Saturday, February 2, 2008

We welcome our little girl!

I realize this post is a bit long over due. We welcomed our new daughter, Gianna Noel, into this world on Sunday December 23rd at 3:27AM. She was a shocking 7lbs. 13oz. (as our others were significantly smaller: 7lb, and 6lb 8oz), and 19.5 in long. Labor and delivery went very well, and Gianna was perfectly healthy and beautiful! We are so blessed. Life is starting to get back to normal around here, as we all adjust to this new little person in our lives. Dominic is very sweet with her, and loves to hug and kiss her. Stella was at first excited, then indifferent, and now solidly jealous of her. I know in time though, they will be great buddies! It is tough making the adjustment to having a new baby in the house. While I am so incredibly in love with little Gianna, and never want to put her down, I also realized how much I was missing Dominic and Stella, as I have spent this last month trying to learn how to balance my time with my three babies. I think overall, I am finally getting the hang of things. Gianna is mostly a good sleeper during the day, and content while being held or nursed. She also loves her bouncy seat, and the sling (which is actually a mei tai). She will almost always fall asleep in them... at least for now! I am making it a point to try and spend special time with Dominic and Stella while Gianna is sleeping.
The other day, as Peter was driving us all to Mass, I looked in the back of our van, and it suddenly hit me...we have three kids! Wow. Where has the time gone? It was not too long ago that it would have been just the two of us driving together, and now we are a family of five! Life is never easy, but it sure is good.
Gianna is now 6 weeks old. She is gaining weight like a champ. She was spitting up quite a bit, and seemed to be in alot of pain with that, so her doctor prescribed prevacid, a reflux medication, which is supposed to cut down on the amount of acid her stomach produces. I also started cutting dairy out of my diet to see if that would help her, since a dairy intolerance can sometimes be the cause behind a lot of reflux. Some days are better than others, but overall, she seems to be doing better. While she does still spit up, she seems much more comfortable. Night time has been a bit challenging though, because she needs to be upright after she nurses for quite awhile so she doesn't spit up, or have discomfort. Needless to say, we are not getting too much sleep. But we seem to be managing OK. I am just hoping that she grows out of this soon! Gianna is such a joy to have, and we are so proud of her.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gianna Noel!

I have been finding it difficult to have enough time to sit down and blog recently, but I would like to at least post pictures of our beautiful new baby. A picture is worth a thousand words, anyways. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I can't belive it is almost Christmas!

It is almost Christmas, and despite being 39 weeks pregnant, I feel like I am on top of all the Christmas things I wanted to do! We have had a tree for almost two weeks now, which is VERY on top of things for us! Two weekends ago, Peter, the kids, and I went to a tree farm, where they let you cut down your own tree. We took it home, and after dinner, decorated it while we ate Christmas cookies and popcorn, and watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas" movie. We all really enjoyed that day! Since then,I have completed all of my Christmas projects (knitting and jewelry making), and we have pretty much all of the gifts we are planning on giving to people. There are a few things which we are waiting on, since we would like the new baby to be a part of them, but for now, we are all set. I have also decorated our house, and made Christmas cookies with the kids! They really loved using the cookie cutters and sprinkles, about as much as they loved sneaking, literally handfuls of the dough! Part of the reason I feel on top of things this year is that I did not take on too much, being that I am so close to delivering.
Well, that's all for now. Hopefully next time I get around to posting, I will have pictures of the newest little member of our family too!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Almost there...

It is always funny to me how impatient I get at the end of my pregnancies.They always seem to go so fast, until I am about 3 weeks away form my due date, and then it feels like everyday is an eternity! I am currently 38 weeks, so with 2 weeks left, you'd think I would be excited and anticipating, but instead, I feel run down, exhausted, and super anxious. I am very excited to meet my new little baby, and to finally get a chance to see her face and hold her little body. I am also quite tired of being pregnant at this point, and I am very much looking forward to being able to recover and have more energy and motivation to play and spend time with my kids and husband!
The last few months have felt very long, with the kids having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. We introduced "the big-kid bed" and every night when our usually 30 minute bed time routine was turning into 2 hours, I would be furious with myself for coming up with the "grand" idea in the first place! After trying to lay down with the kids until they fell asleep, which never took less than 2 hours, AKA two complete rotations of their lullaby CD, putting up a gate, which Dominic impressively knocked over, and finally installing a lock, which did not deter the kids one bit from making their entire room one big play pen until 10 or 11 at night, we had totaled about 3 solid weeks of very little night time sleep (for any of us), and just about no nap time whatsoever, except when I would drive the kids in the car until they fell asleep. We finally decided to seek the help of others. Our pediatrician recommended putting Stella back in a crib since she is still rather young for a bed. We borrowed a spare pack and play from Peter's sister and used it as a punishment if Dominic were to get out of bed without a good reason once the bed time routine was over. He hated going in the crib, so he quickly began to get the idea.
At first, I was very against the idea of the gate, the lock, and the crib/punishment because I was worried about the kids' feelings in all of this. While I certainly believe that their feelings are extremely important, I also realized that the poor things were suffering from lack of sleep. They were not themselves on a daily basis. They were extremely irritable, and overly exhausted! I could see clearly that they wanted and needed Peter and I to intervene in a drastic way, in order to get them the sleep they needed.
I occasionally like to read parenting books, however, I have not found one that I completely agree with. Some are too firm while others are much too relaxed. Peter and I were trying to evaluate our parenting style and feeling a little confused about how to go about certain things, when we began to realize that God has given us a very good clue about how to relate to our children. He certainly doesn't give us a step by step guide, but if we look at the way He relates to us, we can draw a lot of beautiful conclusions about parenting. God is unconditional love! Although we are limited beings, we as parents are called to love our children unconditionally. This seems pretty obvious. Anyone would agree. But I think that sometimes, we can become confused about what this means exactly. I believe that unconditional love requires me as a mother to always be there for my children and have open arms to them. It means sacrifice. It means being able to give punishments in order to teach my children important lessons. It means always putting their needs first, and trying to discern what is best for them.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stella Stories

One night, Stella woke up with something terrible bothering her. I rocked, walked, held and cuddled her as long as it took for her to calm down. She is very intense, but this was unusual behavior for her. Looking back, I think it may have been a night terror. It was so sad to see her that upset. But eventually, she did clam down, so I could hold her and reassure her that she was ok, and of course, she slept with us the rest of the night. Now, Peter will often be the one to get the kids in the middle of the night, but on this particular night, I was the one who stayed up. The next morning after Peter had gone to work, I asked her,"Stella, did you sleep with mama last night?" She looked at me with a big smile and said, "No. Papa!"
She is such a Papa's girl! It is the cutest thing. And Dominic of course is Peter's greatest fan. He wants, and often tries, to do everything his Papa does. Stella sometimes gets so offended when Peter and Dominic are doing something that does not include her. For example, last weekend, Peter got to bring a Humvee home from work! The kids had a blast! Especially Dominic. When Peter took Dominic out for a ride first, Stella stood at the door crying for him. Then she went and got her coat so she could be all ready for when it was her turn!
Stella was a "dee bug" (lady bug) for Halloween this year. For awhile, when she would see a picture of a lady bug she would look at me questioningly, and pointing to the picture would say, "dat della?"(is that Stella?).
She loves shoes and dressing up in hats and scarves! Also, she has recently discovered that she likes to push her dolls and stuffed animals ("doddies") around in a stroller. However, I had to laugh today when I saw that she had put her favorite white dress shoes in the stroller instead, and was pushing them around!
My mom put nail polish on her toes the other day. She loves looking at her toes now, and every time I tell her how pretty they look she'll remind me, "Nonnie di dat" (Nonnie did that)!
She is such a wonderful little girl. She has such character and is just as cute and pretty as can be! She is also the most snuggly child I have ever known! It doesn't matter where she is, if she feels like snuggling and she's not being held by someone, she'll lay down right then and there, and snuggle with the floor! I just can't get over how sweet she is. I love watching her grow and seeing that adorable personality coming out. She continues to amaze me everyday!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Boy Oh Boy!

After our lovely date, Peter and I went to pick up our kids from my mom's house, where they were having lots of fun playing and hanging out with my mom and brother Johnny. As we were leaving I yelled "good night" to my brother...
Dominic: Good night Johnny.
Nonnie (my mom): Dominic, you should call him Uncle Johnny.
Dominic: Good night Uncle Johnny. Good night Uncle Nonnie.
Nonnie: Oh, but you can call me just plain Nonnie.
Dominic: Good night Just Plain Nonnie!

Dominic: Jeffer (Jennifer), where is Papa?
Me: Wait a second. You have to call me Mama!
Dominic: Well... I'm a big boy, so I can call you Jeffer!

Dominic and Peter love to wrestle, tackle, and basically rough house when Peter comes home from work! It will often start something like this...
Dominic: Papa, I wanna tackle you.
Peter: OK! I'm gonna get you!
(Tackle, roll, wrestle, etc!)
Dominic: Wait a minute, I need to get my hockey stick and tools! (Runs off)
Peter: Uh Oh!
Moral of the story is that Dominic is very enthralled with weapons. He also really likes Spider man, and will sometimes pretend to be him, at which point I will often have to remind him that Spider man does not use weapons!

My Dominic is such a boy and I love it! He is so active, energetic, and full of life! Sometimes, however, I find myself a little confused about what makes little boys tick. I was never into weapons, tackling, wrestling, etc. So it can be a challenge sometimes for me to know how to relate to him in that way. Luckily, Peter is excellent with knowing how to relate to him, and I think Dominic realizes that there are some fun things that he does with only Papa, and some fun things that he does with only Mama.
After Mass on Sunday, Dominic was playing with his cousin (also a total boy!), kicking rocks, running, shouting, throwing sticks, and just having a great time together. As we were getting ready to leave, we found Dominic at the statue of St. Joseph and baby Jesus. He was sweetly holding the baby Jesus statue in his little hands, and cuddling with it! He is such a great combination of strong and gentle. He is just amazing. I love trying to figure out what is going on in that adorable head of his!