Work next.  And unfortunately, the blog, and a few other things, fell off the list entirely.  There just weren't enough hours in the day when I was collapsing in bed at 8:30, up 3 or more times each night, and then at work all day.  So instead of blogging with excuses and complaining about how tired I was, things just went completely silent.

But I'm back.  I think.  Maybe.  At least I'm going to give it a try.   I've been spending most of my social media time on Instagram.  In fact, I read very few blogs these days.  Instagram and Pinterest help filter the blog content I actually want to see, because there's a lot more noise on the internet than there was when I started my internet addiction in the early 00s.

Which leads me to another point.  Blogs.  When I started blogging in 2004 (holy cow that's 10+ years ago), blogs were just online journals of varying quality.  People primarily shared their hobbies and interests, their fandom, and their political observations.  Very few people were making money from their blog in the beginning.  But blogs have gotten slick and monetized and fancy.  And, in my opinion, there generally isn't always a direct correlation between these changes and quality of the content.  There's a lot of really poor writing (that people think is book deal worthy) on blogs (maybe you think this is one of those), and in some instances, a general denigration of content driven by the need to post X times a week to keep traffic up.  In short, blogging became a big (sometimes) money business and little hobby spaces like this don't seem to have a niche anymore.

So I really don't know what is to become of this space.  Oddly enough, this blog still gets fairly significant traffic, particularly for a basically defunct blog.  This is thanks, entirely, to traffic coming from Pinterest on a few tutorials I've done over the years (e.g., the mermaid tail, all the costumes).   It's amazing to me, really.  And exciting.  I'd love to do more so I can write more, but doing and writing take time.

Finally, I need to add that I'm very cognizant that my whining in the first few paragraphs is representative of first world problems in the first degree.  This has not been a crisis.  I am beyond lucky to have two healthy kids, a stable job, food on our table, clean water, and more than we need.  And I'm certainly not implying that staying at home full-time would have been any easier, because it's all work.  And balance.  And working outside the home or staying home, it's all hard sometimes.

Back soon.... I hope.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dipping my toe...

I started writing a reflective post explaining to my blog reader(s?) where I had been.  It was going to be fantastically insightful and poignant.  I swear.

But honestly, I'm just stopping by to say I've been thinking a lot about how I miss blogging, writing really.  About how instagram is great, but not the same?  So I think I'll be back soon.  2014 was kind of crazy in lots of ways, but 2015 is the year that I am going to get my shit together.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

3 Months

Dear Olive,


Today you are 3 months old.  And you are a peanut.  At your 2 month appointment, where you received your first round of shots and took it like a champ, we learned that you were still pretty little, 9 pounds and 9 ounces.  You were gaining weight, but not as fast as they would like to see.  I would like to say that this caught me by surprise, but it didn't.  Since you were about a month old, and maybe even before, you've been fighting the bottle.  You rarely act hungry and you swat the bottle away.  You rarely eat more than a couple of ounces.  After that appointment, I started tracking everything you ate in a detailed spreadsheet.  Give me a date, and I can tell you when you had a bottle and how much you ate.  The experts suggest that 20 ounces of formula a day is a bare minimum.  In the month that we've been tracking, you have only hit 20 ounces one day and instead average somewhere around 17.5 if we are lucky.

We tried different bottles - fancy anti-colic bottles to simple bottles, and you had no preference.  We tried nipples of every shape, size, and flow rate, and it made no difference.  We tried different temperatures of formula, and you had no discernible preference.  We tried waking you up in the night to eat, and you did not like that at all.  Neither did we.  We tried homeopathic gas drops, burping more often, burping less often, feeding you while you slept, feeding you outside, feeding you more often and less often, feeding you while you sat up, feeding you while we walked around the house.  In short, it feels like we've tried everything.  And I'm coming to the conclusion that, maybe, you just don't want to eat anymore.  I've been a slow learner on this point.


You aren't quite sleeping through the night, but we need to try to give you that extra bottle anyway, even though you don't usually eat much because you'd rather just get cozy and go back to sleep.  This past week we started transitioning you to your crib.  You've been pretty happy sleeping in the rock 'n play sleeper and the swing, but we have to transition eventually and your sleep hit a brief regression last week anyway.  You are doing pretty well with the transition.  You start the night off in the crib and will sleep about 5 hours without a peep.  We're going to keep working to get you used to it.

We will go in next week to see how much weight you've gained.  Perhaps you are just going to be petite and you don't have a huge appetite?  Maybe, but I want to make sure there isn't something else we can do to make you eat more.

You are holding your head up really well.  It's still a little wobbly and you get tired, but it's strong.  A couple of weeks ago you started rolling over from your tummy to your back.  And from your back, you can almost get all the way over.  It won't be long before you are doing that consistently too.  You are as happy as you can be and smile at the slightest funny sound or face.  All of this suggests that your weird eating habits are just an anomaly, because you are clearly growing strong.   You found your hands a few weeks ago and often wring them together or stuff them in your face.

Other firsts this month: first Easter, first Mother's Day and trip to the zoo.

Olive 04

Your big sister is still very curious about you, but mostly doesn't have time because she is so busy being 3.  She likes to help with your bath and always asks where you are if you aren't with us.  And I'm enjoying pulling all of our adorable clothes out and dressing you up.

It had to be done.  A recreation of the time I made Scout wear a flower bigger than her head.  A tradition like no other.   I may have to re-shoot in a couple of weeks, but the resemblance, is... non-existent.

It is a tradition, apparently, to sit with a very large flower on your bed in a yellow chair in a fluffy dress.  You and your sister are almost the exact same age in this picture.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Olive's Birthday

As you can see, I'm catching up by finishing a publishing a bunch of blog posts that were in various stages.  When Scout was born, I posted about her weird delivery, so I thought it was only right that I do the same for Olive.  You know, so she can be embarrassed some day.  And I took a lot of the posts I wrote for Scout and put them in her yearly photo books.  I wrote most of this months ago, but then didn't post it thinking instead that I needed some distance...

I had a pretty easy pregnancy with Olive.  My body just adapted pretty well, and other than the minor aches and pains I felt good.  But by the last few weeks, I was ready to be done.  But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I had some anxiety about delivering this baby.  Scout, although overdue and induced, arrived after a very quick labor.  And this time, I was worried about the logistics of Rykert at work overnight and getting someone to watch Scout and getting to the hospital.  I talked to my doctor about it, and she said, "Yeah, I don't want you giving birth in the revolving doors of the hospital."  We laughed.  But in all honesty, I did not want to have this baby at home, or in the car, or in an ambulance.   But at my 39 week appointment on February 12, I didn't appear to be very close to giving birth so she said we'd wait another week before considering an induction.  She did remind me to not wait to get to the hospital because I needed a dose of antibiotics for GBS and had the history of a quick labor.  Aye Aye Captain.

38 weeks.
38 weeks.  One week before.

But by the next day, I felt extremely "off" while at work.  I couldn't put my finger on it.  I was getting a few low sharp pains, but nothing that I would describe as contractions.  My co-workers noted that I didn't look like I felt very well.  I felt nearly confident that I was having a Valentine's baby.  But by the next morning, I just felt pregnant.  I worked from home just in case and because it was snowing, but nothing.  We celebrated Valentine's Day by ordering pizza and starting garden seeds.  It was a full moon.

I woke up at about 3 a.m. on Saturday morning with incredible pressure.  It kept coming, and it took a few trips in and out of bed before I realized that they may be contractions.  (Any contractions I felt with Scout, though they never registered on the hospital monitor, occurred in an Ambien-induced haze.)  I started timing them and they were about 5-10 minutes apart but only moderately intense.  At 4 a.m., I got up and did some sewing to see if they passed and to take my mind off of it.  At 5ish, I woke Rykert up and he sprang into action.  My sister came over to sit with Scout and we headed to Labor & Delivery.  I was pretty confident that this was the real thing so we even brought our bags.  The contractions continued, but I was able to walk and talk.  They got me hooked up to the monitors where I saw the reassuring heartbeat of the baby, but it didn't register a single contraction.  The resident checked me and said that I was only 3cm and that my water had not broken.  They said that I should go home and come back once they got worse or my water broke, whichever came first.  Or, in the alternative, they said I could sit and wait another hour or so and re-check.  It was pretty clear that they thought I should go home.  So we did.  I was nearly in tears as we left.  I had explained to them how their monitor was up high but I didn't feel anything up there, only down low.  I had explained how I had a wickedly fast labor with my first baby.  But I didn't feel like they were listening and it was clear she hadn't looked at my chart.  So homeward bound.  This is my only regret.  I should've trusted myself and stayed.

On the way home, we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts, but before we got to the drive-thru the pain was even more intense and I was in tears.  So we went home.  My sister left, and almost immediately the pain became unbearable.  I laid in bed, got in the tub, knelt on the floor, sat down, but I couldn't get comfortable.  There weren't contractions to time as much as it was just constant pain and pressure.  Around 8ish while laying in bed I heard and felt a "pop" and then I stood up and my water broke.  I told Rykert who raced into action getting Scout dressed, throwing Scout's stuff into a bag, and calling my sister to meet us at the hospital.

We drove to the hospital, and at this point it felt like a bad scene from a sitcom.  We broke every traffic law on the way there, and then Rykert dropped me off alone at the skywalk in the parking ramp where I sat down in a wheelchair and waited.  I was a mess. My sister arrived first and was ready to push me upstairs, when Rykert came flying down the stairs with Scout who, at this point, was scared and confused.  He passed Scout off, and then hurried me upstairs.  Seriously, it was like a sitcom.  Once we were back in L&D, I got gowned up, again, and back into the bed and hooked back up to the monitors.  It was 9:42 a.m.  I noticed immediately that the baby's heart rate was lower than it had been just a couple of hours earlier.  We didn't have our bags or a camera or anything.  It was freezing cold and I'd left the house without socks and wearing Birkenstocks and holding my coat.

A different doctor (thankfully) came in a few minutes later and hearing me describe the pain and seeing the baby's heart rate she said, "The baby's heart rate has dropped because she's in the canal.  I'll check you but you are ready to have this baby."  She checked and immediately said, "I feel a baby."  She had Rykert push the call button and she called for the entire team of doctors to come into the tiny triage room.  The doors had to be wide open to make room and I felt completely exposed.

Now, I wish I could say that at this point I was cool, calm, and collected.  But I was actually more on the hysterical end of the spectrum.  I panicked.  I cried.  I asked for drugs.  I said I couldn't do it.  It wasn't pretty, that I'm sure of.  I grabbed a fleece arm that I thought was Rykert's and said, "No."  But then a nice doctor got into my face and told me there was nothing they could do but get this baby out.  So I closed my eyes, shut my mouth, and pushed once, maybe twice, and then I heard Rykert say, "Libby! She's here! Look!"  So I looked down and there she was, all funny looking laying on my chest.  She didn't cry at first but the nurse worked to get her cleaned up and warmed up.  The room was so tiny that they had to take her to the hall where a warmer bed was set up.  Eventually they made room for her bed, and rolled her back in.  I looked over and thought immediately that she looked just like Scout.

This is the most unnerved I have ever seen him.  It was a frantic morning.
Note the tiny little room.

Time of birth, 9:48. 16 minutes later.  So I guess it wasn't the revolving doors as much as it was almost the freezing cold parking lot skywalk in front of my 2 year old.  Seriously.

I finally got to hold her.
I don't really believe in birth plans, because they start from an underlying assumption that something like this can be planned and then organized to follow that plan.  All I really cared about was a healthy baby and a healthy me.  Other than that,  I didn't want to give birth some place I was responsible for cleaning.  I wanted drugs, if at all possible.  I didn't want them to use the vacuum thing. I wanted to get the antibiotics to relieve myself of any GBS worries (I didn't get them, again).  During our short 28 hour hospital stay (unlike with Scout, I walked to my recovery room and then immediately said, "I wanna go home"), everyone told me that I made it look easy.   I'm sure this type of frantic delivery is better than most other varieties, because I couldn't imagine having that pain for one second longer.  But it was scary.  I did most of the worst parts of labor all by myself in my bathroom while I could hear Rykert distracting Scout downstairs watching hockey.  The whole time I was thinking that it must get so much worse since I wasn't very close an hour ago.  So it wasn't the birth I had hoped for.  I don't have any glowy pictures to show you of all of us right afterwards, because we didn't even have a camera.  And I felt a little like I had PTSD for a few days afterward. Sort of a general feeling of, "What in the hell just happened?"  Apparently this is what they call a "Drive By" in L&D.  You don't even get a real room.  But at least it wasn't the revolving doors.

And all of that is to say that when you look over at this...


It's hard to have any regrets about any of it or to say that any of what I've written above really matters.  If nothing else, it's just a good story.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Making a return...

I'm coming back.  I'm going to be doing some catch up over the next few days to try to memorialize some things.  And then hopefully I'll be back with something that doesn't just scream - HEY LOOK AT MY KID.  In the meantime, you might see some posts pop up that are back dated...

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Dear Scout,

Today you are three years old.  And just like two months flew by with Olive, three years have passed in the blink of an eye.  And at three you are becoming a big girl.  You talk a mile a minute, tell knock-knock jokes, and just have lots of great ideas.

Birthday Girl 12
It was a good birthday, but by the end you were a mess.
We are still working on the potty training, and you may be the most stubborn child that has ever lived.  But we are trying.  I think one day you will just decide that you are done with diapers and that will be it.  I hope.  Soon the Paci Fairy will be coming too.

Scout Running

I asked you these questions the other night...

Scout at Three

  1. Favorite Color: Pink and Purple 
  2. Favorite Toy: My baby (knit doll that you take to bed every night) 
  3. Favorite Fruit: Banana 
  4. Favorite Thing to Watch: Daniel Tiger (in reality, you have been watching a lot of Barney and Caillou) 
  5. Favorite Thing to Eat for Lunch: Cheese Roll-up (melted cheese rolled up in a tortilla) 
  6. Favorite Thing to Wear: Pink Star Wars t-shirt 
  7. Favorite Game: Babies and blankets (it’s basically play acting nap time at day care with lots and lots of dolls; you've been playing this for 2 years) 
  8. Favorite Snack: Granola Bar (I thought you would say marshmallows) 
  9. Favorite Animal: Dog 
  10. Favorite Song: Twinkle, Twinkle 
  11. Favorite Book: Barbie Loves Weddings 
  12. Best Friend: Penny and Abby (at day care) 
  13. Favorite Thing to Do Outside: Play with pink car 
  14. What Do You Take To Bed At Night: baby, blankie, and teddy (and paci) 
  15. Favorite Drink: Milk and apple juice and water 
  16. Favorite Thing to Eat for Breakfast: Pancakes (also eggs with ketchup) 
  17. What Do You Want for Dinner for Your Birthday: cake 
  18. What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up: Firefighter (you are currently talking about firefighters at day care)

You crack us up with the things you say, and you have a lot of things to say.  You love to play pretend: restaurant, grocery store, kitchen, babies.  You love to be outside, but the weather hasn't been very nice this spring.


For weeks and weeks before your birthday, you told me you wanted a princess cake.  But a week before your birthday you went to the grocery store with Emily and saw an Easter Bunny cake, and so you started saying that you wanted a pink bunny cake.  So a pink bunny cake you received.  But in the end, you didn't eat any cake.

Cake 05

You are a great big sister.  If Olive fusses, you rush to give her her paci.  But most of the time you are way too busy to play her baby games.

So Happy Birthday Miss Scout!  You make our days pretty fantastic and fun.

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