Monday, December 31

A ride in review


Number of hours in the car: 10
Number of miles traveled: 750
Number of presents stuffed in the van: 29
Number of pieces of dry ice packed: 1
Number of stops: 4
Number of times Cinderella was watched: 3
Number of episodes of Dora watched: 10
Number of times Leah asked "Are we there yet?": 21
Number of diapers changed: 8
Number of hours Leah slept: 1.5
Number of hours Erin slept: 5.5
Number of times Leah refused to eat the cheeseburger she asked for: 12
Number of ounces of formula Erin sucked down to minimize stopping: 8
Number of times Leah randomly said "Mommy/Daddy I love you": Never too many

Saturday, December 29

Something smells like burning


Question: Which of these three things do you think smells like fire?

A. our clothes on the day after Christmas
B. my infant's head
C. the fireplace at my dad's house

Answer at the end of the entry

So here we are still in Louisiana. We were going to leave this morning, but my aunt and a few cousins came out here to Parran's camp and Leah is having so much fun we couldn't go yet. We are sticking around for a dinner of ribeye steaks, baked potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and salad. YUM!

So last night we went to the Neel family Christmas party. For all who don't know, Neel is my step-dad's family. We were trying to think when the last time was I saw them. Finally, after much deliberation (and you know if it was that complicated, it has been too long) we decided it has been 3 1/2 years. Six kids have been born since then. One of my cousins have gone from a 5th to 9th grader. People have grown up A LOT. I was kinda dreading going because our girls have been through a lot this week with meeting new people and staying up late. I was afraid they would melt down. But they were GREAT and we had a really fun time. So I am happy we went.

The tally of new people met for my girls:
Marmandes (step-mom's family on X-mas eve): 24
Theriots (dad's family on X-mas day): 49
Neels (step-dad's family): 25

For a grand total of: 98

Can you believe that?

Now Leah met the first two lines two years ago when she was 7 months, but that doesn't really count because she was too little. Just like it doesn't really count for Erin this time. My poor children are strung out from lack of sleep and Erin has now gotten used to being nursed to sleep 3-4 times a night. So boot camp when we get home. Everyone will go to bed at 6 for at least a week to straighten us out. If we ever do get home...

Answer to our Question: B

Tuesday, December 25

Merry Christmas!


Between last night and today, the girls were extremely sleep-deprived and overstimulated. Even so, they were still good and cooperative. Last night we went to Grandma Marmande's (Myrn's mother) for dinner, presents and steal gifts. I ended up with a sterling cheese platter and knife decorated with the fleur-de-lis design and Mike got the "Swiss army knife of BBQ tools." Erin actually fell asleep in my arms, which never happens with that kid. When we got home, we put out milk and cookies for Santa and sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn before bed.

This morning everyone in the house was up before the girls. In fact Leah only woke up because my dad was banging pots in the kitchen. Santa had written Leah a note saying that he left her presents at her house because there was no more room under the tree here at Mimi and PawPaw's. She accepted that with no problem because there was plenty for her to open here. Right after present opening, we started preparing for the horde to descend.

The day was insane. I almost never saw Erin except when I was putting her down for naps. Leah was in and out with her cousins playing in her new bus tent and and eating oranges from my dad's tree. The little cousins have all grown up so much and it was so much fun visiting with everyone.

I leave you with a few pictures:

The girls making "reindeer food"

Erin on Christmas morning

Ella and Leah eating oranges all day

Uncle Zac and the girls

One hundred people watching homemovies from 1983 in one tiny bedroom

Sunday, December 23

We made it!


Well, we made it to my dad's house in Houma, LA with a minimum of fuss. We left home at 12:30PM and arrived at dad's at 2am. Of course when we got here both girls were wired for a while so it took some time to get everyone settled and into bed. But the ride was very smooth. Leah watched her DVDs almost the whole ride until she went to sleep at 9pm. Erin slept off and on the whole time. So all in all we were pleasantly surprised at the ease of the drive.

We are going to Myrn's (my step-mom's) mothers tomorrow night. The kids get presents and the adults do the white elephant gift exchange where you steal presents. Then Christmas day all the Theriots descend on Dad's house for a day of food and presents. I have made Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Chocolate Oatmeal, and Lemon Rosemary Butter cookies, Butter Balls, and Fudge (well, my mom made fudge) for that day. Tonight I made Tiffany's Chocolate Peppermint cookies and they spread too much. Tiff, I forgot what you told me about preventing the spreading. What did I have to do again?

Anyway, on Wednesday or Thursday for my birthday we are going to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. It was hit pretty hard by the hurricane, but they have put it back together nicely. My aunt said she might take some cousins and meet us there. I will post pics of that when we go, it should be a blast.

Friday we are going to my step-dad's family Christmas party and spending the night at my parran's camp. (Parran is the Louisiana way of saying godfather.) Then we are heading home Saturday. It will be a full week as always. I will post with pics and stories as the week progresses.

Funny Leah story: She had been playing with our flyswatter while we were packing the car. She wanted to bring it with us and we told her that PawPaw probably had one. She asked us what color it was and we told her to ask PawPaw when we got there. When we arrived at 2am, I was taking Leah out of the car mostly asleep. She curls up in my arms and says "What kind he has?" I had no idea what she was talking about until she said "What color is PawPaw's flyswatter?" After 14 hours in the car it was the first thing she said! :)

Thursday, December 20

4 month update


Erin had her 4 month check up yesterday. She was 14lb 4oz and 23 1/2 in, exactly the same as Leah was at 4 months. We fed her some rice cereal last night and she did pretty well. Most of the 4 bites she had stayed in her mouth. :) She is also doing well with her occasional bottle of formula. It's good to know I can leave her and she will be okay with someone else.

My baby has gotten so much fun when she is not tired. She is always grinning and making cute cooing noises. Her big mouth is always open wide, catching flies. I really love nursing her right before bedtime. She is tired, but cuddly and warm. Sometimes I don't want to put her down. When she cries in the night though, I have NO problem putting her down after nursing her back to sleep. The dr said she does not NEED the night feedings, but we should probably keep going to her til she's about 6 months to create that bond. After that we can wean her off the night feedings. I really don't mind them as long as it's once or twice a night. When she wakes up every 2 hours is when I have a rough time. Ugh...

Last night Mom and I went to Maggiano's for a joint birthday dinner. It was a lot of laughs and it was nice to have time to just visit as grown-ups. Thanks Mike for watching the kids for us!

Monday, December 17

Date night


Last night after Erin went to sleep, Mike and I headed out to Carrabba's for a date. We each had a glass of wine and shared the two founder's platters. It was so delicious! Afterward we walked around a few stores in the strip mall and just enjoyed our time alone. We didn't even really talk about the kids until we were almost home! We had a wonderful few hours off duty.

When we got home, Erin was awake hanging out with my mom on the couch. I put her back to sleep at about 9:30 and she slept until 4:45am! I went to bed at 10 so I got almost 7 continuous hours of sleep for the first time since she was born. I put her back to sleep at 5:30 after a poop episode. All of a sudden at 6:30 Leah was calling "Help, help" in the monitor. Mike went in and Leah's lamp was on and her pajamas were off. I think she was trying to change her own diaper. :) Mike came back in and I thought he had redressed her. A minute later Leah was calling "Help, I am pee-peeing." Apparently Mike had put big girl underwear on her and left her in her room? So she peed behind her clothes hamper. We got her all cleaned up and let her wake Grammy up. I went back to bed and slept until Erin work up at 8:15! This was the best night ever!!!!!

Sunday, December 16

Ballet Debut


Leah and I went on a date yesterday to the ballet. Our neighbor Makenna was a little party girl in The Nutcracker. I was a little worried about Leah sitting through a whole performance, but for the most part she was great. Before the show she and Ian ran around the lobby., laying on the floor in front of people trying to walk and almost got stepped on a few times. :) Leah had a dress on and kept flashing her diaper at everyone. I know she is still little, but I can't stand when kids wear skirts without shorts or bloomers. Kids just can't handle not flashing, so we will be shorting it soon. Anyway, during the first act, we discussed what was going on and pointed things out to each other. At intermission, we looked at the stuff they were selling in the lobby. I wish I had brought some cash because Leah found a little bendy ballerina for a dollar and it would have been a good souvenir.

We met up with the ballerina herself, Makenna, in the lobby at intermission
along with her sister Andelyn. (How neat are those names?) Leah got a little antsy during the second act, but only toward the end. All in all I was impressed at our first cultural outing.

To update the sleep post from the other day, last night was great! We put Erin to bed at 5pm and Leah at 6:30pm. (The night before, at 6 and 7pm did not work by the way) Leah slept all night. She had not napped the day before due to the ballet. Well, I say due to the ballet, but Leah has only napped 2 out of the last 10 days. I am worried we may be outgrowing naps! So she had a good night last night. Erin woke up at 10:15 and 1:15 to eat and woke up for the day at 6:30am! That was a great breakthrough. I hope now that we broke the cycle, we can get back to her good night sleep. We can hardly leave the house due to her numerous naps, but it is all worth it for the sake for a good night's sleep

Friday, December 14

On demand


I found out that we do have Exercise TV in Demand! Now I can do Pilates and Yoga in my living room. It's not exactly the same but it's something.

Erin has not been sleeping well at night. Beginning at about 11pm she wakes up every two hours and sometimes every hour until morning. Mike and I discussed this at 4:45 am while we were listening to her cry since 4am and decided that both girls need an earlier bedtime. They don't go to bed late, maybe between 7:30 and 8 for Leah and varies for Erin depending on her naps. But I think 6pm will be Erin's new temporary bedtime for a while until we see how she is doing. Leah will be going to bed at 7pm for the next week. We want to see if this helps the night waking. My favorite sleep book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, almost always advocates trying an earlier bedtime if things are not going well. Leah has also been waking in the night 3 out of the last 5 nights. So early bedtimes all round!

Update: I just did 30 min of Pilates from ExerciseTV On Demand. It feels good!

Sunday, December 9

Babysitting Jobs Wanted


I am the babysitter extraordinaire! Along with my husband of course. Tonight we watched Chase and Ian while Bryan and Laurie went to his work holiday party in Fort Mill, SC. We played outside for a long time, took a walk around the neighborhood (Erin in snugli on Mike, Chase in wrap on me, Ian & Leah in wagon), made and ate dinner, fed Chase baby food, bathed Ian & Leah, and put all 4 kids to bed by 7:45pm. Then we made a Minted Chocolate Trifle for Mike's work holiday party tomorrow. So it wasn't bad at all. I am the bomb! Oh, yeah, and Mike too. :)

Thursday, December 6

Possible suspension...


of my 5K ambitions. :(

Last Sunday we took the kids on a walk to see all the Christmas lights in the neighborhood. For some reason my knees started bothering me while we were walking. Ever since then, the part of my knees under the kneecap has been aching. I have had slight knee issues before. I remember when I did guard, whenever we would have staging practices, my knees would bother me. It's weird that they hurt more when I do easy things like walk and stand than when I work out and dance. Anyway, I am wondering if maybe the running has inflamed my cartilage with all the pounding. So I have to stop running for a while and see if it gets better.

I still want to go to the gym for Pilates and yoga, but it is really hard to make it to classes on a schedule right now. Between two kids, each on their own schedule, I can't force them into mine. So I think I may need to get some DVDs and really make myself do them at home. If anyone still needs to get me Christmas or birthday presents, Pilates and yoga DVDs are a great idea.

On another note, I just got a phone call from my neighbor. Apparently our city is on an even higher lever of water restrictions. We have not been allowed to water outside or wash cars or anything like that for quite a while. Now I hear that you are only going to be allowed 6000 gallons a month and that at a 15% increase in price. After 6000 gallons they will charge you $10 for every 1000 gallons. My neighbor said that she checked her last month's bill and, even though she thought she was conserving water, they used 12000 gallons. So we better watch out. If anyone out there has ideas for conserving water in the home, please pass them on.

Monday, December 3

Goal update and other stuff


1. Stick to Weight Watchers and show consistent weight loss - I did well last week and I have lost a total of 11 pounds since I started keeping track. I know that part of that is just more baby weight coming off, but I went down a pants size last week so I am ecstatic.
2. Run a 5K once a week - I ran one last Tuesday.
3. Improve my time from 45 minutes (no set time goal) - time of 41:45 which is 15 sec better than the last time
4. Get to the gym twice a week minimum - again only once :(

I tried something new with the 5K. Instead of running half a lap and walking half a lap, I ran more like 1 1/2 laps and walked half a lap still. I thought if I ran more, my time would improve. But I had to run slower since I wasn't taking as many breaks, so it turned out almost dead even. At the end I pushed really hard to beat my old time and I did. :)

Next weekend, we invited Mike's co-worker John and his wife Dawn to Channukah dinner. I have not seen Dawn since before they announced their pregnancy and she is now due in February. So it will be neat to chat with her about that. Then we are babysitting Ian & Chase on Sunday while Bryan & Laurie go to his work Christmas party. It's always a challenge to watch other people's babies because you don't know the little things like how they prefer to be held, etc. I mean Chase is a really easy baby, so I'm sure it will be fine.

This week is supposed to be really mellow. We have no specific plans, just to get Erin's naps in. I plan to scrapbook everyday during rest time and only do housecleaning when Leah is at school. I will post my pages at the end of the week.