Back to the Nest! (June 5, 2015)

What's better than sister hugs?

Well, I’m ashamed to say that this is at least the tenth time I have sat down to write my first post. My first post since my not so new job, the latest addition to the Nihill family, and the loss of a matriarch of our family! Life gets busy and while that is no excuse for the lack of memories documented over the past couple of years and it is my inspiration for coming back! So many things have happened including Gabby’s 1st birthday! The addition to one more in the clan has without a doubt added chaos to the Nihill house – but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Gabby meeting her sisters for the first time!

Gabby meeting her sisters for the first time!

Gabby’s entrance into the world was exactly like her personality. Everything was going great until a few weeks before her due date she decided to flip to breech. And while I appreciated the relief of having her off my sciatic nerve, a new stress arose! I was given some time to try all of the tricks in the book with regards to flipping babies – and I could feel her flip , and then flip right back….. finally came the talk of trying a version and then holding her in place for an induction. My goal was to go natural again so this was the next best thing! The day of the version came and I just had a feeling something was not going to flow the right way. Soon enough I would realize how right I was. 10 minutes into the version I was rushed in for an emergency c-section and knocked out cold as Gabby’s heart rate dropped drastically and everyone yelled “Code White”. Poor Bill barely made it into the operating room to see her born – they really should make scrubs a bit easier to tie up…. A c-section was something like I had never experienced before. Having the other two natural – this was a whole new ball game. I couldn’t just get up and take a shower – I was lucky if I could sit up in bed. The next day was Thanksgiving so Gabby and I celebrated with Bill while the girls got a real dinner at my parent’s followed by dessert with Bill at his aunt’s house (Thank you for thinking of them!). Thanksgiving in the hospital is not really the same but I was so thankful we had Gabby to celebrate. While I don’t have all of the gory details, it is likely that she may not have made it through a natural birth as the cord was wrapped around her neck – based on her personality you would never know her struggle!

The first few weeks home were crazy – trying to care for a newborn after major surgery is hard! Especially when you are accompanied by 2 slightly needy toddlers. SO grateful for all of the help I got from the daddy of the year! Life would have been so much harder without my nap nanny. I am glad that I stocked up on a second one before they went out of business!  Gabby slept in hers the first 10 weeks of life and still rests (because I can’t call them naps since they are only 15-30 minutes long) in it!

Time went on and I finally starting feeling better. We started getting into a routine and then Hand, Foot, Mouth struck the house. This is one of the most disgusting things I have seen – it comes with a vengeance and lasts forever. Alexa got it the worst, along with Bill (poor guy) and then Carmella got it but not as bad. After getting everyone back from that it was time to return to work. I thought it was going to be easier but its just as hard with the third if not harder – because now the older two know what it means when mommy has to go back to work. Luckily we quickly fell into a routine, Gabby is eating great and growing like a weed! Though of course she takes after Carmella with her sleeping so I am lucky when she sleeps 4 hours at a stretch.

gabs

Fast forward and here we are! Carmella is in her second year of preschool, having her first boy crush at school and acting like a 15 year old instead of the 5 year old that she should be. Lexa is thriving, dying to go to school and is pretty much happy all of the time. She’s definitely got a bit of daddy’s sense of humor. Gabby got daddy’s facial expressions and has them down to a T and now that her personality has started to shine through she is definitely his mini me. While she is a snuggle bug when she wants to be she definitely can show her wild side. Anything on the floor is fair game for a snack – including the innocent spider that was walking by one day (yes I HATE spiders and yes it had to be pulled out of her mouth!) She loves her snacks and is definitely the biggest daddy’s girl by far !!

Halloween was a great adventure this year! We had a renaissance queen and her princess along with their owl. Carmella and Lexa really got into it this year – Lexa of course was in love with the candy and Carmella was more in love with the way she looked parading through the neighborhood. Seriously they couldn’t be more opposite but they get along so well (most of the time!).

November was crazy. Carmella and Gabby fell victim to the first ear infections of the season and of course the medicine initially prescribed didn’t work for either one. I think we need to apply for frequent flier points at the doctors.

Christmas 2014!

Enough of the negative! Gabby is growing like crazy and developing physically faster than the other two in her hopes to be able to keep up with them.  She loves table food and is slowly turning away from her baby food to crackers (which she loudly yells for in the kitchen when she’s hungry), pizza, pasta, bread, bagels, steamed carrots, soup, mac and cheese and the occasional spider (Yes, and not one the ones with skinny little legs, a bit thick spider that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time – something about him looked tasty and she picked him up and scooped him into her mouth before Bill or I could stop her. Bill got the joyous task of removing the dead spider from her mouth while she was crying because we wouldn’t let her eat it. That will turn into one of “those” stories that we will look back on….). She also likes grazing on any stray crumb or dirt clump that she happens upon in her travels and sometimes the occasional shoe.  She mastered the art of climbing up the stairs – a big full set of stairs – at 11 months and then easily defeated (aka climbed over ) the baby gate that was put up top keep her contained from any more explorations on the stairs. The kitchen cabinets/lazy susan’s are also a fun adventure – I think we may actually have to start baby proofing the house for Gabby!

She has also reached some amazing milestones with her sisters’ help! She can play catch (and throws the ball back to them), she has learned all sorts of words like cracker, dad, mom, Lexa , Lella, she sings let it go with her sisters – and while she may not sing the words she tries hard to get the tune :)

Time is flying by way too fast. Life just gets faster and faster and I am looking forward to this crazy ride!

It is also a very exciting time in Nihill house – I have gone back into the World of all things Green! I have missed my Chartreuse Products, and while I definitely have been busy, I missed the products and educating people about leading a greener life. After a long hard search I have finally settled on the company that I want to represent to all of my old customers and new customers!  Green tip of the day will be back! Facebook tips and contests will be back! Since I am now chasing 3 around the house I will have to make some adjustments in my time but I will be sure to share all of my information with you! www.myceladonroad.com/thegreenerme .

A family of.....6!

March and April were a period of mixed emotions in the Nihill house. At the end of March we announced that we were expecting Baby Nihill #4! So exciting as Gabby will now have her partner in crime and Carmella and Lexa can play mother hen to one more sibling.

Shortly after we announced that we were expecting Bill’s uncle passed away who was a huge influence in his life. He was his mentor with regards to painting and really stepped in when Bill’s dad passed away right after we graduated high school. These events in life are never easy, especially when they are unexpected.

Noni with the girls on Mother's Day 2014

A few weeks later I received the news that my Noni (a true Italian grandmother in every sense of the word) had passed away. Again it was a day with mixed emotions as I received a phone call within the hour of learning about Noni with the test results for the baby. Everything came back great and with the shocking news that we were having a boy! I almost fell out of my chair – we have all girls so we were thinking it was girl #4, we even had girl names! The next few days were a blur and then we had the service for Noni. To make sure everything was the way she wanted it she had gone a few years prior to plan everything out – part of it was to make it easier on everyone but I think she really wanted to be sure that everything was exactly the way she wanted it. Out of all my grandparents I was the closest to Noni and am so grateful for the time that we did spend together.  Beach days were always fun – getting there before the parking ticket people got it so we always got free parking & listening to Noni’s commentary on everyone (yes pretty much everyone that walked by) and having a conversation that most people never imagine having with their grandmother. Her house was always a welcoming place – instantly on walking in you could smell the treat of the day – whether it be sauce (and gnocchi’s my personal favorite), cheesecake, half-moon cookies or any other recipe she would be trying out. Bill was often her guinea pig for her new creations and often times they were winners. Her house was always open whether stopping by for a quick visit, staying for lunch or staying overnight. As a young kid I remember staying over numerous times. Having English muffin pizzas for breakfast followed by a huge Italian feast for lunch and a “snack” of the super huge sized Friendly’s sundae with any topping we wanted.  A few hours later it was back for dinner – which would be another elaborate Italian meal. I look back on these memories fondly and realize that I want to create my own similar memories with my grandchildren one day. She was never one to hold back on her opinions, and maybe that was why we got along so well. She was always honest with her opinions but had a certain way of saying it to you that the words didn’t sound as harsh as what she was actually saying. One of my strongest memories of her would be the day she took me shopping around Easter time. We happened upon an open chocolate Easter bunny in the aisle which she promptly helped herself to. When I asked what she was doing she responded that the store couldn’t sell it and it was just going to be thrown away so why not eat it.  I am so glad that my oldest 3 kids got to meet her and that Carmella and Lexa had the opportunity to form a bond with her. She was an amazing woman. As sad as it is knowing that she will never meet our baby boy, it is a blessing that she is no longer suffering and she has now joined my grandfather who I’m sure was waiting for her.

It's a boy!

And to end on a happy note – we have started working on baby stuff! First step is to find a boy name that we LOVE as we never had to think about a boy name before :) and second step is to try to clean out some of the pink and animal print for the incoming blue! Lexa is excited for the blue as it’s her favorite color too, and Carmella is just excited to have another baby in the house (though she can’t understand why he is the last!) and Gabby will be interesting to watch….

That is the update for now – hard to catch up on a couple of years in a few paragraphs but on to documenting new experiences and memories and I’m sure we’ll catch up on some that we have missed in the past too :) Stay tuned…..

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