Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Clou Blog's 5th Anniversary!

Five years ago on the three-year anniversary of meeting Kevin, and shortly after getting married, I started this blog! A lot has happened since then! For the short version check out my year reviews below. This blog is definitely a labor of love. I really enjoy writing it, taking photos for it, and reading back on the old posts. Especially with a second baby now, it's so fun to look back and see if things were different with the first.

So many things have happened in five years it's hard to believe it's been such a short time. We lost my dad. We lost two very young friends Erik and Chris. We lost three grandparents. We had two beautiful children and our friends now have 36 more children among them (21 of them boys!). There have been another twenty-three friend-weddings in the last 5 years. My mother and Owen beat cancer! Kevin published his first book. Life is a rough ride and we're so lucky to have each other for it. All of us. That's why I've never changed the banner- because we're all in it together.

My year reviews since I began the blog:

2009: Second half of the year, starting from when we got married
2010: First half and second half (when we lost my dad)
2011: First half when James was born and second half
2012: First half and second half
2013: First half and second half

But of course, probably the best part of the blog has been Kevin's 41 posts so far. I'll try to get him to write more!

Us through the first five blog years:

Our Wedding, Cape Cod, June 2009

Our First Anniversary 2010
One-year Wedding Anniversary, Brooklyn, June 2010

James at 2 Days Old 2011
Our son James is born!, Long Island, April 2011

James's 1st Birthday Party 2012
James's First Birthday, Long Island, April 2012

Visiting Ash- June 2013
Ta-da! Warwick, NY, June 2013

Miranda- 2 Days 2014
Our daughter Miranda is born!, Long Island, April 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Grandma Visits- July 2014

Grandma visited last weekend. We had Thai food one night, and I tried a new recipe in the crockpot another night (with limited success), and we had lots of wine. And most exciting- Grandma got Miranda to laugh for the first time! Take a look at these ridiculously cute photos!

Grandma Visits- July 2014
Watching a video together

Grandma Visits- July 2014
Grandma got Miranda to laugh for the first time!

Grandma Visits- July 2014
This is a rattle.

Grandma Visits- July 2014
Go ahead, chew on it.

Grandma Visits- July 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Miranda is 3 Months 2014

Miranda no longer eats and sleeps all the time. She has longer periods of wakefulness and expects to be thoroughly entertained during these periods even though she doesn't like toys yet. She continues to smile and make cute little noises at us, but we're hearing "coo" and "goo" less and less. She loves "chatting" especially with Dada.

Miri is 3 Months 2014

Food: The cluster feeding frenzy stopped cold. Honestly I kind of miss it because entertaining her is much harder than feeding her. Maybe. I don't know. It's all hard. All of her fussiness is definitely wanting to be entertained or being tired.

July 2014
She looks more like my mom when she's sleeping.

Sleep: Pretty much the same as last month. She goes to bed more reliably around 9:30 p.m. and sleeps about 5-6 hours which is super awesome. She'll wake up at 2:30 am or 3:30 a.m., I feed her and put her back in her crib. Then she'd wake up again at 5:30ish, and after feeding, she moves to our bed. More feeding at 7:30-8, and then at 9 or 10 am.

Naps are still difficult as detailed very specifically in my last post.

Growth: She's in size 3 months. We haven't gone back for another pediatrician appointment. We had her 2-month appointment late on July 1st and she was 24.25", and 12.8 pounds. She's about 14 pounds now.

July 2014
Trying to get the octopus

Skills: She grasps my shirt, finger, or my hair, and tries to swat at stuff in her baby gym. She also swats me away from her face when I'm bugging her. She's still not really interested in toys beyond a passing interest in her rattle, octopus, and mirror. She loves that other baby in the mirror.

Miranda still will not take a bottle or a pacifier, and it's starting to alarm me because I'm her hostage until she takes a bottle.

Miri- July 2014
A lovely toothless smile

Personality: Miranda smiles at us a lot and seems to have quite the little sense of humor already. She still likes to be walked around the house upright, and no she also like rocking in the glider with Dada.

July 2014

July 2014
Riding around with her Dada

Me: When I went back to work I mentioned that I might have to do fewer hours for a while. In fact, I have been doing way more hours than before. From home. With no daycare. And Kevin went back to work, albeit only two days a week (I know, play me a violin!), but inevitably those are my busiest days.

I lost 24. I've lost no additional weight since month 1. I STILL have about 6 pounds to pre-Miranda and 12 to pre-James.

Miri is 3 Months 2014
Three months! Showing a little leg.

Kevin: She's eating a little less so she's not as attached to Mama. She seems more attentive. Her eyes are more alert.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Day in the Life of J & M- July 2014

So here's a day at home with James and Miranda at this very specific time in their lives. I'd like to say it's a standard day, but there's no such thing as a standard day yet, that's part of what having a newborn is about.

6 a.m. James wakes up and makes little annoying noises in his room but he stays in his room until 7 a.m. because we've taught him "not to get up until the bunny gets up," which means that his bunny clock lights up.

6:20 a.m. Kevin gets up and gets ready for work. James may or may not be sleeping.

7:00 a.m. James gets up. Kevin feeds him oatmeal and yogurt and often puts television on for him so that I can have a few moments of peace when I get up.

A Day in the Life 2014
7:14 a.m. Breakfast with Dada

7:15 a.m. Kevin "wakes me up" though I'm often already awake and trying to not disturb Miranda who has always managed to make her way into our bed by then. I carefully extract myself from under her head and leave her in bed. This makes me nervous because you're not supposed to do this, and I forget to set up the baby camera so I can get a shot of the bed (because she's not supposed to be in there anyway!) so I check on her hundreds of times until she wakes up. I drink coffee and try to do some work. James asks for a millions things, many of them repeatedly.

8 a.m.- 9 a.m. Miranda wakes up! Now the party can start.

Day in the Life 2014
8:56 a.m. James making a huge mess in Miranda's vicinity. "Playing."

  Day in the Life 2014
8:59 a.m.: James gives Miranda a little choking hazard toy, fantastic!

9 a.m. I feed Miranda. She eats for a while, complaining intermittently if I don't hold her with both hands, or kicking my phone out of my hands because why should I have anything take my focus off her? Why indeed Miranda.

9:30 a.m. Miranda is already a huge grouch. She didn't actually want to get up so early - she just got up because she sensed I was no longer there. Now she's mad. James gets mad too in support of Miranda. I know, let's try putting her down for a nap. Ha!

Day in the Life 2014
Miranda: You've got to be kidding me.

9:32 a.m. James helpfully turns on the light and yells, "Surprise!" Sigh.

Day in the Life 2014
James: Surprise! Miranda: Break me out!

9-11:30 a.m. Life is basically miserable. I entertain, I bounce, I cajole, I put her down over and over again, and finally after eating again she falls asleep while I'm holding her.

11:45 a.m. I put her down in her bouncer or in the cosleeper, and then I run around trying to feed James lunch and maybe if I'm lucky I eat something too.

12:10-20 a.m. Miranda wakes up super angry that she is not being held. This part of the day happens  like clockwork.

A Day in the Life 2014
12:14 a.m. Picture from a different day just to prove my point.

I attempt to get her back to sleep and probably fail.

Day in the Life 2014
12:20 a.m. Miranda in the swing: the theory is
this will either entertain her or put her to sleep.

So most likely I do not get Miranda back to sleep, and now I'm a professional entertainer for a few hours. But here's the thing, babies aren't interested in anything. Toys aren't a thing yet. So we do the "baby gym" for a while then she stops being fascinated by the octopus rattle, so we go for a walk up and down the hallway or whatever I can think of that's new. 

Day in the Life 2014
Trying to hit the octopus

At this point, you might have noticed that Miranda is still in her pajamas. She usually gets dressed for the day when she gets up, but she does sometimes just spend the day in pajamas when Kevin isn't home and I'm not going to try to go out. Not pictured: Me also in pajamas still.

Day in the Life 2014
I drew James a picture of him because he needs entertaining too.

Why don't we go for a walk outside you ask? First, there is the issue of getting everyone dressed, and getting the stroller out the door without anyone falling down the stairs because we live in a second-floor walk up. Second-- and this is the more important reason -- I seek to do things that will keep Miranda from crying. Going for a walk in the stroller doesn't do this. She has a knack for knowing when we're a maximum distance from the house then starting to scream bloody murder. Not, "crying," the way a sensible adult might do, but shrieking, screaming, and turning bright red like her village was burned down.

Anyway, now it's 2 or maybe 3 in the afternoon, and she passes out from exhaustion while I'm holding her and I'm too terrified and shell-shocked to even put her down. But actually it doesn't matter because she'll only sleep like 40 minutes anyway because James will suddenly run over and exclaim, "WHERE'S MY PURPLE THING?" I don't know, buddy. I don't know.

Day in the Life 2014
2:48 p.m. Mid-afternoon nap in my arms.

A Day in the Life 2014
Another day, around the same time (1:48 p.m.)

When she wakes up, I think back on my law firm days. Around this time of day I would stroll to the kitchen and get my second or third cup of coffee of the day. I'd carefully consider my Keurig cup choice and sometimes when I was feeling really crazy, I'd follow the Keurig recipe for combining the hot chocolate cups with the coffee cups to make a mocha drink. Dark chocolate and Kona blend? Yes, please. But now, no. Just no. Even if I put the kid down long enough to pour the coffee and microwave it back to life, drinking it isn't any fun because someone is screaming. James or Miranda, usually, but sometimes me.




Maybe it's not James's fault. Maybe I get cocky. I got this... I can put her down. So I try putting her down either in her bouncer or in the crib.

Day in the Life 2014
3:02 p.m. I gently place her in her bouncer...

Day in the Life 2014
3:35 p.m. Booooo-urns.

Also, there are the diapers, which go without say, but also we decided to finally potty train James after Miranda was born because we feared he'd just regress if we did it before she was born.  So maybe 500 times a day I ask, "James, do you want to use the potty?" But he resists, oh how he resists... not now, he doesn't have to go now... until, well, he does.

Usually, I've given up on doing productive things by now so things get easier in that there are no competing factors, but also much much harder in that there is no longer anything to distract me. And also, you know when you have to pee, but you hold it for a really long time, and finally you're near a bathroom... you know how the the fact that relief is imminent makes it SO MUCH WORSE?  That's what it's like after 4:30 p.m. or so. Kevin comes home between 6:30 and 7, so now that I'm in the home stretch, I think, I'll just lie down and die before I get to the finish line. I think this every day I'm alone with the kids, even though each time I drag all three of us across the finish line. If they are fed, and cleanish, and not miserable, then yay! We made it!

A Day in the Life 2014
4:22 p.m. (different day) You're a jerk, Mama!
Stop taking pictures and entertain me!!

Day in the Life 2014
5:06 p.m. James, please be careful with her head. 
No, don't hit her head with your head!

Day in the Life 2014
6:30 p.m. Yay! Dada's home!

Day in the Life 2014
Hurray! We made it!

The rest is not so bad. Maybe I've already fed James dinner when Kevin gets home. Maybe I just didn't have it together yet. Maybe we had a late snack and waited to have dinner with him. Doesn't matter, I can't have dinner with him because Miranda exclusively wants to have her dinner when I wish I were having mine. I sit in the living room feeding her while James and Kevin have dinner together. Then Kevin gives James a bath and  lets him play in the tub. At some point I give him Miranda so I can eat my dinner alone in the kitchen. Then I take her back, so that at 7 p.m. Kevin can take James out of the tub, dress him in pajamas, read James a few books, and put him to bed.

A Day in the Life 2014
6:52 p.m. Post-bath bedtime routine begins

Miranda senses that I have no help right now and proceeds to have another fussy phase. By 7:30 pm when Kevin re-emerges from James's room, Miranda has decided it's time to eat again so I can't hand her off. If she falls asleep, we might be in for a really late bedtime. If she doesn't then we have another fussy time. I walk and bounce her a little, Kevin rocks and bounces her a little.

It's 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. now. I try feeding her, she falls asleep, I put her down, she cries. No, not yet. I try feeding her again. This time she eats a lot. I put her down again. Yes! She's really going to sleep this time!

It's now 9:30 or 10 p.m. Maybe we watch a show. Maybe we both catch up on work. James might wake up screaming with nightmares. Someone goes in to pat him down, and maybe fish toys out of his bed. Then we go to bed at 11 p.m. super exhausted.

Miranda wakes up at 2:30 or 3 a.m, I feed and return her to her crib. She wakes up again at 5:30, I  feed her and she refuses to go back to the crib so she sleeps in bed with me. Sometimes I hear James or Kevin wake up around that time. At 7:15 a.m. I try to extract my arm from under Miranda's head.

Rinse, repeat.

That's life right now. But at least it's my second kid, and this time I know that things will be a little better by 6 months, and a lot better by the time Miranda is a year old. And one day maybe I'll miss all this? No, I don't think so either.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Baby Aria 2014!

Christina and Dan had a rosy baby girl, Aria! Ah, her cheeks, how I love them! She was born on my dad's birthday so I will always remember her day. I cannot wait to meet her!

Aria 01 

Aria 05
Aria with her happy parents

Aria 06
Big brother Hudson meeting his new bestie.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Nana Visits- July 2014

Nana came to visit last weekend, and I failed to get a lot of cute pictures like I usually do. Nana helped a lot by getting Miri to take naps which is a constant struggle around here. Thanks, Nana!

Nana Visits- July 2014
Smooshy-faced besties

Nana Visits- July 2014
Haha, Miri's photo patience is exhausted.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fourth of July 2014

We did nothing for the Fourth of July this year because Miranda is only 2 months old, plus the fireworks were rained out every where. But here's what happens when Kevin picks out our Fourth of July outfits.

Fourth of July 2014

Fourth of July 2014
We look so tired...

July 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

World Cup 2014

This was the first World Cup for both James and Miranda. I wasn't even pregnant with James during the last one (that happened a few weeks later). We've tried to get James interested but he doesn't really understand the difference between sports yet, and doesn't know what countries are. He finds the games so boring that he asks us to take the "baseball" off TV.

Luckily the America v. Belgium game that Lukas and Sarah came over for was mostly after James' bedtime. Sadly we lost. Boo, Belgium. Pass me a Belgian beer to drown my sorrows in.

  World Cup 2014
Sarah and James snuggling

World Cup 2014
Two men and a baby

World Cup 2014
More time with Miri- I think it's the third time Sarah's seen her already!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Visiting Pete, Adrienne, and Leni 2014

On Sunday, we headed back but made a stop at Pete and Adrienne's place. We saw Pete recently, but haven't seen Adrienne and Leni in a while, and none of them had met Miranda. We sipped wine on their porch, had dinner, and watched the kids play. A nice interlude from Miranda screaming on the highway!

Pete and Adrienne 2014
Leni (tickling Miranda), Miranda, and Pete

Pete and Adrienne 2014
James cracks me up in this one.

Pete and Adrienne 2014
There's Adrienne!

Pete and Adrienne 2014
Lots of stuff happening here.

James loved spending time with Leni. She's a little older than him, but he was happy to follow her lead in the playroom.

Pete and Adrienne 2014
Dinner date!

Pete and Adrienne 2014
Ballerinas and superheroes! Of course.

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