Monday, December 30, 2013


Yes, it HAS been a while since my last post.... but anyway... lots of updates to share: new car, rearranging furniture (and a big girl bed for Kate!), Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the best update of all- Baby Stybs #2!

Due May 25th, 2014. The kids will be just over 2 years apart, which could be nice, or it could be a horror show (I'm guessing it'll be a bit of both).

After losing the last pregnancy we were very careful about who we told and when. I even waited until my second tri appointment before making it public (wanted to make sure we could hear the heartbeat first).

We waited to find out if Kate was a boy or girl, and I think I'll miss that surprise, but finding out now makes other things easier (name, clothes,...)

I'll post the other updates when I get around to writing/loading pictures.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween Happiness

I have never been big into halloween (aside from school parades and trick or treating) but I couldn't resist getting a super cute costume for Kate.

 This was her first year dressing up and trick or treating. We just went to one house around the corner and she got one fun sized M&Ms and walked back home.
I wish I got pictures of her running down the sidewalk, wings flapping, arms flailing... it was adorable.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Kate has always loved Grover. He, however, as not shared the same feelings since she was able to move and squeal at him.
Adam and I are cat  people. We prefer cats to dogs, like their affection and that we can leave food out for a day or two and he'll be fine on his own.

We hate the fur that goes everywhere, and I hate cleaning the litter box, but we deal because Grover has always been a pretty good cat.

Until recently.

He started peeing on the carpet in the corner by Kate's toys.

We checked out what to do- put down foil and a cup of vinegar- and that worked. For maybe a month.

I brought Kate downstairs to play this morning and saw a nice yellow puddle of pee right beside the foil/vinegar.

I grew up with a cat who eventually started peeing on my mom's china hutch. My parents placed plastic sheeting/ foil/towels and sprayed urine gone  to manage the pee. Adam and I decided we would never do that. I loved my cat, but I did not like the smell.

So now, with Grover, we will probably get rid of him. Hopefully we can find a home, or if we take him to a shelter he will get adopted.

It's hard. We have had him for about 4 years. I was hoping the peeing was just a phase and he would be over it.

I wish there was something else we could do, but we will not be covering our house (And Kate's toys) in plastic and constantly cleaning up after his intentional 'accidents'.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Round and round

As I was wide awake at 3 am last night, trying my hardest too go back to sleep,  I started thinking about this poor neglected blog.
I seem to blog in waves. I write and write and write. Then nothing. Then I do it again.
I could try to change that, or just go with the flow and write when I feel like it/ remember. I know there are some who say you should write everyday. I just don't have the energy for that. I am overwhelmed at work and we have some family things come up and we are still trying to figure out how to expand/remodel our kitchen.

So for now I guess I will just write whenever I remember.

And because picture-less posts are kid of sad I leave you with this.

We were up in the PA mountains for a family wedding and Kate stole the show- walked up to the groom during the ceremony, sat on the steps, tried to use the unity candles as a drum... you know, all the things I would have prevented if I wasn't taking pictures and Adam wasn't up at the alter.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Little Horses

My grandmother  took us to the Land of the Little Horses. We used to go when I was little, and it was finally time for Kate to get to experience the fun.
You can walk up and pet/feed the little horses before the show. Kate would walk up to them, then just before petting it she would turn and run away.

During the show, the little horses, along with some dogs and goats, show of their tricks. Kate wanted to get up to the railing and touch them again.
After the show we walked around the farm, saw a lot of animals, 'rode' the tractor...

...and some fake horses...

....And of course took some cowboy pictures.

If you're ever in the Gettysburg area, I highly recommend this farm. You could literally spend all day there and any kid who loves animals would have a great time.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Children's Museum

Prepare for a photodump of our trip to the National Children's Museum. We went this August with My friend and her son.

It was kind of expensive ($10 each plus parking) and there was only so much for them at their age level that we only spent about an hour there. But the kids had fun, and were so exhausted they slept the whole way home.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Little Monster

I don't remember how the nickname started (maybe with the shark hoodie towel), but we have been calling Kate the Kate-Monster for ever. So, naturally, it was no surprise that our little monster developed an obsession a love for dinosaurs.

Some of the things she takes a liking to are no longer her favorites after about a month or so, but dinosaurs have stayed.  She will roar for you, loves to watch and sing to Dinosaurs Go Rawr, and can now say the word dinosaur.

When trying to plan out this Halloween, I knew she needed to be a dinosaur of some sort. I found something that might work at Costco, but they didn't have her size. I thought about making a costume- all I would need would be green pants and hoodie with taped on spikes or something.

Then I found out that Kid to Kid was unveiling all their Halloween costumes on Saturday. I had some things I wanted to sell anyway, so we went hoping to find something.

And for $8 we got it! (actually I didn't have to pay because of the store credit I got for selling old crib sheets and toys, but the price can't be beat)
OK, OK it's not a dinosaur... more of a dragon... but she doesn't know the difference. Kate absolutely LOVES it. She ran around the house in it and cried when I hung it up in her closet.

It fits her well, is easy on/off, and is actually the one we looked at last year at Old Navy (but decided against getting her a costume).

I cannot wait for Halloween.

Bumps and Bruises

And scratches and scrapes.

Kate has fat  wide feet, and when I noticed her sneakers were getting a little snug, I went to Stride Rite to get her measured (figuring they would have a good selection of wide shoes). Yup, she was measuring bigger than the size shoes she was wearing.  So we looked around, tried on some sneakers, and picked out one to buy. It cost way more than if we just went to Target or Payless, but I figured she needed good quality,  durable shoes now that she is running.

Well, after only a month I need to replace her 'good quality, durable shoes'. The velcro is completely frayed and actually falling off the straps. One shoe has even fallen off of Kate's foot while she was walking.

And now Kate's knees are covered in scrapes. Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe it is because of the shoes, maybe her feet are growing too fast for her to adjust the way she walks. Either way I am annoyed that I have to replace shoes after 1 month.

I am so disappointed and frustrated. Adam encouraged me to write to customer service and request a refund or a replacement pair. They actually responded and said I could take them to the store for a replacement.

Though, we've been so busy and I already bought her new shoes at Payless, I don't know if we'll actually get back to the store for a while.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

To - Do

On the to- do list today:

  • Grocery store
  • Post office
  • Kid's consignment store to sell some things and pick up a Halloween costume for Kate
  • Develop a couple pictures of my class
  • Plan for next week at school
  • Clean litter box and take out trash
  • Laundry
  • Shower
  • Attend high school reunion

All while Adam and my parents are out of town.

What I'm missing by having this list:

  • Happy hour last night
  • A trip to the beach
  • Play date with a good friend
  • Turning off my brain on the couch in front of the tv

But I do get to spend all day with Kate, I  just hope I don't mess up her nap time...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A New Baby

Nope, not mine, but my new adorable nephew. He was born last Monday, just a day after his mom's birthday and on the same day as his new cousin. Yes, two babies were born on the same day on opposite sides of the state. Such a finny coincidence.
Over the labor day weekend, we went up to visit my little nephew. I loved snuggling up to a newborn again.

And Kate didn't have a problem with me holding another baby. I took that as a sign that we should have another baby ;)

Adam didn't think so. In fact, the only way he held the baby was if he could still drink his beer. Men...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rainy Day Play

One rainy day, when we couldn't get to the park, I made some play dough for Kate to explore.

Using the recipe my mom always used (you can find it here), I whipped up some dough in  a few minutes.

"this doesn't taste good, mommy"

I loved seeing her reaction, poking it, and trying to eat it. I showed her how to stamp the dough with some of her wooden blocks (and discovered the letters in her name are perfect for making mirror images and a readable impression).

I am keeping the dough in an air-tight container, and it is still soft weeks later. Every now and then Kate will bring it to me and say 'open?' and play with it a bit.

What a great, cheap, easy way to entertain a toddler!

Monday, September 2, 2013


With the school year fast approaching, during a summer that seemed to last about a week, I had been trying to spend as much time with Kate as possible. I tried to get out of the house at least once a day. When it wasn't raining, I took Kate to the park. I am going to keep trying to take Kate on the weekends, now that I'm back to work.

Because she gets up so early, we are usually ready to leave the house around 8. We are typically the only people at the park, which is great in the freedom it gives Kate. Some times there is another kid her age, which is also great in the social interaction it gives Kate.

The big park about 5 minutes from our house was just re-built a couple years ago and it is awesome. There is a sand box, slides, swings, climbing structures, and even a historic carousel and train. Unfortunately the train doesn't open as early as we get there, and when I have gone later the train has been broken. I can't wait for our first ride, though.

Kate loves the park. She will play for hours if I let her. I miss taking her every day.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kate, 16 Months

There were a few posts I wanted to finish up before heading back to work last week, things we did over the summer, but I somehow didn't get them done.

Going to work this year was much easier than last year. I was at the same school, knew the team (and administrative expectations), and felt comfortable about my goals for the first week of school. Leaving Kate was also not as sad this year. It was no big deal to drop her off at my moms and come back 9 hours later. I was worried because she is so much more verbal, and learning something new every day, that I felt like I was going to miss some big things. But I enjoy getting back into the swing of things at school. It's nice to have a routine outside of the house.

Kate has been enjoying Grandma's house too. She is only taking one nap now, but she gets so excited with everything that she hasn't been napping very long. So when I get her home it's basically dinner, a little play time, reading books, and off to bed. She's been sleeping 7-7, so technically I should have plenty of time to workout, plan, and blog. But none of that is getting done- I forgot how tired I am during the first weeks of school- so this little blog has been neglected.

And here's my half- attempt of getting back on track.

Kate's favorites:

  • Timmy Time: she liked this before, but is now fascinated with it and asks for "Timmy?"
  • Curious George: It started with the stuffed George from Kohl's Cares (that she hugged so hard and ripped the tag off that i had to buy it), then I put on the show to see if she liked it. She laughed hysterically at it and now asks for "George!" and can even "ooh ooh" like a monkey.

  • Blueberries. I thought she loved strawberries, but then blueberries were in season and she cannot get enough. I try to limit her intake, but she will sometimes have a chunky blue diaper if you know what I mean...
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? I got the slide board version of this book a few years ago at the school book fair (intending to keep it in the classroom, not knowing I would be bumped to a higher grade) and Kate LOVES it. We read it every night (I try to preempt her 'Bown Bear!' screams). She loves sliding the boards and can say all the animal sounds, but I think her favorite part is the last page with the children. I have heard her 'reading' the book to herself and it is so cute.
  • Dinosaurs Go Rawr! We have Adam to thank for this one. He showed her the little 1 minute clip and she is obsessed. If she sees your phone or iPad she starts in with 'Rawr rawr rawr rawr!" because she wants to watch it. She also rawrs at everything now. I warn you, it will be stuck in your head.

  • Her new Play Kitchen. She is not fully interactive with it yet, but will wash her stuffed animals in the sink, pretends to blow bubbles from the spoons, and always goes for the phone.
  • The Park. we spend an hour when we go, but she could easily spend all day there.It's been fun watching her explore and build her motor skills, too. And yes, there is a dinosaur there too.

That's Kate in a nutshell right now. There's so much more I could go on and on about every little thing she says or does, but hopefully I will keep up and won't need to do another love list like this for a while.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Strawberry picking

In June, when school was finally out and strawberries were in season, Kate and I headed up to York to go strawberry picking. We went with Adam's mom, collected some berries, and turned them into delicious Jam.

Kate loved it. Mostly because it was basically an all you can eat strawberry buffet! I think she ate more than we picked. And she kept trying to sneak some berries from our bowl.

We will definitely go again next year, and we may have to try some blueberry picking too.

I can't believe this was at the end of the school year, and I have to go back next week! Where did the summer go?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kate's Birth Story

I started this post back in December, and even wrote "I am finally ready. After looking at a friend's hospital pictures and not crying I am finally ready to tell Kate's birth story." Well, I wrote some, and started crying, so I stopped. I think that I can do it now. Since I already shared my experience my loss, I can share the experience that brought me my beautiful girl.


It definitely didn't go as planned, but nothing ever does and we have an amazing, happy, healthy little girl. That's what matters.

The story begins on Easter, 2012. I would be exactly 41 weeks that Monday, and had a doctor's appointment scheduled at 8 am for a sonogram and to talk about scheduling an induction. After a nice dinner at my parents' (at 3:00) Adam and I went home. I did the usual stuff- watch tv, check facebook, etc..- and went to bed around 9 or 10. I had the strangest dreams and remember having contractions in my dream. This was weird because I hadn't had any braxton hicks during my pregnancy.

I woke up around 2am and realized I was actually having contractions. Adam heard me get up as he was finally coming to bed. When I told him what was happening we started timing the contractions. He was so helpful, and tried to calm me down and wait a while before calling the Dr. I was having really painful back cramps about every 2 minutes so we called the Dr at 3 and were told to go to the Hospital. We went and filled out forms and waited, Then go in the back to get checked out and wait, then finally get admitted at 5am.

I thought the contractions were about an 8 on the pain scale of 1-10, but they got worse. I was able to get an epidural as soon as my bloodwork was in, and it felt great. I wasn't able to sleep, but time passed rather quickly. We finally decided to call our parents and let them know I was in the hospital, but for those who texted and asked how my Dr's appointment was, all I would say is that  I was finally dilated (hadn't been at all the entire pregnancy and I was finally 2 cm that morning). We didn't really want to tell anyone until we knew when things would actually get started, but eventually we caved and people knew and we ended up with a bunch of family in the waiting room.


And Waiting.

Sometime in the afternoon, the doctor finally broke my water, and my epidural wore off and I was able to get another dose. I was told I was progressing- and we would have a baby by 6pm.

Some time after 6, I Was finally 10cm and was able to push.

I pushed.

For three hours.

I pushed hearing that the head was right there.

I pushed hearing that the baby had a lot of hair.

I pushed with my mom calling 'Come on Alec' (yea we all thought it was going to be a boy)

I pushed taking breaths from the oxygen mask.

I pushed until I was told I couldn't push anymore and we were going in for a C-section.

I cried.

I was carted off down the hall, through the doors, onto an elevator, and finally into an operating room. I was strapped down, the sheet was up, and I felt a pinch on my stomach.


Thank God I said it out loud because the anesthesiologist asked if I could feel it, and the Dr stopped. What  I hadn't planned on was what he said next. If I had another epidural dose I would become toxic. I needed to be put under. After what seemed like forever, Adam came in kissed me but was not allowed to stay.


I woke up slowly in a recovery room somewhere. I could hear the nurse/ or tech/ or someone talking. I hear something about meconium already passed when they got the baby out.

When the Dr finally came to me the first thing I asked was if it was a boy or a girl. Girl. Then if she was in the NICU. No. Thank God again. I was still foggy and didn't have any reaction to finding out we had a girl, I was just relieved she was healthy. She was up in the nursery with Adam. I needed to stay in recovery for an hour (or 2?) after I woke up. Kate was born at 11pm, and I was finally able to go to my room and see her around 2am.

It didn't feel real. This wasn't my baby. It was just like when my nieces or nephew were born- I would love her but no different than them. It didn't feel different. I was expecting to have that moment when you push and the baby comes out and they lay her on your chest. All I did was wake up and get shown a baby that I was told was mine.

These feelings lingered for weeks. The disappointment of not being able to push. The fear that she didn't see/smell me after birth, and that she wouldn't know I was her mother. I don't think it was post-partum depression, just a bad case of the baby blues. A feeling of sadness. I nursed her, took a zillion pictures, and would do anything for her, but I would look at her sleeping and think "does she know I am her mom?"


Kate is now 16 months old. She is happy, running everywhere, expanding her vocabulary every day, and maybe a little bit crazy. Of course I think she is the cutest kid ever. Looking back, I can't believe I ever thought she wouldn't know who I was. It was a crazy experience, and I'm sure things could have gone differently if we knew what would happen. Next time, I will probably schedule a c-section but expect that anything can happen. I said before I delivered, and I say it still: I trust my doctors. I know they will do everything they can to safely deliver my baby.

Writing this, I teared up a bit, but I am ok. It doesn't break me the way it used to. I guess I am finally at peace with what happened. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Organizing Kate's Clothes: Round 2

I am beyond grateful to receive so many hand-me-downs from my sister, sister in law, and friend. Once Kate outgrows the clothes, they get boxed up and ready for another friend's little girl.
This sharing and generosity has made it so I hardly ever buy clothes for Kate, which could get expensive even with shopping the clearance racks and yard sales and consignment stores.

Before Kate was born, I organized all the clothes by size. It made it very clear what we had, when we needed to do laundry, and she was basically in one size at a time. And this worked for a while, until Kate started wearing multiple sizes, probably right around her 1st birthday. 

Then I switched up the drawers: one for socks, PJ's, and bibs; one for "outfits"; one for tops; one for bottoms; and the last for clothes that were too big. This worked ok, but I found myself only choosing Kate's clothes from the 'outfits' drawer, it was just easier. 

So I went through all her clothes again, packed up what didn't fit (she's basically wearing 2t right now, depending on the brand. we still have some 18 and 24 month pieces, the 3t is stored in the closet) and what I wouldn't dress her in (hello bandana scarf/rhinestone encrusted tutu dress). Then I matched up the tops with bottoms to make outfits. I do have some extra t shirts, jeans, and a lot of pink pants, but for the most part dressing Kate has become super easy. I can grab an outfit, and a coordinating one for the diaper bag, and we're done.

Her drawers are organized this way: top- socks, PJ's, bibs; 2nd- one piece outfits and shorts/short sleeved shirt combo; 3rd- short sleeves/ capris or pants and long sleeves/ pants; 4th- extra jeans, pink pants, and might-be-to-big-this-fall-so-they-aren't-matched-with-any-bottoms-yet long sleeve shirts; 5th- too big/ it's-too-hot-right-now footed PJ's.

This organization has helped so much. Now I just check the weather and choose an appropriate outfit and we are good to go. It has also helped me see what we have and realize I do not need to buy anything else for a long time, no mater how cute it is.

How do you organize your kids clothes?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


The good kind, sorta. My blood work has finally come back negative for hCG, meaning the miscarriage is over. And my blood draws are over for now, too.

I had my blood drawn at my confirmation appointment, and again two days later during my emergency visit. Apparently my levels were low to begin with, I had what marked 4 weeks when I should have been 6 weeks along.  So I had to wait two weeks to get my blood tested again, as the doctors wanted to monitor the hCG levels until they were considered a negative pregnancy test.

I can't believe it has only been two weeks. It feels like months that I have been carrying around this sadness. I have been trying to remind myself that we are lucky with the child we have, and we will eventually have another one.

This loss has made me realize that I do want a baby now. I don't care if the timing is not perfect or if it will be difficult having them close in age.  Adam didn't quite get it, and didn't know what changed my mind. So I asked him: When did my pregnancy with Kate feel real to you? When did you feel like we were having a baby and not that I was just pregnant?

I expected him to say the 19 week sonogram when the 'fetus' actually looks like a 'baby'.
Or maybe 32 weeks 3D sonogram where we saw her face.

Nope. It apparently didn't feel real until 41 weeks when I went in for an emergency c-section and he was told he couldn't go in.

For him, it wasn't real until there was actually going to be a baby.

For me, it was real when I found out I was pregnant.
Yup, look at that smile, at 5 weeks it was a baby to me.

Same this time around. positive pregnancy test=baby. I explained this to Adam, and I think he finally understood why I was so upset. I wasn't just having my period, I was losing a baby. And losing a baby made me realize how badly I did want one.

So as we wait for my hormones to finally even out, we will try again. If it doesn't happen this time around we will wait until next summer. If it does I will be the happiest girl in the world.