Sunday, July 31, 2011


Before I even got pregnant with Ellen, I wondered how I could love her like I love Ryan. I know it's the cliche, but I was worried. I fought so hard for him, through infertility, high-risk pregnancy, and the nicu. I fught for every developmental milestone, every ounce of forumla eaten and everynounce of breast milk pumped. Ellen was kind enough to try to level the playing field by being equally difficult to conceive and by giving me a scare with bleeding at 17 weeks, but she listened to me and stayednout the whole 39 weeks.
And a girl?! How was I supposed to raise a girl? I know boys. After 8 boys in the family, a girl was a complete change.
After almost 13 weeks (well, I realized it on day 1, but am writing it at 13 weeks), I can honestly say I wouldn't have it any other way. Ellen is so wonderfully different than Ryan. I love her just as much, but in a completely different way and for completely different reasons.
When i look into ryan's eyes, i see myself. I see my sense of humor, my independent streak, my particularities. Ellen reminds me of her dad and everything I love about him. When I watch a wedding, I no longer think of my wedding, I think of hers. I wonder what it will be like and what her dress will look like. I know, however, that she will be the most beautiful bride ever.
When inseethem together, I couldn't be happier. The way Ryan cares for her and worries about her and the way she looks at him and smiles is miraculous. Sometimes I can't believe they are mine. Each of them with their similarities and differences.

Friday, July 29, 2011


it's been awhile since i have updated on the kiddos, so here's a quick summary.
ryan has been doing great. he has been very well behaved and is totally in love with construction equipment. i know more about what type of truck is what than i ever expected. he picked out a dolly for ellen at toys r us the other day and asked if we could buy it for her - i think my heart melted. witness the crazy lady with a 2 year old in toys r us with tears in her eyes. :)
ellen is getting big. i tried to put her in 3 month jammies tonight and they were about an inch and a half short. i swear they fit the other day. good thing we stopped for some 6 month pjs on the way to iowa! she's been smiling a ton and babbling a lot. especially to her new dolly. she loves to sit up and enjoys sitting in the bumbo and watching what's going on.
watching the 2 of them interact is the most amazing thing ever. to see the way she looks at ryan and to hear ryan talk to her so nicely is beyond what i could ever have imagined. i'm blessed beyond words.

week 3, days 2, 3, and 1 again

i finished week 3, although it took longer than it should have. with starting work again, it's been harder to find the time and motivation.
i decided to repeat week 3 because week 4 looks scary. i did run 1 again yesterday (thank you to michael for telling me to go when i tried to back out) and it was probably the worst run i've had to date. i actually didn't make it through the 2nd 3 minute run. i stopped at about 2 minutes for 30 seconds, but i picked it back up and finished out my 3 minutes. ouch. i just felt heavy and not good.
also, i left my ipod in iowa last weekend and so i've been running without it. it's amazing what music can do for a run.
next time (tomorrow) will be better.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


ryan went on the potty at daycare last week! he was rewarded with a small toy backhoe. we told him that if he went potty on the potty again the next day, he could have a roller. (he is obsessed with construction equipment right now)
when i went to pick him up, i asked if he had gone potty on the potty. he said yes and told me that he had tooted on the potty. when i told him that tooting didn't count, he looked at me like i was crazy and told me that he had tooted on the potty and he wanted his roller.
this is what happens when 2 lawyers have a kid. the next day the terms of the agreement were modified to state that he had to either pee or poop on the potty. :)


two years, 7 months, and 13 days. that's how long it took us to need to go to the emergency room for a true emergency. we've been in a couple of times for wheezing, but it wasn't quite so urgent.
as ryan was preparing for his nap yesterday, he was jumping on his bed. well, as the song says, he fell off and bumped his head. he landed lip-first on the train table. there was blood EVERYWHERE. we weren't sure if he had bit through his lip and thought we should go in to check and see if he needed stitches. so we all hopped in the car, me in the back with the kids, and off we went to childrens' hospital of wisconsin.
ryan was crying pretty hard before we left. by the time we got to the car, he had calmed down significantly and was mostly just upset by the blood on his hands. we cleaned him up and he was mostly just shaken up.
we were put into the world's hottest exam room where we waited and watched spongebob. given it was nap time, ryan was not at his best and got into everything. eventually we saw a nurse practitioner, a doctor, and another doctor before we decided that stitches weren't necessary. there were 2 wounds that could have used one, but odds are that he would have just bitten them out anyways.
we finally made it home at 3, about 2 hours past naptime. ryan slept until 7:30 and is no worse for the wear today. he does have quite the battle wound though, making his already big lips even bigger.
the moral of the story is - no more monkeys jumping on the bed.

week 3, day 1

it was really nice out on thursday and i talked michael into running with me and the kiddos. we had a 90 second run, 90 second walk, 3 minute run, 3 minute walk, then repeat. the 3 minute runs hurt, a lot, but i got through them. i was honestly surprised that i could do it!
unfortunately, it's not so nice out now and i'm having a hard time finding the motivation to go again. tomorrow is the day. week 3, day 2, watch out. i'm coming for you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

potty failing

we attempted potty training for the second time (the first was at 18 months, way too early) this past weekend.
ryan woke up in a terrible mood and we should have taken the hint. he would have nothing to do with the toilet. after 4 accidents, we quit. potty training 3.0 is scheduled for this weekend.
to date no other experience has made me feel more like i have no idea what i'm doing. i would rather shoot myself in the foot and chew tin foil than potty train this kid. but alas, he's in size 6 diapers and they don't go any bigger. oh well.

week 2 complete!

the last 2 runs have been on the treadmill in the clubhouse (the one silver lining in this stupid apartment situation!) and they've gone pretty well. today i really pushed myself, increasing my walking speed to 3.5 and running the first 3 intervals at 5.0mph, the next 2 at 5.2, and the last one at 5.5mph.
next week scares me. i don't remember the exact plan, but i know there's a 3 minute stretch in there! eek!
now, if it could just cool down a smidge so i could run outside. although i think it's good for me to use the treadmill so i can better manage my pace.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

the one where i shamelessly go on and on about my amazing child

ryan's final NICU follow-up (30 month adjusted) was today. he scored well above his adjusted age at his last (18 month adjusted) appointment, but i figured it would be fun to see how far he's come.
we met with the speech and occupational therapists and they worked with him together. the occupational therapist plays "games" with him, asking him to do things like stack blocks, put puzzles together, and thread a string through blocks. at the same time, the speech therapist is asking him questions about the objects and talking to him about pictures.
he scored at 35 months in occupational and receptive speech (listening) and at 42 months in expressive speech (talking). 42 MONTHS - that's a 3.5 year old, a year older than his actual age. pretty impressive to be a year ahead when you've only got 2.5 years under your belt. the speech therapist said that he would have likely scored higher on the receptive speech but he was more interested in the "games" that the occupational therapist had. :)
the doctor said that we are not only on track to having the biggest preemie ever, but also the smartest. i couldn't agree more! :)
in observing his time with the therapists i noticed that he definitely gets bored when he's not challenged. he was sitting back in his chair with an "are you kidding me" look on his face during a large part of the speech therapy portion. at one point, as they were asking him to name the color of specific crayons, he started giving intentional wrong answers and then correcting himself when the therapist moved on without doing so. apparently he's a smartass in addition to being a smart little dude. but it gives me insight into what we need to keep in mind when school starts.
i couldn't be more proud of my little man. he was on his best behavior, used his manners, and obviously cooperated for the therapists. ryan has kicked prematurity's ass. i wish i could take credit for his growth and development, but i honestly think it is mostly him. he's a strong, independent, strong-willed person. he has come so far and this only goes to show that the sky is the limit.
congratulations ryan on your NICU follow-up graduation!


parenting has been a challenge in ways i never would have thought. for instance, as ryan and i were driving to his NICU follow-up today, he suddenly started crying and saying his penis hurt. not having a penis, i didn't really know what to do or what questions to ask. so i decided the best thing to do would be to pull over and check it out.
turns out his diaper leaked and he was soaked. he tends to drink insane amounts of liquid and then fill his diaper so quickly that it doesn't stand a chance against the pee machine.
of course, i didn't bring extra shorts. and so began the creative problem solving that i've found myself engaged in quite a bit in the last 2.5 years. thank goodness there was a target nearby - new shorts! problem solved, right? nope. ryan didn't have any pants on. if he was a year or so, i could swing taking him into a store without pants, but he's a gigantic 2.5 year old, so that wasn't going to work.
so i did something i never thought i would - i left him in the car alone. i offered him the choice of putting his yucky pants back on and coming in or staying in the car. he chose to stay behind (don't blame him there!). i rolled down the window, gave him a book, instructed him not to move a muscle, locked the doors, and ran like the wind.
my best parenting moment? no. but sometimes you do what you've gotta do. he was psyched to get new orange shorts and doesn't appear to be permanently scarred. crisis adverted.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

2 months

miss ellen is 2 months old! that certainly went fast!
at her appointment yesterday she weighed in at 10lbs, 3oz and is 24 inches long. which puts her in the 25th percentile for weight and the 95th for height. tall and skinny like her daddy! she is meeting all of her milestones and the doctor says she looks great. i totally agree. :)
she started sleeping through the night (10/11pm to 5/6am) last week and it's been great. now we just need to work on transitioning her to sleeping on her back. we got a prescription for some reflux meds from the doctor, so hopefully that will help. she doesn't spit up a lot, but she has a lot of drool and grunts quite a bit when she's flat on her back. it's just a theory, but we'll see how it plays out.

week 1 - day 3 and week 2 - day 1

i love day 3, finally i can see some results! because it is finally summer here in wisconsin, i had to do day 3 in the clubhouse on the treadmill. it was great and i felt great afterwards!
today i did week 2 - day 1 with ellen in the jogger. we walked and dropped ryan off at daycare and then started on our run. run for 90 seconds, walk for 2 minutes. 90 seconds doesn't sound much longer than a minute, but it sure feels like it! it was definitely difficult and a challenge to push through, but we made it. i made a new playlist for my ipod, so that was helpful i think.
i am excited to try day 2 and see if it's easier or harder than last week....

Friday, July 01, 2011

Week 1 day 2

Remember when I said day 1 hurt? I forgot that day 2 is always way worse. You're still sore from day 1 and your body now remembers that it hurts to run. But I did it. All 8 intervals even though I was dying by number 5. Ellen didn't even freak out. Onto day 3!!