Currently, Vol. 7

Listening:

To the rare sound of silence as both girls are simultaneously napping. Rare, as of the last week or so. You see, our dear resident 2.5 year old has been throwing some crazy curve-balls into her normally completely predictable and beautiful napping routine. This is the baby who never napped, then finally learned to sleep on her own at about a year, and from then on took about 2 two-hour naps daily until 16 months, after which time she has slept nearly 3 hours every afternoon, not just willingly but joyfully, often requesting nap time.

Until last Sunday. In the last 7 days, she took 3 total naps. Ensue hand-wringing, apocalypse-is-nigh texts to Tom every sleepless afternoon, and a general feeling that my world was crashing down. It’s safe to say my sanity rests heavily on my children’s sleep patterns.

I guess that all of the sudden she’s just an older toddler, and for some reason, her normal 12:45- 3:45 nap time of bliss isn’t working anymore (sob). The extreme and sudden sleep loss made her exceedingly peevish the last week, which meant a vicious cycle of wanting to “sleep” around 10:30 am (really just an excuse to liaison with her beloved paci [only allowed in her bed] while she fooled around in her room), scream and whine and refuse lunch, sort of agree to lay down around 1, and then never fall asleep. The handful of times she has napped, it has been much later than her previous naptime, so I’m trying to really keep her occupied with playing and activities until about 1:45 so she won’t fight her nap for hours. All I know is, she’s way too young to drop a nap altogether, and as previously mentioned, my sanity depends on it.

Eating:

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Lucy’s undying love for chicken soup, documented in this photo she asked me to take.

Lots of soups. I make a chicken soup about every other week, which both girls (but especially Lucy) really, really love. Then I use the broth to make another soup, a risotto, or whatever.

I made this Homemade Instant Noodle Bowl for lunch (with rice) and it was awesome. We also make this frequently and this too (add cheddar cheese!).

I’d like to start making more of our snacks as opposed to buying them but…y’know. Ideal vs. reality and all that.

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We did finally bake the requisite fall pumpkin muffins

We did finally bake the requisite fall pumpkin muffins

Planning:

September and October have officially been the craziest, busiest months for us, with every weekend booked. That is typical I guess, with the new school year for Tom and the thousands of extra tasks it entails for him (multiple back-to-school nights, tons of parent meetings, tons of student advisory meetings, first progress reports and the inevitable insane parent fall-out…ahem…concern, Open House, etc). Glad to be done with these months. Also glad to see a much emptier November calendar so far.

But we still try to sneak in small family "adventures" and outings, like this pre-grocery shopping visit to the newly opened gluten-free bakery down the street.

But we still try to sneak in small family “adventures” and outings, like this pre-grocery shopping visit to the newly opened gluten-free bakery down the street.

Gestating:

A 24 week baby. About to buy this. Thinking about investing time in doing yoga stretches. Avoiding bending over as much as possible, which isn’t really realistic with two toddlers who leave a trail of clutter behind them at all times.  Finding that napping is pretty much never an option since they girls now are back on opposite sleeping schedules for the most part and I just can’t do a 15 minute nap (it would take me at least that long to even fall asleep). Feeling lots of kicks and rolls and the occasional weird elbow scraping (it is such a weird feeling. And uncomfortable. Lena was the queen of doing that in utero).

Clicking:

Before You Even Ask from Barista Mommy. Couldn’t have said it better!

And a sweet gum ad (I know, but just watch), which reminded me I’m pregnant, as it made me tear up.

And that’s all I’ve got time for, since it’s now two days after I started this, and Lena is waking up from her nap. I’ll leave you with a very mild example of Lena’s new favorite skill: self-feeding-whether-you-like-it-or-not-Mom!

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Babymooning Like Pros

We snuck away last weekend for a little 24 hour babymoon. If you can, you should really always try to do a little getaway without kids, before the next is born. It’s so refreshing to get ready in the morning without worrying about diapers and strapping little shoes. It’s also nice to drive around (or even get lost) without risking the wrath of car-seat-bound toddlers. We’re now pros at babymooning. The first time was a 2-day whirlwind NYC trip, from which we returned to no kids, so the whole idea is laughable, now. The second time was a countryside wine/B&B escape, pretty much the epitome of relaxation.

For this auspicious third baby, we chose to explore Baltimore, which is only about an hour away, and filled with numerous free places and activities. We were planning to come home late and spend the night at home, but then my sister-in-law’s very generous parents gave us a free hotel night on their points. Soooo nice. And in case you ever find yourself in Charm City, here’s what we did in roughly 24 hours:

  • We intended to spend about 2 hours in the Walters Art Museum, which has one of the biggest Ancient artifacts exhibit in the country, BUT it was closed just for that day for a gala set-up. Of course. We were pretty bummed, but I guess it gave us more time to see other things slowly. So we visited the first Cathedral in America, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is filled with early Catholic American historical significance. And it was beautifully remodeled on its 200th anniversary a few years ago.

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  • Explored the downtown area of Baltimore, where the annual half/full marathon was going on, the very one I ran five years ago. I was definitely glad to be on the other side of the sidewalk, especially since just walking for long periods made my round ligaments ache like craaaaazy. We did walk about 8 miles over the course of the day to my credit, which is about 7 miles more than my daily quota.
  • Got lunch at Lexington Market, which was interesting, crowded, and infernally hot. Tom kept grabbing my arm, because he was afraid I was going to get mugged or something. Once we got out and stopped sweating, we ate gyros (made by Koreans), and watched the runners go by. The people of Baltimore sure know how to encourage a runner (I loved having them cheer us on when I ran, and pretty much was equally entertained watching them this time around). Then we got some really delicious and expensive lattes at Dooby’s, where I rested my ligaments for a while, and we steeped in the hipster ambience.

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  • Tried to park near Edgar Allan Poe’s grave site, but it was a zoo. Ended up driving around the same three blocks, three times, over 45 minutes. We’re really good at directions. We both laughed at how much that would’ve bothered us while we were dating/engaged, but how now it was no biggie at all, since there were no screaming banshees sweet girls in the car.
  • Finally drove down to Little Italy, where we got pretty amazing “chip n dip” cannoli at the famed Vaccaro’s pastry cafe. It’s basically a container of broken cannoli shells and a big scoop of cannoli filling to dip them into. Perfect afternoon snack, worth the long wait in line.
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Image via vacarrospastry.com

  • Lazed around the hotel room and rested the ole ligaments some more.
  • Walked around the beautiful Inner Harbor and historic Fell’s Point before our dinner at Mezze Cafe, where we ordered far too many tapas plates. I wish we had come to Fell’s Point earlier in the day (before sunset) so we could’ve had more time to explore. The cobblestone streets and historic town homes were gorgeous.

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And then collapsed early in the huge bed to watch some Harry Potter and read from our current read-aloud. We finished up our babymoon the next morning with perfectly light and chewy Belgian waffles at Miss Shirley’s and Mass in Little Italy. Then sped off to pick up our little munchkins from my parents’, where we found that they hadn’t missed us for one second and would rather stay with Nana and Papa, thank you very much.

And that’s that– an amazing 24 hours of good food, uninterrupted conversation, and more exercise than I’ll get the rest of the pregnancy (kidding! Maybe…)

Currently, Vol. 6

Pounding this out as quick as I can, since the sun has come out for the first time in a week, and I’ve got some restless natives on my hands!

01. Celebrating: 

We found out the gender of the new baby on Saturday! And also bestowed a name upon him/her, so that Lucy’s mind can be put to rest. It was fun to bring home cake pops of the appropriate color to surprise the girls and Tom (who sadly had to stay home with them, and thus miss the gender-reveal sono for the first time). If you want to know, just shoot me an email! It’ll be mum on the blog for all the relatives who want to be surprised!

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Tom tries to decipher the gender based on the picture alone…hence the confusion…

We also had a great little Michaelmas feast last week, with a roast chicken, whiskey-glazed carrots, and a dragon cake! Followed two days later by a French-ish celebration for St. Therese (crepes with sausage, spinach, cream cheese and Rosé for the adults). Lots of great October feast days to celebrate!

02. Watching:

Arthur and George on PBS. If you don’t necessarily love mystery (ahem) but you do love literary characters in movies with a dash of mystery thrown in, this will be up your alley. It’s about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his foray into real-life detective work.

Downtown Abbey: Final Season! I can’t wait to see how they wrap up the show. Perhaps I will go back to Season 1 (the best, best, best) during the long winter/post-partum phase of life.

I’ve also been craving a complete re-watch of Harry Potter from the beginning. There’s something very autumnal about the movies, and pumpkin pasties+butterbeer whilst watching curled on the couch in blankets sounds delightful.

03. Reading:

Ida Elisabeth by Sigrid Undset. Obscure book by the famed novelist. I just started it for my book club, and already love it. That woman could write! It’s also her only novel NOT set in the medieval period (it takes place in the 1930s) which is different and interesting.

04. Wearing:

Well, apparently the hurricane for us meant that we skipped the normal fall temperatures and went straight to winter last week. We’ve been wearing long-sleeves, sweaters, slippers, fuzzy footed jammies (well, the girls) and rain coats.

Since I’m now dressing me plus the bump, I’m loving these maternity jeans from Gap (which actually came in petite! Glory! And were on super sale), some awesome leggings from my last Stitch Fix (again, actually short enough for me), and lots of tunics and ruched tees.

(We’ve also had to turn the heat on, which seems absurd for the first few days of October, but it has been chilly...)

05. Praying for:

Our little cousin Liam is undergoing radiation right now. Keep him in your prayers! The great and wonderful news that I forgot to share last month, is that his tumor is completely gone now! We are so thankful and continue to pray for him!

06. Clicking:

I was so excited to see this article and will definitely be bringing it with me to my (upcoming, not-yet-scheduled, why-is-October-so-crazy) hair appointment!

This is from last month, but is such a great article, about the difficult and trying side of practicing NFP when it involves prolonged abstinence. I’m really glad this aspect of NFP is getting some attention! Everyone who is faithfully committed to practicing NFP would love to have a little more support and less sugar-coating, I think.

I’m re-reading this article by a Jewish Rabbi, the transcript of a talk he gave last year at the marriage colloquium in Rome.

07. Planning for:

Much like September, October is shaping up to be an insanely busy month, with every weekend booked: birthday parties, a babymoon(!), dinner dates, and a wedding! We were really hoping to take the girls to a pumpkin patch and apple picking, but I’m not sure when we’ll fit that in, especially if the weather keeps up the chill and rain. Here’s hoping for sunnier fall days!

Linking up with Kelly for her Link-toberfest! Here’s the link to my very first quick takes post, from July 2013 while we were in Rome!

Pregnancy Q&A’s

Whew. Well now that this is finally out there on the internets…I can finally talk about it!

For Want of Wonder

(I’d also like to give props to our mossy, moldy, uneven bricks for lending some artsy photo cred to this shot…)

This feels like the longest time to hold back the news from the internet, since we have known from the very, very beginning (unlike, ahem, with Magdalena), but man it’s hard to think of creative ways to announce your third pregnancy in three years.

And every single time I tried to take a selfie with the girls in it for something sisterly and sibling-ish, it just…never worked:

For Want of Wonder

Outtake 1

For Want of Wonder

…and 2…

For Want of Wonder

…and you get the idea.

It’s great to see all the congratulations from everyone, and I so appreciate all of the good wishes! Still, inquiring minds want to know, so I’m going to preemptively answer all the questions you may have (many of which I’ve already gotten in real life):

Was this planned? Are you surprised?

As planned as these things can be! And no. Not surprised in the least.

How far apart are Lena and the baby going to be?

19 months, pretty much exactly. (Lucy and Lena are 15 months apart).

Don’t you hope it’s a boy?

Yeah, sure, if just to use some of the awesome male names we’ve accrued over the years! And out of curiosity as to what our boys will look like. But if not, we know we at least make pretty dang cute little girls!

Are you finding out the sex?

Yep, we are. We are, thus far, just finder-outers. I keep saying, “When we have both girls and boy(s)…” but I think in reality I just really like knowing.  It helps my overly-logical personality connect to the baby as more of a person and less of a project. I like the sense of order and control (knowing we have the right color and type of clothing, blankets, etc), and narrowing down and trying out the names. And this time around, Lucy desperately wants to know, “What’s the baby named??” so we will most likely name him or her so that Lucy (and Lena) can really get used to this new little person who’ll be joining the family.

Are you ready?

Ha, well, let’s see. Physically, sort of.  (If it’s a boy, he doesn’t have a stitch of gender-appropriate clothing, and he will probably be swaddled in floral and heart-printed blankets. Also, we’re going to need a new place for the baby to sleep since Magdalena effectively broke our co-sleeper last year).

Mentally, are you ever? Lucy will be about to turn 3, and Lena will be just over 1.5, so I’m sure it will be crazy town for several months (or years). My potty-training efforts with Lucy are s l o w going, so I am resigning myself to the three-in-diapers fate for a while. And cloth at that, after the first month.

But, the girls are starting to sort of play together in less aggressive ways, and I’m confident that Lena will have amassed a vocabulary beyond her current 10 words by then, so perhaps her screaming quota will go way down? I’m also really hoping that Lucy will finally decide to drink milk from a sippy cup or regular cup so that we can get rid of her bottles (ironically, she’s the one with the paci obsession and drinking milk from a bottle, neither of which her younger sister does). I’m not even going to attempt to break her of the paci habit, since she really loves it to unwind/fall asleep, and she knows she is only allowed to use it in her room.

Really though, those things are kind of not huge deals so I figure we’ll take everything as it comes, and pray for a lot of grace.

 

Are you tired?

Very. Thankfully Lena started sleeping through the night (with forced night-weaning. Had to do it.) when I was about 8 weeks along and at the worst part of the 1st trimester, so that’s helped. I’m also the smallest I’ve been in any pregnancy so if nothing else that is testimony to the energy I burn chasing toddlers and eating on the fly. As usual, not really working out (though I keep resolving to!) and eating snacks every 2-3 hours, and trying hard to remember my prenatal vitamin more than once/week. So I’m aiming to be better at getting to bed at a decent time, and if someone can have a heart-to-heart with Lena about waking up after the sun’s risen and/or after 7:00 AM, that’d be great.

All things considered, we’re very blessed and excited. Also, tiny baby kicks just never get old!