Month: May 2013

Two and a Half

So much has changed in 6 months.

It is hard to know even where to start.

Our MG has blossomed into a big girl and big sister right before our eyes.

 

MG,

At two and a half years, you are long and lean…weighing in at 26 pounds and lengthening out at 36 inches.  You are agile and nimble (to my envy) and have energy that comes from a source I long to tap into.

Your personality has really started to become fixed.  I think I am finally starting to have a grasp on who you are and a glimpse into the beautiful way God created you.  Right now the three things that stand out about you most to me are: Introvert, Nurturer, & Feeler.

Your introvert-ism becomes very apparent to me when I drop you off at the nursery or childcare.  You walk in confidently, but slowly, taking in everything around you.  The other kids don’t seem to notice you, they are busy in their own worlds of make believe.  I long to know what you do after we leave and sometimes I stick around just to watch you.  I never stay long enough to see you integrate yourself and it makes me sad.  But whenever I come to pick you up, you are always happy and engaged. 

I’ve also noticed that you like to play independently here at home and you are quite good at it.  Your happy place (at least for a while) is re-charging in your bed at nap time. 

Being an introvert, however, has fit you well.  Though you are quiet, you are not shy.  You are not afraid to be a leader when no one else seems to be filling that role.  You also have an engaging personality that you are quite willing to share with anyone who seeks you out.  This will serve you very well in life.

It makes me both happy and sad that you have an introverted spirit.  It makes me sad because I know that us introverts have a harder time being known by those around us.  But it makes me extremely joyful too because I know introverts well and I think it makes us kindred spirits.

MG, I’ve known for a long time that you are a nurturer.  You have shown concern and care over babies since you could crawl.  This is a trait that I am thankful has not left you.  As you have grown, it has developed into a beautiful and admirable trait that is effective and far-reaching.  I pray often for you that you will one day be able to have children of your own, whether they are grown from your womb or provided to you another way.  You will be a remarkable mother.

Finally, you are a passionate feeler.  You feel often and deeply.  You comment on the feelings of others “that dog is sad?”  “the baby is crying because he misses his mommy and daddy.”  “she is hurt?”.  I find myself attempting to reassure you often that you do not need to be concerned about me.  One of the tender moments I shared with you recently was at the chiropractor.  You didn’t understand why I was laying on the strange table with the strange lady pressing into my back.  I could sense your presence near me and hear your quiet breathing.  I reached out and you took my hand, all the while, I’m sure your eyes were fixed on me.  I looked up momentarily at you and you leaned your head into me and said, “I miss you, Mommy”. And then you planted a kiss on my lips.  We share many moments like this throughout our time together.  You observe and wonder and care about others’ emotions.

Sometimes your emotion wells up so deeply from within you that you do not know how to communicate it to us.  This is our greatest source of friction and an area that I passionately pray for you to resolve and understand. 

Your feelings are strong and deep and powerful .  They can and will be used for both good and evil.  I urge you to use them for good.  The good they have done so far in your short life have touched many souls…the least of which being your Daddy’s and mine.

We have spent two and a half years observing you and learning about you and there is still so much we don’t know.  We are so thankful that God gave us such a remarkable, sweet, tender, and passionate girl.  There is nothing about you that could make us love you any more or any less than we do right now. 

Continue on this gifted path with confidence and strength of that knowledge pushing you forward,

 

F.A.Q.’s (post-partem edition)

1) how’s it going?  well, all things considered, it’s going pretty well!  If you were to ask me now, of course with limited perspective only 9 days into it, I’d say the shift from zero to one is MUCH harder than the shift from one to two.  Granted, we are still in the honeymoon stage and Bea sleeps most of the day and night away, so I really can’t complain.  Plus, my level of confidence is much higher.  I’m relying more on intuition and less on Dr. Google.  Finally we’ve had lots of help from friends and family.   Meals dropped off, offers of help, + my sister and BIL came in town this weekend and really spoiled us.

 

Sadly, Daddy returns to work tomorrow, so I guess that will be the true test.  But for now:

(she’s a very smiley baby, both awake and asleep!)

An easy baby + second timer’s’ intuition + lots of help =an easy adjustment

2) how is MG doing?  she is doing so well.  She is a wonderful helper and nurturer.  She doesn’t get rattled when Bea cries and instead tries to help us figure out a solution (9/10 her solution is the paci :)).  She also still wants to help with every diaper change, retrieving items for me, and wants to hold Bea quite often.  Thankfully, the novelty hasn’t worn off yet.  She has not shown any aggression or jealousy towards the baby but she has acted out in other ways. She definitely has become very needy/whiny in other areas and we’ve seen some regression with the potty.  But I’ll take it considering everything else has gone so well!

 

3) how is Bea eating/sleeping?  like a newborn!  She eats every 2-4 hours and sleeps like a log in between.  It is hard to keep her up during and a little after feedings during the day, but not a night.  She is somewhat of a night-owl, as I predicted :).  In the hospital, she showed some signs of reflux so we elevated her mattress and keep her upright after feeding her and the problem seems to have resolved.  Probably just normal newborn immaturity.

 

When MG was born, having nothing to compare it to, I thought she was one of the easiest newborns.  This little one has been even more of a breeze.  A rare crier (I don’t think we’ve heard her full on cry ever).  She is soothed and put to sleep pretty easily and she eats very well too.  Her umbilical cord stump fell off on day 5 and she is almost out of newborn diapers.  Growing by leaps and bounds!

4) who does she look like?  well, like herself?  I can’t say that she really looks like either N or I, and I guess she looks a little like newborn MG.  Still, I was surprised when I first met her at how she didn’t really resemble any of us!   Now that it has been a few days, I think she will look more like me.  It will be fun to see how she grows and changes.

 

5) what is the difference between the first and second?  this time around, my confidence is so much higher, my recovery has been so much better, and I’ve accepted a lot more support and help.  Less guilt, less worry, less anxiety.  Much more laissez-faire.    This has made a HUGE difference in my perspective and enjoyment of this time period.  Breastfeeding this time around, rather than feeling like a painful and taxing schedule, has been a welcome and quiet respite.  I’m also enjoying the huge appetite increase while watching the pounds slide away.  A very welcome change from the discomforts of pregnancy!

It also  already makes me sad to think about this time going by.  I has already gone by so fast with the days and nights coming together in one big blur.  As much as you are excited to see them grow and change, you hope it doesn’t go by too fast without memories recorded, pictures taken, and thoughts tucked away to be treasured later.

6) what is your favorite thing about her? okay no one really asks this, but my favorite thing about her is her silky black hair. I never thought I’d be blessed with anything but a bald-haired baby and both of my babies surprised us with a little (albeit a little) hair.  MG’s was a mahogany brown color, but Bea’s is this beautiful shade of black.

I love it and her so much.  My heart is full.

 

Our Sweet Bea…

has arrived!

weighing in at  8lbs 12oz 22in long.  Only one ounce difference from big sis!

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Speaking of Big Sis, she is doing so well it almost breaks my heart.

How did I ever get so blessed??

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Our Sweet Bea (for blogging purposes, I’ve decided to call her Bea, just as MG is MG)

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arrived right on her due date after an unexpected but quick labor (what a good little girl!)

After just a little longer stay than expected, we are all home and are ready to begin the next chapter of our lives…as a family of 4!

Thanks all for the well-wishes, thoughts, prayers, visits, and encouragement.  We are so happy we are blissful.

Much more to come (name explanation, birth story, etc.)

Baby Name Game: Clue #10

This is the tenth and final clue!!

Clue #10

Sisters, in name only

We’ve spent the past 9 weeks comparing the girls’ names and showing you how they will be similar.  Now here are some of the distinguishing differences:

1) Mayby’s first name will NOT be hyphenated like MG’s

2) Their color names will NOT be from the same color family

3) As much as we like to “keep things in the family”, the girls will NOT share a common first initial

 

Can’t wait to finally reveal her name!  I also have been working on a post that will explain all of the clues and how they tie in.  Thanks for playing along–it’s been a fun ride!

 

 

Doctor(s) Update(s)

Patient #1:

 

Was cleared of wearing her sling on Monday!  Doc said the bones should already be healed due to the fact that she is so young.  Crazy.  It was amazing to us how fast she bounced back to her old self following the break.  She was bearing weight on her arm within about 48 hours and her pain was next to nothing after about 24.

She will go back for a follow-up x-ray in 5 weeks just to make sure.  In the meantime, she is supposed to stay off of playgrounds and trampolines for about 2 weeks. :(.

Doctor also said because she is so young she should not have any permanent cosmetic effects from it!  She may have a bone callous that will remain for the next few months, but it will disappear in time.

The only thing that remains now is this nasty yellow bruise:

 

Patient #2:

I saw the doctor today for my 39(.5) week check-up.  All looks good!  I’ve made some good progress so we are both hopeful that I won’t have to be induced this time.  IF I do however, she is willing to follow the same plan as last time where they broke my water and avoided Pitocin as much as it is possible.  Since I’m ripe, she seems confident that this will work.

(I’m going to miss my little doctor dates with her!)

Friday I go in for an ultrasound to check fluid levels.  (and they don’t know it yet, but I’m going to be double-checking that she’s still a girl :)).

Last night I experienced my first round of Braxton Hicks!  I had regular, uncomfortable, but nonpainful contractions that lasted from about 9pm-4am.  Really hoping that’s a good sign that we don’t have too much longer.

Today through next Wednesday marks our “ideal window” for Mayby’s birth due to our schedules.  But even if she decides to come a little late, the end is in sight (2 more weeks!).

Yesterday I asked MG when Mayby’s birthday will be.  I mentally willed her to give me a divine answer, as if I was shaking a magic eight ball.  Her response, “Ethan’s birthday!”.  Ethan is a buddy from playgroup and his birthday just so happens to be this month–May 28.  Maybe it really is a sign??

 

Happy Mother’s day!

Happy Mother’s Day!  I am so incredibly blessed to have the mama I do and my “stand-in” mom-in-law too.  And two(ish) babies on top of it?  This is definitely a cause for celebration.

But  while Mother’s day is a  day that brings so much joy to some , it also brings much sorrow to others.  To the friends I’ve celebrated with and the friends I’ve grieved with this year, I remember you both on this day.

———–

This year, I’d like to send a special Happy Mother’s day to all of the moms of toddlers.  You are the women of my heart because I know exactly what fills your days.

It is answering  the same question a half-dozen times in a row, ten times a day.

It is swearing that you’ll never be able to pick up another cheerio, raisin, or cracker off the floor, yet  you do it anyway.

It is passing by that one neglected corner of your house day after day, wondering when you’ll ever, ever get to it.  All the while knowing that someday you will, but also knowing that what you are currently doing is more important.

It is picking your battles wisely with someone who has zero reasoning skills.

It is mustering up the inner desire to read one more round of “Pat the bunny” or sing another enthusiastic rendition of “Wheels on the Bus”.

It is sacrificing  conversation with other adults to mop a feverish head, clean up another potty accident, or to play tea party with a needy one.

It is buckling and unbuckling those darn car seat straps trip after trip after trip.

It is wiping the same sticky hands and the same dusty prints day after day after day.  All the while lamenting how much bigger they’re growing.

It is baking cookies, dusting furniture, and picking up crumbs.  Always with a shadow behind you who, for better or worse, has their hand in the flour, their wet rag all over the tv, and a bite of graham cracker dangling from their lips.

It is putting your head on the pillow at night, wondering if you did enough, said too much, pulled away too soon, pushed too hard, gave enough grace, showed too much mercy.  Your job satisfaction is solely determined by your own approval rating.

It is waking up, knowing the quality of your day will be determined by the progress made, the minutes napped, the tantrums mine-swept.  And knowing that you have no control over any of it.  And being okay with that.

Be encouraged.  You keep it up because you are doing the best that you can, day after day.

These days are long and tiring to be sure, but something tells me we will look back on them as the best in our lives.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Baby Name Game: Clue #9

{Wow–we are already on the next to last clue!  In case you missed them, here are the previous ones: 

Intro,#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8 }

————————————————————————————

I still remember the exact place  we were when Mayby’s name was spoken for the first time.

It was a nice day in the spring or early summer of 2011 (quite possibly exactly two years ago).  We were out walking in the neighborhood which was a daily (sometimes twice daily) occurrence for us because MG was so content in her stroller and the weather was so nice.

I had been mulling over names in my head for quite some time but this name, her name, had recently struck me.

On these walks, I loved talking names with N, it was one of my favorite pastimes.  But when it came to this name, a name that I felt I was truly falling in love with, I was nervous to bring it up to him.  When it comes to baby names, he tends to be the “thumbs up or thumbs down” guy in the conversation.  He never suggests them, only listens to my wild ideas and then gives me his honest opinion.  I really wanted to see his initial reaction.  I felt that this all important sign would be a clue as to what most others would think if this was the name.

So I dropped it on him.  And waited.

I remember the exact spot we were in the walk, the evening hour, the comfortable temperature.

He repeated it back to me, once, to make sure he got it.  And I remember liking it even better after hearing him say it.

I explained to him the meaning behind it and how it would honor some of the women in our family.

He asked what we would call her and I told him the nickname I was thinking.

“I love it.” he said.  And that was it.  He wouldn’t let me consider any other names because he loved it so much.  And I loved that he loved it too.  Ever since then, that has been her name.

Clue #9

The longer the name, the better the Mama (or something like that)

You already know that we saddled MG with a long name (In fact it is 9 syllables in total, not including our last name).

This next little lady will have an equally long-syllabled name, topping out at 10.  Quite the mouthful, but remember we will call her by her nickname, so few will ever hear all ten syllables in a row.

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Last clue coming your way in one more week.  After that, please join me in a collective mean-mugging of my belly until she decides to come out.

Stay tuned,

last clue

Today

things are looking much brighter

she hasn’t complained about pain once today.

Last night Daddy kept vigil

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and it was the first thing she wanted to talk about in the morning.  “Daddy slept next to me so I wouldn’t be scared.  After he took a bath.” (shower…semantics)

And this cute picture

makes me sad when I remember my sweet, tired, patient yesterday.  All the excitement wiped them right out.

Thanks to all who have checked in, prayed, and brightened our day with little notes and gifts!

Another eventful night at the ER

Well when I pictured a mad dash to the hospital in the middle of a May night, I certainly didn’t envision bringing my eldest along.

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Unfortunately, she was the patient this time, not myself.

Yesterday started as a busy but good day.  MG and I ended it at a friend’s house, watching some children from small group so that the adults could help paint at a new house for one of the couples.

The kids were all playing on an indoor Little Tykes slide and MG was enjoying going down over and over.  We were only about 10 minutes away from leaving when I turned my vision away from the slide to finish a conversation with my friend.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see MG tumble and roll off of the slide onto her shoulder.  It was one of those things that happened so fast, I’m not sure if I’m making the memory up or if  I actually witnessed it.  What I do vividly remember, however, is the distinct look of pain that crossed her face as she lay there stunned on the floor.

She’s no crier when it comes to spills and falls (N and I think it’s more of an embarrassment thing than a pain thing), but I knew instantly this was different.

Like a good certified First Aid citizen, I quickly assessed the situation before I picked her up.  She instantly clasped her hand to her neck as the sobs took over.  In between hyperventilating breaths, she kept saying that she wanted to go home, and I attempted to get her to calm down and relax before we made our exit.  I called N on the way home (who was finishing up painting), and let him know that a trip to the ER might be in our near future.

At home, I was able to get her distracted and we attempted to evaluate her.  She was able to fully move her arm but showed some discomfort when reaching out.  There was no swelling though, and I was able to press all over her neck, shoulder, and arm and she never winced or cried out.  At that point, we figured it had to be a bruise and decided we would see how the rest of the night went before taking her in in the morning.

With the help of some Motrin, she was able to fall asleep, but about every two hours she woke up, miserable and crying out in pain.   Poor baby :(.

At 4am, we decided that she was only getting worse and we’d better just take her in and see what they could do for her.

I do have to say, that was the calmest ride to the ER I’ve ever had.  Maybe because I’m an old pro now 🙂 but probably because I wasn’t worried about a high fever or some kind of mysterious ailment.  I knew exactly what was wrong and that they could help us.

She also perked up in the car for the first time since the accident.  “I sick today, Mommy.  I need the doctor.”  And when we pulled in the lot, “I get sticker?!!??” (she walked away with 5)

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Fortunately,  no bloody nor dismembered patients were waiting in the lobby and we were seen right away.

It did take a little sticker bribery, but she was able to point out to the doctor the exact point that was in pain on her shoulder.

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A quick x-ray confirmed what we all were thinking: collarbone fracture.

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The good news is that it should heal on its own in the next week or so.

The bad news is that she has to wear a sling and not jump, climb, or fall until it is completely healed.

The doctor, being a dad of 4 himself, wants her to be seen by a pediatric bone specialist next week to make sure it heals up nicely.  As he put it–she is a female and will want to wear tank tops in the future.  (but if it doesn’t, at least she and Daddy will have matching clavicles :))

Thanks to all who have checked in, prayed for her comfort and healing, and to a sweet friend who brought over a little “get well” gift for MG (and one for me too!)  And to my in-laws who are bringing over dinner tonight.  There’s nothing like a little accident to make you feel loved.

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Poor thing has happily worn her “special swing“, but has been in a lot of pain since last night.  We’re all hoping for a little more peaceful sleep tonight.

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And that the fashion accessory will be gone before Mayby arrives. (is it bad that one of  my first thoughts at the scene of the accident was “oh no my child is going to be wearing a neckbrace when she meets her sister for the first time?”)

And that the next late night trip to the hospital is the one we’ve all been looking forward too.

And that Mayby stays in there for a little bit longer.  Big Sis is going to need full use of both limbs, afterall, to hold her 🙂

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