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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Life is good - need sleep

Some of the best people in my life have commented that based on my blog, I seem sad. Thank you guys so much for your concern!!!

I'm certainly not sad, though. I have the most wonderful husband and adorable little big sister girl, and a baby who is already growing so quickly that I hardly recognize her sometimes. Life is good and is only going to get better.

This morning Ellie covered Baby Addie up with a blanket because she thought it was cold. I love seeing her take care of her baby sister like that and I'm really looking forward to seeing the two of them interact in the future. For now, though, I'm enjoying having Ellie run circles around me in the kitchen and I'm trying to soak in every moment that Baby Addie sleeps up against my chest, because I know moments like these won't last long. But they'll be replaced by better ones.

So, again thanks for your concern, but really... Niffer is a happy one right now. That being said, I certainly wouldn't turn down the opportunity for more sleep! I wonder if that's why my posts "sound sad." Maybe typing tired turns out the same as typing sad.

I'm going back to tickling my daughter now... Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tough questions

Someone posted the following comment the other day:

"So how is this new baby? You've haven't written much about her. Are you so in love with her tiny fingers and toes? Who do you think she looks like? And little peeks of her personality coming through? How's she sleeping? She's just beautiful and has a beautiful name."

I'm sure that the person had no idea how difficult those questions are to answer right now, but I will try.

First of all, I haven't written much about the baby simply because there isn't much to say at the moment. At two and a half weeks, she still does very little other than sleep, poop and eat. That doesn't leave much to say, does it?

I think the difficult thing about the questions is the assumption that I'm simply in love with little Addie. It's an easy assumption to make, but I don't think I know any parent who fell in love with their baby from the very start. That's not to say I don't love Addie - but I'm not IN LOVE with her.

I think it's difficult to be absolutely in love with someone who causes you pain. Addie, like her sister, is causing me pain with breastfeeding. And, like any newborn, she steals my precious sleep. Things are always more difficult to deal with when you're sleep deprived.

I know that it takes many new moms by surprise that they don't instantly bond with their baby. I think this time around, I have a head start because at least I don't miss feeling her inside of me like I did with Ellie (I guess me not bonding with the pregnancy was a blessing in disguise).

So, no, I'm not head over heals in love with Addie yet, but I can say that I'm absolutely in love with the idea of the future with her. I'm not sure when I finally realized I was head over heals for Ellie. Was it her first smile at 6 weeks? Was it her first giggle at 4 months? I seem to recall my trip out to CO at 4 months was the first time I felt like I really clicked with Ellie. Was it then? Was it when she stopped being difficult when she learned how to crawl? Who really knows. I just know it happened eventually and it didn't happen instantly.

I wonder if there are mothers out there who really do fall in love the moment they meet their baby. I wonder if those are the rare few who don't have problems with breastfeeding? I wonder if they just don't remember the early days and therefore think they always had the feelings they do now.

But to be fair, you didn't really ask that, did you? Now that I read the comment again, you asked if I was in love with her toes and fingers - not her. LOL. Go figure. I should probably stop being so defensive and actually answer your questions now...

Yes, her toes and fingers are adorable. When you compare them to Ellie's newborn prints, it's amazing how much bigger Ellie's prints are. I forgot how absolutely tiny their little digits are!

We think she looks exactly like Ellie. I'm anxious to compare pictures and I've made it my goal to try to get similar ones for a fair comparison. I've been told that she looks like me, though. I don't think anyone has mentioned her looking like Michael.

She's much more alert than Ellie was. So far, she seems to like to look around and look at people. She doesn't mind being put down for a while, so that gives us hope that she'll be easier than Ellie. However, we remember the first month of Ellie's life being pretty easy too, and then the fit hit the shan.

Addie isn't sleeping terribly, but she's not sleeping well either. She sleeps for 2 hour naps during the day and 3-4 hour chunks at night. It's hard to remember that, though, because the night hours fly by so much quicker.

And thanks for the compliments on the name! I'm quite fond of both of the names we ended up with for our daughters. Yay!

Big Sister Quote of the Day I

Sometimes Ellie says something regarding her baby sister that either makes us laugh or makes our hearts melt. Before I forget them, I wanted to start posting them - so for the next couple of days I'll be playing catch-up on Big Sister Quotes. Without further ado...

Oh Oh! Mommy! Baby is waking up! You need to feed her NOW!!!

A lecture on not sleeping

Wife: What time did you go to bed?
Husband: Late.
Wife: What were you doing?
Husband: (sheepishly) Watching basketball.
Wife: Basketball? You already like hockey and football.
Husband: Yeah, I know. I should have gone to bed.
Wife: Well, at least it wasn't baseball. Just so you know, I will never ever support the idea of you ever watching baseball when you should be drinking instead.
Husband: (giving me a confused look)
Wife: Uh... SLEEPING instead. You should be SLEEPING.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cured

My mouse-o-phobia has been cured. I'm sure you're amazed and want to know how. Sleep deprivation. It does wonders to many phobias.

As I mentioned earlier, it snowed yesterday, which means the mice go searching for warm toasty places to stay... like my bedroom. As I lay in bed this morning, trying to catch up on some sleep, I looked up at the curtain to see a mouse climbing to the top. Huh, would you look at that? Did I know that mice could climb curtains? No, I certainly did not. Interesting.

Somewhere deep inside, I'm sure I'm screaming in fear.

Look at the mouse walk from one end of the rod to the other. Hey, the cute little beast wants down. It looks like it's going to jump. Huh... If it were to jump, it might end up on the bed. The very same bed I'm laying in. Interesting.

I'm sure my subconscious just peed its pants.

Oh good. The mouse has decided it's afraid of heights and is climbing down the curtain instead of jumping. Climbing down into the claws of the cats waiting patiently below. Woah! Did you see how far that mouse just jumped? Did I know mice could jump that far? I think so, but I didn't need to be reminded.

So tired... Welcome to the house, little monster mouse. Feel free to make yourself comfortable in my pile of comfy pillows. Help yourself to some tea. Perhaps you'd like to hide in one of my shoes - the ones I wear most often are quite comfy. Maybe a game or two with the cats*? I'm just going to close my eyes now and try to ignore the visions I see of you attacking me in my sleep. Night night, Mr. Mouse.


* Stupid cats. They're nothing but hissing, whining big bundles of shedding hairballs, who have no idea how to properly handle a mouse. I never thought I'd say this... but I can't stand my cats right now.

Hey, anyone want to adopt two beautiful cats?

Something's missing

Yesterday we all woke up to a beautiful snow covered world - I love how pretty the snow is right after it's fallen!

Daddy opened the door to bring Ellie to the car for school and said "Look, Ellie! It snowed!"

Ellie searched the landscape in front of the house and decided something important was missing. "Where's the snowman, Daddy?"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My boy


This is the closest I will ever come to having a son.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some days are harder than others

I never expected this new addition to be easy on Ellie, but I have been very grateful that it's going so well. For the most part.

Ellie loves to help out with the baby. She'll help with diaper changes by handing us wipes and diapers. She likes to lay out the blanket to wrap the baby up in a swaddle. She often gives the baby hugs and kisses and tucks the baby in with her Bun-Bun Bear. If we go to the store, she'll ask us if we can bring her baby inside. And if the baby is waking up, she'll inform me "Oh, oh! Baby is waking up, Mommy! You feed her now!"

So she likes her baby. Thank God for that.

But this weekend was difficult on poor Ellie. I think it was the fact that she saw how needy the baby was through out the whole day. Before this weekend, she was just limited to seeing a couple feedings in the morning and evenings. But since she spent the entire day with us for two days in a row... it wore on her.

Last night she had a little melt down. While I was feeding Addie, Ellie got upset about something (something having to do with putting a blanket on the table and then the chair on top to sit on it???) and I couldn't calm her down. I asked Daddy to take the baby for a while and asked Ellie if she wanted to sit on my lap. She didn't waste any time crawling up and snuggling. We sat there for a good 10 or 15 minutes.

During that time I asked her if she felt like I was spending too much time with Addie. She responded with a sad "yeah." It brought tears to my eyes - or maybe they were already there. I tried to explain to her that babies take a lot of work and that if she ever feels like she needs more attention, then she needs to tell me "Mommy I need some time with you."

I hope she understands. I think she does. I spent a good part of the evening just the two of us and I think it helped. This morning she woke up as pleasant and happy as always.

I love my little girl and am so dang proud of her. I hate seeing her upset.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fear the mouth

WARNING: This is another TMI post. If you think you might be squeamish about breastfeeding, then please feel free to come back another day.

If there was one thing I wished for in Baby Vincent II, it would be that the breastfeeding would go better. No, wait. I guess I wished for a lot of things. Now that I think about it, I have no idea how we survived Baby Ellie.

Anyway... Let's stick with the breastfeeding. I wrote about my first experience with breastfeeding Ellie, and I am constantly reminding myself that this time around is so much better.

Be it because I didn't have an epidural during this birth, or maybe that Addie wasn't quite as jaundice as Ellie was, or maybe they just have different personalities, but Addie was by far more alert than Ellie from the very beginning. Combine that with the fact that she is a little bigger than her older sister, and her older sister "prepped" my nipples for feeding... Feeding Addie has gone significantly better than Ellie.

With Ellie, we were in the hospital for 4 days. Addie was home after just a single day. When I think about where Addie was at 4 days, it boggles my mind how much further we were. At 4 days old, a typical baby is expected to gain 0.5-1.0 oz a day, but Addie had gained 6 oz in just two days! At 4 days, we had 4 days of successful breastfeeding behind us. With Ellie, we hadn't even had a successful latch.

When I think about it in terms of comparing the two, I am reminded that we're weeks, if not months ahead of the game. However, it's hard to remember that things are going better when they're still not going well.

Five days into breastfeeding was my low point. I had cracks in my nipples that were so deep that every time Addie fed, she'd draw blood and would spit it up a few minutes later. If there is one thing about early motherhood that I will always be impressed with, it's the fact that nipples can heal. Think about it - it's not like you can say "Oh, just give me a few days to recover and I'll be back on track afterward!" No, these are wounds that are reopened every 2-3 hours. And that takes a toll on you. Yet they heal. Amazing.

I will always be in awe at how difficult breastfeeding can be. You'd think that since every baby in history has had to depend on it, then it would come more naturally. I have a great deal of amazement for those few that I know who had no problems breastfeeding at all. How they do it is beyond me. I guess that explains why Wet Nurses were so popular in the past!

I am happy to say that only two weeks in, I'm definitely over the hump. My low point was at 5 days and I did question whether or not it was worth continuing. The fact that I could look back at my first month with Ellie and remind myself that it was so much worse then, yet I got over it, kept me going this time.

It's not perfect yet. Feeding Addie still hurts for the first couple of sucks of each latch, but then I'm fine. Two weeks and I feel like I'm where Ellie and I were at 2 months. So there is hope yet. I just look forward to the day when I don't have to fear my baby's mouth anxiously awaiting and grabbing for the boob. Scary.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Football Family Moments

Mommy: Which team do we want to win?
Ellie: Huh?
Mommy: Which team do you like? The black one or the white one?
Ellie: I like the yellow one.
Mommy: Yellow and black. Yeah, I like that team too.
Ellie: No! You like the green one.
Mommy: Green team? The green team isn't playing today.
Ellie: You like the green grass.
Mommy: Oh. Go green grass!
Ellie: Go yellow team!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sweet Dreams

Finally! The nursery is done (with the exception of getting a special bear to sit on the top shelf in the corner). We absolutely LOVE the way it turned out. We ordered vinyl stars and quote from Etsy. The quote says "Sweet Dreams - I love you to the moon and back." My mom made some stars to hang from the ceilings, giving the whole room a more 3-D look. The pictures don't do the stars justice - they're absolutely adorable! I got a dream catcher for the corner and of course, a stool for Ellie to help with diaper changes. Other than that we're using the same bedding and stuff from the first nursery. My mom replaced the sheep with bears. I LOVE how calming the room is!P.S. Dang it! I forgot to include Bussi the bear in the pictures! ARGH!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday FAIL

Addie's umbilical cord was tied in a knot some time during my pregnancy. It was kind of crazy to see and I'm surprised it didn't cause complications. Anyway, I thought about posting the picture but then I noticed the completely inappropriate scenery behind the cord. Sorry guys, but I'm not an expert at Photoshop so you'll just have to believe me about the knot.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The wonders of a poopy diaper

As I mentioned earlier, Ellie constantly wants to help out with Baby Addie. The other day she helped change Addie's diaper - apparently Ellie's first diaper change.

Ellie: I wanna hold my baby.
Daddy: Oh, but it's bedtime.
Mommy: Do you want to help change her diaper instead?
Ellie: Yeah!
Mommy: (pulls up a stool for Ellie) Here, climb up so you can help.
Daddy: You're going to help by handing me some wipes and the diaper.
Ellie: Ok. Is baby's diaper ave poop?
Daddy: Yep, there is poop in the diaper.
Ellie: (very sincerely) OH WOW!
Daddy: Can you hand me a wipe so I can clean her bum?
Ellie: OH WOW!
Daddy: Now can you hand me a diaper?
Ellie: Yep. Is clean now?
Daddy: Yep. Thanks for helping me change Addie's diaper.
Ellie: Oh wow. You're welcome.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Round Two

WARNING: TOO MUCH INFORMATION IS CONTAINED IN THIS POST. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT MY LABOR EXPERIENCE THEN PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CLICK ON ONE OF THE BLOGS TO THE RIGHT OF THE SCREEN AND READ SOMETHING LESS PERSONAL.

Since many of you know about how my first labor went, you also know that this time around we signed up for a baby that wasn't posterior. We did NOT want a repeat of last time. Let's begin the story, shall we?

It was a cold night in Colorado and many people were nestling themselves into bed, preparing for the snow to come the following day. But not Niffer... Niffer was preparing for the arrival of a different kind of package...

Ok, in all seriousness, our labor officially started at 10:00 on Thursday night, after a day filled with my normal surges of what I was calling "baby punching cervix" pains. But by 10:00 we knew this was going to happen so we called our doula. I'm not really sure what time she came over but I do know that having her there was such a huge help. I have no idea how people manage to go through labor without a doula!

It didn't take long for me to notice differences between this labor and my first.

Difference 1: Intense - can't talk or move - contractions came much much quicker.

Difference 2: During my first I felt most of my contractions in my lower back, aka "back labor," because Ellie was posterior. This time, you'll never guess... Let's call it "butt labor." You heard me. The sides of my butt hurt so much more intensely than anywhere else. My butt, people. Really, does that have much to do with giving birth? Apparently it does when a birth progresses quickly (which is a fact that I discovered later).

We ended up laboring at home until about 1:15 and, like I said, it was obvious that things were moving quicker than they did with Ellie. By the time we left the house, I think the contractions were only a few minutes apart.

I had 10 contractions on the way to the hospital - a 30 minute ride. Michael treated stop lights as stop signs, or more like "stop suggestions" so we apologize for anyone who didn't see us coming in advance but it was early in the morning so I don't think we caused any damage. There was something about a screaming Niffer saying "I think I have to push" that made Michael's foot heavier than he's used to.

Little did I know, that what I was calling "needing to push" was NOTHING. NOTHING - I tell you! Nothing compared to what came later.

We arrived at the hospital at 1:45 and my water broke in the elevator. They rushed us into the delivery room and checked me. 6 cm.

EXCUSE ME??? 6 CM??? That's it? Oh my God! Pick any other number! I was stuck at 6 cm for over 10 hours with Ellie! You might as well just have told me I'm in for another 24 hours? You could have picked ANY other number besides 6! I can't do this.

Luckily for me, I was convincing enough and five or ten minutes later they checked again and I was at 8 cm. That's better, woman! Apparently things were moving along quickly. I don't think anyone even questioned the possibility of an epidural (anyone other than me I guess).

Difference #3: I NEED TO PUSH, DAMIT!!
Soon I really discovered the meaning of "needing to push". I had no idea that such a sensation could be so strong and that it could be so difficult to NOT push. It was strange because I don't think I'd say the contractions "hurt" by this time. They were certainly unpleasant with the need to push, but I don't think "hurt" is the right word. I never thought it would be impossible to stop my body from doing something like pushing. There were times when it just wouldn't listen to me and I felt completely out of control.

Difference #4: No medication!
Things progressed so quickly that there was no time to get an epidural. We checked into the hospital at 1:45 AM and Addie was born at 2:47 AM. Even if I had gotten an epidural, it probably would not have taken effect before the baby was born. In regards to a natural birth, another thing that I never knew was what I later learned to be the "ring of fire." Apparently as the baby's head is coming out, there is this intense stinging sensation, very similar to the feeling of peeing with a urinary tract infection. It hurt to push but only through the stinging. Not pleasant, but I suppose very few people would guess that it would be. =)

Addie was born only 5 hours after labor started. I didn't have any medication and I didn't even tear. The most bizarre thing about the whole experience was that less than 24 hours after having given birth, I felt totally fine! I was up and about with no pain at all. The only sign of the fact that I recently gave birth was the contractions of my uterus going back to a normal size whenever I would breastfeed. Other than that, I never would have guessed that I had been in labor recently. Is that not bizarre or what? Don't get me wrong, I wasn't complaining, but you'd think my body would be sore from having been through labor less than 24 hours before!

So, there you have it... more information about my second birth than many of you wanted to know, but then again, I warned you ahead of time.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bun Bun Bear

On the way to the hospital Gramma took Ellie to the store to buy her new baby sister a present. Apparently her selection process was quite detailed. She picked up several toys and made sure that she understood how they worked. In the end, she picked a toy that hangs on the car seat and plays music. Then on their way out to pay for the new toy, Ellie saw the "Bun Bun Bear" and insisted that they get one for the baby. When she showed Addie the Bun Bun Bear at the hospital, she made sure to explain how it's just like "my Bun Bun" only it makes a funny noise (it's a rattle). A picture of the girls with their Bun Buns.

One of the ways I've been keeping myself occupied in recent months was to search for the perfect security blanket for Addie. This was not the one I was considering, but I adore the fact that it was Ellie who picked it out and that it was her who acknowledged that Addie would be needing one. It was very important to Ellie to buy a Bun Bun Bear, so my decision has been made for me. Now I just have to go out and buy more!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Addie meets Ellie

Prepare yourself for some cuteness! I've been hoping to write about this for quite some time now but I'm sure you'll find it in yourself to be able to forgive me for the delay.
Gramma brought Ellie by the hospital when Addie was just a day old. Ellie proudly walked into the room and handed me some flowers and said "Is for you, Mommy!" I gave her a big hug and said that I missed her and she went straight over to see her new baby.Right away she asked if she could hold her new baby. When I say "her new baby," I mean it. That's what Ellie asked for - "Can I hold my new baby?"
You already saw one of my favorite pictures but these are absolutely adorable too. Ellie just adored looking at Addie and she gently touched all of Addie's facial features and even rubbed her nose with Addie's. Then she got serious and looked at me and said "Your tummy no have baby! You jump on bloons wif me and Brynnie?" She was so happy to hear that the answer is yes - next time we go to Bounce Town I get to play with her on the balloons. Then she gave Addie a kiss and said "I like my baby."
video
I even managed to get a video of her reaction to the baby. I know I'll always treasure this one!

We didn't stay in the hospital for very long and were home before Addie was even two days old (more to come on that). At home, Ellie's interest in the baby didn't fade.
So far she wants to do all sorts of things to help. She wants to watch us change Addie's diaper and put her to sleep. The schedule is all up in the air (if you want to call it a schedule at all) but so far we've been able to let Ellie be involved enough that she feels helpful and yet have enough time for Ellie alone that she still feels loved. Who knows how long that will last - when Addie starts to sleep less and less, I hope the schedule ends up lining up well!
A couple nights we've even been able to time things so that Addie can lay in bed with Ellie while we read her books. She loves this. In fact, the first night she told us that she wanted Addie to sleep with her all night. When we told her that Addie was too small to sleep in a big girl bed like Ellie's, she said "Maybe when she gets bigger?"
So far so good. Ellie has been a little more fussy at bedtime than normal but that usually happens after spending a few days with the grandparents, but I don't think that the fussiness is because of Addie's presence. I think that Ellie is beginning to realize that our baby is here to stay, but so far she's so proud to be a big sister that she doesn't seem to mind.

What she does mind is when we limit the amount of time she can spend with Addie. Not allowing Addie to sleep with Ellie all night was an example. Similarly, we told Ellie that Addie was too little to go to school with her, and we've had to tell Ellie a time or two that it's her bed time and thus the best way for her to help is to go to sleep. However, this weekend Ellie does get to take Addie to the farm - so she's excited about that.

Both Michael and I have commented multiple times since Addie was born how much older Ellie seems to be this week than she was last week. I swear, the little girl grew up in just the couple of days since Addie was born. It brings tears to my eyes whenever I see her acting so mature and knowing that Michael has noticed it too doesn't help. I'm so proud of my little girl.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pictures of Addie

Click here for more pictures

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ellie would like you to meet someone!

Adel.ine Rayne Vincent was born at 2:47 A.M. on Friday, October 9th. She weighed 6 lbs, 7 oz and was 19.25 in. long.
Both Mommy and Baby are home and doing fine, though Baby needs to be under U.V. lights for some jaundice. I'll try to post an update soon with more of the most adorable pictures of a proud big sister you've ever seen.

Friday, October 09, 2009

One of my favorite moments of the day

During the week, I am usually the one who wakes Ellie up in the mornings. I'm hoping that this can continue, but we'll just have to wait and see. Sometimes I find her still fast asleep with no real desire to wake up and other times I find her patiently waiting for me while playing with her ladybug nightlight and singing the Moon song.

Regardless, we rarely say any words to each other. I'll scoop her up into my arms and hold her for a few minutes, just rocking in silence. Her head leans into my chest and my chin rests on her hair.

Sometimes we stay like that for a few minutes and other times it only lasts 30 seconds. It's almost always Ellie who breaks the silence with whatever exciting thought she has decided to share with me. This morning it was "I wan to see my friend Brason and Fench teacher 'morrow" and yesterday it was "I go peepee on potty and get to wear princess pull-ups."

I love that moment of morning snuggles. It seems to be exactly what we both need to start our days off on a good note.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Milking it for all it's worth

I have a fellow Mommy-friend from Maryland who had her daughter a couple months before Ellie was born. She also recently had her second child, a little boy. I finally heard back from her about how she's doing since her boy was born. I wanted to hear more about what she was experiencing, in hopes of better preparing myself for the months to come.

She is having a really hard time. The baby experience, itself, is easier because she's not as stressed. She's not sure what to give credit to, whether it be because she is less nervous being a 2nd time mom, or because she has the knowledge of how short this time really is, or because her little one just is different than her daughter.

Where she is struggling, though, is with her daughter. Her daughter is having a really hard time with the baby. She wouldn't even look at her Mommy while at the hospital. Her sleep is way off. She's really frustrated and her Daddy can't seem to do anything with her.

I'm saddened to hear that her daughter is having such a hard time with the transition. I was so hoping for a happier success story, like my friend in New Mexico.

Then I continued to read... "I'm losing a lot of weight because I'm tandem nursing..."

Huh? Woah! Wait!

I'm all for nursing a baby and I certainly think it's the healthiest thing for a young infant. I ended up nursing Ellie for about 13 months and I know many of my fellow Mommy friends nursed longer (some shorter). I'm not sure at which age I start to lose my level of comfort for the idea of breastfeeding, but if I were to put my finger on an age now I'd say it would have to be when the baby is up and running around, or talking.

Two years and eight months is definitely beyond my level of comfort. I know each mother thinks differently about the topic, and I don't mean to be critical of my friend. I do, however, wonder how much that plays part in her daughter having such a hard time with the new baby. I can only assume that if she's still breast-feeding her daughter, it's not all the time. I'd assume that the baby needs to be fed more often. Wouldn't that create more jealousy in the little girl, when she knows that is her milk!

Breastfeeding is such a personal thing and creates such a special bond between baby and mother, and becoming an older sibling must be incredibly frustrating on its own. I can't help but wonder if it's more difficult on her little girl because she has to share even that special bond with the baby.

Hmm... I'm really just rambling. I am not trying to be judgmental at all, but am thinking out loud of reasons why I need to calm down and let Ellie surprise me with her acceptance of our new baby. She's going to be great! Right?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wordless Wednesday XV

Ok, so this isn't mine*, but it did bring tears to my eyes. Some images are just that powerful.


* Found from this news story.

Parlez-vous Franglais?

I didn't tell you guys but we started French classes again! We finally sucked it up and hired Ellie's old teacher as a private tutor because I wasn't able to find a class (French or Spanish) that fit with our schedule.

I was so excited! Even now Ellie LOVES listening to French music, whether it be music from the previous class sessions or actual CDs we have bought. She can also still count to ten in French and was super excited about French class when we told her we were starting them up again.

You guys, it's been 6 months since we took classes! Six months and she still remembers!

Anyway... last week went really well. She showed the teacher that she could count to ten and even repeated many of the words we learned. "That's a vash" (Vache = Cow) or "Canard says quack" (Canard = duck). When Ellie first sensed that the class was ending (it was an entire hour long), she turned to me and pleaded, "I want French teacher to stay please" and gave the teacher a big hug.

Success!

Let's hope for a similar story for tonight's class!

Now I just have to start thinking in Franglais because Ellie has started requesting to listen to certain songs on the French CD. The conversations go something like this:

Ellie: I want oh-voi mess amy!
Mommy: You want what?
Ellie: I want oh-voi mess amy!
Mommy: You want to make a mess?
Ellie: I want oh-voi mess amy!
Mommy: You want water?
Ellie: I want oh-voi mess amy!
Mommy: You have a friend name Amy?
Ellie: I want oh-voi mess amy!
Mommy: I'm sorry, I don't understand. Can you use different words?
Ellie: I want oh-voi mess amy!
Ellie: I want oh-voi mess amy!
Ellie: I want oh-voi mess amy!
Mommy: Oh! You want the French song "Au-revoir mes amis?"
Ellie: Yeah! I want oh-voi mess amy!

This morning it was a similar conversation only Ellie kept insisting she wanted "bows what so" which ended up being the song about birds "Beaux oiseaux." Once I started playing the song, she would ask about the colors "What's red do?" to which I would respond "Red in French is rouge" and she'd be content by saying "Oh. What's yellow do?"

I am so glad that my hubby agrees with me that introducing her to languages at an early stage in life is well-worth it. I hope she grows to learn and love many languages. I think more Americans should.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My Little Punkin

And here are the tummy pictures from the wonderful day at the farm that I mentioned yesterday. Look at that belly! I'm certainly looking forward to the wonderful weight-loss side-effects of breastfeeding. Wow. Wow, I say.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Count-Down

Did you notice? Did you see? 10 days left! As my hubby pointed out, that's 10 as in "I can count on my fingers OR toes! OR! Fingers OR toes!"

Saturday, October 03, 2009

At the Farm With My Brynnie

A week or two before Ellie was born we had a fantastic weekend filled with cherry blossoms and flowers. I still look back on the weekend with warm memories because it was nearly perfect, though I'm not sure I could put my finger on what made it so.

This last Saturday was similar. Granted, the weather turned colder than I thought it would, but we still had a fantastic day. In the morning we went to Home Depot's workshop for kids (they have them every first Saturday of the month - HIGHLY recommended) and Ellie made a piggy bank firehouse.

During Ellie's nap we met with our Doula again. Nothing special, but I'm feeling quite optimistic that this birth will go much smoother than the last one.

But it was after the nap that things got really good. We went to Anderson Farms with Brynnie! I intended to post tummy pictures, but I suppose I have to wait until tomorrow because apparently I was too obsessed with how cute the girls were to remember the pictures of just me and my tummy.

The girls were simply adorable together. They always are. It's absolutely incredible to see how much they light up when they get to spend time together. They feed off of each other's energy too. If one is eating, the other eats. If one is laughing, the other laughs. If one is running, the other is running. It goes on and on and so do they.

At the farm they saw lots of animals, played on a train, sat on a tire swing, rode ponies (Ellie named them Otto and Zoe - not bad names for ponies), chased each other through the rainbow maze, had a tricycle race, laughed at each other's hats, rearranged the pumpkins and even challenged Ellie's Daddy in holding them both up-side-down at the same time. There were too many pictures to post, so I put some of my favorites into a slideshow:
video

Click here for these and many more pictures of Ellie with her Brynnie.

Apparently Brynnie's Mom met one of her best friends when she was only 18 months old. Wouldn't it be incredible if we could maintain this friendship for that long? Wow. We could be showing these pictures during the slide show given at their weddings.

FMLA Lessons... continued...

Michael also learned his own FMLA lessons. He is planning on taking a bunch of his vacation to help take care of the baby during the initial few weeks. However, he learned that since there is a baby involved, he needs to get approval from the VP to use his vacation. Apparently since there is a baby involved, it is suddenly FMLA. If he chose to go on a 3-week backpacking trip, then no big deal. But he needs permission to take off 3 weeks for the baby. What gives?

Friday, October 02, 2009

FMLA Lessons for the Family Priority

It's been a frustrating week for me because I've been discovering all sorts of misconceptions I had about my maternity leave. I'm tired of going into HR to clarify things and leaving feeling like I asked a lot of questions and am understanding the policies correctly... only to find out that I was completely wrong.

Here are the lessons I've learned for wanting to maximize the time you have with your family, for those of you who want to benefit from them:

1. Those who use all their vacation time AND THEN have a family emergency that requires unpaid personal time off deserve more total time with their families than those who are dedicated to their work and chose not to take their vacation before having said emergency.

2. Those who use all their vacation time AND THEN have go on FMLA for their precious new-born baby deserve more total time with their families than those who were purposefully saving vacation time in hopes of spending more time with the baby.

3. Those who are unfortunate enough to give birth to a baby at the very end of a planned vacation (before returning to work) deserve the least amount of time with the baby. Their babies aren't as cute as the others and thus don't deserve the same consideration.

4. If you expect HR to explain things like this to you, then you're just an idiot who doesn't appreciate how good you have it. Who are you to be nit-picky with your priorities and how much time you can be with your family? You're no one. Suck it up and get over it.

5. When ironing out the finer details of maternity leave, it is wise to remember to bring a box of Kleenex and remind everyone that you're hormonal and pregnant. Remember, HR isn't attacking you personally. They're just attacking your baby. Obviously they would have no reason to do so if you were smart enough to have the baby at the beginning of the year instead of towards the end. It's your fault. Not theirs.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Two weeks

Some time in the next two weeks I get to find out if I have a son (or, of course, if Ellie has a little sister). Deep. For whatever reason, I find the concept of having a son to be incredibly foreign to me.

Early Bird

Ellie woke up super early this morning but waited patiently for Mommy to come get her (she knows the rules). When I commented on how she had been up for a long time, she told me defensively, "I just singing to Bun Bun" and gave her bunny a hug.