Saturday, May 31, 2014

the first week

I can't believe this baby is already three weeks old!  I think the time seems to fly by more quickly with two than it did when Nell was a newborn.  To be honest, sometimes I miss the way it was with just one baby, when I could rest in bed or sit on the couch and snuggle and baby-gaze all day long.  But then I see Nell interacting with Ree -- squealing with delight upon seeing her again each day, and kissing her happily -- and I remember that I'm enjoying the wonderfulness of having two girls, too.

Things feel as though they're settling into a new sort of normal around here (by which I mostly mean that Nell is adjusting a little more each day and returning to her ability to play independently and remain cheerful for some portion of the day), and I like to think that means I'll be afforded a little more time for writing.  Oh, and maybe cleaning my house.  Or cooking real meals again.  Maybe.

Here's a photo review of Marie's first week of life.  Mainly of interest to grandparents and people curiously fascinated by poorly-lit photos, I suspect.

{Previously: Nell's first week in review.  We think Ree looks so much like Nell did.}

This was my first and only week of having two under two, since Nell turned two six days after Ree was born!

one day old:

(May 10th, a.k.a. the most restful day of my new life as mother of two... I spent the day in the hospital snuggling our new baby and having meals brought to me!  This was also the day Nell got to come meet her new little sister.)

two days old:

(May 11th, a.k.a. the second most restful day of my life as a mother of two.  I spent the morning in the hospital, snuggling with Ree, had meals brought to me, and then that afternoon when Nathan got home from his church job, we all headed home from the hospital as a family of four.  Then I got more snuggle time at home while Nathan and Nell drove to the airport to pick up my Mom.)

Heading home.  Someone was not impressed with the procedure.

three days old:

Nell was so excited to wake up and come downstairs and see "Baby Wee"!  I snapped this photo just after Ree yawned, and Nell was excitedly exclaiming to me about how she had seen Ree's tongue.

four days old:

five days old:

Ree may not be sure how she feels about all the attention, but Nell has sure been loving and sweet to Ree since day 1.  She wants to kiss her all. the. time.  And has only hit her in the head with a playdough container once.

six days old:

At six days old, Ree had a dr. appointment for a weight check.  She weighed in at just over 8 pounds.  But she thinks such details are boring.

She also had her first bath!

And she received a bouquet of flowers, compliments of some Trader Joe's employees.

An exhausting day for a newborn.

one week old:

Snuggle time with Grandma:

I love the little faces she makes.

I love her Dad, too.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Marie Aurelia

She's here!

{And in fact, she's been here for almost two weeks!  But between a busy two year old and a baby who insists on being held all the time, is it any surprise I've barely been able to open my laptop?}

Our second daughter, Marie Aurelia, arrived on Friday, May 9th, at 11:29 pm -- twelve days after her estimated due date.  She weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz., and measured 20.5 inches long.

Like her big sister Nell, she arrived with a full head of dark hair, and a healthy set of lungs.

Her Mom cried.

Her Dad cut her umbilical cord.

There was much rejoicing.

We were so grateful for the wonderful attending midwives we had, for our immensely helpful and supportive doula, and for the incredible nurses that work in labor and delivery.

Approximately 24 hours after her birth, we finally named her: Marie, after my maternal grandmother.  Her middle name, Aurelia, means "golden one" and is also the tune name for the hymn 'The Church's One Foundation.'

We spent the next day, Saturday, at the hospital, and Nell got to come meet her "Baby Ree."  {Which comes out more like "Baby Wee," and is oh-so-sweet.}

I thought my heart might explode, seeing Nell hold Ree and give her dozens of gentle kisses.

We went home on Sunday afternoon as a family of four.  I was a very tired, but very happy mama.

It's so wonderful having this baby girl here in our arms.  I keep thinking how grateful I am that I get to do this all again, this having a newborn baby.

There's nothing sweeter in all the world.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

41 weeks

The never-ending pregnancy continues!

That's okay; we have been getting so many projects done around the house lately!  It's really exciting to me to be getting so many spaces cleaned out, organized, fixed up, etc. in this old house of ours.

The downside is, if I had known I'd be going 10 days past my due date (as of today anyway), I wouldn't have stopped teaching and gigging three and a half weeks ago.  Not only could we have used the money, but it makes me feel like I've blown my maternity leave time too soon, and I will probably feel stressed about getting back to work soon after the baby comes, which isn't really what I want.

But overall, it has been great to have time off from my work.  Even though I only work part-time, it's amazing what having those extra 12+ hours a week available to me has been like.  Not just in terms of productivity around the house, but it's been sweet to have the extra time with Nell before her little sibling arrives, too.

I made it to 41 weeks {this past Sunday} without getting impatient, but the weekend sort of dragged by, I have to admit.  It's definitely weird to live in this state of in-between, going to bed each night wondering, "Will this be the night?", and then waking up in the morning: "I'm still pregnant!  What?!"  I'm definitely hoping that things get started on their own soon so we can avoid an induction, but also reminding myself that this baby will come when she's ready, I suppose!

Dear little one, 
Come out and join the family, already!  We are eager to meet you, and I am getting more and more curious what you look like, what your little personality will be like, and how you and your big sis will feel about one another. 
Fortunately for your ever-so-slightly impatient Mama, we have some truly wonderful friends who have helped us pass the time.  We've enjoyed spicy Thai food and a game night with friends, Mexican with an array of hot sauces with other friends, and others just stopping by to say hello from time to time.  It's quite nice to keep busy while we wait, that's for sure... but I'm also really looking forward to some relaxing baby snuggles with you once you're here. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

seven ways to pass the time waiting for baby to arrive

Baby's 'due date' was this past Sunday, but I'm finding ways to occupy my time while we keep waiting!

It's a strange thing to live in this sort of limbo.  I find that I keep saying to myself, "One last grocery trip before baby comes," or "I'll scour the kitchen sink one more time," or "One more load of laundry... this will be it before baby," or "This will be my last batch of yogurt before baby arrives."  And then, a few days later, I'm doing all those things again.

In any case, here are seven ways I've been passing the time -- maybe some of them will work for you other expectant mamas, too?


We may as well start with the most important thing: Wear sweatpants.  Every day.  All day, if you can get away with it.  If you need to go out or look presentable for something, change into something else -- and then change back into your sweatpants as soon as you can.  Only change out of them to wash them, and use those hours to wish you had another pair as comfy as your favorites.  {I'm wearing these ones these days, in black, and wishing I had a gray pair, too!}


Realize that it's yard waste removal day, but your husband has already left for work.  Haul 18 bags of leaves etc. from the garage to the curb, made more difficult by the obstacle course of your brother-in-law's stuff filling the garage to the brim.

Decide that while you're at it, you may as well take out not only the weekly recycling, but also try to empty the shed of all the extra trash and recycling a certain someone {cough, not me, cough} keeps piling up in there.

Survey your work with pleasure, thinking of all the garbage and clutter you've now removed from the premises!


Do laundry.  Tons and tons of laundry.  You've already washed all the baby clothes, so start staying more on top of the regular laundry than you've ever been in your life.  Wash the sheets, of course, but then wash them again five days later just because you can.  Comb the whole house for every towel you can find and wash all of them.  When you've truly washed everything that can be washed, don't worry -- you can do it all again in a couple of days if you're still waiting around for baby.


Take a final trip to Target and spend too much money, stocking up on necessities for the days ahead and successfully passing a happy morning with the toddler in tow.  Getting things done and passing time, all rolled into one.  Two birds, one stone and all that.


Decide to finally try making your own shampoo so you can avoid both the expense of store-bought natural shampoos and the chemicals of store-bought cheap shampoos.  Castile soap, water, jojoba oil.  What could be easier?  And it works great!  Success.


Head out to your favorite thrift store with toddler in tow.  Find three pairs of 2T pajamas for $1 each.  Purchase.  Sit in nice rocker / glider chair in great condition with $40 price tag.  Consider coming back to buy with a bigger vehicle to put it in.  Call thrift store the next day, only to find it's been sold.  Try to mitigate disappointment with a Dove chocolate egg left over from the Easter candy.


Finally get a day that isn't cold and rainy.  Head outside with the toddler for a walk around the neighborhood.  Take the camera, and take pictures, because hey - she's so cute and so sweet.


Okay, so this actually happened last week, but a great way to pass some time in a highly enjoyable fashion is if you happen to have a wonderful friend offer to take you out to dinner one night, sans kids, and you just get to relax and talk for a few hours.

Then maybe you have another wonderful friend who takes you out for a pedicure!

Oh, that's just me?  Well, I'm pretty lucky -- I have some great friends.

Very fun to have a little pre-baby pampering.

{For more quick takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary.}