March 4, 2013

On why I haven't posted and an update on us

Well, I'm back. I'm sure my absence wasn't that surprising, as I am such a sporadic blogger. Unfortunately, I had an issue with a stranger sharing a picture of Lily on Facebook, and I completely freaked out about it and hid my blog for awhile. You really run a risk with the Internet.I was Googling the kids names and pictures of them were coming up. It is just scary. I took some precautions on my Facebook, I even deleted my Pinterest, which kept popping up when I Googled the kids names, and I of course reported and blocked the said weirdo sharing Lily's picture. So I am back, cautiously. I love blogs, and I love my blog, and I really want/need to write.

So much has happened since January 4. I won't pretend that I can catch up on everything. We've done so much, been so busy, had so much fun.

Hmmm...well, Shane is doing great. He just turned 28. He is about to start softball again this week, so the kids will love being outside and going to the ball park. Also, Shane moved to a different part of his company. As a result, it feels like he works much longer hours, and he goes in to the shop early almost every day. Very trying for us as well-we really miss him! We are proud of him for working so hard, and it makes us even more thankful when he is home. When he is home, he is almost always hard at work, doing something to the house. He cut a big window in the wall between our kitchen and our dining room, which really opened things up. He also cut out part of the wall in our basement, and we discovered tons of hiddem storage space under our stairs (we're on a split level). Our next projects will include replacing the garage doors, replacing the deck, and praying that I can get new kitchen cabinets and counter tops. The bright white has been known to cause seizures, lol.

I've been fine as well, working away on our house, caring for the kids, the usual. It seems as though there is always something to clean, something to fold, somewhere to go, or something to cook, but I will also say that I am very very thankful that spring is coming and that me and the kids can get outside. We are planning our garden, and we are hoping to get the backyard a bit more civilized and family friendly this spring.

Ah, so let me share. We had a little Valentine's Day photo shoot with my favorite photographer, Julianna Grey:

Lily is wonderful, of course. She participated in a a very small pageant that raised money for the high school. She wore an adorable pink dress, and she really enjoyed her Aunt Lanay fixing her hair and her makeup. She was so precious. I love that girl to pieces. Lily is also starting back with softball. Opening day is this coming up Saturday. She got all A's on her report card. She's still waiting on some promised guitar lessons. She is dying to go on a Daddy daughter date, so hopefully Shane will make that happen soon. They had a mini one a few weeks ago, and I know she was tickled. Oh, and her feet have taken to really growing! I hope the poor kid doesn't have my big feet. She has already moved up a size since school started. We had to buy new cleats! She told me not to buy her ANY dresses or skirts for spring. Sigh... but she wants new boots "for the yard" she says, and "a bunch of flip flops." Lily gets to fly with me to the Cape next month. She is very excited. Her spring break comes up in about a month. Second grade has proven to be a bit more difficult than first, but she is taking it in strides. She is learning how to tell time. :)

Parker is his crazy 2.5 year old self, with a short fuse and a strong personality. He can melt in a second, but he can also joke and laugh and have a pretty entertaining conversation with you. He's been sleeping in Lily's room in his TODDLER bed (more on that later) and he usually wakes up on the floor near the closet or even under Lily's bed. He still is wearing diapers...oops. He goes to his babysitter about once a week, and we also just started a music class together. So far, Easten seems to like the music a lot more than he does. But we'll see. Parker loves playing outside, going to Chik-a-licious (Chik Fil A), and he is Lily's little shadow. He calls Easten his baby brother, and he is so excited about our Disney trip this summer that he asks almost daily if he can ride the teacups. Oh, and he was such a big boy and rode with Lily and Daddy in the giant inner tubes down Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain a week or two ago. I will actually be leaving him for the first time next month when I take a short trip up to the Cape to see some family. I know he will be fine, but I have intense Mommy guilt, and I'm terrified I will miss him to pieces. I leave on a Friday night and come home on a Wednesday afternoon, but Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday will be SO weird. Poor guy (he'll probably have a blast with Shane, our families, and his friends if he goes to the babysitter or my best friend Anna's house).

Easten-the ever growing baby! Easten is 6.5 months old??? What??? He is sitting up, eating (baby led weaning, so no pureed baby food, but plenty of bite sized pieces of fruit, beans, veggies, and whatever else we happen to eat that is healthy). He says "mmm!" whenever he eats, it's a riot. He teethed on a cold green apple the other night and loved it. He is still breastfeeding great, but he is definitely not as into it as Parker was, unless he's really tired and then he will occasionally nurse for comfort. He has two bottom teeth, but that's it so far. He smiles all the time, unless he's really tired, and he doesn't seem to know a stranger yet. That will come though. He still wakes up twice at night, but if you know me, you know I don't have the heart to let him cry or self soothe. We did move him into the boys room, but since he still wakes up, we moved Parker into Lily's room. The sleeping arrangement is not ideal, but it's not permanent either. Thus, I am a tired mama, but this stage is so fleeting, so I try to remember that. He weighs a little over 18 pounds. He had his first ear infection...I'm trying to think. We just got an Ergo for me to wear him in. He's getting heavy. He gets to fly with me to the Cape too, as he is a nursling.

Whew. So there you have it. The Mahaffey update. And we're ready for spring! I even dared to try on my bathing suit this morning, and if Easten keeps nursing and I keep running around, I MAY be decent once the summer hits. I need a tan...

January 4, 2013

No more newborns

On Wednesday night, I got to snuggle my dear friends' precious newborn baby. He was so soft and tiny and sweet. Then, I came home to my big, 15 pound 4.5 month old, and I absolutely couldn't believe how old he seemed. I am sure I sound like a broken record, but time is flying!
Easten is supposed to be our last baby. Most days, I honestly think I am done. Three kids requiring care, attention, love, food, clothing, yes, it makes sense to only have three. Parker is absolutely a high maintenance child, and we are always busy with activities for Lily. But there is just something so, so wonderful about a newborn. It pulls at my heartstrings! I don't even like being pregnant, I'm always exhausted, and I'm still trying to lose baby weight, but I love a good newborn baby.
Luckily, Easten is taking it pretty easy on me. He still isn't rolling, although he really is trying. Last night, he even looked like he was trying to crawl! It was too funny. But his immobility still lets me pretend I have a newborn. His inability to roll is most likely largely due to his clingy-ness and neediness. That baby loves to be held and worn. He demands another human face in his face when he is not being held. He will talk and smile for hours, as long as you are right there by his side. So, no wonder he isn't rolling about the house, he certainly hasn't had much practice or much "tummy time." Isn't it funny how much more nurslings are considered "high maintenance" than formula fed babies? I really don't believe they are spoiled. The bond is absolutely incredible. They smell their mothers and feel safe, and what baby doesn't want to feel safe all the time? Sometimes, it does drive us crazy when I need a break, and Daddy is more than willing to hold baby. And Easten will have no part of it and will look around the room for me. When he looks and me and smiles that gigantic, toothless grin, I could melt right into the floor. Talk about unconditional love.
And he certainly keeps newborn hours, waking frequently to nurse throughout the night. Slaps me back into reality! He is slowly developing a sort of nap schedule. I really never leave the house until after lunch due to his 9 am desire for a nap-and it's also his longest and best nap of the day, so I do try to give him that. Makes for a happier baby and mama. He does only prefer to nap in his pack and play. No car seat or bouncy seat naps for this fellow. He's quite particular about that. He will sleep in his Moby wrap, but I discovered yesterday, he will NOT nap in the Mei Tai.
Little is drooling and gumming everything. He already hurts me when he nurses. I am a bit apprehensive about the teeth coming in because I have a feeling he may secretly enjoy the thrill of a bite. I need to look back and see when Parker got his first tooth. I think he may have already had one by now. Sophie the giraffe, an amber necklace, and a few Hyland's teething tablets are quite possibly a mama (and baby's) best friends lately.
Anyways, this post was supposed to be about how much I loved newborns, and how I just get the fever ever time I even see one, and how Easten isn't a newborn anymore, but it sort of turned into a little post on my precious youngest. Just so I'll remember. The fuzziness sets in... I barely remember Parker's first birthday at this point! Thus, the life of a Mama.

January 1, 2013

On becoming a big girl

I just realized Lily got new skinny jeans, Tom's, and vests for Christmas, along with nail polish and a pink Guitar. Where are the Barbies? The baby dolls? Where is my baby?

In all actuality, Lily is still very much a little girl. Her innocent mind is so wonderful and amazing to me. She really is so pure. She watches Disney movies with her brother and still plays pretend and stuffed animals. She is very much a young child. She did get lots of clothes, and while she is a mini-fashionista (unlike her mother, ahem), she still is a tom boy and is often concerned with catching snails or trekking about the yard in her boots searching for treasure. And she has the kindest heart, she is never mean or spiteful. She has lied a handful of times in her life, and it was always silly, to stay out of what she thought was trouble.

However, in looking at those Christmas gifts, which are all well and good (and she did get some Legos by the way too), I feel scared. I'm kind of thankful now that we only have one girl. Little girls are just so precious and you have to protect them from so much that can happen. I feel like Lily is on the cusp of going from a true little girl to a big girl, and that time will start to quickly fly by. I don't know how my mother survived through three! I will be an absolute wreck when she goes shopping with friends for the first time, goes to a school dance, and goes on her first date. Shane will be either following them in the Superior van or cleaning his guns that night, take your pick. But wow, children really do grow up fast.

9 years ago today, I took a pregnancy test, and I found out there was a little bean growing inside me. 9 years ago today, I first became a mommy. She has shaped me into who I am today, and I can only hope that me and her dad make her proud and raise her right and protect her from harm as she becomes "a big girl." xoxo to my sweet, amazing, favorite daughter.

Have I created a monster?

So, I've got something on my chest. It's hard to exactly describe how I feel about Parker's behavior and how I can discpline this child. I'm not one of those mother's that never needs a break from her children. I love naptime, and I do occasionally escape sans kiddos to Starbucks or heck, even the grocery store. But I love, love, love my children forever and always. However, one of them has given me a run for my money since birth, and he hasn't let up since. I will first say, I absolutely love this boy to pieces. He is so sweet. He always tells me "he wants me" when he is in trouble, and he tells me he loves Easten. He'll tell us his name is "Car-key Na-haffey" and that he is "fourteen" years old. He follows Lily around like a lost puppy, copying her every move and crying if she goes to a friends house, and he lights up when his Daddy gets home from work. Everything is an adventure to him. He loves to be outdoors. He values the few friends that he has decided are his-"Pa-tom" and "Quinnie" and Tommy and "Yaura." He is amazingly smart-today he told me he was making a masterpiece. He is so boy, and yet, he is so sensitive. He is already a great ball player, and the kid works an Ipad better than me. He is rather shy, but will always call hello! to the mailman and the garbage people. Gotta be on his turf I guess. He loves his Aunt Lacey to the moon and back, and he always asks who I was talking to when I get off the phone. He would live off black beans, fruit, and turkey pepperoni if he had the choice. He is a VERY cool kid.

In all his glory:

But seriously, he is beyond out of control. Hello terrible, no good, very bad twos.

If we look at him the wrong way, tantrum. Can't have the Ipad? Tantrum. Lily has to constantly give into him and let him have his way. We let things slide...because it's easier? Easier now? Or easier in the long run? I think it's the first one. It's easier to say, fine you can keep wearing diapers, even though I know he is ready for underpants. It's easier now to let him eat what he wants and take toys from Lily to avoid a nuclear meltdown. I have tried time outs, I have tried ignoring him, I have tried "spanking" him (not brutal spankings people, pops on his very cushioned cloth diapered butt, and yes, he still has a nuclear meltdown). I'm starting to get embarrassed. There were a few times I was embarrassed in NJ. Parents should never judge other parents...but still, you know they do. We've all done it. And if I was watching a little kid flop through airport security line screaming for a Coke, I probably would wonder what the french is up with that family! (true story! Even the mean New York airport security felt sorry for us...)

This is a hard post to write because I feel like it makes me look like a lazy parent. And in a way, that's what I've become. I let him get away with things I wouldn't even type on here because it's just plain embarrassing. And I am not a "yes" always parent. I have no problem telling Lily no all the time. Is it because I know I won't hear a fit? Then how is that fair to both her and Parker?

Somehow I've got to man up and take control with this strong willed, precious boy. I know he will learn lessons, and it will be of great value to both him and me to not give in to things that he believes he needs. I am the one in control. So, with it being a new year, I am going to start small. Pick my battles-the important ones. Will myself to stay strong through his screaming, even though I am holding him down in timeout and he is hitting me and punching me. Getting him used to the word no, but in a way where I can explain myself and he can understand me.

No one said this would be easy.


Whew, what a year it has been. What a season we have had! I am utterly exhausted and yet full of excitement that a new year is upon us. If I could just catch up on my sleep, I know I would be more than good to go.

In a nutshell, here is what we have been up to...

1. Shane passed his plumbing test. He is officially a Master Plumber! (Have I mentioned that already??) We are very excited and proud of him, and looking forward to what the future holds for our family.

2. My Aunt Maureen and Uncle Steve came to visit a few weekends ago. We did a Stone Mountain day, where we rode in the cars all the way to the top of the Mountain. Kids loved it! Also, we ate tons of yummy food, Steve and Shane went to a Falcons game, and we bonded and reminisced over lots of coffee and tea. I love my aunt and uncle, and I was so glad that they go to fly to Atlanta and meet Easten and stay with us. I love my Cape Cod family.

Here is Parker being his usual self at the top of Stone Mountain:
Ah, and here I am wearing Easten in his Sleepy wrap. He was so cuddly that day, he barely made a peep!

3. We got our basement finished. Have I mentioned that too? It looks wonderful. Sorry if I am repeating myself from a previous post. We now have a full playroom and a full bath. The bathroom is nicer than mine! I might have to move down there. We still need to get a TV and move the Wii downstairs, and get some sort of sleeper sofa...if they still make those, or a futon.

4. Christmas came and went very quickly this year. Shane and I attended Lily's class Christmas party. Then, we visited with my mom and sisters Christmas Eve eve. We went to church on Christmas Eve, and we spent Christmas day with Shane's family. The kids were beyond spoiled rotten. Lily got a guitar, and Parker got a bike, to name a few things. Easten was thrilled with his new Blueberry Basix diaper in elephant print (haha!) Shane surprised me with a Northface jacket. I was super pumped...and I needed it, because we flew to New Jersey the day after Christmas. It was freezing! The plane ride up was literally hell. We were delayed an hour, sat on the runway for 45 minutes (with both the boys crying off and on). Then we endured a 2.5 hour drive from Laguardia to my dad's with Easten screaming at the top.of.his.lungs. I almost jumped out the window. Luckily, this nightmare did not foreshadow our trip experience. Once they got settled, it was fine. Parker thought he moved into a new house. He had his moments, but I was proud of my unflexible boy for going with the flow.

Morristown got 6 inches of snow while we were there. We had a blast with my dad, Allison, and Victoria. Oh, and Oscar, their dog (yes, another Oscar). Shane and I even had a bonafide date night with no kids and drank wine and ate sushi (well, Shane drank iced tea). Shane shoveled snow for a good hour the day it snowed, and built a giant snowman. He still prefers the South though...

Now, we are home. I am already hard at work cleaning out closets and organizing clothes. I have hung up lots of pictures that I finally got developed from my dear friend Anna. I am starting to feel at home now that I have baby Easten up on the wall.

December 3, 2012

Oh well, I'm trying!

Yes, I still want to blog. I love it! I love reading about the cute stuff Parker did when he was 6 months old, and I love remembering all of Lily's birthdays. Unfortunately, I am just a terrible blogger these days.

So, sigh.... Let me try to update you and myself. Everything is going just fine, it's just very busy and slightly more stressful. We have our hands in so many different things right now.

I'll start with the house. Things are going well, our chickens are still giving us fresh eggs every day. I almost feel like I am STILL adjusting to having Duke, the now 8 month old Rottie. He is very sweet, but he has so much energy, and sadly, the kids never really took to him. Shane isn't home often enough to really take care of him, so along with the chickens, turtles, etc., I am the sole carer of the dogs as well. I wish I had more time to walk Duke, but sadly, with the two little boys, I don't. Nonetheless, he is growing and is a beautiful dog. Luckily, we have an amazing fenced in backyard, but I do know that he (and Oscar) get bored.

In other house news, we have finally completed our basement. It is finished-with carpet, and sheet rock, and paint, and a full bathroom, and two closets! We have really increased the size of our house by at least 1/3. The new playroom is so great for the kids stuff. I need to take pictures very soon.

Ok, so the kids... Lily is doing absolutely wonderful! She is loving second grade. She is so smart she has already met some of her goals for the year. We are trying to encourage her to read for fun more often as well. She finished her softball season and was awarded "Most Aggressive Player," hehe. She is such an amazing help to me and an excellent big sister. She is asking for a guitar for Christmas... I can't wait for her to take some lessons.


Parker is your absolutely typical two year old. He is very naughty when he wants to be, throws tantrums, and everything belongs to him. We really do accommodate him too much because he is so temperamental and strong willed. He is quite the middle child! But, he talks like he is about 5, and he melts my heart with the cute things he says. Oh, and I must add, he eats absolutely nonstop. He loves us all very much, and he is very attached to his sister and even his little brother. He has been nothing but kind and loving, albeit occasionally a bit rough, with the new baby. He is still in diapers, but we might start potty learning after the holidays. He has a brand new toddler bed, but he still sleeps in his beloved crib every night. He also had his first bout with pneumonia this year and a double ear infection, which broke my heart, but after his first ever round of antibiotics, he is all clear.

Easten is my sweetest little angel. He is smiling, cooing, laughing, holding his head like a pro, and trying to roll over. He still wakes up at least once to eat at night. He nurses on demand throughout the day. He is a bit spoiled and loves to be held, but when we're not holding him, he will occasionally sit in his bouncy seat or on his Boppy lounger, as long as one of us is playing with him. Easten has been sick for a good portion of his short life! He recently was on a nebulizer, but he seems to be doing better. My sweet boy... his big sister and older brother bring him all sorts of germs. Nonetheless, he fits absolutely perfectly into our growing family. We are all smitten by him!

I think that is a good update. We are busy with's never a dull moment and there never isn't something that needs to be done! Shane has been busy with school, attempting to get his master's plumbing license. His test is today, so please pray! We are getting ready for my aunt and uncle from Cape Cod to come stay with us in a few weeks, and we will be visiting Helen. The day after Christmas, we fly to my dad's in NJ for 5 days. Easten's first plane ride. I may feel scattered and stressed, but I really am blessed with so much more than I ever deserved.

September 19, 2012

Happy 8th Birthday, Lily!

Holy moly, Lily is 8! Today, I let her sleep as late as possible before school, and I presented her with a new shirt with a pug on it to wear to school. One perk to a weekday birthday is that Lily was in an insanely good mood for 7 am. At lunch, Parker and I took Lily Subway, upon request, and we brought Hello Kitty cupcakes for her class.
Lily is still waiting on her dad to get home so she can open her presents and go out to dinner. We are planning Lily's birthday party for the 30th, so she still has to wait 10 more days to have her big celebration.

Happy One Month, Easten!

How in the world is he already one month old? I say that every time. But seriously, babies really aren't babies for long. The other day, Parker looked SO old to me. His baby face was totally replaced by a serious "kid" face. But I digress.

At one month old, Easten still seems to retain much of his newborn self. He sleeps most of the time, and he is awake for short increments, where he likes to stare at you and be held. He's very laid back, but he is a little bit rotten already. I have a habit of raising rotten little boys who love their mama, what can I say? He really has no use for the bouncy seat or swing. He prefers to be held, or laid down on his belly. He is almost too big for all his newborn clothes. His newborn diapers are fitting very well now, but he is a heavy wetter, so they often leak, which is super frustrating. I see buying some hemp inserts in our future.

Easten eats when he's hungry. He's not very predictable on feeding times or naps, but unlike with Parker, I could really care less. He doesn't mind a pumped bottle of booby milk if he has to have one either. He has no use for a paci and doesn't like to be swaddled either. He wakes up once or twice a night to nurse and get his diaper changed. He likes to sneak into bed with us, and I usually let him. He's still sleeping in our room in his little bassinet. He's fine in the carseat, as long as we are moving, and he loves to be worn in the Moby Wrap. Now that its cooler, hopefully we will sweat less.

All the kids love their little brother. If we leave the house, Parker asks, "Baby go too?"

Oh, and the big boy weighs around 9 pounds. I held him on our scale yesterday, and then weighed myself to figure out the difference. Voila!

September 5, 2012

Out of Order: Parker Turns Two

On June 28, 2012, Parker turned two. We celebrated with a small family party. Lily helped make him a cake. He got a Red Rider scooter, which he absolutely loves! He is talking up a storm. He is actually very goofy and loves to joke. He is still a huge mama's boy but also a daddy's boy. He adores his big sister to the moon and back and hates it when she leaves him for any reason. He loves dinosaurs, trucks, cars, stuffed animals, coloring, anything on Disney Jr., and he still loves balls. I can't believe he is two!!

Back to School 2012

Here are some month old images of Lily starting second grade. Second grade has been great so far. I already feel like she is learning lots. She has also started back playing softball. She has plans for horseback riding this fall, and she wants to learn to play the guitar. I love my creative little girl!

Here is my sweet girl on her first day:

Here is Lily and Parker in one of her back to school pictures by Julianna Grey Photography.