Saturday, December 8, 2012

CeCe Rose is 8-months-old TODAY!!!

Just a girl, eating a mum-mum.
Climbing in the kitchen.
She is all over the place!
Is it just me, or is timing really flying by? I cannot believe CeCe is 8-months-old already! Where has the time gone?!? Happy 8-month "birthday" to my sweet CeCe Rose!

There is no 8-month well check, so here are some unofficial stats:

Height: about 28 inches (she's a petite little thing!)

Weight: about 18 pounds (she can still squeeze into 3-6 month clothing!)

Sleeping Pattern: Sleep is for the weak! Teething has wrecked havoc on CeCe's sleeping and she is waking up at least once a night. She naps like a champ though and enjoys two naps a day. Thank goodness she's so adorable...

Eating Pattern: So these teeth have caused both of us a lot of pain. CeCe is a biter, so we've scaled back on nursing in favor of bottles of expressed breast milk. She eats every 3-4 hours and drinks about 4-5 ounces. CeCe is also eating solids three times a day! We have tried pretty much every food, except for tomatoes (due to big sister's allergy) and meat. There's just something about pureed meat that grosses me out.

Milestones: CeCe is a mover and a shaker! She is an avid crawler and can get around PDQ! Sometimes I'll leave her in one room and find her in another just moments later. She has also started pulling up and likes to pull up on her activity table and the couch. She has two teeth (bottom teeth) and appears to have a few more popping through. CeCe now says "da-da" and "Belllllll-a" (maybe one of these days she will say mommy?) She is such an active baby and really giving me a run for my money!

Friends: We've been spending lots of time with Kaylee, Evan, Avery and of course, Connor Thomas. Lots of lunch dates at Red Robin... yum!

Current Events: Kate Middleton (the future queen of England) is expecting! We're still waiting for the NHL lockout to be resolved so we can go to some TB Lightning games this season. The Ravens lost in OT to both the Steelers AND the Redskins. 

Happy 8-Month Birthday, Cecilia Rose!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Monday, December 3, 2012

A lesson learned

Prior to Thanksgiving, I was completely stressed, as anyone who plans a big meal for 15+ people would be. I found myself feeling "put out" by family members who didn't respond to invitations and who thought they had a say in the time dinner would be served. I mean, who the heck do they think they are? Meanwhile, I was the one who would be taught a very valuable lesson. About a week after Thanksgiving, while I was driving Bella to school, I noticed a quote on a marquee outside a church. The quote was, "Offer hospitality without grumbling."

I had been stressing over my own grumbling! Who invites family and friends to their house and then grumbles about accommodating different schedules?!? That is NOT being hospitable and that is NOT okay! My only regret is that I grumbled and did not see that marquee sooner. A very valuable lesson indeed. So family and friends, I apologize for offering hospitality while grumbling.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It was a great day, it was a long day...

Today was... is... a difficult day. I'm flying solo, I have a 2.5-year-old, I have a 7-month-old (who is mobile) and we are super busy." Need I say more? There isn't enough wine in the world to numb all the craziness around here, but the girls and I are managing. Sure, Bella and I ate $1.99 Happy Meals from McDonald's for dinner last night AND we ate leftovers for dinner tonight, but can you blame me? I have two children who can get from point A to point B in no time flat. If you're going to judge, then you probably have no idea where I am coming from. Your kids are perfect, you have two nannies and your husband is always around.

My husband is a very important tax professional. He is busy, he works a lot and he travels a lot. When daddy is out of town (a.k.a. OOT) we tend to spend a lot of money time outside of the house. Both of my girls do better when we are busy and out and about. After CeCe Rose and I dropped Bella off at school today, we headed to Target and spent daddy's hard earned money (on necessities of course, plus the extras).

When CeCe Rose and I went to pick Bella up from school, I spent some more of daddy's money on ADORABLE pictures of Miss Isabella Eve. Apparently the photographers the school hired were able to obtain ADORABLE pictures of my precocious toddler. When I say adorable, I MEAN adorable. In pictures, the child has not smiled in months, but she smiled in these damned pictures, bless her little heart.

It's nearly 8:30pm and Bella is still going strong... or so she thinks. The poor child looks exhausted and I am utterly exhausted. CeCe Rose has been asleep since almost 7:45 and I'm hoping Bella and I will be in bed soon, too. Bella keeps asking me to sleep in her bed and as much as I'd like to oblige her request, I will refrain from doing so because she is a creature of habit. Perhaps I can talk her into a lullaby and a back rub. She has been fighting bed time recently, probably because Pop has been in town and daddy is now out of town.

Tomorrow will be a busy day, so Bella and I should probably get to bed. Early to bed, early to rise.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Monday, November 19, 2012

Treat by Shutterfly

Your holiday checklist just got shorter. Create and send a totally personalized greeting card from Treat for FREE, yes that's right, I said FREE! Whether saying sending some gratitude for Thanksgiving, wishing a best friend a holiday birthday (right, Jamie?) or simply spreading some holiday cheer with a just because card, Treat lets you create a one-of-a-kind card that is sure to impress.

For two days only (11/19 and 11/20) Treat would like for you to create your own greeting card, for FREE! Head on over to treat.com and simply use the code TREATBLOGR to create a greeting card entirely of your own for a friend or family member. 



I'm so glad I'm able to share this awesome offer with you and I look forward to creating a personalized greeting card for someone in my life. Enjoy this special offer! 

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

**I was compensated by Treat for sharing this awesome offer with all my loyal readers.**

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cecilia is 7-months-old TODAY!!!

My beautiful family, especially my two beautiful girls.
CeCe Rose with mommy and daddy. 
Oh my goodness, LOVE those beautiful blue eyes!
Sitting up, like a big girl.
Kisses from my big sister, Bella.
They do love each other.
Oh my goodness, I cannot believe I'm writing this post. This means we are more than half through CeCe Rose's first year of life and another month closer to her 1st birthday. I forgot how much these little ones grow and develop at this age and I'm amazed by her developments each and every day. Happy 7-month "birthday" sweet CeCe Rose!

We spent A LOT of time at the pediatrician's office over the past month, due to illness, so I have some quasi-official stats:

Height: 27 inches (she's an inch shorter than Bella was at this age)

Weight: 17 pounds 3 ounces (she's nearly 5 pounds lighter than Bella was at this age)

Sleeping Pattern: Despite RSV and a double ear infection, CeCe is still sleeping well. She averages about 9-10 hours at night and is still napping twice a day. Her morning nap is about 1-1.5 hours and is usually on the go while her afternoon (and longer nap) is 2-3 hours and is always at home. 

Eating Pattern: CeCe Rose is nurses or takes a bottle of expressed breast milk every 3-4 hours and has recently started eating 5-ounces consistently. She is also eating solids 1-2 times a day. Her favorite "food" seems to be peaches (at the moment).

Milestones: CeCe is amazing! On her 7-month birthday, she said her first word, "da-da" and we are so proud! She can sit up on her own and can actually go from the laying position to a sit all on her own. She is also crawling all over the place, which includes chasing the dog or following her sister. 

Friends: We've been MIA lately, but we've been spending time with CeCe's friends Kaylee, Evan, Avery and Connor (Bella is going to be so jealous)!

Current Events: The 2012 presidential election was held yesterday and unfortunately (yes, unfortunately) Obama was re-elected for a second term. Hurricane Sandy bypassed Florida and wreaked havoc on the North East. 

Happy 7-Month Birthday, Cecilia Rose!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Monday, November 5, 2012

Down and out

Wow, so much has been happening with our little family but I haven't had a moment to blog about it. Let's just say that we've spent a lot of time in various doctors' offices and filling multiple prescriptions. We've been busy but unfortunately we've been down and out. Blah!

Before Halloween, Bella came down with an awful illness. She went down for a nap one afternoon, perfectly happy and healthy, and woke up three hours later with a fever of 103 degrees. Then the vomiting started and the fever spiked to 104. That's when we headed to the after hours pediatrics clinic. We were told it was a virus and that it needed to run it's course. So that's exactly what we did. Fortunately we had Bella's 30-month well check with our pediatrician a few days later. Bella was not getting better and her oxygen levels were a little low. The pediatrician diagnosed her with bronchitis and a double ear infection. We ended up bringing home a nebulizer and antibiotics. She is feeling much better but still has a slight cough.

Being the sweet and kind sister that she is, Bella shared her germs with CeCe Rose. She was hit and she was hit hard. Her fever spiked to 104 and refused to break. After a trip to the pediatrician (for the third time that week) it was confirmed that CeCe had RSV and a double ear infection. The RSV affected her lungs and oxygen absorption,  so she was prescribed a nebulizer to help open things up.  After about 3 days, her fever finally broke and her body began to recover. She still have a lingering cough, but the pediatrician said it would take a few weeks for the RSV to run its course.

Thankfully both girls are on the mend and I pray that we don't get hit with another bug any time soon. Been the antibiotics, fever reducers and frequent breathing treatments, I probably earned my nursing degree.

Between all the back and forth between the after hours clinic and the pediatrician, I almost forgot about our trip to the hospital for CeCe's renal ultrasound and VCUG. We haven't received the official results of the tests, but initial results were promising. It doesn't appear that she has reflux in either kidney and anatomically things look normal. It was a long day at TGH and CeCe was such a little trooper. Our pediatrician will receive the results soon and hopefully no news is good news.

And then there's me. I went for an MRI on my lower back a few weeks ago after months of lingering back pain. It turns out that I wasn't imagining the pain and I have a slipped disc that is partially torn. The primary care physician referred me for physical therapy, twice a week. We will address the injury and pain again after a few weeks of PT. I begin PT this afternoon, so wish me luck!

Tomorrow I'm meeting with a neurologist to address my chronic migraines. The medication my PCP prescribed works great, but it's not so much a maintenance medication. Our insurance doesn't want to cover it unless I'm under the care of a specialist. So hopefully the neurologist can get to the bottom of my headaches and convince our insurance that I need this medication. Here's to hoping!

I've got a lot to catch up on, including our 2012 holiday photo shoot and CeCe's first trip to Disney. There are a TON of pictures so perhaps I'll just devote an entire post to photos of what we've been up to recently. Until then...

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What a headache!

After months of suffering from debilitating (at times) headaches, my primary care physician finally gave me a diagnosis of chronic migraine headaches. He said that having 20 days of headaches a month are way too many. We discussed my options and decided a prescription would be in my best interest. My PCP even consulted the nurse practitioner in his office to see if any medications would be nursing friendly. Like most medications, it "wasn't" nursing friendly because it had never been tested on a nursing mother and baby. Awesome. He said to take it as often as I needed to and pump and dump if I felt uncomfortable taking the medication and nursing CeCe. Awesome. I've taken the medication once, at night, after CeCe went to bed. I slept so well and I felt so refreshed the next morning, and woke up headache free.

I'm currently battling our health insurance company to cover more than 6 pills a month. Yes, my stupid insurance company thinks that 6 pills will provide me enough relief for an entire month. Idiots. I'm working on a few things, including appealing this decision and paying for the medication myself. It's a lot of back and forth and it gives me such a headache. I spent 15 minutes on hold today with a prescription savings program and 10 minutes on hold with our insurance company. Nothing was resolved today, but I'm hoping to have the decision appealed soon. My stupid insurance company told me the appeal could be granted if I was under the care of a specialist. Seriously?!? It makes absolutely no sense to me. They'll gladly pay thousands of dollars to a doctor PLUS a few hundred dollars for the medication, but refuse to pay a few hundred dollars for the medication? Idiots.

Obviously this medication is working for me, but I asked friends and conducted a little research to find more natural options. A friend recommended peppermint, so I headed to Whole Foods to pick up some peppermint oil. I can add a few drops to a glass of water or smell it. It seems to help a little. I think I'm also going to head back to the massage table and try massage for some relief. I think a more natural approach would benefit my body and CeCe's body, too.

I'm going to bed with a headache tonight. Awesome. Here's to hoping that I feel better tomorrow. Damn migraines.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's (almost) that time of year again

Who is thinking it's beginning to look a lot like the holiday season?!? Definitely not me, considering the fact that we live in Florida (super hot and super sunny) but that doesn't mean I don't have our annual holiday card on my mind! I have purchased our outfits (thanks Ralph Lauren) and have date secured with our photographer friend, Melissa. By early November, I will have those treasured images in my hands and will hit up shutterfly in order to design some super cute cards.

This is the second year shutterfly has offered me a discount or free cards by simply blogging about my experience. I love that by expressing my opinion about their wonderful products, I get a little 'somethin, 'somethin from shutterfly. They're always sending out discount codes in the mail or over email. It's pretty awesome. Thanks shutterfly and thanks Julie Vazquez at shutterfly for always keeping me in the loop.

Our cards from shutterfly turned out super cute last year and we used shutterfly this past spring to order CeCe Rose's birth announcements. I cannot wait to design another perfect holiday card to send out to our 150+ friends and family all over the world. Have you thought about your 2012 holiday cards?!? Check out shutterfly and all of their special offers: shutterfly special offers.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cecilia is 6-months-old TODAY!!!

Always happy. Seriously.
My happy girl, sitting up.
Such a silly little munchkin.
As we enter fall, both of my April babies celebrate their half-birthdays. Bella is 2 1/2 years old (as of 10/5) and CeCe Rose is 6-months old today. Happy 6-month "birthday" sweet CeCe Rose!

We don't take the girls in for their well checks until later this month, so here are CeCe's unofficial 6-month stats:

Height: about 27 inches

Weight: about 17 pounds

Sleeping Pattern: Ugh! Sleep is for the weak! CeCe Rose has returned to waking up once (sometimes twice) a night for feedings. I miss sleep so dearly!

Eating Pattern: CeCe Rose is still nursing or taking a bottle of 4-5 ounces of expressed breast milk every 3-4 hours. We introduced solids this month and her first food was homemade sweet potatoes, yum!

Milestones: CeCe is still working on sitting up on her own and is doing quite well. She is still scooting and rolling all over the place. And her baby push ups are certainly her favorite form of exercise and the downward dog is definitely her favorite yoga position. 

Friends: CeCe's posse consists of Alana, Emily, Tessa and Zach. We've been under the weather recently so we haven't seen much of our friends lately. She also enjoys hanging out with the older kids, including her buddy Connor (watch out Bella). 

Current Events: The Baltimore Orioles are currently in the ALDS against the NY Yankees, the series is currently tied 1-1. The Baltimore Ravens are currently 4-1 and the "old refs" have returned to the NFL. Election season is well under way and the debates between Romney and Obama were held last week. 

Health update: Sweet CeCe Rose suffered from an awful UTI several weeks ago after rogue fevers and random vomiting episodes. After several prescribed antibiotics, Dr. Hosemann finally figured out which would best treat your infection. Due to her age and family history of kidney issues, CeCe must undergo some additional testing. We pray that nothing is physically wrong with your kidneys and urinary tract system, but we should have some answers in the next week or two.

Happy 6-Month Birthday, Cecilia Rose!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thankful Thursday

A blogger gal pal of mine always has the cutest ideas for quick and simple blog ideas. Recently, in light of some tragedies, she suggested that we take a moment to write down what we were thankful for. My mom purchased me a gratitude journal a long time, but like everything else, life got in the way. Thanks for the renewal in my gratitude "exercise", Joanna!

This week I am thankful for:
1. My sweet, loving and beautiful daughters.
2. My hard working, caring, loving and patient husband.
3. My friends who are there for me... no matter what!
4. Sunday nights at the Hard Rock Casino with two crazy girls.
5. A good afternoon nap... for both the girls and me!
6. My breast pump (need I say more?)

What are you thankful for? Take a moment to give some gratitude today (or every day)!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When life gets in the way...

I have been in a major blogging slump recently, major. I've posted a few times this month but so much has been going on that I haven't had time to write down my thoughts. I suppose life has been getting in the way of my blogging, but it's all about prioritizing.

CeCe Rose developed a high fever last Monday, like 104 degrees. So after speaking with a triage nurse at the pediatrician's office, who instructed us to bring her in the next day because of her age, lack of any other symptoms and because of how high her fever was. Tuesday she woke up with the same fever and I took her to the pediatrician's office that afternoon. The pediatrician took a urine sample and the initial dipstick showed an elevated level of white blood cells. CeCe Rose was diagnosed with a UTI and prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic because the type of bacteria was still unknown (awaiting 48 culture results). Wednesday rolled around and CeCe developed a new symptom: vomiting, like projectile, Exorcist style vomiting. I called the pediatrician and actually spoke with the head of the practice who instructed us to go to the after hours pediatric clinic. He called ahead and told them we would be bringing her in for an injection of antibiotics to treat the infection and antiemetic to treat the vomiting. The attending pediatrician believed that the antibiotic originally prescribed was causing her to vomit so he prescribed her a new antibiotic. We left with a content baby and two new prescriptions. The next morning, our pediatrician called to say that the culture results were in and that the type of antibiotic she was prescribed would be best treated with another antibiotic. In case you were keeping track, this poor child was prescribed 4 antibiotics in 3 days. I'm happy to report that CeCe was on the mend by Thursday and doing much better by the weekend.

We visited with friends this past weekend in Boca Raton. They were visiting family for the week and when they invited us over for a visit, we gladly obliged. Tim and Sarah are good friends of ours who we don't get to see much, but when we do, it's like no time has passed. We spent the weekend hanging out at with their family and it was wonderful. We ate a lot of meals at home and spent lots of time just lounging around, playing with the kids. We managed to do a little shopping and even took the kids to a kid's indoor playground (twice actually). We watched football, ate good food and drank LOTS of wine. It was the perfect weekend. We were sad to leave on Sunday, but hopefully we will be able to get together sooner rather than later. Wishful thinking, right?

Bella is back at her "old" school and this will be the third week she's been back. She is back on track with her potty training (or her pottying, as I think she is pretty much potty trained at this point) and is even going #2 on the potty on a regular basis. She has even woken up in the morning dry, so maybe we'll even try undies over night one of these nights. Go Bella go! She is back to her normal, happy self and is behaving better at home. I'm not sure what was going on at that other school, but it simply didn't jive with Bella's personality. We love this school and we're so happy Bella is back to her sweet, sometimes rambunctious, little self.

It seems as though the weather may be taking a turn for the better. It's been a little cooler here at night and in the morning and less humid, too. Perhaps we will have some fall-like weather in the near future?!? A girl can dream, can't she? Next Monday, it will be October 1st, can you believe it?!? I have purchased the girls' Halloween costumes and they are going to be absolutely adorable! I won't spill the beans about what they're dressing up as this year, but trust me when I say, they will be too cute! I can't wait to do all the fun fall things, like a trip to Hunsader Farms and trick-or-treating.

Well, I have a sleeping baby and I should go join her. We've had a busy week and it isn't about to slow down. This mama could use an afternoon nap to keep up with the kiddos today.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Size 2

Well, I was kicking ass and taking names with Weight Watchers and working out, but I fell off the wagon. I fell off the wagon so much, that I am now being dragged behind the wagon and it will probably lap me. Ugh! I was doing so well, what happened? Life.

We battled the sickies around here, so we missed a week at the gym because I refuse to take my sick children out when they aren't feeling. It's not fair to the general public and it's not fair to my children. So between the kids and I being sick, we missed an entire week of the gym.

We went on vacation and I suppose I kind of "worked out" while on vacation. Frequent walks to the village, on the beach and swimming out to the sand bar were ways I stayed active while on vacation. Unfortunately I didn't eat very well, but we were on vacation. But again, we missed an entire week of the gym.

I should have gained every pound I lost back because of poor diet and lack of activity, but I didn't. Not only do I feel guilty about not eating right and working out BUT now I feel guilty about not being "punished" for it. I should have gained 10-15 pounds over the past month, but surprisingly enough, I actually lost another 1.4 pounds. Wow! I stepped on the scale this morning, expecting the worst. I was expecting to be in the mid to high 130's, but I was at a slim 126.2 pounds. Seriously?!?

I should also "brag" that I am currently wearing a pair of size 2 jeans from the Gap (circa 2007). I didn't have to jump up and down to put them on, but I know that my muffin top needs a little work. But still, SIZE 2 jeans? I'll take it. My energy is down big time and I know it's because of my poor diet and lack of exercise. I need to get my ass in gear with diet and exercise. While it's nice to look slim and trim, it would also feel good to have energy again. In the meantime, I will supplement with ungodly amounts of caffeine!

It feels good to be Slim Kim again!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cecilia is 5-months-old TODAY!!!

Enjoying the Glazer Children's Museum.
Lovin' the Baby Einstein bouncer.

Summer is slowly coming to an end. We enjoyed our first vacation in Siesta Key as a family of four, plus Pop. Our city hosted the 2012 RNC convention (which I volunteered for). Busy season is well underway for Ian. And on a less than happy note, CeCe Rose had her first (and hopefully last) encounter with the pediatric ER due to a nasty stomach virus. In any event... Happy 5-month "birthday" sweet CeCe Rose!

There is no 5-month well check, but she just had her 4-month well check three weeks ago :

Height: about 26 3/4 inches (she was 26 1/2 three weeks ago and had a growth spurt).

Weight: about 17 pounds (she had two weigh-ins recently due to a stomach virus)

Sleeping Pattern: Oh darn you growth spurt and teething! CeCe Rose has had a few nights of interrupted sleep due to hunger or pain, but is sleeping 9-10 hours at night. She still cat naps in the morning and takes a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. 

Eating Pattern: Oh darn you growth spurt! CeCe Rose nursed EVERY hour she was awake yesterday, no joke. She generally eats every 2.5-3 hours, 4-5 ounces or 15-20 minutes of nursing. Maybe not starting solids until next month was a mistake?!? =)

Milestones: CeCe Rose is scooting and Army crawling. She is working on her baby push-ups so she can really get to crawling. She is quite the talker but hasn't said her first word yet (not that she should have). She can pick up things with her hands and is working on her pincher grasp (my poor arms). She LOVES grabbing her feet! She knows her name and will respond with a coo or by looking up. She is also working on sitting up, but is still in the tripod sitting position. She is a much more physically inept than Bella was, so I'm predicting an early crawler and/or walker. 

Friends: CeCe's crew of little friends include Zach, Tessa and now Alana and Emily! It's been a busy two-weeks of births, so CeCe will have a lot of new friends for sure!

Current Events: The RNC Convention has come and gone in Tampa and conversely, the DNC Convention has come and gone up in Charlotte. President Obama was in town today to promote his re-election campaign. Election season is well under way! The Baltimore Orioles are still in contention for a play-off spot and have been on fire recently. Football season (college and NFL) is back and in full swing, in fact the Florida Gators are playing the Texas A&M Aggies today (and are currently losing). 

Happy 5-Month Birthday, Cecilia Rose!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

20/20 vision

Hindsight is 20/20, at least that's how the saying goes. If we were capable of predicting the future, we would be some very rich folks. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) we are not capable of predicting the future and we try to make the best decisions we can. We thought we made the best decision by enrolling Bella in the school she currently attends, however after very careful consideration, we realized we did not.

We enrolled Bella in preschool last February and we were super excited about. The program sounded wonderful, the school was neat/clean/organized and we had recommendations from several (I'm talking like 4-5) friends who all loved the school. I'm certain that this school is wonderful for these families. Bella has been attending this school for two-weeks and it didn't take long to realize that this wasn't the best place for Bella.

It all started with the first day of school, which was complete chaos, at both drop off and pick up. The room was tiny, the teachers were overwhelmed and the other parents were "hovering." We didn't have much time to speak with the teachers about Bella's allergies or her potty training issues. These are two big issues for us and we felt like they were simply brushed aside. Strike 1. We decided to remain positive and give the teachers a chance.

Bella remained dry for the two days she initially attended... then came the third day of school. She had TWO accidents in THREE hours, which is totally unlike her. The teachers actually seemed bothered by her accidents. They even suggested I dress Bella in Pull-Ups. Sorry. Not going to happen. Strike 2. Not to mention a teacher whom I didn't even know mentioned Bella's accidents to me. Apparently my daughter's bathroom habits were the talk of the school. Strike 3. Bella's fourth day of school came with a reward system for potty training at school (which we were pretty much past) and written directions for the teachers. It was also full of accidents, refusal to use the bathroom and refusal to allow the teachers to change her. It also came with an accident in the car and an accident as soon as walked through the door at home. Not good. The teachers seemed frustrated with her and I was REALLY frustrated with the teachers.

God only knows what they said to her for her to refuse to use the bathroom OR be changed. I assume that their frustrations may have been felt by Bella, but she won't say much about the situation. I feel bad for subjecting Bella to an environment where she may have been made to feel shameful for having accidents. She's not even two-and-a-half-years-old and she WAS potty trained before attending this school. I know there is a learning curve and regression in potty training but this was too much for our family to handle. We have to ensure Bella's emotional needs are being met by her teachers and I'm not certain her needs were being met.

We talked... and talked... and talked some more. We talked with our parents. We talked with our friends. We talked to each other. After all of this talking, we decided it would be in Bella's best interest to return to her old school. As luck may have it, the old school was having an open house today so we attended and we re-enrolled her. She starts Monday and we could not be more relieved.

Bella was thriving at her old school. She was happy and so were we. She would come home singing songs she learned and talking about her friends and teachers. While we may not have given the new school a chance, she didn't seem as happy there. Bella is a child who needs to be stimulated or else she will act out at home. Her behavior at home took a nose dive when she started the new school. Something was obviously not right. Fortunately she has only missed 9 days of the school year at her old school, so she's not that far behind. We're excited to return her with two teachers who love her and a classroom full of her little friends, old and new.

I'm certainly going to miss seeing MY friends at drop off/pick up every day, but I can talk/see my friends any time. This decision was made with Bella's best interest in mind and nothing else. I just wish we would have kept her in her old school for the sake of Bella's feelings. But like I said before, hindsight is 20/20 and you live & learn!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Life lately

The past few weeks have been somewhat difficult. Difficult in that Ian is working like a crazy person (oh how I love public accounting) and there have been many changes in our household. We returned from vacation, Pop returned to Baltimore, Bella finished up summer school and started church school. Not to mention we battled the sickies and had another round of out of town guests. We are running on empty and it's starting to show.

Vacation was AWESOME! It was great to have quality time with my family and I enjoyed every moment of having my dad and Ian around to help with the girls. The days were laid back and relaxed and I loved it. I wish we could have spent more than a week in Siesta Key, unfortunately life called and we had to return to reality. We said goodnight to the sun every night, ate every meal together and made so many memories on our first family vacation. All the preparation and packing/unpacking was a little stressful, but it was well worth it.

Ian's busy season is in full effect. He works LONG days and nights and it's exhausting. He returns home from the office late and works after the girls are in bed. The girls miss their daddy and I miss my husband. But such is the life of a tax widow, right? I could go on and on about this, but his career affords us the life we have and for that I am grateful. I'm especially looking forward to the two days of PTO that he acquired this past weekend as a result of having to work over Labor Day weekend. We even survived an entire week of Ian working at home due to the RNC Convention in downtown Tampa.

Bella finished up summer school and we said good-bye to her friends and teachers. We LOVED her school, but we couldn't justify paying the tuition for a two-year-old. We look forward to Bella returning to this school next summer and fall, but in the meantime she began another school at a local church. I had high hopes of the church school, but nothing compares to the school she attended in the summer. It's still pretty early into the school year and I have to give it a chance. Friends of ours love this school and I'm sure we will learn to love it, too. Plus, it's fun being part of a community and a network of moms/friends who I see on an almost daily basis.

We battled colds and gastrointestinal infections last week. Poor little CeCe Rose contracted a nasty GI bug and ended up in the ER for vomiting and dehydration. After a few hours and a bag of IV fluids, she was discharged and we were able to nurse her back to health from the comfort of our home. I picked up her germs and had a day or so where I was practically down and out. We made it through and even managed to disinfect the house before my sister, brother-in-law and nephew arrived.

I finally met my nephew, Luke, in person. We spent a long weekend entertaining our guests, which included a trip to the aquarium and beach. A house full of kids was interesting to say the least. It was fun but exhausting. I'm just so glad to have finally met Luke! I love that my girls have a cousin who they will grow up and visit with. I predict a lot of memories to be made over the next few years.

Well, I'm on borrowed time this afternoon. Bella is having a sleep over at Grandma Ruth's and it's just CeCe Rose and I at home. It'll be a nice quiet evening at home and I'm looking forward to that. I plan on an early bedtime for both CeCe Rose and me. We have a busy week ahead of us with school, play dates and other outings. I really regret not taking a nap this afternoon... sigh.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia