Saturday, March 30, 2013

'Twas the night before Easter

Around here, Easter holds a very special place in our hearts. On Easter 2010, I woke up in the middle of the night and soon realized I was in labor . Our Isabella Eve was delivered, 12 hours later, the day after Easter. On Easter 2012, I woke up on Easter Sunday, began getting ready for church and yelled down to Ian, "Hey Ian? I think my water broke, but I'm going to take a shower and shave my legs first." Just 5 short hours later, Cecilia Rose was born on Easter Sunday.

Two of the most amazing gifts God has given me will always have a special connection with Easter. Whether or not either of the girls' birthdays actually fall on Easter Sunday, I will always remember where I was on Easter 2010 and Easter 2012.

Happy Easter!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & CeCe

Friday, March 8, 2013

CeCe Rose is 11-months-old TODAY!!!

Someone is happy about their new Tom's!
Now standing and walking... sometimes.

Happy. All. The. Time.
Oh my, time is quickly passing before my very eyes and my sweet CeCe Rose is now 11-months-old today. It's hard to believe that this time 365-days ago, I was miserably pregnant, suffering from yet another pregnancy with Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy and counting down the days until my due date, from the comfort of an ice cold bath tub or our pool. Little did I know the little girl inside of me would be my sweet CeCe Rose. 

CeCe doesn't have a check up until next month, so here are her unofficial 11-month stats:

Height: approximately 29 inches (she can still fit into 6-12 month clothing, but can also fit into 12-18 month clothing, depending upon the brand). 

Weight: approximately 20 pounds (she can be quite the load to carry these days)

Sleeping Pattern: CeCe's routine has been a bit off recently. She will go to bed as early as 7:30pm or as late as 8:45pm, it all really depends upon her naps during the day. She will nap in the morning as early as 9am or as late as 10:30am. Sometimes her afternoon nap will be as early as 2:30pm or as late as 3:30pm. She's still a good little sleeper and will put herself to sleep, with her trusty thumb and blanket. 

Eating Pattern: CeCe still eats about 4.5-5 ounces of breast milk every 3-hours. She hasn't nursed since January and I'm totally okay with that, except that I'm married to my breast pump. Breast feeding, is a tiring and thankless job at times. She is eating solids three times a day and we are still working on the whole sippy cup thing. Hopefully by her 1st birthday, she will be totally off the bottle and breast milk. I cannot wait for sippy cups and whole milk!

Milestones: Just two days shy of her 11-month "birthday", CeCe took three steps! She will walk all around the room when you hold her hand, but will only take 2-3 steps on her own. I have a feeling that she will be walking by her 1st birthday. She has also started waving "hello" and "bye-bye." She enjoys waving at strangers especially. She still says "da-da", "ma-ma", "Bellllllllll-a" and has recently started saying "hi." She now has a total of seven teeth, four on the top and three on the bottom. Her sister now enjoys singing the song "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkel to her and it brings the biggest smile to CeCe's face. Both girls were recently asked to do some modeling for a children's clothing company, but we had to decline because CeCe has the sniffles and Ian is knee deep in tax returns and memos. 

Friends: The usual friends, Kaylee, Avery, Evan and Connor. I really need to socialize CeCe with more kids her own age and I'm going to make a point of it.

Current Events: The Pope has decided to retire and a new Pope will be elected. Hugo Chavez (president of Venezuela) passed away this week. A sink hole swallowed a man alive last week in Seffner, just 5-6 miles from our house. The mid-Atlantic was prepared for a HUGE snow storm that never happened and it's been unseasonably cold here in Florida.

Happy 11-Month Birthday, Cecilia Rose!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & CeCe

Friday, February 8, 2013

CeCe Rose is 10-months-old TODAY!!!

Look Ma, no hands! 
Enjoying the beautiful Florida weather and her swing.
Afternoon play date with friends.

In just two short months, we will be celebrating CeCe's 1st birthday! Oh my goodness, time has passed by so quickly and we are loving every minute of this sweet little girl. Her personality is really beginning to develop and she is such a sweet child. She giggles and smiles so much, her cheeks should be sore. Even big sister Bella is beginning to play with CeCe more often and has even referred to her as, "my poor baby." We can't wait to see this sisterly relationship to flourish.

CeCe doesn't have a check up until 12-months, so here are her unofficial 10-month stats:

Height: approximately 29 inches

Weight: approximately 20 pounds

Sleeping Pattern: CeCe goes to bed around 7:45pm and wake up around 7:00am, so it's safe to say that she is a good little sleeper. She is also napping twice a day, 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. She loves going to bed with her lovie and her blanket. Give her those and she is good to go!

Eating Pattern: CeCe is an eating machine! She is drinking 5 ounces of breast milk every 2.5-3 hours! She is a good little eater. We have pretty much given up on nursing, due to CeCe being very "busy" and inability to not use her teeth while nursing. She is eating solids 3-4 times a day and has started with table foods. We are still working on the whole sippy cup thing, but it's definitely a work in progress. I can't wait to continue to introduce new table foods in the upcoming months.

Milestones: CeCe is now standing on her own. We caught her in the act the other morning in the kitchen, which she quickly realized and went right back to crawling. But she is standing a lot more these days and we're thinking that walking will be her next move. CeCe now has 7 teeth, four on the top and three on the bottom, with more popping through. She is such an active baby and I love having my little shadow follow me all day long. 

Friends: The usual friends, Kaylee, Avery, Evan and Connor. We enjoyed spending a day at Disney World with our friend Kaylee; the girls had a blast.

Current Events: A Carnival cruise ship is stuck at sea without power and is in the process of being towed back to port; it sounds like a pretty miserable vacation. The Baltimore Ravens WON THE SUPER BOWL and are now NFL Champions!!! We enjoyed watching part of the game at the Brass Monkey in St. Pete Beach (the other half we watched in the ER due to Bella falling and knocking several teeth loose). 

Happy 10-Month Birthday, Cecilia Rose!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & CeCe

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I bought a sewing machine

I am a sucker for adorable, handmade clothes for my girls. Bella and CeCe have many cutesy outfits, with their initials or names embroidered on it. It's absolutely adorable and people are always complimenting the outfits I dress my girls in and if I made them. Bwhahahahaha! Clearly these people have no idea who they're talking to. I tend to be crafty in spurts (i.e. my bow making project of 2012) and I tend to take sabbaticals from being crafty. Well, things just got a little more interesting around the Lasher household...

I bought a sewing/embroidery machine. I bought a VERY basic machine by Brother, that will allow me to sew and do applique/embroidery work. I did a lot of research, weighed the pros/cons and decided on this machine because it was affordable and a good starter machine. I then used two clicks to purchase my new machine on amazon.com. It arrived the day after I purchased it (thank you, amazon.com for your prime expedited shipping) and I quickly got to "work."

So.... I'm definitely NOT a seamstress and I have a lot to learn, but I'm learning as I go. I set up the sewing machine and threaded it (all by myself). I even attempted to sew a dress, but quickly learned, that I need to learn the basics before I take on such an elaborate project. So in lieu of a dress, I made little purses for the girls. They are simple and have ribbon handles, but I made them completely on my own! Needless to say I am proud of myself.

I'm hoping to devote an hour or two every week to my new "hobby" and I'm hoping that in a few months, I'll be sewing dresses and embroidering outfits for my girls. Until then... I will practice and continue ordering from my favorite boutiques.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for amazon.com! After searching all over town and even eBay, I FINALLY found what I was looking for:

To those of you who aren't familiar with Minnie, this lovey is Bella's absolute favorite thing in the entire world. She must sleep with Minnie, eat her meals with Minnie and even ride to school with Minnie. I ordered two back-up Minnies in case something should ever happen to Bella's beloved Minnie lovey. I was even more pleased that they only cost me $10 a piece, compared to the $35 some crazy person wanted for one on eBay.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sleep?!?

While my beautiful family sleeps peacefully in the respective beds, I am wide awake in my bed. I should be sleeping like a baby, because Lord knows Bella and CeCe do! With two children who sleep 10-12 hours, I should be doing the same. I had a feeling I'd have issues sleeping tonight because my mind did not feel ready for bed, although my body was definitely ready for bed.

I have difficulty turning my mind off when it's time to go to bed. I often lay in bed, thinking of the day's events or planning the next day's events. Call it motherhood, insomnia, or whatever you will, but not being able to sleep sucks. I've tried many things over the years to assist in my quest for sleep, including wine, prescription sleep aides and homeopathic remedies. It's been a crapshoot as to what works and what doesn't. It's frustrating when your body is exhausted but your mind is still going full speed. I envy those who can fall asleep without any trouble (umm, especially Ian).

So while most people I know are fast asleep in their warm, comfy beds, I am wide awake. Boo! Sleep is for the weak anyway...

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & CeCe

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Funday with the family

Today wasn't just a good day; it was an amazingly great day. We spent time together as a family, with our extended family, the Pelusos. The weather was beautiful and we had the perfect Sunday Funday.

We had a picnic in our family room for breakfast, which was so cute. We put a blanket down and ate breakfast together, all four of us. This is a rarity and such a treat. Our girls are amazingly sweet and sitting with them at their level to enjoy a meal was wonderful.

We then picked up our friends the Pelusos and headed to Lakeland. There is an AWESOME park there called Common Ground and so we hit it up with our three girls in tow. This park was A-Mazeballs! Bella enjoyed running around, swinging g, climbing, sliding and just being a carefree kid! CeCe and Daniella enjoyed swinging and crawling around (it had astro turf and squishy padded "flooring." We will definitely be heading back there soon.

For lunch, we ate at Harry's in Lakeland. I enjoyed shrimp and grits (how southern of me) and everyone else enjoyed po boy sandwiches. The atmosphere was great and we enjoyed a leisurely lunch, all 7 of us! The girls (all three of them) were so well behaved.

Today was such an awesome day and for that I am grateful. We are looking forward to another family fun day next Monday at Disney World, with Grandma Ruth! Time with my family is so precious to me and I relish each minute I get. There's no better feeling than ending the weekend with such a great day.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & CeCe



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

CeCe Rose is 9-months-old TODAY!!!

Mama and CeCe being silly on the plane ride home from Baltimore.


Just playing with her toys at Pop's house in Baltimore.

Holy moly, I cannot believe CeCe is already 9-months-old! She is growing like a weed and changing every day. Preparations are already under way for a joint birthday party for my two lovely ladies in April. In just three short months, I'll have a 3-year-old (OMG!) and a 1-year-old (OMG, too!). We celebrated CeCe's first plane ride and Christmas, complete with snow!

We went to the pediatrician for CeCe's 9-month check up and here are her official stats:

Height: 28 1/2 inches (she's so long!)

Weight: 19 lbs 2 ounces (she's a petite little thing!)

Sleeping Pattern: THANK GOODNESS, CeCe is back to sleeping through the night! She perfected her sleeping habits while our "vacation" in Maryland during the holidays. She goes to bed around 8pm and wakes up around 7:30am. She is still napping twice a day and takes about a two-hour nap in the morning and in the afternoon. This girl loves to sleep!

Eating Pattern: CeCe is still eating every 3-4 hours and takes about 5-ounces of expressed breast milk. We haven't actually nursed in awhile, so I'm EP'ing at the moment and I'm totally okay with that. CeCe is also eating solids for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She can suck down a pouch in no time flat and loves eating puffs and baby mum-mums. 

Milestones: CeCe is ALL over the place! She is cruising and climbing on furniture. She is so active and loves to follow me all around the house. This little girl is going to be big trouble because she is into everything (unlike Bella). She pulls things off tables, out of the outlet and even broke a glass pitcher! I have a feeling we are going to be on our toes with this one! She is babbling all the time, with her favorite words being "mama", "dada" and "Bell-a." CeCe still only has the two bottom teeth, but Dr. Hosemann says more teeth should be popping through any day now.

Friends: We've been spending lots of time with Kaylee, Evan, Avery and Connor. Oh, and big sister Bella, too! It's neat to see the girls interacting and playing together. We also reconnected with old friends in Baltimore while we were in town. 

Current Events: A terrible tragedy occurred in Newtown, CT before Christmas where a gunman shot and killed students and teachers in an elementary school. The fiscal cliff was avoided and the feds passed a budget to keep our country afloat. It looks like the Mayans were wrong and the world DID NOT end on 12/21/12. The NHL lock-out was resolved and we will have hockey this season! The Ravens are heading to the NFL playoffs again, woohoo!

Happy 9-Month Birthday, Cecilia Rose!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Monday, January 7, 2013

Healthy Living: Day 1

After a few weeks, okay, a few months of maintaining a somewhat unhealthy lifestyle, today marks the beginning of the end. It's time to get back to healthy eating and working out regularly.

Tonight for dinner I will be making Savory Chicken from our South Beach Diet cookbook. It's a pretty basic meal of chicken breasts, onions, garlic and chicken broth with a little bit of rosemary. It may sound bland but it's actually pretty tasty. I'll be serving the chicken with a fresh salad and mashed cauliflower.

I'm sure this will be more than fine for Ian and me, however I am concerned that Bella won't too fond of it. For the time being, Bella's meals will continue to be served with a side of ranch (at least until I can find a healthy alternative).

Now I'm not saying that we will never splurge on Chick-fil-A or ice cream, because that's just crazy. We will occasionally indulge but for the time being and in order to jump start this lifestyle change, all indulgences will be saved for the weekend.

Wish us luck!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Friday, January 4, 2013

Evan



It's been one of those weeks where I feel like nobody can win. Fortunately, my family and I are all doing very well, but some of our friends are struggling with heartache in their own families.

Today, I received news from my sweet friend, Melissa Ranieri, that her son Evan will need to go on dialysis. Evan was born with stage 4 chronic kidney disease and unfortunately his cute, little kidneys can no longer keep up with his growing body. Melissa has dreaded this day and Evan was so close to avoiding this, but it just wasn't in the cards.

I met Melissa through our local MOMS Club, even though she lives literally right around the corner from us and has for years. We communicated via email and Facebook for what seems like months and finally met at a fundraiser for Evan at a local frozen yogurt shop. Melissa is one of those people who you instantly love. She's sweet, kind and most importantly, funny. Her sense of humor is so in sync with mine; it's like we're long lost friends. She is one of the best moms I know and loves her kids more than anything else in the world. Over the past few months, we have grown really close. My husband and I have gone to her house at 9pm to capture man-eating frogs and she has sat in the car in my driveway with me to discuss "serious" topics. I value her friendship very much and am thankful to have her in my life.

I haven't had a lot of time to process how I feel about this because I've been so worried about Melissa and her family. The one emotion that comes to mind is sadness. I'm sad that this sweet, nearly 2-year-old little boy will be spending some his days hooked up to a dialysis machine instead of running around like a maniac like kids his age should be. I'm also angry that the Ranieri family and Evan have to go through this, because they certainly don't deserve this. Oddly enough, I'm happy. I'm happy that modern medicine is advanced enough to have dialysis AND transplants. Needless to say, there are many emotions that I'm feeling, but I need to put all my emotions aside and be strong for Melissa, Evan and the rest of the family.

If you want to learn more about Evan and how you can help, please check out: Children's Organ Transplant Association: Evan Ranieri. Spread the word about organ donation, kidney disease and Evan's story. And if you feel so inclined, please donate to Evan's COTA fund to help pay for his upcoming kidney transplant.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday

After much deliberation, I have decided to follow in the footsteps of Joanna over at Baby Gators Den and give thanks on Thursdays. She has been doing this for quite some time and I've posted here and there, but never consistently. So anyway, here goes nothing!

This Thursday I am most thankful for my girls. Without my vivacious Isabella Eve and my sweet Cecilia Rose, life would not be complete. These girls are my world. They can be demanding at times, but they can also be two of the sweetest girls I know.

Bella keeps us on our toes and you never know what is going to come out of her mouth next! She is bright, beautiful and full of life. She loves to learn, loves to watch Disney movies and to be with her mommy and daddy. She challenges us with her inquisitive nature, but is always eager to gain new knowledge.
video


CeCe Rose is the sweetest baby I have ever met (I know a lot of parents think this about their kids, but I'm not exaggerating). She smiles when she wakes up from her sleep, she smiles as she crawls to follow you around and she smiles when her sister enters the room. Her smile and giggle is contagious and you cannot help but to reciprocate the gestures.
video

Together these girls are an absolute joy, big sister and little sister, and hopefully best friends! Like I said yesterday, tomorrow is not promised and neither is today. So today I am thankful for Bella and CeCe Rose. I love you girls more than life itself and you both make mommy and daddy very, very happy.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Remembering Ann Reese

I logged onto Facebook this morning to catch up with everything I had missed last night, and was astounded by the terrible news I read: a friend had lost her beautiful, 3-year-old daughter in a tragic accident on Christmas Eve. I broke down and wept.

I met Amy through her business, Barefoot Designs, almost 2 years ago. Amy and I had daughters around the same age, not to mention the same size! I often joked with her that my orders would be putting Ann Reese through college. Amy returned to work about this time last year, as a teacher. I was disappointed that her shop would be closed, but looked forward to ordering from her again over the summer.

I joined the Facebook page set up in Ann Reese's memory today. And when I tell you she was a beautiful child, she was an absolutely beautiful child! Amy often used her as her model for new outfits because she is gorgeous! Seeing the outpouring of friends and family really tugged at my heart strings. This sweet toddler is so loved and so is her sweet family. It also made me stop and think about my two girls. Accidents can happen in a split second, after all, that's why they are called accidents.

Amy, Dave, Ann Reese and sweet baby girl Grote, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Ann Reese is in Heaven now, looking over you all. I bet she cannot wait to see her little sister!

If you have a moment, please check out Ann Reese's Facebook page and say a little prayer for her and her family. Thinking of all of you, during this very difficult time. Remembering Ann Reese.

And you better believe that I will be loving on my girls a little extra today, because tomorrow isn't promised and neither is today.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

We're home!

We just returned today from our two week "vacation" in Baltimore. It's our annual pilgrimage to the motherland, or my hometown. I love Maryland, I love Baltimore and I love seeing our family and friends, but I don't really care for traveling with two small children. It's exhausting, it's stressful and I am so glad to be home!

So I guess I've painted a pretty bleak picture of our time in Baltimore, which couldn't be further from the truth. We stayed with my dad (aka Pop), which is great because it almost feels like home. The girls have their own space, we have our own space and we get to spend A LOT of time with Pop. Home-cooked meals, late night chats with Pop and trips to all of my favorite local spots (including Pastore's and Woodlea Bakery) cannot be beat. Oh, and don't forget watching all of Bella's favorite Disney movies... over and over again.

I'll write a post specifically about all of our Christmas activities, complete with pictures, but that will have to wait until I have more energy, our things are unpacked and our house is organized. Right now it looks like FAO Schwartz threw up all over our house because we have toys everywhere! But until then, I'll continue with my rant...

Almost every day we had plans and when we didn't have plans, we usually ended up making plans later in the day. We did a lot of running around with the girls, which is exhausting. We took them to indoor playgrounds, we took them to see Santa and we took them to several play dates with friends. Unfortunately my girls don't do well without their naps, so we were usually home by 1:00pm each day to ensure the girls could rest.

Okay, as I'm reading this, it sounds like a bunch of random thoughts, but that's kind of what is going on in my mind right now. Today was a LONG day of travel and it's time for some wine. I'll be sure to post about all of our Christmas adventures soon. Until then... I bid you a fond farewell!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia