Saturday, February 28, 2015


February. It's just the worst month of the year, am I right? Sure you've got all that lovey-dovey holiday stuff which is fun, but the month pretty much tanks from there. James asked me this last week if I felt like our apartment was caving in on us, and I was all, "Yes! All month long!" Let's start with the fact that we're consistently reaching record low temperatures which means that we're consistently being forced to stay indoors. Stir crazy doesn't look good on any of us. But what makes it worse is that we have to stay inside our little house which is full to the brim with winter junk. There are coats and boots and scarves and so many other darn winter accessories stacked in every corner and hung from every door/hook/hanger in this tiny little place that I frankly feel like I'm suffocating. Suffocating in February. March will kick-off birthday season and our schedule and (hopefully) the weather will warm up from there. But for now, baby it's miserably cold out there. Insert grumpy face here.

 Left: Walking to church post-storm in a slushy mess. // Right: The dirty, ugly, graffitied snow pile on our street.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Babies feeding babies

It's taken me a couple of weeks to come to grips with the babies feeding babies phenomenon that is now our norm. And to be honest I'm still not sure I'm at peace with it, but such is life I guess. You win some, you lose some (or in my case: you fill some, you starve some).  
Nursing has always been my thing. Getting pregnant, staying pregnant, delivering babies, having healthy babies, now those are all things I'm admittedly not very good at. But nursing? Well I've always had enough milk to feed a village and my chunky babies were the proof. I nursed T for a year and Ev well over a year and the thing I was most excited and least worried about with this new little one was nursing. Because psh, I got that!
But then enter Quinn and her oh-so cute but totally-tied tongue. A few snips in the mouth couldn't rid her tongue of it's heart shape (I'm sure there is an analogy in this, mom?) and although she could nurse better after the procedure, she was still pretty terrible at it--just ask my shirts and bras and undergarments that were soaking with milk after every feed. But we soldiered on through every sloppy, gaggy, gassy feed and by all accounts things were going well.
And then something unexpected happened at Quinn's 4 month check up. We put her tiny little body on the scale and she had gained a mere 8 ounces in the previous month. EIGHT OUNCES! IN A MONTH! I immediately felt sick to my stomach. My doctor and I agreed that she had been sick which could contribute to her weight and that she'd probably gain a ton of weight soon but I couldn't shake the feeling that something was not right. I had noticed lately that after feeds she was really fussy. I chalked it up to gas, but I started to wonder if she just wasn't getting enough to fill her sweet body. No big deal, I thought. I'll just pump and set my fears to rest.
An ounce, ya'll. That's how much I got when I went home and pumped at her scheduled time. One ounce, from both sides. I immediately texted my mom and sister a picture of the lame little milk bottles telling them that my boobs should be ashamed of themselves. Because seriously? An ounce? Luckily I had a freezer full of frozen milk (from when my boobs were working overtime) and sure enough Quinny drank down 5 ounces of de-frosted milk like her life depended on it. And turns out most people's lives do depend on eating, so I totally understand the girl.
There was a good 10 days right in the middle of this transition when we thought something could be seriously wrong with my body and that might be the reason that my milk was tanking but most of those tests came back A-OK, so we're back at square one in the milk-loss department. (She's always been a bad nurser and then she was sick, so maybe that caused my milk to tank? Add crazy hormones, stress, and who knows what else...) And I guess I should mention that some of those tests (which were for other symptoms, but milk production could have been related) required me to stop nursing for 48 hours so I pumped and dumped and blew through my freezer stock in no time. So I gave her formula. And although I dramatically thought everything was going to go to heck in a hand basket when she took her first sip of that stuff it ended up being just fine. More than fine, she loved that stinky drink more than I can say (which was not, in fact, a compliment to her chef of the past 4 months!) For now I'm doing triple feeds (nurse, pump, formula) and even though I know it's not sustainable, I'm hoping my milk will decide to return with honor! Today I only had to supplement a total of 8 ounces of formula with her breast milk feeds, so maybe it'll happen?
In the meantime my big babies are feeding my little baby all the time and as they're smiling and being sweet to each other my heart is both breaking and bursting, because it's so endearing but at the same time isn't feeding the newborn my job? But they're loving the responsibility of "nursing" the baby, and she is growing right before our eyes like I think she always should have been doing.
If there is a lesson to be learned in this (which isn't there always a lesson to be learned?) it is that sometimes things happen that are out of our control. I think during my milk-heavy times I was always a little questioning of people who lost their milk. Never judgmental, because I completely respect the choices all mothers make for themselves and their babies, but I guess I always assumed that they just didn't really want to nurse all that much or they would have/ could have. But I'm eating my words now in a real way and I know that I was wrong. So wrong! Because sometimes these "natural" things are not as easy or natural as they should be. I'm also realizing that sometimes what should happen is more important than what I want to happen. I want my baby to exclusively nurse, but what's more important is that she eats and grows and gets nourishment, even at the hands of a bottle.
In the long run, this is just the smallest of small deals, but it has taken me awhile to mourn my ideal--I think that's always the case when things turn out different than you planned. I guess I'm still working on it. But looking at these pictures of all my loves make things feel so much better!

Not only do all my boys take turns feeding her, she can now feed herself on the busy streets of NYC! And don't mind her outfit, that baby is rarely dressed by the end of the day!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pink Eyes and Pink Tutus and Winter Blues

They're mocking me, those birds singing that springtime tune in the bare trees outside my window. Mr. Sun is in on it too, sitting high in a clear blue sky and shining on my still-PJ-clad body sprawled on the couch like a warm summer morn. It's all a ruse though because what they're forgetting to mention--those birds and that sun--is that the temperature this morning is actually a record-breaking -15 degrees with wind chill. If that doesn't make you want to vomit then I don't think we can be friends.

The winter blues didn't really hit me until this week when Talmage had school off and our structure of leaving the house went caput. Pick-up is mostly a real drag, but I've realized that without pick-up I'm kind of a winter hermit, and a grumpy hermit at that. Not to mention T has pink eye in both eyes, so even if we had wanted to spend his winter vacation exploring the freezing city we couldn't because he's just about the most contagious human being on the planet these days. I am pretty in love with this City most of the year but then February hits and I start Zillowing homes in Palo Alto and start planning my escape. So...there you go.

If there is one good thing that has come of this week, it would have to be the treats. Oh the deliciousness of Winter when there's nothing better to do than eat warm, comforting, sweet treats! We've inhaled leftover Valentines and knock-off Swig sugar cookies, PB&Nutella sammies and pancakes with extra syrup for breakfast (and snack. and lunch. and snack again). Cake cook-offs and frosting-tasting parties and oh the sprinkles that we have consumed. What's on tap for today you may ask? I'm thinking my mom's recipe for cinnamon rolls. Or maybe chocolate chip cookies. What the heck--we'll probably make both and eat our sick, cold sorrows away.

The food isn't the only good thing that's come of this week I suppose. I mean, I took this picture of Quinn playing with her pink little wolfie which is just the cutest:

And then I turned her on her back so I could grab a picture of her whole outfit. Having a girl continues to be the best, just look: 

But mostly this week has been about this sicky kid and his pink eyes (which were looking better than ever in this picture, but still):

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Celebrating Love

A few more Valentine's Day things to get us all caught up:

These were some of the Valentine's we gave to our friends and family. Celebrating love is just the best idea ever, right?

We wore red to celebrate and honor our heart hero Everett Knight. We are grateful for him and his beating heart and really enjoy wearing red to raise awareness for heart disease during this Valentines Day season.

I'd be amiss if I didn't mention the amazing date my Valentine surprised me with: dinner at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. I had never been and have wanted to try it out since they re-opened their doors last April. Everything about the experience was fancy and fun from the blonde in the bright red dress singing bluesy-swing with her live band, to the gorgeous and flavorful food served in perfect intervals, to the icicles and twinkle lights hanging right outside the large windows. It was so romantic and I loved it almost as much as I love him...but not quite!  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My littlest Valenstines

Every morning from February 1st until February 14th my littles woke up with a love note taped to their door from their ever-adoring mother. They were just construction paper hearts with my words penned in dark purple sharpie, but you would have thought they were written in gold by their reaction each day. From bed I would hear oohs and ahs as Talmage would read his own heart (always pink), and then read Ever's (red) and Quinny's (purple) to them. Multiple times during the day the hearts would be brought up again, like when Everett said, "Mom, you wuv it how I cowor don't you." or when T said, "You said on my heart that you like to play the rhyming game with me, so let's play it again right now!" It was so small, but meant so much to them...a lesson on life I think. The joy and love that's been felt in our home lately is amazing, and I think those little paper hearts had at least something to do with it. I love these little babes something fierce and I'm grateful that they were my little Valenstines (and yes, they still call it that and heavens no will I correct them!)

{These pictures of the kids were taken the day before Valentine's Day, which also happened to be T's 100 Days Celebration in Kindergarden. "Two parties in the same day, this is the best luck!"}

Post-edit: I thought I should include a picture of the door, for memory sake. Turns out the boys were admiring their door this morning and I caught them in the act! They're so sweet.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Shocked? More Pictures of our Quinn!

I don't have much else to say except that my level of obsession with this baby girl is through the roof. She is just the sweetest, happiest, mama-lovingest baby around and I am soaking up every second of her four-month-old goodness. And now may I present these pictures of Quinn which could also be titled "It's February and we never leave the house so we take pictures all day to pass the time." True story.



Thursday, February 5, 2015

She's a gift

Quinny's smile is a ray of sunshine on the grayest day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Some Selfies

 Left: Quinny making us popular in T's class. Right: T and me, sad about our DC trip getting cancelled.

 Left: Quinny and I at the pool. Right: Kisses from Quinn.
 Left and Right: Quinn and I chillin' on the bed. You know, mostly staring at each other.
 Left: Ever and I shootin' the breeze. Right: Keeping T entertained while nursing the baby in a museum.

Keepin' it real. This is what it looks like when Daddy is traveling all week. Yep, pretty glamorous!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Starring Role on the Naughty Stage

Ever Knight is destined to be on Broadway with the kind of scenes he's been making lately. You haven't seen a tantrum unless you've seen an Ever tantrum, of this I am certain. He has perfected his plank and will showcase it just about anywhere, and for no real reason at all. He lies flat on his face--usually screaming--and he doesn't care if it's a totally inappropriate place to be fitful (think Sacrament meeting, busy crosswalks at rush hour, our apartment's elevator), he goes for the gold. He also doesn't care who sees him, there's no shame in his game. Then there's my personal favorite part of this situation, and I hope you can hear my sarcasm, he goes completely wet noodle when you try to move his big old three-year-old body. Yes, it's really quite perfect. He's always been more of a passionate soul but the last month or so it's gotten all sorts of out of control. I kept telling myself that it was a stage that would pass on it's own but then last week while sobbing hysterically he yelled at me, "I just need some shnuggles on the couch...AND NOT WIF QUINN IN YOUR ARMS!!!" And then I got it. He has done so well with the transition to Quinn that I didn't even think this was a cry for love and attention, but I think he made it pretty clear that that's what he wants and needs! His brother takes up a lot of our time with school and homework and play dates and activities and Quinn takes up a lot of time with nursing and changing and crying and playing and then there's Ev, the little one who is feeling his middle child status and not liking a second of it. Since then I've been trying to be even more deliberate with my Everett-time, so when my friend offered to watch Quinn today so that I could take Ever on a date I jumped at the opportunity. And oh my gosh it was just the best time ever! Sometimes its nice to remember that "the kids" are not an entity, they are three individuals with specific needs, talents, and personalities. Everett is sweet. He is loving. When you compliment him he gets a big smile on his face and says, "Fanks Mommy, I just wuv you so much." He is giving and kind and likes to laugh. He gave me a little paper ring from his Happy Meal box at "Old McDonalds" and said, "Dis is your nudder wedding ring Mom, so we can get mawwied. But Dad aweady mawwied you!" We held hands half the time and I carried him for the rest of the time, his little head nestled into my shoulder. I love that Ever Knight so much, and I hope he always knows it. I also hope he stops throwing massive tantrums!   

One things for sure, Ever Knight and I love to be behind the camera together. These are just from the last few weeks. He is the most photogenic little friend I know! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Juno--Snow Day!!!

New York City was supposed to be hit by the worst snowstorm in over 30 years so the Mayor proactively cancelled school and work and pretty much shut down the whole city. Well, it turns out Mother Nature had other plans! We only got 6 inches of new snow (not the 30 they estimated) making Winter Storm Juno one of my best friends! James and Talmage got to stay home with Ever, Quinn and me and the weather wasn't as bad as expected. We played in the snow, drank hot cocoa and snuggled in for a movie. It was heaven.

On our way home from playing in the snow I saw this sign and thought, yep! We're pretty blessed.