Saturday, December 12, 2009

XMas Party

We went to Dennis's work Christmas party last night. They know how to keep a two year old happy...

Bubble wrap on the floor:

And a big jumping house:

Elyse didn't want to have anything to do with the Santa even when we told her he had a present for her. I don't blame her. He is kind of a scary old guy.

Now when Dennis goes to work each morning, I think Elyse is going to think he just pops bubble wrap all day long. The few, the proud, the Marines. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Madelyn-2 Months!

Two months already! Look at our cutie!!

She's becoming a big smiler! Madelyn is a happy girl, still a very easy baby. She's starting to really grin and even squeal with delight on occasion. She's staying awake a little more and is starting to become fairly predictable with her sleeping and awake times. I've gotten her and Elyse to nap at the same time most days which is a huge treat for me!!

Everyone says she looks just like Dennis! We were at his work Christmas party tonight and people kept saying it looks like we took his face and glued it on Madelyn.

Here is a video of here from this morning:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Everything you ever wanted to know about how we celebrate Christmas...

...but didn't care enough to ask. (Copied from my friend Rachael's blog)

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Definitely hot chocolate, although if I'm going to have the calories of chocolate, I'd rather have it in its solid form. Dennis likes Egg Nog. I don't get it.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We (gasp!) probably aren't going to do Santa with the kids. We haven't quite figured out how it is going to work yet. But, certainly any presents we give or receive are wrapped. Half of the fun is trying to guess what they are ahead of time.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White lights. Classic.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No. But I would like to.

5. When do you put your decorations up? This year we put them up on Thanksgiving morning while we watched the Macy's Parade. I think it's a tradition I'd like to continue.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Hmmm...what don't I like? The traditional "Thanksgiving"meal is one of my favorites. Any kind of cookie is good too.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Traditionally, my family opened presents on Christmas morning. One year, once we were a little older, they decided we would start opening them on Christmas Eve. My parents stood in front of my brother and I and told us they had an announcement to make. My dad told us my mom was pregnant. Of course, it wasn't true, so my mom started laughing so hard she almost peed her pants. I think my brother started crying because he wanted to stay the youngest, but got over it soon when he discovered it was time to open presents. Every year after that, we went to a movie and dinner together on Christmas Even, and then came home to open presents. It was a nice tradition.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think I was in first grade. Someone told me on the playground. I can actually still picture the spot. One of those moments that is etched in my mind.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We open all of them!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Pretty simply. White lights, some red and silver balls and the ornaments from my childhood. My grandma gave us two ornaments each year for of our Halloween costume and another to represent one of our hobbies or interests from the year. It's kind of a fun way to take a trip down memory lane.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Not the biggest fan. One or two good snowfalls a year is good for me.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes! My freshman year of high school, we went to the Rec Plex on Friday nights for ice skating.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Hmmm...there were a lot of good ones. I remember getting a beanbag chair one year and thinking that was pretty cool.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Spending time with my family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Probaby the cookies.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I like them all.

17. What tops your tree? A sad looking bow.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I should say giving but I don't mind receiving either!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? "O Holy Night!" I think it's beautiful. Dennis likes it too and makes up his own versions and sings it in the shower. I listen in when he doesn't know I'm around!

20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? Yuck

21 Favorite Christmas Show? It's a Wonderful Life is a great one.

Copy this post and fill it out on your blog. I did!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Two things that make me happy everyday and one that makes me happy on occasion

The first is PB2. Sounds totally strange, but it is powdered peanut butter. I discovered it at the commissary one day. I am certainly one of the biggest peanut butter lovers I know so I was rather skeptical of any substitute. But, I noticed the calories...only 53 calories per 2 tablespoon vs. 190 in regular peanut butter. Since I'm working hard to lose these extra baby pounds, I was certainly willing to give it a try. And, it's actually pretty good. You mix 2 tablespoons of the powder with one tablespoon water and end up with something that does very closely resemble peanut butter. It's made of just roasted peanuts, salt and sugar, and tastes pretty darn good!

The second is My Tot Clock. Along with parents across the country, we suffered when the time changed. Elyse got up WAY to early (especially for a mama up with a nursing baby during the night). We started teaching her to wait for "big light" (the sun to rise) but that was still happening pretty early and didn't work during naptime. My friend Rachael discovered this and it works GREAT!!! The light is blue when she should be sleeping, yellow when it is OK to wake up (we set the times), it plays music, white noise and even a story (and serves as a night light). Now, we wake up to Elyse yelling, "It's orange (looks orange to her) light! I can get up!!"

My third favorite discovery is the Shark Steam Cleaner. My mom has one and convinced me to get one when she was here to visit. I am all about not using chemicals to clean, but also needed to disinfect. This thing is easy and works. (I bought it cheaper than what is on the website at Bed Bath and Beyond using my 20% off coupon!) And, I used it to de-wrinkle my curtains and disinfect toys.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Platter

Turkey Elyse

Turkey Madelyn

Thursday, November 26, 2009


We've started a gratitude journal with Elyse. Basically, every night (well, when we remember) she tells us what she is thankful for and I write it down. Not sure she quite gets it yet. Here are some of my favorites from the past few months

-cat on my jammies
-mama's shirt
-pee-pee and poo-poo
-bunny noodles (what she calls the mac and cheese I buy because it has a bunny on the front)
-pretzels (she says this one a lot, even when we haven't had pretzels in awhile)
-Ryan and his mama
-yellow baby and brown baby
-"that" (pointing to the air vent in her room)
-my shoes
-Sponge Bob cookie and his eye

Thursday, November 19, 2009


After finishing some laundry this evening, I remembered this pic:

and decided to try and recreate it. Madelyn wasn't having at first...

but after a little snack she relaxed a bit

I used to think they looked a lot alike, especially just after we got home from the hospital. In fact, I felt like I was taking care of two of the same person, just at two different ages. But now that I see them in the similar shots, I think they look very different. What do you think?

(part of it is because Elyse is only about a week old in the first shot and Madelyn is almost six weeks old)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Madelyn-One Month!

It's hard to believe but Madelyn is already one month old today!! We went to the Dr today and she is up to 8 lbs 13 oz, almost two and a half pounds more than her 6 lbs 7 oz at birth.

What a great month it has been! My mom was able to stay for three whole weeks, and then Dennis took a week of his paternity leave after she left, so Monday was actually my first day on my own.

From the very start, Madelyn has been an easy baby. She arrived right when I told her to for goodness sakes! She sleeps A LOT, only seems to cry when she is hungry, getting her diaper changed or being placed in the car seat. We never had to struggle with any kind of day/night confusion. Her awake time is typically is around 7:30 until about 10 when I go to bed. She is a smart kid and knows the best time to get some attention is after her big sister is asleep! She is easy to console, much easier to get to sleep than Elyse was. She is a GREAT feeder, no problems with that. Overall, a fun and easy baby.

The only difficult thing with her is getting her to burp. Maybe she is trying to be proper but it's difficult to get a belch out of her, even when I can tell she needs to burp. Oh, and she has a little case of baby acne, just practicing what it will be like as a teenager.

And as I type this now, she is entertaining herself on the floor, making her first little coos. It is a beautiful little sound!

My goal is to keep these updates going, at least for the first year and take pictures of her on the 11th too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I've seen versions of this pose on several different websites and I thought I would give it a try. Luckily, Elyse was really into it and cooperated with me!


Funny Toddler

The more Elyse can talk, the more I love it. She is a funny kid!! Here are just some things she has said recently.

Me: What are you doing Elyse?
EKK: Making a mess
At least she's honest

Watching Willard Scott on the Today Show wishing 100 year olds happy birthday.
EKK: What's her name?
Nana: Ester
EKK: What's his name?
Nana: Bob
EKK: What's his name?
Nana: Booker
EKK: I have a Booker in my nose.

Making up her own songs:
Ring around the mama,
A pocket full of mama,
A mama! A mama!
We all fall mama!!
(We spent at least 15 minutes at dinner the other night singing various versions of this song, with mama being replaced with everything from Nana, to Pappy, to Cup to flower)

The Jedi Mind Trick:
Rather than asking for anything, Elyse tells us what we want to do. For example, rather than saying "Please carry me" she will say "You want to carry me." This works for everything. "You want to give me some candy." "You want to play with my toys," etc. How can we argue when she is just telling us what we want?

Monday, November 2, 2009


The band playing music at the library Halloween party.

Elyse and her friend Jimmy, super toddlers!

Dennis and I dressed up for his work party. His group was the 300 "Reservists"!

Enjoying the stash!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cow Lick

When the nurse first saw Madelyn, she said that she looks just like daddy, and so far I agree.

One piece of evidence, they share a cow lick in the front of their hair.

And similar expressions!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Doesn't Elyse look like a giant!!!

Madelyn can suck her thumb!

So can Elyse!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Birth of Madelyn--A Rundown of the Day(s)


2:20 We meet Nana at the airport. No more worries about the baby arriving before her!

5:30 Dinner at Carrabas. I ate lots of pasta. Carb load which leads to lots of energy over the next 24 hours. Who knew I would need it!

7:00 Home to watch the Cardinal's game on TV. They lose. Boo. (Yeah for Shirley!)

7:22 pm Posted on Facebook by Andrea:Nana is in town! Madelyn officially has permission to arrive!

10:00 pm I got up to have my mom feel my belly. I was having what I thought was a Braxton-hicks contraction and I wanted her to feel how hard my tummy is. As I was standing there, I felt a gush. My water broke! Off to the hospital!!

12 am Sunday: Check into to Labor and Delivery. I was checked at only 3 cm! I was bummed because I had been at 3 cm at the doctor's office on Friday. Madelyn is really high up. I think we might be in labor for awhile. Dennis and I tried to get some rest.

2:30 Another nurse came in to check me. At 4 cm and Madelyn was still REALLY high. But, soon after she left, I started feeling some real contractions.

3:15 am. I asked the nurse if it is to early to get an epidural. She said she would call anesthesia. Heavy contractions continued.

3:30 I got an epidural. Throughout the 15 minutes or so I had some hard contractions. I tried to imagine my uterus pushing the baby down. Once they were done, I felt like something was happening. I also really had to pee and kept asking for a catheter. So one seemed to hear me.

3:45 I was checked and it turned out that the baby was right there and I was ready to push. FAST!!! My doctor wasn't there yet so some hospital doctor came in. I couldn't understand anything he was saying because of his mumbles and accent. My doctor came in finally and I started pushing. The epidural kicked in except for one spot on my left side. It killed!!! I started saying those things you hear women in labor say that I never thought would come out of my moth.

4:00 Dennis told me that he could see hair. It was a big motivation to keep going! Madelyn's pulse dropped a few times during contractions so they used a vacuum to pull her out.

4:07 Madelyn landed on my chest! She is beautiful! I really couldn't believe that we made it through the VBAC!!! I sort of doubted it the whole way. I felt shock more than anything else. They checked her, cleaned us both up and I got to hold her.


6:30 am Dennis goes to McDonalds to get us breakfast. It tastes delicious!

10:30 Elyse and Nana come to meet Madelyn.

Sunday and Monday:
Hang out with our baby girl! And, eat this special steak lunch provided for new parents by the hospital.

Tuesday morning:
Head home from the hospital
Here is Dennis sleeping in the hospital. The only complaint about the hospital...this bed was REALLY HARD! I actually slept on the couch they had for the daddies because it was way more comfortable than my bed. We got funny looks every time someone came into the room!

We're now home and things are going great. Madelyn is really one of those babies that only cries occasionally when she wants to eat or wants her diaper changed. I feel GREAT!! Definitely a little sore down there but nothing compared to how I felt after the c-section. I can sit up by myself, walk upstairs, etc.

Elyse has been really great too. Yesterday she brought Madelyn stickers to put all over her bed. This morning she went to Madelyn's bed and asked her if she could have some back. Very considerate.

We are truly blessed.