Art and Education

I was invited to teach an art class at our local pre-school, Kids Club House this year! Both of my kids attended KCH and thrived, so I’m so excited to be part of the KCH family. I can’t wait to have fun with these kids and expose them to different techniques & mediums. I think the first class will be my favorite where we explore abstract art, color, & emotions while painting to music! Or maybe the printmaking class. Or maybe the collage class. or…..

Please have a quick read on PBS on the

bunny meadow baby shower

we had a ‘bunny meadow‘ baby shower for my sister-in-law at my house this weekend. i’ve been busy rearranging, cleaning, crafting & decorating for it (others did the amazing cooking.) i made the hanging tissue paper puffballs, the paper onesie banner, the centerpieces (painted pots, added moss & willow, cut baby photos to hang), ribbon & paper napkin rings, paper bunny punch-out confetti & thank-you tags. dessert included cake topped with a chocolate bunny brownie. my mom made the fabric rice filled ‘boo-boo bunnies’ favors. and there were also lovely scented soap favors with thank-you tags. it turned out lovely and here are some pics!





The Big Move

We sold our Hoboken apartment and will move to Warwick, NY on Sept 1 into a spacious house with actual stairs and rooms and yard!

This is going to be a huge change for all of us. I have mixed emotions about leaving Hoboken. It’s been so great having everything within a few blocks so I can just stroll out when I need something. Great restaurants although we order in more than going out. I’m about to experience the cliched urban to suburban wife life change. We’ll be closer to my family (10mi away) and I hope that brings only good things! I’m also hoping I’ll find time to paint outside?!

Ellie is 20mo old now and is super active & smart. She understands everything going on around her and is quite the chatterbox with a Chinese accent and lisp. She seems to have a script she is following because I recognize the storyline. Something about jumping & stomping & getting up and down. Her vocabulary has ballooned the past month and she tries to repeat almost everything we say now. Some of her words include: Leo (weo), Mommy, Daddy, Oma, Opa, Mimi, Emma, Ally, Karl, No (nyo), Eat, In, Out (ouk), Up, Down, Hoboken (boboken), Book, Duck, Truck, Car, Boat, Elmo, Bath, Cat, Hot, Hop, Doggy (dewy), Nudie (newnie). She’s also got a great sign language vocab…lots of different animals, objects & actions.

She is experimenting & testing our patience with a little hitting and screaming at the top of her lungs when she doesn’t get her way. I can see she knows it’s wrong so hopefully it will pass soon! The screaming is tough when Leo is sleeping like RIGHT NOW. Lately she loves seeing all the machines in Hoboken, the ducks, the boats, planes, trains, and all the people. But she also loves the new space in the new house & enjoys climbing the stairs & seeing the frogs in the pond. She did her first somersault in the living room already!

Leo is 5mo old and is such a little sweetheart. He greets family with a big smile now and strangers with a shy smile and then hides his face in my shoulder. He has such a cute laugh when you bounce him around. He is content to watch Ellie run & jump around. He can roll front to back & back to front, holds his head up high during tummy time, passes toys from hand to hand, sits in the exersaucer. He likes to chew on our knuckles and I wonder if his teeth are coming soon because Ellie’s first tooth was at 6mo. He is still nursing but will take a bottle during the day…so maybe we’ll transition by the time his teeth come in! We just recently moved him into the packNplay instead of the bassinet because he didn’t like it there anymore. He likes to stretch out and roll around a bit so he’ll definitely be in a crib in the new house. I can’t wait!

birth & beyond


WAH WAH WEE WAH.

What a trip. I can’t believe Ellie is here…and she is ours…to keep…alive.

–This post is a little graphic so don’t read if you are faint of heart–

I arrived at the hospital 7pm Monday, Dec 1 with Kenny & my parents. We checked into the room and did some light paperwork. By 8pm I was in bed in my own nightgown, hooked up to the monitor. the computer monitor was cool because not only could you see a graph with your contraction frequency/strength…it also showed the contractions of the other ladies in labor on the same floor. so it was like watching a horse race 🙂

We could see I was having contractions on my own about 8min apart so they didn’t start the induction right away. my parents left at 10:30 and kenny was spending the night with me. after we settled in for the night my contractions slowed down and I received the first dose of Cytotec. I received 4 oral doses of Cytotec throughout the night & was able to sleep in between. The contractions were more like heavy menstrual cramping at this point.

Tuesday morning my parents came back and the doctor arrived at 10am on to break my water to help get things going. now when i say he broke my water, we’re talking Niagra Falls here people. and there was a lot of meconium which made me nervous even though the doctor said it was common with late babies.

Things started moving along and they started the Pitocin at 12pm. I still wanted to avoid an epidural at this point but by 2pm I was writhing in pain. so I signed the papers for the epidural and it couldn’t come fast enough. it didn’t hurt even though i had contractions while they were putting the needle in my spine. the relief was heavenly and it was so odd not to have any sensation in my abdomen. exactly like the numb lip feeling at the dentist, except my entire stomach felt like a foreign object in the bed with me.

On we go for several more hours. i was still able to feel the contractions though not as painful as before. they had me lie on my side which is better for the baby but the contractions hurt a lot more in this position. so i kept switching between my sides & my back.

between 2 & 5pm, the nurses came in periodically to check on my cervix and there was a lot of discrepancy between their assessments which was frustrating. at about 3pm one nurse said 3cm and about 5pm another said 8cm. i was tired at this point from the 2 hours of non-epidural contractions and i had developed a temperature (likely from the epidural.) so i got excited thinking i would be able to push soon. kenny’s parents arrived and were hanging out with us too.

3 hours later at 8pm i was still only about 9cm and reallllly tired & frustrated. a female doctor came in and determined that my cervix was either not thinning out in one spot or there was some extra membrane in the way so I was not allowed to push. i really wanted to see my doctor at this point to get his opinion of when i would be able to push. i hadn’t seen him since 10am when he broke my water and he was still MIA…the nurses kept telling me, ‘we called him, he’s on his way’. it was totally frustrating and i felt like crying at that point.

Finally at about 9pm the doctor showed up and we decided that even though i was not fully dilated (9.5cm) i would try pushing since my fever had subsided and was able to feel the urge to push with the contractions. i had just my mom & kenny stay with me and at 9:30 we started setting up and doing the first pushing with the nurse. the pushing was completely exhausting and went on for 1.25 hours. i’d push 3 times for 10 seconds for every contraction which were coming about every 3 minutes. ( so i guess that works out to about 75 of the hardest crunches i’ve ever done.) i felt progress but not enough to gauge where the baby really was so I watched everyone’s faces to tell whether the baby was really coming or not. the doctor ended up doing an episiotomy right at the end to get my baby’s chubby head out. he numbed me before so it didn’t hurt at all. shortly thereafter, i saw the back of Ellie’s head! it was surreal…she was multicolored from the blood & meconium but i knew the end was in sight. the doctor had me stop pushing while he cleared her mouth & nose of fluids. it would be really bad if she aspirated the meconium. finally i was able to push out her 9lb 5oz body and a ton of fluid to follow. it was not pretty due to meconium (green gunky) but they were able to clean her up and get the fluid out of her throat so we could finally hear her cry and place her on my chest for the first time! her head was just a little ‘coney’ but not as bad as i expected. i was so relieved to be done pushing and that she was healthy as far as we could tell at that point. relief, relief, relief. love, love, love. that’s all i could think.

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She is the cutest baby ever.

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Ellie has taken it easy on us except for some problems w/gas & pooping. She gets really bad cramps and it kills me to hear her cry so hard. The doctor gave us some tips & tricks so we are working on it. we’ve seen her poop go through every color of the rainbow & texture 🙂

Besides that she is an absolute angel. we are breastfeeding, pumping & supplementing with formula if I run out of those…but i’m close to not needing formula at all anymore. she sleeps most of the time and only gets up twice in the night for a diaper change & feeding. last night she lost her umbilical cord stump! i believe she has an ‘innie’ bellybutton so far 🙂

Thanks to everyone for your love, support, advice & gifts! Hopefully we’ll see most of you over the holidays while she’s still small-ish!

20/21 week update

I’ll be 21 weeks tomorrow. We had our 5 month ultrasound this week. It was a lot of fun and took longer than the last ultrasounds because they took around 80 pictures of all baby Ford’s organs & bones. We saw him/her yawn & kick which was really cool. I have to go back because the peanut was shy and they still need 5 more pictures. He/she was facing down towards my back the whole time and wouldn’t flip. Baby weighs approx 10 oz. and roughly 6″ long. AND we also have the baby’s sex in an envelope.

I still don’t want to know until the ‘birth’ day, but it is soooo tempting. We’re debating whether to wait, or to open it on a special occasion. We have a trip to Chicago planned in August where we’ll be staying at a fancy-schmancy hotel called “The James” (right picture). It’s for a work conference for Kenny’s job, but it also happens to be his birthday and likely my last big trip before the due date. So that could be a time we decide to look. But nothing is set in stone.

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I’m going to try to fix some holes in our walls that Kenny and I made while exploring our options for an additional closet. We also got our sliding closet doors delivered. Ours has only two panels, not three. Now to install them!

checkup – 18 weeks

i had my routine monthly checkup today and so far so good. i’m 3 lbs over the recommended weight gain. sigh. it must have been that slice of delicious cheesecake from the cheesecake factory this weekend. it was a little slice of heaven. i just received my prenatal yoga dvd in the mail today so we’ll see how the weight gain goes from here.

i heard the baby’s heartbeat again which is always a relief considering i feel good & haven’t felt movement yet…sometimes have a hard time believing ‘it’s in there’. most first time moms feel the baby around 20 – 22 weeks so maybe in two weeks i’ll feel him/her. i also got a blood test for the second screening which tests for genetic defects in something or other.

i have my next ultrasound on july 8! so far, we are not finding out the sex, but we may put the results in an envelope for later consideration. i want to be surprised, but kenny wants to know. we’re having fun thinking of different names. we have a definite boys name, and a narrowed down list for girls. i’ve been craving salty food so i’ve heard that means it’s a boy…that’s the only clue i’ve got so far.

i just did an online baby sex predictor and it says:
You have a 52% chance of having a boy.
And you have a 47% chance of having a girl.