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Best Friends…For the Moment

From the beginning, Blake has been an amazing big brother. I haven’t had to deal with any jealousy issues or hurt feelings of neglect (which I feared when I was pregnant with Isabella) and it has been a lot easier than I had anticipated. Blake watches out for Isabella, brings her the pacifier or toys and understands when I have to take care of her or put her to bed. I am not saying all this in efforts to brag about what a good boy I have (even though I do think he is pretty fantastic 🙂 ) but I say it because I am truly amazed at the sibling bond that has already clearly formed. My heart actually flutters with joy when I watch them make each other laugh or when I hear Blake whisper “I love you sister, I hope you have good dreams,” when he thinks no one is listening. I didn’t know a connection would be made so early on!

I think this bond hits closer to home because I have that bond with my two older brothers, especially the one that is only two years older than I am. We were close as kids and even closer as teenagers, sharing the same group of friends and now we remain close as ever. I want nothing more than for my kids to be close. I know most parents do, but getting a glimpse of their relationship now gives me great hope for the future :). I love the bond I share with my brother! We understand each other and are wonderful friends.

Now, I know all this sweet stuff is going to go sour for a while, I see it coming already. I keep telling everyone that Blake loves his sister now but wait until she starts crawling and steals his toys; I don’t think he is going to take that very well haha! I know from experience that there will be good times and bad times when it comes to siblings, but if deep down my kids have that connection (which is what I think I am seeing), they will get through those times as friends and not enemies.

As for now, I will enjoy agreeing with Blake that “Mommy, Daddy, Blake and Isabella are all, best friends!”

–          Carissa

October 17, 2011 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

Big boy undies, accidents & rewards, welcome to potty training!

Working and being a mom is challenging, but I thought this part of parenting was going to be more much trying, which is why I put it off for so long. What I learned is that you can’t rush this one! After Blake took his first steps all a heard for about a year was “when are you going to cut the bottle,” or “when is he going to stop using a pacifier,” and last but not least, “when are you going to potty train?”

Well, I got the first two done pretty quickly but I could not even wrap my brain around the potty training, just the thought if it exhausted me and grossed me out! Once I got pregnant, I let the months go by and then got recommendations from my daycare people to hold off on the potty training until the new baby came. Too much change would be too much for Blake and he would end up digressing and all that work would be for nothing. What a wonderful idea, I didn’t want to do it anyway—haha!

The week before I got induced one of Blake’s teachers told me that he was showing signs that he was ready and to start packing underwear for him if we wanted to start training. Again I thought I’d wait. I am really glad I waited until he was ready and showing signs at school because it made this transition so much easier! Like I said in my previous post, the night we came home from the hospital he was ready to try going in his potty at home and went successfully. From that moment, there was no turning back and, with my mom’s help and encouragement, he was never in diapers again (except at night). He stayed home with us my first week back with Isabella and everyday my mom was taking care of me and the Isa, AND training B to use the potty (I know, she’s super woman right?).

There were, of course, many accidents but we always let him know it was okay and that we would just keep trying. We asked him if he needed to use the potty every 30 minutes or so until we knew his routine better. Every time he successfully went in the potty it was a party with lots of praise and high-fives. On the weekends we would also go shopping for a new car or small toy and made sure he knew exactly why he was being rewarded. He loved it!

It’s been about five months and he is pretty much fully potty trained (yes, it takes time). He has an accident every once in a while, but that’s okay. He is no longer in diapers at night unless he doesn’t go to the bathroom before bed or happens to go to bed unusually early. This transition takes a lot of patience but it’s not as bad as it seems, once you are in it you’re in it and there is no turning back so just embrace it :).

– Carissa

August 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

No excuses!

I am so embarrassed that it has taken this long to say hello and to fill you in about my new life with two beautiful kids, but I will get back on track, no excuses!

I’ll start off by backtracking just a tad to let you know how everything went with delivery, nursing, potty training and the rest of the madness (this may take a few posts 🙂 ).

I am not sure if you all knew but my hope for this delivery was to have a successful VBAC. I so wanted to experience labor the way my mom had always described and the way that you always see in the movies, I felt cheated out of the “experience” when my first birth ended in a C-section and I never even got to push. I thought this time was going to give me that experience but unfortunately time was not on my side and it just wasn’t in my cards to have a natural child birth experience.

Baby Isabella!

My husband was leaving for Shanghai on March 11, but on March 4 (my 39th week doctor visit) there was still no sign of a baby coming. I chose to induce on March 6 because I simply could not bear the thought of my husband not being there to see the birth and I didn’t want to miss out on at least a day to bond together as a family.

I went to the hospital that morning and 12 hours later I had a beautiful baby girl via C-section, no regrets on the delivery method. She came out healthy and I did as well and that’s what is most important.

I was in heaven with my new baby GIRL…but our first night home with the two kids was a bit overwhelming. I am not going to lie, we just didn’t know what to do.

That first day Blake came home from school and out of nowhere wanted to use the potty.  I knew that we would finally have to start that adventure and that Blake was already fighting for our attention. I couldn’t move and I had two kids crying for me and I had to deal with watching my husband pack – can you say overload!!

Blake wears "big boy undies" now as he's learning to potty-train!

When we said good bye the following day and he walked out the door I cried like a teenager who had just been dumped, it was so intense (those hormones are no joke!). He promised the week would fly by but I knew it wouldn’t.

Lucky for me and the kids, I have a fantastic mom who came and stayed with us the entire time. As stressed as I felt, I knew that we would be okay. I’m happy to be back at work and looking forward to bringing you more updates about working and being a mom of two!

– Carissa

July 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm Leave a comment

New Babies!

We’re excited to announce that Kerry and Carissa are both proud mothers of beautiful baby girls! We will be taking a short hiatus from the blog as we adjust to being new moms again, but will periodically be posting nutrition tips and tricks for eating right and staying healthy.

We’ll be back soon with stories, photos and more information on our girls!

March 8, 2011 at 10:41 pm Leave a comment

The Home Stretch

Kerry and I are only weeks away from meeting our little girls and we absolutely can’t wait!! Lucky for us we are busy at work so it keeps us busy and helps the time pass a bit quicker 🙂

-Carissa

February 2, 2011 at 12:47 am Leave a comment

Did I mention we were busy…

My apologies to our readers for our absence since the holidays!! I don’t think either of us ever mentioned that this is our busiest time of the year!

I have been swamped at work but it has been “good” swamped, so much is going on. We just released our new 2011 Susan’s Healthy Gourmet menu and we couldn’t be more excited. As the nutritionist, I get to play a big role in the planning and development of the new menu. This is always my favorite time because it’s when I can be the most creative in my job. We have been working all year with our chefs to create new healthy and delicious entrees and we are always proud when one makes it on to the new menu for our customers to enjoy.

There have also been many changes in our sister company LifeSpring Nutrition, which provides healthy frozen meals for boomers plus. I just started managing the customer service staff and I have had to focus a lot of time on training. They too just released a new 2011 menu and it offers so many new healthy dishes that blow your typical frozen meal out of the water.  🙂

But not only have I been busy at work, I have been busy at home too! I am entering my 34th week of pregnancy and man am I feeling it! I am much bigger and all I can think about is my baby girl arriving early, haha! I have been busy nesting and getting her room ready as well as doing lots of shopping. Blake is still in his terrible twos and he somehow managed to start sleeping in our bed full-time.

Although, I am right in the thick of things I will try my very best to keep you updated and keep on blogging, it’s always a nice break from the madness!

-Carissa

January 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm 1 comment

Holiday Success

This year was the first year my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house with both of our families together. It went even better than planned. I was a bit nervous because our traditions were so different and I really wanted to merge them together to make sure everyone was happy. I made sure to get a bigger bird than usual and to get it in on time so that we would have free kitchen space for everyone to finish preparing their dishes — and so that we wouldn’t have a house full of hungry people!

We had football going all day and even a poker game to spice things up for the men in our families. The ladies, we just hung out in the kitchen and played with the little ones all day. When everything was finished I asked my husband to put all the side dishes and the plated turkey on the table so that I could take a picture. It was so beautiful and I was quite proud! The table was covered with food from two family’s traditions. We had two stuffings, one oyster and one herb; we had two gravies, one brown and one red; and we also had yams, green bean casserole, brussels sprouts, sautéed mushrooms, homemade cranberry sauce, rolls and mashed potatoes. Everyone’s plates were full and it was just so good to share this day with the people we love the most. We all tried a bit of everything and really understood why these traditions lasted for so long in each of our families.

We ended the night with board games and dessert, it was fun and filling. Growing up, my family always had a big Thanksgiving with lots of family and when we moved away from where our extended family was it was a difficult adjustment; it was too quiet. This year it was nice for both my husband and I, who desire to have a big family, look down a long crowded table and enjoy the meal with lots of talking and laughing involved. I can only hope that the table will continue to grow through the years and that I will have the pleasure of hosting many more Thanksgiving dinners.

Oh yeah, Blake loved his Thanksgiving dinner and so did his soon-to-be sister 🙂

-Carissa

November 30, 2010 at 9:31 pm Leave a comment

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