Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

The last week has been filled with all kinds of fun, topped off with a large helping of mashed potatoes at tonight's big turkey dinner at my aunt's house! 

Sylvia's preschool held their annual Thanksgiving Dinner, which includes a little performance in the church before the meal.  If you've never watched 3-5 year olds try to take turns singing, you're really missing out!  Her preschool has almost doubled in size since last year, which made for an awesome performance at St. Pat's!  My videos of the performance are pretty good, but not nearly as cute as being there in person.  I haven't uploaded them to YouTube yet, so I'll just post this one, which is better anyway:

Here she is practicing a couple nights before the big show!

Here's the opening prayer:

I have so much to be thankful for tonight.  I will never forget how I felt when Evan was deployed to Afghanistan and I constantly remind myself that that feeling was true gratitude.  While he was fighting in a scary, far away place, I was loading a dishwasher and folding laundry and wiping baby butts.  I remember folding one tiny sock over another one to keep them both together and suddenly my breath was taken away by how beautiful it was.  Everything I have and everything I am is a gift that does not go unappreciated.  When my head hits the pillow at night, I thank God for another beautiful day with this sweet little family we've made.  Since we never know what's around the corner, I've learned to thank God for the peace and happiness I feel rightthisverysecond.  Because I can't ask for more than that. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Albert: 4 Months

Albert's room doesn't get nearly as much light as Margot's did for her monthly pics, so his 3 month pics turned out terribly and I decided to skip that update altogether.  For his 4 month pics I just laid him on his favorite blanket in the family room and I am much more pleased with these photos!  I wish I had done this from the beginning!

Anyway, My Main Man is four whole months old already!  Sometimes that seems so big and sometimes it seems like he's been here forever - much longer than four tiny months.  He's going through quite a growth spurt, but I only know that because he's acting like a college frat boy - eating a ton and partying all night long until the breaka-breaka dawn.  At  his four month check up I was really expecting him to post some big stats, but alas...he's every bit as tiny as his wee sisters.  The doctor reassured me that all is well, he's meeting all of his milestones (and then some), and you can't ask for more than a happy, healthy baby!  Here's what Albert's been up to lately.

Likes:  nursing, grabbing things that are within arm's reach, especially things hanging from his playmat, sitting on laps and looking at faces, nursing, cooing and smiling at you to see if you'll return the favor, nursing, his blue dou dou bear, sleeping in the car, nursing, kicking his feet in the tub or on the floor, nursing.

Warming up to: the jumperoo, the bumbo, the bottle, sitting up on the couch or propped up on pillows

Dislikes: being left alone to fall asleep at night, loud noises, the Ergo carrier (especially if we try to make him face us, belly to belly - sometimes he tolerates facing out, but not for long), when everyone in the family tries to sit down and eat at the same time.

Life with Albert: The girls are still completely smitten with Albert.  Sylvia can change his diaper (!!!) and she loves to sing to him when he's fussy.  She is my little helper and she almost knows what I'm going to ask her to do before I ask it, as far as the baby's concerned.  Margot wants to do everything Sylvia can do, but she just isn't big enough, which frustrates her to no end.  I keep trying to find smaller tasks that she can do: if Sylvia gets to change his diaper, Margot gets to take off his socks!  If Sylvia wants to sing to him, Margot gets to push the swing.  The name of the game is delegating and giving each girl something responsible to do!  Otherwise we have bedlam on our hands and royal meltdowns ensue.

We are slowly adjusting to life with Mama back at work.  I can't begin to describe how wonderful it is to have a stay-at-home dad who takes care of all of their needs day in and day out.  Albert's nap schedule is starting to fall into place and because of that, Sylvain is able to plan his days around naps, feedings, preschool drop-off and pick-up, snacks, meals, tummy time, play time, clean up time....when I think about how much he does in a day I get exhausted!  On the flip side, when I get home from work, I try to nurse Albert (to avoid an evening pump session, if at all possible), play with the girls, help out with dinner, and orchestrate baths, snacks and bedtime.  Just like when the other two kids were this age, I feel like I'm rushing from the minute I wake up until the minute my head hits the pillow.

On a good day, this grind is satisfying and almost blissful - the kisses and questions and combing wet hair and pulling tight jammies over tired little heads and "Good night, Syl-veee-ya" and "I love you, Margot!" and songs and's usually enough to make my heart burst.  But not all days are good days, and we have our fair share of whining and crying and sibling fights and wiping butts and crayons on the wall and "OH MY GOD YOU GAVE ME TOAST INSTEAD OF PLAIN BREAD, MY LIFE IS RUINED" meltdowns!  Those days are not fun.  But those days have an end and when I lay down at night I know that I have three healthy, happy kids upstairs and we all get another chance to love each other in the morning.

And on my worst days, I just spend a little extra time nursing Albert in the middle of the night.  If I'm brazen enough to make eye contact with him, he will smile and coo and remind me that, at our core, we are LOVE.  Eventually we have opinions and preferences, but as infants and starter-people....we are nothing but LOVE.  That boy is amazing.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Halloween Weekend!

This year's trick-or-treating was as exciting as we all expected.  Like last year, we invited the Reynolds' to come with us because it's more fun to run from house to house with your best friend.  However, we had so much fun with them last year that we thought it would be fun to invite more friends to join us this year, especially since it fell on a FRIIIDAAAYYYY!!!!  Unfortunately, three of the other families we invited had other plans, but FORTUNATELY our best Stella girl could make it!  Having friends over for Halloween is THE BEST because we all ate dinner before the kids left, we filled up our solo cups with adult beverages for the long trick-or-treat haul around the neighborhood, then by night fall we were all back in the house, watching Curious George, eating candy, and finishing our adult beverages!  It was a win-win for everybody.

 I didn't get many good pictures at all, but I did get a great one of all the kids and Mamie before we left!  Albert was the cutest little pumpkin you ever did see, but he was sleeping when we started trick-or-treating.  Oh well!

 We did run into our buddies, Leah and Nate!  By this point, Margot had lost the caterpillar costume.

It was cold out, but at least it wasn't raining!  By the time it was dark, all the kiddos were back inside, which meant they really only trick-or-treated for about an hour.  They wanted to watch the Curious George Halloween special, so we fired up Netflix and let the good times roll!  Margot looks quite suspicious in the picture above.  No one dared to touch her candy.

Mamie and Albert had a dandy time!  She stayed all weekend to watch the kids for us on Saturday night while I sang with my old a capella group in Lexington, then we all went to Disney on Ice on Sunday! 

I also don't have many pics at all from the wonderful 20 year reunion concert in Lexington.  I should write a separate blog post about it, but Laura did a darn good job of saying everything I would have said.  It all boils down to this: the UK Women's Choir was my first and only experience with choral music.  I was thrilled to be a part of it 15 years ago.  Standing in the middle of 100 beautiful voices, under the steadfast direction of Dr. Hetzel, is one of my life's greatest memories.  Consequently, singing with Paws and Listen, a select group of 16 girls, was the icing on the cake.  That's where I met one of my very best friends and we've spent the last 12 years navigating life together, through boyfriends, husbands, careers and kids.  We discovered last weekend that no matter how long we've been away from our alma matter, there will always be a space in our hearts for that group of amazing women.  I cried a lot.  I closed my eyes and desperately tried to soak up the sound around me and imprint the vibrations onto my very bones.  There's nothing like it.  I was honored to be a part of it, and I was so excited to sing on stage in front of Sylvain and Sylvia!  They came down for the show, and while I have NO pictures of myself on stage, I'm not sure they would be very good ones anyway because all I did was smile and snap.  Here are some pictures of our girls waiting for the show.  Sylvia has since declared that Ellie is her best friend.

One more great story from that night: After the alum sang with the current Paws members, the old ladies left the stage so the current group could sing three new songs.  One of them was Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off."  Sylvia LOVES that song, so I tiptoed up to the curtain back stage and looked out at her in her seat.  She and Ellie were sitting on the very, very edge of their seats and Sylvia was bouncing along and singing every word.  That was the highlight of her night.  I don't mind one bit!

Finally, our awesome weekend ended with a trip to Disney On Ice with Mamie.  The girls had so much fun and I did, too!  I had Margot on my lap the whole time.  It was her first show and she was totally enthralled with the whole experience.  She kept shouting, "Mommy, look!" and pointing at every new character that arrived.  And, I'm telling you, I know every word to every Disney song, and I've seen Frozen 4 gazillion times, but when Elsa and Anna started singing together I totally cried. 

And that's our whirlwind Halloween weekend in a nutshell.  Next up, Albert's 4 month checkup!  Spoiler alert: he's the tiniest Fasciotto by far.  Womp womp.....

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Yikes!  It's been over a month since I've posted and that month just happens to be October (and nine days of November) in which SO MUCH FUN was had!  Instead of posting each event, here's a giant month-in-pictures post.  Hang on to your hats!

Preschool Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

Fun facts: Margot puked in the car on the way there and I had no extra clothes.  We bought clothes at a second hand store and put them straight on to her little body because WE ARE NOT MISSING PUMPKIN DAY!  Also, when all the kids were in line to milk the cow, the farmer was listing examples of dairy products.  The preschoolers were chiming in to say, "Mmm....milk!" and "I had yogurt for breakfast!" and "Cheese is my favorite!"  Then Margot yelled in her loudest, rowdiest, scratchiest voice, "I LOVE HOT DOGS!"  There was a huge silence and all the moms turned to stare at her as I was holding her.  One mom said, "Did she just say she dogs??"  I had tears in my eyes trying to hold back the laughter and when I said, "Yes," it all came out and I was laughing like a lunatic.  I had no excuse, the girl eats hot dogs almost every day.  Sigh.  I love 2 year olds!


No family pictures this year because the kids were having too much fun running around.  We didn't stay long because it started to rain, but we stayed long enough to have a beer and a bavarian cream puff.  Success!  Next:

Neltner Farm!

This is my favorite Fall tradition.  It's like I'm watching my kids grow before my eyes!  I could go on and on about how special this place is to us, but instead I'll just dump these pictures here and hope that we're still getting the same good pumpking picking pictures when they're teenagers!

Preschool Halloween Gift Gathering Party!

Our preschool hosts a gift gathering party every year in October to collect items to use in the silent raffle during the Family Dance in January.  It's also a good excuse to let the kids come to school in bulky costumes that are much too hot to wear on a regular school day!  They rotate through centers and activities and this year did not disappoint!  It was worth skipping naps, I'll tell ya that much!

Margot can't wait to start preschool next year!  If that just gave you a heart attack, how about this: when Margot's in preschool next year, Sylvia Joyce will be in KINDERGARTEN.  Like a darn grown up.

So that covers October, except for our amazing Halloween, which will have to wait for another post.  It's been a busy, wonderful, exciting fall!