Monthly Archives: February 2011

Weekly Winners{Learning}

Learning about letters…

Learning about ladybug larvae…

Learning lots about our new little lady:

See more Weekly Winners awesomeness at iamlot.us.

I happy!

Today Asa told me “Mama, I happy”.
He’s generally a happy kid, but there was something about that moment that inspired him to feel more.
Cuddled with his mommy and new sister, he was genuinely happy.
He seized the moment and claimed it as his own.

(Photo by Carter)

As adults I think we have moments like this, too…
But often we’re too busy to notice them.

Find it.
Claim it.
Be happy.

“Mama, I happy.”
“Me, too, little man.  Meeee, too.”

Boob-Free Bonding

Breast may be best,
but not for us.

We tried.
I tried (again).
And it just.didn’t.work.

But giving you a bottle is more than just something to check off my to-do list.
It’s a pleasure.  It’s a joy.  It’s something I love to do.

I love the way you curl all of your little fingers around one of mine.
And you hold on tight, surprisingly strong.

I love the way you search my eyes and I search yours.
The two of us, figuring out who we are…you and me together.

I love the way you snuggle up close and tuck your head close to my heart(literally and figuratively).
And I can feel the rhythm of your heartbeat pulsing between us.

I love the way, once you fall asleep in my arms, your breaths ebb and flow like ocean waves.
And I feel your chest rise and fall against my own.

Breast may be best,
But boob-free bonding can be pretty great, too.

Sentences on Sunday

A while back I started doing Sentences on Sunday as a little way to make sure I remember the little things I want to remember about my kids.  I got out of the habit of it, but I really want to try to remember to do it weekly.  So bear with me and my uber-mommyblogger posts each Sunday.

Dear Carter,
I love how you call it “Valence-tines Day”.  You pronounce most words correctly these days, but that’s one of the few things that still remind me that you’re small.  I don’t correct you on purpose.  That and “spah-sketti and meatballs”.  And “di-mond room” instead of dining room.

I love how your latest thing is to go around with your little notepad writing down “clues”.  We don’t know what the clues are or what purpose they serve, but you are very meticulous about it.  You find a clue and you write it in your notebook (like Blue’s Clues, although I don’t think you’ve ever seen that show).  You never ask how to spell any of the things, yet you are usually right.  I can’t believe how well you can read and write.  I love it!  I especially love it when you read to me.

**********

Dear Lydia,
You make me laugh so often!   You (like your mother) love a good fart joke.  You’ve learned how to sneak up into my lap and let one rip.  And you’re so proud!  (Secretly I am, too.  Farts will always be funny.  Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!)

You also make me giggle when you say toothbrush because you don’t actually say toothbrush, but toot-brush.  If I ask about “toot-brush”, you say “I didn’t say toot-brush!  I said toot-brush!!”  You obviously know the difference, you just can’t say it.

Your bald spot is finally growing in.  Those pieces of hair are probably about an inch long.  Unless we do things juuuuuust right, you can see them sticking up from the center of your head.   At least it’s growing.  For a while there I thought you were going to have a permanent bald spot!

**********

Dear Asa,
I love love love how you love Alden.  You are really enamored with her.  I’ll ask you if you want to hold the baby and you say “huh-huh” in a little sing-songy voice and you crawl up into my lap and you cuddle and kiss on her.  I was worried that you wouldn’t be gentle.  I mean, we don’t call you Capitan Destructo for nothing!  But you are (mostly) gentle.  You like to lay your head on her chest, but the only problem with that is that your head is bigger than her entire torso.

Also, it seems like you grew up overnight once Alden was born.  When they brought you into the room to meet her, you looked enormous.  And now when I hold you, my arms seem so full.  Your hands and feet are thick and so toddler-y.  I love how, when I hold you, you will softly rub my back or arm.  You’ve always been a bit of a mama’s boy, but since Alden arrived on the scene, that bond has gotten stronger.  But at the same time, you haven’t shown any jealousy.  I am so thankful for that!

You have started taking your diaper off(if you can get to it).  Several times Daddy has had to clean up quite a mess.  (Lucky for me, he’s been here every time!)  It seems like you’re ready to potty train.  You’re ready.  I’m not.  It’s not that I don’t want you grow up and pass another milestone, it’s just that I’m so tired right now and the thought of potty training nearly brings me to tears.  We’ll work on it soon.  Carter wasn’t potty trained until he was 3 and a half, so we’ve got plenty of time if that’s our goal!

**********

Dear Alden,
You have been a perfect baby so far!  Labor was easy.  (Well, as easy as labor can be, I guess.)  I only had to push a few times.  So, thanks for that!   You sleep well, like Carter did.   You only fuss when you’re hungry or dirty.  You don’t spit up as much as the others did, although you seem to be having some issues with gas.  It’s pretty pitiful and I hate the feeling of complete helplessness I get when your tummy obviously aches.

You were a model model when I did your newborn pictures.  It was like playing dress-up with a baby doll!  (I wish you’d been as good when we went to the photographer!  Still, I think she got some good ones and I can’t wait to see them.)

**********

I love you all!
Mommy

Little Diva Detail Results

Marshall reminded me that I hadn’t put up the results of the baby details pool.

Her actual stats were:  January 27, 2011 at 2:21p, 7 pounds, 20.5 inches

I’m sure he reminded me because he was the closest on the date and time: January 27, 2011 at 2:32pm.
Anna R. was closest on weight at 7 pounds, 2 ounces.
And my mom guessed the length perfectly!

Congrats!  You each win one 3am feeding!  🙂

We shall never be again as we were.

I reach down instinctively and touch my side,
Waiting for a kick that will never happen.

I place you on my stomach and feel your hiccups from the outside
And it’s almost as if you were inside again.

“We shall never be again as we were!”
–Henry James, The Wings of the Dove(1902)

I miss it.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.

There are so many parts of pregnancy that I love.
So many parts that I’ll miss.
So many things that I’m sad will never happen to me again.

But for the first time in my life, I can honestly say, “I’m done”.
This is it.
You are the last one.

I’m older, achier.
I am tired and exhausted.
My body has been through a lot in the past six years.

The recovery is slower this time.
Despite how well you sleep and how many naps I take,
the underlying exhaustion just won’t dissipate.

But I’m finding that even in the middle of the night,
when I am tired and would rather be in my bed sound asleep…
I’m savoring it more this time.
(There’s that word again…)

Long after you’ve finished your midnight snack and have drifted off to sleep,
I hold you in quietness and gaze at your face.
I let the hormone-riddled emotions wash over me,
And you don’t even seem to notice when my tears drop onto your tiny little face.

Your lips are perfection.

Your thick hair feels like heaven to touch.

You look like a real, live baby doll.
(Asa thinks you are a real, live baby doll.)

Your fingers are long and slender.
Maybe you’ll play piano.

Your feet are small and thin with delicate little toes.
I imagine that we’ll be shopping for narrow shoes for the rest of your life.

Your eyes, when you let us peek at them,
Are small, but expressive.
(My Mama Jo would have lovingly called them little beady eyes.)

I want to bottle this moment and keep it forever.
But I also can’t wait for what’s to come.

A Birth Story

TMI warning for some of you: Breastfeeding picture ahead.

I guess I could start off by simply saying “same song, different verse”.
Just like with Carter, Lydia and Asa, I had pre-eclampsia.
Just like with Carter, Lydia and Asa, I was induced.
Just like with Carter, Lydia and Asa, I tried to breastfeed.
Just like with Carter, Lydia and Asa, I wasn’t able to.

You look just like they all did.
You smell just like they all did.
When I look at you, my heart does flips…just like it did when I first looked at each of them.

But you are your own person already.
Before you were born, you were different.
Your little head bounced on my left hip and you stretched across so that your butt was high up on my right side.
You kicked up into my ribs much more than the others ever did.
You hiccupped more, too.
(You still do.)

The morning in labor & delivery started like it did with all the others.
Nurses struggling with IVs.
(I’m a horrible stick…with rolling veins; a nurse’s nightmare.)
Getting hooked up to monitors and cuffs and wires galore.
I really never minded that much.
It was kind of nice to hear the beep-beep-beep of your heartbeat.
I like being able to watch the contractions on the screen.
When I visualize it, I feel better prepared.
(That’s silly, I know…but it’s all a mental game anyway!)

Daddy and I had a long morning together.
We laughed and talked.
We enjoyed being quiet together.

As the contractions started to get a little more intense, we called for anesthesia.
The nurse anesthetist came in and got the epidural in quickly.
He wasn’t able to put it in as far as usual
because I felt a something like a shock wave and he didn’t want to push it.
After a while, I was numb on the right side but not the left.
After lying on my left side, the numbness spread.
But when I turned back onto my back, the left side went from numb to feeling everything.
That’s the most I’d ever felt contractions since my other epidurals only had one little hot spot.
It really is a wave of pain that rips around your body.
Because of the short lead in the first epidural, they told me that in order to get the left side numb
they would have to redo the whole thing!
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it or not.
(Looking back…what was I waiting on?)
The anesthesiologist came in and redid the epidural…
And just like that you were ready!!

You had a couple of late decels and my nurse Stacey gave me an oxygen mask.
By now our family had joined us in the labor room.
Stacey called the doctor and I started pushing.
At some point she said to me, “If you don’t want me to deliver this baby, you better slow down!”
Dr. P almost didn’t make it into the room.
I felt like with Carter I pushed forever.
(I did, actually…2 and half hours, roughly.)
But each time it became easier and easier.
Although it makes sense, it’s still a bit mind-blowing that it only takes a few pushes.
I remember at one point Dr. P telling me to not push so hard.
I’ve surely never heard that in an delivery room!
How do you not push hard?

I remember feeling your head slip out.
And then, like I did with Carter, remember the feeling of your arms and shoulders quietly escaping.
The only way I can describe it is like a waterfall, all of you cascading out at once.

They placed you, vernix and all, on my chest.
Daddy cut the cord.
You did your obligatory cry.
And you grasped my finger.
Oh, little girl…how you have me wrapped around your finger.

Daddy took you to the Ohio bed and wiped you down and warmed you up.
He wrapped you carefully and placed you back in my arms.
You latched on immediately.
I loved the feeling of still being attached to you somehow.
I loved the oneness that it brought.
(If it weren’t for my stupid boobs, you’d be a fantastic nurser. )

But I know that we can’t be one forever.
The moment is, however, quite bittersweet.
You are my last-
My grand finale.
Thank you, sweet girl, for a beautiful ride.

*********

Of course this is the way I remember it.
It may not be how it really was.
You’ll understand one day, I bet.
Time rushes forward and freezes all at once.
The timeline of events gets so discombobulated in your brain,
But the end result is the same:
I am here, holding you in my arms
With my heart beating double time and tears streaming down my cheeks.

You are beautiful.
You are perfect.
And I am so blessed to have you here.

(Photos by Monica at Peapod Squad Stuff.)

Random Ramblings of a Postpartum Mom

  • Breastfeeding Attempt Round 4 has been unsuccessful.  I had my good, hard cry about it and we’re now doing all formula.  I am frustrated because I can feel the milk.  I know it’s in there!  But no amount of sucking or pumping or expressing or anything will prod it out.  I knew it was a long shot, but I was really hoping that it’d work this time.  I don’t regret having a breast reduction, but the “broken pipes” are the suckiest part about it(pun not intended, but funny none-the-less).
  • She sleeps!  I know I may regret saying that soon enough.  I will probably look back and wonder why I’m up typing at 2am instead of catching a nap.  But Carter was such a good, sleepy baby that I’m hoping she’ll follow in his footsteps.  (So far, she’s been nothing like Lydia…who screamed from the moment she was born until she was at least 9 months old.)
  • I am grateful that my body is doing its job, but these uterine cramps are for the birds.
  • I know that they aren’t “real” but I love all the little smiles she makes when she’s dreaming.
  • The big kids (including Asa) are really doing well with her.  I think that Carter, with all his bound-less energy, finds her a bit boring.  I think he expected her to do more.  Lydia is a proud big sister, who loves to hold her and help feed her and even change a diaper when we let her.  But the sweetest thing ever is Asa.  He is constantly saying “My tuuunnnnn”(“My turn”) and begging to hold her.  At the doctor’s office today, the nurse went to take her from me and he yelled “MY BABY” at her.  He was not very happy with me for letting some stranger hold his baby.
  • The piles and piles of stuff in my house are driving me crazy.  My house isn’t generally super-clean or even super-organized, but I have a system and it works for me.  Right now the system is way off.  I can’t find anything.  Neither can you walk safely in Asa’s room.
  • Although Alden is a great sleeper, I have found that I’m more exhausted this go ’round.  With all the others, I would sleep and nap and wake up refreshed.  I think I’ve gotten more sleep than ever this time, yet I can’t knock the exhaustion.  I know, I know…I just had a baby and that’s hard work and blah, blah, blah. I also  know that it’s normal for people to sleep 8 hours a night.  But it’s not normal for me and on top of feeling exhausted, I’m feeling a little frustrated because middle-of-the-night quiet time is my time and I’m not getting much of that.
  • I am definitely feeling older.  My body aches more this time.
  • I am completely enjoying Marshall being at home.  He’s such a fantastic dad and husband.  He has 11 days off (which is unheard of for him) and I think all of us are getting spoiled.
  • I am feeling very guilty that Carter and Lydia both have baby books and I haven’t done one for Asa.  I have all of his stuff in a bag, but it’s just sitting there.  I’d really like to get that done.
  • I’ve loved comparing their baby pictures.   Alden looks just like the others did.  (I feel like they all look about the same until they hit about 3 months.)
  • It’s quiet, save Carter’s sleep-talking, and I’m going back to sleep…at least for a little while.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll write up her birth day story.  I promise I won’t post those pictures!  🙂