Saturday, December 17, 2011

Splish Splash I was Takin a Bath

Tonight I saw a glimpse of what my kids are going to be like as Kezia gets older. Max and Kiz were taking a bath together and she started splashing him. Being Max, he took the ball and ran with it and was splashing water all over her face and tickling her. She was laughing so hard that I had to join in. I wish that I had recorded it for posterity. She's a little instigator. And almost 7 months old. Sigh. I love my kids!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

kiz and brownies

Here is a glimpse of kezia's first taste of chocolate. She is truly related to me!




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Thursday, December 1, 2011

My sissy is gone . . . snif.

I have just spent a glorious week with my sister and my family!!!! Love love loved it!!!! And the best part is that she tooks tons of cute pics of the family, and we ate tons of yummy food. Then she got the stomach flu, and now I have some kind of yucky viral sore throat, and Kizzie got her shots, and school started back again. Sigh. Why is it that when you get to see your best friend for a whole week it seems to go by very quickly and you are left crying afterwards like Abuela (my grandmother) in the driveway. I love visits, but I hate saying goodbye. I am slugging a ginger ale right now and toasting to the hope that one day I will live closer to my buds.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Comings and Goings in the Snow













Yes, we've been walking in a winter wonderland for a few days now. Max is finally recovered from his week-long sick spell. I'm in the honeymoon stage of liking snow. Give me a few months and it wont be so pretty to me. Kizzie loves her new hat that Granny made her, and I can't wait for Thanksgiving. A holiday devoted to family and pigging out is awesome!!!!!!! Here are some pictures of the kids lately. Love you all. ps--Max took the last picture of me and Kizzie.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting in the Halloween Spirit!

This morning when Max and I got on the campus bus to ride to school, the bus that we got on was covered in spiders, skeletons, lights, and spider web material. LOVED IT!!!! You should have seen the look on Max's face (and the other kids on the bus) when the skeleton in the front of the bus was oooooooing and lighting up. It totally made my day. My Halloween decorations might be in storage right now, but that doesn't mean that I can't get into the Halloween spirit by sharing one of my favorite songs with you. Blame it on watching too many episodes lately of 30 Rock, but everytime I hear this song, it makes me laugh. Here's to caramel apples, hot chocolate, watching scary movies, and eating too much candy.



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Monday, October 24, 2011

Kiz's new headwear













My good friend from Sierra Vista sent this hat for Kizzie and I shrieked with delight! Max of course had to model it too, but he's making his wolverine face.





















Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Ode to Mommy!
















Today was my mother's 60th birthday and she spent it just like she wanted: reading in bed and eating chocolate. Did I ever tell you that we are very much alike? After speaking with her this morning she gave me the run down of her breakfast. (Birthday breakfasts were always a big deal in our house because we got to pick out our favorite cereal and get breakfast in bed) Don't know if Mom ate hers in bed, but she had some sort of chocolate ganache cake, hot chocolate, diet coke, and a bowl of Banana Nut Crunch--her fav cereal. Wow, I think that I just went into sugar shock just typing that . . .

Given that this is such a milestone and I love my mother to pieces, here are some of the things that I absolutely love about her--


--She loves to read as much as I do. Many happy memories snuggling on my parents bed with my mom and both of us reading a good novel.

--She birthed me. Did I mention that she did it without drugs? God bless epidurals is my cop out.


--She is an amazing singer and pianist. All of those good music genes were passed on to me. Or should I say forced on me? (Don't worry mom, you know that I'm kidding)


--She makes mean pasta. To quote my husband, "It will make your tongue jump out of your mouth and slap you bald headed!" I will never forget our Christmas in Hattiesburg of homemade raviolis and baked chicken.

--She taught me the way of the sewing machine. Think over twenty years of homemade Easter and Christmas outfits for me and my sis. And it's still going for the next generation.


--Most of all, she just LOVES me. Being a mommy is tough, and she has always been my biggest cheerleader and example. I LOVE YOU MOM!!!!!!!



Ps--The pictures above of mom and me are proof that Kizzie actually looks like me.



I Caught the Elusive Smile!



Ha ha ha!!!! Go me!!!!!! After about three months of trying to catch Kizzie smiling on camera . . . I got it! She just grins and grins all of the time, and if you catch her in the right one, she has a wee dimple on her right cheek. She also has Jack's eyebrows. Not the fact that they are dark and fuzzy, but the fact that she can move them independently and make some very amusing faces. I just had to take a picture of her in her cute halloween outfit (I totally wish that they made it in my size) sent from Aunt Ellie and Uncle Homer, and adorable hat knitted by Shelly in Strawberry. I hope that you think she's as cute as I do.






Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mommy Daughter Day!

Yesterday I was kicked out of my apartment all day because they were taking out our old furnace and getting rid of the asbestos. From 9:00 to 5:00 I took Kiz out on the town (I'm still getting over the fact that I don't live in the boondocks anymore and a trip to town doesn't take half of the day) and it was lovely. What to do by yourself with your daughter? (albeit infant daughter)--wannabe shopping at Target! She just cooed and smiled as I looked through the racks of clothes and dollar bins that I can't afford. Never fear! The only purchases that I made were essentials like baby food and toothpaste.

Highlights of the day:

-Biting into a decadent piece of cheesecake that I ate with lunch in the car. Kizzie, as always, was trying to swat at it and drooling. What can I say? She's related to me!

-Hanging out at the library and browsing books.

-Cuddling with her in the truck while I read the latest Janet Evanovitch for two hours! (And she slept!)

-Just reveling in the fact that I had nothing to do and no particular place to go. Ahhhhhh.


While I was with Kizzie at Target, an old memory slammed me and I almost laughed. Lily was with me during this event, and she probably remembers. Many years ago when I was in the midst of my depression and hating my horrible job, Max had an early morning doctor's appointment and I took the morning off to take care of it. Afterwards, we hung out at the Sierra Vista Target for an hour until I had to get back. We were sitting in the food court area and were surrounded by gads of moms and their children. They were laughing, talking, some of them complaining about being stuck in the house all day, and I had this overwhelming irrational desire to slap them in the face and scream. WHY did they get to spend this leisurely morning in Target with their kids when I had to go to the devil job and pay someone to watch my baby? WHY did I have to miss out on precious hours of my son's life for no good reason? (except to feed my family, of course) Now don't get me wrong, I see the other side of the coin now, but at the time all of those silly moms represented what I really really wanted and couldn't have. Let me tell you it ACHED to return to my classroom that afternoon. In retrospect, I probably would have been sobbing at home with Max in my lap if given the opportunity to be a stay at home mom then. Whew...
And now I'm livin the "good" life. Chillin at Target with my girl. I've finally been given the answer to my prayers and I'm not in crazyland anymore so I can actually enjoy it. Cheers (diet Pepsi of course) to that!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall is in the Air, and it smells good!













Last week was our neurology appointment with Max. He hasn't seen his doctor for two years, so we were really curious to see what she would say. Can I say that we completely love his doctor? She is casually dressed and very sincere. When she was checking his reflexes she commented on the huge number of bruises on his shins. We discussed his overwhelming klutziness, and then she nonchalantly had him run down the hall and back. "Yep", she said, "It's definitely that he's not paying attention very well. He was running full speed down the hallway staring to the side". Nice to know that she has such scientific methods of determining things. So it's not directly neurological, but because of his difficulty focusing, which is a result of his condition, it is. Make sense? For the first time in this whole journey with Max, it hit me that we are in no way past the woods, so to speak. His doctor doesn't need to see him again until puberty, when certain neurological problems could manifest. Puberty? Um, I'd rather not ponder that right now. Max throws a fit when his netflix cartoons have streaming difficulties, and is upset when a picture on the wall is crooked. I'd rather not think about the frustration of pubescence. Yes, it was difficult when we discovered his condition and we had NO idea what it meant for his future. Yes, it was really really difficult when he had night terrors and horrible bashing head fits on the floor around three because of language delays. Yes, it is hard right now to see how he doesn't really fit in with the kids around him, even the ones at his developmental level. (He doesn't care yet, but I'm sure one day he will). Yes, it is difficult to realize that his little sister will one day surpass him in many ways but that he will still love her. Contrary to my cautious nature, Heavenly Father has put me in line for the roller coaster that goes upside down and into tunnels. We have in no way conquered this mountain, and I think for the first time I am realizing that Max will never just be delayed, something that keeping him back a little in school will fix. He is just very very special. Different, unique, and always mine.

On a different note. I can't afford to get my hair professionally trimmed, so I coerced my husband into doing it yesterday. He was really really scared of ruining my hair, but it turned out pretty good! When I first woke up this morning it looked a little bit Joan Jettish and I drew in a quick breath, but no--it was just bed head. It's okay people, my hair has survived! Kizzie was a pumpkin today (pictures to follow soon) and Max looked really nice in his new white shirt bought by granny. Take a picture folks, his shirt will never be this clean again! Oh Well! Love you all, have a great day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kizzie and her cereal









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A shout out to Kizzie's aunties-- "Auntie" Lulu and aunt Lily. You keep my kid stylin. Yesterday was the first baby cereal debut, and it was a hit! Here are my two darlins on that wonderful event.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Job Description: Mom to Max and Kizzie





I've been thinking a lot lately about my different experiences being a new mom to Max and a new mom to Kizzie. I wonder often if I am doing a better job than I did with Max. Many factors have come into play, and I realize that with Max for over a year I was checked out mentally and struggled with every new situation. Don't worry, I'm not trying to be hard on myself, but I'm looking back on the whole journey with Max at the beginning of his life finally free from the fog of depression, anxiety, and the relentless pursuit of perfection as a mother. Unless you have experienced the numbness of depression, and the utter hopelessness that it shoves on your shoulders, you probably think that I'm being melodramatic. Max was unique--a wonderful blessing sent to us from Heavenly Father. And the realization of his special needs brought shock, sadness, fear, and wonder. Every new visit to the doctor and milestone brought questions: Am I doing enough to help him? Why isn't he nursing well? What does the MRI mean? Will Max be "normal"? (Ha!) Then the move brought untold stress and deeper depression. I hated my job and came home in zombie mode--barely getting into the routines of taking care of Max and dealing with his endless tantrums and frustration.

That time eventually passed, with more comfort for both Max and me. Kizzie's birth has been different, her gentle spirit calming our home (unless she's hungry) and bringing me so much joy. I'm a happier person now, more confident in my abilities as a mother and just enjoying every little step of Kizzie's journey. I'm working 6 hours a week. We're poor, but it's so nice just to kiss and hug her in the mornings and soak her little baby self up. The guilt is gone. I will have no regrets (well, few regrets) about this stage in my life. Is it perhaps the fact that I realize how precious my little souls are? I appreciate every little moment of my children's life, because my special child made me see what Heavenly Father wants me to see about trials. They are painful, seemingly endless, but completely worth it. Do I think that I'm some kind of special mother that was chosen to raise my Special Needs child? No, I just feel that I'm doing my best and trying to learn as I go. Hopefully Max will have more memories of me as I am now--happy, engaged in the world, and involved with life!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I've got the sick in the middle of summer blues . . .

Max, Kizzie, and I are fighting the sniffles, and the "gotta go to the bathroom really fast" blues. Only for Kizzie it's the "hold me so it doesn't squirt out onto mommy" blues. Who in the heck gets sick the first week of school anyway? Tommorrow is my first full day alone (well me and Kiz anyway) with Max and Jack in school all day. I am going to take it easy, I promise, and maybe watch a chick flick. Mom was so right, you really can't be sick when you are a mom. And now that I'm a mom times two, it's a little trickier. Luckily, Kizzie is content to sit on my lap right now and cuddle in the bed when she's asleep. That won't last when she's crawling around the house. God Bless All Day Kindergarten!!!!!!! Today I dozed off with Kizzie while watching "Flipper" with the kids. I really loved that show as a child, and Jack said that he hated it. How can you hate a sixties version of Lassie with a dolphin? And now that I'm an adult I'm noticing how cute the dad is. Leading men in the sixties were usually pretty dark and handsome. Max loved it when Flipper headbutted a shark and killed it. Hope this doesn't translate to his playtime at school. Well, better go to bed before I pass out while typing. "Flipper, Flipper, under the sea . . . "



Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Day of School Wooo Hooo!







Here is my little Max all duded up in his school uniform with his backpack on, ready to walk to school with mommy and daddy. We walked him to school, dropped him off, and enjoyed a few hours of peace and quiet at the house. At the door to his classroom, there were a couple of kids throwing fits and crying, and inside there were excited moms taking pictures (Ha! and Jack scoffed at me when I whipped out the camera) He found his name, put his Buzz and Woody backpack on the hook, and immediately found the fire truck to play with. We hardly even got a "bye" out of him. They had a little room with coffee for the parents to go hang out in if they wanted, but we opted out. With Max, it's better to just cut the cord and leave, other wise he starts acting naughty. Here's my little stud muffin. And an extra picture of him chilling on the couch with sister.
















Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We're finally here!


There are still boxes and bags everywhere around me waiting to be unpacked, but soon there will be order in chaos. I will take pictures of Max's first day of Kindergarten (holy cow!) and our new apartment and post them soon. Love you all,

Giuliana

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Soon to be in the Arctic North . . .

Countdown to Flagstaff-five days. Money in checking account-$64.00. Mood-slightly freaking out/excited. Can we survive these next few weeks? I know that we will. We've been paying our tithing, praying really hard, and still feel good about the move. This is the first time in my life that our family (not including Jack, poor man) has not had health insurance. Anything could happen to us, anything, and we would be up a creek, if you know what I mean. I'm still paying off bills from Kizzie's birth (hello airflight to Phoenix), and am soon to be making $450.00 a month. I just love that Arizona DES said that I make too much money to qualify for ACCHS (Arizona version of Medicaid). It chaps my butt that I've been paying into medicaid for years and now when we really really need it, they've denied us. Stinky government! I'm not going to be negative, I promise, but it's times like these when I wish that I lived in Canada. Really, it's only in times like these because I think that I would freeze my keester off up there, and aside from being the home of Anne of Green Gables there's not much up there to interest me. Well, I'll drown my anxiety in homemade granola bars. Yumm.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Good Day

The house is now completely quiet (for now). The dishes are done, dinner was pretty dang good, it smells like rain outside, and I have a brief window to take a shower. Thank goodness for the little things. The only thing missing is chocolate. Oh well, I'll eat my substitute sweet treat of apricots and cottage cheese. Ahh, it's hard to believe that only a couple of hours ago I was changing poop underwear for the third time today (we're still fighting the potty training beast) and Kizzie was wailing plaintively in her swing, thinking "How dare you take care of poop pants, I have needs here!". Only a few minutes later, after eating, she was cooing and smiling at me. Babies are totally forgiven for being bipolar, aren't they?

Monday, August 1, 2011

One more video . . .

That last video was cute, but here's my favorite!




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Here is the video, for real.

The Internet Gods have been toying with me. Not being able to access my blog, I couldn't immediately fix the mistake of not adding the video in my last post. Here I am to repent. Just to explain, there are two videos. In the first one, the visual's not so hot, but she is making cuter noises. In the second one, Max is "helping" me try to get Kizzie to talk, and in the process is kind of forcefully poking her face and calling her "Kitties". It's too funny. Kiz is going to be a toughie, for real.



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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If you could only see how cute she is in real life!

It's official--I'm in love with my daughter (and Max too of course). Here is a video of her "talking" to me after eating one afternoon. I really don't remember if Max was this vocal at her age. She will hold a conversation with me for over 30 minutes with various facial expressions and tricks. Her skills include blowing spit bubbles, smiling, giggling, and squealing with delight (which oddly enough only Max can get her to do). Her favorite thing to look at is still faces, and momma's face is still her favorite. Whether she will warm up fully to daddy remains to be seen, and surely with only happen once the milk factory is closed for business.



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another month has gone by . . . whew!









This Friday will be Kizzie's third month of life. She and I are having a rough week because I'm on meds that are not safe for her to consume through breast milk, so I'm pumping and dumping, and she and I are going nuclear. I feel like a cow hooked up to the pump, and keep in mind that she's still eating about 12 times a day. Holy Cow! (Literally). In between pumping, and feeding, and cleaning the house, we're trying to pack and go through things to get ready for the big move to Flagstaff in three weeks. Arghhh! On Sunday I was in the mother's lounge at church, which is in the bathroom, and two little girls came in to go to the bathroom with their mother while I was pumping, as modestly as I could. One girl said, "Mommy why is she have stuff hooked up to her boobies?" I have never been that embarrassed nursing, let me tell you. I hope that Kizzie appreciates this, although I don't think she understands why I can't cuddle and nurse her like normal. I'm determined to get over this nursing hump and be successful. Wish me luck!

PS--I have a lot of respect for milk cows now, who spend their entire lives nursing and hooked up to suction machines. Yuk!


PPS--Why is it that double chins are so cute on babies but not so cute on adults?

Friday, June 24, 2011

My little girl is two months old!

I always promised that I would not be the mom that has an album filled with baby pictures of the first child and just a sad few of the other children. Unfortunately, life gets pretty busy and I forget to take very many pictures before she's changed again. This morning at 7:22 am my little baby turned 8 weeks old! I have to argue with people at stores about it, but I promise that she really is that old. Very petite still, but now at two months. She's looking more and more like me, I hope, but still the spitting image of her brother.

I just had to share a really funny story that happened yesterday after bathtime:

Max points to Kizzie's herniated belly button (which is poking out about an inch or so) and says "Wee Wee". "No" I said, "It's not her wee wee, it's her belly button. See, you have a belly button, here (pointing) and she has a belly button here (pointing to hers)". He continued to stare at me with a perplexed look on his face and then pointed to his penis and said "No Mom, it's a wee wee". After about five minutes of this, I gave up. Jack says that I can't tell her when she gets older that her older brother thought that her belly button was a wee wee. Don't try to argue anatomy with a five year old. We're still trying to explain to him that his boobies don't make milk like mommy's.

Love you all. Sorry that my posts center around kids lately. It's pretty much all that I do. Maybe when we move to Flagstaff I'll hang out here and there with people my age.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

eating and growing




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Max absolutely LOVES his sister! Every day he begs me to let him hold her. He got so tickled when I took these pictures that he was giggling uncontrollably. I'm sure he can't wait until she can actually play with him. I love my kids!!!!!!



ps--Sorry that this is short on words. I'm typing one handed.