Tuesday, July 8, 2014

this and that from here and there

This post from The Rhodes Log.  Stay interesting and interested.  A pretty decent bit of advice if you had to boil marital advice down to a sentence, don't you think?  And a timely read, this idea of encouraging your spouse's passions even when it is inconvenient to you Just the other day we had a conversation about how important this was, the teamwork in marriage extending to supporting one another's individuality even when it is inconvenient or even when it is unfathomable.  {Because hypothetically, let's just say, I want to find a way to go for a run three times a week, and Nathan finds this mind-bogglingly pointless, and since we don't have a double jogging stroller, it would probably involve inconvenience on his part... or someone calling CPS on me.}  Anyway, I read this and got a refreshing slap in the face that I probably need to cheerlead more for his interests, too.

This post from Rage Against the Minivan.  I read it a while ago, then stumbled across it again and am still loving it.  It's so spot-on, and so needed in this strange world of virtual glimpses into the staged perfection of others.  Really, I think we risk losing not only a sense of the reality of life, of motherhood, of the beautiful messy chaos of it all; we also risk losing touch with our true selves, like everyone has chevron everywhere and antlers over their beds and mason jars galore and have we asked ourselves if it's really our taste?  Do you know what I mean?  (Nothing against chevron and antlers if that's your thing.)

This post from Mama Knows, Honeychild.  A great and humbling reminder about the great diversity of people that God uses as his hands and feet in this world.

And now for something completely different... if we were richer than we are, I would quite possibly buy Nell this totally perfect Janie and Jack swimsuit, even though the price is absurd and completely unjustifiable.  Or this one.  The cuteness of them.  I can hardly stand it.

Okay, done.  Any links you've enjoyed recently, or swimsuits you've oohed and aahed over?  Hit me with them.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ree at One Month

I guess I should write about little Miss Marie at one month before she turns two months old next week.  Ahem.  Here goes...

For the first month of her life, Ree reminded us of Nell -- hated the car seat, hated the swing, hated being laid down for even a moment.  Cried -- no, screamed -- pretty much any time she wasn't being held, and could crescendo to choking on her own wails in the 30 seconds it took me to use the bathroom.  So, I wore her in my wrap just as I used to do with Nell.  Unlike Nell, though, Ree wasn't so into dozing in my arms if she wasn't in the wrap.  She seemed to sleep lightly and stir easily and have trouble settling.  And transferring certainly wasn't happening -- the first few nights at home from the hospital I would try to transfer her into the co-sleeper, only to have her immediately wake and have to start the back-to-sleep process again.  Eventually I gave up, the need for sleep won out, and she slept nestled in the crook of my arms for those early weeks.

Then on the day she turned one month old, she took a three hour nap by herself in the afternoon, all swaddled up.  It was fantastic.  And each day she's continuing to show us in a variety of ways that she is not her big sister, but is her own little person.

At first we thought she was Nell's miniature in appearance, but as the days passed we saw more differences.  This girl might have brown eyes, not blue!  And that dark, straight hair is shorter than Nell's was.  Her complexion is a bit more olive-toned, we think.  And while Nell was smiling big, dopey grins by one month old, Ree is a bit more reserved. 

In any case, without further ado... Ree at one month old!

Weighed in at 10 lbs, 10 oz.

Is rapidly outgrowing her newborn sized clothes.

Is spoiling me by being such a good sleeper at night, with three to four hour solid chunks of sleep, and the occasion six hour stretch!  Thank you, little lady!


being snuggled close in my wrap
her Mama {if I do say so myself}
being held all the time, at all times, everywhere


diaper changes
outfit changes
car rides
being put down, ever, at all, anywhere


Ree, Ree-Ree, Riesling, Baby Ree, or "Baby Wee," as Nell would say.

{and her Uncle Andrew sometimes bursts out with a little line from Beauty and the Beast: "Marie!  The baguettes!  Hurry up!" and follows it up with a bit of song.}

renowned for:

being the most alert infant in human history
staying awake for up to two hours at a time, having missed the memo about newborns sleeping all the time
making the most adorable O-shaped mouth just like her big sister used to
holding her head up remarkably well for a one-month-old
spitting up out her nose from time to time, and remaining totally unfazed by it


sucking on her thumb / hand / wrist... when she can find it.
making noises other than crying... she's testing out a coo here and there.
scratching every square centimeter of her face with her flailing hands when screaming in her car seat

Dear Marie,

Sweet baby girl, that I get the gift of having a newborn in my arms again is almost too wonderful.  Totally worth the hyperemesis and the pregnancy aches and pains and yes, even the labor and delivery.

My one and only complaint about all of this is that it all seems to go by even faster the second time around.


P.S. The outtake:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Nell's Second Birthday

Back in May, Nell turned two years old.  This momentous occasion didn't get blogged sooner because, well, we had a six-day-old in the house at the time.  It turns out that if your due-in-late-April baby is almost two weeks late, you can end up with a May baby with a birthday awfully close to that firstborn. Does this mean I get to throw joint birthday parties in the future?  Or alternate years between the kiddos?  The options for slacking off here abound!

On Nell's birthday, Ree had a checkup at the doctor's office, and Nathan was free, so the whole family went.  {Good thing, too, because a certain someone melted down during the doctor's visit and needed to be carried outside.  The second set of parental hands was much appreciated!}  After the appointment, we decided to stop at Panera and get Nell a ... birthday bagel?  Because that's a thing, right?  Chocolate chip, to be precise.

I think she liked it.

Ree thought that was too boring for a birthday celebration, soooo...

The next day we had a pizza dinner celebration -- complete with cake and ice cream, of course -- with family and Nell's godparents.  My Mom was out visiting (she came for a week after Ree was born), so she was here for the birthday... two-year-old drama and tantrums and all.  I'm sure she wouldn't have missed all that for the world!

Yes, to tell the truth, Nell's second birthday probably wasn't her favorite day of life on the planet thus far.  With a brand new baby in the house, I think her world felt like it had been turned quite unfairly upside-down on her, and she didn't quite know what to make of it.  Sure, this new baby was cute and fun to have around, but wait -- she's staying?  Forever?  That takes a little bit of adjusting to, I guess.

Still, the day had its bright moments and little joys.

Like a new baby doll, dubbed Annie, from Mom and Dad, complete with a handmade velcro diaper and beautifully sewn baby doll quilt from Grandma.

Homemade pizza topped with one of Nell's favorite foods -- olives!

Snuggles and books with much-loved people like her godparents, playing with her little buddy Ian, and reading with her soon-to-be Aunt, Hannah:

And presents!  I think she didn't really know why these incredible toys kept coming her way, but she sure liked it.  I loved seeing the excitement on her face that day, much needed after a few rough days at home transitioning to life as a big sister.

A toy house with doorbells, keys, and little residents from Hannah's family...

And for the girl who wakes up every day enthusiastically asking if we get to go somewhere in "Mommy car!!!", a little car of her very own from Nathan's side of the family.  She was ohsoveryexcited; she climbed right in and didn't want to get out, not even for cake and ice cream.

And yes, I did manage to make a cake, thanks to having my Mom around to help and hold the baby.

Okay, so it's not going to win any awards, but it tasted good.  Really good.  {Prevent-you-from-losing-baby-weight good, even.}

And that was Nell's second birthday.  Not exactly on the scale of last year's first birthday party, but celebrated with every bit as much love... and a little more exhaustion thrown into the mix, because having a new baby will do that to you.

We love you, Nell, our favorite two-year-old in all the world.