Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat...Smell my feet...

Give me something good to eat! And boy do they mean what they say!

I feel like this whole past week has been one big Halloween celebration. The girls had been so anxious to wear their halloween costumes! I would say about 6 months ago Mairead told me she wanted to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for Halloween. I knew she wouldn't forget about it. And she didn't. Lilah on the other hand didn't really get it, but about 6 weeks before Halloween, we asked her what she wanted to dress up as. Her response: "Dorothy!".......Hmmmmmmm. Two Dorothy's. Kevin and I tried to convince one of them to change their minds. "How about Glenda?" "How about a lolli-pop kid?" Their response: "Um. No. We want to be Dorothy" And that was that. 

Last Sunday, we visited a local camp right up the street from our house. They had a little Halloween celebration there. There was horse riding, donut eating contests, hay rides and a costume parade. The girls participated in everything, and even won a prize for the 'best costume'! They were so proud of themselves! 

On Thursday, Mairead wore her costume to school and then that evening, we went to Mairead's school where they had their annual Halloween fundraiser. There were a ton of kids. Great food made by all the families. Not only was it a fun night, but it was so unbelievably warm outside! All of the kids were playing outside without jackets. Amazing. The girls got to wear their costumes for the second (or third) time in a week. They were more than thrilled! 

On Saturday, we headed to my parents house. Their town puts on a great halloween, and their neighborhood rocks. The girls had an absolute blast going from house to house saying "trick or treat!". Mairead remembered last year, so she knew right what to do. It took one house for Lilah to figure it out and then she was rockin' and rollin'. After each and every house, she'd say "I want to go to another persons house..." in the cutest little Lilah voice. The ran to each house and they ran fast. Last year, we didn't cover all the houses in their neighborhood, but this year, was a completely different story. I'd say they covered over 50 houses in about an hour and a half! They are now trick or treating professionals. And they mean business. 

Tonight, we did round two of trick or treating. Unfortunately, we don't live in a busy neighborhood like my parents so trick or treating isn't quite as exciting. Our street is dark, the houses are spread apart and there are probably much better neighborhoods like my parents near our house that people prefer to go to. I am glad our girls got to experience the "real" trick or treating experience last night. So, we dressed the girls, visited our neighbors and friends, said hello, the girls did their thing, and we headed back home. It was freezing out, too....a chilly willy 40 degrees with a stiff wind, and since we live off the water, it is very, very cold. 

Now, we have three very tired.....trick or treated out little girls who are more than ready for bed, and a mommy who is more than ready for them to go to bed so I can cuddle on the couch and enjoy some quiet time with Kevin. It's been a fun, yet crazy week of Halloween excitement

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Privacy? What's that!?!

Well, it's official. I think everyone in the world has seen my junk. After three kids and now, three cervical cerclages, countless vaginal exams, countless vaginal ultrasounds and anything and everything in between, I think my "business" is no longer my business.

Some say after you give birth you stop caring about who sees you naked, but what about after experiencing all that above? Yeah. I really don't care. I might as well give my body up for science! Once you walk through the doors and check yourself into the hospital you give up any and all "privacy".

This morning, I checked myself into Maine Med for my scheduled cervical cerclage. I got up at 5am (well 3am really, but who's counting) and got dressed. Shower? Why bother. Hmmmm...what to wear? Who cares, I am just going to have to wear one of those huge gowns that are definitely not designed for privacy nor a 114lb pregnant woman. Seriously, who makes these things? I might as well just be naked because they bare all anyways. I feel as though my bare ass is hanging out or my chest is exposed. Lovely. So incredibly violating.

Once I met with the nurses, doctors and anesthesiologists, it was time to head back to the OR (operating room). I climbed over to the table and had my spinal anesthesia placed. The last time I had a spinal (with my last cerclage), I ended up getting a spinal headache a few days after. Let me tell you, that is like no headache you've ever had before. I told  the doc and they noticed I had been stuck three times for my spinal (the more sticks you have, the higher risk of a spinal headache). Luckily they got it on the first time. Once it was in, I laid down on the table. My legs and belly felt heavy and numb. I hate this feeling, so out of control and ugh....It just reiterates why I choose to go with 100% natural childbirth. Then, the nurse tells me she's putting my legs up in these huge ass stirrups - yep, my junk is just right there for all to see. The catheterize me to get my pee out, clean me up and then the doc is ready to insert a huge ass speculum into my va-jay-jay to tie me right up. Jealous yet? Yeah, it's that much fun. At this point, I have the doc, the resident, the nurse, the anesthesiologist, the nursing student and OR tech all there...watching. I could feel my body getting jostled as the doc placed the cerclage. I couldn't feel a thing, just that something was going on down there.Thankfully the nurse anesthetist was awesome and we chatted away.

The procedure itself was short - about 45 minutes. Once they were done, they closed up shop and cleaned me up. By this point, I have absolutely NO feeling from my high waist down. They did a quick ultrasound to check on our little bean and there he/she was moving all around. I guess the bean felt all the action below!

After the OR, I headed to the PACU (post anesthesia care unit) for a few hours until the feeling in my legs came back. Thankfully, the nurse hooked me up with a TV and I was able to relax and watch The Today Show. Unfortunately, Kevin couldn't be there with me.   I had some cramping and the nurse offered me tylenol or fentanyl - wow, feast or famine....wasn't there anything in between??? I so wanted the fentanyl so I could just sleep and knock myself out, but I opted for the tylenol - if I could only take some fentanyl home! Once I had feeling, I was moved to the final stage before I was allowed to go home. I had a snack and was reunited with Kevin. I didn't stay there long before I was discharged home.

So, here I am at home, relaxing on the couch! The girls were excited to see me home. My mom and our neighbor were able to help out with our girls. Our neighbor graciously came over at 530am to watch the girls while Kevin brought me to the hospital so I didn't have to drive myself, and then my mom got here about 8am to help get the girls ready for the day. I am so glad we have such wonderful family and friends who are willing to help out.

The next 24-48 hours are the most serious - if anything major is going to go on, it will generally happen during this time. Thankfully, the risks are low this early in pregnancy, so I am optimistic. I am not sure how I am going to stay put on the couch for a few days when I feel normal - but I'll do whatever it takes to have a healthy little baby! Thanks to everyone for their support and offerings of help.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Incompetent Cervix & Cerclage

Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow is the day I am dreading. I question in my head whether or not I should be doing it. Is it worth the risks, does it really ensure we will have a healthy, term baby? The real answer is that no one knows. No one knows the answer to this question. Unfortunately, humans are not guinea pigs and it is because of this no one knows if a cerclage really does prevent babies from being born way too early. And that sucks.

With Mairead, I didn't have a cerclage. However, I did have some preterm labor at 29 weeks and I was told during an exam that my cervix was "short" - since they didn't do an ultrasound, no one knew just how "short" my cervix was. By 34 weeks, I was 3cm and 80% effaced, and I ended up being induced at 37 weeks to the day for severely low fluid. At that point, I was 4cm and had a 4 hour labor & delivery with my first baby. Not quite normal, but, don't get me wrong, I was stoked with such a short and easy labor!

With Lilah, it was a different story. During my 19 week ultrasound I had asked the ultrasound tech to measure my cervix. After knowing my cervix was "short" at 29 weeks, I wanted something to go by. The tech asked why I would want this and I told her. She went ahead and did it...and thankfully she did. My cervix measured 1.5cm and funneling membranes...a normal cervix is 3-5cm and obviously, your bag of water should not be funneling or "seep into your cervix". The tech just about passed out - if I hadn't asked, she would have missed something very, very big and potentially devastating to Kevin and I. We met immediately with the high risk doctor and he immediately put the fear into us. I heard words I never imagined I would have to hear myself - "You're going to need an emergent cerclage. Your cervix is dangerously short and if you don't do this, you will risk having your baby soon"....To say we were scared was an understatement. When he went on and told us the risks of the procedure it was even scarier....things like: infection...labor....breaking water....bleeding, early delivery, etc were haunting. The risks were too high for my liking, but the risks for having our baby much, much too soon was even more so. Talk about weighing the risks & benefits. Have it.....and have a healthy baby. Have it....and deliver the baby due to complications from the procedure...Don't have it and risk having a baby that won't survive. And don't bother reading the "statistics" of the success of a cerclage because there aren't any concrete ones that will make your decision for you. Another thing that made it incredibly difficult was the fact that we were away from family and no one really understood the gravity of our situation. It was serious. The risks were serious. The procedure was serious. I had taken care of patients in my time as a labor & delivery nurse who had this problem, didn't know it, and delivered their baby (or babies) much, much too soon for them to survive. I didn't want to be one of them. I look back today and see our beautifully healthy almost three year old, Lilah. We are so lucky to have her here with us safe and sound. Everything we went through was completely worth it....even the 15 weeks of bed rest!

So all this talk about cerclage and a short cervix may have you wondering "what the hell is a cerclage?" - well, I'll tell you in lamens terms and then I'll give you a link to read. A cerclage is a stitch that they put in your cervix to keep it closed and from changing. It is done in the operating room under anesthesia (either a spinal or general), it is a fairly fast procedure - less than an hour, and the stitch is removed after 36 weeks of pregnancy. With Lilah, I didn't have a lot of cervix left for the doctor to put the stitch in, which was pretty scary. They put you in a position called "Trendelenberg", which is when your head is below your feet, this is to bring the baby, uterus, etc way away from your cervix to avoid any trauma, of course, when your membranes are funneling, a needle anywhere near your cervix is very dangerous. Here are two links to read on cervical incompetence and cerclage.

With Clara, it was a different situation. We knew there was a problem. At 12 weeks we met with the high risk doctors and discussed my options. Because I have no real history of an incompetent cervix - meaning, I've never lost a baby due to this problem, no one knows if I just have a normally short for me cervix or if there really is a problem. Most women in my shoes have lost a baby before they've realized they have a problem, and thankfully for me, I didn't. The doctor discussed the risks vs. benefits. Do we wait to see if the same thing happens again or do we place what is called a "preventative cerclage" in. The risks are soooooo much lower to do it before damage has been done, before the baby puts a tremendous amount of weight on the cervix, so we opted to do it. I didn't want to be placed in the same situation as we were in with Lilah. So, at 13 weeks, we had a preventative cerclage placed. I was on bed rest for about a week, and then once everything was good, I was good to go. At 19 weeks, my cervical length shortened to about 2cm and we had to be cautious, but the changes stopped there. I was able to continue on caring for our kids without any "real" bed rest. I laid down when I could and didn't do any strenuous activity. At 36 weeks, they removed my cerclage, and our sweet little Clara was born 2 days later.

So here we are, pregnant with baby #4. I am 13 weeks (by dates) pregnant today and I am right back where we were with Clara. Because I had such a "normal" pregnancy with Clara, we didn't even bat an eyelash about the cerclage. It was something we knew we would have to do. Tomorrow morning, at 6am, I will be checking into Maine Med where I will be getting my third cerclage. I will pray I will experience the same success I had with Lilah & Clara (even more so with her). I am opting for spinal anesthesia, and as soon as I have feeling back in my legs, I will be able to head home soon after. I'll have to spend about 3-4 days on the couch with limited activity and then another 3 days with light activity. Then after that, I am praying for smooth sailing. The thought of the risks still scare me, but I know it is something we have to do in order to help keep our baby safe inside of me for as long as possible and unfortunately nothing we do in life comes with a no-risk guarantee....

So, if you know someone who is pregnant...wants to become pregnant or if you are pregnant, make sure to ask the doctor about cervical length check at your next ultrasound. It may save your baby's life and prevent a tragedy. I tell all of my friends and family do not leave the ultrasound place without them measuring your cervix. Unfortunately, this is NOT something they do routinely...if you can believe that.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Smartie Pants

This morning I was cold and dreaming about a vacation in paradise. I was thinking...hmmmmmm, maybe we could go on vacation instead of buying the kids a ton of gifts (even though the likelihood of travel anywhere during this pregnancy is pretty much zilch).

So, Kevin and I asked Mairead:

"Mairead, would you rather Santa bring you a trip to Mexico or some toys?" 

 Mairead responds:

"Ummmmm. A trip to Mexico!"........walks away, turns around and says "...but you can buy me some toys if you'd like!"

We laughed! She's no dummy.....Santa can bring her a vacation to Mexico and mommy & daddy can buy her presents! 

It's funny because we took Mairead & Lilah to Mexico in March 2009. We weren't sure if we should take the girls on such a trip (they were little...may not remember the trip, etc etc), but looking back, it was probably one of the best things we have ever done as a family and I am so glad we decided to go! Mairead still talks about the trip to Mexico and remembers a ton about going. She pretends she is in Mexico all the time and asks when we can go back. I can't wait until we can bring them back to such a beautiful tropical place such as Mexico! It was the ultimate family vacation...I loved spending every moment together as a family without any responsibilities (other than keeping our kids safe).

For now, I'll continue to drool...

I just have to share...

the cuteness that surrounds me on a daily, seriously? How did she get so stinkin' cute? How did I get so lucky to have three beautiful little

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hellooooo, Baby!

Today, we had our first appointment with Maternal Fetal Medicine (High Risk). They did an ultrasound, checked my cervical length and then I had an appointment with the high risk physician to discuss my cerclage  placement.

The ultrasound went great. The little bean was bouncing all around! It is truly amazing to see how much the baby has grown in just a week. Last week, the baby just had little nubbies for arms and legs, and this week, there were full arms and legs moving and waving all around. Amazing. By dates, I am 12w2 days, but because I ovulated so, so late, the baby is measuring 11w2d - not a surprise. They haven't officially changed my dates because I am within a week, so for now, they are keeping me at 12w2d...though, the high risk doc said he will most likely end up going with the later date to give the baby a bit of a cushion (when it comes to cerclage removal) since I tend to have early deliveries, especially if the baby maintains the same growth rate. I was also supposed to get my nuchal scan to check for any potential chromosomal issues, but the baby was measuring about 2mm too small, so I'll have another ultrasound in about two weeks to retest. Not only was the ultrasound to check on our littlest, but it was also to check the length of my cervix. In a normal cervix, it should measure 3-5cm in length, but mine measured 2.6cm - pretty short for this stage of pregnancy. I'm not too worried as this was the length it was for Clara at this stage, but it's still scary that I am starting off so much shorter than a normal cervix. I don't have a lot of "give" today, was the first cervical check of many. I have grown to know the "vaginal wand" very well in my time - not something I am proud of :)

After my ultrasound, we met with the high risk doc. He was the same guy who placed my cerclage with Clara. I like him a lot - great bedside manner and overall super nice. Obviously, he was in agreement with the placement of the cerclage. The "preventative" cerclage is generally placed between 12-14 weeks which is when the smallest risks are for placement. The later you get in the pregnancy, the higher the risks for complications such as infection, breaking water, bleeding, labor, etc, and after dealing with all those potential high risks with Lilah, there is no way I would choose the wait and see approach for the cerclage placement...for me, one emergent cerclage is enough. I'd rather get it before the changes start to occur. With Lilah, I was close to 21 weeks, and it was so scary because it was so incredibly risky. No thanks. I also was on bed rest for close to 15 weeks with Lilah, and with Clara, I basically had none.

So, as of right now, they are scheduling me for the cerclage on Monday, October 25th. It's scary to have to go through a procedure during pregnancy, but the potential outcomes if I didn't get it are even next Monday it is. The procedure itself is a day surgery and I will be home the same day. I will have to be on modified bed rest and no heavy lifting for a week and if all goes well, I will be back to normal activity soon after that, just like I was with Clara.  I will be monitored very closely from 16-28 weeks when all of the cervical changes usually take place (for me, it has been right around the 19 week mark when I go down between 1.5-2cm in length).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Mairead was asked to dress her scarecrow for her preschool class. We were given a wooden skeleton and had to dress it.

At first, Mairead was adamant this scarecrow was a boy. Let me tell you, in a house with almost all girls, there was slim pickins' for male scarecrow attire. I mean, Kevin didn't want to get a lot of his clothes ruined, so we talked her into making the scarecrow a girl.

She picked out the clothes, dressed her and named her...

Pumpkin' Patch
Miss Pumpkin Patch - yes, those are flowers on her head.
Mairead poses with her new friend
After she was dressed and stuffed, we put her in the car. Mairead was worried she'd get cold, so she covered her up in a blanket and said good night to her. Too cute!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I love getting away with the girls! It is so fun to see the excitement in their faces. This is what I love about doesn't take a lot to put a smile on their know, to get them excited! When we told them we were going to Boston for the night and staying in a hotel, their faces exploded with excitement! On Friday morning, they were all over the place, they just wanted to leave!

Since Diana & Luis were leaving out of Boston, we thought it would be fun to finish our visit with each other in Boston. Luis had never been, so off we went. We ended up staying in different hotels because we wanted a better location and didn't mind paying extra, where they wanted to save money and didn't care if they had to walk, etc...but that didn't matter to us. When we got to Boston, the girls wanted to swim. swim. swim. So, off to the pool we went! It is amazing how much Mairead has progressed since the middle of the summer. She is an awesome swimmer now! And Lilah isn't too far behind either! Clara thinks she can swim, and wants nothing to do with her little tube OR anyone holding her....Yeah. right, I'm just going to let her go. Right, Clara! :)

After the pool, we got dressed and headed to the North End for some yummy Italian food. The girls were a little wild, but overall, it was a great dinner. We topped off the night with some amazing desserts from Mikes Pastry. YUM.

The next morning we went to the Aquarium as a family while Diana & Luis went sightseeing. The last time we went, Lilah was about 16 months, so she didn't remember it at all! They loved it! Lilah loved the penguins and watching the turtles. They held the star fish and played with horseshoe crabs. Clara even loved it, too. She reminded me of the first time we took Mairead. Mairead was the same age and just loved the fish. Clara screamed and yelled in excitement at everything. She loved the penguins. It was the cutest! It brought back so many memories of when Mairead seems like it was yesterday.

Once we finished there, we headed over to Quincy Market where we met Diana & Luis for lunch before we headed back to Maine and said our good-byes. We picked a funny restaurant called "Dicks Last Resort" - believe me, we didn't choose this place for the food, but we did choose it for the hilarious atmosphere. The waitstaff is rude, they make fun and are just plan mean....honestly it has to be a stress free work place....I mean, could you imagine telling people how it is??? Awesome. Anyways, it was hilarious, even the girls loved it......especially after the waitress threw a bunch of straws at us. Mairead had a had made that said "I make boys cry on the playground", Lilah's hat said "Chicken makes me toot" and I had the beautiful had that said "Reason men drink" - Kevin loved that one. It was a great lunch - minus the food - with a lot of laughs.
My glorious hat!

Diana & Clara

The girls are joining in on the silliness!

Afterwards, we said our goodbyes and we headed back home to Maine. It's always hard to say goodbye to Diana, but after close to 18 years of friendship, we know we'll pick right back up the next time we're together...Overall, we had a great time together!
Luis with Mairead & Lilah

"Chicken makes me toot"

"I bet boys up on the playground"

Friday, October 15, 2010

Amigos de España

Last week my "Spanish sister" and her husband came to visit for 10 days. It has been two years since we have seen each other, but that time span is generally the norm for our visits. It's funny because we keep in touch through email and a few phone calls here and there, and then we see each other, and it's like we just pick up from where we left off! I'll write more about our friendship/sisterhood another time, but, she's a very special person in my life and I am so happy we have remained sisters for so long. I can't wait for them to have babies of their own!

The last time she and Luis (her new hubby) came to visit, Mairead was 2.5 years old and Lilah was just 11 months old, so times have definitely changed here in the Ferrie household! We were all looking forward to a week of catching up and spending time together.

On Saturday, I woke up and made some homemade banana bread and then we got dressed and headed for a trip to the Fryeburg Fair here in Maine. Since we read Charlottes Web as a family and watched the movie, the girls were intrigued about Fairs, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to introduce the girls to a Fair and Diana & Luis to a traditional American Fair here in New England. We trekked just under two hours to Fryeburg and enjoyed a beautiful day. The foliage was just about peak and really, really pretty. The girls were in awe, it was just like the book said it was, and they loved it. They got to ride the "Big Wheel" or the Ferris Wheel and other rides - they could have done that all day long! We ate fried dough. Cotton Candy. And had fair food for lunch. Definitely not the healthiest of eating, but hey, every so often is fun! Diana & Luis were in awe at the people - you know....there is nothing like people watching at a place like that! After spending the day there, we all were spent. We came home and I cooked a nice dish and we all relaxed!

The rest of the week was spent enjoying each others company. We shopped. And shopped. And shopped. God, those Europeans love to shop. My girls love to shop, but after a few days of shopping, they were sick of it! Diana and I enjoyed a morning at the spa! I treated her as a gift for her wedding since we were unable to make it. I got my first ever facial and she got a massage. It was great because we were in the same room. It was awesome!

On Thursday night, we had a babysitter and we enjoyed a quiet adult only dinner. We went to the Grill Room for some awesome food, enjoyed good conversation without little kiddos interrupting and then went an people watched at this sketchy bar! All in all.....a really fun night! It was a great way to end the week here in Maine before we all set off for a trip to Boston the next day!

I am so glad we were all able to get together and spend quality time together. It's hard because our life and their life is so different. I mean, without the cultural differences, we are in very different parts of their life. I know it was hard for them to get accustomed to a not-so-quiet household, occasional drama, crying, nighttime wakings, etc - but, I hope they enjoyed themselves. The girls really loved them, and I only hope our relationship continues on - even though we're thousands and thousands of miles away.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Need a laugh???? Look here!

Today, we took a trip over to Fryeburg, Maine for the annual Fryeburg Fair. It was a blast! There were lots of is one of the biggest laughs of the day! I'll post more on the actual day later, but in the meantime, Enjoy!

This is my "Spanish sister", Diana "posing"......Look closely!......or not so close :)

Is this lady serious??? Does she not feel a draft?
Oh! And I forgot this photo......this one could make any grown man feel quite inadequate. I have to say, I've never seen a male horse p.e.n.i.$ before.....and all I have to say is.....My oh My! That is BIG.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Damn Dogs

Do you ever have days where you just shake your head and ask "why?"......I do. A lot of the times, it's in good spirit, and others it is in disbelief. You know, some things just don't make sense...

When Kevin and I bought this house it needed a lot of work....and I mean a lot. You know, we thought it would be a blast to renovate a house while having small children and a few dogs. Uh huh. Yeah, we must have been smokin' or drinkin' something strong at that point to make us think it would be fun. I guess that is why we are still working on the house 2.5 years later. of our [many] projects was installing hardwood floor. The entire upstairs used to have carpet, but with Kevin's allergies, the dogs and having kids, we thought it would be smart to install hardwood throughout the entire house (minus the bathrooms). So we did. We have an old seagrass rug in the girls playroom - they spill crap on it, and it's just I don't care. We have two weather mats at the two doors and one small 2'x3' mat in front of our sink. In all, our house is 90% wood floors (tile bathrooms) and a few small rugs.

It never fails that when one of the dogs gets sick they don't throw up on the wood floors, they choose one of our 4 small rugs to puke on. Why? I don't get it? Last night, we fed Emmie, our 2 year old lab, and as I was cooking dinner, I step in something mushy and quite nasty. I almost screamed. I look down and what do you know.......Emmie puked up her ENTIRE dinner on our beautiful lobster rug, that measures 2 feet by 3 feet........and why did she have to do this? Why couldn't she have puked on the hardwood floor that was an inch away from her puke pile??? Why?

What's the attraction for dogs and rugs? Especially while sick? Our older dog does it too. Instead of running over to the wood, they run over to the rug??? Seriously? Don't they know we installed hardwood floors so it would make messes like these so much easier to pick up???

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

...and this is fall

It's been officially fall here for a few weeks but up until the other day, it didn't have that crisp, fall feel to the air. Sure, the weather was cool, but it just didn't smell or feel like fall. I would say the fall seasons is probably my second favorite season here in New England. Of course, summer is first on my list, followed my fall, then spring, then winter....and yet, I still love New England.  

The trees are starting to really turn bright, beautiful colors. They're starting to fall to the ground. The nights are cold and the days are cool and brisk, but the sun, still very warm. This past weekend, Mairead had a soccer game at 0900 - and it was chilly! It was probably the first day that truly felt like a fall day. We relaxed and enjoyed each other for the day and went out to a local clam chowder joint for a nice, warm bread bowl of clam chowder. Yum.

On Sunday, we drove about 45 minutes to a local pumpkin patch and corn maze. We had taken Mairead & Lilah here 2 years ago, but they were really too young to "get it". It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day on Sunday. We dressed up in some fall clothes, made sure we had some jackets and enjoyed ourselves! The girls started off playing with the goats, sliding down the big slides and taking a ride on a little tractor train. The goats kept trying to eat the buttons of of Lilah & Clara's outfits. It was hilarious! After that we went into the mini corn maze. The girls found their way out, so we thought we were ready for the "big" one.......HA! Who were we joking. Even with the clues, we couldn't find our way out. Over 35 minutes into it, we were lost and decided to cheat our way back to the start. Clara was getting fussy, wanted to be carried, and Lilah was getting tired, too. So, back we went!

Fall is great for days like Sunday. The air feels so refreshing and there are so many cool things to do for kids! Our girls are getting to be such a great age to really start enjoying these activities! Fall does depress me, too...I mean, it's the gateway for winter, and soon, we'll be trapped inside more than I will like. My kids will watch more TV, I'll get chubby from baking too many cookies and I'll spend too much money from frequent shopping trips to the mall! Winter does excite me, too....I mean, we'll have two of our three girls on skis this year, and I can't wait to see that! So, here's to enjoying fall!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Charlotte's Web

While Kevin was away in Alabama last month, I thought it would be a good idea to start a chapter book to read with the girls every night before bed. Charlotte's Web had always been one of my all time favorite children's books, so I thought that may be a fun one to start with, especially since there was a newer movie that was just released a few years ago. I told the girls when we finished the book, we would have a special movie night after Clara went to bed and watch the movie together on mommy & daddy's couch in the living room.

We started reading the book in early September, usually a chapter per night. Before we would start reading, we would review what we had read previously and after we finished reading a chapter, we would review what we just read. I was amazed at how well Mairead comprehended the story, I mean, she's only 4, but she really did grasp a lot of the story. She also idolized, Fern. Mairead wants to be 8, just like Fern, so when Mairead heard Fern was 8, she was smitten! Lilah, of course, didn't get too much of the story, but she just liked hearing about all the farm animals and when her mood was right, she'd curl up and listen!

It took us just about one month to complete the chapter book, not to bad considering the girls are only 4 and 2.5 years old! The last few chapters were tough because the girls knew the movie had arrived and all Lilah wanted to do was watch it. Mairead understood that when we were done, we could watch it.

As we neared the end of the book, I forgot about how sad it was, I mean, I never really thought about discussing the concept of death with Mairead. Charlotte plays such a strong part in the book that her death couldn't go unnoticed and believe me, it didn't. Of course, I am more hormonal that I thought I was and as I was reading the details and 'Wilbur' saying his good-byes to Charlotte, I was fighting back tears. I couldn't believe it! but, it was sad...Mairead definitely picked up on the sadness and picked up that Charlotte had died, well, I didn't hide it, why should I? She asked why and I told her she died because she was very, very old and sick. You could tell her little brain was processing everything. Once we finished the chapter, we went into bed and she asked Kevin if he could keep her safe from dying. Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about difficult conversations with a 4 year old. No one ever prepares you for this part of parenthood, and let me tell you, it ain't fun. AT all. Once I got into bed with her, she asked when she was going to die. I told her not for a very, very long time. 100 years. And told her for now, we will worry about having fun and loving those who are close to us, just like Fern and Charlotte did for each other. Thankfully that was enough to satisfy her. For the moment.

So, tonight, we read the last chapter of Charlotte's Web so we could watch the movie this evening after Clara went to bed. The girls were so excited to have their first official movie night. We all curled up on our couch and the girls watched the movie on the big screen. The look on Mairead's face for the first 20 minutes of the movie was priceless. She had a big smile from ear to ear and was in awe that she was actually watching the movie. I was in amazement at how much she could actually verbalize about the book! I had just as much fun watching her excitement as I did watching the movie with her and Lilah! As the end approached, I wondered how Mairead would react to the death of Charlotte. Just as I suspected, Mairead was a bit emotional. She cried and was obviously sad. I felt horrible, and I just held her tightly. In the end, we talked about how Wilbur was happy, and how Wilbur saved her babies just like Charlotte saved him. I hope it made her feel better. She said she wanted to watch the movie again tomorrow, and I am glad for that. 

I am so proud of my girls for making it through the entire book together. It was something I truly enjoyed doing with them each day. I cannot wait to pick out a new book to read together! It was really a special memory made for all of us. I can't wait until Clara is old enough to enjoy special moments like these.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pajama day!

For the entire week, forecasters have been talking about this massive rain storm that was going to reach us by the end of the week. At first, they said Thursday - watch out! It's coming...well, it never came and they said it would be a total wash out with wind driven rain on Friday, so, I thought Friday would be a great day to do something inside with the girls.

The other day before school, Mairead asked if she could have a pajama day, I told her Friday was going to be a rainy day and we could have a pajama day on Friday. So, when Mairead came home from school yesterday, all she could talk about was staying in her pajamas all day today! It was so cute.
Look at me! I can climb!
...I may be a climber, but look at me! I am so cute!

Ahhhh...Pajama day!
This morning we woke up, I looked outside and...what do you know! No rain. Actually, the sun was peeking out. What the heck!?! Of course, Mairead didn't care and she wanted a pajama day regardless, so a pajama day it was! You wouldn't hear me complain about not having to dress myself, shower or dress the three girlies! We woke up, brushed our teeth and headed downstairs. The girls watched some Angelina Ballerina and played some. Clara practiced climbing on top of the little table and exploring the house as usual. Once Clara went down for a morning nap, we did a quick halloween craft. Target had these great build-a-spiders for only $5 for a set of 4 spiders. Let me say this - I am not an Arts & Crafts kind of mom, but this was right up my alley. It was very easy, only needed a glue stick and the mess was very minimal! The girls had a blast!!!

After we made our halloween spiders, we cleaned up and got ready to make chocolate chip cookies. I used this recipe. I've used this recipe before and it always comes out so very yummy! The girls love to make cookies and so do I. By the time we were done, the rain finally started! Now, we're socked in and loving it! We haven't had many rainy days at all in the last 6 months, so you aren't hearing me complain...yet.
Mommy & Lilah's Spiders
Mairead's spiders
Mmmmm! Nothing like finishing the morning off with some cookies!

Once I put the girls down for a nap/rest, I came downstairs and started to make homemade pizza dough for dinner tonight. I made the dough, rolled it all up into a pretty ball and went to walk away. Then. I. Noticed. The. Yeast.........I forgot to put the yeast in the pizza dough. Nice. I guess this is what happens when I try to be betty homemaker three times in one day - arts & crafts - cookie making - fresh pizza dough. I added the yeast in and I am praying the dough rises like it should! Homemade pizza sounds so good on this rainy, no good night!