Thursday, February 27, 2014

A First I'd Like to Forget

With most firsts, there is an excitement or proud feeling a parent gets when their child accomplishes something for the first time. Ayden's first smile made my heart melt and his first giggle is a day I will never forget. 

It happened a lot sooner than I would have liked...Ayden caught a cough and runny nose and ended up with RSV. Luckily, he wasn't wheezing and didn't need breathing treatments. But, his cough was horrific. Poor thing. 

Over the past 2 weeks we've had a few first I'd like to forget and pretend never happened. I'd like to NOT remember his sad little face every time he coughed or couldn't breathe out of his nose. Or how I had to hold him down while he screamed and I poured medicine down his throat...I'm soooo terribly sorry. Or the day he SCREAMED for 2 hours before bed and nothing consoled him. OR the morning there was crazy snow and the roads were really bad and he screamed on the car ride ALL THE WAY to Allie's cheerleading competition...nightmare. My poor little mommy guilt is at an ultimate high. 

One little blessing throughout all of this is Ayden continued to sleep all night. I did put the swaddle back on him and gave him a shot of Benadryl before bed...thank you Ayden for allowing Mommy to sleep at night. I can take so much better care of you when I'm rested. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Is It June Yet?

Going back to work is not easy. sucks!  I'm up at 5:30 (if I'm lucky enough to sleep until my alarm goes off) and I go, go, go until about which I head straight to bed and am usually asleep at 9:15.  There's not a single second to spare at work.  If I'm not running 100 MPH preparing something for my class, I'm pumping while I eat my lunch or grade papers or write this weeks newsletter.  It's hard...REALLY HARD!  I'm determined to make this work.  I WILL nurse Ayden until he's a year.  I don't want anyone telling me it's okay to stop, it's okay to give formula.  That's not what I want.  It CAN be done.  So I WILL make it happen.  I CAN DO THIS!  Someone please tell me often as possible.

I survived my first week, just barely. 

Day 1 - So sad to leave my babies (tears on the way to school...mother's guilt), work was a tornado.  It was like the first day of school in September all over again...exhausting!

Day 2 - I forgot Ayden's bottle bag and didn't realize it until I was at day care.  Meltdown (from me).  Thanks Nana for driving all the way to our house then to West Bloomfield. Ayden and I really appreciated it.

Day 3 - I accidentally kneed Allie under her chin when she walked right under me as I lifted my leg to put my sock on.  Meltdown (from her...and me).  Luckily there was no blood.

Day 4 - SHOULD have been a snow day (which I REALLY could have used), but no such luck.  Go figure.

Day 5 - TGIF...can't wait to spend quality time during the next 2 days with my babies...when I'm not sorting laundry, picking out Allie's clothes for the week, picking out my clothes for the week, completing a couple orders on Etsy, freezing milk, defrosting old milk, making bottles, making lunches for the week, planning the weeks dinner, grocery shopping, and cleaning the house.  My 2 full days of quality time turned into about 2 hours of quality time.

My week (and every other week from here on out) might have been miserable...but Ayden had a wonderful first week at day care. I'm so thankful that he is snuggled and cuddled when he's away from me. Thanks, Lynnie, Debbie and Ilene for keeping my little man and Allie happy and loved all day. Ayden loves the special attention he gets...especially when all the big kids are asleep and he has you all to himself to celebrate Lynnie's birthday!!!  Lucky guy!!

Only 18 more weeks to go...Is is June yet?!?!?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

So Proud...and Rested

I knew this day would come...EVENTUALLY!  The day Allie consistently sleeps in her bed (not in my bed or on my floor or with Todd or I laying on her beanbag in her room) ALL BY HERSELF, ALL NIGHT LONG!  She does still get up to go to the bathroom a time or two in the middle of the night, but with a little reminder of all the good things that will happen if she allows everyone else in the house to sleep, she quietly falls back asleep until her clock turns yellow.
It's been a LONG, hard road at night for the Hammerick's.  We were desperate!  When Allie wouldn't go to bed without a parent in the room, we came up with a plan.  Allie gets 5 jelly bellies in the morning is she doesn't get out of bed when it's bedtime.  For every time she leaves her room, she looses a bean.  I'm sure her getting a little older has helped matters as well. 
Allie has been keeping sticker charts of her progress for a few months now.  For every night she goes back to sleep after getting up to go to the bathroom, she got a sticker.  After 5 stickers she would get a reward of her choice.  Allie has accumulated a few new doctor tools for her doctor kit and has taken a couple trips to fun places like Safari Playground as rewards.  Maybe she'll be a doctor one day! 
We decided to up the anti because she has been doing so well.  One day I tested out my new double stroller at the mall (cause we won't be taking any walks in the fridged cold anytime soon) and we strolled into Build-A-Bear.  That's where the inspiration for our next sticker sheet came from.
Can you imagine what the excitement was like when we FINALLY reached our goal!  We did have a night a two without a sticker...I'll take it compared to what our nights used to be like. 
Allie picked out a sparkly, rainbow teddy bear...which she named COLORIA!

Welcome to the family, Coloria.  You'll have many restful nights snuggling with Allie girl.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love is in the Air

I LOVE our little family!!!  While Valentine's day is just another made up Hallmark holiday (as Todd tells me EVERY YEAR!)'s another fun holiday for me to tell my three lovies how much I cherish them.  It's also a super fun time of the year for everything pink and red ...and yummy heart sprinkled Dunkin Doughnuts.  
Last weekend Allie and I got to work making all our Valentine's.  Allie was little miss helper.  She helped me make my heart shaped crayons for my students.  She INSISTED on make ALL of Ayden's Valentine's...ALL by herself.  She glued little Valentine's dots onto the bottom of each Hershey Kiss. Then her and I baked up a batch of sugar cookies and she went to work putting lovely red, pink and white heart shaped sprinkles on each one.


Allie and Ayden's Valentine's for all their friends at day care...HOW FUN!!!  Allie was so excited to bring them in and pass them out....hers and Ayden's.
Valentine kisses from sweet little Ayden.  Yes, I know. He doesn't have a clue that he brought Valentine's for his brand new friends at day care...but everyone LOVED them with his super cute picture on the tag.
Valentine's day fell on a Friday this year which means that I came home from the craziness of a school valentine party.  I was very happy to spend the evening hanging out at home with my three favorite people making a yummy heart shaped pizza and watching my family open up a few small presents!!!

Ayden with his new book and a box of delicious yummy chocolates that I will enjoy on his behalf...he'll still get them...just not the usual way.  I'm pretty sure Ayden thought the best part of his present was the tissue paper!!
Allie was OVERYLY excited about some of her presents!  Hello Kitty SOCKS!!!!  BOX of CHOCOLATES!!!!  A super-fun bag with lots of fun things to take into RESTAURANTS!!!  WOW!!!  We told Allie she can ONLY use her bag when we go out to dinner.  I wanted to make sure it's an extra special thing for her to use when we need to keep our little one calm and quiet at the table. 


I love my husband.  I love my kiddos.  I love my home and life.  The best Valentine's present I could receive this Valentine's day (besides a million dollars that would allow me to stay home with my family all day, everyday) is to have some quality, stress-free time with the ones I love most.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ayden is 5 Months

Ayden is ALMOST a half year old!  He's getting so big!  He's found his voice and loves to "talk" and make all kinds of grunting and squealing sounds.  He can blow raspberries and drools all over everything and everyone.  Ayden smiles and giggles all the time...especially when tickled.  He likes to sit in the exersaucer and play with the toys.  Ayden loves to listen to his big sister sing and laughs when she tries to dance with him.  Ayden started day care this month when I went back to work.  He's such a good boy there and stayed on schedule.  He loves to cuddle with Lynnie, Debbie and Ilene and watch all the older kids play.  Ayden no longer sleeps swaddled at night but does sometimes during naps at day care.  Ayden can lay on his belly and pick his head up.  He can roll from his belly to his back.  Ayden was in a car accident this month, but fortunately was not harmed.

Ayden is taking 3 naps a day and eats 5 times a day.  He nurses in the morning, has 2 bottles at day care, and then nurses for dinner and before bed. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

R.I.P. Rav 4

It's been two weeks since my little Rav 4 took its last drive on the road. When I dropped Allie off at day care, never in my dreams would I have guessed 5 minutes later the front end of my car would be laying on the pavement on Maple Road.
Being in a car accident was one the scariest things that has ever happened to me. You can't prepare for it in any way. One second I was minding my own business and driving along (with both hands, not texting, not talking, not reaching in the back to put Ayden's pacifier back in). A SPLIT second later I was looking at fragments of my car up on my windshield and smelling the stench of air bags. Ayden was screaming and the only thing I could think of was getting my baby out of the car before it exploded. Realistically, my car was only smoking and every kind of liquid from the front end was pouring onto the pavement. 

I was on way my home planning to run a couple errands on the way. I took a different route than usual. The roads were really not that bad where I was driving.  That is until an oncoming car swerved into my lane to avoid rear-ending the car infront of her and hit me head on. The road was icy and she couldn't help sliding. Ayden cried on impact and my first instinct was to get him OUT OF THE CAR!  I jumped out and pulled his car seat out of the back. A really nice lady pulled over and let us get into her car and out of the negative below temperatures. I escaped with only chest, neck and back pain/soreness. 
I'm extremely thankful Ayden was ok. A head-on collision was the best way to hit for him facing backwards. I think the noise of the crash and the airbags scared him the most. Many car accidents end fatally. I get the shivers when I think of what really could have happened. 

My poor car "has a big boo-boo" according to Allie. I miss my car spent 11 years with me, beginning with right after Todd and I got married. It's driven me to work for my entire teaching career. It's hauled our stuff when we moved...twice. It's taken both our babies home from the hospital. I loved this car!  It was cute and small and just perfect for me. Although, over time I wished it had a third row seat and the technology to play my was a 2003. 

I'm sooooo extremely sad it's gone...just like that. But so extremely thankful we are both ok. Cars can be replaced...people can't. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Broken Hearted

Allie's outfits are chosen and placed in her daily hanging organizer. My outfits are laid out for each day of this upcoming week. I know what I'm grabbing for breakfast each morning (to eat in the car). Five lunches are prepared and sitting in the fridge. This weeks dinner menu is selected. Milk is defrosting and Ayden's bottles are prepared for day care. My school bag, my lunch bag, my pump, Ayden's bottle bag, and Allie's backpack are all sitting by the door...ready to go. (Getting everything, including two kids, into the car is probably going to take me three separate trips).

I may be prepared...but yet again, I'm really not. Tomorrow I have to say goodbye to my two favorite littles I've been with each and every day these past 4 and a half months. I'm not ready for THAT MOMENT...that moment tomorrow morning I say goodbye, walk out of Lynnie's house, and get in my car...and head back to school. Every working mommy knows that feeling. Sadness, guilt, depression.  My heart is breaking!  I know I will survive, but just barely. 

Today marks the end of an maternity leave. A leave of absence I will never have again. I spent the majority of my morning preparing for the week, because I know every evening is going to be one big RUSH!  Rush out of school to pick up the kids. Rush home to feed Ayden on time. Rush to workout (my whole 25 minutes in my basement).  Rush to make dinner, eat dinner, clean up dinner...wash bottles, refill bottles, freeze milk...bath the littles, pack Allie's bag for tomorrow, pack my lunch for tomorrow, feed Ayden (again), read and say goodnight to Allie, read and give Ayden a bottle (again), get Ayden down, shower and finally fall flat on my face in my bed from pure exhaustion...praying no one wakes up in the middle of the night. 

Although I spent the very last morning of my maternity leave preparing, I spent the rest of my day snuggling my Ayden and having a princess tea party in a castle tent, dressed in my best tea party hat, with my Allie girl. I was served red pepper and onion for dinner and spaghetti and egg for dessert with my tea.  What more could I ask for? 

...except to win the lottery so I could do this all day, every day. God, give me the strength to hold it together tomorrow. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Look Mom, No Cavities!

I have to be honest...I didn't really think Allie's first REAL dental appointment would go as well as it did.  It took A LOT of convincing to get her to sit in the dental chair...and I had to sit right next to her.  After the dentist and the hygienist talked and talked to her, she FINALLY was comfortable enough to open up and let them have a look at her teeth.  There were no tears, no screams...but there was some really cool glasses to be worn to protect our eyes from the bright dental light.  And... a little bribery of a new cool Ariel toothbrush and princess flosser didn't hurt either. 
Way to go, Allie!  Hopefully she will like the dentist a little more than I do.