Friday, December 3, 2010


I really sucked it up last month. November flew by in a raft of activities and sickness in our household. It felt like the shortest month ever. Ah, for the good old days of being a kid when November dragged on in your haste to get to December. November saw both Elle and Cecily checkups at the pediatrician's. Elle weighed in at a whopping 15 pounds 8 ounces, which is crazy big for our kids, and Cecily hit 22 pounds, which is smaller-than-average but respectable. Elinor is still exclusively breastfed and going strong. I think we're going to go to six months before we introduce solids, although the ped gave us the go ahead already. It's just easier, and since she doesn't really need it yet, we'll keep things simple. I wanted to share some Thanksgiving pics - it seems like eons ago, but it was only last week. We came home from Thanksgiving dinner with leftovers (yum) and a run of intestinal illness (yuck). Que sera sera.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baby Steps

I have a million and one things I should be blogging about that I've missed, but I suppose i just have to jump in somewhere. Here's Elle's 3 month pictures - she really changed a lot this month, I would say. She's much more interactive, newly demanding (like, don't sit down while holding her, ever), and she likes to grab for things with her hands. She finally can hold her head up at a 90 degree angle while on her tummy but still nothing going on in the rolling over department.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Splurge

We did really well in the costume department this year. James' mom made Hero and Allegra's costumes (a green fairy and a Felicity-era gown), Colin is wearing Ian's old Smee pirate costume, and it's Cecily's turn to wear the traditional duck costume (the one that all of our children have worn from Hero on down). Ian just wanted to be Mario, so that was easy enough. I had originally planned to have Elle wear Cecily's costume from last year, but then I was flipping through Chasing Fireflies catalog and found the star bunting that I had wanted so badly for Cecily. So I splurged and ordered it for her. It is so adorable, and I'm an absolute sucker for anything personalized anyways. I had to try it on her the moment it arrived. It'll be perfect for Halloween night! The older kids already wore their costumes to last Saturday's piano recital. It was James' turn to attend the kids' recital (we switch off, it's too hard to keep all the little ones still and quiet for the hour in a cramped space) and I made sure he left with the camera specifically to take pictures. And this is the picture he snaps. In the ghetto parking lot. Really? You couldn't have taken it inside the recital hall in front of the grand piano? Men...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Postpartum Roller Coaster...

is in full swing and I want to get off! Gosh I feel like an absolute lunatic. One day I'm low and the next day I'm high. I think that most women expect to deal with crazy emotions for the first six or eight weeks after giving birth, but for me it lasts longer than that. I'm not sure if that's just a quirk or if it's normal and most women try to hide it. It's a combination of both mental and physical stuff too. This week I've started the hair falling out phase. I have really long hair right now and I'm so tired of finding it everywhere, on the baby, on the bed, on my clothes. A minor thing, but an annoyance that, on a bad day, can be the proverbial straw. It's not all hormones, though. Things are undeniably tough right now. Like "I don't want to be a grown-up anymore, I want someone else to make the decisions" tough. I think it's exacerbated by last year being such a stinky year too. Thank goodness no one was able to tell me last year that I'd be in the same spot at the same time next year. (((sigh))) I don't want the blog to turn into an exercise in self-pity, so I'll leave it at that. Here's to hoping it gets better, right? Elle's getting cuter by the day, at least.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Elle @ 2 Months

On one hand it's hard to believe that Elle is a two month old already, but on the other hand she seems so much older than that. I'm not sure if that's because she's big for her age or because our whole Wisconsin trip seems so long ago. She's doing AWESOME in the growth department: 12lbs14.5oz (90th percentile), 22 3/4 inches (55th percentile) and her head is in the 82nd percentile. I just cannot get over how big she is - I've had so many problems breastfeeding my babies in the past. It's just amazing that it's working out just the way it's supposed to right now. I'm taking it one month at a time. My next goal is to exclusively breastfeed until four months, which would be a record for me (I hit 3.5 months with Colin). I'm trying not to get too ahead of myself, but it would be so wonderful to get to skip formula altogether with Elle. I purchased a book called Eating Well, Losing Weight While Breastfeeding (or something like that) so that gives me hope that I can peel off some extra poundage without a negative impact on nursing. She's changed so much in the last month. She's very interactive now and loves to smile, coo, and "sing" with you. She has very little schedule when it comes to napping, but a bit of one overnight finally. She goes down for the night between 9:30 and 11:00, gets up between 2:30 and 4 for a feed and diaper change (the girl is a champion pooper), then sleeps til 6 or 7. It's doable. I look forward to gettign to sleep through the night sometime in the future, but I know that is actually not a good thing for breastfeeding, so the night-waking is worth it if it keeps nursing going well.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Little Late

This is a bit tardy, but a HUGE congratulations to my oldest little brother. He proposed to his girlfriend, Becky, this summer and the wedding date is set for April 2nd, 2011. Apparently love is in the air this season LOL. We're so excited to be going back to Wisconsin in a few short months!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Photo Op

It took about a month longer than it should have to do our family "birth shirt" photo, but better late than never. Luckily we were limited in how much time we had to do it because Elle's New Little Sister shirt was a size 0-3 months and she was going to outgrow it pretty quickly. We intended on doing it in the common area of our subdivision, which was nice and green, but the ground was too wet, so after some lovely family discussion and debate, we moved it back to our backyard. Unfortunately the backyard is looking rather neglected this season, but we'll just say it gives the pictures character LOL. I have to admit, I'm kind of glad that I won't have any more of these shirts to make in the near future. I've worn out the only crafty bone (pinky-size, mind you) in my body.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Little Ol' Me :-)

I won something! How cool is that?! It's not a huge something, just a $25 gift card to Target, but still. I knew that my Babycenter addiction would pay off eventually (haha). We were asked to submit our best Road Trip survival stories and luckily ours was still very fresh in my mind: car troubles, bad weather, lack of hotel rooms, squabbling, and, of course, a new baby. They gave away one grand prize and three first prizes (which is what I won). I usually skip the essay contest giveaways, maybe I shouldn't anymore... I need to find a contest where the grand prize is a million dollars. Or a tropical vacation. That sounds just about right right now LOL. And of course, no blog post of mine would be complete without a picture, so here's one, that, in honor of the post title, actually includes a picture of me (with Elle).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bad Me

I'm addicted to Iced Chai Tea Lattes. I. can't. get. enough. My habit has gotten so bad that I have to buy the concentrate and make them at home because I can't afford them from Starbucks or Moxie Java. Yum. I'm sure someone can tell me how bad they are for me. But they are so good, so I'm not gonna listen. :-) That's all.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The First Day of School

Colin's 1st day of preschool

Allegra, Hero, and Ian's 1st day of elementary school

I'm actually a bit behind because Hero, Allegra, and Ian have been in school for three weeks already, but Colin didn't start until last Wednesday. Hero is in her last year at Maple Grove before starting junior high next year (I personally think of 6th grade as junior high, but the Boise School District splits schools differently than what I'm used to). Allegra is in third grade and Ian started first grade. I'm enjoying all three of them being in full-day school (as opposed to having one in kindergarten which is always a bit tough due to the half-day schedule) but unfortunately Ian isn't steady enough on his bike yet for us to trust him riding to school so we're still having to drive him to school and pick him up. Colin is in his first year at Shepherd of the Valley preschool and he seems to love it - on orientation day he got upset because he wanted us to leave so definitely no clinginess to worry about from him. I do worry about the potty-training thing though, as he's still prone to accidents. I hate hate HATE potty-training, and I won't miss that stage once we get all the kids through it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Fair

Going to a fair is an annual Fife family tradition that signals the end of summer. This year it was especially close to the start of school because the start date of classes was moved up to August 25th due to budget cuts. We enjoyed the usual food stuff: Pronto Pups, corn, milkshakes, and an ice cream potato. The kids had wristbands and got to do lots of rides and we also spent some time looking at the animals. It was our first opportunity to road-test our new double stroller. It's really sharp-looking and it handled well too, so I'm pleased. The only down side is that it's SO big, but it's kind of a necessary evil. The hospital has a little area set up for baby changing and breastfeeding with rockers and air-conditioning, so it was an easy day despite having a teeny baby.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Elle @ 1 Month

This blog is getting a bit schizophrenic with the constant jumping back and forth in time, but I haven't downloaded the wedding pictures yet (and there are a TON to go through) and if I don't get Elinor's one month pics on soon, she'll already be two months old, so forgive me. I have no idea what Elle weighs but we think she's doing well as she's really filled out and has outgrown her newborn stuff and her three month clothes is getting snug. She eats like a maniac and doesn't sleep all that much. No schedule as of yet, but hopefully that's coming. Her eyes are still a very bright blue and I can't get enough of them after three brown-eyed kids. She had her first smile on Tuesday, August 31st, which is always such a huge, happy milestone. Hopefully soon they'll be frequent enough that I can get a picture of her smiling.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vacation ~ Rehearsal

Ian performed his duties as a ringbearer with the utmost professionalism

Troy's girlfriend Becky was a part-time babysitter and photographer

Ryan and Liz taking the big walk in prep for the real big walk

For the life of me, I have no idea what was so funny

Cecily and Uncle Ryan

Cecily was pooped

Elinor and Aunt Liz

I decided I'd better get a move on jotting down all of our vacation memories as school has started, Elle is getting bigger, and they are fast fading. We managed to be discharged from the hospital with a few hours to spare before Ryan and Liz's wedding rehearsal. It went fine, but dinner got a little dicey with the kids and the baby. We survived though (and I think the restaurant did too).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Elinor's Birth Story

Finally I've made it to Elle's birth story. Be warned, it's long, but hopefully entertaining.

The whole tale actually starts on the evening of the 13th. The day at the waterpark, while fun, was exhausting, and later that evening when we got back to the campsite, I noticed just the faintest bit of spotting. I was a tiny bit concerned (I know it's normal for some women to spot throughout pregnancy, but not me, ever) but when it didn't escalate at all I chalked it up to too much activity. I told my mom about it, but not James because I didn't want him to worry. I had an uneventful night and on Wednesday we broke down camp. I wanted to walk the downtown Dells, and we hadn't had the opportunity to do that, so everyone but James and I with Colin and Cecily headed home while we stayed for some extra time. It was beastly hot, but we ducked into the air-conditioned stores frequently and enjoyed our two mile or so stroll (except for the steep uphill part LOL). Then we stopped at Culver's on our way out and enjoyed a very fattening lunch. There was some threatening weather on the two hour drive home, but we made it back right before dinner time safely. That evening I just felt absolutely panicked about the fact that Cecily's handmade "New Big Sister" shirt wasn't done yet. Everyone was so exhausted and just wanted to go to bed, but I made my mom stay up with me until 11pm to work on the front side (I paint it on both sides, so it needs drying time). Then I finally went to bed and was surprised to fall asleep without much trouble. I woke up around 4am for the first potty break of the night, but I just couldn't go back to bed. I was feeling some pain but they weren't very regular. I finished the rest of Cecily's shirt between contractions, read a magazine, and then took a long shower. At 6 I decided it was time to wake James up because it was indeed the real deal (they weren't getting closer together, but they were getting stronger). We got everything ready for whenever the children woke up and then I woke up my mom. We left for the hospital around 7:30am on Thursday morning. After some confusion about the fact that I was from out-of-state and didn't have a local OB, they took me straight into a room (no triage stop, which was kind of strange). The nurse checked me and I was at 5cm with a paper thin cervix and she was concerned about how swiftly I was moving. They called the on-call doctor, a family practitioner who was so old he had actually been the doctor who delivered my brothers. Once he arrived 30 minutes later I was at 6cm. Because he didn't do VBACs they had to find an OB-GYN to take over my care, so I ended up getting my mom's personal doctor, which was a strange coincidence. When he checked me (about 9am) I was complete and they thought delivery was imminent. They insisted there was no time for the epidural, which I was not at all happy about. But I figured if it was going to go this fast I could handle it. They kept telling me to push, but I felt absolutely zero urge to do so. I remember wanting to cry because my body just did not want to push. I've always wanted to know what it felt like to get that fabled urge to push they always talk about with natural deliveries and it never happened. The baby was up too high and her descent was complicated by transverse positioning. They alternated between having me push and resting for about two and a half more hours. All I wanted was the epidural because I knew I could push her out with the epidural, since I'd done it four times before. Finally they relented and determined that I could indeed have an epi. After it was in the nurse said to me something along the lines of, why didn't we do this right away, and I'm thinking, no kidding?!! At this point the OB said that I had a one hour deadline to deliver or they were going to do a c-section because the baby just wasn't going to fit. I was absolutely flabbergasted by this, and James was downright mad. It just didn't make sense that they would arbitrarily decide that I couldn't vaginally deliver a 38 weeker despite four previous successes. I later learned that the hospital was anti-VBAC and that VBACs were few and far between there and that c-sections were very common. After a lot of praying and an hour of resting without pushing, the OB came back to check me and the baby was right there. They had me give one tiny "test push" and she crowned right there at 12:55. Neither the OB nor the nurse were ready (in fact the OB's back was turned when she came out) and she delivered right onto the foot of the bed. I had warned them that this is how my deliveries go - tons of pushing and slow progress and then they just fly out all of the sudden. You'd think they'd have taken my words a little more seriously than most since I'd been through the childbirth process so many times. I felt so vindicated and strong after giving birth - I knew that my body could do it. This was the first delivery where I had absolutely no tears of any kind as well, which was a huge bonus in the healing department. She was covered in vernix when she was born, which was a new experience for me because all of my other babies have been late 39 weekers or older. She was also 7lbs 7.5oz, which is huge for me, especially at only 38 weeks (Cecily, born one day before her due date, by comparision, weighed 7lbs 5oz). I guess my body just knew that it was time for her to be born and that if she waited much longer she might be too big for me. James, Hero, Allegra, my mom and my dad (it was his first birth experience) were in the room when Elle was born. It was a wonderful moment, as all births are, but so unexpected that it felt surreal.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hero Turns 11

We celebrated Hero's 11th birthday during our camping trip. We spent the day at Noah's Ark water park (I think the older kids enjoyed it, but I must admit it was a long, tiring day for me although I did actually ride on two of the family waterslides) and then when we rolled back to camp, exhausted and more than a bit water-logged it was party-time. Mom brought a cake on the trip from Wausau (that was a feat in and of itself - cakes don't fit in coolers properly) and a few decorations. Hero had already gotten most of her gifts earlier (an ice-skating jacket and a shopping spree) so the celebration was fairly low-key, but hopefully it was an 11th birthday to remember.