Sunday, October 30, 2011

Two weeks

Goblin is two weeks old already - I can hardly believe it.

I don't have much to update - this is pretty much what's been going on for the past fifteen days:
*photo of me holding Goblin:
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I hold her all day and most of the night too. Good thing I love snuggling babies! I've got everything set up within arms' reach of the sofa and if I want to change things up a bit and move to the recliner, I can do that.  We got a good start on cloth diapering and that's going well too, although I'm still using disposables for overnight.

Goblin is a good baby, but she likes to cluster feed in the evenings and nighttime, my worst times of the day.  In the morning she is alert and cute as can be. Which explains why I look so exhausted here.  But I'll take it - wouldn't trade it for the world.

Someday I'll come back and post something that is mildly interesting.  Promise.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Goblin's birth story, part 2

So there it was. We had a new baby girl! The Husband and I spent the hours after her birth watching her and snuggling with her. She was alert for several hours, no doubt wondering what the heck just happened to her.

Early Sunday morning, Grandma J brought the kids up to meet Goblin. Hollywood took her first and snuggled her:
*photo of Hollywood with Goblin:
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As Hollywood was holding the baby, Bumblebee jumped into bed with me and we had a good snuggle ourselves:
*photo of Bumblebee and me in the hospital bed:
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Then it was Bumblebee's turn to hold Goblin. This is one of my favorite photos ever:
*photo of me, Bumblebee, and Goblin on the hospital bed:
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The Boy got to hold her too, and although he was hoping for a brother, he doesn't look so disappointed here:
*photo of The Boy holding Goblin:
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Then it was Grandma J's turn:
*photo of Grandma J holding Goblin:
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I can't explain how amazing it is to watch your children open their hearts to a new sibling. My kids were so gentle, and so excited to meet their new baby sister.

It was Sunday afternoon, and the Packers weren't on TV, so The Husband and The Boy got all decked out in their Packers gear and went to watch the game at a restaurant:
*photo of TH and TB in their Packers clothes:
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My brother and sister-in-law brought Nanna to the hospital to see Goblin.  This photo of Nanna exploring Goblin tugs at my heart:
*photo of Nanna holding Goblin and checking out her fingers:
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And of course Brother Z and Sis-in-law M had to get their snuggle time in too. Check out that adorable knit hat that Aunt M made Goblin!
*photo of M holding Goblin:
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*photo of Brother Z holding Goblin:
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The visitors left late Sunday afternoon, and The Husband and The Boy came back to hang out for a while.  After they left to go home and get dinner, I spent the rest of the evening holding Goblin and starting at her perfect little features.
*photo of me holding Goblin:
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I still can't believe she's here and she's ours. I've been holding her almost non stop for a week now, and don't plan on doing much else for the rest of my 12 week maternity leave.  I know I keep saying it, but we are so very blessed to have been given the gift of another child to love and raise.

My cup overflows.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Goblin's birth story, part 1

Dear Goblin,

You are sleeping next to me as I type this. Every so often you make a sleep squeaky noise that is so adorable I just want to scoop you up and snuggle you.  Which is what I have been doing non stop for the past five days. I am sleep deprived, have sore lady parts, and am basically a walking zombie because we haven't slept much this week.  But I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  These first few weeks of bonding and snuggling with an infant are among my most precious memories, to go down as the happiest times in my life.

But let me tell you how you came into the world.  You were due on Halloween, which is why I've given you the nickname "Goblin" on this blog. I was pretty miserable these last few weeks - feeling very clumsy and uncomfortable.  I had a pregnancy symptom called PUPPS which made me itch uncontrollably for several weeks. I was hoping and praying that you'd come a little bit early to relieve me of my misery, but I never really expected you to.  You see, your sisters and brother were all overdue, so I assumed that you would be too.

On Friday night, your dad and I went to the varsity football game to walk Hollywood down the football field for senior night.
*photo of TH and me walking Hollywood down the football field:
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Everyone asked me if I was ready to have you and I said, yes!  I sure was - I couldn't wait to meet you.  After we got home from the game, Daddy and I watched The Five People you Meet in Heaven and had a nice relaxing night together. (Daddy doesn't like to watch movies that much, but I sure love it when he agrees to!) I wasn't feeling great that night - had cramping and was hoping they would turn into real labor, but by early morning they had fizzled out.

Saturday I didn't do much.  A little laundry, not much else. I was bummed that the pains from the night before didn't turn into anything.  I took a late mid afternoon nap while Daddy went to the grocery store to get some chicken to grill.  It was a beautiful October day - sunny, temps in the high 60s.  Nice night for BBQ chicken!  But... you had other plans!

When I got up from my nap, my water broke. I won't gross you out with the details, but there was no mistaking what happened. Oh. My. Goodness.  We were going to have a baby!!

I told The Boy to call Daddy and tell him that my water just broke.  The Boy and Bumblebee were both so excited.  It was so sweet.  After calling Daddy, The Boy texted Hollywood, who was on her way home from work.  She squealed with the news. Daddy left his cart of groceries sitting in the middle of the aisle he was in when The Boy called him.  He shot out of there and headed home as fast as he could.

It's a rare occasion to have all of us home at the same time on a Saturday, but as we left for the hospital, your brother and sisters were there to say goodbye.  I hugged each of them, and a tiny tug of sadness pulled at me.  Not because I wasn't over the moon at your impending arrival, but because things just wouldn't be the same anymore, and there's a certain sadness in that reality. They were so excited, that I got over that feeling very soon.

We made it to the hospital, and got checked in.  I won't go into the details of your labor here, because, gross! But let's just say it was the longest of my labors (by 4 minutes, according to the nurse).  It wasn't terrible, and I caved and got an epidural that made it feel wonderful. You made your appearance at 11 minutes before midnight on Saturday, October 15th!

We didn't know if you were a boy or a girl, so the doctor asked us if Daddy wanted to tell me what you were.  He did, and when he told me you were a girl, I felt the tears rush to my eyes.  I was so happy.  Daddy cut the cord and they laid you on my chest.  Here's a really gross picture of you:
*photo of Goblin right after birth:
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See how purple you were with that white gunk on you?  Don't worry - they cleaned that up real quick.  But not before I got to snuggle with you, and explore you, and count your ten perfect fingers and toes. It's amazing, that feeling of having an infant created out of love between your husband and you placed onto your chest.
*photo of me with Goblin on my chest after delivery:
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They cleaned you up and set you on the scale.  You weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces and were 19.5 inches long.
*photo of Goblin being weighed:
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Then it was Daddy's turn to hold you.
*photo of TH with Goblin:
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We're both so proud to call you our daughter.  But here it is, almost time for you to wake up and eat again, so I will close this and write more about your birth later.

We love you, Natalie. We're so very blessed to have you in our family.

Love,
Mama

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Introducing Goblin!

Goblin was born on Saturday night - October 15th.  Her name is Natalie Caroline, and she was 6 pounds, 8 ounces and 19.5 inches long.

I will write up more, but want to do her birth story justice and my sleep deprived brain isn't wired for writing at the moment.

So I'll leave it at this:  we are very blessed.
*photo of Goblin:
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Insomnia

My body has been preparing me for the lack of sleep that Goblin will inevitably bring by giving me a wicked case of insomnia night after night.  I used to fight it, and it about drove me crazy.  I'd lay there, trying to get back to sleep, as panic built up inside me with each passing minute of the clock.  My alarm is going to go off in three hours... My alarm is going to go off in two and a half hours... My alarm is going to go off in an hour...

I have since learned to get up and do something productive.  Sometimes it's laundry, sometimes I read a book.  Other times I spend the wee hours of the morning cruising Pinterest and thinking of all of the fabulous ways I could decorate my house if only I didn't have this pesky thing called a job to keep me busy.

Last night, I whipped out the paint and glue and craft supplies and started working on Bumblebee's Halloween costume.  I'll wait until it's complete to reveal what it is, but here's a teaser.  It involves foam board, spray paint, and those push lights.  And it's going to be awesome.

Had a doctor's appointment yesterday.  Here's what I wrote on twitter:*I won't embarrass myself by tweeting the details of the condition of my cervix. I'll just say this: not good enough, uterus. Work harder:

There has been a tiny amount of progress, but my doctor teased me by saying: "I'd say you have an excellent chance of... being pregnant a week from now."

Oh well. I suppose it would be too much to ask Goblin to come out a couple of weeks early just to make his/her momma more comfortable.  We'll see the little critter soon enough. 

In the meantime, look for me doing creative things at 2 in the morning.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Checking in (aka Yes, I'm still pregnant).

Just in case you wondered... because everyone has been asking me this lately.

I drove to work this morning with a thick, hazy fog all around me.  The full moon, ringed by the fog, was glowing in the western sky. It was eerily beautiful, but I couldn't help but look around and wonder if I was on the set of a zombie movie. I turned off my audiobook and finished my commute in silence, letting my thoughts bounce around as they will. I have serious ADD lately, and I don't know how much of it can be blamed on pregnancy.  I suppose a lot of it can be, because the hormones and lack of sleep have to be affecting my attention span. But occasionally it's nice to ride the 40 minutes to work, with no noise or distractions, alone with my thoughts.

These days my thoughts are usually surrounding the impending birth of our Goblin.  I am due in 20 days. Less than three weeks.  In some ways, that feels like an eternity.  But in others, it's a terrifyingly short duration of time. Don't get me wrong, I'm ready, for the most part.  The bag is packed, most of the essentials have been purchased (babies don't really need much those first couple of weeks, after all) and Lord knows I'm ready to have my body back to some version of 'normal'.

But I'm worried that I will be spread too thin for a while to give my older children the attention they deserve. I remember when I was about to have The Boy, I was heartbroken because I felt certain that I'd never be able to love another human as much as I loved my Hollywood.  I honestly stressed about that for a long time. I know this is a common fear among second time mothers... And that miracle that happens when the younger child is born - the virtual doubling of the heart's capacity for love - is an amazing feat that still awes me.  I'm not worried about being able to find room to love all four of my children.  But I am worried that for a while, the older three will not be getting "all of me".  If that makes sense.

This weekend, The Boy got confirmed.  Here is a photo of us all decked out for the occasion:

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It was a lovely (although long) mass, where the Bishop of our Diocese officiated over the sacrament that welcomed these teenagers into the adult community of our church.  The Boy chose his sister to be his sponsor, which I think is really special.  He sees her as a role model for his faith, and I'm glad that they can share that together.

After confirmation, we went out to dinner with my brother and sister-in-law, and then the rest of the family went home while The Boy and I went to see a movie together.  It was his request to go to the movie, he wanted me to take him; was glad to spend his Saturday afternoon with his mom at the theater, when he could just as easily have asked to meet a friend there.  I treasured those couple of hours with him - and I felt just a little sad that because I'll be the sole food source for an infant for the next several months, I won't get true one on one time with The Boy like that for a while.

I don't mean this to say that I'm not ecstatic about the arrival of Goblin. See the expectant smile and (gag) glow on my face as I show off my belly?
*belly photo of me in front of the crib:
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I can't wait to meet our little guy or gal, and am looking forward to caring for an infant again. I know these thoughts are similar to the ones I had when Hollywood was my only child and I was about to change her world forever by bringing her brother into the world.  It would appear that his existence didn't damage her too terribly much.

But enough about that... I haven't blogged in a while because life has been going on around us in the whilrwind of activity that defines our schedules.  Here are a few photos of some recent activities:

At the beginning of October, we had a great time at our annual tailgate with my dad's extended family.  The kids got to talk with my grandma for a while.  Grandma V took the kids by the hand and said to each of them, "Now tell me all about YOU." by way of the conversation opener.  She spent all afternoon talking to her grandkids and great-grandkids and learning more about who they are. What an amazing woman she is:

*photo of Grandma V with Bumblebee:
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*photo of Grandma V with The Boy and Hollywood:
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We've spent time doing other things this fall - hiking the trails at Ledges (a state park that I'm in love with):
*photo of The Boy and Bumblebee with Reggie at Ledges:
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And of course there have been school activities (Hollywood emceed the Homecoming Pride Night Event), sports (Hollywood is running cross country and The Boy is playing football), and a packed social calendar for the kids.  It's been a beautiful fall so far, weather-wise.  Soon enough, the vibrant colors of the trees will fade, the cold will creep upon us, and winter will be here. 

But before that happens, I'll be a new mommy again. What a thought!