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Let's Talk Babies!

Nora is not a good sleeper. There I said it. It is the first time in my 7 year career of motherhood that I have utter the phrase “My child is a bad sleeper.” Not because I had bad sleepers and didn’t want to admit it. I have been able to avoid it because my girls are good sleepers. Well, at least until the last 6 months or so with Nora. The last 6 months or so have been rough to  say the least. Nora isn’t sleeping well, which in turn means I am not sleeping well. A sleepy Lisa makes for a grumpy, impatient Lisa, which, as you can imagine, makes things a little crazier around this already crazy house.

When Nora was a wee baby, really for the first 9 months or so, she was an excellent sleeper. She was sleeping through the night, like 10-12 hour stretches kind of sleeping through the night, at 6 weeks old. She always went down easily and sleep like a charm all night, rarely waking and if she did usually only once and then right back to sleep. She even slept in a bit in the morning a lot of the time. It was fantastic. It made me so incredibly grateful and I didn’t talk about it much for fear I would jinx the perfectness of it.

When she started teething things began to take a turn. She began to wake at night more often but at first she always returned to her good sleeping habits. Then something happened. I don’t know what. It began one week when she was working on her first molars and had a cold all at the same time. She was so obviously not feeling well and was grumpy pretty much all day long. I did what I could by giving her tylenol for her teeth and setting up the humidifier for her stuffy nose. It didn’t help much. She began waking up 2, 3 and even sometimes 4 times a night. It went on for weeks. Long after the cold went away. I figured maybe it was the teeth more than the cold. The frequent night wakings continued. Month after month, tooth after tooth.

And here we are a good 6 months or so later and Nora is still waking up 2, 3 and sometimes 4 times a night. It is beyond exhausting. Now that she is fairly vocal she no longer cries, she stands up in her crib and screams, I mean screaming at the top of her lungs kind of screams, for me. I am rudely awakened by the sound of a blood curdling “Mooooommmmm!” at all hours of the night. She won’t let me just rock her, I have to nurse her every time. It is maddening and exhausting.  She is hard to resist though in all her cuteness!

I’m ready for something to give. Something has to give, I need more sleep. I know at some point I’m going to have to play the bad guy and refuse to nurse her or let her cry it out or something. I obviously haven’t hit rock bottom yet because I’m not quite ready to do that.  Plus, given the volume of her screaming if I let her cry (or rather yell) it out she is bound to wake up the rest of the house and the only thing worse than being up with one child multiply times a night is being up with more than one child multiply times a night! So, I guess for now we will carry on being sleepless in Seattle until she final returns to sleeping well (I secretly hold out hope that she will) or I hit by breaking point and force nudge her in that direction.

 

We are 13 days into 2015 and I finally feel like the new year is starting. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks under the heavy fog of illness. I literally can’t remember large chunks of the past 2 weeks. 2015 came in with a bang, a bang of illness, for me. After spending a great night ringing in the New Year with friends I woke up New Years Day to body aches, chills and a low grade fever. Things steadily got worse from there. I don’t think I have ever been so sick in my entire life. I spent much of the next 10 days like this.

Luckily Lorne was around to pick up the slack and help care for the littles who aren’t big fans of mommy being sick.

After a full week of battling a fever, body aches, constant headaches and the onset of popping sounds coming from my lungs I finally headed to the doctor to get checked out. Of course, I had already self diagnosed with the help of Dr. Google and I knew I either had the flu, bronchitis or worse case, pneumonia, but I figured I should probably let a really doctor check me out. Plus, I was so over being sick and was really hoping whatever I had could be cured with medication of some kind. It didn’t take long for the doctor to figure out what was going on with me. I had pneumonia, the walking pneumonia variety, which gave me the strength to get around and kept me out of the hospital, but pneumonia nonetheless. With a prescription in hand for some heavy duty antibiotics and strict instructions to take it extremely easy until I started to feel better, I was on my way.

A few days later I finally began to get a glimpse of my old self again. The meds were doing the trick and slowly but surely I returned to the land of the living. I’ve completed my round of antibiotics and other than a lingering cough and still feeling a little more tired than normal I feel SO much better. That illness knocked my socks off and I am more than glad to have it behind me.

So, now that we are 2 weeks into 2015 and I am finally feeling better again lets get this party started. Here’s to a wonderful 2015. I’m looking forward to some incredible adventures with my little family.

It is seriously laughable how difficult it is to find time these days to sit down and bust out a blog post. I think one of my resolutions for 2015 needs to be to do a better job at churning out new content for this here blog!

Anyway, a little over a month ago our Miss Anna took a big step into the world of becoming a big girl, she started preschool!

She had been saying since before Maya headed back to school this year that she wanted to go to preschool. She would tell anyone who would listen that she was going to start preschool (even though I hadn’t signed her up or planned on sending her this year). My original plan for this year was to do some at home preschool type stuff with her, sign up for a few classes like gymnastics and then send her to preschool next year. She still seemed so little to me. After much bugging I decided she was ready and I needed to get her into a program. A friend of ours recommended their program to us and they happened to still have an opening in their 3s class so we I looked into it. We did a tour and we loved it! She started class the following week.

The first few weeks were a little rough. She was shy and sad every time I dropped her off and begged not to go back :( I was surprised by her reaction given how much she begged to go and how not shy she usually is. But, the last couple of weeks have gone really well. She doesn’t cry at drop off anymore and is all smiles and full of stories when I pick her up. Progress!

The program is only twice a week for 2.5 hours, similar to what Maya did her first year of preschool. I think it is a good way to start. I can’t believe she is already at this stage. She is growing up so fast.

It is no secret that Maya loves all things art. She spends a good portion of her free time creating things. So, when she requested an art themed party for her birthday I wasn’t surprised! My mission to throw her a birthday party to remember began. After I got over the fear of completely failing at throwing a decent party I set to work hunting down the perfect ideas on Pinterest. I found a few project ideas I thought would be perfect and some decor ideas I hoped I was capable of pulling off. With me to do list in hand I set to work creating what I hoped would be the perfect Art Party for Maya’s 7th birthday.

The decor came together so well. I had so much fun creating this party. From the mini easels, to the mini paint cans, to the rice crispies paint brushes, to the “Maya’s Art Studio” sign it was all so much fun to create and put together.

I decided to make a couple of examples of the art project we had planned for the party and display them along with a “Maya’s Art Studio” sign I made. I figured this would give the kids a chance to see what the project looked like once completed and it gave the party a nice artsy feel.

Since we were going to be painting had aprons for each girl and I bought fabric markers so they could decorate their own aprons. I had a friend of mine put each girl’s name on an apron with puffy paint to personalize them a bit for them. I also made a mini easel out of popsicle sticks for each of the girls. During the party it held their name tag but I figured it would be a fun way to display their artwork at home.

Decorating and personalizing their aprons was a great way to kick off the party and the girls had so much

fun. Each girl did a great job making their apron their own and using their creativity.

Once everyone had finished their aprons we moved onto the main project. I chose a watercolor project for the party. I provided each girl with a canvas and some watercolors. The idea of the project was to saturate the canvas with as much color as they could, once their painting was complete we sprinkled salt on the canvas to create some starburst effects and drizzled a little glue to create further unique effects on the art work. The girls did an amazing job and created some beautiful pieces of art. I hope they are proud of their pieces and are displaying them at home on their little easels!

This is Maya’s finished artwork. I love the tie dye effect created with the watercolors and the starburst created by the salt. I opted for sparkle glue and that was a big hit with the girls. This project was so fun and so easy. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a good kid friendly painting project.

After the art work was completed we moved on to eating. The rice crispies paint brushes were a big hit and so fun and easy to make.

I had a lot of fun coming up with creative food and drink ideas for this party. Turns out an art party is a great way for the host to channel their creativity as well :)

The final art spin of the day was with the cake. I opted for cupcakes and picked up some paint trays with a large center. I placed the cupcake in the middle and filled the paint tray with sprinkles of various colors, sizes and textures and had the girls decorate their own cupcakes. It was another huge hit!

This party was so fun to throw. The birthday girl was very happy with how everything turned out, which is the most important thing!

Today Maddie would have been 7, just like my Maya. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I feel compelled every year to keep writing, to keep remembering.

I met Heather, through blogging, when our daughters were about to have their first birthdays. I stumbled across her blog and loved it. I loved the stories about Maddie. I was a first time mom to a little girl born just a few days before Maddie. Though our paths to motherhood were very different and the struggles they had as a result of Maddie’s prematurity I couldn’t even imagine, I could relate so much to them through Maddie. I started commenting on her blog and we exchanged a few emails here and there. I grew to love that little girl I would see smiling at me on my computer screen. She lit up the world with those bright blue eyes and that infectious grin.

Today she would have been 7. Today she should have been 7. So, today I will wear purple in honor of that little girl who touched my heart. I will send love, light and peace to Heather, Mike, Annie and James so that they may feel the support of so many standing with them and behind them remembering and missing their little girl with them.

Happy Birthday, Maddie! Wish you were here and that I was reading about the amazing birthday party your mama would have thrown for you this past weekend and seeing pictures of those blue eyes that would still undoubtedly be as bright as ever and that smile that I know would still be lighting up the world.