Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's 3:30am...

Yup, insomnia has struck again. It's 3:30am and I'm awake. Between a grunting baby and a snoring husband, it's difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. I tossed and turned for almost an hour until I gave up. I decided to come downstairs and mess around on the computer.

The babysitter will be here today so I will definitely be taking a nap. Usually when the babysitter is here, I run errands with CeCe in tow, but today I don't think I'll be running all around town. To be quite honest I'm not feeling 100% and I think I'm coming down with something. I have that tickle in my throat and I'm a bit congested. Hopefully it's just my allergies but I suppose only time will tell. Ugh, I don't have time to be sick!

Today is Ian's birthday... woot woot! He is the big 3-5! It's funny to think that I met him when he was pretty much the age I am now. And yes, I was just a baby when we met... at the young age of 21! We have celebrated several birthdays together and I look forward to celebrating many more with him. If only the poor guy didn't have to work on his birthday or wasn't so damn busy! We will definitely be celebrating to tonight, in a laid back manner of course. Happy birthday to my hardworking, loving, kind, caring, smart, funny, handsome and very understanding husband... the girls and I love you with all of our hearts!

The week is almost half way over and I'm again looking forward to the weekend. This stay at home mom business is no joke. The weeks are often long and exhausting, but worth every moment with my girls. Things will settle down a bit when Bella is in school this fall. CeCe and I will get some time to bond, the way Bella and I were able to. But in the meantime, the three of us will continue our crazy busy schedule.

Well, I have some DVR'ed shows to catch up on. It's amazing how quiet the house is at 3:45am!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend 2012

The holiday weekend is here and I could not be any more excited. Knowing that the weekend will be a day longer makes me so happy. Spending lots of time with family and friends is on the agenda and today was day #1 of our busy weekend.

We started off the long weekend with a family trip to the YMCA, where we added Cecilia to our pass and spent quality time in the splash pool. Yes, we dropped off sweet baby girl off at the child care center and hit the pool with Bella. We splashed around for over an hour and decided to head home just before lunch. We ate lunch and put both girls down for naps. While the girls napped, we packed for our afternoon/evening at the beach.

When the girls woke up, we loaded up the car and headed to Siesta Key. We met our friends, the Pelusos and the Meekers, who had spent the entire day at the beach. As I mentioned in previous posts, our friends each had their first child, so it was our first dinner out with everyone. Six adults and four children... wow! Our little group has nearly doubled over the past few years and matured immensely. Four years ago, we all probably would have been drinking all day and continuing the antics well into the night, but not now. We split a pitcher of margaritas... yes, just one pitcher.

After dinner we headed to the beach to watch the beautiful sunset. It was absolutely amazing. I forgot how breathtaking a sunset can be! It was the perfect way to end a perfect day...

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Wow! How times have changed!
Bella LOVES the water. 
As Bella would say, "I get you waves!" 
The sun was just about to set... 
A meeting of the minds.

Friday, May 25, 2012


It's Friday and I couldn't be any happier that the weekend is a few short hours away. It's been a pretty hectic week around here, to say the least. And the best part is that it's a 3-day weekend... yay! We have a busy weekend planned, but we also have a lot of down time scheduled.

Tomorrow we will be heading to our favorite beach, Siesta Key, which is just outside of Sarasota. It's our favorite beach because the sand is as soft as baby powder and it's a impeccably well manicured. There's also fun little shops and restaurants in the area, which make it fun. It's a laid back beach town and it's the only beach we really go to. We're going there for a special occasion, but I can't say what that occasion is exactly, in case the person who we are honoring reads this blog. We're just going for the afternoon/evening for some late afternoon beach time and dinner with friends. This time of day will be perfect for us, as I like to keep my kids out of the sun as much as possible, given that we live in Florida and the sun is brutal. I prefer to keep them lathered in sunscreen (well, at least Bella) and in the shade as much as possible. It should be a good time and the girls should be well rested by the time we arrive.

Sunday we will be attending a Memorial Day BBQ at one of Ian's co-worker's homes. He and his wife have graciously invited our motley crew to their house, which should be interesting. They have a son who is a few months younger than Bella, so I'm sure she will have fun playing him and bossing him around. This is another late afternoon event, so again, the girls should be well rested for all of the fun. I've actually never met this co-worker of Ian's, but I've heard a lot about him (good things of course). It's great to meet our families from Ian's firm, especially those with kids close in age to our kids.

Monday we have a family photo session scheduled. I purchased a Groupon awhile ago and totally forgot about it. It's about to expire so I scheduled a session for our family. It'll be our first photo session as a family of four. I've been searching for the perfect outfits for the girls and me all week. As of today, I've only found a dress for myself and I still need to find outfits for my two girls. Hopefully everyone is in a good mood and cooperates... the only one I'm really concerned about is Bella. She seems to have a love/hate relationship with the camera. For the sake of my sanity, I hope she loves the camera on Monday because I would like nothing more than gorgeous pictures of our adorable little family. I'm not expecting much because it's an indoor photo shoot and I prefer outdoor photo shoots. I will definitely need to schedule an outdoor shoot with our favorite photog, Ursula.

My girls are both sound asleep at the moment and I'm enjoying the peace and quiet. We had a rough morning, complete with several toddler meltdowns. Fortunately, a trip to our favorite park turned that frown upside down and we had a fun morning with friends. Bella was exhausted on the way home from the park and fell asleep for a few minutes in the car. Bless her little heart... and God bless her for still taking a decent nap once we got home. We will most likely be hanging out at home tonight and resting up for our busy weekend. Happy Memorial Day weekend, y'all!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia
Bella and her BFF Connor at the park... and yes, they're holding hands. 
CeCe Rose, catching some z's on the couch.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just another manic Monday

It's Monday morning, yet again and so begins another week. Ian will be traveling this week, so it'll be just the three of us. The weeks when Ian travels makes for a long week because I'm on the clock 24-7. Luckily this is a short trip and Ian will only be gone for two nights, but those will be two long nights and two early mornings.

Ian's travel has increased a bit recently and while I may not like it, it's a necessary evil. It's part of the job and we both have to accept it. I think Ian actually enjoys traveling because it gives him a night or two to schmooze with clients and sleep in a nice quiet hotel room. I must admit, I envy his business trips because everything is pretty much taken care of for him: his transportation, his food, his schedule and his lodging. Meanwhile, I'm left at home to hold down the fort. Since CeCe was born, Ian has traveled twice for work and attended a two-day conference. I know it could be much worse, but I would love to have a husband who works a 9-5 job and never has to travel... but then again, if that were the case, I probably wouldn't have the luxury of staying at home with my girls.

Grandma Ruth will be helping out this week and I'm very much looking forward to that. We are very fortunate to have family close by and we are very fortunate to have family who loves to help out. I'm not one to ask for help and I've even turned down help in the past. Looking back, that was extremely foolish of me. Over the past few months, I've learned that asking for help or accepting help is okay. It doesn't make me weak or insufficient, it makes me human! It really does take a village to raise a child.

And please don't take this post as me complaining about Ian, his job or my children. It's just that being a stay-at-home-mom is the most difficult job I've ever had. The days are long and the task of raising children can daunting. I'm charged with the greatest responsibility of all: raising my girls to be loving, kind and compassionate human beings. To do this, I must set a constant example (even when I don't want to) and it's often exhausting.  Not to mention all the day-to-day tasks of providing food, clothing and shelter! I know that all of my hard work, along with all of Ian's hard work will pay off. We've already seen the fruits of our labor when Bella says, "I love you" or uses "please" and "thank you." These little words mean so much, especially when they come from such a tiny little person.

We're all still in our pajamas and it's nearly 10am. I'd better get everyone dressed and ready to go, I think a trip to the park is in our future. Hanging around the house is relaxing, but boring. Getting out of the house makes for happy children and a happy mama. And this mama could use the assistance of some caffeine to get motivated, so I think an ice, cold Coke is in my future! Happy Monday, y'all!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rainy Wednesday

It finally freakin' rained today! It drizzled off and on this morning and then this evening it began to pour. It's been steady and as I type this, it is still pouring outside. We haven't had rain in such a long time that I had almost forgotten how relaxing a rainy day could be.

Jessica arrived bright and early this morning to watch Bella. I love the days she is here because it means I can spend some one-on-one time with CeCe. CeCe and I went to my friend Michelle's house for a new member meet and greet for MOMS Club. We had a great turn out and it was nice having some adult conversation with friends. CeCe is currently the youngest in the group, but she will be getting some new friends this fall and winter, yay!

We headed out to run a few errands, which included a stop at Target. All I "needed" was toilet paper, but I walked out of there with a cart full of odds and ends for everyone. My smartest purchase of the day was a tube of glow sticks for $1 that kept Bella entertained for a good part of the evening (thank you Jessica for that brilliant idea).

Today was also Pop's last full day here. He will be returning to Baltimore tomorrow, after spending 10-days with us. He has been such a help and we will miss him dearly. Pop entertains Bella in the morning while I tend to CeCe, he has made dinner almost every night and has been great company. It's a shame we don't live closer because Bella LOVES her Pop and the bond those two have is incredible. She calls for him in the morning when she's ready to get up and drags him outside in the heat to play with her in the afternoon. It's adorable and I'm so glad my girls have such a close relationship with him, despite living 1,000 miles apart.

Well, I'd better get some sleep before it is time to feed CeCe again. The house is silent, except for the sound of the gentle rain outside my window... what a soothing way to fall back to sleep. Goodnight... again.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Insomnia sucks!

I figured I'd post a "whoa is me" kind of post, seeing that it's 6am and I am wide awake. Every member of my family is fast asleep but my old friend, insomnia, decided to pay me a visit.

I woke up to nurse at 4:30am and haven't been able to fall back to sleep. This lack of sleep is going to make for a long day, I just know it. Our babysitter is coming this morning, so perhaps I can catch a nap (or two) today. Between interrupted sleep and this latest bout of insomnia, I've probably slept for 8-hours total over the past two nights.

I've battled with sleep issues for years. I have struggled to fall asleep and I have also struggled to stay asleep. It's really pretty awful. I've tried OTC remedies, I've tried prescription remedies... you name it, I've probably tried it. Nothing seems to work for more than a day or two and it's quite frustrating.

I asked Ian the other day, "when we will sleep normally again?" to which he replied, "not for a very long time." Even though my girls are good sleepers, I like to check on them occasionally, so I'm usually up several times during the night. Not to mention that I am a very light sleeper and wake up at the sound of a pin drop. Add to that a husband who snores and sharing a bed with a burrowing Dachshund and it makes for a less than desirable environment for sleep.

Oh sleep... you are dearly missed. I would give almost anything for one night of quality sleep.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

As I sit here and type, both of my girls are fed, clean and fast asleep. This Mother's Day was somewhat in uneventful and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Last night Ian "tried" to give me a night off. Unfortunately I was up each time CeCe was up, despite Ian's best efforts. And I was in pain by 7am this morning so I'm not entirely certain my "night off" was worth it. But I managed to catch a few extra winks after relieving myself. Ah, the joys of motherhood!

We had our family over for lunch and for once I did absolutely nothing! I didn't clean and I didn't make any food... it was wonderful. But I was sure glad to see our guests leave, just in time for nap time.

On a more amusing note... Ian asked me multiple times, "what do you want for mother's day?" Any normal woman would have said jewelry or some other expensive gift, but y'all will be surprised to know that I answered, "nothing." Ian pretty much let's me buy whatever it is that I want or need all year round, so there is nothing that I want or need at this moment in time. He even visited our family's jeweler to design a new piece for me, but I so graciously (stupidly?) declined. I may regret this decision but for now it felt like the right thing to do.

Mother's Day is 365 days a year for me. I get to spend each and every day with my girls and for that I am truly blessed. I have a loving and supportive husband who works hard to provide for us so that I can be "mommy" 365 days a year.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Friday, May 11, 2012

Private struggle

We all struggle privately. I mean we all have insecurities that only we know about and choose not to publicly discuss, right? Well today, I have chosen to take my private struggle public.

I am struggling with nursing. Today was probably one of the worst days... ever! CeCe nursed like a champ over the past few days and I've overcome multiple infections and other various hurdles. I thought we had made some significant progress... but apparently I thought wrong.

Today was awful. CeCe was overwhelmed with MY over production and over active let down. The poor girl fussed and choked as she was trying to receive the very nourishment she needed. I hated seeing her like this and no matter what I tried, it didn't work. I felt like an absolute failure as a mother, but I still tried my damnedest.

Despite the pain, both physical and emotional, I kept trying. I knew that if we kept at it, we would get in sync and get through this latest issue. I knew it, but I needed to convince a 1-month-old that we would get through it. So with every sputter, gulp and cough, I reassured her that she was doing a good job. I told her that mommy couldn't help all the extra milk and that if we could get through the next day or so that we'd be good as gold. I tried and by the end of the day, I felt like I had royally failed.

Now, as I lay in bed and write this, I know in my heart of hearts that I did not fail. Did we struggle with nursing today? Yes. But did I fail CeCe as a mother? No. As we struggled together today, CeCe had the constant love and reassurance of her mother that she was succeeding and that everything would be okay. What more could Ido as a mother? Absolutely nothing. She had all of me today.

On a side note, I contacted a friend very early this morning. I asked her to remind me why I was l doing this. She replied to me with very thoughtful and meaningful words. As I read her reassuring and loving words, I cried. I cried because she put into words what I was feeling. I cried because I felt loved and supported. I cried because I was happy.

Private struggles are usually something we internalize. Today I chose to share mine and received an invaluable amount of support. This support kept me going throughout the day and this support has helped me continue my journey.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

P.S. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

CeCe is 1-month-old TODAY!

I cannot believe my baby girl is already a month old. It seems like only yesterday that I was anticipating her arrival and here we are "celebrating" her 1-month birthday.

Today marks CeCe's 1-month "birthday"! We can't believe she's already a month old and growing up before our eyes! Here are some 1-month stats:

Height: 22 inches (she's grown 2-inches since birth) 

Weight: 11 pounds (she's gained almost 2-pounds since birth)

Sleeping Pattern: CeCe sleeps "well" for a newborn and averages 4-5 hours at night.

Eating Pattern: Between nursing and expressed breast milk, she's eating every 3-hours. 

Friends: Two of her little friends, Zach and Tessa made their big debuts recently. 

Current Events: Tampa is prepping for the RNC National convention in August, woo-hoo!

Happy 1-Month Birthday, Cecilia Rose!

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Great Weekend!!

We had an absolutely amazing weekend! We were busy, but all four of us were out and about, together as a family. I was sad to see the weekend end, but we had a lot of fun and made a lot of memories.

On Saturday, we attended a birthday party for Bella's friend, Bradon at Art Monkey in Fishhawk. I was weary about taking my 2-year-old to a ceramic studio, but Bella did exceptionally well! She painted her little plate, with Ian's help and I can't wait to see how it turns out once it is fired in kiln. My friend Michelle will be picking up the plates later this week and I'm super excited to see it. The birthday party ended with some time in fountains at park square. Bella loved running around with her little friends and was exhausted by the time we left. I took some pictures of the party, but the pictures are on Ian's phone, so I'll have to wait to upload them.

Today we headed out to good, old Plant City to the Keel & Curley Winery. I know, I know... heading to a winery with your two young children sounds a bit absurd, but it was during the blueberry festival so there was a ton of kid-friendly stuff to do. We went with our friends the Pelusos and the Meekers. It was our first group outing since the Pelusos and the Meekers joined the kids club this past winter. For the past two years, we have been the only ones with a kid, so we've missed out on some social outings. But today, it felt like old times! We purchased some bottles of wine, sat on the covered deck and relaxed all afternoon. All four of the kids were absolute angels, including Bella. I was very pleased with Bella's behavior and made sure she knew how proud I was of her. She sat with Ian and enjoyed food, played with her toys and even took a turn in the bounce house. I was expecting at least one major meltdown and we had none!

We all took naps this afternoon, except for Ian, who mowed the lawn and watched baseball. The girls and I napped up until about dinner time and woke up refreshed. We enjoyed pizza for dinner, watched a movie as a family and put the girls to bed. It was a great way to wrap up the weekend. I love weekends like these... busy but fun. This week is going to be busy, as Pop arrives tomorrow, we have a full slate of social outings and Ian will be out of town for a few days. Hopefully I can nap during the girls' nap time, otherwise I'm not going to make it through the week!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Friday, May 4, 2012

Play date Thursdays

The girls and I are back into our normal routine... well sort of. We attended our second play date since CeCe was born, even though it took us almost an hour to get out the door.

I packed the diaper bag this morning while CeCe was still asleep and while Bella was eating breakfast. I try to take advantage of this "free time" and accomplish little chores here and there. I made sure the diaper bag was properly equipped and even found 15-minutes to pump while CeCe snoozed. I try to plan our schedule around when CeCe would eat to ensure I won't have to pull over on the side of the road to nurse her. Today my plan worked like a charm, as she nursed right before we left and about an hour into the play date. I also packed a few bottles in case she didn't get enough nursing. So I planned, organized and executed our departure and I am pleased that we were only 30-minutes late to the play date.

Bella had a blast at the play date! My friend Amber, who is 36-weeks pregnant, hosted this week and planned an awesome play date. She had originally planned to host at her community's splash park, but changed the location to her house at the last minute to accommodate the post-partum mommies. She set up her own little splash park in her backyard, complete with a sprinkler, mini pool and water table. The kids enjoyed running around the backyard and the moms enjoyed chatting and catching up.

Since CeCe has been born, we have tried to return to our weekly routine as much as possible. It hasn't been easy but we are getting back to normal, slowly but surely. I'm sure I'll be a pro in no time!

But both kids are napping and this mama is exhausted. It's nap time for mama, too!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We survived!

CeCe and I survived our first night alone! Ian and Bella spent the night at Grandma Ruth's as Ian had an early flight to Atlanta this morning and Grandma Ruth wanted to spend some quality time with Bella.

When Ian initially told me he would be out of town, I was anxious. I mean, how was I going to juggle a toddler (whom I'm not supposed to pick up) and a newborn by myself?!? Would Bella have to sleep in bed with me? Would CeCe have a night from hell and wake up every hour? Would I have time to nurse and pump? Would I have time to feed Bella... and myself? Would I survive?!? That's when Grandma Ruth volunteered to take Bella for the night and relieved a bit of my anxiety.

CeCe and I had dinner at Uncle Paul, Aunt Lisa and Daniella's house. As usual, dinner was "bangin'" and it was nice to eat dinner with my other family, while my family was away. After dinner, we headed to Starbucks for a MOMS Club executive board meeting. We hung out with our friends for almost 2-hours and then headed home for bed time. The plan was to nurse CeCe, pump and then head to bed for the night. Everything was going according to plan until CeCe had the diaper blow out of all diaper blow outs. This blow out required a bath for CeCe and a load of laundry for the soiled items.

We went to bed around 10:30pm and CeCe didn't make a peep until almost 3am! Awesome. I fed her and quickly put her back down. She slept until almost 5am and again, I fed her and quickly put her back down. She then slept until almost 7am and we did our same little routine. Rather than going back to bed, like CeCe, I took a shower and prepared for our day.

Our day began with yet another trip to the OB (stupid boob) and a trip to the pharmacy. We then went to lunch with Aunt Lisa and Daniella at the Italian Kitchen and did a little shopping at Buy Buy Baby. Too bad Aunt Lisa has to go back to work next week because it's been fun hanging out with the girls this week. Our afternoon concluded with naps and chores around the house. Oh, and catching up with my friend Sarah in Nashville.

Ian will be late tonight but CeCe and I will be in bed. I hope tonight goes as smoothly as it did last night! But Bella is at Grandma Ruth's until tomorrow morning so maybe I can catch a few extra winks of sleep tomorrow morning. We survived and we can do this! Next time, it'll be both girls and me, so perhaps I won't be nearly as anxious... I can hope, right?!?

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia