Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lists

I'm a list-person. It might even go beyond that. Really. I LOVE lists. I think I'm an addict. I will write things down on my list just to cross them off and enjoy the sense of accomplishment it brings. Lately however, my lists are overwhelming me. I have several going at the same time for different upcoming events: the week ahead, grocery, packing for vacation, summer to-do, learning items for C, calls to return, emails to reply to, books I want to read, things I'm studying/want to study. Yikes. It makes me want to crawl into my little house and hide. And I'm not even working right now! =) I think that's part of the problem. During the school year I put so many things off to do "during the summer" that my list is too full. It was a system that was successful when I was child-less, but I'm thinking I need a new system... =) Part of me is toying with the idea of making a list of the lists that need to go. I'm only partially kidding. List I said, I'm an addict. =0P

Here are some of my summer to-do's- what's on your docket?

1. replace the elastic on C's old diapers for Addison.
2. study up on, research cheapest buying options and invest in some homeopathic remedies
3. Explore the senses with Caiden
4. STudy for my NIC test (National Interpreter Certification)
5. Figure out a sleep schedule that syncs our entire family- I'm a night owl, Jeff's an early riser, how can I get things done and still have time for my hubby?
6. Healthy new menu items the whole family enjoys
7. Figure out bed/room/ decor for girls- move C into bunk beds, switch rooms?
8. Prepare for my interpreting job at a medical conference.
9. Plan/ plant garden for fall
10. Plan/shop/pack for Michigan vacation

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To Know or Not to Know- That is the Question

For "Mrs." who asked me to compare knowing the baby's sex before hand, vs. not knowing until the birth day. My apologies for it's disorganization. Sleep deprivation and breastfeeding are to blame-both of which come with the territory and which I wholeheartedly embrace during this season!)=)

As you know, during my pregnancy with Addison, when the notorious 20 week sonogram rolled around, we chose not to find out her sex- at least not out-right. Actually we compromised initially because I really didn't want to know the sex of the baby, as we had already experienced what it was like to know before-hand with Caiden. But, Jeff was of the opinion that if you can find out, why wouldn't you? So we decided to have the sonogram technician put the secret in an envelope and seal it. The original plan was to go out to dinner as a family and have Jeff open it and tell us. However when we got there Jeff shocked me with his willingness to leave The Envelope as the Keeper of the Secret. We were, after all, half way through the pregnancy. However, I was convinced that the secret would be out before the baby was, because, who has that kind of will-power?! I will say that we hid The Envelope from view so it wasn't a daily temptation.

Long story short, we made it! Jeff was supposed to announce the baby's sex at birth, but our Doctor/friend forgot and excitedly announced: "it's a girl". It's was a short proclamation in the midst of a symphony of sounds and exclamations. I'm surprised it even registered in my hormone inebriated brain and during the climax of the birthing process. I don't think either of us would have thought to look for a little while. There's just something magical about the moment your child makes their appearance, and in that moment, nothing else really matters. I remember the announcement being startling at the time, not because I was surprised of Addison's gender, but because I had gotten used to bonding with my baby without gender playing a role. It hadn't been a factor in the development of our relationship. All of a sudden, this little one that was so bonded to me already had a face, and then suddenly a gender, and her person began to take shape in my mind. She was no longer just an idea, or spirit, or One-Causing-Me-to-Grow, my precious child, my teammate in the birthing process, but she had a physical qualities that weren't factors in the budding of our relationship while she was in my womb. Does that make sense?
I don't remember it being that way with Caiden. With her, we did find out, and she was our "Sweet Baby Girl" from that point on. I'm glad we found out with Caiden, because she was our first, and the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth is so hard to wrap your mind around, but knowing that she was a girl made it seem more real and more tangible. She was always just Caiden- my little girl, we had struggled together to get her here safely, we had learned together what it meant to be pregnant and how to become a mother. We had bonded as mother and daughter before she arrived. I don't remember my view of her changing after her arrival. Part of that may also be that the sonogram pictures we got of Addison were not clear at all. (She was constantly moving, and wouldn't be still long enough to get a good picture.) So we didn't have that glimpse of her developing face and form like we had of Caiden. (Whose sonogram pictures were mindbogglingly clear and look just like her newborn pictures!)

Both Jeff and I agree that it was more fun NOT knowing "what we got" before hand. We like surprises, and it seemed fitting that after the challenging pregnancy, and all of the work we did to give her the best possible birthing experience we could, that we get a nice surprise for our efforts.

I think it was probably beneficial for us that we didn't know in advance, because we likely would have subconsciously expected her to be like Caiden, and she is nothing like her sister in any way. We didn't have any preconceived notions about who or what she would be. It was a clean slate, and I think it was rather nice to begin getting to know HER face to face.
Unlike some, we weren't able to come up with a name for our girls before they made their appearance, and in fact both of them received their middle names several days following their births. So that definitely wasn't a differing factor in knowing the gender or not.

On a superficial level, it was nice to have been able to pick out and set up the nursery in advance with Caiden, Addison's room still isn't finished. =) As far as clothing goes, we had enough gender-neutral gowns and onesies to make it through the first few days, so I wasn't worried about that much if we had had a boy. Maybe as a first time Mom that would have been more challenging- there are so many unknowns, it's nice to be able to be organize and "prepared"- at least in the material sense. The second time around all I was concerned about was having diapers- the rest we could figure out easily enough. =)

So which do I prefer? I think not knowing is super fun, but given the chance, I wouldn't have changed the way we did it with our girls. Both ways were perfect for us at the time. If I do this a third time I don't know what I'd do. I think I'll leave that for another day- I've got two beautiful girls who need their Mama right now. =)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Some overdue pics of Addison's birth and early days

Sorry about the delay in getting pictures up. Hopefully these will make up for the lost time. My goal is to get some recent photos up this week. I may add more birth pics later as I'm at home now and I know that more are on Mom's computer. For now, enjoy our journey!

This was immediately following the push that gave me the first glimpse of my precious daughter. What bliss!

This was Jeff's first glimpse, and immediately after he kissed me and said, "you did it!" =) =)

Addison's first portrait, sporting her "fussy, poopy-baby" face. That is what Jeff labeled the grimace before the flood when Caiden was tiny...Addison showing off her rendition right from the get-go. ;)

I like this picture because this was immediately after I was stitched up- I had walked into my room and climbed in bed myself with my baby in tow. Far cry from my experience of Caiden's birth where I was groggy, in pain, and unable to really hold my baby without assistance.

Seven hours after her arrival, they noticed some problems, and took her to the NICU. I was still on my "I just gave birth naturally, I'm on top of the world" high and couldn't really sleep, so I joined her in the NICU. This was taken the next day after they put in an IV to give her antibiotics. Not my favorite picture, but documents our journey.

Addison's nickname now is "Smiley". This picture caught the beginning of her HUGE sleep smiles that stopped Doctors and nurses in their tracks. Now she stares at people until they look at her and then she flashes her huge smiles. It's so cute.

First day home- thank you Jesus!!

Just days old and she had already mastered the wide-eyed take-everything-in gaze. Those cheeks are so kissable!!!

Caiden was so excited to really meet her sister- even if it was a week later (children were not allowed in the NICU, so other than a quick introduction on Addison's birth-day, this was the first time she was able to touch and hold her little sister. They love each other more every day!

I'll try and post more on Monday. For now it's getting late, and we have a busy weekend ahead of us! Good night!