Friday, March 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes - "Bad Mother of 2012" Edition

I have been working really hard recently on mastering something that I am assuming most seasoned mothers end up mastering, whether consciously or unconsciously. Since becoming pregnant again and being in a constant stupor of nausea, my need to be horizontal has increased greatly. My preferred place to lay is our living room couch- it is the best but unfortunately there are no toys in the living room, so the children are generally off in another room playing or something. My need to eat constantly has also increased, and so too has the need to eat in secret without my girls' tiny mouths gaping menacingly toward my precious food.

As a result, I have been acquiring a growing knowledge of my kids' needs and their needs. I used run into the room at the first little cry for help by one or the other, but this can no longer happen. I have been working on an in-depth analysis of their needs based on different components of the given situation. I also ask myself a series of questions concerning the situation in order to determine whether or not I will need to summon the non-existent energy from somewhere in my body and attend to the crazies or whether I should let things work themselves out, despite the screaming. Here are some of my observations:

1) The early morning hours are unfortunately when my eldest always decided to relieve herself of all non-liquid bodily waste and therefore there are often cries from the room for me to come and fetch her to go to the potty or change her already soiled diaper. This is an instance that requires immediate attention- when immediate attention has not been given, it has generally led to the carpet needing to be cleaned and scrubbed later that day- not worth the extra minutes laying in bed. This can easily be assessed by the words she is using like "Mommy, I went pooo...!". Alright, on to the next.

2) The pitch of their screams. I am of the opinion that at least my girls, when they are crying, are crying wolf. A toy will be taken away by one and the other screams like someone just killed her puppy. I usually wait a good 3 minutes to see if the screams die down or build up.

3) If loud noises such as doors slamming or thuds and/or bangs accompany the cries, the child should probably be attended to.

4) I try to assess how quiet it has been and for how long? I have always heard moms say that when it is totally quiet, that is when you should be really worried. Going off of this advice, I have ruined many a peaceful moment by running into a room only to find perfectly happy, content children playing or reading or doing something harmless.
case in point

Once they see my face the contentedness leaves and the demands start: "I need juice!", "Beeka!!!!(blankie)", "Baaaoooo (bottle)"- whatever. I am there so they are no longer happy. So I do not go into a quiet room anymore, I listen for surrounding sounds (toys clanging, pages turning, etc) and if it has been a really long time I tiptoe over as silently as possible and attempt to peek in with one eye and not be seen. (If you're really serious you could purchase a picture frame or mirror to hang on a wall across from the doorway so you do not have to go into the room at all but can make sure all is well from their reflection.)

5) Sometimes other sounds will start to concern me, like toys banging together or on other surfaces or things dragging, but again, I try to wait this out and listen for any echoes or ripping- this will give you a good idea of what toy it is (super breakable or not) or if any real damage is being done.

6) If a child politely requests something from me from the other room, on the merits of good manners and sweetness, I generally get my butt up and get it for them. I am not so bad.

7) And if you just enjoy being with your kids and soaking up every second you can with them, you could just be in the same room as them and not worry about any of these things. I love them, but I love my couch perch too.

I think I win the Bad Mother of 2012 award.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Granola, dummy

Since the new growth of the new baby resulting in newausea, I have ceased all gratuitous baking, crafting, hobbying of any kind. However, while out with a friend (a rare occasion) the other day I was given a fantastic sounding recipe for some homemade granola. This was really timely since even though I make almost nothing by way of food these days, I EAT almost everything by way of food these days. I also get terribly anxious when food starts to become scarce, so I thought I would add to our supply now to decrease potential anxiety.

So this afternoon I summoned any traces of homemaking left in my inhabited body and put all the delicious ingredients together and baked away. It was all going well...

And then I baked it on the bottom rack of the oven, like the really low bottom rack right next to the hot wires. Then I forgot to check on it for a little bit and it would have been great but now it's bad.

I got what I deserved. Now instead of enjoying some seriously delish granola I am gagging down charred nuts and coconut. This is at least making me think that maybe I could stomach the gross looking Chia that every-one-in the world is raving about... we'll see.

But for those of you who are not dummies and will not waste a perfectly good batch of granola by baking on the bottom rack, here is the recipe:

3 cups oats
1/2 cup crushed nuts (I used walnuts, do what suits you)
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 craisins or raisins or any delicious dried fruit
1/4 cup flax seeds

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup*
1/3 oil (veg, canola, coconut, whatev)

Mix it all together and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes stirring every 5-10 minutes until crispy.
*I didn't have maple syrup so I used 1/2 cup honey and some maple extract.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nausea's the werrrddddddd

What did you do today?

It was a pretty normal day around here, but then I got to go and get a little glimpse inside my uterus and saw this:



New Baby Hahn ETA 10/25/2012

Yup, just a normal day.

So in case you were wondering about my lame attempts at keeping up with blogging by posting pointless/random things with a total of 3 sentences and 1 random picture (I say it is better than nothing) or if you were concerned about my girl's increased television intake, worry not. I am just living in a perm-state of nausea and fatigue wherein everyday melds into the next. I spend almost all of them laying somewhere in our house: floor, couch, cushions on floor, child's bed, my bed, etc...  hoping and literally praying that the children are fending well enough for themselves while I try with all my might not to expel all the food I have just eaten.


I'll keep on keepin on and try to update you at least bi-weekly on my current state since you might die of information deprivation if I don't. And now that the cat's out of the bag I can complain away about all my pregnancy woes.

Seriously though, we are thrilled beyond belief and I have actually been glad to be feeling sick just to reassure me that all is well with this peanut. (please remind me of this when the complain train won't stop)

Cheers to 10 weeks and counting!!

Came across this picture

And had to share.
My little brother got married last October to one of the most fantastic women I have ever met (he's pretty great too) and this is the picture of them with all of her family after the wedding.
She is the youngest of 13 and has such an incredible family. I have never had so much fun with another family other than my own and I have always been convinced that my family is the most fun, but I had to question that after meeting them.
After they were married they each had almost 70 little kids who would now call them aunt or uncle. She has close to 50 nieces and nephews and he has over 20- amazing.
I pretty much brag about them whenever I possible get the chance, so here you go.

What can I say? I love my family and I love these guys.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dear vanilla cream sandwhich cookies,

If that is your real name.
You can go back to the bowels of whatever soul sucking calorie filled hole you came from and stop ruining any attempt at healthy eating that I am lying and saying I am doing.
I think I have eaten 10 of you today, that is not ok. But it feels so right.
I was wrong. Don't go away. Stay by my side and never leave,
I love you.
Love,
Ana

creeeeepy

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Too many pictures

I did not feel like picking which pictures were best to document Naomi's 3rd birthday, and since I realize that very few people will care anyways, I just put them all up. I guess we can just call it a storyboard.
Here you can see the all-too-excited birthday queen standing next to her all-too-expensive princess balloon which I woke up an hour earlier than usually to trot to the store to purchase (I DID NOT know how darn expensive these stinkin' balloons are- I am going to make it last for as many birthdays as I can, and even if we have boys in the future, I will re-inflate this thing if it kills me).
I also purchased some birthday donuts, which the girls are eating here, while I was at the store at 7:30 a.m. That is seriously the time to get donuts and to be at the store in general, if only I weren't so lazy.
 Post-donut present-opening. Bernadette definitely did not understand who or what we were celebrating.
 Gifts from Grammy and Gramps (i.e., my parents).
One of the shirts has a skull (!) on it, but I am so desperate for clothing for Naomi, I think she is just going to have to sport it.
 B-day card from Grammy and Gramps, complete with cute picture of them on it.
 Gift (try like 15 of them) from Nana and Papa (Mike's parents)- they really put us to shame.
 More gifts from Nana and Papa.
"Finally a gift from mommy and daddy, they really do love me!"
 And, it's party time. At 10 a.m., we get crazy up in here.
 Friends!
 Fish cake! 

The pictures do not capture how many friends came to the party, because I did not take any pictures after the first 2 friends arrived, but I am so grateful for all the wonderful friends we've made here and how many great little friends Naomi has made- it was a pretty awesome 3rd birthday party.

And a farewell from an extremely over-sugared Bernadette. She really crashed right after this.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Flashback Birth Story

*Warning: this post is needlessly lengthy and contains information that you probably don't want to, or at least don't need to know. If you are bedridden or just really really bored, it may suit you, otherwise know that you have been warned. 

I figured that it would be appropriate on the eve of my first born daughter's birthday to type a little flashback birth story since it was on the eve of her birth that things began and we knew we would be meeting our first child soon (although we had no idea just how soon it would be). I love that I have a blog just for this reason, that it is acceptable to type out an entire story of a child's birth AND people will read it AND even enjoy it (ok that is a stretch, at least I know that I enjoy a good birth story, but that's just me). Anyways, here we go.


 The Build Up
It's best to start off with the morning of the day that my labor started. I woke up on Sunday, March 22nd having absolutely no reason to think that I would be having a baby the next morning, there were no signs of labor and I was not due for almost 2 more weeks.

At the shower and swollen as ever
In fact several of my friends that I went to college with and who now live here in South Bend, were throwing me a baby shower that day. We woke up, went to Mass, went for a walk since it was in the 70s that day, and I put a skirt on in order to look decent, though mighty swollen, for the shower and I took off to go celebrate with friends.

It was a great shower, so many of my friends were there and I got lots of awesome stuff (my ergo baby, our baby swing and bouncy seat), which completed what we needed before the baby could come. When I finished opening all the wonderfully generous loot I looked down at my belly and said "Alright, Naomi, you can come now. We have everything we need". Little did I know that she would actually heed these words.




 It's coming
I got home from the shower, super excited to show Mike all the great stuff and did so, then I made some dinner: a beef casserole, Mike's favorite. A little aside here: I should mention that dinner the evening prior was the spiciest Thai food that I or Mike have ever consumed, so spicy that Mike got the hiccups and was sweating. We ordered this intentionally to jump start labor as this was still technically Mike's Spring break and we thought the timing would be good and I was doing everything under the sun to start labor including but not limited to eating an entire pineapple. I ate all the Thai food.

Back to that day. We ate our dinner and watched either the Simpsons or 24, I used to joke that Naomi would come out and only recognize Jack Bauer's voice as her father's, we watched it a lot. Later that evening, around 8 or 8:30 Mike decided to take out the baby swing to put it together and as he was doing so there was something in the assembly that required my help, so I walked over to oblige. I knelt down, sat my bottom back on my feet, and POP, GUSH, WOOSH, water everywhere. I knew well enough what peeing your pants feels like (don't ask) and also knew that I had not suddenly become incontinent. I don't remember exactly what I said to Mike but I know he was pretty confused about what had actually happened for a few minutes, as was I, until I visited the bathroom and then I was pretty confident in my assessment.


On the way to the hospital
Needless to say we were both in a bit of shock and unsure of what to do. Labor didn't kick in right away so I called my sister and my birthing class instructor and then my midwife. In my sister's first labor she was about a week early, her water broke and she had the baby 6 hours later, so I think she encouraged me to call someone professional so my next step was the instructor of our Bradley class. She said I probably wouldn't have the baby until the next day but that I should call the midwife since they like to know when your water breaks. I called the midwife who eventually called back to ask about contractions which had started but were 5 minutes apart so she said I probably wouldn't have the baby until the next day. 
Mike and I knew that once the contractions were 1 minute long and 1 minute apart or getting close to that, that we should definitely go to the hospital.

Within one hour they were almost to this point. We lived right next door to the hospital so we were going to be walking there. I didn't even have a bag packed yet so I did that in the hour that the contractions were picking up. I also spent a good deal of time in the bathroom due to the revenge of the insanely spicy Thai food, which I credit completely for starting labor. It was like drinking caster oil. I think. (sorry, major TMI)


Off we go
Anyways, off we went to the hospital on foot, stopping every minute or so for me to hang on Mike and try to "breathe" through contractions. We got a lot of stares from bystanders. Finally we arrived in the labor and delivery ward and walked up to the desk. "My water broke" I said to the lady. "Ok" she said. She called someone over to update them on our status and says "This lady thinks her water broke." I was a bit peeved at their complete lack of taking me seriously even though I understood why, but I was soon vindicated. They took me in to that Triage room had me pee in a cup and immediately determined that indeed my water HAD broke, fancy that! And as soon as they saw a few contractions come they decided to whisk me right into a birthing room. They strapped me up to all of the monitoring stuff and then checked to see how dilated I was: 5cm.  Not bad for a girl who just went into labor 2 hours ago.

Being strapped to all that stuff was the worst part other than pushing and it kept moving around on my belly so instead of being hooked to it for 20 minutes I was there for 45 and quite angry about it. I could not even talk to Mike between contractions it was so bad. When they finally unhooked me I demanded to go in the birthing tub, although I did not intend to actually give birth there. They filled it up which took what felt like forever and I think within 1 minute of being in there I was talking and laughing again, eating Popsicles and drinking ice water- I totally recommend water while laboring. (or just get an epidural, duh.)


And, she's here
The talking and laughing probably only last about 10 full minutes until things picked up more and then it's really all a blur (I know you're thanking God right now-if you're still reading- that the deats might be slowing down and the story might be speeding up. we'll see if you get lucky.) I know that I pushed for an hour and a half and that Naomi's head was apparently "stuck on my pelvic bone," which is exactly what it felt like. And I also remember that I slept between contractions while pushing since by this time it was 2 in the morning. So finally after an "eternity" of pushing she popped out. Right there in the tub. I was in total shock that there was actually a baby at the end of all this. What a fun surprise! No seriously, I just kept saying "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh," looking at her. I just never really thought concretely about what it would be like to push out a person. I probably would have spent the last couple weeks of my pregnancy doing so and maybe I wouldn't have been so caught off guard, but this was good too. So good.

It was really such an uneventful delivery, there were no uncomfortable consequences of pushing her big head out and I was able to go home that very day. Obviously since she was born at 2:46 a.m., I spent that night in the hospital, but we were home for dinner the next evening, which was such a blessing considering I don't think that I got even one wink of sleep that night from all the nurses barging in to check on me (they are fantastic nurses, but why do they have to come in so much?!?). And so that's it. Water broke and 6 hours later little Naomi Therese was in my arms, all 7 pounds 3 ounces of her.
Ready to head home for the first time.

My mom got there the very day we called to tell her Naomi was born, she's good people.


And now she is hours away form being a 3-year-old. No biggie to all you parents with teens and whatnot, but a biggie to me who seriously cannot picture her being any bigger than this sometimes:
Her first day of life, resting in the swing that I tried to help assemble as her warm little sac of a home exploded.





















































 And now for an ensemble of pictures.
Dressed up like her (middle) namesake, St. Therese, for All Saints Day 2009

at 9 months

1st birthday
2nd birthday



And now, after an illicit though admittedly impressive application of my mascara.
Happy birthday little Nomie girl, I love you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I believe the children are our future.

If this song is stuck in your head for the duration of the day, my work here is done. 
Hahaha (evil laugh)

We've been outside for a lot of 3 minute spurts every 15 minutes for the past week since global warming is finally showing something for itself. This has entailed a lot of dressing the children, coating them with sunscreen, putting shoes on them, going outside, filling the water table, them soaking themselves and then wanting to go inside, bringing them in, re-dressing them and repeating the whole process 15 minutes later. It has been SO fun! (you could cut my sarcasm with a knife)
 Bernadette is completely soaked here, and she was terrible at eating an ice cream cone.
She decided to lay prostrate in front of the door to try to avert an inevitable nasty diaper change. I think she thought I wouldn't see her.
 Is there anything cuter than tiny girls in bathing suits? I submit there is not.
So special.
These girls are going to rule the world someday, you wait and see.
RIP Whitney.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How to fail during Lent

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Over the past 11 years of seriously trying to be a good Catholic, I think that I have become somewhat of an expert on Lent. Yes I think that I have gotten it down.

Oh you thought I meant sacrifice? Penance? No, no. I have become a veritable expert at how to really botch Lent. I really cannot think of Lent where I got to the end thinking "I did it! I kept to everything I set out to do! Huzzah!"

So without further ado, in case you were sitting around thinking that you were doing too well this Lent, here are some things you can do to cut yourself down to size.
7 ways to fail during Lent:

1) Don't give anything up. Just tell yourself that you will cut down on everything. After all it is all about moderation and you are the picture of it, right?  (You probably are, I on the other hand...)

2) Hop on the Internet first thing in the morning even though your prayer books are sitting right next to your computer. Your email CANNOT wait!!

3) Continue to buy lots of sweet treats to indulge in and tell yourself they are for the kids.

I did not eat any (lying)

4) Have lots of conversations about Lent with your friends and how they are doing with their sacrifices to ensure that you feel good and discouraged about whatever you did set out to do.

5) Do lots of online shopping, no better way to stay in the spirit of the world.

6) Tell yourself that you'll get it together by the Triduum, that's when all the good stuff happens anyways.

7) Expect that your toddler will remind you to do stations of the cross every Friday, she is the one with the little book that you use so this is on her.

But for real, I am really glad there are a few weeks left, I usually don't compile a list like this in my head until the very end and then sit a feel bad about myself, so this is an improvement. Baby steps.

Have a blessed rest of Lent!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tagged

I have been tagged by Grace and JD and since I need some accountability to a better or at least a more frequent blogger, I have decided to participate.

I thought about just copying and pasting someone else's post and seeing if anyone would notice, but I am better than that, sooooo
Here we go...

1. The first rule is to post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 things about yourself/your life .
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them that you've tagged them.

I am the one in the schnazzy purple overalls with tongue sticking out. The more things change...


1) I am the 5th of 8 children
2) I have 22 nieces and nephews, and I'm only 26, and several of my (and Mike's) younger sibs are not even married.
3) I was once in a beauty pageant, I was a regular Sandra Bullock
4) Alice in Wonderland and Willie Wonka were my favorite movies growing up, it says a bit about me
5) I have never been to Disney World, I was a deprived child
6) I am related (by marriage) to a "famous" Catholic celeb. Autographs later please.
7) I lost 40 pounds in 4 months last year, I am sure I will gain it all back eventually in much less time
8) I hate do not like dogs
9) My husband does not like hates cats
10) I'm a tad overly sensitive sometimes and feel guilty way too easily
11) I love being around people and when I'm not it makes me nervous

Since Grace tagged me first, I'll answer her questions:
1. age? 26 and 11/12ths
2. dream job? stage actress (what?!?! I made that up, I have no idea)
3. favorite blog? my own, kidding! either Grace's or Dwija's or like 15 others... tough question
4. favorite recipe? this one, make it, you won't regret it
5. favorite book? Brideshead Revisited
6. one piece or two piece swimsuit? ONE for everyone's sake
7. most embarrassing moment? oh dear. getting arrested for shooting someone with a BB gun, yup that takes the cake
8. pet(s)? if yes, name(s)? no way *see numbers 9&10 above
9. specific makeup item you couldn't live without? mascara
10. favorite song of the moment? Long Time Traveler, has been for a while
11. weekend plans? Watch out people: lots of couch sitting, movie watching, and child rearing. We get crazy up in here.

Some Q&As
1) favorite color and why?
2) favorite kind of shoe to wear?
3) best time of day?
4) Favorite book?
5) Jeans or skirt?
6) Favorite movie?
7) How many kids would you like?
8) If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
9) Favorite recipe?
10) Favorite blog?
11) Favorite person?
Alrighty, so here are some people that should do this :


And I have a pie in the oven so that's all I can think of for now.




Tips for battle

I took the girls to get "professional" pictures taken yesterday for the second time since Bernadette was born. I hate doing this, or at least I hated it when I did it last time and said I would never do it again or something to that effect. Of course I came to my senses at some point and realized that it must be done, if only to appease the Grandparents. So this time I went prepared and here are some tips I came up with. Chances are these are all obvious to you so this is more for my own pathetic memory lest I forget my own life lessons. 

1) Pick a good age: this was the #1 issue the first time. B was 5 months and Naomi was almost 2 (for some reason we want to have a baby picture taken at 5 months of all our children so that one day we can have a "Baby picture wall" or something- the age is totally random). What I should have done is only taken Bernadette and gotten her standard picture taken because taking a child on the verge of the worst age I have encoutered yet (not that I have encountered many ages). In the end I think I will just never take a 2 year old again.

2)Bring many a treat. No really, load up your purse. If you are a good parent and do not keep things like bulk packages of fruit snacks and super sugary juice boxes around, go buy some and bring them. This was indispensable.

3) Pick a good time of day. No brainer.

4) Be ready to work. Regardless of how good your photographer is, they cannot make your children behave

5) Be prepared for meltdowns. No matter how prepared you are, it is probably going to happen.

I am sure there are more, but I am typing this the day after and have already forgotten some of how yesterday even went. Here are some highlights from the sesh.











We're thinking of changing Naomi's name to Naomi "the ham" Hahn.