Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Goings On

What have we been up to lately? A lot! Here are some pictures of the fun happenings...

Just cheesin' in my pjs.

Starting to sit up. Still needs a lot of help!

Sister thought I should dress up, too.


Lily loves blue freeze pops. I thought she needed something a little "healthier" so I made her blue pops with food coloring. She LOVES them!

He is enjoying his first frozen teether. Drool all over the place.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Guest Post- Staycation

Guest Post from Michele at the Mommy Blogger Directory, a working mom of 3 sharing stories and ideas!

Inexpensive Backyard Stay-At-Home Vacation
Gather Equipment

Enjoying a home vacation this year with the family is easy with camping equipment and you can keep your credit card in your 
purse. Children love the idea of sleeping outside in nature to experience the sounds of nighttime insects. Borrowing camping supplies such as a tent, sleeping bags and cooking grill from family and friends is simple. 
Make a Tent

Parents can also make a tent with blankets or sheets hung over a structure made from poles or a clothesline. To keep rain or moisture out place an old shower curtain on top of the sheets or blankets. However, it is best to plan this stay-at home vacation when the weather is nice. 

Create Sleeping Bags

It is also possible to make sleeping bags by folding blankets carefully. Remember camping out is supposed to be rugged, so homemade equipment is acceptable. Place an old waterproof tarp, shower curtain or cut up large trash bags for the damp ground before laying down the sleeping bags or blankets. 

Preparing Camp

After collecting supplies, children can have fun building a camping tent. This is a real learning experience because children must cooperate while working. Parents should have a camera ready to photograph the finished product. 

Evening Fun

Plan a cookout using a grill to make food such as hot dogs and 
marshmallows roasted on a stick. Children and parents should gather around the campfire to tell amusing stories, sing songs and play games. Allow children to have fun without worrying about getting dirty, having showers or wearing pajamas to sleep.
Thanks, Michele!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mommy Monday

Today, I am linking up with Simply Just Lovely for Mommy Monday!

I have a few minutes to write a quick post because Lily is building with some blocks and Jack is napping (in his crib!).

Lily cracks me up. This girl gets smarter and sillier every single day. I swear she learns at least one new word a day (Saturday's word? Sushi. Too bad she won't eat it...). Lately, she has been telling us whether things are big or little. Big airplane! Little airplane! She has taken to calling my dad poppy, and decided to add "big" to poppy. So, now he is big poppy (much to Tom's dismay, and not to be confused with 'roid raging Big Papi). She must be learning sizes in school (because I am not sure where else she would have picked this up...). People say the 2s are terrible, and while I do agree, 2 can have its moments, so far I really love 2. Lily is discovering who she is, and what this world has to offer. It is pretty amazing to watch her curiosity bloom.

Learning to catch with a balloon.

Just using a few toys in the pool.

Playing dress-up with mama's scarf.

Clapping to a Wiggles song.

Jack is also growing a lot these days (not just in size, either!). Lately, he has taken to rolling. Before, he would roll front to back or back to front just once. Now, he is rolling consecutively. As in, across the floor. As in, utoh! Another kid on the move! I am so not ready for this. Jack has also started transferring toys from hand-to-hand. He has been holding toys for a long time now, but a few days ago he started moving them back and forth in his hands. He is so nosey (just like his sister). Everything fascinates him. I wouldn't be surprised if he starts moving forward soon...

Jack's latest skill.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekend Recap

How was your weekend?

Mine was nice. Let's see if I can reach inside my mommy brain and remember what we did...

Friday night we decided to eat out and went to BGR The Burger Joint. The BGR in Columbia is owned by our friend, Topper. Topper and my brother have been friends since they were three. We got to see Topper and Lily enjoyed her favorite french fries. Jack slept through the whole dinner. After dinner we went to Target and got Lily a new big bouncy ball. She carried that big ball all around the store. It was the cutest thing!

Saturday was spent at the shore. Lily, Tom, and my dad went swimming. Lily went fishing. All she does before we get to the shore is talk about fishing. She just gets so excited! After we came home from the shore, we decided we needed to go grocery shopping, so we went to Wegman's. I love Wegman's. We grabbed dinner in their prepared foods area. I had sushi, Tom had wings, and Lily had fruit and pizza (really, mostly fruit). Jack slept (notice Jack's dinner trend: he sleeps). Lily loved the fruit. Despite Tom cutting up fruit for Lily, she decided to eat the uncut pieces of fruit. She ate a strawberry like an apple. It was awesome. After dinner, we went food shopping. Lily walked, danced, pranced, galloped through the store. She did a great job.

Sunday, today, we went to see grandma and grandma B. They just came back from Hawaii and had some treats for us. Lily and Jack got little bears and a book. Tom got a tee shirt, and I got some scented soaps (they are really pretty!). We had breakfast with them, then played for a bit. Before we left we had lunch.

Oh, and on the way, we stopped at Starbucks for coffee. While Tom was getting our drinks, Jack had a poop-splosion. I mean out the diaper on the onesie, shorts, and car seat. He was wearing a disposable because I was washing a ton of diapers. Yeah, that disposable did not work well. I got him all cleaned up, and got the seat as clean as I could. Once we arrived I washed the car seat cover. Luckily, all the stains came out. Can't wait to get his tush back into cloth (we don't have splosions in cloth!).

We ended the day at my parents and had dinner over there. Lily got to play with poppy (or Big Poppy, as she has started to call him...). Jack showed off his rolling over and over and over skills. Lily never rolled, but Jack? he rolls all the time!

Hope everyone else had a nice weekend! Look for a more substantial post tomorrow about the post-baby body!

Also-- check out Jack's birth story over on A Birth Story Blog.

Friday, July 26, 2013

That time my daughter mooned me...

So Lily has taken to running around the house naked after she goes potty. It is fairly hysterical. She isn't very consistent about the potty, but she is learning. She consistently goes to the potty right before bed. That always works. We rock her and read some books and, mid read, she says "POTTY! POTTY!" Sometimes she will go to the potty at other times during the day, but night it always happens. Anyway, after she uses the potty she runs to her room to get a diaper on. Usually, she goes into her room and we can get a diaper on her. Lately, she likes to display her full moon before she gets her diaper on...

Take tonight for example. Mid-read, Tom takes Lily to the bathroom. She pees and, obviously, must tell me (I was rocking Jack). She has no diaper on, just her pj shirt. Tom follows her into Jack's room and tells her it's time to get a diaper on, so they can finish reading. She immediately lays on the floor, says "I sleeping!", and starts to fake snore (she pretends to sleep a lot...especially when she is trying to get out of something). She is laying in the middle of Jack's floor with her little naked butt up in the air. Hysterical.

I am hoping that her desire to not wear a diaper will lead to a desire to be potty trained and wear underwear. I must say, however, that potty training scares me a bit. It is much easier to change a diaper in public, than it is to make sure my toddler's tush doesn't touch a public toilet (ew!).

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

5k? 5k!

I am not going to lie-- after baby #2 the weight just does not melt off. Not that it melted off after Lily, but I lost it fairly easily and quickly. The weight leftover from Jack, well, that is another story. Now, I have never been a person totally obsessed with my looks. I like to be presentable. I like to look put together when I go out. But I am a total "mom" at home. I know, I am a real mom, so the quotes seem silly, but the quotes here indicate I dress like a mom. I wear yoga pants. Nursing tanks. I don't wear make-up. I got my hair chopped off because it was too much work to do it and chase after 2 kids (well, one, Jack doesn't move yet).

All of this said, I am ready to lose the weight from Jack.

I need to be careful-- I need to eat enough to maintain a a good supply to be able to nurse. If you nurse, you are supposed to get roughly 500 calories on top of your daily allowance. I wouldn't say I eat horribly, but there is definitely room for improvement. I am really enjoying summer veggies right now, so that is a huge plus. I am not going to diet, though. I just think overall healthier eating is probably called for. I already drink water like I just emerged from 10 years in the desert, so no worries there.

As for working out. I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. I worked at the gym in college, so my college years and just after were the ones when I was probably in the best shape. I ran a few 5ks, I coached volleyball and I am not in bad shape, but I could stand a little exercise. So, my friends Angela and Sarah and I decided to run a 5k-- The Color Run-- in November. We are hoping to maintain a workout schedule/routine after school in the fall to get ready. I am actually excited. I think being more fit will help me be a better mom. Lily runs around and loves to be outside, so I want to be able to keep up. Plus, I want to be a good example for my kids. I want them to eat healthy foods, to enjoy exercise.

So this is my "hold me accountable" post. I hope Sarah and Angela and I can meet our goals. These two girls are two of my closest friends-- so much so, that they are godmommas to my kids. Wish us luck!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

25 Months

So, summer always makes me confused about the date. I had a calendar on the fridge, but Lily erased it. I didn't realize that yesterday was the 20th until today (and even then I had to check my phone).

At 25 Months Lily Loves...

1. ...swimming! I a shark! I a fish!
2. ...pretending to be animals (see above).
3. ...dessert. Ice cream is probably her favorite dessert. 
4. ...adding the "ie" sound to her words-- Jack is Jackie, pop is poppy.
5. ...watching Barney. Or Wiggles. Or Sesame Street.
6. ...arts and crafts. Coloring is one of her favorite activities.
7. ...singing the Barney "I Love You" song and walking around the room hugging and kissing people.
8. ...going to the shore to fish or swim.
9. ...her brother, Jack. I would be remiss if I didn't include this. She loves him more every single day.
10. ...and, of course, mama and dada.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Brother and Sister

As my children get older, I hope that they remember the love they have for each other at this moment in their lives. Before Jack was born, I wrote about how nervous I was about Lily's transition from being an only child to a sister. Very quickly after his birth, I realized I had no need to be nervous. Lily loved her brother from the moment she met him. It's like he was always meant to be here; he was always meant to be her brother. Over the past few months, I have been the humble witness to this sibling love.

Lily kisses her brother. She hugs him. She claps when he rolls over. When he makes his squeaky noises and screeches, she says, "Mama! Jackie eephant!" When he wakes up from a nap, she runs to me and says, "Jackie wake!"

Yesterday, after his nap, she was adamant that we play on his play mat; however, she had her toys all over the floor. I told her to pick everything up, and then we could play. She picked up every toy, laid the play mat on the floor, said, "I did it!" and then said, "thank you! thank you!" while taking a few bows (I guess she was super impressed with herself). She is just so fascinated with her little brother (or buddy, as she calls him).

And Jack loves his Lily. Whenever she walks by him, he automatically smiles. He thinks everything she does is super funny. He loves to watch her sing and dance around the room. He is the willing recipient of her hugs, tickles, and kisses.

I hope that their relationship continues to grow and they become even closer friends. I am lucky to have such a wonderful relationship with my own brother. Growing up we rarely (if ever) fought (truth- ask my mom). I have always been so proud of his accomplishments- he has truly grown into a wonderful person. My wish is that my kids will always love each other. That they will grow up with a mutual love and respect for each other. Their relationship is so important- as confidants, friends, guardians.

Meeting Jack for the first time.

Proud sister.

Aww Jack.

Holding him for the first time.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Today is Thursday, so that means I have to throw it back. Today, though, my throwback is a story about my childhood. I had a wonderful child. There is no question in my mind that my childhood was fairly close to perfect. I say fairly because I never went to Disney World. Don't worry, I have mentioned this more than once to my parents.

I grew up in a strip of three homes that were adjacent to Small Ct. Small Ct. was a really great place to grow up because there was an ally surrounding the court, and then the court itself, so there was a lot of space to ride bikes. It was also a great place because there were many young families who lived in the court. My friends- Michael, Laura, and Brad all lived in Small Ct. We all attended school together and we all played together. We spent summer days digging in sandboxes, swinging on swings, riding bikes (ok, I was riding mine into cars...but still I rode...), and playing sports. We had a block party where Laura and I showcased our cheer leading skills. I married Brad on an almost daily basis. Timothy and Michael played
bullpen (So, our backyard had a hill on the one side. Tim and Mike would go down to the bottom of the hill and Tim would pitch and Mike would catch. After this, they would come inside, put on the Orioles Magic record and slide around the living room like they were baseball players. And now, you all know. Sorry guys.).

As a child, these kids were my best friends. I think that childhood friends are some of the best friends a person will ever have. Why? Because children are honest. They know nothing of betrayal. They love without reservation. They give everything of themselves. I think that, as friends, we did that for each other. We played. We laughed. We embraced friendship.

By the time I had reached 6th grade all of us had moved on from Small Ct. My family stayed in the same community, just moved to a different street. Some stayed in Maryland, others moved further away. We all took separate paths to adulthood. Through all of that, through relationships, marriages, births, deaths, I like to think that each of us carries a little piece of Small Ct. in our hearts.

I hope that my kids have friends like the ones that I had. I hope that they can savor their childhood. That they can feel safe riding their bikes, or playing catch, or doing whatever is they want to do on a warm summer night. I hope that their friends' parents will treat them as their own, just as the Heslins, Pyatts, and Dyjaks treated me and my brother. Those years on Small Ct. were very special.

So, today, I throw it back to Small Ct.

To my childhood.

To my trip to Disney World...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey

Both kids are taking naps! It's a small miracle to get them to sleep at the same time, so the stars must be aligned or the moon must be full or the universe might be telling me to go play the lotto. Something like that. Anyway, today I want to write about my breastfeeding journey. Why? Because right now the little man is doing something of a nursing strike. It doesn't seem to be a full time strike, just a daytime strike. At night, he nurses just fine. During the day, he arches his back, pulls away, and looks all around like the whole room is more interesting than me (and, ok, it might be). I am trying so hard to enjoy every moment of feeding him at night, afraid it might be our last nursing session. I read that babies typically don't wean until 18-24 months. Anything before that isn't really weaning, it's just a strike. I don't know if that is true, but I hope it is. My time feeding Jack is so nice and peaceful (and, let's be honest, cheap and easy).

Looking back to Lily's infancy, I wasn't sure what I wanted out of breastfeeding, only that I wanted to try it. She was something of a lazy sucker, and fell asleep whenever I fed her, so the beginning was rough. Because she was born in June, I had about 9 weeks home with her for the summer before school started. This meant I would go from breastfeeding to mostly pumping in a fairly short amount of time. Lily was an ok breastfeeder. We stuck it out for 2 months, and, with school coming, I decided to exclusively pump. Now, this isn't as easy as it sounds. You are strapped to a pump every 2-3 hours for 20 minutes a session. I was lucky though, and was able to pump enough for her (only having to supplement for a very short amount of time) for the first year of her life. After I finished pumping for her I found out I was pregnant again, so the time between breastfeeding Lily and Jack was really only 9 months.

When Jack came I was determined to not be a full time pumper. It would be too much to sit down for 20 minutes every three hours with a newborn and almost 2 year old. I was resolved to breastfeed him and only pump to build a freezer stash. So far, things have worked wonderfully. Jack has been a great eater, so we have has a really good thing going. I stocked up on lanolin (something I didn't do so well the first time), and things have been smooth sailing since day 1. My freezer stash is over 500 ounces (holy cow (ha, cow!)! I thought it was around 300, and then I counted...I was wrong), so I know I have a nice amount built up for when I return to work. My goal, again, is to get to a year. Ideally, I would like to get him through next year's flu season, so that might be a tad over a year. I really believe my breastfeeding Lily kept her illnesses to a minimum during her first year, even with her being in daycare.

I didn't think Jack's strike would weight so heavily on me, but it is. Maybe it's because I feel like he is growing so quickly. I just want him to stay this little infant for a little longer (and yes, he will, he is only 5 months old...but it feels like time just goes in fast forward these days). The time I get to hold him at night, and imprint his little features-- little hands, little feet-- into my brain are just so important to me. Even though waking to feed him at 1 am can be so tiring, I love it. I love his weight in my arms. I love his dreamy little smile when he sees me. I love our "us" time. He will never get to experience being an only child, so this time is really the most one-on-one time he gets (unless Lily is napping).

Of course, Breastfeeding also serves some practical purposes- I don't need to pay for formula (important during the penny pinching summer months), and I don't need to make bottles to travel with (so much easier!). I hope my guy will get back on track soon (I think he will, he is doing better today). This journey is not the easiest one-- I do think that the natural act of breastfeeding is really anything but natural (at least, at first)-- but it is the best journey I have taken (with both kids).

Are you on this journey? What is your story?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Little Jack Man

Jack is a big baby. People have asked if he is 6 months old; some even asked if he is 9 months old! Nope, my little man is only 4 (almost 5) months. He is tipping the scales at 19 pounds and is 29 inches in length. He is almost too big for his infant car seat. His swing goes up to 25 pounds, and he is almost too long for it. Why is this problem? Does size matter?

I think so.

Why? Because he is bigger than the average 4 month old, he is quickly outgrowing all of the things that were meant for infants to use. For example, he sleeps so well in his swing. I know, I know, he should be in the crib for naps, but the little man loves his swing time. It allows me to get things done around the house, or play with Lily for a good 1.5-2 hours. For an average sized baby this would be fine, but Jack is almost too big for the swing. The infant car seat isn't too big a deal; however, it means we will need to buy a convertible car seat much sooner than expected. He is in 9 month clothing, and is closing in on 12 month sizes. His head is almost as big as his sister's (and she is 2!).

But he is a little baby.

I think this part is going to be a challenge. When people see a bigger baby, or kid, they assume things about that child. About what they can do. And, therefore, their expectations of the child change. I know Jack is 4 months old. I know what he is capable of, and what he is working on being about to do. When others see him though, when they think he is 6, or 7, or 8 months old, they might think he should be able to do other, harder things. I don't know that is a problem now, since he is only an infant. I do see this becoming problem if he stays in this growth curve as he gets older.


Because some might look at my 4 year old and think he is older. When they do that, they will assume he should listen better, or do more, or be more. I know not everyone will act this way, but I have seen it with other kids. The kids who are just bigger for their age. They are only 2 or 3, and people expect of them what they would expect of a 4 or 5 year old because they look bigger, older.

It is hard for me, now, because I look at him and all his baby-ness. I love his baby-ness. His laid back personality. His willingness to just melt into me when we cuddle. He is a momma's boy, and I am soaking all of that in. But when I hold him, it's like holding a 1 year old (tricky, sometimes, because he cannot be held the way I would hold a one year old...).

To put things into perspective: Lily is 2, she is 26 pounds, 36 inches (she is 90% for height, 40% for weight). Jack is 7 inches shorter, and 7 pounds lighter and he is only 4 months old (he is 99%+ for height, 89% for weight).

Maybe this all seems a little irrational. I sort of hope it is. I love my little man. I don't always love getting up at 1:00am, but when I look at him and see how much he needs his momma, how much he needs a snuggle, 1:00am isn't quite so bad. I know he will only be little for a very short amount of time. Infant-hood is so, so fleeting.

I hope that I am wrong.

That size won't matter.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Jack's Baptism

This post is linked up to Mommy Monday with Simply Just Lovely. Go check it out!

On Saturday, July 13, Jackson Franklin was baptized. It was at St. Joseph's Monastery, where Tom and I were married (and Lily was also baptized). Our family joined us as Jack was welcomed to the church, and, really, it was perfect. It was so filled with love and joy (and heat, a lot of heat...the church was SO hot).

Jack looked like a little angel in the baptism gown. The gown is only 91 years old. It was my great uncle's gown and has been worn by every member of the Peters/Rosen family for each baptism. It is extremely special to me that Lily and Jack were able to wear the gown.

Jack did a great job. He actually fell asleep after the first reading. He only woke up when the priest poured the holy water on his head. Right after that, he fell back to sleep! He was great for the rest of mass and was very patient with us through all of the pictures.

Lily also did a great job. She jumped around between me, Tom, and all of her grandparents. My dad took her around the church when she got a little antsy. Then, a bit later, her grammy Brenda took her for another lap. She LOVED the angels in the back of the church. She talked about them for a long time. She joined us on the altar during the baptism, which was a little humorous. She kept jumping from person to person, and asking for different people.

After the baptism, we went back to my mom and dad's house. We had dinner and my family played cards. It was great to have everyone to together. Lily warmed up right away and was dancing, and jumping, and twirling. She really enjoyed having an audience!

After the baptism, a little old lady said to Jack, "You are baptized now. Whenever you walk into a Catholic church, you will be home." That really struck me. That just seems so comforting. Another little old lady, who said she has no family, asked to take a picture with us. We took a picture and my parents are going to give it to her. The mass was mostly an older crowd and all the little old ladies were oohing and ahhing all over the kids. One lady told Lily she could talk all she wanted because Jesus loves children and he would want her to talk!

And now, for a lot of pictures...

Lily and grammy

The church


The 4 of us (Lily is cheesing hard...)

With my godmother, Sandy

With Uncle Carl

With grandma and pop

With grammy and grandpa

With the great-grandparents

With uncle Tim

With uncle Brad and FIA Mandy (fill-in-aunt (soon to be real!!))

During this picture, Lily went from clinging onto Tom to clinging into me like a little monkey.

See? She is moving in! With uncle Sam and aunt Katherine

In uncle Tim's outfit

In Tom's baptism outfit

Uncle Carl was making Jack laugh!


Sailor outfit

With the godparents-- Sarah and Brad