Thursday, September 22, 2016

Summer Vacation

It's hard to believe it's already fall and another summer has come and gone. Here is upstate NY the summers are so short and sweet. I love summer more than any other season and just wish it would last a little longer.

 The second week of August we took a vacation to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. We rented a house with a friend and her family. I met this friend through the local moms of multiples group and she has twin boys that are a few months older than Stella. We rented a three bedroom house in Kitty Hawk and had a fantastic week. Our friends had an awesome setup for the beach complete with a large tent and blow up kiddie pool. The house had a hot tub and in ground small pool we also enjoyed. It was a week full of tons of beach time, fun with friends, and delicious food. The girls did great on the car ride down and we had a rough hour or so on the way home. Not bad for 10 hours or so each way. On the trip down we stopped in Virginia Beach and then spent the following day at the aquarium before driving to the beach house. The trip included many firsts like smores, kite flying, shaved ice, and mini golfing. Lucy even started jumping in the pool without her float. It really was so great! 

Our friends were great and we got along with them despite only meeting the husband once before. To be honest, I know a lot of my friends husbands aren't super helpful with their kids, but it was tough to sit back and watch. It was fine for us, but I'm just glad I'm raising children with the person I am. I know different dynamics work for different people, but I know I wouldn't be happy if I were doing 90% of the work 100% of the time. It's nice to know that when W is home, everything is split at least 50/50. 

It was so nice to go somewhere different as we went to the beach in Maine the past two years. I hope we can go back another time as I have memories as a child going to the outer banks. It was so much fun and the weather was beautiful. I'm so grateful for these memories I got to make with my family. 

11 Months Old


I can't believe you're 11 months old already. Time is going so fast and it makes me so emotional to think about your first birthday. I can't believe it's been nearly a year since your birth. It's amazing to me how much you have grown and changed in this year. From a squishy little blob, to a walking and talking little girl who is full of personality and spunk. You started walking and taking a single step here and there a little before the start of the month, and then really put steps together the day after your turned eleven months old. You're saying words like doggy, uh-oh, and daddy all spontaneously and with intention. You follow simple directions some of the time, but are understanding so much. You want so badly to keep up with your sisters and will tag right along with most things they do. I'm pretty sure you're convinced you're their triplet. You've finally stopped putting everything into your mouth automatically and we can somewhat trust you in the sandbox. You love playing with the play kitchen and making a mess and have just started in and out type play. we saw the GI Dr about the potato vomiting incidents and he wasn't thrilled with your weight. He wanted me to push more pureed foods and try to add more fat to your diet. I swear, you eat just about anything and everything. I think it's your constant motion that burns so many calories. You love most foods but aren't super impressed by purees. You're finally napping more consistently and falling asleep without us having to rock you. Really pushing a "lovey" on you and encouraging you to snuggle that made a world of difference. Rather than rocking or nursing you to sleep, gently putting you down, and sneaking out of the room we are putting you down drowsy but awake and you generally roll over and snuggle your lovey before falling asleep. I wish you were sleeping through the night, but you still wake two times on average for milk. You're like Lucy in that you rarely wake in a smiley and good mood. You need some time to be grumpy and wake up. You've decided you will no longer keep headbands or bows on your head and rip them off immediately. You don't like to be told "no" or when your sisters take things away from you and you'll get very upset and cry. 
I just can't believe how soon you will be a one year old. You're definitely not my snuggly little baby any more and it makes your mama sad to see how fast you are growing. I can't wait to see all that you will do and see, but I wish it would happen at a slower rate. I think I'd keep you little forever if I could. I love you so big little girl!

Trashing her play kitchen. Always a favorite activity. 

Standing independently 

Waiting to see the pediatrician 

She looked in the mirror and said, "Teta"/Stella

Stuck in the trunk 

When your outfit matches your bed....

Sleeping with her "lovey"

Trying chocolate milk at the state fair 

So much love from her sisters 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Microblog Mondays: My Wedding Ring

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

When W and I talked about getting engaged, he mentioned his grandmother had something for him to use. He didn't really specify, but just let my mind wander. I noticed she wore a ring that was pretty amazing. When I asked about it I found out it wasn't her wedding ring. It also wasn't what she had for W. She had a brooch from her grandmother with a bunch of stones. He would be able to pick one of those stones to use for a ring. 

When we visited her in NJ on one trip he asked he about it and she said he needed a "yes"before she would give him a stone. Something like six months later he proposed and I, of course, said yes. We took another trip and he picked the biggest of the stones since he was the first grandson to get engaged. The stone was a .94 carat cushion cut mined diamond. We took it to a few jewelry stores and I found a setting I loved the stone in. At the same time, we also bought the wedding band as it was a set. 

I loved my ring. At one point the center stone fell out but I found it and had it reset. It wasn't ideal to have a cushion cut on a four prong setting, but I just loved the way it looked together so much. For our five year wedding anniversary W got me another band to match our wedding band, but with diamonds and sapphires alternating. Sapphires are Lucy and Clara's birthstones. Around Christmastime I had the rings all soldered together in an effort to get them to stay together and look nicer. I wasn't thrilled with the way the sapphire band lined up and I took it to the jewelry store to talk to them. They didn't have any great suggestions, but I knew I didn't want to separate the rings again. 

Sharing my rings with W's grandma Wink on our wedding day

Between the months of February to August I lost quite a bit of weight and the ring became big on my finger. I could shake my hand and it would come off. Even though I said I was going to lose it a few times, I never took it to be sized. 
The three bands together. I think this is the only photo I have of all three. The sapphire band was the five year anniversary band with sapphires for Lucy and Clara. 
The second week of August we went on vacation to the outer banks, North Carolina. On the Tuesday of our week-long trip I was rinsing off in the ocean with my friend Krista when I felt my ring slip off of my finger. I was in waist-high water and the waves were big. I just knew there was no finding it. 

When I felt it slide off and realized what happened, my heart sank and I thought to myself, that's the worst thing that could ever happen. Then I looked up and saw my three girls and husband, all safe and happy on the beach, oblivious to what had happened. I knew then it was just stuff and I had the most important things, still safe and fine. 

My friend ran and told W what happened so he ran down to me in the water. Mostly in vain, he attempted to look with me for it. Some other people on the beach came by and also helped for a bit, but I knew it was gone. I told the girls what had happened so they weren't confused or upset by the way we were all acting. I mostly held it together even though I was super sad and disappointed. 

That evening I went back at low tide to look for my ring, but didn't see any sign of it. I called that afternoon and found out we did have insurance coverage under our homeowners policy.

I know it's just "stuff", but I'm still really sad about losing my rings. Since they were all soldered together, I unfortunately lost them all. I'm also sad I lost W's family stone and that it can't be replaced. 

The insurance ended up covering the full cost of the rings minus a $1000 deductible. My initial thought was I would just get the same ring, but then I realized it would never be the same. The reason I loved and picked that ring was because of the stone we had. Without that stone it just wouldn't be the same. 

Once I decided I wouldn't get the same thing I felt overwhelmed by the choices. I found a few things I liked, but nothing I loved. Well, last week I finally found something I loved. I ordered it and am waiting for it to come it. I once again ordered a matching band and hope I love it as much as I loved my old one. 

I didn't try to replace all three rings and told W he should start saving for a ten year band ;)

The thing I love about my new ring is it reminds me of that ring that W's grandmother wore and I always admired. The ring that for a short moment I fantasized was going to be the ring W would propose to me with. 

I haven't seen that actual ring in years and heard it was taken apart after she passed away, but I'm glad a part of her will still live on in my ring since she's the one who gave us the center stone and bulk of the cost of the initial set. 
The new ring I picked. 

The new ring. Not my size so not centered. I picked the top band to go with it. 
There have been so many emotions with this experience. Extreme sadness and disappointment I lost my rings. Blaming myself for not getting them sized when I knew they were too big. Excitement at the thought of picking a new one. Overwhelmed by all of the choices.

 I'm still feeling conflicted because while I found something I love it doesn't symbolize the same things. I feel slightly better that he didn't propose with the engagement ring so there's that. But, the wedding band is what we said our vows with. It symbolized a lot and I don't feel like just buying a new one does it.
Putting the ring on my finger and saying his vows

After our vows the priest wrapped our hands and said a prayer and blessed our marriage. 

 Anyone have any good suggestions to make it as meaningful??

Monday, September 12, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: First Experience Away From Home

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Lucy and Clara started preschool last Thursday. This is their first experience away from me as I've been home with them pretty much every day. It's two days a week for just shy of three hours, but it's a big change for all of us. 

When I was working I often saw children for speech therapy at their daycare of preschool. That means I've been into every local preschool and knew which ones were better than others. I always liked one in particular that had the same teachers forever and only one class per age. It was small, cozy, and gave me the warm and fuzzy feelings I expected from a preschool. We decided pretty easily on this one even though we did look at two others. 

We had been to visit a few different times so I honestly wasn't worried about how the girls would do without me being there. I was more concerned with how I would do. Leading up to it I was feeling super anxious about it. The idea of leaving them with someone other than a family member was new to me. 

That morning W scheduled his day a little later so that he could be around and come for drop off. Unfortunately, we had different ideas as to how this would look. I felt super frustrated as I was getting the girls all ready and wanting to take pics and he was sitting on the couch eating his breakfast. I thought he stayed home to spend time with the girls, but instead it felt like he was taking a nice relaxing morning for himself. 

We got the girls in the van and drove separate cars to drop them off. Without much fanfare (though I took a lot of pictures), we walked them inside and left them just like that. 

In a sense it was probably good I was busy feeling frustrated with W for not being more involved. As a result,  I felt almost numb to the whole experience of leaving them for the first time. It also helped that I had two evaluations to go and do while they were at school. Tomorrow is the first day that I have nothing planned other than to hang with Stella. I hope we survive our time without our regular sources of entertainment.