Friday, April 30, 2010

You Might Say

that I'm a fan of red-heads. I married one, and now I'm mothering one. This one lets me brush hers though ;)

I'm also a fan of this little outfit. Seriously now...look at the little feets...too stinkin' cute!

Thursday, April 29, 2010



At almost three weeks, here's the progress on our little girl: She still sleeps a lot during the day and is virtually un-wake-able. It's too early yet for a schedule, though I have been able to finagle simultaneous napping in the afternoon for her and her brother...which is awesome. She loves to nurse and is very, very good at it. She usually starts the night with a big chunk of sleep, but is then up every 2-3 hours after that. She thinks the greatest joke ever is to wait until she has a new diaper on, or - even better - is mid- diaper change to poop like a maniac. She adores her bath and gets one each evening, just for fun. She doesn't fuss much unless she's hungry. Her hair is, indeed, still red ;)

She is a major snuggler. She often crosses her sweet little ankles when she's eating or just really comfy.

She is precious beyond all reason.

And I am completely smitten.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Brother's Love

Well, so far the J-bird really, really loves his sister. He always wants to kiss her and hold her and snuggle her. He worries when she cries and loves to help me with her baths and diaper changes.

And he's picking up on our methods for soothing our sweet girl.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

There Is A Season

Don't get me wrong, I am very happy and SO grateful for the amazing gift I've just been given. Adding another child to our family is a joy, and I'm thrilled. If I'm being completely honest though, I have to admit that I've also been feeling frustrated. Frustrated with how long recovery from surgery takes, frustrated with the huge, crashing waves of hormones that bring huge, crashing waves of anxiety and emotion along with them, frustrated that I can't pick my little boy up, toss him in the air and hug him to me like I want to, frustrated at having to ask for and accept help...

So the J-bird and I took advantage of a sunny evening last night and stepped out into our back garden for a little while to take a few deep breaths, and I was reminded of a much used but valid truth, which happens to be hanging right on my grape arbor:

"To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven." And that's true. It's only been two weeks, and the difficulty will wash away - it has to. My body will continue to heal, we'll all keep bonding and adjusting as a family...the hormones will equalize (SOON PLEASE - I'm not sure how many more times I can humiliate myself by bursting into tears for no reason in front of my boys)...and we'll all grow. I need to just breathe and focus on the joy - hug and kiss my boy and know I'll be able to pick him up soon, cuddle and kiss my snuggle-bug little baby girl and be amazed at her perfection, hug, kiss and thank my amazing husband for being 100% with me on all of this - here for me at every turn, the ultimate partner. In other words, I need to take my mom's good advice from when I was a little girl and would get nervous before a piano recital: "Take a DEEP BREATH!" and enjoy it!

Columbine reminds me of my mom. This came from her garden.

So did these irises.

Peonies make me think of the house I lived in through college - there were two beautiful peony bushes in the back yard there. These buds will soon burst into the most glorious blossoms. They are some of my favorites.

Bleeding heart

Apple buds and blossoms

And my little guy, showing me his "naughty face" - so silly ;)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Last night, James went out for a few hours to attend a birthday party for a friend of ours. While he was gone, I got to try out having my two sweet children to myself. We did pretty well, if I do say so. In spite of a few bumps in the adjustment road, the J-bird was lovely and well-behaved. He still likes to be right ON me when I'm nursing V, and he needs some reassurance and extra attention, but the more I'm up and around, the more he begins to "normalize".

At any rate. I asked him to go on and play at one point, so he put on his pirate hat, sat in his rocking chair with his back to me...

...and sang songs for about ten minutes.

It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen ;)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Every Girl Loves A Bubblebath!

V's little umbilical stump fell off, so she is cleared for takeoff on full baths (rather than baths of the sponge variety). She absolutely LOVES being in the water - doesn't even peep!

Big brother likes to be close by, just in case she should need anything.

He's an expert at helping her stay nice and warm.

That is, until V gets SO relaxed that the inevitable happens, and all hands must exit the bath, so that it can be scoured out and disinfected ;) I mean...she IS a baby, after all. Learning to be a lady will take a little time.

In other news, V had her two week appointment and the J-bird his 3 year well-child with the pediatrician today. V has gained back her birth weight and then some - tipping the scales at nine pounds even, AND she's grown two inches already. The J-bird weighs in at a very healthy 34 pounds and is now 37.25 inches tall! Children...blink and you'll miss them.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

James's 32nd

For James's 32nd birthday, I started working on his genealogy - putting together documents his folks had, poking around for family trees, and digitally restoring some old photos of his family. I wasn't sure if this would be a hit or a miss as a gift, but, thankfully, it was a home run! Thank you to James's parents for scanning and emailing everything. Here are a few of the photos - "befores" and "afters".

As you can see, some of the photos didn't need much, and some needed a lot! This was a fun project and one I'm looking forward to expanding on over time.

Happy birthday (a couple of days ago) to my sweet, wonderful husband (who is right now at the zoo with our 3 year's awful quiet around here without the two of them).

Monday, April 19, 2010


My OB and I worked out a compromise when I got pregnant. A certain number of days past my due date, and we'd go in for a repeat c-section. Well, my due date passed with NO sign that our sweet girl was going to make an appearance. The days went by, and...nothing. Our path started to come clear.

First, my mom arrived.

She learned all about the J-bird's routine, we relaxed, and she even took me for a pedicure! Hers is red, mine is pink (in honor of a baby girl, don't you know.)

Mom marveled at my giant bump.

And we enjoyed our last day as a family of three by playing outside with our darling boy.

The morning of the 9th arrived, and James and I got ready to head to the hospital for an early check-in.

We arrived at Labor and Delivery and got checked in. I got an IV, and James got a "bunny suit", hat and mask. I walked into the operating room, got a spinal block (not so bad) and was situated on the table. James was brought in to sit by me, and the doctors and nurses got on with their work. Unlike last time, my arms weren't tied down, so James and I were able to hold hands, which was good, because even though I'd been through this before, I was terribly nervous.

and then, like a miracle, our sweet girl was here! When Jimmy was born, everyone in the delivery room exclaimed over his dimples. Not to be outdone, this little darlin' made her debut with a head of gorgeous red hair!

She weighed 8 pounds and 14 ounces and was 19 inches long. It ended up being a very good thing that our path included a c-section, as V's cord was wrapped around her neck twice! Though I was sad to miss my chance at a VBAC, I am thrilled that she's here, and she's safe.

And any worries I had that I couldn't possibly love any other child as much as my J-bird evaporated with her first cry. My heart doubled immediately.

They gave Vivi to James, and we got to be together for a long time, which was fantastic.

James went with V as she was cleaned up and checked over. He held her hand and sang to her, and she was completely calm by the time they wheeled me back to see her.

We knew one another at once. ;)

We recovered for awhile, then moved to a different room, and James went home to get my mom and the J-bird. V gave her brother a gift (a pirate with buttons and zippers and ties), and the J-bird brought his sister a fluffy bunny.

I believe James likes his daughter.

And we settled into our hospital stay. I won't lie to you, a c-section is very painful, and the recovery is difficult. I'm a week and a half out now, and I'm still hobbling around like a little old lady. It's rough. But look what we got from it!

Both my babies.

Family of four!

Mom was initially planning on staying until the following Friday, but since I needed her, she opted to stay an extra couple of days, and BOY were we glad. It was amazing and wonderful having her here. She was able to be here for some fun firsts too, like V's first bath!

...and just to see her "wake up" a little bit, day by day.

So, here's our sweet Vivian Adele. We love her so much!

This is the dress I went home from the hospital in almost 32 years ago!