Feathered Aspen


2 Comments

5 things on a Tuesday

1. This morning, I pushed the duallie stroller with both girls for the first time.  4+ miles with that kind of resistance made me feel pretty badass.

2. Last night was my first night of classes at MSU, and I am super excited.  I just love being back in class.  It’s been six years!  Here’s a few fun facts I learned:

  • The distinction between macro and micronutrients.
  • The distinction between deficiency and toxicity.
  • The distinction between vitamins and minerals.

3. I’ve been menu planning and preparing meals ahead of time.  Some new recipes include:

  • Raw breakfast bars.
  • Slow cooker rice and beans (on Monday, of course), slow cooker red dahl and lime.
  • Prepping ingredients for fast salads:
    • Boiling beets and eggs.
    • Slow cooker dried beans.
    • Extra salad dressing (I make my own).

4. I FINALLY finished The Goldfinch; it took me damn near three months to do so. The trouble with a Kindle is that you don’t realize you’re reading an 800 page tome until you’ve already been reading for a month and you think to check the specs.  It was ok, but not worth 800 pages.

5. I’m not terribly bothered by changing diapers, and I’m not desperate for Henrie to fully potty train, but I will say that diapering has become less pleasant with Henrie as of late.  Man, the girl can fill her drawers with some stink.  Anyway, I’ve decided to try a little extrinsic motivation, namely a sticker chart and a temporary tattoo for every successful potty poo.  I’ll let you know how it goes :)

Lotsa love,

E

 

 


2 Comments

August

It’s Wednesday afternoon.  Henrie is asleep in our bed and Billie is resting on my tummy as I write.  It’s hot outside.  Boiling, really.  As Henrie and I walked back to the house from the rail station, we both worked up a sweat.  Henrie, however, was practically drenched by the time we got home, because in addition to the temperature, the sun, and the uphill climb, she was throwing a serious tantrum (but still walking!).

Poor Henrie.  That one was definitely my fault.  I told her she couldn’t walk on the wall because it was nap time.  She sobbed because it really was a bit past nap time, and we all know how little girls get when they’re tired and hot and they don’t get their way.  She commenced to walk the next two blocks sobbing and saying, “walk on wall, walk on wall, walk on wall.”

Back at the house, I led her by the hand to the bedroom, took off her sandals, and laid her in bed.  “Cuddle mommy, cuddle mommy, cuddle mommy,” had replaced her earlier mantra, and decided that while consistency is the key, a little compassion is the grease.  I laid next to her, propped up by my elbow, held her hand, and sang to her as she fell asleep.  It took all of about three minutes.

HENRIE

This girl is the cat’s meow.  We’ve been tramping all over this city, and I couldn’t ask for a better companion (except for maybe the addition of my husband – weekends are always better with all four of us).  Henrie is curious and friendly, and her language unfolds day by day.  Probably twice a day I think to myself, I need to write that down so I can remember it, but I rarely have a pen and paper and sometimes I remember and sometimes I don’t.  I just generally have this sense that she says profound, observant, and funny things, and I wish I could remember all of them forever.  Every time she says something new, I get excited.  A couple of days ago, she brushed Billies leg carefully, looked up at me and said, “fragile leg.”

Now that we’ve been using RTD (more on that later), Henrie asks, “train go? train go? train go?”  My new trick is to ask her all of the questions she asks me, and she always cracks me up with an answer.  “Henrie, where do you think the train went?”  “Ummm…” (her thinking voice) “Home.”  And sure.  Why not?  “Kitty go? kitty go? kitty go?”  “Henrie, where do you think the kitties went?”  “Ummm… Eating, napping.”  Probably.

My favorite, and one that I actually do remember, happened yesterday.  We were riding the train and Henrie at a Larabar.  I stuffed the empty wrapper in the mesh pocket of the stroller and then forgot about it.  About half a mile from the train station, Henrie and I were walking across a bridge, and Henrie spots a trash can.  “Trash!” Henrie says and then stops.  She walks behind the stroller, grabs the wrapper I had already forgotten about, and throws it in the trash can.  She looks ups at me.  “Garbage in trash can.  Garbage no in river.”  I was so proud of her.  Think of all the connections!

Another relatively classic Henrie-ism is to see something broken and say, “Uh oh.  Broken.  Oh no!  Broken.  Broken.  Daddy fix it?”  A few times I’ve asked her if she thinks mommy could fix it instead.  She shakes her head gravely, “no mommy fix it.  Mommy break it.  Daddy fix it?”

Recently, we’ve been joking together more frequently.  Henrie asked me to change her diaper and we were sitting in the bedroom.  “Change diaper in there?” Henrie asked, referring to the living room.  I was feeling particularly lazy, so I said, “no, that’s silly!  Why would we change it in there?”  Henrie thought for a second.  “Change diaper on porch?”  I laughed, “silly!”  Then I said, “Change diaper in sink?”  We both giggled, and then we listed off a dozen places that would be silly to change a diaper, laughing uproariously at each one and slapping our thighs dramatically.  My favorite suggestion from Henrie was the swimming pool.  Silly, indeed.

Last Saturday, Henrie and I went on a date, just the two of us.  We went to the library and then to Whole Foods for lunch.  Henrie pushed the little kid cart all around the store, and when we got to the check out, she loaded it up.  She loves doing things by herself, but she also loves being held, carried, and cuddling.  “Uppy?” she says when we are walking.  “Carry you?”  (She hasn’t really figured out the proper pronoun quite yet.)

Kyle’s sister has been visiting for the past week and a half, and her daughter is just shy of three.  Henrie and Ari have had a blast playing together, and while it isn’t always sunshine and sharing, I love watching Henrie figure out her social self.  She’s very affectionate and wants to give hugs, kisses, and hold hands.  She’s also an observer, and I often see her stepping back to watch what the others are doing before she decides to engage.

Finally, the most exciting development for Henrie in the past week is our new RTD pass.  As a student at Metro, I have a free pass, and kids under five travel free with an adult.  The day that I got the pass, I took Henrie to campus on the light rail.  The next day, we took it to campus again and walked the half mile or so to the Children’s Museum, and today, we took the bus to the library and a playground.  It’s been fun and an integral part of each outing.  Henrie gets so excited, she does a little dance each time.  She loves tapping my pass on the validator, and she climbs up on the bench, presses her face against the window, and says, “ooooooo.”

I almost forgot!  The other big news for Henrie is a new routine we’ve implemented.  In anticipation of Joshua staying home alone with the girls a couple nights a week as I take classes, we’ve decided that we need to have regular nap and bed times and we need to be able to lay her down and leave the room, instead of laying with her until she falls asleep.  It’s actually quite sad for me.  I love laying with the little munchkin.  She’s liberal with her cuddles just before bed, and I love having her arms wrapped around my neck as she falls asleep, but alas, I just don’t know how we can keep that up if there’s only one of us to put both of the girls to bed.  These days, Henrie’s bedtime coincides with Billie’s fussiest time of day, and while little Wilhemina really is one of the world’s easiest babies for 22 hours of every day, she can give as good as she’s good those other 2 hours.

Anyway.  The rule is:  nap at 1 PM, bedtime at 8:30 PM.  We sing a song and rub her back for a few minutes at nap, and at bedtime, we read a story and sing a song.  But then it’s lights out.  We leave while she’s still awake.  We’ve been leaving the door open and going back in every five minutes or so if she’s still crying to tell her that we love her and give her a little hug.  Saturday night, the first night we did this, was dreadful.  She cried for an hour, sobbing “daddy, daddy, daddy” (he was the one that put her down).  When she finally did fall asleep, it was with deep, shuddering gasps.  I cried too, and Joshua and I (between going back in to tell her that we loved her) sat on the couch trying to think of anything else we could do.  Anything at all, other than this.  We didn’t come up with much.  If I’m going to be gone a few nights a week, then Joshua needs to be able to put them to sleep by himself, and on top of that, this is really the only time of day that Joshua and I have any time together.  So…  This is it.  The compromise is that we are still co-sleeping, although I’m guessing that this shift would have made an easy transition to her own bedroom…  Oh well, one step at a time – for her and for me, really.

Sunday nap time there were tears, but far fewer, and on Sunday evening, she cried for about 20 minutes.  On Monday, she went down for nap with only a few tears, and on Monday night, she barely cried at all.  The same went for Tuesday, and now today, she cried out a few times, I went to the door and told her that everything was ok and we love her a lot and she’s doing a wonderful job going to sleep all by herself, and then she was fine.  Much like weaning, there was the initial heartbreak and then she was fine.  Both times, it was probably as hard for me to let go as it was for her.

BILLIE

At six and a half weeks, I’m just stunned by how quickly the time is flying by.  How did she get so big already?  How was she born six weeks ago already?

I feel like Billie has been waking up a little bit more the past few days, but she’s still a champion sleeper.  She sleeps all night long and for long stretches during the day.  Today though, she was awake for a couple of hours this morning, for a half hour when we were out, for another half hour when we got back, and then for a big chunk of the evening (from about 4 until 9 with just a little cat nap).

Billie is starting to fill in more.  Her pruny newborn face and body are plumping up and rounding out, and her eyes seem clearer and more focused.  On Monday, she locked eyes with me and smiled for the first time, clear as day.  Today again we looked at each other, cooing and me in singsong, celebrating each time a smile emerged.  I love looking into those dark blue eyes.

I’ve been wearing Billie in the pink wrap a lot.  I like it for the mornings when she’s sleepy because it hugs her in and she can rest.  The Baby Bjorn is good for her more awake parts of the day because she can see more and we can even nurse discreetly while she’s in the carrier.  I also prefer the Bjorn for getting her in and out more quickly.  I have to re-tie the wrap each time.

Nursing is still going well.  I’ve had a few painful, red lumps (plugged ducts), but they’ve all gone down in a couple of days.  Billie has thrush on her tongue, but luckily she hasn’t given it to me yet.  Otherwise, we nurse for short stints (never more than 10 minutes at a time) 8 to 10 times a day.  I think she’s starting to get a bit more down because when I pump in the mornings and evenings I had been getting about 12 extra ounces a day, and now I’m getting about 9, even though I think my supply is increasing.

Billie’s neck is getting a bit stronger, and she even holds it up on her own for short periods of time.  I also noticed this weekend that her baby acne had gotten pretty fierce, but that night I gently rubbed her face with a mild soap, water, and a baby washcloth, and it went way down.  Now she has a few spots but nothing near what it was on Sunday.  It was pretty remarkable, actually.

JOSHUA

Once upon a time, the man had time to update y’all on his life on this here blog, but jeez, I can’t remember the last time he had a spare minute.  Between the house, running, his job, and our family, he’s one busy man.  The good news is that he likes his job, and he’s yet to take a day of his 6 week paternity leave, so we’ve got that to look forward to.  This weekend, he’ll be pacing our friend Will from mile 50 to 75 on the Leadville Trail 100.  This fall, he’s hoping to do a couple of marathons, but he’s taking a break from ultras for now.

Next up on the house is a driveway, fence, and some landscaping for the front and back yards.  After that, he’s planning on the craft and mudrooms and then the basement.  His goal for all of this is Thanksgiving…  We shall see ;)

ELLIE

Guys, these past few months have been interesting.  In those last few weeks before Billie was born, I was in a pretty dark place.  The house wasn’t ready, I wasn’t ready, and man, was I panicked.  But it all turned out.  The to-do lists got done, and Joshua got a little time off of work, and we we were able to spend time together – the three of us and even the two of us.

Billie’s birth was a dream come true, and the high hasn’t really worn off.  I’m not sleep deprived, nursing is easy, and I went back to running four weeks post-partum.  Hell, I went for a trail run five weeks after she was born.  I mean.  Last time, it took me almost three months to get my fitness back, and while I’m certainly no speed-demon on my runs these days, I’m not feeling like a buffalo.  Which is nice.  I credit running up until (past!) my due date and having a much easier, shorter, and medication-free labor.  Plus, no episiotomy or tear.  That was a huge plus.

At my midwife appointment, I was given a clean bill of health, and I was only four pounds over my original weight.  With my first pregnancy, I wondered at every turn how I would handle all of the changes to my body.  Having had an eating disorder in my early teens, I kept wondering when I would freak out, but happily, it never happened.  During pregnancy, I loved feeling Henrie and Billie’s movements, and while I often felt huge, I also felt beautiful.  After pregnancy, I felt mostly in awe of my body’s ability to bounce back.  In that first week, my belly shrunk considerably and the water weight disappeared from my legs and face.  It was like this coat melting off of me, and I did nothing – besides nursing and taking care of my babies – to accelerate the process.  I eat a mostly whole foods diet, but I’m fairly voracious, going back for multiple helpings and piling high my plates and bowls with lots of goodness.  As for the running, while I started early, I started easy.  I have yet to run further than 4 miles, and I’m not pushing myself too far.  I feel good, and it helps me feel strong and good about my body.  It’s as much a mental health boost as it is a body boost.

Mentally, I am so much happier and stronger this time around.  With Henrie, I was terrified.  Now, I’m still dealing with some feelings of self-doubt, but overall, I’m much, much more calm.

My other big news is that I’m enrolled at MSU Denver and I’m taking at least one class this fall! (I say one because I’m waitlisted for the other.)  The admissions process has been arduous to say the least, but I’m sooo excited to be a student again :):):)

Well, like last time, it was nap and now it’s past bedtime, so I’d better wrap up.  Hoping all is well with you and yours, love, E.

 


1 Comment

A Few Family Photos

I wish we had a photo of the four of us, but…  Honestly, one of us either has their eyes closed or Henrie looks possessed, and given that she’s easily the most photogenic, that’s really saying something.

 

Mama and Billie

Mama and Billie

Devious look

Devious look

Blocks

Blocks

Hannah, Boobah, Joshua, Zeydah, Me, Eamon, and Henrie

Hannah, Boobah, Joshua, Zeydah, Me, Eamon, and Henrie

Billie

Billie


1 Comment

Billie Photos

These photos are from our nice SLR camera, and I never got around to posting them here.  To think these were taken a month ago!

Four days old

Four days old

Sweet squishy face

Sweet squishy face

Mom, sister, sister

Mom, sister, sister

Nana meets Billie

Nana meets Billie

The four of us

The four of us

Henrie meets Billie

Henrie meets Billie

Grandma Eunice and Billie on day one

Grandma Eunice and Billie on day one

There are no words

There are no words

The tantrum to sleep phenomenon

The tantrum to sleep phenomenon

Little Billie

Little Billie

Looking at her daddy

Looking at her daddy

Auntie RaRa meets Billie

Auntie RaRa meets Billie

Weston meets Billie

Weston meets Billie

Every now and then, I hold Henrie and she burrows in; I'm so lucky.

Every now and then, I hold Henrie and she burrows in; I’m so lucky.

Sister sister diaper change

Sister sister diaper change

Day two

Day two


3 Comments

One Month Update

Billie is four weeks old today!  I’m sure I’m the first mother to ever say this, but how did that happen?

It’s about 2:40 PM, and it’s that magical moment when both children are sleeping, so I’ll attempt an update and see how far I get…

BILLIE

This girl is easy.  Her labor, the first few weeks, everything.  She sleeps like a champion, eats well, and cries little.  In fact, sometimes I wish that she wasn’t sleeping so much in the night…  I’ve had to wake up and pump because she’s in such a deep slumber – for 8 hours at a time!  Even in her first week!

So, most notably, Billie is a phenomenal sleeper.  Sometimes I wonder to myself if she’s even awake for more than a couple of hours in a 24 hour period.  I even kind of worry about it.

Yesterday, I think I may have gotten my first smile.  I was nuzzling her neck and making kissing noises, and every time I pulled back, she opened her mouth wide, the corners turned up ever so slightly.  She’s also started sticking her tongue out when I stick mine out at her.

Yup.  That’s about it.  I look at Henrie, and she’s a marvel (to me) of development:  running, swimming, talking, joking, dancing…  (Throwing tantrums, refusing help…)  On the flip side, Billie is pretty much the easiest little thing ever:  she eats, she sleeps, she nuzzles her little face into my chest, she fills diapers.  I remember Henrie’s first month as a sea of anxiety.  Nursing was painful and hard; recovering from labor was painful and hard; adjusting to life as a parent was painful and hard…  I don’t think Henrie was a particularly difficult infant, but she cried, she woke up in the night, her jaundice made feeding harder, and between all of those things (and mastitis, and thrush, and an infected episiotomy), I was pretty wrecked.

I’m also realizing that I had post-partum with Henrie.  I think I didn’t name it as such because I misunderstood what post-partum was:  I thought it was disliking your baby or not wanting to be a mom, which is awful really.  It’s crazy that one out of four women have post-partum and there isn’t better education as to what it looks like/feels like out there.  For me, it was anxiety that I wasn’t doing a good enough job and feeling like a failure all the time.  With Billie, and I know I’m not quite in the clear because a lot of women have the hardest time at around four months, I’m feeling more confident.  Nursing for the second time is nearly painless, my labor was relatively quick and easy, and I recovered very quickly.  I don’t worry about Billie as much or put as much pressure on myself, because I pretty much think that she’ll tell me when she needs to eat, I’ll cuddle her and give her love, I hold her as much as I can, and what else does she really need?  My new mantra is “babies are simple.”  I’m taking Ina May Gaskin’s advice from my labor (let your monkey do it, don’t overthink it) and parlaying it to motherhood.  She needs food, love, sleep, and to be changed.  That’s about it.

The hard part, the part that I have beat myself up about (even though I know I shouldn’t), is Henrie.   I worry about being good enough for both of them, spending enough time with both of them.  On top of that, Henrie really is more challenging.  Between hitting 2 years and change, plus having a new baby sister, the tantrums have emerged in full force.  It just destroys me to see her melt into a sobbing, sweating, screaming, (kicking, hitting, “no-ing”) mess.  She throws her arm out, telling me to go away, “no!”  I just want to pick her up and rock her and tell her how much I love her, but my hands are full or she doesn’t want me to.  But more on Henrie later.

Billie was 8 pounds about a week and a half ago, so I’m guessing that at four weeks, she’s about 8 pounds 10 oz.  She’s been gaining an oz. a day pretty steadily, so that’s why my guess is so precise.  At her two day and two week check ups, she went down to 7 pounds and then up to 7 pounds 10 oz, so none of that scary 10 percent weight loss in the first two weeks.  She also never got jaundice, even though she was at higher risk because she’s an A and I’m an O (Henrie is an O too, but she was much more bruised from labor).

Our only scares with Billie have to do with vomiting.  Before her two week appointment, we went in because she had been vomiting large amounts.  In turn, her pediatrician scheduled a same-day ultrasound, just to be safe.  Luckily, the ultrasound didn’t show any concerns, and for the next few days, she didn’t vomit much.  Then we went camping.  On day one, she puked twice.  On day two, three times, and on day three, four, and so on.  We left early from our camping trip and went in to see the doctor.  They prescribed a medicine for acid reflux, and she’s been much, much better ever since.

So, in our first four weeks, Billie has:  gone to City Park Jazz twice, met her Nana, Grandma, Boobah, Zeydah, Auntie Hannah, Uncle Eamon, Auntie Sarah, and many of our friends.  She has taken four or five baths (is that weird that it’s so little?), slept through the night more nights than I can count, and even been camping for three nights.  We’ve been to the Botanic Gardens three times and when Joshua went back to work last Monday (when she was three weeks), we spent a few mornings at the Ps.  On Friday, we took Henrie to toddler yoga, and Billie (predictably) slept through the whole thing.  She was also a perfect date for our anniversary on the 11th when Joshua and I went to Duo, as tradition demands.

- Likes:  Billie likes being held face in and upright, she also is not adverse to the cradle hold.  She’s a quick nurser (I don’t think she’s ever nursed longer than 10 minutes at a time), and she’s usually only interested in one breast at a time.  She likes being held, and I like wearing her best in the “moby” that I made (pink!) and in the k’tan.  She loves sleeping and she likes laying on her back under the hanging woodland animals (thanks Stacy!).  She likes the bouncer and the swing.  She loves her mommy and daddy and sister.

- Dislikes:  Billie does not like bottles.  We’ve tried a few times, and she’s probably had less than 2 oz total.  Not interested in pacifiers, either.  They seem to make her madder.  She does not like the 7 to 9 o’clock hour, and she hates her acid reflux medicine.  She’s not a fan of my letdown, either.

- Traits:  Billie has a sensitive digestive system (I’ll let you fill in the symptoms), but she’s very, very easy going.  She cries very little and doesn’t seem bothered by too terribly much.  Joshua and I are predicting a constitution and personality like her daddy and a face like her mommy.  (We think Henrie is the opposite.)

HENRIE

Henrie is just shy of 28 months, and oh man, is she fun.  She’s a handful, but the developmental marvels I mentioned are a hoot.  I especially love watching her language emerge. I’m stunned by novel sentences and the replication of words I’m certain she’s heard no more than once or twice.

These days, Henrie likes:  playdough, her kitchen set, mangoes, band-aids, boo boo buddy (an ice pack in the shape of sponge bob),  peeling the shell off of eggs (and eating them), walking, play grounds, spotting airplanes, swimming, spending time with her grandparents and her many “aunties” and “uncles,” kissing her sister, dressing (and undressing) Dixie (her dolly), and playing ball.

Henrie dislikes:  having things done for her, being left alone to fall asleep, having her hair done, getting water in her eyes, and her pull ups with zigzag lines (she prefers the polka dots).

Traits:  Henrie is very particular about her appearance.  She likes to pick out her outfits every morning, and she determines her hair style.  Henrie is a pretty good eater, especially if we eat in courses (she’ll always go for the sweetest, most dairy filled thing first, if left to her own devices).  She’s reserved in big groups and anywhere she’s not familiar, and she loves to “people watch” (her words).  Henrie is full of life and kind.  She gives hugs and kisses and says, “miss you!” indiscriminately.  Her face is incredibly expressive, and she’s adorable.

The past couple of months have brought a lot of change.  Between moving and having a new sister, Henrie has been extra sensitive.  There have been more tantrums and some regression in potty training, but overall, she’s adjusting.  She’s sweet with Billie, giving lots of kisses and asking at regular intervals where here sister is.

There’s no way I could record all of the cute and sometimes less than cute details of Billie and Henrie’s growing up.  Nearly every day, Henrie says something that I tell myself I need to remember, I need to write down.  She’s hilarious.  I often feel like I want to hit pause and keep them this age; I don’t want to forget a single detail.

Ok.  It’s 11:30 PM now, and I’m feeling a bit brain-dead, so I’m going to hit publish and call it a night.

Welcome to the World

4 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 415 other followers