July 8, 2018 § Leave a comment
Charlie turns ONE on Tuesday, but we celebrated his birthday yesterday with a whole bunch of family and his best friend, Evan’s family too :) Here are some photos from the fabulous day.
Both of Charlie’s Grandpas were there!
For the first time since my niece Anna was born, all 7 grandkids/cousins were together in the same place.
The Spiderman pinata was absolutely destroyed by the kids.
Charlie and his best friend Evan.
A blurry, but only complete family photo of the day.
One of Charlie’s favourite new toys!
We ended the evening by going out for dinner with the grandparents at Swiss Chalet, where we all ate ravenously, especially Charlie.
Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate this little ray of sunshine!
August 10, 2017 § Leave a comment
We have been adjusting to life as a family of four and I think we’re just really starting to find our rhythm. Nick went back to work full time this week and Henry’s been hanging out with his sitter & her son Monday through Thursday for about 6 hours a day. This is great for Charlie and I being able to have some time together, even if it means him crying and fussing and nursing til he falls asleep. Things are pretty loud in a two bedroom apartment with a nearly-4-year-old and so it’s nice to have some time where it’s just the two of us, Charlie sleeping peacefully and me being able to shower/read/re-apply for Canadian Citizenship Certificates, etc.
The time between babysitter leaving and Nick getting home where I have both kids usually involves a TV break (so we can all hang out on the couch happily) or me carrying Charlie around in the Ergo so he doesn’t fuss and I can play with Henry. Making dinner is still an adventure, but I’m figuring it out, even if it means Charlie crying a bit because I can’t hold him all the time.
Nick has been taking “Summer Fridays” off for the month, so we can spend them together as a family. Last Friday, we actually made it into the city to go to the Museum of Natural History! Sure, Charlie and I had to make an emergency evacuation of the planetarium show because he wouldn’t nurse and wouldn’t stop crying, but it was all worth it! He just wants to sleep on you for a good part of the day right now, so we might as well carry him around in the Ergo (which he MUCH prefers to his stroller at the moment) anywhere we need to go.
Charlie is a champ when it comes to eating, so he’s grown a ton in the past month. His head and face are filling out along with the rest of his body. In the photo above he looks so much like my dad and brother! Also his skin is peeling, his baby acne is clearing up, and his darker hair seems to already be falling out in his bed while he sleeps. He’s also starting to wear some of his 3 month-sized clothes. I can’t wait to see what he’ll look like in the next couple months.
We’ve found a pretty good balance when it comes to spending time with both kids too. Whenever possible, Nick will take Charlie for chest naps in our bedroom while I hang out with Henry. I also do bath and bed time with Henry every night while Nick takes Charlie after I give him one last feeding for a while. Up until this week, Nick and I have had from about 8:00-9:00 to hang out in the living room and watch Netflix and eat popcorn together, but the last few nights, Charlie has refused to sleep until we both go to sleep at 9:30 or 10:00. The lack of time of having both kids asleep at the same time kinda sucks, but it’s worth it because he has been sleeping much better – only getting up 2 or 3 times a night to nurse! Such an improvement from Henry who would wake me up about 6-7 times a night.
I also caved and bought a Dockatot after Julia praised its magic. I’m sure that has something to do with the improved sleep ;) Thanks, Julia!
July 24, 2017 § Leave a comment
We have officially been a family of four for two weeks now! We already love Charlie so much that it seems like he’s been here for a lot longer, although we are still regaining our footing and figuring things out with this big change. The two biggest things we’re adjusting to are Henry’s new role as a big brother and the fact that we are pretty much bursting out of our apartment!
Henry has been used to having my full attention for his whole life since I work from home and he only has a babysitter part time so he’s had his ups and downs. Whenever I can, I make sure to put Charlie down or hand him to Nick so that I can just sit on the floor and play with Henry for as long as possible, giving him my full attention. I still do bedtimes with him too, which seems to really help. Despite the good and bad days, we are proud of how welcoming he’s been with Charlie. He just wants to hug him ALL THE TIME – sometimes a little too enthusiastically ;)
Charlie spends most of his time sleeping, eating, and as Henry likes to make sure to point out, pooping. He’s already gone from his birth weight of 7 lbs 14 oz to over 8 lbs 8 oz (as of last Tuesday)!
Charlie’s already been going out and about with us and has also met a few close friends like Unckie Paul!
They also took Henry to our amazing neighbourhood toy store and told Henry he could pick out one thing, whatever he wanted! Of course he chose an enormous and loud, but pretty cool truck crane.
Nick has been working from home for the past two weeks and will be home with us for another two weeks. With no family living around us plus Henry’s big adjustment to our new addition, it’s so helpful that he’s doing this. If it weren’t for my amazing husband and awesome sitter, I don’t know what I’d do!
The sleep deprivation isn’t as bad as it was with Henry, mostly because between already having a kid who goes through good and bad stages of sleeping, plus not sleeping well during the last trimester of my pregnancy anyways, I am kind of used to bad sleeps at this point. Also, as a second-time parent, I know that everything is a phase and in just a few months, things will get a lot better. Also getting up three or four times a night would be a lot harder without that cute face to look at!
July 15, 2017 § 1 Comment
Introducing Charles Wolfe Storch, 7 lbs 14 oz, born Monday July 10 at 6:30pm!
After my friend Julia – my pregnancy partner/good friend who was due just 10 days after me – gave birth to her son on Saturday within hours of having her water broken, I knew I was over being pregnant. I was ready to meet Charlie and get this whole birth ordeal over with. Sunday morning and afternoon, Nick, Henry & I spent at two birthday parties in the hot sun, wrangling our excited kid. I was 5 days past my due date at that point and definitely exerted myself a bit in the heat, but by dinnertime, I was finally starting to feel contractions!
Around 9:30pm, I was suspecting that my water broke after a contraction. Getting ready to have a baby when you already have a 3 1/2 year-old is so different than your first time around. This meant that we had to have Henry’s babysitter on-call and ready to come over when my contractions were close enough together to go to the hospital, which also required a tricky balance of giving her enough notice to come over, but not going to the hospital too early and being sent home. We had also hired Aimee to be our doula again so Sunday night consisted of communicating with my midwife, doula, and babysitter in addition to giving my parents a heads up so they could think about booking their flights to come visit. It was a lot of texting! In any case, by 11:00 pm Henry was asleep in his room, but our sitter Valerie and her 10 year-old son Caylan, plus Aimee’s back up doula, then eventually also Aimee were all over while I was dealing with contractions. It’s a good thing we have a big sectional couch because Valerie, Caylan, and Aimee ended up sleeping over on the couch, waiting for me to get to the point of being ready to head to the hospital.
Of course, in that type of pressure, I never did. As soon as I heard Henry wake up early in the morning, my contractions had stopped altogether. (Apparently this is a common occurrence with moms when it’s not their first baby and they have other kids to worry about.) My midwife did call to let me know that because I thought my water broke the night before, I had to head down to the hospital around 10am to check it out. This actually worked out perfectly because I just needed to get out of my crowded apartment (thankfully Valerie took Henry with her to drop off Caylan at his soccer camp) and concentrate on going into labour.
I arrived at triage in the hospital and they ran the tests to see if my water had broken, which were inconclusive. I was still having contractions, but only when I’d move – sitting and lying down were not doing me any good. The doctors wanted to put me on an IV in bed on pitocin which I refused, and thankfully my awesome midwife called me directly on my cell after speaking with the hospital. She recommended we go get lunch and go for a walk for 2 hours, then come back, which seemed like a much better option than what the hospital wanted!
Nick, Aimee, and I got egg & cheese bagels, iced coffee, and walked around Fort Greene Park for two hours. Thank goodness there was a hilly park right beside the hospital – a much better place to deal with increasingly strong contractions than a busy Brooklyn sidewalk! By the time we returned at 2pm, I was 5 cm dilated, almost fully effaced, and Charlie was very low. Before Aimee arrived, my drug-free birth spirit was a little broken and I was just so tired I thought I’d have to get the epidural this time. By the time we were back at the hospital and things were happening, plus with Aimee’s great communication and encouragement, I was back on track. After all, with Henry I gave birth without an epidural, but on pitocin to make my contractions worse – if I wasn’t on pitocin, it wasn’t going to be quite as bad.
Well things were intense and I did so much yelling that my throat was sore by the end of it, but Charlie was born at 6:30 pm that day! Despite a bit of a scare of his heart rate dropping and the umbilical cord being wrapped around his arm on the way out, everything went well. My midwife on call, Beth, doula Aimee, and the nurse on staff were awesome and it was nice to have just those three people, plus Nick, in the room.
We spent two nights recovering in the hospital and came home on Wednesday afternoon so Henry could finally meet Charlie. He had been telling everyone he’d run into that his brother was on the way! Charlie “got Henry a gift” – a truck he’d has his eye on – and when Henry got back with Valerie, Henry didn’t even know what he should be more excited about. Finally meeting his new little brother was an adorably special moment and although we’re still adjusting to our new situation, we’re so happy to be a new family of four.
[Read about Henry’s birth story here.]
[Charlie’s middle name is a family name to pay homage to my awesome grandparents.]
January 19, 2017 § Leave a comment
Since I’m 35 years old, despite living in NYC where many people have their first child at 40, I am right on the cusp of geriatric pregnancy territory. This sounds kind of insulting, but along with it comes more attention AND a genetic blood test that can also tell you the sex of your baby much earlier than normal. I’ll take it!
So everyone, we’re having another boy! Introducing Charlie. Nick and I got to visit with him this morning at my routine anatomy scan and he waved to us, yawned, and also wiggled his toes. He’s already adorable.
Remember when we found out we were having a Henry?
And this was me this time last pregnancy: 16 weeks.
July 22, 2016 § 1 Comment
Six years ago today, this happened.
Which led to six years of things happening…
And tonight, we will go out for dinner, get Big Gay Ice Cream, and walk the High Line together.
Happy anniversary, Nick. There’s no one else I’d rather spend 10 hours with in a car with a toddler twice a year, lie in bed beside and watch Netflix at the end of the day, and over-plan life decisions with ;) I love you!
January 7, 2016 § Leave a comment
Better late than never, here’s a look at this Christmas’ adventures and events!
Since our summer drive to Canada went pretty well, we decided to do the same thing for Christmas rather than fly there.
This time, we stopped in Syracuse to visit our friend Matt and to let Henry run around a mall (he wanted to buy all the dog calendars from one kiosk), but then we kept driving until we reached Watertown, New York and spent the night in a hotel.
We left fairly early the next morning (delayed only by Henry falling into some carpet glue workers were putting down right outside the elevator doors when they opened. *eye roll*) and then finished our drive to my parents’ cottage in Fenelon Falls, Ontario.
Usually, by the time Christmas comes around, the cottage is covered in snow and it’s very cold. This year we were very lucky to have warmer than normal temperatures. Henry was thrilled to still be able to play in the sandbox every day!
Our first night there, Henry scaled himself right out of the crib. We all stood around stunned for a while, then gave into the fact that I’d be sharing a bed with a toddler for the week. Look at those shifty eyes! He knew what he was doing.
The next afternoon, we had a visit from my friend Eli and his two sons!
Their mom was on-call midwife duty for the week and so the guys rented a mini van and drove all the way up to hang out with us. I was so glad to see them and that our kids could finally meet!
Arlo and Henry are starting a truck-themed kid band.
The next day was Christmas Eve. For the first time since my parents moved up to the cottage full-time, our family had our Christmas celebration there instead of at my sister’s place. With 5 grand kids, 3 of us “kids”, spouses, grandparents, and my parents, it was a full house.
It was fun to see Henry really get into Christmas this year. He still doesn’t know the Santa story, but was really excited to open all of his presents.
Jillian the veterinarian.
A coupla handsome Miller men.
The kids had an unplanned black t-shirt and blue jeans dress code. The twins did not want mom to put them down.
Colouring trucks with uncle Ryan and aunt Suzanne.
And some calm once 5 grand kids were reduced to just one.
As per our now Christmas Day tradition, we met Julia, Jay, and Blake in Oshawa. This is our third year of meeting up on Christmas Day and having our little dudes play!
We got to catch up while the little dudes shared snacks, toys, high fives and amazing hair tips.
We spent the last day at the cottage with my parents. It was so nice to see them and to see how Henry really remembers them every visit now. He really took to my dad this time! Grandpa got many, many hugs.
It was great to see everyone and to have Henry spend so much time with family and friends. Before long, he’s going to be asking when he gets to go to the cottage again, just like his cousins :)
November 4, 2015 § Leave a comment
This past weekend, we got to celebrate Halloween and Henry’s second birthday!
Since Henry’s still a bit young for trick-or-treating (plus he doesn’t like candy), we spent the afternoon at Social Pants‘ Halloween party at Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park. They did a great job! We saw so many amazing costumes!
Including Henry’s Curious George, which we weren’t sure if he’d actually wear, but was a very good sport about putting it on for a few hours.
On Sunday, we had an apartment full of people for Henry’s birthday party.
Since all of his invited two year olds buddies besides little Zack couldn’t make it, it ended up being mostly adults, plus Henry’s BFF, 8 year old Caylan, and 2 month old Eloise. It was a nice balance though – very manageable!
Henry handled being serenaded with the birthday song from about 20 people very well and enjoyed eating just the strawberry from the top of his birthday cupcake.
This gift-giving event was the most prosperous to date in Henry’s short life. Our apartment is officially covered in trucks of all types and sizes! Here he is, eating his dinner after the party with his new bulldozer.
Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate, and loved ones who made that extra effort to send Henry their best wishes in the mail. We love you! Here’s to our third year of #DailyHank!
October 14, 2015 § Leave a comment
As some of you may know by now, Nick and I have birthdays two days apart. This makes for some good celebrations – kind of like a mini Christmas! We were secretly hoping Henry would be born sooner so he could be part of the festivities too, but it’s probably best he got his own month.
This year, since Henry’s a full fledged toddler, we decided to do something he’d enjoy too so we drove to Terhune Orchards in Princeton, New Jersey on Friday.
This cute little farm has an apple orchard, pumpkin patches, a corn maze, animals, hay bales to play on, and tractors you can sit on and pretend to ride.
Henry LOVED the trucks and farm machinery (obviously), but also thought the sheep, goats, chickens, ponies, and geese were hilarious and cute.
There was a jungle gym tractor.
As well as some old tractors made for kids to “ride”.
While Nick and I took turns popping into the farm fresh store to buy apple cider, apple cider donuts, a bushel of apples, and pumpkin nut bread, Henry took it upon himself to rearrange their pallets of pumpkins.
Then a tractor drove by!
Henry has eaten two or three apples a day since we visited the farm, and every time he eats one, he has to remind you where it came from. We will be apple picking again soon!
On Saturday evening, Nick and I had Henry’s beloved sitter Valerie come over early so we could go out for dinner and go see The Martian.
(Henry gets art.)
For Nick’s birthday on Sunday, I brought him home a Dough “donut cake” after morning Mysore which we all enjoyed. What a delicious birthday weekend!
September 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
I don’t know if you noticed, but we were away in Canada at my parents’ comfy cottage last week! Here’s some photos and commentary if you’re interested in our first road trip with Henry…
After renting a car from Laguardia airport, we left our apartment Friday morning to do the first half of the 10 hour drive. Henry hadn’t been in a car since December and was pretty much horrified at the thought of getting into his car seat. After much encouragement from us and even our doorman, we gave him some cheezies to munch on and he gave into a nap.
We stopped in Syracuse for the night and met up with our friend Matt, who took us to the State Fair that evening. Henry got to see goats, llamas, pigs, and chickens, and run around the bright lights and giant stuffed animals. He was very excited about the blimp floating over the fair and got to eat salty, deep-fried chicken fingers (probably much more delicious than the multigrain breaded organic kind from home ;)).
We left our hotel Saturday morning and arrived in Oshawa for my twin niece & nephew’s first birthday party that afternoon. It worked out very well that we got to see my sister’s family before heading to my parents’ and Henry got to enjoy running around with other kids (and toy cars) before spending another 1.5 hours in the car.
Henry seemed to settle into the cottage faster than ever once we arrived, even playing us some guitar and enjoying our applause.
Since we were on vacation, we let Henry stay up late and in turn, he’d sleep later than usual in the mornings. One day, he even slept until 10:00! (He was up for an hour and a half in the middle of the night, BUT STILL.)
Our days at the cottage were glorious. Grandpa cuddles…
Feeding chipmunks and blue jays peanuts…
Visits from family…
Serious sandbox time…
Visiting Fenelon Falls’ beach and ice cream shops…
And one day, my dad arranged for us to visit the local fire hall. Having a grandpa on city council has its benefits!
A huge thank you to my parents for taking care of us for a week! And thanks to all my family who came for a visit. It was so great to see you!
Now to plan our Christmas road trip…