A Day At The Fair

Today we got up early to go to the Annual Rochester Fair in Rochester, NH after a full night of sleep (thank you Oni!).  It took us quite a while to get out the door this morning as Liam was feeling emotional in the way that only a two year old can causing us to take twice as long as normal to get out the door.

An example of our morning conversation would be this:

Mom: “Lets put on your sneaker so we can go get in the car”

Liam: “I don’t want sneakers, I want boots!”

Mom: “Ok, wear you boots then, that is a good choice”

Liam: “I WANT BOOOOOTTTSSSS!” (throws himself onto the floor for a two minute fit)

Mom: ….


Finally we made it out the door and drove off to pick up Aunty Moonshine and Alvine to head on over to the fair.   It was a beautiful day, slightly overcast with perfect fall temperatures.  If you head into the fair before all the rides are open it is free to get in so we enjoyed our day for a cost of only $5 to park.  The kids, Aunty Moonshine, and I all had a blast and Liam even scored a new hat for the winter!

It is (of course) next to impossible to get both two year olds to stand next to each other and smile.

Now I am enjoying nap time to the fullest extent 🙂

36 Weeks and Counting!

We have reached 36 weeks in this pregnancy and are slowly trudging our way towards 37!  Catriona has spent the last few weeks stubbornly not growing (she ended up dropping 4 weeks of growth total prior to this weeks doctors appointment).  So this week we did an ultrasound to check on her growth and the amniotic fluid levels.  Thankfully everything came out well.  She is estimated to be around 6 pounds 11 ounces at this point (which is amazing considering how small my bump is compared to when I was pregnant with Liam!) and while my amniotic fluid levels are on the lower end of normal they should be fine for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Her head is down, the contractions are becoming more frequent, and we are playing a waiting game to meet her.

I continue to have (what has become) my normal migraines, tachycardia, and passing out.  For the last week my symptoms have been somewhat relieved, I even had 3 good days in a row where I was able to be up and about without any chest or head pain, but for an added treat these last few days I have been enjoying some third trimester sickness (which is amazingly just like the first trimester was).   I have a cardiology consult tomorrow and am hopeful to find some answers to what can be done for this chronic chest pressure, shoulder pain, and episodes of tachycardia.  That said, I am very aware that any medication that could be given to relieve those symptoms for me has to wait until after Catriona’s arrival, so I am learning to live with it and take it easy when things really start to act up.

On Monday my sister-in-law came over to the house to take some maternity picture for us since we are currently unable to travel to the photographer that we used to do the maternity shoot we did when pregnant with Liam (Linden Photography in Central NH).  I spent some time this morning playing around on Photoshop and touching up the lighting on the pictures.  I am pretty happy with the results, and so thankful to Aunty Moonshine for taking them for us.  Though this has been a difficult pregnancy we are planning on it being my last pregnancy and I want to be able to look back on this time and remember how it has helped us grow as a family later on.  I wish I had enough Photoshop talent to reduce the (well-earned) shadows and bags under my eyes… you would think someone who spends as much time in bed as I have been lately wouldn’t have any but I can’t seem to sleep for more than two hours at a time thanks to our little girls efforts to escape the womb.

We continue to be grateful for everyone’s prayers and well wishes.  The support of our family and friends  has truly have been an amazing help in us pulling through this pregnancy!

15 months later…

I can’t believe how the time has flown, Liam is 15 months already! It has been so exciting to watch him play, grow, and learn these last few months. Everything happens so fast at this point, it’s like a neural explosion. Over the last 3 months Liam has:

  • Gone from stumbling to run-stumbling
  • Learned to say over 25 words, although he mostly refers to animals by the sounds they make, except our youngest dog, Bruise, who he calls Rooze.
  • Learned how to walk backwards and spin in a circle
  • Begun helping Conan and I with simple tasks (carrying light things mostly)

His favorite things right now are:

  • Reading… By himself, to the bear, to Conan and I… This little boy loves to be the one reading the story.
  • His big white bear, “Baby”… When Liam was born Conan’s company sent us a present, a giant white polar bear which I never named because I figured it would be too big to drag around. Liam has proven me wrong and he has named it “Baby”. The other stuffed animals are babies too, but there is only one Baby and he goes everywhere with Liam.
  • Yogurt, cereal bars, and berries
  • Going to the park
  • The tub, this little guy loves his baths (and his bath toys)

He has had a lot of adventures over the last three months, including:

  • His first sleepovers with Grammy and Grampy F.
  • His second annual Flynnstock with Conan
  • His first trip to the beach!

While I have tried (desperately sometimes) to be there for every single event it just hasn’t been possible and sometimes Conan and Liam are a two man team while I am at home with the puppy brothers doing homework or at work.  We do our best with the time we have and try to make every moment count.

Today the three of us went out to lunch to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants and then to the park for some quality time (and to exhaust Liam before his nap).  It was suppose to rain all day today so it was a pleasant surprise to be able to get out and about.  My park plan however backfired as it was not just Liam that needed the nap when we got home 😉

And now a parting message from Liam himself and a few more of my favorite pictures from the last few months….

mddddddddddddddddddddddcnn vvvvvvvvvvvvmvb nffkbgghashgklbjcv b hvfghm jk df6988888888888888888

I can’t wait to see what the next three months brings!

Artsy Toddlers

Liam and The Bean have been exploring their artistic side this week.  For the most part we have been playing with crayons and stickers, using this exploration in art as an opportunity to learn shapes and colors.  Today I was tired of drawing green circles and purple squares so I decided to be brave and break out the finger paints.

I set up this activity with one color of paint only placed onto a plate for easy dipping for their small hands, I also prepared by grabbing a roll of paper towels and a bowl of water in advance for emergency clean ups (surprise! there were a few!).  We started out by taking turns and making hand prints (for Momma’s memory box), then it was a finger painting free for all.  All in all it was a great time and entertained them for about 30 minutes total. Even the clean up afterwards wasn’t all that difficult thanks to being prepared with water and towels.  The kids had a blast!

And now for the photos… this is the last few days of art activities 🙂 It looks like the Grammy’s and Grampy’s are going to be getting LOTS of presents!








Day 37

Day 37 of the selfie challenge: 365 Days of Momma

It’s Sunday! AND! I have the day off!!!!

That’s right, its my weekend off… I firmly believe that having to work every other weekend makes me that much more appreciative of the ones I have off.

This morning Liam took off after breakfast, grabbed a book and his teddy bear, and then proceeded to set himself up on the couch next to me to “study” with me.  That’s right, I used the “s” word.  Someone though it would be a brilliant idea to take a full course load in the summer during the most gorgeous weather of the year because the semester is shorter and it would be nice to just get the work done with.  The same someone is now incredibly worried that maybe, just maybe, she might not be able to keep up.  I don’t know who comes up with these brilliant ideas but they probably should have less of them.

So the adorableness ensued this morning and Liam and I studied together for about 10 minutes before my urge to snap a picture completely overcame me.  Of course as soon as I picked up the camera phone he had to climb into my lap to get it…. The result is this:

Today’s selfie is less of me and more of us, but it is an awesome memory that I want to hold on to…. especially with the puppy photo-bomb in the second shot!


I do promise an update soon on my personal progress towards self acceptance of myself in photographs.  This project has turned into more than I originally planned.  What started out as something that was just for me has also evolved into a mechanism to show Liam my memories from his early childhood.



365 Days of Momma, Check In #2

So as I mentioned this week has been a busy one, but it started out in an incredibly positive manner.  On Monday, my partner in Mommy-hood and sister-in-law (Aunty Moonshine) and I went and had our Beautiful You photo shoots with Laura and her team at Linden Photography.  We had an amazing day of being pampered and playing in front of the camera.  The pictures that I have seen of the two of us, before and after shots on the Linden Photography facebook page, are amazing.  This project that Laura is doing is all about being able to see yourself in a different light… being able to recognize the you that every one else sees when they look at you.  Laura, Lori, and Victoria are an amazing team, and between the three I have never felt so comfortable in front of the camera.  The purpose of this selfie project, 365 Days of Momma, is something similar… yes it is to help me (and hopefully other Mom’s out there) become more comfortable not only behind the camera, but also in front of it.  It is also to create a memoir (of sorts) for Liam when he gets older.  Over the last few weeks the journey so far has turned it into more.

I have a confession… I only pretend to have high self esteem.  You see, I have always been of the “fake it until you make it” train of thought when it comes to putting myself out there.  I am shy by nature, and if you and I had met ten years ago you probably wouldn’t recognize me… mostly because you wouldn’t notice me since my top priority would be to fade into the background.  I have made a conscious effort over the last 10 years to “fake” my confidence and put myself out there until it has (almost) become second nature for me.  Now I only have a slight hesitation prior to introducing myself to the new person in the room.  Would I rather hang out in the background still? Absolutely.  I won’t though.

I, and I suspect many other people out there, constantly feel like others are judging me based on my looks and my competency in whatever I am trying to do.  The fact of the matter is that (for the most part) that is just not true.  Yes, some people are exceptionally judgmental, but it is not my job to make everyone in the world happy.  I am not a supermodel, therefore it is not my job to look drop dead gorgeous every second of the day.  It is, however, my job to be the best Momma I can possibly be to Liam, his Sis-co (The Bean), and the puppy brothers.  It is my job to be the best wife I can be to my husband.  It is my job to be the best nurse I can be for my patients, and the best advocate I can be for them as well.  It is my job to be the best supervisor I can be for my LNA’s and the new nurses I work with, and to guide them to the best solutions they can find for the problems that come up during the course of a shift.  It is my job to be an active and engaged family member to not only the family I was born into, but also my family of choice (my close friends – the besties know who they are – and my husband’s family).  I don’t have to be perfect, but I do have to care and try. Being fully engaged in life is really all that any one person can ever do.

This whole rant was brought on by the fact that a text message my husband sent me the other day made me cry in the grocery store (stupid hormones,  they have STILL not fully recovered from having Liam and now I cry over everything).  They were good, happy tears, but thanks to the Irish/Scottish super fair skin and rosacea I have (thanks Mom) it doesn’t matter if my tears are happy tears or sad tears… my face gets super-blotchy either way.  I was texting the hubs while grocery shopping about the photo shoot and how the pictures were online on the facebook page and he should check them out.  my husband respond very simply with a “you don’t need any makeup , you are the most beautiful woman I know”, and I started leaking.  It is not that my husband never tells me I am beautiful… it is not even that I think I am ugly… I really only have a few areas about myself that I just don’t like (a number that seems to double in pictures), but hearing it is hard and that is certainly something worth pondering.

Because I am who I am I did just that, and this is what I came up with.  From a very early age women are bombarded with images of what an ideal woman should look like.  Very few women actually look like this ideal… in today’s society the rest achieve it through the power of Photoshop.  I started leaking when my husband told me I was the most beautiful woman he knows because somewhere in my mind there is ingrained this ideal of what a perfect woman should look like and I know that not only do I not look like that, but also that I never will.  My nose is largish. I have this strange extra flap of skin on my abdomen from having my stomach stretch so much.  I can’t remember the last time my thighs didn’t touch… maybe Junior High School?  My arms are in no way shape or form toned… even when I do work out they never make it there.  I don’t have a six pack, four pack, or even a two pack… and I never will.  I am soft and curvy.  Sometimes clothing doesn’t fit me right because of the way I am built.  I am certainly not that perfect size zero.  I am average.

That is right… average.  In this country there will always be a million more “me”s than there will me a million supermodels.  The perfect form that is continuously pushed on us by society is not in any way shape or form realistic.  Most of the time it is not even realistic for the person who is modeling it!  I wrote less than a week ago that I was going to take time to really conquer my fears of being photographed by each thing that really bugs me, and I will.  I still think that getting over my hypercritical attitude towards myself in photographs is an extremely important thing for my personal growth I also think that something more could come out of this project… self acceptance.


AND after all the seriousness above I will leave you with a fun selfie of Liam and I tonight right before his bedtime 🙂


Day 10

Day 10 of the selfie challenge: 365 Days of Momma

Today started out slow, with nap times all around for Liam, the puppies, and I immediately after breakfast.


Then Aunty Moonshine and I headed out for a 1920’s photo shoot with Laura at Linden Photography. We had a blast doing our Beautiful Me session! There was a ton of laughter and just general awesomeness from all of the ladies there. The hair and makeup were amazing, and Laura’s photography was, as always, top notch. I love a photographer who gives direction and can’t wait to see the finished product!

Now for the long ride home 🙂


Day 9

Day 9 of the selfie challenge: 365 Days of Momma
Coming in just under the wire, though the pictures were taken this morning… I can see that the weekends are going to be especially challenging with posting though taking the pictures is easy enough. I have two shots for you today.

The first is Bruiser, mid panic attack first thing this morning.

Poor baby. Morning are hard.

The next is Liam and I in matching tie dye…

Sometimes we are just that cool.

It was a hectic Sunday… And Monday is looking to be just as busy!

Day 7, One Week Check In

Day 7 of the selfie project: 365 Days of Momma

The first week is done!  LOL, 51 to go!

This first week has made quite an impact on me.  I started out feeling incredibly overwhelmed on day 1…. Thinking to myself “what have I gotten myself into”. As with everything in life I just jumped in feet first. I have no concrete plans to continue doing weekly check ins, but I will certainly check in at least monthly because one glaringly obvious thing this week has brought to my attention is exactly how insecure I am about myself in pictures. I committed to taking pictures of myself, at least one a day. What I did not commit to was the number of pictures that would make it to the cutting room floor before the ones that are posted go up. I found myself getting into a routine this week of critiquing each picture I took to make sure it was “good enough” to show the world. Far too often the phrases, “I am fat in this one” or “my nose looks huge in this one” (to just pick a few!) were running through my head. This project is about acceptance. “I am me and me is awesome” will be my new mantra.

So I think it is time to set some ground rules. Every 4-5 weeks I will pick a problem area… Something that drives me nuts about the way I look. That problem area is what I will focus my efforts on with acceptance. It will be discussed occasionally and then I will find a way to learn to embrace that piece of myself through positive reinforcement or other methods.

In that spirit we will start this first period with my nose.


The Schnozolla


Noses, oh noses.  They are one of those awful areas on the body that Never. Stops. Growing… Ever.

Mine is constantly clogged up due to chronic allergies and my sense of smell is atrocious (a benefit in the nursing profession). It is also huge (in my mind), and getting larger by the year. I hate the way it looks in pictures, which is especially hilarious since I do not mind it all that much in the mirror. For some reason when I see my face in a picture it is literally the first thing I focus in on. I always blame the camera angle on the size of my schnozzola, but the reality of the situation is that it’s just big… or at least I think it is. You see, what may seem glaringly huge to me might not be something that even registers for you.  I suspect my nose obsession partially has to do with the fact that nose sizes were something that were commonly discussed when I was a child (frequently as, “I hope you don’t get your Grandfather’s nose”… sorry Djodji”).  The other part of my nose obsession really just is all about my inability to effectively breathe through it most of the time.  It is literally always on the back of my mind.  Sometimes I wear my glasses just to make it seem smaller (Thank you Howard Stern for teaching me that trick… I did learn something from your movie).  So for the next few weeks I will be wearing my contacts more as we address my issues with my nose.


Day 2

Day 2 of the selfie project: 365 Days of Momma

This morning Liam wanted nothing to do with snuggles. He was far to busy playing steal the blanket from our oldest dog while madly giggling. So I thought I would take a few minutes by myself on the couch with my morning coffee…


Unfortunately that was quickly interrupted by the youngest dog who has an anxiety problem….