Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Annabelle Chloe

::dusts off blog::

Well, it's been just a few months since I last updated this old blog and by "just a few" I mean 18.

I kind of got sidetracked by life (and having three kids in three years with two in Pre-K) and the further behind I got the less motivation I had to update here!

To play catch-up very quickly, Eli is now a feisty 2.5 year old who does everything he isn't supposed to do. Before 2 years old, he was climbing out of his crib and scaling baby gates. His newest skill is unbuckling his car seat buckle and chest clip while the car is moving so driving in the dark has become pretty terrifying for Mom and Dad. I'm pretty sure he has a death wish, but we're working on an intervention.

Grace is 4.5 and is in her last year of Pre-K. She is so excited to go to Kindergarten next year and asks daily if she's bigger yet since I told her she can't go to Kindergarten "until she's bigger". She likes to play pretend and boss around Eli who does whatever she says. She has quite the sense of humor and I am constantly writing down the funny things she says so I don't forget them.

Jacob is almost 6 (in two months!) and repeated Pre-K this year instead of attending Kindergarten. We decided to hold him back to let him mature for one more year mostly in the areas of speech and peer-to-peer interaction and he has come very far in both areas. He and Grace will now start Kindergarten together in the Fall. Jacob likes to play hide and seek and go to school. His favorite part of school is snack and seeing his BFF Tristan.

The biggest surprise this past year was finding out in May that we were unexpectedly expecting! In August, we found out that we were having another baby girl and have been over the moon waiting for baby #4 to complete our family. Unfortunately, after two relatively uncomplicated pregnancies we gave birth to another preemie. Fortunately, she is what they call a "late term" preemie and they typically do well. She is having some struggles though and is still in the hospital at 23 days old and will be there for awhile longer until she gets the suck/swallow/breathe reflex down.

This blog was originally created as a way to document Jacob's NICU journey and I figured it would be unfair to Annabelle to ignore HER journey so I had to resurrect this old blog and update on her status. For now, I'll post a pic with her stats and come back later to update on her condition and outlook.

Annabelle Chloe
12/16/13 @ 4:53 AM
5 lbs 15 oz 19.5 inches

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nine Months

Eli, you are 9 months old! (pictures for these month posts coming soon....promise!)

You have officially been an outside baby longer than you were an inside baby!

This has been another banner month for you. A few days after you hit 8 months you got your second tooth! Only two days after that you were able to put yourself into a sitting position and abandoned the army crawl to crawl on your knees full time. You are now pulling to stand as well and I am starting to think you'll be an early walker!

You are still wearing size 4 diapers and wear some 6-12 and mostly 12-18 month clothes.

This week you had your 9 month well visit! Here are your stats:

Height: 28.3 inches (51%)
Weight: 20 lb 7 oz (64%)
Head: 45.5 cm (65%)

Your percentiles dropped significantly from your last well visit so your growth has definitely slowed. Good thing too because there is only 10 pounds separating you from your 4 year old brother! The next time you go back to the Pediatrician you will be ONE YEAR OLD!

This month I decided to pack up the Pack N Play and put you in your crib. I have been hesitating to do this since you will temporarily be sharing a room with Grace and it is still hit or miss whether or not you sleep through the night. I was nervous about you waking her up and everyone being up at 3 am, but you have been in there for a couple of weeks and you only got up a couple of times before 5 am! I am hoping that getting you to sleep in your crib was just what we needed to get you to sleep through the night!
You weigh around 20 pounds, and it was getting hard to carry you in the bucket seat, so we have graduated to the big boy car seat now! You love being in more of a sitting up position and looking out the window! You also have a better view of your siblings in the backseat who like to make goofy faces at you. :)

We also retired the baby bathtub and have started throwing you in the big tub with Jacob and Grace. It is much easier giving you all baths at once and Jacob and Grace think it is so funny having you in there with them.

I can't believe how big you are getting. I walked around the corner from the kitchen the other day and you were standing at the gate waiting for me to come back. I couldn't believe how big you looked standing there like a big boy. I feel like just yesterday I was snuggling you in the hospital and waiting for your brother and sister to get there to meet you. When I was pregnant, I remember wondering who you would like and I couldn't wait to meet you. When you were a few months old, I remember wondering what you would be like and how much you would've changed on your first birthday. Here we are only a few months away and I find myself wondering what you will be doing this time next year and I know it will be here sooner than I can imagine.

You've only been here for 9 months and I can't even remember life before you came. You are such a blessing and we love you so much. I hope you always know how special you are.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jacob's Pirate Party

Last month, on the 23rd, Jacob turned four years old!

I can hardly believe the little boy who made me a Mama is already four! We celebrated with a Pirate party on Saturday the 31st. Jacob loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates and the soundtrack is on repeat in our minivan right now. Since the entire CD is 20 minutes long....seriously.... it needs to be longer, I know all of the words to all of the songs by heart.

I don't have many pictures since I was helping unwrap presents and serving food and drinks. This was the first year Jacob was really excited for his party. He knew it was his birthday and for weeks before hand he would hand out party hats at dinner, make us sing Happy Birthday and "practice" blowing out fake candles. Hilarious!

We had pizza for lunch and then ate cake. All the kids got pirate bandanas, pirate swords and eye patches! I can't believe that at his next birthday he'll be 5 years old and eligible for Kindergarten. He is growing up way too fast.

As for presents, this year he got Leap Frog Tag and four books, a Spiderman action figure, Spiderman and Batman books, a Cars race track with Francesco Bernoulli and Lightning McQueen, a baseball glove, baseballs and a Red Sox hat, a Thomas counting game, a drum, a Lightning McQueen t-shirt, a Mickey Mouse Look and Find book, a Chuck the Truck toy, a Spiderman puzzle and a remote control Finn McMissile!

On his actual birthday, we took him to see The Fresh Beat Band at the Orpheum Theater in Boston. This was the first time we left Eli since he was born and the first "concert" for Jacob and Grace. The FBB put on a great show and the kids had a blast. They were dancing in the aisles and singing along to all the songs while Jacob waved frantically yelling, "HI!!!" as if they could see and hear him. It was an unseasonably warm day for March with highs in the 70's so we wore t-shirts and had a nice stroll through Boston on our way to the show.

Grace's favorite, Kiki!!

Jacob's favorite, Twist!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eight Months!

**pictures coming soon!!!!**

Eli, you are 8 months old!

I can hardly believe it is now April and in a few short months you will be ONE YEAR OLD! This has to have been the fastest year of my entire life. I know they say that once you have kids the years fly by, but apparently once you have THREE kids they start going by at warp speed.

You currently weigh somewhere between 20-22 lbs and you are wearing some 12 month and some 18 month clothes. You wear a size 4 diaper and probably will stay in a 4 for quite some time now that your weight gain is slowing. You are still nursing around 4 times a day (more if you get up at night) and taking two-three meals of solids. You love yogurt, puffs, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas, applesauce and oatmeal the best. You haven't been a fan of green beans which is shocking since the other two loved them! We have started trying out a sippy cup, but so far you just like to dangle it over the side of your tray and watch it drop to the floor. You have already cracked one of them so I hope that novelty wears off soon!

You have been on the move this past month and have mastered the army crawl. I have never, in my life, seen a baby more efficient and FAST at army crawling all over an entire house. You will occassionally scoot on your knees, but you realize how much faster you can move if you drag yourself so you immediately drop and start dragging. We have noticed you only use one arm and foot to propel yourself so we are trying to help you utilize your other half!

You have TEETH! Finally! On March 12th you had your first tooth pop through those gums and you aren't quite as cranky. Even though you were technically in your 9th month, I will also throw in that on March 29th your second bottom tooth came through. I am going to miss that gummy smile, but I am so happy they are finally cutting and hoping we'll see some relief in the sleep department. So far every night is hit or miss. You can be up twice or sleep straight through until 5-6 am. Hopefully this starts improving because we'd like to get you out of our bedroom and into your crib, but I don't want you waking up your big sister since you'll be in with her!

Now that you can move it is getting harder and harder to get pictures of you because you never sit still! You are constantly on the move and once you set your sights on something you drag yourself as fast as possible to the other side of the room to get to it before someone else does. I think you are starting to realize that you have two older siblings who move quicker than you do. You are fighting to keep up and before long you will be running around with both of them!

As for your siblings, you still adore Grace and vice versa. She loves being a big sister and as we pulled up to the register today at Target she said to the checkout cashier, "Hi! I'm the big sister!". She loves you and lets everyone know it, but just between us I think she was expecting a sticker! Jacob is really coming around and paying more attention to you, but these days he has more important things to tend to like Pirates and Spiderman. :)

You are well on your way to 9 months and have already had some exciting developments so I can't wait to update in a month on all the new things you are doing! It's also time to start planning your birthday party. Since you'll be having a shared party with Grace we have decided to go with a Carnival theme! I am so excited to plan this one!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Seven Months!

Welcome to what is quite possibly the latest post EVER!

Eli was seven months old on February 26th, but my laptop is on the fritz so I haven't been able to upload my pics. I kept waiting so that I could put a picture with this post, but if I keep waiting we'll just pass on by month #8 which is this coming Monday! Please imagine an adorable picture of a chubby little baby wearing a onesie with a number 7 on it and I will add it to this post as soon as I get my laptop up and running again.

Eli, you are SEVEN months old!

You must be well over 20 pounds by now. You are still in size 4 diapers and you can now wear some 12-18 month clothes!

You bucket roll all over the living room, rock back and forth on your knees and sit for short periods of time. You still haven't learned that if you throw yourself backwards when sitting you'll smash your little head off the floor so we need to pile up some pillows and blankets around you! You still love your crab and snail, but you have absolutely loved your Leap Frog Learn and Groove Musical Table this month. We still have the legs off, but I have a feeling in no time the legs will be back on and you will be pulling up to stand on it.

You are still sleeping horrible and up at least once or twice every night. Those nasty teeth are well on their way and I can now see little white nubs under your gums so they should pop through anytime now! You haven't been nursing good either because of the pain so it has been hard on both of us!

You have become a champ at eating solids and you are up to 2 meals a day. I usually will mix a jar of veggies with rice cereal or a jar of fruit with oatmeal and you haven't refused anything yet! Your favorite fruit is banans and your favortie veggie is sweet potatoes. You are also a fan of blueberry yogurt which we just started this month. We started giving you cheerios, but we are still having to break them in half so you don't choke!

I'm hoping in the next month to start you on the tilty cup and try and get you to drink some water from a cup. We had a really hard time with your brother and sister and they went right from a bottle to a straw so I am hoping to get you on a cup sooner rather than later so we don't have any trouble transitioning you.

Your next appointment is your 9 month appointment at the end of next month so we'll have some updated stats for you then!

Hopefully your 8th month will bring some relief (TEETH!) and some better sleeping patterns because Mama is T-I-R-E-D!

Monday, February 20, 2012

March for Babies 2012

It's that time of year again, folks! The time I post about how my 24 week, 1 lb 7 oz baby boy is a miracle and guilt all of my family and friends into walking/donating for premature babies!

I'll spare you the long story again (which you can read here) and just let you know that our walk is scheduled for Saturday, May 12th and it begins at 12:30 pm. It is a short, 3 mile walk around the scenic Charles River and is a great excuse to get your family into the great city of Boston for some sight seeing!

If you feel like donating, there is a widget on my left sidebar (which is secure and will take you directly to our page - Team Chicken Wing!) or if you want more details about the walk you can e-mail me through the contact tab at the top of my blog. You can also send me an e-mail for a mailing address if you prefer to mail a check made out to March of Dimes.

Again, thanks for all of your support!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recipe: Cherry Pineapple Cobbler

It is no secret in my house that I would love a slice of cheesecake/chocolate cake/brownie any time of day and I rarely pass on dessert. One thing I absolutely LOVE is a good cobbler. I love going apple picking in the Fall because it gives me a good excuse to make 6,783 pans of apple crisp. My husband, on the other hand, is a strict believer in "fruit and dessert don't go together". He will not touch any type of fruit pie, cobbler, etc. which doesn't bother me because then I can have more!

I was thinking back to my childhood recently and out of nowhere remembered a dessert my Mom used to make that I used to BEG her for all the time.

Some of you may have heard of this before, but I had to share the recipe for those of you who haven't discovered it yet. In many other parts of the country, this is lovingly referred to as "dump cake" which doesn't sound quite appetizing so I have no idea who came up with that. Yes, I realize this is unhealthy, processed, canned, etc., but it is also DELICIOUS. It definitely falls in the comfort food category right next to baked macaroni and cheese.

There are many other combinations you can make, but the cherry-pineapple is my favorite combo. It is an easy recipe to whip up and doesn't require much effort, but still tastes delicious! I've modified the recipe a bit from the original to fit my preferences so feel free to make it your own! ENJOY!

Duncan-Hines Cherry Pineapple Cobbler

1 pkg of Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Butter cake mix
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 15 oz can of crushed pineapple
1 stick of margarine or butter
1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Baking Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Grease a 9x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray
3. Spread cherry pie filling on bottom of pan
4. Spread can of crushed pineapple with the juice on top of cherry pie filling
5. Sprinkle half of the dry cake mix on top, making an even layer
6. Randomly put slices of butter/margarine on top of dry cake mix
7. Sprinkle walnuts over top. Do not mix! Leave as is.
8. Bake 45-55 min until bubbly and golden on top
9. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Some other popular combos include blueberry pie filling and lemon cake mix and apple pie filling with spice cake mix.
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