Baby #3 is on the way!


Wrapping up October

While naturally it is snowing in the mountains and the ski resorts are getting ready to open, we have been enjoying some incredibly beautiful fall weather here in the foothills of Denver. We even made it through October without snow in the city and the first day of November was mid 60s with no end in sight. We have been enjoying our beautiful red tree out front and the lovely sunny skies and mild weather. No complaints here!

It has been a very busy month for us. In addition to our trip to Cleveland, we’ve had 2 more birthday parties, some great play dates, a few house projects, a trip to the pumpkin patch and of course a night of trick or treating. Emmerson went as Alice in Wonderland, per her request (I think she loves just the dress!) and Hadley went as Princess Tiana though the truth is she runs in the door from school every day and heads to the dress up box to dig out that dress and put it on. She then proceeds to wear it for the rest of the night. It was a gift from her grandpa last year and is her absolute favorite thing right now! Dress up is a big hit at our house.

I,  for the second year, had the great opportunity to write letters from Santa to some much deserving children. A friend of mine owns a “copywriting” business. One of the great services she offers is letters from Santa (Click here if you are interested in ordering one!). Every year she teams up with an organization called There With Care which provides services to families with critically ill children, and a group of people get together to write letters to the kids from Santa. Because it has become such a huge hit, she enlists as many of her friends as she can to help her out. It is always such a rewarding and moving experience for me.  You hear from your children about the thousands of dollars they want you to spend for the holidays, start making your lists for family and friends, and all the while, there are hundreds of children just wishing that their brother or sister would simply be able to come home from the hospital or even make it to celebrate Christmas with them. It really puts my world into perspective.

Some of the most exciting news we received mid month is that another little princess will be joining us next year! That is right, it’s 3 girls for the Rolls’ house! And the best part, she is perfectly healthy in every way! The blood screening came back clear and the genetic screening and high tech ultrasound showed a perfect little peanut! We are so excited to meet her! I know many people are anxious to hear the names we have picked out but I’ll be honest, this is not going to be an easy task. We currently have a list of more than a dozen names that does not seem to be shrinking any time soon. You want to see them? Of course you do! But you already know we are having a girl! I can’t take all the fun out of it AND tell you what her name might be. Besides, do we really want to hear your ‘my friend’s mom’s sister in law’s mother was named that and she…”story?! I don’t think so! ;)

As always, we are keeping very busy and enjoying every minute of our time together (ok, well except the whiny moments, the frequent meltdowns and the occasional husband and wife tiff but would we be a real family without all of that?!) Here is a quick visual wrap up of what we’ve been up to! Just wanted to drop a quick post and let you all know we are still alive and indeed, life is still rolling at the Rolls’ house!

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Cleveland Rocks!

Time for a long overdue update!

We just returned from a week-long trip to Cleveland, OH where we had a wonderfully busy but relaxing time with family, friends and Dan’s company band! The Battle of the Bands at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame was a BLAST! Unfortunately Dan’s band did not place and they were all rather disappointed. However, the night itself was very exciting and just to have a once in a lifetime experience like that, well…in the end, it’s hard to complain! Dan and I enjoyed some alone time in a hotel downtown while the girls were at Dan’s uncle Jim’s house just north on the lake. Nana and Papa and Aunt Olivia took great care of them. They were so excited to have the love and attention!

Everyone made the trip to the Rock Hall on Saturday afternoon to see Dan play before the competition that evening. The girls were beyond thrilled to see their daddy on stage. They have never seen him play his saxophone like that. It was rather loud so ear plugs were in order. Emmerson couldn’t really figure hers out and since she must do everything for herself lately, I am blaming her recent bouts of ignoring me and not doing what I say on a possibly damaged ear drums! Naturally, there was no way Hadley would have survived without hers! It was tough to keep them in but I know she enjoyed being there. I was so proud of Dan! He is so incredibly talented. The girls and I are so blessed to call him daddy and husband.

The remainder of our trip was spent just outside of town with our very dear friends Ian and Rosemary Thompson and their 2 handsome boys Bennett and Lucas. The kids had so much fun playing together. They snuggled up and watched movies, destroyed the playroom daily making food and pirate ships; they jumped on the trampoline, played in the sandbox and generally just enjoyed being together. We even spend one afternoon hanging out at the museum spending most of our time in the indoor and outdoor play areas. I could go on and on about all we did but I’ll let you enjoy the pictures. They tell a great story! I also had the chance to practice my photography too. I really enjoyed the photo shoot with Lucas and even had the chance to take a few fun ones with the girls. The Thompson’s have such a beautiful piece of property surrounded by huge trees and naturally it is fall so the colors were changing and wonderful to photograph!

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We enjoyed 2 wonderful milestones while we were there. Lucas had taken a few steps before we arrived but by the end of the week, he was cruising all over! I am sure the desire to keep up with Bennett, Hadley and Emmerson gave him a nice little push. He is such a super happy little guy! We we so thrilled to finally get to meet him! I also felt the baby move for the first time last weekend! It seems awfully early I know but with the 2nd and now the 3rd kiddo, I know what to expect and while I certainly get some other fun bubbles in my tummy, there is no doubt I’ve felt a little one squirming around in there. It was a very exciting week!

The adults spent our nights staying up late, laughing, catching up and of course playing many games of Euchre, our once favorite pastime! It’s hard to believe we have known one another for 10+ years ((Dan and them even longer!). We have been through so much together! Heck, there was a time we weren’t even couples, just 4 friends hanging out all the time. Now here we are married, with almost 5 kids between us and unfortunately way too many miles! Love you guys!!

The transition back home was a little rough and naturally life did not slow down much Wed-this weekend. Sunday being the most exciting day for me as I turn the big 3-6 and Dan and I get to go see one of our all time favorite bands: Phish! I think we’ll be pretty much back on track come Monday, ok maybe Tuesday after a late Sunday night! I am still hoping there could be some serious hibernating this winter. However, I am definitely not counting on it!

 

Birthday Success

It was a very busy weekend for the Rolls’! Hadley’s Alice in Wonderland Tea Birthday Party was a hit! In total we had about 17 kids 4 and under and just as many adults. When you are throwing a birthday party for a 4 year old, it turns out that you are also throwing a fun get together for your friends! I am happy to report even with all the kiddo chaos, the adults had a great time getting to know one another, sipping on mimosas, bloodies and in most cases Fat Tire beer.

I was able to borrow a couple of long tables and chairs from friends so we set up a great big kid table and pushed together 2 smaller tables for those under 2. I decorated with a paper table cloth, colorful Gerber daisies, some brightly colored paper lanterns, a homemade happy birthday sign and of course, plates, napkins, utensils and gold sparkly tea cups!

The evening before I made several beverages from a great website I found called weelicious.com. They were Blackberry Agua Fresca, Lemon Mint Tea made with fresh mint from my neighbors garden and of course Strawberry lemonade. I cheated on the last one and just pureed the strawberries with regular lemonade since I ran out of lemons after making hummus. I had been saving all of my lemonade bottles (and I had quite a few since it was one of the few things I could drink during my first trimester!) and removing the labels in anticipation of making these yummy drinks. I made some new labels and put them on the table as well for the kids to drink. I think the fesca and lemonade were the biggest hits but personally, I preferred the tea!

I planned 2 activities but naturally, most of the kids just wanted to play in Hadley’s room and the playroom and hang out together which was perfectly wonderful too! I think she was just so overjoyed to have so many of her favorite people in one place! We didn’t end up doing pin the tail on the Cheshire Cat but it may have been a bit much with that many kids anyway. They did thoroughly enjoy making their Queen crowns and Mad Hatter hats though. It was a definitely a hit! I had stickers, feathers, pens and the kids made a mess and really enjoyed making their own special creations. Thankfully a lot of the mamas helped out too! I think it would have been tough to manage that one on my own!

After a good bit of time contemplating the kind of cake to make, considering taking cake decorating classes, and visiting many bakeries to discuss possible designs, the cake turned out to be, well, a bit of a disappointment. For me anyway! However, luckily, this birthday was not at all about me and Hadley was thrilled with it! I ordered a fondant cake topper from a lady I found on Craigslist. She owns her own business making all kinds of cakes and decorations out of her home. Her work was good based on what I saw on her website. I sent her a picture idea of what I wanted and she said she could definitely do it. I found this one on Etsy but unfortunately the seller no longer makes them. Here is what it looked like:

Here is what I got:

Now, I by no means expected them to look exactly alike, but…I have heard all the theories about the Chesire Cat’s hookah pipe being filled with something other than tobacco as well as the theories that Alice was on something when she “fell down the rabbit hole” but never in a million years did I expect to get an Alice, for a 4 year old’s birthday party, that in many ways represented such ideas! I had a good laugh with many of the moms about it! Regardless, she was still far better than anything I could have made and I didn’t pay that much for it thank goodness! With all the other cooking and preparations we had to do for the party, Dan baked the cake early the morning of, some of my mom friends helped me frost it at the party, we threw Alice on top, and called it the cake we won’t soon forget! It was delicious! ;)

Naturally the party wrapped up with Hadley opening her gifts. She got some great things that she has been playing with non stop!

And when most of the guests were gone, the remaining parents retired to the backyard to socialize, eat and drink while the kiddos piled on the couch and watched what else but Alice in Wonderland! I think they were all well entranced in in sugar commas and/or half asleep!

All in all, you can see, it was a fun filled day! Neither of our girls had a nap but were in bed just after 7pm and slept until after 7am the next morning. It was such a joy for be to do so much for Hadley in preparing for her party. Maybe I have this stay-at-home-mom thing down after all!

Whose that girl?

Hadley has had 2 chiropractor appointments so far. One last week and one this week. The first one was interesting in that the doctor discovered a large knot in her neck and in talking with him, he seemed to know some of her “issues” before I even said them. These included her eating habits, how she was always warm, that she was a very colicky/fussy baby and that she had been on antibiotics at a very young age. These were things I discussed with the RN and health coach we are currently working with to help get Hadley healthy and happy. It was a very interesting conversation and one of the things we focused on and that has stuck with me is that she was on antibiotics within a few hours of being born. This was due to me having a fever while pushing. It is possible for the baby to acquire an infection as a result of this so when she went to the NICU for oxygen, she was also given several antibiotics as a precautionary measure. As first time parents, we were naturally concerned that she was ok and just followed anything they told us. While I am very grateful for antibiotics and believe them to be very useful for all of us, they can kill off the good bacteria in our bodies. A rather extreme example of this is when a cancer patient has chemotherapy to kill the cancer, they can become extremely ill as it is also killing off the natural fighting agents in our body. It’s a risk worth taking most of the time but this can also explain why some people, who don’t necessarily have a good chance of survival even with the chemo, choose not to do it.

So Hadley, having had it as very new being may not have had a significant time to even have built these antibiotics. Now, none of this has been confirmed by her doctor or any outside medical research on my part but I am anxious to read more about it as well as discuss it with her pediatrician at her 4 year appointment next week.

Back to the chiropractor…the first appointment went well. I could tell she was relaxed. As a matter of fact she had an accident in her bed early that morning before waking which hasn’t happened in many months. I believe she just slept very well! This week was even more fascinating, and I have to admit I was jealous watching all of her adjustments. I had to wake her from nap to go which is never a happy time anyway so it was a bit rough when we arrived and she resisted getting on the table. But once she did, oh man! He was moving her around like a rag doll and she just handled it all so well! He even commented on how he was pushing her a little because she was so responsive. When she got off that table, it was like someone had given her a shot of adrenaline. She was bouncing off the walls! So happy and so full of energy! It was wonderful!

That evening and for the last couple of days the whining and general protesting has been so minimal. I have this sweet respectful (we’ve been talking a lot about that at our house lately!), kind daughter. She has been so helpful with Emmerson and Dan even told me that tonight she picked up the playroom organizing and sorting the toys. Who is this kid??

We will go back again next week. The sessions are very short and rather pricey but I keep telling myself there is a reason I have my job and if helping Hadley get healthy is one of them, I am all for that! I am also anxious to start the supplements that the health coach recommended but we have to spread out the cost a little. It made sense to me to get her body in a better space first in hopes that when she takes the additional supplements which will be probiotics, Omega 3s and B vitamins, hopefully she will process them to their fullest extent.

In other news, the family is gearing up for a super fun Alice in Wonderland Birthday tea party this Saturday. We are expecting quite a few kiddos and their parents and I’ve been working hard on decorations, planning food and activities to keep them all entertained. You’ll find lots of pictures here early next week! It’s kind of all about Hadley right now so I am trying to give Emmerson lots of love and attention during out time together in the mornings.

Fall is officially here and we had a cooler rainy day to prove it. The weather is still mostly 70s or low 80s during the days but the nights are great for sleeping again! The warm afternoon air mixed with the cool evenings make for some beautiful sunsets just out our back door!  Here is hoping the season sticks around a little longer than id did last year! As always, life just never stops rolling at our house!

Social Butterflies

We had a full and busy weekend this past weekend! Dan had a very quick trip to Tacoma, WA for a band gig.  His company has an event every year called Tour Davita which raises funds for kidney disease and awareness. At the end they have a big celebration and naturally The Davita Blues Allstars play! It was a very quick trip for him. He flew out early Saturday morning and was back at home by 1pm on Sunday. They need all the practice they can get for now we are less than 2 weeks away from The Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland! We’ll be taking the whole family! It will be the first time the girls get to see daddy on stage playing his heart out. Not to mention we get to visit with Nana and Papa again and our dear friends The Thompsons! We are very excited about the trip.

While Dan was getting his groove on in the northwest, the girls and I were here keeping up with their very busy social calendar. Saturday morning we went to Heritage Square for Hadley’s good buddy Chase’s birthday! It was a fun day filled with pizza, cake, rides, games and some serious bravery! Unfortunately I was not able (or interested for that matter ;) to go on any of the rides but luckily, we had some helpers. Hadley rode the roller coaster with Sarah and was so proud of herself. I have to admit, I was shocked she went through with it. She loved it!

There were a couple of other favorite rides as well and Emmerson even got on one! I wish I could have experienced this with them but am so glad I got to be on the side to get some great shots of everyone enjoying themselves!

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We came home for a few hours and everyone took a rest…even me! Then we were up and out the door again to a playdate with the Schuchmans at their new house. The girls had so much fun playing on their new play set outside and climbing all over the playhouse inside with all their friends. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of friends with kiddos close to the girls’ ages. It was wonderful for me to have a packed day of fun the day Dan was gone. The girls were happily busy and I got to enjoy some time with friends.

Sunday was spent running errands and meeting a midwife at our house. We are looking into possibly having a home birth with this baby. So far Dan is going to need a lot more convincing! Stay tuned to see if my magical persuasive Libra powers take hold! Hope this finds you and yours happy and healthy!

Me time

I was thinking tonight as I was getting ready to head for work how much I miss my evening runs. Last summer I started training for my first half marathon which I ran in October. I wasn’t working at all then (well, at a paying job ;) and Dan would come home and I would walk out the door shortly after and run for 1/2 hour, hour, until it got dark…it just depended on where I was in my training. It was such a great stress reliever for me at the end of a long day with the girls. It was me time. Time I got to listen to my music and just feel good inside and out. Don’t get me wrong, being home with the girls is such a gift but every mom knows, working outside the home or not,  if mama ain’t happy, ain’t no body happy. As far as I can tell a happy mama= mama time away from the kiddos doing something she loves. Shortly after I quite my job, for me, that became running.

Though the pregnancy has gotten so much better this week, I mean it’s literally like someone flipped a switch inside my body Monday morning, trying to find me time is tough, which is why I still have my job. I work Monday and Wednesday nights at a university library. It is so peaceful and quiet there! Dan has class Tuesday and Thursday evenings until 7:30 and with fall creeping up on us, the sun is making it’s trip earlier and earlier away from our side of the living sphere, so it has become rather difficult for me to get out for a walk or run in the evenings. By Friday we are all spent and Saturday and Sunday we enjoy as much family time as playing tag team while we squeeze in all those errands I didn’t get done during the week. So I just haven’t made much time for me. The good news is we have found a wonderful babysitter that lives just up the street and she has agreed to come every Thursday evening for a couple of hours. WHOO HOO! I will be heading to prenatal yoga while the girls get lots of love, attention and play time from a very sweet girl. They love her! I was so lucky to do yoga with both of my first pregnancies so I am grateful to get that time again with this peanut!

Now Dan and I are talking about sending Emmerson to a home preschool run by a good friend of ours who took care of Hadley at the same age. She would go 2 mornings a week and would be around little ones her age which we really feel was great for Hadley. I am torn though. Of course the alone time (aka more me time) would be wonderful but I so enjoy my mornings with her right now. I know I would miss her! My mom always used to tell me how fickle I was growing up. Some days, more often lately with the pregnancy, I am counting the hours, minutes, seconds until nap time. Other days, I wish there was no need for it so we could just play all day. But that is parenting. Filled with guilt, laughter, frustration, and a love that I am utterly convinced will never be able to be put into words. How can something, someone(s) make you so inexplicably fickle?

So on this hump day, I am looking forward to an evening of stretching and relaxing tomorrow night but of course, we have a very full day leading up to it!

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