Posted by: cck | April 18, 2014

Y’all. Y’all. This is good. Life as a family of four continues to rock my socks off.

Let’s see… The smallest one is bulking up – on Tuesday she was 12 lbs and 7 oz. She’s getting the look of a Michelin tire man, just like K. Breastfeeding is going well, and while I’m not quite getting enough sleep, it’s good. She’s still a snuggler and likes to sleep  with her sister. I’m still counting our lucky stars how well C3 is adjusting.

C3′s vocabulary has exploded. She repeats everything, which has proved daunting for K and I as we (try to) curb our language. She hops and skips and is still trying to climb most things. We start allergy testing next week. That, coupled with pollen season ending, should make it easier for her to breathe. I miss going to the park. The last time we went, we swung together. She was on my lap, facing me with her legs on either side. As we flew through the air, her laughter filled the air. I totally can remember swinging with mom at the park on Anglewood. I laughed – now is the time that I’m building memories with my daughter that are echoes of my own.

I love it.

Tonight, we’re going to attempt to dye eggs. It will either be awesome or a beautiful disaster. I’m okay with either.

Posted by: cck | March 31, 2014

and we continue

We continue to have good weather and normal moods. Y’all, I cannot say how much I am loving this version of newborn life. Of course, I’m real ready for K to take a night feeding (or two), but I’ll take this happy, quiet, easier thing we’ve got going on.

I made a deal with my doctor – four to six months of this, provided there are no symptoms. Four to six months and then I’ll go back on my meds, no matter how well it’s still going. K and I are still planning to grow our family, and I’ll need some time on medicine before I come off of it again. At least, that’s my plan.

My little C4 is doing well. She’s regained all her birth weight and is now a hefty ten-pounder. She loves to be held. She’ll lay in the bassinet – sure – but she’d much rather be nestled under your chin. Her eyelashes are coming in – I mean, seriously – how cool is that? Here’s a tiny human born with no eyelashes, and then day-by-day, they appear. It’s like magic.

Also, dimples.

deep dimples

deep dimples

Saturday I took the girls to a children’s museum/play area down in St Pete. It was so much fun – I had C4 in the ergo and we chased C3 around everywhere. I loved putting the girls in matching clothes (um, maybe too much?). I’ve already procured their Easter dresses. I always had a new dress for Easter, so of course the girls are going to have one. I’ve been trying to do coordinating clothes more than matchy-matchy, but for Easter it’s matching, pale pink, smocked angel dresses. Because I can.

 

checking out the groceries

checking out the groceries

How did I luck out with these kids? C3 is doing so well with the addition of a new human in the household. She loves her sister. Upon waking up, she asks, “Where’s Babe?” She won’t call her by name, instead preferring the cute “Babe.” I love it. I think it’s ridiculous. I tried to make “Sissy” happen, but K didn’t care for it. She’s constantly touching her, stroking her hair, tickling her feet. She loves tummy time because she can get all close to C4. I really like having two.

C3 is doing so much more than I expected at 22 months. She’s trying to count, drawing shapes, identifying colors. I’m so proud of her – as if I had anything to do with this development. I’ve got to read some parenting books though – when I say, “No,” I get maniacal laughter. Could have been the ‘roids she was on this past week (oof, steroids, I hate you), but something’s got to give. We’re going for allergy testing next week – and I’m so glad. C3 has been on and off that nebulizer since Thanksgiving. I think it’s asthma brought on by allergies, so we’ll see if we can’t get her well once and for all.

My work has already called – and while I feel a bit like I’m humble bragging – yes, they want me to go to a meeting in Boca next week… I’m sort of pissed they won’t leave me alone. I want them to leave me alone, but I am glad at the hours I’m accruing for PTO when I return to work. I just wish… just like last time, that I could be a stay at home mom. I like it. (Who wouldn’t?)

Posted by: cck | March 25, 2014

day thirteen

I’m good. Like, really good.

I’m tired – of course – I have an almost-22 month old and a 13 day old. I’m sort of supposed to be tired. The thing I’m not? I’m not sad. I’m not crying. I’m not worried. I know I’ll be going back on meds at some point in the near future, but it’s not going to be because I’m crying all the time.

Whew. It feels like such a relief. I feel like I bounced back much quicker. It helps that I know how to do this, or I think I know how to do this. It helps that it’s spring. It helps that my child slept for five hours on Saturday night.

This is not bad. I like it. How could you not?

Too cool for school

too cool for school

 

all smiles

all smiles

spring all over

spring all over

Posted by: cck | March 21, 2014

labor down

I reached the moment of desired eviction the weekend before C4 was born. We spent the weekend doing absolutely nothing to prepare for her arrival and everything to enjoy the family we had. I wanted to play – with K, with C3 – without any stress. We went to the zoo and three different parks. We had a picnic. K and I made love. We slept in and took naps. It was absolutely glorious.

Elephants!

Elephants!

Goats!

Goats!

Major Napping

Major Napping

The night before, only giggles.

The night before, only giggles.

I had contractions all over the place. At the zoo, six minutes apart only to stop on the drive home. Sunday night, intense contractions that grew and then waned. By Tuesday, I was ready to give up. I took the day off and spent it walking. We walked the neighborhood. We walked the mall. At one point I thought my water had broken only to realize I had peed my pants. It was awesome, and terribly frustrating. K had taken the day off too – and he was frustrated. That night, I had a dream my water broke. I woke up a little after midnight and my dream (in so many ways) had come true. I was leaking.

K’s parents came over to pick up C3 – and that was just what I did not want to happen – the dramatic midnight thing. C3 didn’t handle it well. Leaving my crying daughter was awful. Of course, we were excited and giddy (and like, really tired), but it was the only difficult part of the night.

We got there and I walked to the maternity ward (a personal goal). I had leaked everywhere, which was comical. My contractions were no where close enough or regular or strong. My body was no where ready. I labored for a while, we walked the halls, we tried to rest.

Happy epidural faces!

Happy epidural faces!

Looking back, it was pretty easy – just loooooong. My body took a while to catch up to where my head was – let’s meet this baby! I got an epidural too early. I wish I had better tracking of my contractions, I think I could have lasted longer. But when you see your contractions are only scoring 20s, there’s no way you’ll get to 100. I got the epidural, we took a much-needed nap. It took forever to for C4 to get down. By 3:40 I was pushing with completely numb legs. At 4:02pm, C4 had arrived.

She's perfect.

She’s perfect.

All 9lbs, 2.8oz and 22inches of her. She was a giant. She was ridiculously tiny. She was not particularly pretty, looking a bit like an old man. She had hair, but not as much as was foretold. She was absolutely everything my soul needed.  She was part of me that was missing. She is perfect.

Proud Daddy

Proud Daddy

She's gorgeous.

She’s gorgeous.

 

Posted by: cck | March 20, 2014

the new normal

I have two children. The first time that really flew out of my mouth – sitting in a hospital bed, chatting with my OB – I giggled. My children, my kids, my two girls – I have two children.

It’s been eight days and it’s been completely different. Better. Easier. Calmer.

I like this, this new normal. I like the feeling of two children – one under each arm. K said he wanted enough children to just pile them all in the bed and be completely covered. I’m not sure about all that, but I love the fact that we have these two girls in our home, in our lives.

Posted by: cck | March 7, 2014

the light at the end of the tunnel

At Christmas, I put lights in the windows at the front of our home. It’s a tradition for me – I do it almost every year, then promptly break or lose the candles and replace them the following year. (Shout out Big Lots!) Anyway, this year I scored a few from Ikea and I really liked them. They lasted through the holiday and I never once turned them off (holla battery-power!).

Slowly, the batteries died for each candle. The only window that’s still going strong after almost four months? C4′s room. The candle is still lit. It’s like a sign – we check each night. Maybe if the light bulb dies or the batteries finally give out, she’ll arrive on the morrow? Or maybe it’s waiting till we bring this new soul home.

2014-01-29 19.51.56

Wednesday, I swung by the church on my way to a growth* ultrasound. Our pastor was sitting on the front steps, with a small pot of smudge in her hands – ready to give a blessing. As she made the sign of the cross on my forehead, I was struck both by grace and a determination to do better. I felt good, calm. My light is on and I’m ready.

*She looks like an 8-pounder, maybe a 9-pounder.

Posted by: cck | March 4, 2014

nope

I have not welcomed a new human into this world.

Nope, I have not gone into labor. Yes, I know I look like I could pop at any moment. I promise you’ll see it on Facebook/we will call you/we will email you/we will text you. Yes, I’m uncomfortable as sin. Yes, I’ve tried bouncing on a yoga ball/walking/spicy food/pineapple/sexy times. Yes, I’m ready.

Oh goodness. I am so ready. This child sits heavy in my pelvis, bearing down with all her might. She wants to meet the world; we want to meet her. She’s no longer a giant – and is instead a perfectly sized fetus. My children, it seems, tend to overachieve in the growth arena and then totally free-load. I hope this isn’t indicative of their intentions after college.

I am tired of people looking at me and asking me constantly when I’m going to go into labor. If I knew… believe me, I would be screaming it from the roof tops. I could stop making imaginary lists. I would stop tearing up over the thought that this could be my last night as a family of three. I am weepy and happy and full of energy and exhausted all at the same time. I want to lie on my back on the couch. I am ready for days (and nights) of blistered nipples and dvr’d episodes of Real Housewives. I want to hold this child in my arms. Intensely.

Last Friday, after my appointment, I picked up the two people I love most in this world and we planted our toes in the sand. Clearwater Beach is less than five minutes from K’s office — heck, Honeymoon Island is less than 10 from our front door, but we rarely make it out for a sunset. This time, we did it. It was wonderful: chilly to us Floridians. C^3 had to warm herself up by chasing seagulls.

2014-02-28 17.46.02

2014-02-28 17.39.00-1

 

image (1)

image

Yes, that might be the only picture of my bump at the moment. I have to carry C^3 above it; she sort of perches there, content. Her world – our world – is about to get rocked. Maybe tonight? I don’t know. Please don’t ask.

 

Posted by: cck | February 20, 2014

just ask

Being a new mom is hard. There’s feelings – so many feelings. And those of us that also happen to be go-getters (gawd, do I hate the “Type-A” label), well – we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do it “right.” Last time, for me, that meant hosting all sorts of family members and staying up with my infant and round-the-clock breastfeeding. I cleaned my house compulsively. I was not at all doing it “right.”

I read this article on Happiest Home yesterday: 5 Unexpected Ways to Help a New Mom. There’s a story of a new mom hiding out in her bedroom – that was me. Even though people were doing nice things for me, I was overwhelmed and adrift. I didn’t know what I needed – didn’t know or couldn’t ask. Looking back – I think I did ask a few people for help, but other than K, none of us seemed to get it. Part of it was first baby problems, C^3 was the first infant to hit the streets in this family in twenty-two years. We didn’t know what to do.

This time, I’m taking it into my own hands. While I’ll probably spend the same amount of time sweeping, which will be about a 100% increase from how much I sweep now, I am planning on asking for what I need: specifically. No, I don’t need new onesies for a shower gift, but I would like the gift of maid service. No, I don’t need you to come over and hold the baby, I need you to come over and visit with me. Thank you for bringing me dinner, would you mind loading the dishes in the dishwasher?*

Sounds really… petulant, huh? Spoiled? Maybe. But it’s also going to be my way of avoiding the crush of overwhelming feelings that I have to service everyone’s connection to the new soul I’m birthing. I’ve got a plan – and instead of waiting for help I’m asking for it – planning for it. I’m hiring people. [Side note: one of my friends told me that was the hallmark of true adulthood. For years we spend our energy turning time into money. At some point, you've got to start turning money into time. Smart, very smart.] I’m asking myself, “Self, what do you need today?”**

And I am so looking forward to my maternity leave. I know some moms dread the time off work – or get antsy, but I loved it. It felt like a long vacation that was so overdue. I hope I enjoy it as much this time around.

 

*Several times family member brought over dinner, which was lovely. But they’d proceed to leave all the dishes all around for me to clean up. Nope, not hosting any parties over here.

**Today, that totally meant a giant slice of pizza. Okay, if I’m being honest, two giant slices of pizza.

Posted by: cck | February 19, 2014

closer than I thought

On Friday, I visited my OB for what now begins the weekly visits. I have four more to go before my due date. However, based on my last trip to the stirrups – it’s not going to be that long. All of a sudden, at 35w3d, I was measuring 39 weeks. I was about 30% effaced — no dilation yet, but I can feel that working it’s way up/in/out(?). One of my favorite doctors, Dr D, told me she thought I had two weeks.

Wha? Two weeks? I was supposed to go to Boca this week. I was supposed to have at least three more weeks to transition work duties, get a nursery in order, paint a dresser. I was supposed to have more TIME with only C^3 before she is no longer an “only.” Insert laughter from the universe here. I don’t get to control this in any way shape or form. I’ve got a big ol’ baby in my belly who dances every time she hears her sister’s laughter. She wants to come out and meet the world.

I cannot wait. I am jubilant. I am scared. I am ready. I am anxious.

On Saturday, my family and friends gathered to throw me a sprinkle and it was precious. Little baby onesies decorated the house, with the smells of amazing cooking by my aunt wafting from the kitchen. We played with other kiddos – and as they’re all growing up I realize I’ve known them since they were little tiny babies. I love that. I love that C4 was showered with love too. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I’m nervous about all the things that any mother-to-be is nervous about: breast feeding, sleep deprivation, balance. At the same time I’m anxious, I’m also calmer than I was last time. My blood pressure is low (holla 110/70!), I’m not obsessing about nail polish or the coming home outfit (both have already been picked out, natch), and I’ve been socializing and having fun before we have to get used to a new normal. I’m having my placenta encapsulated – which I know sounds bizarre – but I’m hoping it helps with the creepy weepies. I’ve got a breast pump all ready to go and a couple cans of formula. All the clothes and diapers are washed and I’ve got a lunch date with some no-VOC primer today. I’ve got this. Or, I’ve got this as much as I am able.

Posted by: cck | February 11, 2014

I simply forgot

No, not that I had a blog. I remember I have a blog. I remember I should be writing here to document the times of our life… I’m not a scrapbooker. And while my iphone photos are backed up on Flickr and Dropbox, I have few printed out.

I need to remember my daughter identifying her colors – green and yellow first (srsly?). I need to remember the first time she walked backwards (sometime in November?). I need to remember the joy I feel when I hear she’s eaten all of her lunch at daycare, or slept without a bottle, or sat down on the potty last night while doing twinkle fingers.

There’s no way I can remember all of this.

Not when my pelvis feels like it’s being crushed. Not when I cannot get a full breath into my lungs, even though C4 has dropped. Not when I am on the phone so much at work that my headset actually dies. Whine, whine, whine.

Nah, this end of third trimester stuff gets a little difficult. I seem to have forgotten the pain and the weariness and the emotions. Dear Lord, I broke down the other day because C^3 was getting a sister and she didn’t ask for one and omg I’m ruining her life. This babe is measuring big, just like her older sister did. I’m sort of a giant, there’s no way I’m birthing a six-pound peanut. I feel like I’ve got three weeks left, although the calendar says five.

Her dresser and mirror are in the garage waiting for a fresh coat of paint. I sewed her curtains and baby blanket instead of going to church on Sunday (the thought of putting on clothes and walking out of my house was simply too much). She’s got art ready to hang in her room. I’ve stripped and washed diapers. Tomorrow, I’ll freshly wash all of the baby things in Dreft – yes, I succomb to Dreft. Seems we’re super super sensitive to detergents and soaps up in here, so I’m just gonna go ahead and dive in early.

Saturday my sweet family and friends are giving me a little sprinkle (ahem, a small shower). I’m tickled, but also geezus so tired. Sunday, I took two naps and still fell asleep by 9pm. We missed going on our weekend away because of another respiratory thing (C^3′s lungs just ain’t what they should be). K and I needed the time away – just the two of us – but, we don’t feel bad about missing the weekend. It is what it is – this parenting small children thing. I can speak for us both when I say we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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