Sunday, November 27, 2011

Let's Eat!!

We introduced Matilda to rice cereal on Thanksgiving.
And to be honest, I was totally prepared for:
1) Her to spit it out completely
2) Her tongue sticking out of her mouth and not actually eating

I was not prepared for how easily she took to it. 
It was as though she had been studying up, and had been eating for ages.

Here it is--the play by play.

Hmmm, I think I have seen Mom and Dad do this before. Let's see what this is all about

Wait a second, this doesn't feel like milk.
And it doesn't taste like milk either.

Well, that was interesting.

Oh yeah, I definitely like this. In fact, don't mind if I just help myself to some more.

We gave Matilda rice cereal after work this week and she is just DOMINATING it. I actually had to make more tonight because she was so excited and just kept opening her mouth like a little robin and bending over to get more and more.

Who knew rice cereal could be so exciting?

A Very Liberty Thanksgiving

We headed back to Viroqua to celebrate Thanksgiving with the fam.

How to sum it up: 
Matilda slept for 3 hours that morning.
We watched the Packers beat the Lion.
The Keaty crew arrived, and the fun commenced.
We ate a delicious meal.
We had great fun with all the kiddo chaos.

AND we took Matilda to her first Townie Bar--none other than Liberty, which is Grandpa's bar of choice.
As you can see he is imparting very important wisdom onto his grandchildren.

Like, always drink your beer out of a can coozie.

And that is polite to CHEERS! when good things happen at the bar.

And that if you are too young for alcohol, you aren't too young to get hopped up on a kiddie cocktail.    
Rebecca helped join in on the lessons as well. Like how to hold a baby while holding a jack and coke.

Check out Matilda intensely focusing on this MGD. I am pretty sure she will be a beer drinker like her Daddy.

We didn't spend all weekend in the bar (in actuality it was maybe 30 minutes...but hey the pictures are priceless). No, there were lots of other fun to be had right at home.

Like Finn helping Grandma make scones and learning how to crack eggs.

Matilda getting her first rice cereal (more to come on this!)

And storytime with Grams!

Nate had a ton of fun taking Finn to a hockey tournament (which ended up being a 12 year old girl tourney). And Mom and I took Finn to Arthur Christmas--which was a great way to get into the holly jolly spirit.

I love this time of year, and it is more and more fun with more and more kids in the house!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Translation Tuesday: Noise Violation

Pretty self-explanatory.

But after 6PM, it's like I magically become a police officer whose sole duty is to keep the peace...and QUIET. I will literally do anything to keep our child sleeping, especially at night. And if that means whispering. Fine.

If it means leaving all of our cupboards open just a tish so it doesn't make a loud banging noise, I"ll do it.

I've got floor boards memorized. Which squeak and which don't.
I am the master at putting away dishes so quiet you wouldn't actually know I did it.

But all of this noise policing wears on Nate. He just couldn't stand being shushed one more time.

And so we tested all the noises we normally make. Dishes. Walking. Talking. TV. I stood in the nursery and Nate made all of the noises, so we LITERALLY know what noises do, in fact, transfer to the nursery.

Thus, the Noise Violation, was born.

So now, when Nate is engaging in a questionable noise-producing activity, instead of shushing him I just say "NOISE VIOLATION"

(in a very loud whisper of course)

Matilda's Digs

I've had lots of requests for pictures of Matilda's hang-out. So, here are some quick pics of her room.

Ironically, this child just LOVES to hang out on her changing pad. Not sure why, but I don't ask questions. If the babe is happy, we are happy.

Clearly, this child is never going to grow up know what a book looks like. She could already start her own dewey decimel system with the amount of books we have, which is GREAT because we love reading to her.

I also love that she has a picture of her Grandma Ekern and my Grandma Sherry looking over her at all times on the shelf.

And the hot spot of the house--the crib.
Matilda spends lots and lots of time in this sucker.
Good thing we sprang for the nicer mattress. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

5 Months!

Time keeps rolling by, and I can't believe Matilda has turned 5 months old.

She met her new pediatrician this week (which we LOVED) and we found out that she tips the scale at 15 pounds 13 oz. So I think it is safe to say this girl is not missing any meals.

Each day that passes, I feel like Nate and I have more and more fun with her. We do ridiculous things to try to get her to laugh, and we love trying to put words to her many different facial expressions.

This last week, Matilda had her first play in the exer-saucer (thank you Marie!), and she loves it. The first time she realized that the wheels made noises she looked like her world had been completely blown away!

She is also waaaaay into her feet. Although it is funny because it's like she only remembers she has them on her changing table and bathtub. When she is in either of these places we literally cannot keep them out of her hands and mouth.

She had her first full week of daycare this past week, and is making lots of friends. The daycare workers seemed pretty happy that they had her smiling by the end of the week. Of course, we heard the classic statement that everyone ALWAYS says when they meet Matilda, "Oh, she is so alert. She has such an intense look on her face."

Yes, we know. Because she is intense. Just like her daddy....right?!?! ;)

Can't wait for this next month to share our first holidays with Matilda and start new family traditions that include her!

Magazine Cuisine: Episode 20

It was the perfect night to fire up the stove-top and get cozy as the snow was blustering outside.

We have introduced pork back into the diet. To be honest, I am still leery of it but we are still testing it out. So tonight we made Pork Chops with Apples and Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes from one of the more recent Food Network magazines.

Overall impressions were that it had good flavor, and probably would have gotten better reviews had our pork chops not been pulled from the deep freeze from god knows when Costco run. They were a tish on the chewy side. But the potatoes were good, and all in all it was a good meal.

And relatively easy (caution: I say this as a person that literally lifted zero fingers to make this meal)....

Friday, November 18, 2011

What a Difference 5 Days Makes

Well, I think it is safe to say that we have officially made it through our first full week as a working family of three.

A mere 5 days ago, I was seriously considering quitting my job, running down to daycare and snatching Matilda away never to look back.  She wasn't sleeping. She wouldn't eat. She was literally drunk with exhaustion.

And today, I went down to check on her and she was sucking back a bottle, had a big smile on her face (i even squeezed a few giggles out of her), and had just woken up from a great nap.

I realize work is relatively calm for me right now, and life could get crazier, but for now as we head into next week I am thankful that:

- I work for a company that is  flexible. That has a sweet set-up for nursing moms. That has daycare on site so when I just need a quick fix I can go give my little munchie a snuggle.

- My husband is amazing. Who surprised me by showing up to Tillie's doctor's appointment yesterday (even though it meant biking there and then back downtown) because he knew it was important. Who continues to be amazing with our daughter. Who calms me down when I get keyed up.

- Matilda has adjusted pretty well and is melting the hearts of the daycare workers. And that she is still sleeping relatively well at night for a little one.

- My brain still functions each morning I come to work.

And, I am pretty thankful that next week is a short week so I will have more Matilda time, and will get to see the fam on top of it! Of course, that means I will have to share Matilda. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Translation Tuesday: Shit Show

NOTE: In order to avoid triggering any profanity filters at my dear readers places of employment, I will refer to this Translation Tuesday's topic as "SS"'re welcome.

Yes, this term is growing in popularity to describe chaotic events, things that go terribly wrong. This term is a close cousin to 'cluster F*&K', but a littler more gently, more appropriate to use in a crowded room.

And we use it pretty much every single day. Some days it is a legitimate interpretation (i.e Matilda has a huge blow-out thus the literal SS ensues).

Other days, it may be to describe an outing to Target gone wrong. For example, picture me losing my keys at Target, crying to the security guard because my baby is hungry and i don't know how I am going to get home. I re-trace my steps multiple times, empty out the diaper bag. Return to guest services crying, and then ultimately find them in my diaper bag (the one I looked in mulptiple times).

CLASSIC sh*t show.

And I think yesterday can only be summed up by this term.

Matilda's first day of daycare was a SUPREME SS. She didn't fall asleep until 4PM, wouldnt' take a bottle. Both times I stopped down to see her she was screaming. Honestly, she looked drunk. Drunken with tiredness. Miserably sad. Ugh. My heart just broke for her. And so while Matilda was basking in her own SS of a day, I continued on with mine at work.

And I am 100% certain I have no idea what anyone said or discussed in my meetings after I saw my poor little baby so sad, hungry and tired. Hopefully no one asks me, or I didn't commit to anything I shouldn't have or I am guessing a new SS of a day will emerge.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dazed and Confused

It happened. November 9th came, and November 9th went. Which means I have officially started back to work. Showering. Doing my hair (ish), wearing heels. Using my brain. Leaving my baby.

We were fortunate to have "daddy daycare" my first day, and then Super Grandma came back up to Minneapolis to do some 'granny nanny' for Thursday and Friday. This definitely helped the transition as I could focus on figuring out how to get myself ready to get out the door without worrying about all of Tillie's stuff as well.

And I think most of the cobwebs have been cleared out of my brain. I have found that I am able to form coherent questions and statements at work. BUT...I also find myself thinking, "I wonder if Til has pooped today", "I wonder if she went to sleep for her nap okay" and the WEIRDEST thing, is that every once in a while I find myself smelling dirty diapers.

Phantom dirty diapers. That is how you know you are on the brink of insanity.

But in all seriousness, this week went great. There were a few tears, a few moments at work where I just wanted to escape back home and snuggle with Tillie. But with good friends checking in on me, and peace of mind that Tillie was probably having more fun than she has with me, we made it through.

So next week is the big to DAYCARE. Wish us (and by us I mean me because I am sure Tillie will be fine) luck.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Translation Tuesday: T-Monster

T-Monster: a term of endearment used to describe our lovely daughter.

Yes, I get that it doesn't exactly sound like a term of endearment, but I promise you it is. Derived from Tillie (hence the T), and the first 10 weeks where there were days that she did have monsterly-moments, this term is used lovingly. We have, afterall, finally embraced the 'monsterly' parts of parenthood (okay, we are working really hard to embrace those parts).

For example, Nate calls from work and says: "How's T-monster doing today?"

Sometimes, we shorten it and just say monster--which as I type it makes it even more difficult to convince you it truly is a term of endearment. I  mean look at her...doesn't she just look like a little monster ? :)

This is right up there with Munchie in terms of nicknames. I knew she would never be for lack of nicknames with Nate as her father, I just didn't realize the breadth she would have to choose from.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Letter to Myself

Dear Greta,

The last 20 weeks have flown by, and you have been challenged in ways you never even imagined. Who knew that a little 7 pound, 5 oz bundle could change your life so much in such a short amount of time.

There have been high highs and low lows. You are blessed to have your own mom, and a circle of moms around you that helped you get through the tough times and celebrate the good times. I'd like to tell you the hardest part of parenting is behind you, but my guess is it doesn't ever get 'easy'.

As you go back to work, remember that going back to work doesn't make you a bad parent. That looking forward to going back a little doesn't make you bad parent either. And that feeling desperate to stay home for just a few more weeks even though you are kind of interested in going back to work doesn't make you crazy.

It makes you normal. This is your new normal. The balancing act of work and family. Finding happiness at maybe not being as good as you want to at everything and maybe leaving some things undone, unfinished, incomplete.

No matter what your new normal is, do not forget this:
- You have an amazing husband, who loves Matilda so much, and does so much for you. Find time for the two of you. Which means you NEED to find a babysitter.
- who you were before Matilda. Find a way to reconnect with friends, and do things that you liked to do before you were a family of 3. Even if it is just once a month.
- Matilda will be fine at daycare. You know this child loves to be around people. Daycare = people = happiness. Yes, she will get sick. She will probably have some bad nights. But that doesn't mean she will never sleep through the night again. And it doesn't make you a bad parent for sending her to daycare.
- Bask in the babydom of Matilda. The little snuggles. Coos. Babbles. Milestones. Quiet stares. And embrace the cries. The fuss. The 'particularity' of Tillie. This time is fleeting.

Do not look back about everything you 'wanted to', 'should have' or 'could have' gotten done on maternity leave. Do not dwell on if you enjoyed it enough, if you truly savored every moment you could have of Matilda.

This is the start of a new chapter in your family. And it will be good.

P.S. You will cry on the first day of work, first day of daycare, and probably the next 10 days of work at different times of the day. And okay.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

20 Weeks

10 weeks ago, I thought we would never get to the 20 week mark. It felt like eternity. But now that it is here, I can't believe that Matilda is already 20 weeks old.

She has started to crack herself up every now and then, just giggling out of nowhere which is fun. I also want to know what is going on in her little head. Like does my hair look ridiculous? Is she remembering a funny joke Nate told her?

In other firsts, she has really started to reach for things. Like strings on sweatshirts, her favorite toys, anything that looks like it might fit in her know things like this. Her favorite toy-of-the-week is Sophie the giraffe. This has always been in the top 10 but you even show her that thing and she starts to get super excited and reaches to get it.

It was her first Halloween, which was oh-so-cute...

She had her 4 month appointment as well! Our 'little peanut' isn't so little anymore. 
15 Pounds (71%)
26.5"         (95%)

I was definitely the worst mom ever making her get her shots on Candy day, but she survived, and even got to go on her first day of shopping with Grandma and I.

Tillie is also taking great enjoyment in blowing raspberries. She doesn't have a lot of power behind them yet, but once she does, I predict this face will be around non-stop

Lesson learned this week: Daylight savings time is just not quite as cool with a baby.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I added egg back into the diet this week.

For those of you rolling their eyes sarcastically thinking "BFD", let me tell you that it takes a long streak of 'blood-free' diapers to test a new food on Tillie, and let me tell you that we haven't had many long streaks of blood-free diapers.

And it is always with trepidation that I do any introduction because having a fussy baby solely because of something you eat is just not worth it. Plain and simple.

Soooo...since I haven't had egg in three full months, we didn't just jump in to it...we DOVE.

We are talking egg salad. Breakfast for dinner. I even decided at 5PM one night that i just had to make Pumpkin bread because if we saw blood flecks in Tillie's diaper the next day I wouldn't be able to eat any and so we made pumpkin bread and I pretty much ate an entire loaf in one day. Not even joking.

And the next step is diaper inspection. Dirty diapers do not even phase me anymore. I stick my nose in it. Push it around. Searching for any sign of allergic reaction. Why?

1) I don't want to keep feeding myself something that will poison my child.
2) I am desperate to get something back into the diet "full-time" since I have really only successfully added wheat since July.

If anyone has any good egg ideas, send them to me! Keep in mind I am still not eating any nuts, dairy or soy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baby-filled Halloween

It has been over 4 years since I learned that holidays are even more fun  with little one's running around. I remember Finn's first year, and how anxious I was to see him enjoy the holiday even though he was a baby and didn't really know what was going on.

And it is happening all over again now that we have a little one of our own. We had the cutest costume around thanks to Grandma, and she came up to see Tillie in action (We got some of our own adult 'trick or treating' in at the malls....). It was such a fun weekend.

 I have been blessed with an extraordinary group of "mom friends" through a new mama class that we all went together and we decided to get all the babes together for some Halloween fun. Tillie did AWESOME even though she was in the meltdown zone. Didn't even cry once!

I love how sly Tillie looks in this she has a secret.

Can you tell the Tillie loved her costume too?

Next year, I am sure she will be toddling down the block to the neighbor's houses...which is amazing because then I will get to steal all of her candy. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Translation Tuesday: Bed Nap

A few weeks ago, Nate had a little too much fun celebrating Wisconsin's victory over Nebraska. The next morning he 'mysteriously' felt sick and thought maybe it could have been the yogurt he ate 2 minutes prior.

So, he had to go and lie down to feel better....leaving this mama to fend for herself one more day. Thus 'the bed nap' was born.

Bed Nap: the rare and elusive occurrence of napping in a bed.

I have yet to have a bed nap when I am here by myself or with Nate. For some reason, only my Mom has been able to get me to 'bed nap' when TIllie was very very little. But Nate, he can bed nap like it is his job. Well, truthfully he can just nap anywhere anytime. Frustrating for me? Sure. (but really I'm just jealous). Great for him as he can sneak in a few minutes here and there.

I don't know what I would think I would bed-nap now that I have a baby since I didn't ever bed nap before baby, but in my mind a bed nap sure sounds luxurious....