Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Tree 2013

Last weekend we finally got our Christmas tree. (my opinion)
Last weekend we already set up our Christmas tree. (the Mr.'s opinion).


Since we now have two kiddos, I insisted we make a bit of thing about it. So we all packed up in our new mini-van, named Frosty, and drove to the largest Christmas tree in the area. There we were greeted by the largest Santa Claus PJ had ever seen.

When we were finally able to entice PJ away from Santa, we started cruising through the already-cut trees. There was a pretty big selection. Thankfully, PJ was willing to help by carefully inspecting all sides of every single tree.

Finally we found our tree: not too tall, slender, and easy to decorate (and un-decorate) for toddler-sized people.

And we all cheered! Okay, Jelly Bean slept, but same thing, right?

Later that same day, the boys put the tree up nice and straight. 

Then PJ and I wrapped the "snow" around the bottom of the tree.

And then the boys cut open the netting of the tree. I'm pretty sure I didn't breathe until the Mr. put those scissors away.

And, finally, right after nap time (and thus PJ was in his adorable monster pjs), we decorated the tree.

Even little Jelly Bean helped out.

And before we knew it, our tree was up and we were all watching a Christmas movie. While Jelly Bean just looked adorable with her papa.

Happy Christmas Decorating!


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Beatles x2

PJ displayed interest in music at any early age and now Jelly Bean is following in his footsteps. However, while PJ went towards harder music, like the famous Metallica lullaby, Jelly Bean is showing preference towards hiphop (Lord, help me) and folk (yeah!). 

Yet, their music taste overlaps in some areas, like Oasis, Martin & James, and - of course - The Beatles. Remember when PJ wore this T-shirt?

Damn, our kids are cute ;)


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Happy Two Months Jelly Bean

Jelly bean is already two months old. In the past few days she's definitely gotten more active. 

She's also still a good eater and a good sleeper. The past two nights she's slept five hours in a row with her dad. Glorious!!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Granny Traditions 2013

While my mom was here, she built upon her special and new traditions with my kiddos. The links go to earlier blogs from her time with us earlier this year as a comparison.

1. She made awesome cookies with PJ.

Making the batter

Cutting out the cookies

PJ refusing to clean up after all the fun.

2. She decorated Jelly Bean's room. Apologies to my mom and Jelly Bean. I just cannot get good pictures of this room; it is too awesome for my limited camera options. And Jelly Bean is still too young to react and enjoy the artist value here.

3. She acted silly around all over the house with both kids. One strength that my mom has is acting child-like; PJ adored it.
Amazing picture snapped while playing hide-and-seek with Granny.

I have no idea what they are doing here but it was loud and looked like a lot of fun.

4. Getting the entire Steinbach clan in front of the camera at the same time (well, almost).
PJ refused to show his face.
So we tried again, including Granny this time.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Granny Goes Home

My mom's trip over to Germany is already over. Can you believe it? Me either. Although we did a lot together during her trip - and if I get it together, I'll post about our adventures - her time here was still too short. Isn't it always?

When we told Tilly, her response was...

..."Yo, Granny, you just got here."

I agree but it was excellent to have her here again this year and I'm pretty sure I speak for us all when I say...

..."Come back soon! And bring Grandpa with ya."


Monday, December 2, 2013


Our little girl enjoyed her first Thanksgiving last week. We hosted this year again because my mom is in town and somehow cooking the turkey appeared (and was) easier than packing up the whole family. Of course we celebrated with the Lamberts; gotta keep the tradition going. 

The turkey was awesome and I got to use my fabulous crock pot to make the best stuffing I've ever made. 

It was a loud day, as PJ and Granny got to know each other again. I have no idea what they are playing here but it looked and sounded like a lot of fun.

After play and right before the food was done, PJ helped set the table with my moms support. 

Meanwhile in the kitchen, Mr. Lambert helped cut my glorious turkey. And my Mr. Supervised. Both excelled at their roles.

And then we all dug in. 

Except Jelly Bean, who just looked adorable the entire time. 

I did my best to look adorable too, but really, the competition was intense. Pretty sure I came in second. 

There is so much to be thankful for this year. As I get older the list gets more "classic": our healthy family, our safe home, and that we have each other. 


Monday, November 25, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Parenting Two

Parenting these two beautiful children:

Sometimes feels like this:

Beyond worth it. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

Small Moments: Sleeping Babies

I rocked Jelly Bean to asleep and then I carefully laid her in her little bed downstairs. Then PJ did the same with his baby. 

Best big brother ever. Most adorable little sister ever. 


Monday, November 11, 2013

One Month Jelly Bean

Today Ms. Jelly Bean is exactly one month old. Holy jeepers; one full month.

This past month has been such a different experience than the first month with PJ. Bluntly stated: I enjoy Jelly Bean in a way that wasn't possible with PJ.

As a second-time mom, I now know that this precious, exhausting newborn phase disappears quickly and when it does, it does forever. When PJ was a newborn every challenge felt like it would never, ever end. We would always be sleep-deprived. He would always demand to be carried everywhere and all the time. He would always eat every hour. With Jelly Bean, I know that none of that is true and, therefore, I can thoroughly enjoy snuggling with her for hours every day. Hours, people, hours, and with absolutely no shame and no guilt. I Love it.

I can even get a little teary-eyed when I realize she's already outgrown a bunch of clothes, a proof that this special time is already rushing by.

Yup, outgrown.

I barely got her into this one before she outgrew it.
I also know now what type of mom I want and - more importantly? - can be. And I know how to ask for help being that mom. I also have mom friends that I can share war stories with and be greeted with understanding, encouragement, and, often, laughter. I'm also much, much better at ignoring unwanted advice, skirting undesired conversations, and doing what is right for my family.
I'm a baby-wearing, sushi-eating, natural-term nursing mommy. And so much more.
Another part of my ability to enjoy Jelly Bean is that she is just an easier baby. She cries less (that link goes to my all-time favorite blog entry about PJ as a newborn); she sleeps more; and, since I had gained experience and knowledge, establishing a nursing relationship has been much easier.

Laid-back Lady
And, lastly, and extremely importantly, I'm doing well emotionally. I am not suffering from post-partum depression this time. Even after a rough pregnancy, another induction, a horrid post-partum infection with an extended hospital stay, and the challenges of expanding our family dynamic from three people to four. It is amazing how different the newborn phase is without a dark, heavy cloud wrapped around my soul.

No PPD! Even the coffee tastes better.
Happy one month, little girl. Boy are we happy to have welcomed you into the Steinbach clan.


Monday, October 28, 2013

The Jelly Bean Story in Pictures

The past two weeks have been one hell of a wild ride. Instead of blocks of text and details no one (but my mother) would care about: pictures with commentary!

Okay, okay, if you've been reading this blog or listening to me complain the past 10 months, my pregnancy with jelly bean wasn't so easy. On Tuesday, October 8, another round of ickiness started and it was bad enough that I called my doctor. She asked me to please come into the hospital...and off we went.

And I was admitted. My boys had to leave me there. I may have cried over it.
The next day, Wednesday and one day before our estimated due date, we started an induction. I was two minds about it because while an induction went well with PJ, I wanted that experience of labor starting naturally this time. I even had some romantic images of driving to the hospital in contractions. But in the end, the Mr. and I decided to go ahead with another induction based on all of my ongoing health challenges and the doctor's concern about jelly bean and her "tired" placenta.
The contractions started pretty quickly but not a whole lot was happening towards labor for the first two days. Frankly, it was pretty boring, especially since the staff was concerned that I could be infectious and encouraged me to avoid all the other patients.
Thankfully, my boys came to visit me and we spent some time on the playground of the hospital. And I did get that "labor starting slowly" experience...for over two days.

But the second day, Thursday, I was smiling on the outside but I wasn't so thrilled on the inside. It was just like with PJ all over again...and then BAM! on Friday evening, October 11, at 6:30pm my water broke. Just three and a half (very loud) hours later, our little girl burst onto the scene.

Since it was a slow night for the hospital, we got to hang out for a few hours in their amazing birthing rooms getting to know each other.

The next day PJ got to come in and meet his little sister. His first words were, "Mein baby halten!" (hold my baby!) Which he did, like the excellent big brother he is.

And even better: I got to hold my two babies at the same time, one in each arm. Its true: moms' arms really do grow to make more space for each baby.

And then we got our first family portrait. Handsome group, I'd say.

Jelly bean and I stayed in the hospital until Monday. We slept a lot.

Then on Monday I got my last check up: no temperature, no pain, and I was released to go.

Yet, just shortly after we got home, I wasn't feeling so great. In fact, I felt like I was having contractions again and then suddenly I got freezing cold. I took some pain killers and tried to relax on the couch.

It didn't help. Instead, it got worse. I called my midwife who was concerned at what I described; took my temperature (over 38 degree Celsius after pain killers); and off we went back to the hospital. On the way there, the contractions increased and I felt like I was in labor again.

I got to experience that whole contractions-in-the-car bit and trust me: its not that great. Be careful what you ask for, the gods are always listening.

Upon arrival at the hospital - on the same day I was released (only me, people, only me!) - I was diagnosed with Endometritis. To help my body push out the infection as well as heal, I got pumped full with antibiotics, contraction-creating medicines, and (thankfully!) pain meds. From Monday until Wednesday I was in labor again...but I had already had my baby.

That will fuck with your mind. Just saying.

In the end Jelly Bean and I were in the hospital for over a week while the Mr. held down the fort at home and PJ dealt with his mommy being away for the first time ever. We did it all with as much grace as one can expect in the real world.

And, if I may brag for a moment please, Jelly Bean nursed through it all. That's right: I nursed my baby girl while I was going through contractions and - to quote the doctor - had a wound the size of my baby on the inside of my body. And to also quote one of my amazing nurses, that makes me one hell of a badass.

Finally on Tuesday, October 22, Jelly Bean and I finally got to go home for real. Thankfully we still have a midwife coming regularly; PJ gets to play at his kindergarten during the day; and the Mr. still has some vacation. Together, we are all easing into being a family of four.

I'm healing and gaining strength. Jelly Bean is getting some fat on her. The Mr. is still holding down the fort. And PJ is getting use to his baby being around so much. In other words, the adventure continues.

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