Friday, March 30, 2012

friday photos

I had a really hard time narrowing down photos for this week's posting. Last weekend we had Xena's baby blessing (see description from Genghis's blessing, here). Family came from as far as Hong Kong for the event. But family photos will have to wait until next week because little Xena is just so cute on her own.

The dress she's wearing is the same dress I wore when I was blessed, close to 30 years ago. My grandmother (who Xena is named after) made the dress, as well as the peach blanket.

Here she is the day before, in a beautiful purple dress my mom knitted for her. She is laying on another blanket that my grandmother made for her.

All the family (more shots to come next week).

Nuclear family.

And Genghis looking mischievously adorable.

Friday, March 23, 2012

have you seen this suspicious animal?

Abe forwarded me this informative email he received yesterday from the University Department of Public Safety. Couldn't help sharing.

TO: all University students, faculty and staff:

Today (8:30am) DPS received a report of a sighting on North Campus of a suspicious animal, described as a possible cougar, near Hubbard Road between Green Road and Stone Drive. Police officers and housing security personnel searched the area but did not find a suspicious animal.

Please take extra precautions if you are in this area, especially with young children and bicyclists. If you observe a suspicious animal, immediately contact University Police at 911 or.

So you know what to be on the lookout for, I've included a few results from a Google image search on "suspicious animal".

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

friday photos ??

It's not Friday, but I find myself with an afternoon of coordinated kid naps, so I figured I'd better take advantage.

More pictures of Genghis than Xena, but she basically looks the same in all photos.

Love this photo, but wish I hadn't cut off most of his head.

With Grandma.

A few life updates:
- Xena continues to be a calm, reflective child.
- Grandma wears Genghis out at the park every day, much to our delight.
- Because her snuffles and grunts during the night have been waking me up, Xena has been relocated to the bathroom nursery.
- I got 4 straight hours of sleep last night!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

our warrior princess

I've been purposely delaying writing this post just so it wouldn't feel like I was checking something off of a to-do list, which is forbidden for the next few weeks.

Because, on Friday, March 9, at 9:20pm, we gave birth to our baby girl. She weighed in at 7lbs 6 oz and 20 inches long. A few months ago, I referred to her here as Kublai, to match Genghis. But now that we've met her we know that her true online pseudonym is Xena. If you'd like to know her real name, just send me an email.

I've also been delaying writing this post because I have a million thoughts in my head and have had little success in trying to put them together into a coherent story. Instead, I'll just ... make a list.

Thought #1. Being mother to a newborn the second time around has felt so different from the first.

The clearest example I can think of is that, when Genghis was born, Abe and I had this extensive ritual around nursing. I would get mostly undressed and sit in my special rocking chair. Abe would set up several pillows and the boppy around me and then bring Genghis in. We would both work to maneuver him into an optimal eating position, and then spend 15 minutes trying to get him started. We would time and record feedings, making sure that he was at 10-12 minutes on each side, but wondering how to really start and stop the clock since sometimes he sort of dozed off and on. No more than 3 hours from the start of this process, we would begin it anew, per the pediatricians' recommendations.

This time, I get Xena, get myself cozy in a chair, on the bed, or on the coach, and within 2 minutes have her nursing peacefully. I talk to Abe, read a book, or talk with Genghis while nursing. I don't keep track of the time, but just have a sense for when she's done (or when I need her to be done so I'm not too sore). We do usually have to wake her up to nurse, but we wait until she's at the 4-5 hour mark. And we don't plan on waking her up at all if she happens to decide to go longer during the night (one can dream, right?).

Thought #2. Every new mother who loves to read should own a Kindle.

My parents gave me a Kindle Touch for Christmas and I have absolutely loved having it for the past few days. It is the perfect size to use while nursing, with the added bonus of being able to zoom in on the text if I want to set it down a little farther away. I have several reading options at my fingertips. Plus, I can do audiobooks on it during nighttime feedings when I don't have enough energy to put into reading. Love it!

Thought #3. Babies each have their own personality.

Xena sleeps basically all the time. When she's awake, she looks around with interest but is very calm and quiet as she takes in the world. For those of you who may not know, this was not our experience with Genghis. Xena's personality so far seems to be a great compliment to Genghis's independence, willfulness, and energy. I'm sure she will soon move out of this sleepy newborn stage but for now I'm loving every minute of it.

Thought #4. If it's your second birth, when given the choice to walk around the hospital or go home, walk around the hospital.

Genghis made quick work of his delivery 18 months ago. So this time when my contractions were about 7 minutes apart and fairly intense (about 12 hours into labor) we decided to head over to the hospital. After being asked my birthday approximately six times, we got checked in to triage and the midwife measured me as dilated to a 1 - basically, not much progress being made. It was a bit discouraging, and we were given the option of walking around the hospital or going home to come back later. Walking around the hospital sounded extremely boring and somewhat uncomfortable. So we got some carry out dinner and went home. It was about 1.5 hrs after we left the hospital that I told Abe it was time to go back. This time, before they could ask for my birthday, I told them I felt like I needed to push. About 1 minute later the midwife had me on the bed and measured at a 9. Talk about efficient! Thirty minutes later, Xena was born.

I'm just glad the hospital is only a 6-minute drive from our house.

Friday, March 9, 2012

friday photos

A few weeks ago it was just snowy enough to go sledding. Genghis loved the "slide". Although his first solo run was a bit rough (see video).

In other news, Genghis gave me what I consider to be a first, real, genuine hug Thursday morning. (He's a bit of a late bloomer on signs of affection.) He had just finished throwing a 10-minute temper tantrum and was laying halfway underneath the dining room table. I went over to him and started rubbing his tummy and talking to him. He talked back to me. I think we were having a conversation about all the crumbs he was finding on the floor. Then I told him that I knew it was hard not to be able to get everything he wanted and not to be able to communicate as well as he wanted, but that I loved him. Then he stood up, held his arms out wide, and leaned in to give me a big hug.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

what's worse than filing taxes?

Having to do it twice.

So please cheer me up by telling me about something as depressing as seeing a big fat tax return show up in your bank account, then realizing you forgot to claim some income on your original filing, and finally submitting an amended form with an even bigger, fatter check attached to it (coming out of my bank account, not going in).

At least I can cross off "TAXES" from my to-do list. And yes, I wrote in on my to-do list in all caps, just to emphasize how awful it really was.