Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stuff I'm Lovin'

This is kind of a hodge-podge list of stuff I've "discovered" in the past month. Bear with me :)
  • We don't have a whole lot of Valentine decorations (truth be told, it's never been my favorite holiday), so when I saw this on Pinterest, I figured, what the heck, I could give it a go. I actually really like how my version turned out:
  • The bestie gave me a late Christmas gift over the weekend. You can't get much more "us" than Ohio State BFF necklaces (Angie wears the I-O). I absolutely adore this!
  • In an effort to actually get the boys to eat dinners I make (or at least something other than buttered noodles for the upteenth night in a row), I've been hitting the internet for ideas. That again led me to Pinterest, and then to this lovely lady's blog:

         So far, the two recipes I've tried (Italian Sausage Goulash and Hummus and Turkey Pinwheels) have
         been winners, though I did substitute tomatoes for the roasted red peppers on the pinwheels. I'm 
         actually excited to try more recipes on her list!
  • And then there's this guy. I'm kind of in love with him, too. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seven Weeks Down, Four to Go

Littlest is seven weeks old today. :)

As you can see, he's not exactly short on personality, either. Wish I could raise just the one eyebrow like that.

He's SUCH a fun baby. He continues to eat & sleep well, he's full of smiles, and he's starting to take an interest in his brothers. I love spending my days with him.

But Justin reaching the seven-week milestone also means I only have four weeks until I return to work.

Just as when I reached this point with the other two boys, I have mixed emotions about returning. Ideally, in an absolutely perfect world, yes, I would love to be a stay-at-home mom. 

This world is far from perfect, though, so that's not our reality.

Which is not to say I'm destroyed about going back to work, either. I took Mr. Magoo to the office for a visit yesterday, and it was SO nice to visit with folks I haven't seen since I (literally) ran out of the office two months ago.

There's something to be said for a being in adult atmosphere :)

The thing that makes me a bit nervous is the new routine of it all. Mike works long shifts a few days a week, so those days it's just me & all three boys in the evenings. I think I've been handling it pretty well (as I told Mike, it's not easy, but that doesn't mean it's bad), but then again, I've been home all day to take care of random household chores.

The transition to working 8 hours, then coming home with the brood to cook dinner, eat, clean (both the house & the boys), and play with the munchkins has me a bit on edge.

I want my time with the boys during the week to mean something; I want them to remember Mommy & Daddy as interacting with them in the evenings as opposed to frantically trying to do laundry while making dinner and running the bath at the same time.

You know, like this:

So it's on my mind. But I've got four weeks to figure it out.

Nothing like feeling rushed.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Week (54) in Instagram

 Monday 1/14/13: Resized and rhodium-plated. Reunited and it feels so good! :)

Monday 1/14/13: It was a good cupcake. 
(You should have seen Nolan; no photo since I was sick on the couch)

Tuesday 1/15/13: Just over a month old and already in the Bumbo. Zoiks.

Tuesday 1/15/13: Ginger ale, tissues, soup. Or, how I spent most of my week with this damn cold.

Thursday 1/17/13: Smiley guy is six weeks old!!!

Saturday 1/19/13: After a long hiatus, monthly playdates have returned!

Saturday 1/19/13: Fifty-five-degree Saturday in January = enjoying an ice cream cone outside.

Saturday 1/19/13: Late-night funny faces :)

Sunday 1/20/13: Matching PJs!

Want to link up? Head over to Suzanne's blog!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Monthly Mumbles, January Edition

10. I've been battling a NASTY cold since Sunday. For reals. I haven't had one this bad since I went back to work after having Nolan and had to be exposed to my petri dish of an office. The cloudy feeling in my head has finally subsided a bit, but my nose is still a faucet. Crossing my fingers that the kids don't get this, but I'm not too optimistic.

9. We had family portraits taken over the weekend. Ideally, I would have loved for Megan to capture images our new family of five, but with Mike's work schedule during her holiday visit to Ohio, we just couldn't make it happen. Oh well. I'm okay with how it came out, even if I'm in serious need of a haircut:

8. Mike & I did something yesterday that we've been talking about for awhile--we refinanced our home loan! IT FEELS SOOOOOOOO GOOD! We're making some serious progress on our "get financially healthy" new year's resolution--and it's only January!

7. We had temperatures in the 60s last weekend. Nothing like getting spring fever in the middle of January--only to have it crushed when remembering we still have ALL of February to get through. {Le Sigh.}

6. So much fun stuff coming up for my soon-to-be-five-year-old; I booked his birthday party at an ice cream parlor, I signed him up to play T-ball this spring, and we have Kindergarten registration next month! I can't believe we're at this point with my little Aiden already. I'm both excited and hesitant for him to grow up; I love the new experiences, but it's hard at the same time.

5. This is one of my favorite things in our bedroom (apologies for the fuzzy photo). :)

4. My dad is officially retiring at the end of the month. He's actually already had his last day of work, but he's enjoying nearly a month of vacation before the whole thing is done. Dad's not big on parties, so we enjoyed a low-key celebration at a local steakhouse a few weeks ago on his last week of work. I'm excited for him to start this new phase of his life! If anyone deserves a chance to relax, it's my dad. TRUST ME. :)

3. I have grand plans to start potty-training Nolan this weekend. We're going to go S-L-O-W with this, and if it doesn't seem to make sense to him, we'll scrap it for a few months. But I really, really, really hate buying diapers for two kids.

2. Justin is 6 weeks old today, which also means I'm going back to work in 5 weeks. I have a lot left to accomplish here at home in that time--most notably spending as much time as possible cuddling my little man. :)

1. Excited to put out St. Patrick's Day decorations next month! As soon as Valentine's Day is over, it's time to "bring out the green" in our house. And green also means spring...c'mon, spring...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Not to Be Forgotten

Little brother has been getting an awful lot of play here in the old blog lately (He's new! He's fresh! He's adorable!), but that doesn't mean we've forgotten about the two older brothers...


 I can't believe he let me take pictures of him.
Lately he buries his head in the couch when he sees my camera.

Love this shot, especially since they typically won't get this close to one another without fighting.

I'm excited for the day I can add Justin to the mix, but for now, Nolan's having some issues with the definition of the word "gentle." We'll get there. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Week (53) in Instagram

Sunday 1/6/13: Celebrating my dad's last day of work EVER. Good times :)

Sunday 1/6/13: Papa holding biggie smalls :)

Monday 1/7/13: Chillin' on the couch with the nine-pounder :)

Tuesday 1/8/13: Gettin' ready to head out in the AM.

Wednesday 1/9/13: Sticking out his tongue in his sleep. Awwww. :)

Thursday 1/10/13: Bright-eyed at 5 weeks old.

Saturday 1/12/13: My big man after a haircut. Looking so old lately...

Sunday 1/13/13: "Enjoying" a 5 AM wake-up. I shouldn't complain, though;
he's slept 7+ hours straight every night for a full week!

Want to link up? Head over to Suzanne's blog!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Birth Announcement

I believe these have all been sent to their intended recipients,
so I thought I'd share Justin's birth announcement.
I just love how they turned out. :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Week (52) in Instagram

I got a new phone! (I also got a heck of a deal on it--thank you, Costco!) I can tell a difference in the pictures (YAY!)--much less blurry. Since the older boys went back to their normal routine at preschool/the sitter last week, there's an abundance of photos of the littlest. Sue me.

Sunday 12/30/12: Aiden "helping' with a diaper change.

Monday 12/31/12: Out with Mike for a quick date to see "Les Miserables." 
It was AH-MAZING and I can't wait to see it again!!!

Monday 12/31/12: My date for NYE. We were both in bed before the ball dropped :)

Thursday 1/3/13: Found him napping like this. I wonder what shocked him in his dream...

 Friday 1/14/13: His first non-newborn outfit. *TEARS*

Friday 1/4/13: Doesn't seem to mind tummy time so much. What a change from Aiden & Nolan.

Friday 1/4/13: Enjoying after-school snack of fruit snacks on the beanbag chair
I brought up from the basement. Looks like it might become a permanent fixture of the living room.

Saturday 1/5/12: His smile makes me SO HAPPY :)

Want to link up? Head over to Suzanne's blog!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

One Month Old

My baby has been here for a month.


How the hell is that even remotely possible?! I swear I just peed on a stick last week, and suddenly I've got this month-old baby.

Since he's definitely the last child my womb will ever produce, I'm trying my best to soak up all his squishy newbornness, but December was not such a good month for lying low. No worries. I'm not back at work for another two months, and with our calendar calming down a bit, my weekdays will be mostly me and The Littlest.

So just as I did for Aiden & Nolan, here is your first monthly update post, complete with his 1st teddy bear ("Chewie," who Aiden & Nolan made for him at Build-A-Bear) for size comparison.

At one month, Justin:

 --is easily THE BEST sleeper of all three boys (at least at this stage). Since the day we brought him home, he has woken up once or twice overnight, eaten, and gone right back to sleep. And I really shouldn't jinx myself here, but he's slept 7-hour stretches twice in the past week. H-E-A-V-E-N-L-Y.

--is a very good eater, and an even better burper! Despite his small size, he sometimes scares me with the volume of his burps.
--has definitely gained weight; I'm quite interested to find out just how much after his official weigh-in at his one-month checkup tomorrow.
--has LOTS of nicknames: Magoo, Curly, J-Fresh, Monkey-Butt, Biggie Smalls, Munchkin, Littlest, etc., etc.
--does a fantastic job of alternating which side of his head he sleeps on. Both Aiden & Nolan had a bit of a flat head for awhile because they would ONLY lay on their right side, but Justin's noggin is still nice & round. Kudos for that.
--gives me bona fide smiles (as in not gas-related) already. I love the look of recognition in his eyes when he realizes who I am, too. MELT.

--DETESTS being naked, so he's not much of a fan of diaper changes or baths. We're working on it, though.
--has just the best, easy-going disposition (though you might not guess that from the photo above). Sure, he cries bloody murder once in awhile if I'm not quick enough to get him a bottle, but generally, he's just content to sit & observe.

So yeah. He's been just a dream of a baby so far, and we're enjoying every second of having him here! If only he would slow down, though...just a little...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Late-to-the-Party Resolutions

So I'm a bit late to post my fleshed-out resolutions for 2013. No apologies--I've just been really thinking this through since I didn't have much time to think in December. But now that the holidays are over, and the two older boys are back in preschool/daycare during the day, I've got a few stretches of me time during the littlest's intermittent naps.

Diving right in (no particular order):

1. Lose the extra baby pounds. And I'm talking ALL OF IT, folks. I've been lucky enough to shed everything I gained with Justin already (don't hate!), but I've still got a good 10 pounds from Aiden and 10 pounds from Nolan that have stuck around far too long. This goal is delayed for another two weeks until I've gotten the postpartum all-clear from my OB, but I'm itching to get started.

2. Get a better handle on our finances. I'm really proud to say I'm off to a good start on this one! I spent a good chunk of time yesterday constructing the shell of our 2013 budget. I was actually pleasantly surprised; I really think that with some careful planning and reigning in of frivolous spending, we can make a sizable dent in our debt this year. Not bad, especially considering we'll be paying daycare costs for THREE kids for six months!

3. Live in the moment. It's been a flaw of mine for years to not enjoy myself during both everyday life & special occasions because I'm already thinking about what's coming up next. I need to learn to slow down and enjoy the present, because if 2012 taught me anything, it's that tomorrow is NOT promised.

4. Give myself a break. Like, for serious. Mike often tells me I'm too hard on myself, and if I'm being completely honest with myself, I have to agree. I'm going to blame this on the whole Middle Child Syndrome thing (it ABSOLUTELY exists!). I'm considering posting a note on my bathroom mirror that reads "It's NOT A Competition" so I have a daily reminder to chill the hell out.

5. Love the heck out of my family. And by family, I mean the immediates, the extendeds, and the honoraries. Because in the end, they are THE ONLY THING that matters.

So there you have it. I hope to report back to you in about 362 days about all the success I had. :)