A Few Hospital Pictures

I've been meaning to put up these pictures from our time in the hospital for a few days now, but something always seems to be preventing me. Not that I mind; these obstacles usually take the form of playtime with Max and Maggie, cuddle time with Lucy, or relaxing time with Christian -- all activities that I find more engaging and enjoyable than blogging. I'm taking it for granted that everyone understands and accepts why I've been so absent from the blog lately.

Our birthing experience with Lucy was so different than it was with Max and Maggie -- Christian didn't try to take pictures of me while I was in labor, for one thing. Also I had Lucy right on my due date, instead of seven weeks early, which meant that I got to hold her right after she was born, instead of having her whisked away to the NICU. It was so amazing, she was born and I heard the nurse say "it's a girl!" and Christian and I started laughing and crying out of sheer joy that our little newbaby had finally arrived.

It's still mind-blowing to me, that Lucy is the little tadpole that kicked around in my belly for nine months. We have so much love for her already.



born Sunday May 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm
8 pounds, 8 ounces
20.5 inches

Welcome, sweet baby girl!
We love your sweet chubby cheeks,
your big huge feet,
your dark fuzzy head,
and your funny hoarse cry.
Even though your sister thinks you're a monkey,
and your brother has already tried to climb on you several times,
our family wouldn't be complete without you.


Tagged: Eleven Questions

{a 39-week and 3-day baby bump, as seen from above; idea for this photo taken from The Rockstar Diaries}

My friend Carla recently tagged me, and since I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas for blog posts these days {"still no labor but trying to stay positive" gets old quickly, for you and for me}, I thought I'd play along.

1. Post these rules.
3. Answer the questions provided by the one who tagged you.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
5. Tag 11 people.

1. If you could go back to school and major in something different what would it be?
I picked my major in English because I knew I was a strong writer, I loved to read, and I felt like it made sense. {I was a huge Newspaper nerd in high school.} But if I were to go back to school, I think I would major in Graphic Design. It's something I'm really interested in learning more about, and something I feel like maybe I could be good at. I'd also rather read on my own time, without having to write any papers.

2. What is your go-to outfit when you want to look good, and you're in a hurry?
Right now that outfit consists of: maternity skinny jeans, black floral tunic {which actually isn't a maternity top, but it still fits me better than anything else right now}, gold dash necklace, and red Saltwaters. If I'm going out in the evening, or if I want to look extra fancy, I'll add a cardigan.

3. If you could only watch one TV show over and over, what show would you pick?
This is SUCH a tough question. The first three seasons of The Office are classic, I love Arrested Development and the first two seasons of 30 Rock because they're both so hilarious, and LOST is such a spectacular drama, but I think I might have to go with Seinfeld. It has nine seasons of great episodes, for one thing, and even though I've seen them all already, I don't see myself tiring of them anytime soon.

4. What's your favorite book, or the first that came to mind?
The Chosen. We were required to read it my sophomore year of high school, and I've loved it ever since.

5. If your life had a theme song what would it be?
The one that comes to mind {probably because I sing it to the babies daily} is I'd Like to Visit the Moon, a song that Ernie sings on Sesame Street. I'm the kind of person who always thinks she wants to be out adventuring, but loves to be home most of all.

6. Who is someone you miss having in your life (from moving away, passing away, just busy whatever)?
I miss all family when we don't get to spend time together. My brother and his family in Texas, and my grandparents, aunt and cousin in Utah in particular. I know I'll miss my brother-in-law over the summer and when he leaves on his mission this fall. I miss my mother often, even though she only lives 40 minutes away.

7. Would you rather be tired for the rest of your life or hungry?
I'd rather be hungry. Even though I've been functioning on a reduced sleep schedule for over a year {sleep training took effect only after my pregnancy exhaustion kicked in}, I still value sleep and being well rested more than a satisfied stomach.

8. Who is someone you admire and would like to emulate?
I find myself admiring the authors of the blogs that I read. Notably, I'm thinking of Natalie from Nat the Fat Rat, Naomi from The Rockstar Diaries, Elizabeth from E Tells Tales, and Madeline from Über Chic for Cheap. Even though they're not people I know very well at all {I haven't met most of them in real life}, to me they're women who exemplify positivity, hard work, creativity and beauty, which are all qualities I value and strive for in my own life.

9. What is your favorite game?
I love the card game Scum {I've also heard it called President}, because it's all about strategy instead of speed and it brings back happy memories from my first semester at college.

10. If you had to leave your home forever and could only take a few "valuables" what would you take?
Not counting people, right? My computer, because it has all my pictures on it; Christian's and my old journals, because they're irreplaceable; my camera; and right now, my wedding rings -- I'm not wearing them because my fingers are too swollen.

11. What grocery item do you regularly splurge on?
Um, none? Sometimes I'll spend more on a box of good cereal, a treat for myself because I deserve it for going grocery shopping {Naked juice, something sweet from the grocery store bakery}, or something easy for dinner, but never anything regular.

I'm not actually going to tag anyone, but feel free to answer the questions that Carla asked! If you like, answer one of these questions in the comments section... if you're like me, you started answering at least one of them in your head already. :)


A Happy List

{All is forgiven, Maggie. You are just too adorable.}

Last night was one of those nights when, just as I was ready to get into my bed, Maggie started crying in hers like spiders were crawling all over her.

Christian says that it's not something I need to worry about, our kids being bitten by spiders, but I've been bitten in my sleep on at least six occasions, with multiple bites each time, in at least four different houses. And it seems like maybe I have this je ne sais qua that attracts spiders to me -- perhaps spiders, like dogs, can tell when humans are afraid of them? Only it's not so much that I'm afraid of spiders as that I loathe them like I loathe nothing else. But if I have this characteristic that attracts spiders, and really, I think the evidence is in my favor on this one, then possibly that characteristic is genetic. And in that case, I feel like baby-biting-spiders ARE something to worry about.

But back to last night. I was already frustrated because I had been playing the.worst.game.ever all evening. Also I hadn't {still haven't} gone into labor, and I was pretty tired. And my three frustrations were melding into one big super frustration, much like the three tornadoes in The Day After Tomorrow come together to create a super tornado that destroys downtown LA.

So when I heard Maggie, I hit a wall. {If you remember, this has happened before.} I let myself slide to the floor, I muddled around in a pool of self-pity for a while, then I gathered myself together and went in to comfort her. It took me a while to get her back to sleep, and even after I did, she woke up when I put her back in bed and cried a little more -- just long enough to wake up Max. She woke up again at 3:45, and then she was up for the day at 6:30. Um, it was a rough night. And today is another in a string of cloudy, gloomy days.

All this is to say, I could use some happiness. So here are eleven {bonus!} things that are making me happy right now:

1. Getting my anniversary/birthday/Mother's Day present in the mail yesterday.
2. My new hat {marked down even more in-store} and nail polish {the mint color}, purchased during a spontaneous date-night trip to Urban Outfitters on Friday.
3. Discovering that the bushes in front of our house are gardenias. They are just covered in blossoms, and smell heavenly.
4. One-year-old head smell. It's not the same as newborn head smell, but it's pretty fantastic in its own way.
5. Yesterday Max picked up Maggie's doll and handed it to her when she was fussy; it was the first nice thing I've ever seen him do for her. And then...
6. The fact that after I praised him for being so nice to his sister, Max took the doll away so he could give it to her again.
7. Cookout. Any time, always. It's worth the now 40-minute round trip.
8. Borrowed maxi dresses from my sister-in-law, which have given me a break from my one pair of maternity jeans that still fit.
9. Getting to spend one-on-one time with my babes individually. It's such a treat.
10. Hearing Christian say sweet things about our children {both born and as-yet-unborn}. I find myself falling in love with him over and over again.
11. I can now count on one hand the days left until my due date. We're getting close!

What's making you happy right now?

P.S. You can read more happy lists right here.


Decisions, Decisions

Since writing this post, my life has changed only a little. I'm a week and a half closer to my due date, and newbaby's room {apart from painting odds and ends that just need to be cleared away} is finished. I even organized newbaby's closet, which is kind of a big deal.

It might sound boring, but otherwise I'm trying for things to stay the same. That upbeat attitude of readiness is one that I'd like to keep for the rest of my pregnancy. It's exciting, knowing that newbaby could come at any time, planning what I'd do if suddenly my water broke, counting the number of contractions I have in a given hour. I certainly prefer it to impatience and discouragement, which I know are my alternative.

Also, more than I ever expected, I'm filled with gratitude. These are the last few days Max and Maggie and I will have together, just the three of us. Our life together as it has been is ending, and as hard as it's been, it's also been the most wonderful thing ever to happen to me. I feel blessed to have had my two babes all to myself during the day, and blessed that I have two arms to carry them at the same time, two sides of my lap {divided by a big baby belly} for them to sit on while we read books.

My body is certainly uncomfortable, but I can't regret that newbaby hasn't come already. If s/he had, I would have missed Max learning how to sign "please" during lunch on Monday, smearing peanut butter all over his shirt. I would have missed Maggie saying "hi" every three seconds yesterday, which would have been a shame, because it was adorable. I know there's a lot I'm not going to be around for once newbaby decides to arrive, and I'm not anxious for that to happen any time soon.

But oh, my newbaby! I am anxious to meet you. I know seeing your tiny face will make everything worth it, even if it means {and it will} that I have less time for your brother and sister.

I guess it's a good thing that I don't get to decide when I go into labor.


Six Maxwell Facts

1. He can't go long without his blankie; it's been his comfort object from early on. We often toss it over our shoulders when holding him so he can snuggle his face in it, but what he really likes to do is chew on the corners. All four are stained a yellowish brown from Max chewing on them with food in his mouth. I know, gross much? {We've tried stain treating them. They won't come clean.}

He alternates between being a sweet little cuddlebug and an energetic let-me-go-I-just-want-to-MOVE baby boy. He'll often come up to me just to get a hug, but once he decides it's over, it's over and he's gone. He also loves to have me sing to him and rub his back.

2. His favorite song is "If You're Happy and You Know It" and enjoys clapping his hands along when we sing. He'll request a rendition of our "happy song" by clapping his hands at me. He also loves "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," especially the part about the sun -- he thinks it's funny when I make my hands into a circle and peek at him through them. I like to think that his favorite song is "Rockabye Baby," because it's the first song I ever sang to him when he was in the hospital, but really I think he likes "Hush, Little Baby" better.

3. He recently learned how to climb up onto our couch, and loves to crawl all over it, getting into things he previously couldn't reach. {Also trying to climb onto our end tables, pushing over lamps, and falling onto the floor.} His favorite thing is to get onto the one arm of the couch and drop objects into the fireplace. Can't find the remote? Odds are, that's where it is. Last time my phone went missing, I checked the fireplace and there it was, along with a coaster, a thank you note, and a plastic ball.

He can be quite the troublemaker. I know he's just testing and learning his boundaries, doing something over and over no matter how many times or in what tone we say "no," but it does get frustrating when he looks you straight in the face, smiles, and then does it again. It's a challenge to be clear with him what's allowed, and not let discipline turn into a game. {He loves games.}

4. His first word was "uh-oh," which he initially pronounced more like a little baby duck quack, "ah!" It changed into more of a "uh-uh," and only in the past week has he started actually vocalizing a true "uh-oh." He says it about 150 times a day {our for-reals-no-joke estimate}. He sometimes changes "uh-oh" to "oh-oh" when he sees a no-no -- something he knows he's not supposed to touch or he's reminded of something he's not supposed to do. He will also, on occasion, say "mamamama," "dadada," and make puppy sounds: "oof oof oof."

5. He's a definite people person {certainly much more so than his sister, who only likes to interact with strangers to the extent that they don't touch her}, and will often go to anyone who reaches for him. He's got a charming habit of acting shy when someone tries to flirt with him -- looking away and smiling and looking back with those big Muppet baby eyes of his. Even with us he'll turn his face when we go to give him kisses.

6. He loves pushing his walker back and forth across the living room; he pretty much thinks he's the coolest kid thing ever, moving around on his feet. Take a look:


Six Maggie Facts

{Maggie sticking close while watching Oswald yesterday; she wants to be in physical contact with me almost all of the time.}

1. She's a little chatterbox. For a few months we tried and tried to get her to say "dada" and it seemed like she got so close, but we were afraid of jumping the gun by claiming it as her first word. Then it seemed like one day, she just got it. She now says "da-dee" {or sometimes "did-ee"}, "mama" {my favorite}, the most adorable little "uh-oh" whenever anything falls on the floor, "ah!" {for eye}, and a whispered "chi-chi" {for Jesus} at pictures in frames on the wall. When she looks out our back window and sees the swings she says "whee! whee!"

She's good at imitating, so if you tell her the name of something enough times, she'll often repeat it back to you, but I don't think she could come up with the word again on her own. She's said "eh" for egg, "bo" for ball, "nana" or sometimes just "na" for banana, and "mo" for more.

2. We're also working on some signs; raising the roof is her version of "all done," and very occasionally she'll condescend to pat herself on the chest as a reluctant "please." We try "book" and "more," but I think they're too close to clapping {which she does whenever someone else claps, says the word "clap," or says "yay!"} for her to be able to differentiate at this point.

3. She learned how to crawl shortly after her first birthday. We've talked about it with her pediatrician, and we know that she's just on her own timeline, but boy have we made fun of her for starting to crawl when most of her peers were learning to walk! It's such a welcome development for her to be able to move herself {almost} wherever she likes. She and Max often crawl off and play together on their own, which I think is just so awesome. She's taken to suddenly crawling as fast as she can across the floor while yelling "ahhhh!" which we interpret as "charge!" She's good at pulling up, cruising, and climbing all the way to the top of the stairs, but can't quite manage to get onto the couch by herself yet {Max can}.

4. Her most favorite thing to do is read books. All the books; she's even pulled off some of our adult books off the bookshelves in the office and asked me to read them to her. {I love encouraging her to read, but I don't think she's ready for Michael Crichton's Timeline just yet.} She'll crawl into my lap {or what's left of my lap; she always wants to sit on one of my legs while we read} and gesture at the books she sees until I start reading. She loves to turn the pages, but doesn't always wait until I'm finished with one before moving on to the next. She'll often get bored of a book halfway through and adamantly close it and gesture at other books instead.

Some of our best-loved books are: Brown Bear, Brown Bear {and its sequels}, Each Peach Pear Plum, The Runaway Bunny, Where the Wild Things Are, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I Love You Through and Through, The Biggest Kiss, Mr. Brown Can Moo, and Harry the Dirty Dog.

5. Her second favorite thing to do is point at my eyes, nose, mouth, and teeth in turn and have me say what they are. She actually loves to point/poke her finger into all eyes, including her dolls' eyes, eyes in books, spots in books that she interprets as eyes, and {unfortunately for him} Max's eyes. Even though she's getting pretty good at finding others' eyes, she often points/sticks her finger in her own ear and mistakenly says "ah!"

6. My favorite thing for her to do {it's seriously the most adorable thing I've ever seen}: