Saturday, June 26, 2010

Newborn Daze

I went to the park yesterday. No J. Just me and my FOUR kids. It was playgroup, and it seemed a good thing to get out. All of my sweet friends seemed to have the same burning questions for me--"Are you crazy? Why are you here? Why aren't you at home--sleeping??"

Good questions, I thought. The answers are "Just a little bit. Not entirely sure. And, Because I've got four kids."

Then someone asked me what I'd been doing that week, since J has gone back to work. I had to blink a few times before admitting that I had absolutely no recollection of anything this week. None (which explains why emails and voicemails sail through my head and continue full speed out the other side...sorry to anyone who's gone unanswered). Call me Oatmeal Brain.

[It actually reminds me of when Buddy was born--do you see how easily distracted I am?--and I was so brain-dead exhausted, but I was determined to hit a 15 hour sale at this grocery store--what I won't do for awesome sales on chocolate chips, right? I dragged all (only!) three kids for what turned into two hours of shopping, because everything was hard to find and not clearly marked. When the cashier totalled up my bill, it was three times what I was expecting. Exhausted, I showed her the ad with the prices. She looked at me and said, "Ma'am, that's for the grocery store across the street." I almost burst into tears. Instead, I walked over to the customer service counter and said politely "Excuse me, I need to return everything I just bought." Then I headed over to the right grocery store.] So anyway, I came home from the park and sat down to try to think of what has gone on this week. Here's what I came up with.

I've taken 369 pictures of my baby. I was lamenting to J that this newborn time goes so fast. I have been LOVING, LOVING, LOVING it, and I want to just bottle up this moment so I can uncork it and re-live the bliss of snuggling Sweetie. He told me that I could just use all my pictures as a flip book and actually watch her grow. It's kind of true.

We've been having mini fashion shows. Because, I mean, seriously...

We've been eating really delicious food. I am not EVEN kidding, I have the cutest, sweetest friends in the world--truly. And lately, they've been bringing scrumptious food to my house. And darling gifts. And occasionally taking my older kids away to the park and Dairy Queen, which has been heaven on earth for them. Did I mention I LOVE my friends?

I'm still sitting on the inflatable 'donut' they gave me at the hospital. I don't actually need it anymore, but I'm not going to say no to a little more comfort at the dining table. It's just good fun.

A good deal of dark hours are spent trying to sleep. Semi successfully. Sweetie has, for the past four nights, actually slept through the night. She will eat in her sleep, because, well, the 'dairy' would explode if she didn't. We co-sleep, though. Not really by choice, but because Sweetie sleeps better that way...and so J sleeps better. And I figure that two out of three ain't bad.

I've spent a lot of time making sure the five of us at home exist peacefully. There was, of course, the Battle of Cleaning the Playroom, but besides that we've been okay. I've been loving this tiny, new addition. I hold her whenever possible, kiss her tiny face and hands, and smell her sweet scent. It is pure Bliss. (So heavenly, in fact, that it even crossed my mind that maybe we should have another one, just so this isn't our last baby phase. J told me 'No dice, lady.') It is such a wonderful feeling to look around and know that these four kiddos are all mine. Forever.
P.S. Today is my due date. I feel I got a bonus two weeks! Here is Sweetie, 21 hours old!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Story of Sweetie

Well, good thing I got that hospital bag packed. That very night (1:00 a.m.) is when I woke up, to my surprise (thinking I had 2-3 more weeks and all) and thought, "Owwwwwwwwww". Contractions had started and I did my best to stop them--changing positions, warm shower. Finally at about 3:00 I told J we'd better call our sweet friend Aubrey to stay with our kids, and head to the hospital. J is the best labor coach ever, and he was fantastic. But, I do have to say that I 'hum' through my contractions, and he was making little jokes like "hum it out" and "humdinger." Unamused.

I was dilated to a 4 when we arrived at the hospital at 4:30 a.m. and I labored through contractions until about 6:30 when I got an epidural. It's funny (okay, not funny-funny), but they ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10. Every time I hear that question, I think of Brian Regan's bit on the pain scale. Youtube it sometime when you have a minute. Anyway, I'm not too chatty at this point, but in my head I'm screaming "10, for heaven's sake, it's a 10!!!" Then he comes in--the anesthesiologist, with supplies that would normally be found only in my worst nightmares. Go ahead, I think, stick huge needles wherever you need to. By the way, I love you.

So I ended up needing two, since the right side didn't take, which made the block go almost all the way up my chest, which made my blood pressure tank, which made 'them' force me to do the rest of labor lying down, and more boring stuff. J went down to the gift shop and got me some gum and a People magazine so that I could at least catch up on celebrity gossip while we were waiting.

Due to a fortunate turn of events, my own doctor was able to deliver our little girl. Dr. Wang came in, put on her fancy blue gown, and asked me to do a practice push, which turned into a real push, which ended up being the only push. I guess having four kids will do that to your body.

Out she popped--our sweet, vernix-covered little Sweetie. I was absolutely delighted to see her. Jessica, my sweet nurse, let me snuggle her as long as I wanted before weighing her (7 lb 8 oz) and measuring her (20 inches long). The sweet sound of the newborn cry, the perfect soft skin, the new baby smell. It's love at first sight--complete, utter, overwhelming adoration. The moment you see your baby, you know that you're looking at a new piece of your soul...that your heart just got larger...and there's nothing you wouldn't do for this tiny, tiny person.

The past few days have been a sweet, tiring blur of soft moments and tangible joy. We've loved having her here. The kids adore her, and we've savored the new things she does every day--stay awake for more than a moment and blink big blue eyes, smile in her sleep at sweet dreams, etc. We're basking in the little piece of heaven that a newborn brings.

{contented sigh}

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Just in Case

I was up all night with contractions that were 6 min apart. Of course, this morning they're all gone, but it put me into a flurry--kicking myself for not packing my hospital bag, printing off my birth plan, updating my blog. You know, the important things.

So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to document a few little goings on, before we have a big going on and I drop off the social radar.

The weather is finally warm and sunny, so we headed down to Lake Washington yesterday. Living here is incredible--it's like living in a garden. Huge, flowing bushes and trees everywhere. Sunshine, 74 degrees, no bugs--my kind of outdoors. :) We love going down by the water and watching the boats.
My favorite people.

My cute Girlie. We're not used to this big, bright, yellow thing in the sky. Makes it hard to see.

I love you. Now let me break your arm.

Belly check.

This is the response I get to "Smile, baby!!"

A rare picture with all of us.

This was right before the kids rolled down a hill, that happened to be completely muddy.

More updates below. I'm off to pack my hospital bag.

7 Years Old

We celebrated my sweet Girlie's birthday at the end of May. She is the loveliest person that I know, and it is always a joy to celebrate her joining our family. She loved breakfast in bed--Trix, cinnamon toast, and a banana.

Her family party was on a different day than her friend party, so instead of making two cakes, I made a flower shaped sugar cookie.

Her favorite gift was the addition of two little fish--Nemo and Sally--to our family. She ADORES these little creatures, even though J and I have had a doozy of a time trying to keep them alive. One time she was in bed before she remembered their dinner. She came flying to their tank saying, "Oh, you poor little things! You must be starving!!"

This friend-party cake was a lot cuter in my head, and probably would have turned out a million times better, had I made it from rolled fondant as I planned. I just can't do everything, people. It was cake anyway. :(

The hit of the evening were the favor bags. They each got a 'purse' and picked out candy necklaces, stick on earrings, lip glosses, nail polishes, etc.

Did I mention it was a slumber party theme? I got to have eight screaming 1st graders running around my house in jammies (and eating pizza while they watched a little of 'Matilda', above), and I got to send them home at 8:00 p.m. The best of both worlds.
We painted nails, made jewelry, sang happy birthday, decorated cupcakes. An evening well spent. I'm thrilled to celebrate the seven joyful years that we've enjoyed this little angel. I can't imagine existing without her.

Child's Play

We spent a really fun evening at the Imagine Children's Museum in Everett, WA. It was FABULOUS, and the kids had a blast exploring and pretending. It was super interactive, a little wet, and free (thanks to their "Friday Night Live" program). Doesn't get much better than that.

The vet clinic--complete with x-ray station.

There were all sorts of pretend businesses--bank, restaurant, theater.

Would YOU trust this guy to fix your hair??

Even the roof was covered in fun things to explore. Like dinosaur bones.

We caught a glimpse of our future.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Yes, we're actually making up words to describe bigness. I don't think my kids specifically meant me when they invented this one, but I think the application is appropriate. And yet I keep growing.

Mind you, you can't say this about me, or even agree, really, unless you are also pregnant.

You can't be a facebook friend that I haven't actually talked to in years and comment about me in a photo (that was taken at 7 months) "[You] look ready to pop. Are there twins in there??"

You can't be a 16 year old sales clerk at the shoe store and say "Wow. I had a baby three months ago and no one could even tell I was pregnant."

You can't be an older lady and say, "When I was pregnant, they didn't even want us to gain more than 15 lbs."

And, if you are a stranger, you can't rub my belly, even for good luck. It's barely tolerable when friends do it.

Simple rules, people. All you should really say to a huge, pregnant girl is "Wow, you look so great/cute/glowing" even if you're lying through your teeth. Or ask how she's feeling, because if she's anything like me, she's feeling something.

And you don't, under any circumstance, pass me (and my husband and three kids) in the laundry detergent aisle of Costco and say loudly, "Someone's been busy! --do a double take-- VERY busy!!" in a wink-wink, nudge-nudge kind of tone.

I'm in the last, miserable phase of pregnancy where I'm ready to trade my quiet nights for the sweet sounds of a newborn. Ready to have my body back, instead of this aching, bulbous thing I've been hauling around. And start looking for that surgeon who's going to laser me back into pre-baby form. I wish.

Not that being this huge doesn't have it's perks, because it does. The Belly works nicely as a shelf for my nightly ice cream, which I'll miss (the ice cream, not the shelf), and also as a convenient place to put my cell phone when I'm driving and have speakerphone on (that I might miss).

It will just be nice to be able to reach my feet again (and stop accidentally wearing brown shoes with a black outfit). That's all. I'll stop talking. Typing. Whatever.