Thursday, January 31, 2008

Learning Every Day

As someone who has experience in pediatric nursing, you would think I would know something about when my own kids are sick. Um, I do not, obviously.

Alivia woke up last night with her eyes mattered shut. Oh, she must have pink eye. So, I decided to keep her home from school. She woke with her eyes looking like she was in an overnight boxing match. Since I was going to the Dr with Asher anyway, I made an appointment for Alivia, too. The diagnosis? Viral eye infection, fever (I had not even considered taking her temp), & ear infection! When I asked her if her ear hurt, she responded, "no."

So, I am continue to learn everyday...& I know nothing.

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4 Year Anniversary & Get Lost

Today marks 4 years since Chris and I made our marriage official in the Catholic Church (we will celebrate 9 years of overall marriage this August). To celebrate, we ordered a pizza last night during Lost AFTER the girls went to bed. If you have kids, you understand why we ate AFTER the kids are in bed. Someday I will get to eat it when I am not nursing. too. Tonight is Get "Lost" we decided to not go out for our anniversary so we can watch LOST. Afterall, we have waited long enough to see it.

In the last 4 years since our Catholic Wedding, Chris and I have had 3 children. Humm, I wonder if there is any relation to that? Our home has changed from a quiet home with Chris and I and 2 cats, to an active one with 3 kids and only 1 cat (Sorry, Cosmo had to go). Next year will be a big year for us as we celebrate 5 years of Catholic marriage and 10 years of total marriage. Looking forward to every moment with the man I love enough to have married twice.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Asher turns 2 months old & Getting so big!

January 29th: Asher is 2 months old today! Asher has changed a lot since last month. For one, last month he was 7lb 11oz. At 2 months he is heavy to hold! He is now 10lb 11 oz at 29% (up from 5%) and 22.5 in long at 32%! He has really filled out and is outgrowing his clothes. He is not going to be small for long. So he is on his way to being an average sized boy (yeah...he will fit right in on that soccer team!).  He holds his head up well and has started to smile when I do funny things (so it is not just random anymore). Now, I am working on getting him to laugh. He has just started to make cooing sounds. Now, for that binky that Alivia and Daddy (and now Addison) like to give him. He turned his head, took the binky and put it in his own mouth yesterday. Alivia and I saw him do it, and Alivia could not believe it! "Mommy, he put the binky in ALL BY HIMSELF!" He, I would say, recognizes my voice as he quiets when I enter his room at night. He has also just started batting at his toys on his playmat. But, with that said, he does not like his playmat. He has had several colds since last month and does not like being flat on his back for that reason. He also tends to spit up almost immediately. 

Asher still has his own schedule. I do feed him around 8 at night (and that can take a while). He typically wakes twice during the night (midnight, then between 4-6am). It has gotten better or I have just gotten used to it. I feed him in his room at night in the rocking chair, which has helped both of us. During the day, he usually eats every 3-4 hours. He has just started napping more if I put him in his room away from his loud sisters. Now, I just need to get a baby monitor that does not pick up other babies or the neighbors telephone conversations. :)

Alivia continues to be a big help. She likes to hold him and help with diaper changes. She also calms him if I am busy with Addison. Addison has also grown into a big sister. She continues to love his hair and pats his head. But, now she likes to give him the binky and sit with him if he is in his chair. Asher's big sisters will be his little protectors, I think.

After 6 immunizations, Asher is resting now. Maybe with all that growing he is just wore out.

Until next month...

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How are 3?

We have a lot of people asking how now is it having 3 kiddos? Well, it really depends on the age of the kids I think. But, for us, there are a few things different. Going from 1 to 2 kids was a difficult transition for us. Going from 2 to 3 has been less of a transition in some ways and more difficult in others.

1. Time: We have little to none (Chris has little and I have none :) ). Chris typically gets his time after Alivia and Addison are in bed at 8. I have some time to clean up when Asher goes down for the night, but that can be between 8:30-9:30 or later. It all depends on Asher. Some nights, by the time I make dinner, give 3 kids a bath, put 2 kids down to bed (Chris gets Alivia down to sleep) I am ready for bed. So, the mess that Addison makes at dinner is quickly cleaned up. But, the dishes and toys stay out until morning. If I do not go to bed when Asher does, sometimes I get little sleep. 

2. Sleep: Huh? I don't know what you are talking about. I know this will change. Sleep is something few parents of a newborn do regardless of how many children they have. However, Asher and Alivia both wake up at night. I have learned to check on Alivia when I am up with Asher. That typically elliminates her calling me to tuck her in at 3 am right after I get back to sleep.

3. Shopping: I will now do less of this (and save a lot of money I think!). I go to the grocery store at 10-11 pm at night. Oh, and you would be surprised how many people grocery shop at 10pm (and with their small kids!!).I tried to go to Von Maur and Gymboree last week to get a baby gift and a few things for Asher with my Gymbucks with all the kids before Chris got home from work. I ended up ordering the baby gift and using my gymbucks online. Addison is not at a good shopping age, and I will leave it at that. It is just a lot of work to get all three kids bundled up in this cold and go anywhere. That is a huge difference over 2, I think. At least Alivia can get in the car and buckle herself up now. That makes it easier for Chris and I. If I do go to the store, it is during those couple hours when Alivia is in preschool when I am back to 2 kids. 

4. Cleanliness: My definition of clean has to change. It seriously drives me crazy how I can get nothing done. I was trying to have everything picked up before I went to bed at night. By lunchtime the next day, you could not tell that I did anything. So, if it is between sleeping an extra hour and cleaning up, I go to sleep. The mess will still be there bugging me anyway. If someone stops by and judges me, I challenge them to breastfeed ever few hours, play with your kids, cook, bake, do laundry and keep it any cleaner. But yes, I do see that it is dirty and I am doing the best as I can as I was when we just had 2 kids. The cleaning part just keeps getting more and more challenging.

5. Laundry: There is a lot of it. Period.

6. Busier: One of the kids always has something going on...preschool, Drs appointments, colds, something. Chris and I have our own stuff, too, so there are few dull moments. Now, I have been called to be on Jury Duty the 3rd week of Feb. Okay, let's see, how am I to do that with 3 kids and nursing one of them? I do not think they care, but I put in to get out of it. So, we'll see.

All in all though, I would not change any of these things. I love being the Mommy of 3. So, with all of the challenges, I would take them every day to be with my kids. Time? I can have more to myself later and wish for more time with my kids (when they are out with their friends and in school). Sleep? I will soon miss getting up at night I think. Shopping? I think I will save a lot of money by just not going shopping or doing the little I need to do online. Cleanliness? I do not think my kids will remember when they are older how dirty or clean our home was if I just do the best I can. Although I know my house growing up must have been really clean because my Mom actually likes to clean, I can not remember one way or the other. Laundry? It sure makes me feel less guilty about buying that high efficiency washer/dryer a few years ago.

So, let me get back to enjoying my quiet time (they are all asleep!) and maybe go clean.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Second Prize!

Believe it or not, Chris won second prize in the 2007 neighborhood Holiday Lighting contest (and we did not even have that many lights!). So, we are off to eat at the Cheesecake Factory a few times! Yummy!

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All you need is me...

Alivia Grace & Asher WadeAddison, Alivia & AsherGive Asher a kiss!"Addison, sit on my lap!"

Getting ready for making the 2008 Valentine's...Alivia, 3 1/2 years, Addison, 18 months, Asher, 7 weeks. Hugs and Kisses!

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Topher, the Webmaster

Yes, that he is! Chris has updated the Toglias Salon & Spa webpage for the second time. This time in Flash (yeah, I don't know what that is either other than it looks cooler this time round). So, to check out his latest...go to Toglias Salon & Spa. Be patient, he is working on making the pages load faster. is a piece of art!

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Tiny Steps at a Time

In the last couple of days, Alivia & Addison have both decided that they are big girls now. Alivia has now started to insist on using adult silverware at meals now! After 3 years of plastic toddlerware, this is a big step. Addison is now taking her booster chair and moving it the floor so she can sit on her chair without it. She prefers to sit on the stool at the table, though.She is also doing really well using a spoon and fork, so she is needing less of Mommy's help. Now, if she can just keep her food on her plate and not throw it, we will be set. On the other hand, Addison has developed a little separation anxiety. I have a really difficult time with this stage. In the last couple of days, she has started to cry when she takes a nap and at night time after 18 months of going right down to sleep. It is so sad to see her so upset when I walk away. She quiets right down, though, luckily. Hopefully this will be a brief thing, because Mommy and Daddy have hearts and it is heartbreaking to see little Addison so upset.

So, our little girls are trying to grow up a little. Luckily, they are taking tiny steps at a time.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Energy Efficient?

How do you know when your windows are not energy efficient? How about when Windex freezes on the inside of them. Brrrr! That will teach me not to clean! :)

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All Nighter

Boy, I tell you, all nighters sure are not what they used to be (like in college, that is). All nighters with Asher can be a challenge. Asher has yet another cold. We were having a bit of deja vue last night when he started grunting as he breathed and refused to eat. After several hours, I sat him up and gave him a bottle of all things! Today, he is doing better so far and back to nursing. So, we are hoping to sleep tonight!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Saving $$

One last piece of information on saving money...

...where to park the $?

I am not a financial advisor or anything, but we have found a place to park money until we decide where to invest that brings a fairly good return (recommended by my sister who used to work at First National Bank in Omaha...where this is through). It is at  FNBO Direct is an online savings account that offers a competitive return on your savings (currently at 5.05% which is better than our normal banking savings account and money market accounts currently offer) and easy access to your money - all in a safe, secure online environment. GOTTA LOVE IT!

Enough said so save on...


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Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Austin Minimalist Theory

As I have written in the past, we have taken up the minimalist approach over the last few years. Let's see, by definition, a minimalist is "One who advocates a moderate or conservative approach, providing a bare minimum of what is necessary." This post is far from a minimal post, however.

Let me explain. I, for one, have always been a saver. Growing up, I was the one that hated to spend my money unless I really wanted the item. When Chris and I met, I was working 2 jobs while going to school and had little money to spend. When we got married, we both got successful jobs and degrees behind our names. We immediately started saving for our retirement. With that said, we both spent some money, too, on what many would find not necessary items. We took many trips together (and would take them again!) to Jamaica, Hawaii, California and Chicago for starters. We decorated our home in and out, some done with the help of a decorator!! (Woooow, how I have changed!). We invested many dollars so Chris could obtain his private pilot's license. And, for Chris' 30th birthday, he got a motorcycle. And, then there was the Audi TT that I thought Chris had to have as a reward to driving the car I had for a few years. (Okay, none of these things follows the minimalist theory. Wait, I will get to it). Then, after 4 years of marriage, on a trip to Chicago, we decided to start a family (it must have been all the wine my cousin Dave gave Chris!). Upon getting pregnant, something switched. It was a slow process. I still did a little shopping at Harolds, but it became more difficult for me to spend so much money on what I saw as no longer necessary (come on, $700 for a suit. It was not THAT cute!). A couple years ago, Chris and I started to pay down debt. We have never had credit card debt, but did have a home loan to finish our basement (which we paid off in less than a year), Chris' student loan for his Masters Degree, and the Audi loan at the time. Obviously, the Audi loan we paid off right away and traded with cash for the Camry in 2006. In 2007, we made a goal to live on one income (something we should have been doing all along). Soon we had Chris' student loan paid off. Believe me, the dinner we had to celebrate that milestone was unforgettable!

Now, one year later we are completely debt free and have lived on Chris' income alone for a year. We have saved most of my income, with a few exceptions for home improvements and the growing daycare costs. It helped that Chris' job finally saw the amazing man that he is and gave him a raise. :) Also, our spending grew more and more conservative (not cheap!). For one, we have basic cable only (and we have that just so we can view "free" television)We have had several people make fun of us for this. Chris, admittedly, hates that we do not have cable. However, we have 3 kids and do not have time to watch much tv anyway. Our favorite shows are on regular we survive. Besides, look at how much money we save in one year, 5 years, a lifetime, that would otherwise be wasted sitting down watching the tube?

Also, nobody wants to go shopping with me. I think and rethink every purchase anymore. It has to be a bargain. My kids look nice, but it comes with a lot of shopping and watching the prices (and agony over purchases I make). Our new goal for 2008 is to go to the grocery store only 2 times a month. The more times we go, the more we spend. This is VERY difficult, and it will take us a few months to determine how much to buy in order to make it to the next shopping trip. We buy fresh fruits/veggies and eat them the first week and then go to canned the next. That is the only way to do it. We eat out minimally, mostly getting food and bringing it home. We do treat the kids occasionally to "eating out" just so they know what that is. Last summer, we cut our cell phone bill down to the minimal and to $30 a month. That was difficult for me considering my only interaction with coworkers is via the cell phone. However, the lack of cell minutes has been a positive thing (you would not believe the gossip that goes on in a small pharma company!).

I am always looking for ways to expand the minimalist approach and tweak the budget. This is a fun hobby of mine (and Chris has to hear about it. :) ). Now, we are pondering cancelling our home phone and just having the cell. I figure, we rarely answer the home phone anyway. It would save another $325 a year (but that's $1500 in 5 years). It all adds up. So, do not be surprised if you call our house and you hear it has been disconnected. It's not because we did not pay the bill!

So, after all is said, what is the benefit of the Austin minimalist theory? Well, you see, Alivia thinks she wants to be a Doctor (college for that can not come cheap). Addison is probably thinking the Opera (If you go to our church and are one of the many who turn your heads and stare when she screams, you would have to agree), and training for that can not come cheap. And Asher, well, with Chris' blessing he may want to be a pro soccer player and that comes with a price before they make any money at it. :) Oh, and Chris and I, we would like to retire while still on the younger side of old, in Hawaii. Oh, and we will be sure to make fun of those who have/had cable and are still working then!

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Addison at 18 months...


Addison will be 18 months old tomorrow. She is such a big girl now! She had her check-up and is now 19 lbs! She is still less than 5% on the "average" growth chart, but she is a whole lot to love. She is a good eater, despite being on the smaller side. If I gave her the choice between a cookie and broccoli, she would pick the broccoli hands down. Weird little girl! She is saying probably between 20-30 words if not more. I think her big sister has a lot to do with her increasing vocabulary. Her favorite things to do: anything associated with her baby dolls. She loves feeding them, taking them on stroller rides all over the house, and swinging them in Asher's swing. Alivia and Addison play quite well together. They chase each other, play dolls together, and Addison is often found sitting on Alivia's lap reading books or watching the Jungle Book. Addison is now giving kisses...but she reserves them for her Daddy and Asher. So far, Addi will only blow me kisses. Addison is still our best sleeper, climbing the steps to her room at nap time or bedtime when she is ready to go to sleep, usually right on time or before the scheduled time. We put her to bed where she typically goes right to sleep with her taggie blankets and her thumb.

Happy 1 1/2 Birthday, Addison Rose!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Asher: 6 weeks old

More napping with Daddy.Asher, 6 weeks, & the girlsAsher is sooo big!6 weeksNight Night, Asher Wade

Asher is now 6 weeks old and has woke up. At 4 weeks, he was still sleeping most of the time. Now, he is awake most of the time. Yesterday, for example, he was awake from 9 am until 8 pm!! I am not kidding! He was not fussy really, crying only when he was hungry or needed to burp. Today he has slept most of the morning so far (but most of it was spent in the car/car seat). He is growing really fast. I guess if I was eating as much as he is...I would be growing really fast too! Wearing newborn clothes at 4 weeks, he is now into the 0-3 month clothes and they are not that big on him. He is going to be much bigger than the girls. Addison better watch out, because here comes Asher! He is sleeping okay at night. I am the one having the problems. When I stay awake, he is eating at 8pm-midnight-4am-8am, and then every 3 hours or so during the day. However, I am refusing to feed him in his room because I want to cuddle up in our warm bed. Unfortunately, I fall asleep during the feeding and wake up hours later when he wants to eat again. The problem is that he sometimes wakes fussy because he was not burped and it takes him a while to calm enough to eat again (which is what happened last night from 2 am until 4 am). It might just be easier to feed him in his room and put him back to bed. I should try that, huh. The best thing Asher is doing...smiling. Now, I just need to catch one on film.

Alivia has turned into a big helper. She always wants to hold Asher. She also loves to give him his binky, a new found thing for us since the hospital visit. I am not a fan of the pacifier unless it is absolutely necessary. I want to know why he are crying instead of putting a sock, I mean binky, in his mouth (same thing really, isn't it?). I am allowing her to give it to him if I am in the middle of dinner preparation and he becomes hungry or something. Addison is working on being more gentle with little Asher.

Although having 3 kids can be a bit chaotic at times, I am so enjoying every moment with all three of them. Asher is such a good baby, so he is easy to enjoy. And, there is no impending doom looming. I hug Chris every day for that blessing. 

All these changes in just 2 weeks?! What will little Asher be doing by the time he is 2 months old? I probably will not be able to call him little anymore. Why can't they just stay little forever. :)

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Why Blog?

I have had a lot of people with comments, both positive and negative, on blogging. Why blog, they ask.


Simple. 3 kids ages 3 and under. If you want to hear from us, check our blog. I rarely answer the phone. I will email and blog because I can get online at all hours of the day and you can not hear kids screaming (alhtough I usually get on during nap/night time). Chris often asks me..."Who reads the blog?" I don't know and it does not matter. I use our blog entrees to do our annual photo book and the babies' scrapbooks (now working on both Addison's and Ashers). And, I just enjoy writing.


Hopefully that clears things up. :) Blog on...

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Happy New Year 2008!

Better late in making our goals than never. My Dad always said something like nothing will ever get accomplished if you do not have goals. You have to have goals. they are.
1. Organize. This is a yearly goal that is always a work in progress. We did quite well last year organizing the office, storage room and garage (I will say that Chris did most of the organizing.). This year it is my job to organize the cupboards and closets.
2. Save. This goal was more than accomplished last year, but will continue this year as we have one more child to save for.
3. Be more active. Chris and I both have this as a goal to tone up in 2008. Alivia still thinks I have a baby in my belly (and for once I don't!), so I would like to change that. :)
4. Buy the bear minimum. I have been doing this goal since 2007, and I think I have done quite well. Clearly, one can always improve on goals, especially since I love to shop.
5. Buy a family car. Do I dare say minivan! 3 kids in a Camry is a tight fit.

Home improvement projects for 2008
1. Finally get a much needed heating/cooling system (choo choo - Trane unit that is).
I am sure there will be more surprises for us for our home. There always is!

So, how did we do on the 2007 goals?

Well, I did not run a 1/2 marathon, but had a baby instead! Asher is better than a marathon! We did pretty good on the other goals. We even exceeded our financial goals set for 2007. :) Now...for we come!

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Back at home

The first afternoon and night at home again with Asher was similar to the first night back at home with him less than a month ago. The girls were wild and naughty (Alivia mostly) at times. Asher woke up on the ride home and stayed awake until midnight! He is typically always sleepy, so we were not sure what that was about. I think the nebulizer treatments may have a big part of it. He was happy as long as he was held. Chris and I were and are wiped out from the lack of sleep in the hospital where he was getting nebulizer treatments every 2-3 hours for the first couple of nights with the nurses checking him in between. It is nice to be home, though. Chris and the kids are up taking a nap now while I am going to try and catch up on my household duties after having a few days off.

Asher is doing well. He is coughing more at home now that he is not being suctioned as effectively as he was in the hospital (the bulb is just not the same). He is just trying to get used the the chaos of his sisters.

Happy New Year to you all! Perhaps later today Chris and I will get a chance to write down our goals for 2008 and see how we did with the ones in 2007. I will tell you what, we did not run a half marathon (unless you count running after children!).

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