Archive for November, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


We are enjoying a nice quiet little holiday as a family of 5 but wanted to take a moment to thank friends and family for all their help this year.  When Phil and I were deciding on moving and adding to our family – we didnt consider that we would also be making these life decisions for our immediate family as well.  We didnt really ask my parents ahead of time if we could come live with them for 4 weeks while we moved from Baltimore to Chicago.  We didnt really consider how many vacation days the grandparents had or wanted to use on staying with us as we brought Zev home.  But they were there for us.  As were so many friends and family who supported us through our crazy year.


We are so so so thankful for our parents (specifically Nanc and Char 🙂 )  —  We literally sucked the life out of these two this summer and in the weeks after Zev’s birth.  When we moved from Baltimore to Chicago we left Wil and Evie with them for days at a time on multiple occasions.  And in the last few weeks, they, again, did all the work for those kids – while also maintaining our home and making us dinner (and dealing with me at the height of grumpy-hormonalness).


I also received so many thoughtful and supportive texts and emails from friends and family, checking on how things are going and wishing us well — most all of which have gone unanswered.  My sister sent awesome gifts for Wil and Evie to help keep them occupied as we brought Zev home.  As did Celia – I think she spoiled my kids more than any of the grandparents!!  Maggie sent a box of homemade chocolate chip cookies which I love/hate her for.  Lets just say I did not lose any pregnancy weight that week. And Em is on her way to visit on Sunday for 5 days to help with the kids. We’re so lucky to have so many people willing to help.  Thank you to everyone who has reached out – I’m so sorry that many of you have gotten no response from me, but I truly appreciate all the support.  Every gesture helped get me through these early stressful weeks.  I hope to come out of my cocoon in the next few months and can start giving back in the coming year.


Thank you all! We love you!  Hope you had a great turkey day!


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First few weeks

Well we have the first few weeks under our belt.  Man those first few weeks were rough.  There is ZERO routine – you never know whats going to happen, when hes going to eat – when hes going to sleep – when hes going to cry.  Youre in complete survival mode.  And I was still recovering, and felt like shit and barely sleeping.  But somehow, day by day – things are getting a little bit better.  My mom was here for the first 10 days, and Char was here for the second week – so Phil didnt take any vacation days, except for the initial 3 days while I was in the hospital/coming home.  I even got 20-hours of work in at week 2 when we got notice of a few edits for a re-submit for one of our manuscripts — Thank goodness it happened when we still had additional help!


It took Zevin a while to figure out days/nights but we are starting to get 3-4 hour stretches of sleep out of him at night.  Nursing has been going okay and I’ve been able to pump occasionally to give myself a break.  Hes going a bit longer in between feedings, too, which is nice.  Its hard to be on the clock every 1.5-2 hours —  I’m glad things are falling into a more manageable 2-3 hour routine. We kept our expectations very low for the first few weeks.  We finally broke into our freezer meals and have been enjoying some take-out. Any day that we got anything ‘extra’ done (outside of keeping people fed and clean) was a good day.  I was very proud when I got the kids nails clipped one day.


I’m definitely sleep deprived and not completely ‘with it’ at times.  After Zev’s first doctors appointment, I turned the car off and started to walk inside  – completely forgetting him in the car.  I didnt make it very far before I remembered him in the backseat – but it was still a weird moment.  Then, when the Wozniaks were here, I was sleeping in and Phil had Zev in the bassinet downstairs, but left to go get donuts with everyone without bringing him upstairs or telling me he was leaving.  But Zev just hung out downstairs by himself for awhile!  So now we are very cautious around here to always keep him in a safe place at all times – because our minds are so scattered! I just try to get through each 5 minutes at a time – never 100% sure of if everything is under control or not.


Days are seriously so hard now.  I mean, its fine, we get through.  But you never know how easy you had it until you have another kid. I took mental notes of my surroundings the other day –  it was so cliche –  like a bad adam sandler movie:  cold coffee next to me, a pile of clothes with spit-up all over them on the dining room table, breakfast dishes still out on the table, pile of clean clothes yet to be folded from the day before on the floor, pantless evie on the floor watching a terrible netflix show eating goldfish crackers, barney in his cage because he just freaked out and had a sneezing fit over workers out front, zev finally asleep on my chest in dirty clothes (because i wasnt going to change him AGAIN after the first spit up episode).  It felt comical.  I have finally become ‘that mom’ that drops off her kids at school in her pajamas.  I definitely didnt brush anyones teeth or hair that morning.  And when I picked up Wil from school that day, I was informed that he had had a bloody nose – but somehow all the blood ended up being wiped on his crotch!?  I asked him what happened – and tried to figure out how he even managed that – but I didnt get the full story.  I feel like I spend half of my day just shaking my head at the absurdity of my life.  Raising children is CRAZY.


Then, as if things werent hard enough, we decided to potty train evie. There was a snow storm on the way and Evie doesnt have school or music class for another week – so we knew we’d be spending a lot of time at home – so why not potty train?! why not pile on another major ridiculous parenting task this week?!  why not.  So here we are 6 days in, and shes doing pretty well.  not perfect. but we’re getting there.


The snow storm was actually pretty fun.  We had over 12 inches before Thanksgiving.  The kids loved playing in the snow — and Phil was a trooper shoveling us out.  The kids were out playing with Phil in the front of the house for most of the morning, then I was able to take them out back to build a snowman later  — but about 15 minutes after I took them out back – we had a massive branch fall down in the front right where the kids were previously playing!  It was crazy.  It hit the house – but no major damage. (Side note: when we told our landlord about the branch and sent pictures, she had workers come a few days later and they took down the entire tree!!  i was so upset!! I definitely dont think the entire tree needed to come down. I dont know if orders got messed up or what – but we definitely said a BRANCH needed to be removed, not an entire tree!!).


So we’re at 4 weeks 2 days as a family of 5, and things are going ok.  Things can only get easier (…right?).  I love not being pregnant and enjoy wrestling with the kids and picking them up and throwing them around, just like daddy 🙂 and every day we get closer to sleeping through the night. I cant wait until that day comes!

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Halloween 2015

The kids loved halloween this year!  We’ve had a bad run with holidays in the past – so I wasnt getting my hopes up too high, but as they are getting older – holidays are really starting to come together.  We’ve actually been talking about halloween for months since that was right around Zev’s due date – so we would tell everyone the baby was coming on halloween (and I was just praying he would actually be here and home by then! Thank goodness it worked out). So maybe that was part of the reason they were looking forward to it, but they seemed genuinely excited about the costumes, pumpkins, and trick-or-treating as well.


We started celebrating a few weeks early just in case there were any surprises with my pregnancy. I wanted to make sure we at least had costumes – so we made a big afternoon event of going to the costume store and picking out some halloween decorations.  They, of course, had to wear their costumes as soon as we got home.




They loved their ghosts in the yard, and Mimi had brought some halloween stickers for the window.  They also loved looking at all of our neighbors decorations and looking for pumpkins on people’s porches.  Its so fun living in a neighborhood where people participate in this sort of thing – it makes me so excited for the Christmas season too!


When Mimi and PopPop came to visit, we tried on more costumes and finally carved our pumpkins:




The dinosaur costume was something my Grandma Bear made for Philip when he was a kid, its an awesome costume but Wil ended up sticking with the Batman.  Both kids had halloween parties schedule for the 30th at school, but as I mentioned, Wil came down with a stomach bug right when Zevin was born and had to stay home (He was sick last year, too! Poor guy.).  Evie was able to go to her party with Mimi and Wil got all his goodies the following Monday.


Wil was feeling much better on Halloween and the kids were very excited to go trick-or-treating.  It was scheduled from 3-7 in our neighborhood.  The kids got up from their nap and enjoyed handing out candy to a handful of people as they had their snack.  I think it helped that they got to give some candy out before going themselves, so they could see what they were about to do.  Then we got dressed up and skyped with Busia and Dziadzia while they opened up a few little halloween presents from them.  My parents headed to church while Phil took the kids out around the neighborhood, and I stayed behind with my little pumpkin.




Zev slept for most of the time that Phil and the kids were out, so I was able to hand out candy.  Of course he did wake up towards the end and needed to be fed.  I definitely had the answer the door while nursing to give out candy one time, but I dont think the kids even noticed, haha.  They had their eyes on the candy.  It was actually a pretty cold and rainy night, so Wil only ended up staying out for like 30 minutes then came home, but Evie wanted to keep going!  Wil stayed in the warm house and counted his candy — Evie ended up with about double the loot!



We’ve had over a week of sugar highs now, so we’re trying to convince them to donate the rest to the troops. Overall is was a great holidays with all 3 kids 🙂

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He’s here!

Zevin Paul joined us on Oct 28th at 5:55 pm.  7lbs 11 oz, 21 inches long.  My parents were able to come up Tuesday night and watch the kids and I strolled in for an induction wednesday morning.  I had to call before going in to make sure there was still room on the floor, especially since there was a full moon the night before.  I always thought that was an old wives tale, but the nurses said there is definitely some truth to it and i got the last open bed! – all other inductions were bumped that morning. I had a very uneventful delivery – most of which was spent watching homeland season 1. The kids were going to come meet Zev in the hospital the next day, but Wil woke up with a stomach bug, so we waited until Friday to introduce everyone.  So far, the kids are loving him (sometimes, a little too much).  Evie is completely enamored with all his little features —  his little hands, his little eyes, his little toes, his little head. Each time she says ‘little’ her voice raises about 3 octaves. its so cute. Wil is very proud of his little brother and likes to tell everyone he meets he has a ‘newwww babyyyyy’, he says in a very quiet voice.  When he first met Zev, he thanked him for come out of my tummy. It was really sweet.  I’m hoping this honeymoon period lasts a looooooong time.  We have a steady stream of help for the next few weeks while I get back on my feet. Phil is back at work, saving vacation days for when all the grandparents are gone.  Things are going as well as can be expected!


Things about Zev:

  • for the first few days he would breathe a little heavy – to the point where he was kind of humming as he exhaled – which is something I do in my sleep.  SOME people would call this snoring (Mainly Annakate and Phil – who have spent significant time sleeping in the same room with me).
  • he’s a little bit yellow /jaundiced – just like all my other babies.  we’re keeping an eye on it.
  • we’re figuring out days and nights – he’s a little mixed up. he likes to sleep all day and party all night – but we’re getting the hang of it.
  • i call him ‘Zevy’ from time to time and Evie mis-hears this (or mis-says this?) and calls him ‘Fuzzy’ instead of ‘Zevy’, which is a better nickname anyway, so maybe we’ll just stick with Fuzzy.
  • he has crazy hair patterns. He has at least one cowlick right at the front of his head (just like Phil!).  I have no idea which way his hair is going to grow in. it currently kind of grows in a mohawk pattern down the center of his head.


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