Saturday, August 28, 2010

A birthday party with cousins.

For months I planned on having a big birthday party at the park to celebrate Henry's 2nd birthday. I knew we would have a newborn in tow but I was convinced that she would come early or at least on her due date. Little did I expect her to be born 9 days past her due date.

Around day 5 of those 9 days, I decided to cancel the birthday party. Let's just say that spirits were low and I was convinced I would be pregnant forever so a 2nd birthday party was not high on my list of priorities.

Word of the cancelled party didn't make it to Henry's cousins, Emily Caine and Jobe, so Taylor's mom brought them to Starkville for the day to have a birthday part for Henry and to meet their newest baby cousin.


Henry was a pro at blowing out candles on his cake by the times this party rolled around! Notice the great look of seriousness and conviction he musters in order to blow out his candles.

"Show me your birthday card."

While Carla rocked Liza and I relaxed in peace and quiet, Taylor played with the kids in our baby pool in the back . The boys were pretty rough in the pool so Emily Caine spent most of her time exploring our backyard and checking out Henry's toys.



Think Henry is having FUN?!?


Like I said, the boys were playing rough in the pool! Jobe is the sweetest big cousin to Henry. Even though he wanted to "fight" and splash like crazy, he always made sure that Henry was safe and happy in the water with him. Henry could not ask for a more thoughtful big cousin!

Carla, thank you for Henry's Mickey Mouse party! He had a blast and I'm glad his cousins were here to share the excitement. As always, you are very special to us!

Sad.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Why? Pt.2

"Why Pt.1" discussed how I came to the realization that I wanted a natural unmedicated birth. Not only did I not want an epidural but I wanted my body and my baby to be in charge of labor and delivery. After developing a birth plan and teaching Taylor all about the stages of labor and why each bullet of our plan was important to me, I was ready to have my baby in a hospital. My ob/gyn laughed nervously when I told him I was planning on arriving to the Labor and Delivery floor when I was puking and shaking and ready to push. But, I knew it was important that I labor at home for as long as possible before getting to the hospital.

Yet, every time I envisioned actual labor, I always thought of a quote from a French homebirth advocate.....

"The first intervention is leaving your front door."

That line floated through my head regularly but I thought there was no way I could have a homebirth in very conservative Mississippi. I was content to dream about the impossibility of it all.

At 35 weeks pregnant, Henry and I were grocery shopping when I ran into my friend, Hope. We chatted for a while and then she asked if I had seen the very pregnant girl walking around Kroger. When I said no, she proceeded to tell me that the girl was in early labor and having a home birth. To Hope, this was just a interesting fact to share but my mind started spinning in a million different directions. I asked her where the girl was in the store and then literally took off running, with Henry in the grocery cart.

It didn't take long to find Alyson and she was happy to answer my questions. Yes, she was having a homebirth. Her midwife lived in Kosciusko. She is great and here is her number! I called Norma that afternoon and set up a meeting at her house for two days later.

Norma was absolutely fantastic and everything I hoped she would be. She answered every one of my questions with the exact answers I needed to hear. When I found myself nodding in agreement as she discussed how a woman's body is designed to give birth and the miracle of childbirth, I knew she was the medical professional we wanted to attend our daughter's birth. Taylor and I left her house and he immediately said, "Let's do it!" I called Norma the next day to let her know we were ready to commit to the homebirth experience.

I was 36 weeks pregnant when we switched care to our midwife. As much as I love and respect my ob/gyn, a midwife's care is a very refreshing alternative. She came to our house for my weekly appointments and each appointment lasted around an hour. Her prenatal appointments consisted of everything that is the norm for an ob/gyn but also so much more. In addition to taking my blood pressure, checking my heart rate, listening to Liza's heart tones and checking my urine for proteins with a little dip stick, we also discussed my nutrition and currents eating habits and she spent A LOT of time feeling Liza's position in my belly. Positioning is very important in an unmedicated childbirth because optimal positioning means that labor will be shorter and less painful than if the baby is poorly positioned. Liza was in the most perfect birthing position until I hit 40 weeks and then Norma discovered that she had moved towards my back. She showed me different positioning exercises to help baby get back in the proper position and I spent a large portion of the next week on my hands and knees and leaning over our coffee table.

I began getting anxious about "problems" with the baby the closer we got to the 42 week mark. But, Norma constantly reassured me Liza's heart tones were perfect, my blood pressure was as low as ever and Liza was preparing herself for birth. I just had to maintain faith in my body and my baby.

Immediately after Liza's birth, I wrote the following 'birth story' detailing the events of her labor and delivery. I edited it and took out many details for my blog and published it as her birth announcement when she was a few days old. After writing the details of our decision to have a homebirth, I figure I might as well let interested readers in on the raw version of events.......


Friday night I went to bed with an achey back and very inconsistent contractions. 9 days past my estimated due date, I hoped my new symptom of an achey back was a good omen of impending labor....
At 2am I woke up with contractions that were very regular but not very painful. I got out of bed, sat on my excercise ball and watched a movie while I timed my contractions. I was excited to realize they were 30 seconds long and every 2.5 minutes even though they were still very weak.
I called my midwife, Norma, around 2:45 and she said she was leaving her house immediately. This stressed me out for a moment because I worried she would get here too early but she knew exactly what she was doing! She called back about 20 minutes later to check on me and I reported I was losing my mucus plug and having a lot of bloody show. The bloody show actually scared me at first because it was so bright red but I put on a pad and tried not to worry.
At that point, I woke up Taylor to tell him I was in early labor but I wanted him to get more sleep and I would wake him up when it was time for to get things ready. As I walked out of the room, he called out "congratulations and good luck!" HA!!!!
He got up about 5 minutes later because he was worried Norma would get there and he would still be in bed and "that would look bad". He was all about pleasing our mw and following her directions to a T.
Contractions were getting stronger and I found myself drawn to dark corners of our house. I would sway my hips and breathe through each contraction and then walk around our house waiting and welcoming the next contraction that would bring our girl closer to my arms.
I loved this stage of labor. I felt in total control of my body and even though the contractions were stronger, I instinctively knew exactly what my body needed at that moment. It was a wonderful feeling to understand my body and to genuinely welcome each contraction.
Soon, I found myself moaning through the contractions. After a few of these moaning contractions, I realized that transition was getting closer if my body was making these low tones.
Within moments of that thought, I threw up and immediately was thrown into transition. I stripped and got into the pool in our living room. The water level wasn't high enough and I asked Taylor to put more hot water in the tub and fill it up as high as it could go. He hooked the hose to the sink and started pouring in boiling water in the tub. He took his duty of the tub caretaker very seriously and followed my command for more hot water.
I immediately felt my body overheating and I started to panic. I wanted the tub to be filled with cold water but I couldn't communicate anymore. I couldn't breathe through the contractions, my body was tense and I began fighting the contractions.
The logical side of my mind was saying, "Laura, this is transition, your baby is almost here. You CAN do this. You ARE doing this."
The emotional side of my brain was saying, "Laura, you can't do this. This is awful. You don't even need this baby to be born. Just stay pregnant."
My mouth was saying, "I caaaaannnnn'tttt. This huuuuuuurts."
My husband said that my eyes started rolling back in head and he thought I was going to faint. I had totally and utterly given into the pain and desperately needed a doula to get my mind in the proper place!!!! I began feeling pushy and knew Liza was coming soon. I said this and my mw checked me for the first time of my entire pregnancy. She said the head was right there and I could push whenever I was ready. With my first push, I began panicking and my midwife said I had to get out of the water NOW.
I stood up and immediately felt better with the cool air on my body. The logical side of my brain told me that the water was too hot and it would all be better now. My emotional side was telling me that labor would be even more painful on the bed.
I was quite conflicted!
We moved to the bed and Henry woke up at his normal time of 6:45. Taylor left the room to tend to him and Norma told me if I couldn't relax and focus on the contractions she would have to call 911 and transfer me to the hospital. She asked if that was what I wanted and I said no. I looked her in the eyes and asked her to help me focus. We stared at each other and she quizzed me about the events of the morning and asked me questions about my son's labor and delivery. At that point, I decided I would get it together and push this baby out.
Taylor was in the kitchen frantically calling friends to come and pick up our son so he wouldn't miss the birth. Originally, we wanted our son in the room for the birth but my mom hadn't made it to our house yet and Taylor knew I needed all of his energy and focus to get the baby delivered. About 3 minutes later, friends from down the street came on the golf cart and our son had the best morning ever riding their golf cart and playing with their kids.
When Taylor came back to our room, I was a different person -- focused on the contractions and ready to deliver our baby. No more hysterics. Thank God.
I tried a few different pushing positions on the bed: C position which was absolutely awful, leaning over the back of our high headboard was better but I found myself distracted noticing how dusty it was, hands and knees was better but not still perfect. I really wanted to stand up but I couldn't get the words out and our bed is extremely tall and I worried I couldn't get off the bed safely.
The chosen position was kneeling on the bed with my arms around Taylor's neck. He maintained eye contact and said encouraging things. As soon as her head was out, I started saying "get her out, get her out, get her out". It hurt SO FREAKING BAD that I couldn't control myself and I began pushing when my body was saying "no no, don't push". I didn't care. I just wanted it over.
I watched in a mirror on our wall as her body plopped out on the bed. My water didn't break until her body was delivered. I really wanted her to be born en caul and it *almost* happened!
I immediately gushed a massive amount of blood and Norma asked Taylor to get my mom, an RN, to come and assist her to stop my bleeding. Apparently my mom arrived just moments after her new granddaughter was born. She was sad she missed it. My mom gave me a shot of pitocin in the arm, my mw checked my vitals and looked over the baby. She told me it was important that I deliver the placenta quickly. Apparently, a big bleed before the placenta is out is a bigger deal than a bleed post placenta. Not sure w hy but it became very important that I deliver the placenta quickly.
As soon as Baby Girl latched on and I felt the first cramp, I delivered the placenta and I stopped bleeding in a matter of minutes.
Due to my impatience in pushing, I had two 2nd degree tears. My midwife only repairs 1st degree tears so we called the Labor and Delivery ward a few hours later and I was thrilled to find out that my ob/gyn was on call that day. We left the baby with my mom and went to L&D a few hours later for the repair.
Our homebirth was absolutely amazing and everything I hoped it would be -- a relaxed, peaceful environment for our little girl to be born into. Henry joined us on the bed a few hours after the birth and life was marched on with our new little person in my arms. Taylor remarked how natural it felt for her to be born in our house after having been in my belly for the past 40 weeks.
I honestly can't imagine giving birth anywhere else but at home!!!!!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My story.

Henry’s birth was a very “normal” labor and delivery experience. Two days after his estimated due date, I woke up with contractions 5 minutes apart. I took a shower, packed my bag, cleaned the house and watched Michael Phelps win his 8th gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. I was determined not to be sent home from the hospital for lack of progress so we didn’t leave the house until I was in serious pain. We arrived at the hospital at 6am and I was 5-6cm dilated. It HURT laying on the hospital bed so I immediately requested “anything” to lessen the pain. A few minutes later, a dose of Stadol, a narcotic, was injected into my IV line. It knocked me out within moments and I slept for the next several hours including through the placement of my epidural. When I was lucid enough to know what was going on, I was told “it’s time to push!”. Totally numb from the waist down, I gave birth to Henry exactly 35 minutes later. 
I was very happy with his birth experience. I had the satisfaction of going into labor without an induction and when I was ready to be done with the pain of labor, my request for drugs was quickly met. My baby was perfect, he was alert and breastfeeding immediately after birth and I was in love with his perfect little face!
So, what changed?
How did I go from a highly medicalized birth to a hospital birth plan for a “natural unmedicated birth” to ultimately delivering Baby Liza in a intervention free birth at home?
It all started with that damn blood pressure cuff I was forced to wear during Henry’s hospital birth. I hated that cuff with a passion. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with #2, my thoughts turned to refusing the blood pressure cuff. It seemed so pointless to wear the cuff at all times, even when my blood pressure wasn’t being taken.
This line of thinking led me to wonder what else hospitals did that was not “necessary”? Google quickly educated me that the answer was p.l.e.n.t.y.
I began obsessively reading birth stories of unmedicated natural childbirths. I fell in love with the idea of letting MY body and MY baby’s needs dictate labor and delivery rather than drugs and hospital policies. It quickly became obvious to me that Liza’s birth was going to be very very different from her brother’s.
If I have faith in my body to grow and nourish my baby, why wouldn’t I have faith in my body to give birth?  So, I developed a birth plan:


I am prepared for a natural unmedicated labor and delivery – including no unnecessary medical interventions, freedom of movement during labor and delivery, intermittent monitoring, no ongoing IV unless I become dehydrated, and limited cervical checks. 

* Please do not offer me an epidural or IV pain medications.
* am happy to have 20 minutes of electronic fetal monitoring upon checking in and then intermittent monitoring for five minutes per every hour.
* After the initial cervical check for dilation, I would like my cervix to be checked only upon my request.
* I would like my bag of waters to remain intact unless requested by me.
* I intend to use “mother directed pushing” rather than the nurse counting to 10 and telling me when to push.  I will ask for help, as it is needed.
* Freedom of movement will be important during labor and the pushing process.  I have researched different birthing positions and would like the freedom to push in various positions, not limited to the lithotomic position.
* I prefer to tear naturally with no episiotomy performed during delivery.
* I would like to delay cord cutting for a few minutes.
* I would like my baby to be placed on my chest immediately after birth.
* I would like to decline the routine eye drops and vitamin K shot.
* I would like to deliver the placenta naturally and on my own time, without any tugging or pulling or pitocin.
So you see, not only did I not want an epidural but I wanted my body and my baby to be in charge of our labor and delivery. After developing a birth plan and teaching Taylor all about the stages of labor and why each bullet of our plan was important to me, I was ready to have my baby in a hospital. My ob/gyn laughed nervously when I told him my plan to arrive at L&D when I was puking, shaking and ready to push.
Yet, every time I envisioned actual labor, I always thought of a quote from a French homebirth advocate…..
“The first intervention is leaving your front door.”
That line floated through my head regularly but I thought there was no way I could have a homebirth in very conservative Mississippi. I was content to dream about the impossibility of it all.
At 35 weeks pregnant, Henry and I were grocery shopping when I ran into a good friend. We chatted for a while and then she asked if I had seen the very pregnant girl walking around Kroger. When I said no, she proceeded to tell me that the girl was in early labor and having a home birth. I literally took off running in search of a huge belly and pregnant waddle.
It didn’t take long to find her and she was happy to answer my questions. Yes, she was having a homebirth. Her midwife lives an hour away. She is great and here is her number! I called Norma that afternoon and set up a meeting at her house for two days later.
Norma was absolutely fantastic and everything I hoped she would be. She answered every one of my questions with the exact answers I needed to hear. When I found myself nodding in agreement as she discussed the miracle of childbirth, I knew she was the medical professional we wanted to attend our daughter’s birth. Taylor and I left her house and he immediately said, “Let’s do it!” I called Norma the next day to let her know we were ready to commit to the homebirth experience.
I was 36 weeks pregnant when we switched care to our midwife. As much as I love and respect my ob/gyn, a midwife’s care is a refreshing alternative. She came to our house for my weekly appointments with each appointment lasting around an hour. In addition to normal prenatal care, we also discussed the stages of labor, nutrition, Liza’s placement in my belly and we aired out my fears and anxieties about natural childbirth.
My pregnancy dragged on 7 days longer than Henry’s but Norma was not concerned a bit about passing my due date. All signs pointed towards a healthy baby and a healthy mama. All we had to do was keep a positive frame of mind and wait.

Story of our homebirth.



Friday night I went to bed with an achey back and very inconsistent contractions. 9 days past my estimated due date, I hoped my new symptom of an achey back was a good omen of impending labor....

At 2am I woke up with contractions that were very regular but not very painful. I got out of bed, sat on my excercise ball and watched a movie while I timed my contractions. I was excited to realize they were 30 seconds long and every 2.5 minutes even though they were still very weak.
I called my midwife, Norma, around 2:45 and she said she was leaving her house immediately. This stressed me out for a moment because I worried she would get here too early but she knew exactly what she was doing! She called back about 20 minutes later to check on me and I reported I was losing my mucus plug and having a lot of bloody show. The bloody show actually scared me at first because it was so bright red but I put on a pad and tried not to worry.
At that point, I woke up Taylor to tell him I was in early labor but I wanted him to get more sleep and I would wake him up when it was time for to get things ready. As I walked out of the room, he called out "congratulations and good luck!" HA!!!!
He got up about 5 minutes later because he was worried Norma would get there and he would still be in bed and "that would look bad". He was all about pleasing our mw and following her directions to a T.
Contractions were getting stronger and I found myself drawn to dark corners of our house. I would sway my hips and breathe through each contraction and then walk around our house waiting and welcoming the next contraction that would bring our girl closer to my arms.
I loved this stage of labor. I felt in total control of my body and even though the contractions were stronger, I instinctively knew exactly what my body needed at that moment. It was a wonderful feeling to understand my body and to genuinely welcome each contraction.
Soon, I found myself moaning through the contractions. After a few of these moaning contractions, I realized that transition was getting closer if my body was making these low tones.
Within moments of that thought, I threw up and immediately was thrown into transition. I stripped and got into the pool in our living room. The water level wasn't high enough and I asked Taylor to put more hot water in the tub and fill it up as high as it could go. He hooked the hose to the sink and started pouring in boiling water in the tub. He took his duty of the tub caretaker very seriously and followed my command for more hot water.
I immediately felt my body overheating and I started to panic. I wanted the tub to be filled with cold water but I couldn't communicate anymore. I couldn't breathe through the contractions, my body was tense and I began fighting the contractions.
The logical side of my mind was saying, "Laura, this is transition, your baby is almost here. You CAN do this. You ARE doing this."
The emotional side of my brain was saying, "Laura, you can't do this. This is awful. You don't even need this baby to be born. Just stay pregnant."
My mouth was saying, "I caaaaannnnn'tttt. This huuuuuuurts."
My husband said that my eyes started rolling back in head and he thought I was going to faint. I had totally and utterly given into the pain and desperately needed a doula to get my mind in the proper place!!!! I began feeling pushy and knew Liza was coming soon. I said this and my mw checked me for the first time of my entire pregnancy. She said the head was right there and I could push whenever I was ready. With my first push, I began panicking and my midwife said I had to get out of the water NOW.
I stood up and immediately felt better with the cool air on my body. The logical side of my brain told me that the water was too hot and it would all be better now. My emotional side was telling me that labor would be even more painful on the bed.
I was quite conflicted!
We moved to the bed and Henry woke up at his normal time of 6:45. Taylor left the room to tend to him and Norma told me if I couldn't relax and focus on the contractions she would have to call 911 and transfer me to the hospital. ** Turns out I don't remember about 10 minutes at this period.  My blood pressure dropped very low and according to Taylor, I gave up and surrendered to the pain ** She asked if that was what I wanted and I said no. I looked her in the eyes and asked her to help me focus. We stared at each other and she quizzed me about the events of the morning and asked me questions about my son's labor and delivery. At that point, I decided I would get it together and push this baby out.
Taylor was in the kitchen frantically calling friends to come and pick up our son so he wouldn't miss the birth. Originally, we wanted our son in the room for the birth but my mom hadn't made it to our house yet and Taylor knew I needed all of his energy and focus to get the baby delivered. About 3 minutes later, friends from down the street came on the golf cart and our son had the best morning ever riding their golf cart and playing with their kids.
When Taylor came back to our room, I was a different person -- focused on the contractions and ready to deliver our baby. No more hysterics. Thank God.
I tried a few different pushing positions on the bed: C position which was absolutely awful, leaning over the back of our high headboard was better but I found myself distracted noticing how dusty it was, hands and knees was better but not still perfect. I really wanted to stand up but I couldn't get the words out and our bed is extremely tall and I worried I couldn't get off the bed safely.
The chosen position was kneeling on the bed with my arms around Taylor's neck. He maintained eye contact and said encouraging things. As soon as her head was out, I started saying "get her out, get her out, get her out". It hurt SO FREAKING BAD that I couldn't control myself and I began pushing when my body was saying "no no, don't push". I didn't care. I just wanted it over.
I watched in a mirror on our wall as her body plopped out on the bed. My water didn't break until her body was delivered. I really wanted her to be born en caul and it *almost* happened!
I immediately gushed a massive amount of blood and Norma asked Taylor to get my mom, an RN, to come and assist her to stop my bleeding. Apparently my mom arrived just moments after her new granddaughter was born. She was sad she missed it. My mom gave me a shot of pitocin in the arm, my mw checked my vitals and looked over the baby. She told me it was important that I deliver the placenta quickly. Apparently, a big bleed before the placenta is out is a bigger deal than a bleed post placenta. Not sure w hy but it became very important that I deliver the placenta quickly.
As soon as Baby Girl latched on and I felt the first cramp, I delivered the placenta and I stopped bleeding in a matter of minutes.
Due to my impatience in pushing, I had two 2nd degree tears. My midwife only repairs 1st degree tears so we called the Labor and Delivery ward a few hours later and I was thrilled to find out that my ob/gyn was on call that day. We left Liza with my mom and went to L&D a few hours later for the repair.
Our homebirth was absolutely amazing and everything I hoped it would be -- a relaxed, peaceful environment for our little girl to be born into. Henry joined us on the bed a few hours after the birth and life was marched on with our new little person in my arms. Taylor remarked how natural it felt for her to be born in our house after having been in my belly for the past 40 weeks.
I honestly can't imagine giving birth anywhere else but at home.


** 5 hour labor, start to finish!
** 7lbs 8in and 21 inches long

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sharing.

Out of necessity....


I love love love my Maya Wrap Ring Sling.

There is absolutely NO WAY that I could sanely survive life with my two small children without wearing Liza most of the day.

Seriously.

Taylor and I both liked wearing Henry when he was a baby. But, with Henry we liked the closeness and the novelty of tying him to us with a huge piece of fabric.

But, I desperately need two hands free AND a happy baby in order to function and deal with the details of life with a very busy two-year-old.

She doesn't like the swinging action on the swing.

The floor is obviously NOT a safe place for this baby.

The bouncy seat does not maintain her interest at all.

Liza wants what all babies want....
she wants her mama to hold her all day long.

I am glad to oblige.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Love.

As I've mentioned multiple times, Henry loves his little sister.

Books must be angled so that she can also see the pictures.
He asks where is "Lila" as soon as he wakes up from his nap.
She must pretend to eat his food at all meals.
Just acknowledging that she sees his toys is not enough. She must grasp the toy with her own hands -- a tough feat when you are only 2 weeks old.
And, if the house is ice cold because I was having crazy postpartum heat flashes and the new baby needs a hat, Henry also MUST have a pink hat on his head as well.

See?

He loves his little sister.

Dear YaYa,


Our Baby Burrito wishes you a
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Henry's birthday wishes are drawn all over the puppy's face and inside the card!

We love you!

*Sorry the card never made it into the mail. That stamp never magically appeared on the envelope....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The banana was left uneaten.


Prior to Henry's big birthday dinner with friends, Taylor and Henry strolled down to the neighborhood gas station where Taylor announced to the clerk that it was his son's 2nd birthday! She is quite familiar with my family and thinks Henry is pretty cute so she pulled a dollar bill out of her pocket and told him to choose a treat. According to Taylor, he did not hesitate in choosing the '100 Grand' and even knew to place it on the counter so he could pay for it.

He was so proud to show me his candy bar and absolutely devastated when I put it in the fridge for him to eat later. His daddy swooped in to save the day and convinced me that it was Henry's big day and he deserved to eat his candy bar whenever he wanted.

Think he loved it?

Rainbow Brite?

Love that hiney in a cloth diaper double stuffed for the night!

Henry and Martha.

We cherish our rare visits with Martha! She and Henry are exactly 6 months apart and the age gap is quickly closing as these little cousins love to play with each other.

Lizbeth and I like to compare our toddlers. They are so very different that it is always good for a laugh.

Martha is a talker. Henry, not so much.....although he did pick up several new words within hours of being with Martha. Peer pressure is a wonderful thing.

Martha is 6 months younger, an inch taller, and at least 5 pounds heavier than her big cousin. And, she loves to eat! After living with a child that can subsist on water alone, it is a pleasure to see a child that will eat anything on a spoon. The upside to having a tiny child is that he did not need any new summer clothes since everything still fits from last year.

There was quite a bit of fussing over stealing and snatching of treasured toys until Lizbeth and I gave up the battle of "sharing" and just let them steal and snatch to their little heart's content. Henry's technique was to use brute force to get Martha's baby doll and bottle but Martha preferred a more sneaky approach. She would wait until Henry put down his 'blackberry' and moved on to the next toy and then she would swoop down to grab the prize. She also snuck his cream cheese bread off his tray with the same method.

The best moment of the weekend was when Henry decided he *needed* Martha's doll bottle. Henry tends to use his mouth as an extra set of hands so he stuck the bottle in his mouth to keep safe until his hands were free. Martha immediately noticed the bottle in his mouth and grabbed it, firmly clamped between Henry's teeth, and started swinging Henry around. We watched and laughed for multiple twirls until Lizbeth jumped up to save Henry's teeth from breaking. I'm still wondering if I should feel bad that it didn't occur to me to rescue my child.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Liza's first bath.

At 8 days old, this was officially Liza's first bath. Hospital born babies get scrubbed down immediately but not our little girl. We let her vernix absorb naturally into her skin. It had protected her skin in utero for all those months, why strip her of it within minutes of entering the world? After dealing with a truly dirty toddler, she didn't seem to need a bath until she was over a week old and her neck creases started getting crusty and her hair had a definite oily sheen.

Henry's first bath was a horribly fearful experience for me and Hope had to take over because I was so stressed out about not bathing him properly. Let's just say that 2nd children are a much more relaxing experience. Sure, Liza wasn't a huge fan of her first bath but it was a fun for me to see her reaction and let Henry "help out".






Pat Benatar baby?

Our budding designer.

For months, Taylor has gotten up with Henry in the morning. This arrangement works out well for everyone -- I get to sleep as late as possible, Taylor gets one-on-one time with his favorite little man and Henry gets to spend time his favorite person in the world. A win-win situation for all.

Taylor's parents bought Henry these nifty little block when they kept him the weekend of Liza's birth. My method of playing with blocks is to stack them up and call it done but Taylor builds the most amazing airplanes and intricate structures. Thankfully, Henry takes after his daddy in the architecture department.

While Henry is still very into firetrucks and all things "woo woo", he is very intrigued with trains. Here he is posing next to a "choo choo" he built all by himself. Notice all the passengers aboard his train. The train engineer is a brass dog that he dearly loves.

You can also make trains with Silly Bandz......


And, last but not least........who knew a train could consist of shoes and a sock monkey?

What do we love?

Bagels and cream cheese for breakfast,
tuna melt on a spinach bagel for lunch,
pizzas and pastas for dinner,
outdoor seating and a fish pond....and only a block from our house.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

We love City Bagel.





A letter to my love.


Dear Henry,

You are two years old. Your daddy and I learned what it really means to love another when you came into our lives. You are a special little boy and I can't imagine a day without you in our house and in our hearts. As a tiny baby, you were so easy going. You only cried to let us know something was wrong in your little life. As a toddler, you are still very reasonable although possibly the most opinionated person I have ever known. I wonder if you will always be so opinionated or is this just another phase? You are extremely excitable and I love that about you. Your zest for life reminds me so much of your daddy. The two of you together is a guaranteed good time and I sure am glad Daddy is around so much because it's hard keeping up with you and your demanding little ways. When you were a little baby, it made me sad that you had to get big and learn how to walk and talk. But, now I love to think about the future and all the wonderful things life will bring you.

Two weeks ago, you became a big brother. I worried you would be jealous and not easily adjust to your baby sister. I was so very wrong. You loved her from your very first meeting in our bed. You are very sweet and gentle with "Lila". When we lay down in your bed to read books before naptime and bedtime, you insist on holding her hand as I read. Daddy still worries you are going to jerk her arm and send her flying but I have confidence you have more sense. You want to share your toys with her and even ate an unwanted egg because I asked you to "teach" Liza how to eat. Big brothers are important and we know that you will take care of Liza as you both grow older.

Henry, you are my first born baby and hold such a special place in my heart. I love you so much.

Love,
Mama

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My sweetest babies.



A birthday party? For me?


My very thoughtful sister planned an impromptu birthday party for our little Henry's 2nd birthday.

His little party had everything we needed:

1. A loving family.

2. A happy just about two-year-old boy after a 4 hour nap.

3. Cake.

4. Ice cream.

5. Presents!


The ice cream was enough to satisfy our sweet-toothed baby.

Handling his demitasse spoon like a pro.

He tried so hard to blow out those candles!


Still trying....


Sidewalk chalk!

Magna-doodle --- a huge hit on the car ride home!

Crayons!

Thank-you Meigs Family for a sweet party for a sweet boy!

Our Dada.