Tuesday, December 31, 2013

From Caroline to Christmas

I was flipping through all the pictures I've taken in the last 20 days and quickly realized that trying to properly document any of it here was going to be overwhelming. So above is a picture of my baby girl from just the other day, and below are some thoughts and moments from the last few weeks, in no particular order. 

20 days?  I can't decide whether that sounds like a lot or a little. 

I should never have worried about how Caroline's arrival would work out, in regards to having Amy and William cared for. I spent so much time fretting over that. But of course it all worked out beautifully and perfectly. It always does. 

This was my longest labor - totally not what I was expecting. But all but the last 2 hours/2 cm were really easy and this was the first time I did things like read a magazine while in labor or walk the halls of the hospital. Don and I joked that this was the first date we'd been on in over a year (seriously). 

Caroline is a wonderful baby. She was born 12 days early but at over 8 pounds she was quite ready to go. She has nursed perfectly from the beginning and is a reasonably good sleeper. Each day she becomes a little more alert and engaged and is just about the cutest thing we've ever seen. 

Arguably the best part about having babies, aside from the wee person herself, is getting to have Don home for two (in this case, three) whole weeks.  The time off before Christmas, and the coziness of the holiday week itself have been a treat to spend all together. We missed the chance to see our families at Christmas but I am completely thankful for our time together, just us and the kids. 

Christmas was lovely - we made it to church on Christmas Eve and Santa was quite good to us all on Christmas morning. Oh, and I don't think I mentioned it here - the Friday before Caroline arrived another early Christmas present did - a piano!! We bought a nice little not-too-old Wurlitzer spinet and it is just perfect - a longtime dream of mine come true. 

I have so much more to say. However, it is New Year's Eve and like so many of the nights these last few weeks I have a date on the couch with my husband and a tiny and very snuggly little girl. I'll catch up more as 2014 unfolds. Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

An Early Christmas Present

Welcome, Caroline Grace! Born Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 7:47 a.m.
8 lbs, 1 oz, and 19 1/2"

She is perfect and we are feeling so very blessed! 

More details and pictures to come. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I have one week, tops, before Baby arrives. I spent breakfast time this morning making a giant, all-encompassing list in teeny tiny handwriting, of everything that I hope to accomplish in this coming week, with a hefty section at top devoted just to today. 

Shortly after I finished this list Amy was remarking on the number of crayons without tips in her crayon box - a sad state of affairs I had been noticing myself. So without further ado we found a sharpener and proceeded to sort and sharpen the better part of 120 crayons. 

That was not on my list. 

But I feel like I accomplished something good. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November Wrap-Up

Whew! These last few weeks have flown by; two whole weeks since I last posted. Usually if I miss that much time on my blog it feels like it, but no, just a whizzing sound between my ears. So allow me mind-dump and catch up on a few things, in no particular order.

This picture I call Peanuts Watching Peanuts. I usually hold pretty firm to that rule about the Christmas season starting after Thanksgiving, but I broke it big time this year, motivated I think by some homesickness mixed with a seasonal variation on pre-baby nesting. We put up our tree weeks ago (though didn't decorate it till today) and already have at least a dozen Charlie Brown Christmas viewings under our belt. I truly love this time of year - dark and cozy evenings, warm lights inside, everything feels peaceful and snug and exciting all at once. And I am also loving the new living room arrangement, which involved moving the stripey chair and ditching the big shelf of toys into the large closet (still there, just behind closed doors). Makes the room feel much more grown-up and comfortable. 

And here's the tree. Slightly annoyed at the two patches of lights that don't seem to work no matter what we've tried. However, I wasn't about to take the thing back, or even try to put it in the box again, and it is so much more thoroughly lit than what I usually do with 3 or 4 strands on a "real" tree that you hardly notice it. So I've decided to just let it go for now. The tree is really pretty. It was worth spending the money to get a "good" one because it does look so real. 

This little boy looks crazy grown up in this picture, taken while we were still deciding where to put things after adding the tree to the living room. How is he growing up so fast? Oh, and lately he's decided his favorite color is black, so his best days are those when he can wear his favorite black pants AND a black shirt. Still wears his blue rain boots all the time, too. He's got a lot of opinions these days. 

And William also takes first prize for nap-ability. Between the early school mornings and fighting a cold this week and last, he has taken an afternoon nap more often than not lately. He's so awesome about it, requiring no ceremony or fanfare; he just gets his Buddy (blanket), finds a cozy spot and falls asleep. 

Then there's my beautiful Amy, who also struggled with a cold during that last full week of school and stayed home one day. Here she's just thrilled about having her Daddy back. Don was gone for a full five weeks this time, returning the weekend before Thanksgiving. The kids and I settle into an easy routine when he is away, but we are always glad to have him home again, and especially thankful for his time off this week to enjoy the whole holiday weekend with us. 

I should also add some thanks to my baby girl for not pulling any funny business while he was away. I really didn't want to navigate hospitals or extra doctor appointments without Daddy around. As it was we narrowly escaped a late-evening ER trip when William discovered, with great pleasure, just how nicely a small piece of Lego fit up his nose! He's played with Lego for well over a year with never an indiscretion, but somehow those two minutes I was in the bathroom after everyone was bathed, brushed, pajama-ed, and otherwise ready for bed, provided an irresistible opportunity to see what might happen. I didn't believe him until I actually looked, and was quickly plotting how I was going to manage a trip to the hospital with two kids at bedtime... BUT thankfully it didn't come to that, and with one good blow the piece came flying out. William also found that hysterical. Boys. 

In other baby news, I have officially scheduled myself to be induced on December 16th, at 39 weeks. The doctors' willingness to do this was a huge relief to me, as it provides some sense of control over the event, and especially how it relates to making sure Amy and William are cared for while I deliver. At the same time, I am wise enough to the ways of the world to realize that the chance of that all actually working out as planned is still probably pretty small. I've been having so many cramps and contractions and general discomforts over the past week or so that I find it hard to imagine lasting another two whole weeks. I have a grand list of all the things (mostly Christmas-related) that I'd like to get done before Baby arrives, but at this point I've become so slow and uncomfortable that I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be easier to do those things with a newborn on the outside, rather than in my middle. Doctor appointment tomorrow morning; we shall see where we are. 

And lastly (for now), we had a very lovely Thanksgiving with Don's sister here for company. I cooked the works and enjoyed doing it, though the Thanksgiving meal simply is a lot of work, no matter how small a group it's for. It was special for the kids to have a favorite Auntie over for a few days, and a nice diversion for all of us. It was also simply a nice, calm, long weekend at home. The weather was cold and sunny and it felt right for the season, and none of us got in the car at all between coming home from school on Tuesday afternoon and going to church this morning. Very pleasant. 

More to share I'm sure; I'd love to post some sewing/crocheting/knitting work I've been doing but a lot of it is gift related so that will have to sit. In the meantime, expect more jumbled updates like this from now until Baby arrives, as this seems to be about as focused as I get these days.  Happy Thanksgiving!!