Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Meal Stumps...

Now that the babe is here and we're almost 2 months into his life, of course our generous list of meal donors is over.  We were totally overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and feasted on delicious and healthy meals brought over by considerate friends. When the meals and Thanksgiving leftovers were over (it ain't over till the fat lady sings, and we were getting close to fat ladies over here), it was me vs. the kitchen and the clock. I'm happy to say we haven't succumbed to takeout as often as we did with Mia, but we could always use a little help in the planning, prep and cook time.  Here's what's on the docket this coming week.  You'll see some repeats and some new fellows:

Cheeseslave's Fettucine Alfredo -- I have always loved fettucine alfredo (except I often sub the fettucine for angel hair pasta), but whenever I ate it at a common Italian restaurant, I'd literally get sick every time.  So I never wanted to go back there anymore. Seeing that I can make this at home with quality ingredients really excites me!
Nourished Kitchen's Hamburger & Barley Stew -- I still had barley left over from when I made this a couple of months ago so we're going for it again!
Martha Stewart's Black Bean Soup
Wellness Mama's Bacon Apple Chicken

You might notice a lot of these are recipes I can make in the slow-cooker. This is becoming my new BFF.  Around 5pm I often don't have enough arms to tend to the chillun' or the food, so if everything's already brewing up in the crockpot, I'm good to go.

Other slow-cooker faves of late have been roast chicken, sweet potatoes, and white chili.

What's cooking in your kitchen??

And what are you making for the holidays? Inquiring minds would very much like to know!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A [short] December

I have not posted in what feels like forever because unlike Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows, I am thus far not experiencing a long December.  Rather it's been a super fast December as it's already over halfway through and Christmas is less than a week away!  EEK.  We're about thisclose to being done with all our holiday shopping, but I haven't even considered what we might do next week while Greg is off work.  Hopefully by that point we'll be over our lingering coughs that all of us, except for Gabe, have succumbed to.  It's the cruddy kind of cough that clogs up your throat. Not super fun when you need to make phone calls or talk to people. "Um, hello? 'Scuse my raspy voice. Contrary to how it sounds I'm not a chain smoker."

Life has been pretty fast-paced recently.

We've tried new hairstyles (and new facial expressions):

Gotten close to the "prayer hands":

 Taken our first sink baths:

Started smiling:

Dressed like a fairy (and so happy about it!)

Lounged in his cool outfit:
Grown into cute 3 month clothes:

Shopped at Whole Foods:

Received Christmas deliveries!

Posed by the tree:

Gone holiday shopping with Mommy (Gabe is in the babyhawk carrier):

And watched football! 
(Scary how quickly kids pick up on TVs!)

Gabe will be 7 weeks on Thursday and I keep saying it, but everything keeps getting easier as we go along.  It goes without saying, sometimes things are overwhelming or exhausting, but we get up and go every day and try to make the best of it.  Right now, his nighttime sleeping is still adjusting, but most nights I can expect him to go 4-6 hours between a feed, for his longest stretch.  That's not too bad, really! Of course I'd love if he went longer, but if I can get 5 straight hours it's amazing how much better that feels than waking up every 2-3 hours.  Saturday nights he always seems to be the most finicky--he must know that there's somewhere I'd like to be Sunday morning!
However, last night, he went to sleep before midnight and woke up once between then and 7am.  Even though he made weird noises a few times and woke me up and had me thinking he was up for real again, he's done pretty well.  My ears are definitely attuned to a newborn right now.

His awake time is increasing during the days now too.  It varies as to when it will be; Saturday he was awake most of the morning, and then asleep while we ran errands and went shopping in the afternoon.  Friday he was awake most of the afternoon while Mia was asleep, so I didn't get much done! And today it seems he's almost been asleep most of the day. Hmm...

He is starting to vocalize now too. We already have quite a talker in Mia, so either he'll follow in his big sister's footsteps, or be a quiet one and let her do all the talking, but the fact that he is vocalizing now makes me wonder if he'll be more of the former. I have no idea who our kids might have received their chattiness from??

This is a crazy, special, chaotic time in our family right now. There are so many moments passing before my eyes that I want to capture and remember. I haven't gotten to spend as much time with Mia as I'd like, but this morning we played for a long time together while Gabe slept and we genuinely enjoyed it. I tried to limit distractions and just simply be with Mia.  I'd hate for her to think mommy doesn't think she's important just because right now there's a lot going on.  She'll be 3 in just four months, and that freaks me out.  A friend has posted on Facebook a few times that the days are long, but the years are short.  That's what it's feeling like right now.   It's hard, but it's good work.

Hope you are having a BLESSED December!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I mean, seriously...

What am I supposed to do with this little guy??

I was shocked when I took him in for his 1 month appointment today and the scale said
9 lbs, 2oz.  He is 5 weeks old to the day and exactly 3 pounds heavier than he was at birth!

He's 21" long, and his head circumference was over 14".  Boy is GROWIN'.  He's around the 50th percentile for every measurement.  I was shocked but also proud. I wasn't sure how quickly he'd gain from exclusively breastfeeding as compared to Mia (because bottlefeeders--even with Mommy's milk--tend to eat more just because it's there) but he seems to be gaining just fine.

I wrote on Facebook that while we may produce lightweights at birth, our kids seem to gain quickly once they're earthside.  I'll have to check Mia's baby book but I'm pretty sure she gained around 3lbs during her first month too. What's crazy is lots of babies are born even bigger than Gabe is now, but it all evens out after a while.  Mia stepped on the scale while we were at the doctor's office (as I was quite curious) and she is 27 pounds.  She's more on the petite side for her age, but if you've seen her arms you know there's some chub and she's got some pudge to those cheeks.

It was legitimately cold for Florida this morning. I checked the temperature when Gabe woke up before 7 and it was 41°F.  We all got bundled up before we headed out the door and I wish I would've taken a picture of Mia. She was wearing a peacoat, her pink hat & mittens and was quite proud of her spiffiness.  Of course, it's 68°F now and quite pleasant...that's Florida in December for you!!

We've had such a busy day already that I'm so grateful both kids are actually napping -- no fights.  We had Gabe's appt at 9am, a bible study at 9:30 (but I didn't get there till 10 because of the appt), we grabbed lunch afterwards, and then Mia & I blew bubbles in the driveway before we came inside for naptime.  This reminds me of the days with Mia, pre-Gabe, where we'd go-go-go and then crash in the afternoons. 'Twas fun and it's nice to feel something reminiscent of that right now.

Mia with her friend Callie (left) at a playdate the other day //
very sweet little girls!

So, I'm just going to enjoy the quiet stillness on a sunny afternoon and catch you all later!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Life! Getting away from me...

First, a few housekeeping things.
1) I know the banner on this blog is off. I'm not sure what happened and I don't know how to fix it just yet and I haven't the time to dedicate to ensuring it shows up properly but I can tell you if you are using a mobile device such as an iPhone, it actually displays correctly. For some reason it doesn't on a normal computer on a normal web browser.  Bah!
2) I hope people are able to find the new blog. I emailed those who I know follow the blog or subscribe, and updated on Facebook and Twitter, but I'm not sure how those who don't follow me on one of those sites will stay updated.  Oops.
3) I know the 2nd part of the birth story is delayed, but as you can tell he was born so you at least know that much. Here's hoping it's up before Christmas!

And moving on...

Last weekend my eldest brother Nathan (aka "Nate") and his wife Jenna, who is expecting a boy in February, came down to FL to meet the newest member of the family and visit with us and my other bro & SIL who live down here.  I've really enjoyed having family in town and seeing everybody since Gabe's been born and -- with quite a contrast to my recovery with Mia -- I have thankfully been able to literally enjoy the time with them, and not be stuck in my bed recovering from mastitis or limping around with a blood clot.  That has changed this recovery time SO much.  So even though I'm not getting a full night's sleep just yet, I still feel much much better just because I don't have those things holding me down.  *sigh*

Uncle Nate & Aunt Jenna

 Uncle Nate, Aunt Jenna with Gabe & Mia
Since we're not going anywhere for the holidays as road-tripping/flying with a toddler and a newborn only sounds so fun, I'm just glad we got to see everyone now.  I'm not sure when we'll all be reunited but hopefully sometime in 2012 we'll get to visit Nate & Jenna after their little guy is born!  Pass up a trip to Minnesota? No way!! I love going back to my motherland.  Fo' realz.

I'm getting asked how life is with two, and so far, it's been good! We all have our hairy/crazy moments during the day from time to time and personal time seems even more nonexistent (that seems like a paradoxical combination of words), which might explain the lack of blogging lately, BUT, things seem to be settling into somewhat of a predictable pattern, making the day-to-day easier.
Gabe still has his own schedule, which I try to honor, but it's starting to settle into similar times each day, giving me windows of opportunity to either shower, eat, nap, or do things around the house.

The only reason I'm actually even able to blog right now is because both kids are asleep! Yay! But probably not for too much longer--I'm sure Gabe will stir soon.
The feedings are getting easier. I'm learning a little bit more about all of that everyday.  I can't believe how much changes in a month, honestly. Right now, it's all about perspective and I try to remember these are all temporary stages--so appreciate, or enjoy, or just survive through them as much as I can.  He's growing so much.  And Mia is changing so much too! She makes more sense and repeats more things more now than I realized.  Our conversations are really developing and her vocabulary is soaring.

Here are the keedz:
a typical morning

"pink panther" // watching "Potty Time" (Signing Time DVD), signing "potty"

asleep while I get my hairs did

 nighttime snuggles with Daddy

proud big sister

she thinks holding him is so much fun
And as can be expected, I'm hearing Gabe starting to grunt meaning it's probably mommy & Gabe time soon.  Enjoy the pics and keep checking back on us, ya hear??

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Blog NAME & pictures & a vid to break up the wait!

While you are all anxiously awaiting part II of the birth story (which is still being scripted as we speak), you might have noticed the blog name has changed.  It is now Chiquita Bambino instead of Chiquita Bambina.  Since Gabe's a dude, and Mia's a little girl, this more accurately reflects the new nature of our family!  Bambino, with an o, indicates a baby BOY.  And Chiquita means little girl.  So it all works.

And now, to break up the monotony, here are some new pictures & a video...

We've had a great few days and I'm thankful for our family and our good times. Gabe is a little dear and Mia is a good big sister.

Mia models a Moby Wrap

Mia models appropriate baby-wearing technique (being able to see & touch baby's head)

Gabe's 4 weeks old!