Monday, July 1, 2013

Sleep Date

I mentioned in my last post here that Seamus is not sleeping through the night yet.  We're two very tired parents.  So, I asked my mom if she would mind taking the kids overnight so Bill and I could have an uninterrupted night's sleep.  Saturday morning I drove the hour and a half to my parents house and dropped off the kids, then turned around and drove the hour and half back home.  Bill and I then enjoyed a wonderful 24 hours of DINKdom. 

While I was driving Bill went to the driving range with our brother-in-law.  Then, when I got home we had lunch, and just relaxed on the couch watching a bit of television.  Basically, just relishing the fact that no one needed anything from us.  At 3:30pm we went to the movies.  We saw Man of Steel.  I thought it was good, but not great...kind of long for me; but it was still easily the best Superman movie I've seen.
The movie got out around 6pm, and we headed to dinner.  I received a City Tins set for Christmas, so we've slowly been making our way through the restaurants.  Wanting to avoid downtown Milwaukee due to SummerFest, we chose Maxi's Southern Comfort.  I have been there before, but it was a first for Bill.  We had a really nice dinner.  First Bill had a Mojito and I had Sparkling Wine.  Then, we ordered half a dozen of the Fresh-shucked Raw Oysters as an appetizer.  Bill had never had oysters, and it had been awhile for me.  (Bill actually googled "how to eat oysters" at the table so he would know what to do.)  I thought they were really good, but as per usual with oysters, gone too soon.  Next, we both had a cup of Tortilla Soup, a favorite of ours.  Then, for our entrees, Bill had the " Jambalaya 'Me-Oh-My-A' " (he never passes up Jambalaya on a menu) and I had the special "Turkey Po'Boy".  We both enjoyed everything.  The portions were so big though, that we each took half our entree home.

By the time dinner was over we were both getting tired, which was perfect for the last and main event of our date....SLEEP!  We were literally in bed by 9pm and slept 10 hours straight.  It was glorious!!!  We really needed it.  We also got to enjoy a lazy morning in bed...hadn't had one of those in forever.  We made a quick Target run before heading back down to Illinois to pick up the kids.  They had a really good time with my parents.  Seamus got up twice overnight, but my mom said it was no problem, especially since it was only the one night.  Thanks Mom and Dad!!

Friday, June 28, 2013

3 Months In

It's been over 3 months since we became a family of four, and it has been quite an adjustment (especially since we moved in there as well).  I knew things would be different than they were with Madeleine, but at the same time I thought they wouldn't be...does that make sense?  I guess I underestimated how much of Madeleine's behaviors were just how she was as opposed to us being awesome parents.  I now know that Madeleine was just a really good baby - not that Seamus is bad by any means, it's just a little harder the second time around.  I think Madeleine was definitely meant to be our first born because if Seamus was he probably would be an only child.  So, as we're starting to leave the infant stage behind and entering the chubby baby phase I thought I'd take a moment to let you know how the experience was different the second time around.
Madeleine - The biggest struggle I had with Madeleine the first week was breastfeeding.  It took her five days to figure it all out, and we fed her with a syringe until she did.  I also remember trying really hard to keep her up in the evenings so she would sleep more at night.

Seamus - Seamus spent his entire first week in the NICU at the hospital.  It was one of the hardest weeks of my life.  He was a month early, and his lungs were a bit underdeveloped plus he had a bad case of jaundice.  It was just heartbreaking to see him with a tube down his throat, IV's in his arm, and blindfolded under UV lights; but we knew it was for the best.  It was days before they would even let us hold him.  When we were at the hospital, there was literally nothing we could do but be with him.  We could touch him, and changed his diapers, but until day four that was about it.  When we did finally get to hold him it was always difficult with all the wires attached to him.  We were also exhausted from all the back and forth between the hospital and the house.  Every morning we would drop Madeleine off at daycare and then spend the day at the hospital.  Then we'd leave around 4pm, pick up Madeleine, and spend the evening with her.  After she went to bed I would go back to the hospital until my bedtime.  I never stayed overnight at the NICU as we figured he was in good hands, it would be better to sleep in our own bed, and we wanted to be there for Madeleine in the mornings.  I cannot tell you how happy we were to finally take him home with a clean bill of health.

Madeleine - Like I said, it took Madeleine five days to figure out the whole breastfeeding thing, but once she did it was smooth sailing for us.  I nursed her when I was home, but I also pumped so she had breastmilk for bottle feedings.

Seamus - Since he was early, it took awhile for my milk to come in with Seamus.  I pumped every three hours like clock work and gave what I could.  We told the hospital it was fine to supplement him with formula when needed though.  When I could finally try nursing him, he did pretty first.  Eventually he started to fight the feedings though.  He had (still has) reflux and would arch his back and writhe his head back and forth whenever I tried to feed him.  You could tell he was hungry, but he would not latch on.  So, I started pumping and using bottles instead.  He fought the bottles too, but with medicine and lots and lots of burping per feeding he's gotten better (he still has bad days sometimes).  Pumping was taking up too much time though.  He was eating every two and a half hours, and I could easily spend half that time with just the pumping and feedings.  I was tired and miserable, so I made the call after month one to just switch to formula.  It was a hard decision, but the right one for me.  I had more time to rest, which I needed, and be with my family.  Three months in, he's eating much better, but still occasionally has difficulties.

Madeleine - We had some difficulties getting Madeleine to sleep at night, but not much comparitively.  After her middle of the night feedings she would cry and cry when you put her down.  After two weeks we tried the "cry-it-out" method.  The first night it took her 45 minutes to stop crying and go to sleep.  It only took her three nights to learn to self-soothe herself to sleep.  At 7 weeks old...yes, 7 WEEKS OLD, she started sleeping through the night (9pm to 5am).  Actually, by month four she was sleeping 12 hours a night (6pm to 6am).  We were spoiled.

Seamus - Seamus does not sleep through the night yet!!!!  We are so tired.  Unlike Madeleine, he goes down to bed and falls asleep with no problems, however, he still is waking up usually between 2-3am for a feeding.  He eats quick and goes right back down, but the interruption to our sleep has been brutal.  We're getting there though...he actually slept very well the last two nights, so I'm hoping we're close.  He is an awesome napper though.  We quickly got him on a 2-nap a day schedule.  He takes a nap after his 8:30am bottle, and again after his 12:30pm bottle.  The best I think I did was get them napping at the same time.  They both sleep from about 1-3pm everyday. 
Madeleine - never wanted anything to do with them.  She also has never sucked her thumb.

Seamus - loves them!!  If he is fussy, it instantly soothes him.  We never leave home without it.  He recently started sucking his fingers too.  Basically, if the pacifier is not in his mouth, then his fingers are.

Madeleine - I don't remember that Madeleine had any problems with tummy time.  She would do it for pretty long stretches at a time.  She never minded hanging out in a bouncer, and would instantly fall asleep in a swing.

Seamus - Seamus hates tummy time.  He's usually screaming after 30 seconds.  He seems to really like our bouncer, and is now starting to reach out and play with the toys.  However, he really hates the swing.  If he's already sleeping, he'll sleep in the swing; but if you put him in it awake he does not like it.

Madeleine - Madeleine spit up a lot.  We always had a burp cloth with us, and she wore a bib all the time.  She also would have diaper blow-outs here and there.

Seamus - Seamus never spits I can count on one hand the number of times he has done it so far.  He never wears a bib either (although he is just now starting to drool a bit).  Other than being sprayed a few times the first couple of weeks, his diaper changes are not messy at all.

Madeleine - Madeleine was a great baby, and hardly ever cried.

Seamus - Seamus cries, but I feel that is more our doing than him.  With Madeleine, the second she started to fuss we were there to cater to whatever need she had.  However, sometimes Seamus has to just wait.  Madeleine has to go to potty, or she needs help with something, or I need to get her meal on the table - basically I try to get her set up first, so then I can hopefully deal with the baby's needs with less interruptions.  That sometimes means he has to cry five minutes longer for a bottle.  I will say though, that I think he interracts and smiles a lot more than she did at this age.  Madeleine was always content...Seamus is happy. 
In the end, that is what is most important to me.  He had a tough start, and some days are easier than others for him (and me), but he's really really happy.     

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This and That

Ugh...stupid babies and work keep getting in the way of my blogging!!!

Here's a quick look at what I've been up to lately...

I cut my hair.  I think it is kind of too short, and am still getting used to it.  It's been really long for a while now.  (Also, I have no make-up on and look tired).

We've been enjoying summer the best we can with lots of family get togethers, walks, the park, swimming, and festivals.  Here's Madeleine dancing to the bagpipes at the Scottish Festival.
I also finally got the girl signed up for some classes.  I signed her up for some zoo classes and swimming lessons.  Here she is at her zoo class where they learned about the carousel.
Sometimes we just hang out and watch t.v. too.  I got hooked on The Voice. (I was rooting for Michele, but was okay with Danielle winning too)  I'm glad its over though.  Reality competition shows are too much of a commitment.  Thank goodness for DVR to cut out all the filler.  We essentially just watched the performances and last five minutes of the results show each week.
Photo Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Game of Thrones just ended and True Blood just started back up on HBO, so we've been watching those.  I know I said I probably wouldn't watch it here, but I also watched Under the Dome last night.  I was too curious to see how they would adapt it. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep watching or not yet.  I'll probably watch at least one more episode.  They changed quite a bit from the book.  We also watched a couple of movies: Celeste and Jessie Forever and Zero Dark Thirty.  Both were good, but Zero Dark Thirty was really good.
I haven't bought any new clothes, but I did pick up these shoes for my nightly (well, almost nightly) walks with the dog.
I tried out The Honest Co.'s diapers.  They had a free trial ($5.95 for shipping) for a 7 diapers and 10 wipe sample.  Besides being super cute, I actually liked them.  They aren't as bulky as regular diapers.  I signed up for their delivery service.  I did the math, and it is about equal to what I am paying now for diapers/wipes.  Plus they are so much cuter than my normal Pampers.
Let's see...anything else?  Oh yeah, Seamus smiles all the time now and I love it!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Reports

I finished another book!!  It's been ages since I read a Stephen King novel too.  Both my sister and a friend liked this book, and I thought with the mini-serires coming up that looked pretty good (keep reading for more on that) now was the time to read it.
Under the Dome: by Stephen King
Basically, this book is about small town in Maine that suddenly gets surrounded by an invisible force field cutting them off from the outside world.  I told Bill I was reading it, and he said, "Isn't that the plot of The Simpsons movie?"  Why yes, yes it is, but I decided to read it anyway.

First off, this is quite a long book, but it reads really fast; so don't get turned off by that.  It's also very well-written (I actually broke out my Kindle dictionary quite a bit while reading it), and is a really quite interesting concept.  On the surface it's about the town cut off from the rest of the world, but in reality it's really about power struggles and how people react in extraordinary circumstances.

In general, I really liked the book, but there were a few things that I didn't like.  First, there are some really uncomfortable passages to read - let's just say quite a bit of violence happens under the dome.  Secondly, the timeline seemed a bit unbelievable.  The rate in which bad things start happening was so quick that I was constantly double checking the dates.  (Okay, the dome came down on Saturday, there's now this many people dead, and wait - it's only Monday!!)  The characters do address this quite a bit in the book - just as bewildered by it as me apparently.  Finally, there are so many characters that I sometimes got confused or couldn't remember who people were.  Although, Stephen King does provide a nice little town map and list of characters in the beginning to help with it all.

All in all though, I definately recommend it.

Now, for the bummer part, I thought the television adaptation was a mini-series, but it's actually a new weekly series!!  I was so disappointed.  I was intrigued thinking it was a one and done movie, but I don't want to add another weekly show to my roster.  Plus, I don't know how they could keep the momentum of the story going week after week, season after season - it's just people stuck in a dome after all.  I'm thinking I am not going to watch it, but if you do, let me know how you like it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Madeleine's vocabulary has increased by leaps and bounds over the last few months.  She's still not quite in the full sentences stage, but I can understand her more often than not.  Although, she does still occasionally speak in some sort of gibberish that I swear might be Chinese.

Anyway, she recently has been saying two things that just melt my heart everytime I hear them.

1.  When she wakes up from naps or in the morning she gives me a hug and says...
I miss you, Mommy.

2.  Then the other day on the potty and then today again when I was helping her out of her car seat, she'll ask for a hug then say...
I proud you, Mommy.

It's absolutely adorable.  The "proud" one always makes me smile too.  I don't get told too often that someone is proud of me, so even though its coming from my 2.5 year old - it's nice to hear (especially on those days when I'm feeling like the worst mother in the world).
I love this girl!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Reports

I knocked out a couple more books recently (although I'm nowhere near my 24 books for the year goal).  Here's what I read since the last Book Reports post.
Life of Pi: by Yann Martel
I remember this book got a lot of hype when it came out, and I remember mentally putting it on my "to-read" list without really knowing what it was about.  Needless to say, I never read it.  Then, last year I started seeing previews for the movie, and I was like - this book is about a dude trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger!  If I had known that I would have read it ages ago.  I wanted to see the movie too, so I finally got around to reading it.

I'm glad I read the book before seeing the movie, as like is most always the case, it was much better.  I really enjoyed it.  It was a really great story that moved along quickly enough to keep my interest.  The story on its own was fantastic, then you read the ending and it takes it to another equally fantastic level.  So, if you're one of the few people who have not read this book yet - I highly recommend it.

Sidenote:  Although I did like the book better, the movie was very good as well.  It was very visually stunning.

Next, I jumped back to non-fiction for a re-read of a book I've read multiple times before.
French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure: by Mireille Guiliano
As a self-described Francophile, I grabbed this book when it came out years ago.  I've mentioned I am trying to lose weight, so I decided to re-read it for some inspiration.  I really like it because it is not a "diet" book.  It's really about a whole different approach to eating.  It stresses things like eating fresh and in season foods.  It describes how mealtimes (including everyday meals) should be events with a lot of care and thought going into them...eating on nice plates with cloth napkins, etc.  It talks about how we should slow down and really savor the tastes of things.  In addition, it discusses more weight loss type things like smaller portions, variety, and moving more.  However, the reason I like it is because it's not restritive.  It wants you to eat all the foods you love, but just be smarter about it.  Whereas in the past I mostly viewed this book as a novelty, this time around, I am actually trying to put some of it into practice.  I'm drinking more water.  I'm walking at least 30 minutes a day plus using the stairs instead of elevators when possible.  So, if you're looking to learn a bit more about French culture and pick up a few weight loss tips and tricks in the process (and recipes too, it includes a bunch of recipes) then I recommend this book too.

I have officially five books under my belt for the first five months of 2013.  My goal of 24 is most likely out of my reach now, but I'm hoping to at least beat last year's total of 16.  Right now I'm reading Under the Dome by Stephen King.  I'm hoping to finish it in time to watch the mini-series starting on June 24th.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fancy Date

...or as Bill and I were saying in our Irish accents...Fuhncey Date.

It had been a long while since Bill and I had a date night...what with the new baby and the move.  I had mentioned in April that if Bill hadn't gotten me anything for my birthday yet, that I wanted to go to the ballet to see Swan Lake.  He already had gotten me something (a Kindle Fire), but we decided to still get the tickets.

So, last Saturday; we dressed up, dropped the kids off at Bill's sister's house, and headed to downtown Milwaukee.  First, we had dinner at Crazy Water - which I had never been to before.  I wasn't that impressed by the whole look and feel of the restaurant (it's just in a house in an odd area of town), but the food was fantastic which is all that really matters.  We started off with cocktails (Highball for me and Newcastle for Bill), and the evenings' special appetizer, soft shell crab cakes.  Then for our entrees I had the Beef Wellington with twice baked new potatoes, haricots verts and madiera sauce accompanied by a glass of Gascon Malbec wine.  Bill had the Pancetta and Goat Cheese Stuffed Bell and Evans Chicken Breast with wild mushroom pan gravy, gnocchi galette and haricots verts.  For dessert we split Three Layer Chocolate Mousse with raspberry sauce.  Like I said, everything was delicious, and I would totally eat there again.

After dinner we headed to the ballet.
Photo source:
This is the first time I have seen Swan Lake.  (Ever since I saw Black Swan a few years ago I have wanted to see it performed)  I prefer the more traditional ballets, so this was right up my alley.  The music was beautiful, the sets were awesome, and the dancing was fantastic - so I loved it.  Bill and I were both really impressed at the parts where the "swans" all danced together most.  As Bill said, "the best part of Swan Lake was the swans!"  It's hard to explain, but they really moved like a flock of birds and was very cool.

All in all, it was a fantastic (and much needed) date night.