January 31, 2009

Strolling, "Peng", and Happy Birthday Stella (and more!)

Happy Birthday, Stella Rae. You are one month old today, and we love you so much already.
Visit with great-grandparents, Mombow and Papooh. (visit from over a week ago).


The boy loves his Mia (visit with Mia and Papa last weekend).

Yesterday, I made a trip to the dreaded Babies 'R Us to browse the duo strollers. I had a coupon. I hate that store. I wish I could find investors to give me funds to create a new store that is way better, has less idiotic return policies, and is not full of idiots. That being said, I found an awesome stroller. The Graco Quattro Tour Duo Stroller in Bombay.

It is as big as a horse, but folds up easily, and actually almost as small as our single stroller. It has a million cup holders, for our coffees and the kids' bottles and sippy cups. I am in love.

We gave the thing a test run today at Mall of Georgia, and for once, James did not fuss after ten minutes in the stroller, and Stella was snoozing most of the time like a champ. The things is a snazzy red color, and while we felt like Mom and Dad Nutty on wheels (because of the stroller's size and splendor), I must admit...at least we didn't roll up in a minivan. Not yet anyway. Great day at the mall.

Mombow and Papooh sent James a giant penguin, who we have named "Peng." James loves (correction - James is obsessed) with penguins. He was pleasantly surprised (that's an understatement) at Peng's arrival, exclaiming with glee "PENG! PENG!" when we opened the box. Thanks M & P!


Stella Bella likes her baths, and she is such a good baby. I am still in awe of her. And so proud and thankful to have my daughter. I believe a mother feels an instant bond of sorts with her children, and especially for a first born. James will always be very special, being my first. But Stella will always be very special, being my girl. I feel a sense of comraderie with her, just being girls... it is quite cool.


We have had a few difficult days, but everything works out for the good. I have joined a gym and have actually managed to workout twice over the past three days. While I cannot move (at all) now, and it makes me realize that I am completely out of shape, I am blessed to have the opportunity to join a 24-hour gym, and have a husband who sends me out to workout when the kids are napping (or when the kids are crying). This gym membership is more out of financial and logistical necessity, not vanity... I return to work in three weeks, and cannot fit into any of my work clothes. In fact, my fattest "fat pants" are about three inches from buttoning. Hence, I need to lose about 20 pounds in the next three weeks. We'll see how THAT goes!

In addition, our new nanny, Staci begins work on Wednesday. We met her yesterday, and think it's going to be a great fit. She has a three year old daughter, and has been caring for her daughter and a two-year old boy together for over a year. James immediately warmed up to Staci, and show her his "E-I-E-I-O" book (Old MacDonald Had a Farm), and she was most impressed, and he was most pleased.

James has been exceptionally happy for the last two days - I think because Mom and Dad have both been home tending to him since Thursday morning. We have had lots and lots of reading time, fun time, and all-around goofy-dom. I will be at home by myself with both James and Stella on Monday, which will give me a chance to try my "baby legs" for when Jason heads to Memphis on business in 10 days. Both kids head to the doctor for checkups on Tuesday. And then Staci will start working. Hooray!

Well, that's all for now. Stella is gearing up for a wail for food, and I need to try and squeeze in her bath beforehand.


Love to you all, and thank you for all your prayers -
M

January 28, 2009

Warming Bottles is NOT Necessary

Okay, all of you. Leave it alone. I have been blessed with babies that will drink cold breastmilk straight out of the fridge. It's all about preference with the baby. If the baby takes it cold, then great... and there is absolultely no medical reason to warm it. :)

"Many new parents believe the common misconception that a baby's bottle should always be heated. In actuality, there is no medical reason to heat bottles before serving them. Some infants may prefer warm bottles, but most will happily accept a lukewarm or cold bottle. Try starting your baby off with a cold bottle, straight from the refrigerator; if he takes it, you have saved yourself a lot of time! You will appreciate this for those late night feedings!"
From: http://www.storknet.com/cubbies/bottlefeeding/faq.htm


"Whether they take breast milk or formula, some babies prefer having their bottles warmed up. It takes off the chill and generally helps infants accept the bottle." (In case you haven't noticed, my children have had no trouble "accepting" any food). From: http://www.ehow.com/how_8953_heat-babys-bottle.html

"For parents who bottle feed their newborns, taking time to warm those bottles during the first few months can be time consuming. There is no need to warm the bottles; if given cold bottles from the very beginning, most babies will not object. We checked with our children's doctor, and he told us that there is no medical reason for giving babies warm bottles, that it was just a matter of preference. This certainly made a difference for us in terms of the ease of bottle feeding." From: http://daytippers.blogspot.com/2008/03/no-need-to-warm-bottle.html

January 27, 2009

Princess Poot


Our little princess is full of air. So much so, that we have declared her "Princess Poot." She quite primly folds her hands and crosses her legs...and lets 'er rip.
Little Princess Poot.

January 20, 2009

Today, Inauguration Day

Today, I am proud to be an American.


Today, I am proud to be a woman, a wife, a mother. I am proud to have a wonderful son and now, a precious daughter. I think about my late great-grandmother, born in 1898, who witnessed this country grow and grow...who lived during a time when women did not have the right to vote. I look at how far our country has come, even just from when I was born, thirty years ago. And I am proud.

All political affiliations aside (e.g., all my family, I love you), each and every American should be proud of today... a day when a woman can even have the opportunity to run for President, and where a minority can obtain the highest office... a day, when our country has spoken out loud, with a vote, unafraid of change.

Today, I can look at my sleeping daughter and truly feel that she will have all the opportunities in the world...that she can truly become anything, and do everything that she desires.
Today, I am proud. And full of prayers for America and for President Obama. I pray that God will give him the strength to shape this uncertain destiny, these next four years.

But truly, on this day, watching the 44th President sworn in to office, I am without adequate words for the promise I feel for our future, for my children, for our country.

 

January 17, 2009

I love my sissy



I love my sissy. She's the best. Even when she cries. I do my best to pat her gently, and not knock out her soft spot. She gets on my nerves, but most of the time, I think she's pretty pretty.

-James

January 15, 2009

The belly button...

... fell off. Ick. And it was lost in her clothes, as expected.

January 13, 2009

Deflated Balloon

Only two weeks ago, I was looking something like this.
 

This picture was actually taken by my Dad before we left for the hospital on December 29th. Stella was born on December 31, so this is the last evidence I have of my bigger self. But basically with pregnancy, I was a nice big balloon that has now been rapidly deflated ----and we all know what a deflated balloon looks like. I will spare you the details. 


Baby girl has taken to grunting constantly. We thought it was a tummy ache, although it has never really materialized into anything more than grunting (e.g., no cries or screaming). I think that's just how she "talks." She makes some funny faces, and she cracks me up. I love bathtime, because not only does she make the best faces during this time... but then she smells good enough to eat afterwards.

Her belly button/cord is hanging on by a tiny thread, which gives me the heebie-jeebies (sp?). When James' fell off, I screamed a little and made Jason cart it off. I gave Stel a bath today, and avoided touching it at all costs, lest it leap off the table and get me. I predict that it will fall off into one of her cute little outfits and I will have to go searching for it. Ick. Ick. Ick.

Or maybe James will cart it off and play with it, like on that episode of "Sex and the City," when Miranda's baby's cord falls off and the cat adopts it as a toy. Yes, that sounds more like my luck. "James give me back Stella's cord! James!? No don't eat that! James!"
Big brother James is going through a time. He is having a delayed reaction to Stella, I believe. Seemed to be a-ok with her from the get-go, and now we are having trouble. Or it could be just all the changes have reached a head, and he's just had enough. He is throwing little fits, and screaming, and I am searching through Google and BabyCenter.com, trying to find articles for dealing with siblings, etc. However, none are really applicable, because "sane" people do not have children so close together... the articles are all dealing with a new baby and "your two-year old." Not quite.

Poor James is a bit of a deflated balloon also --- king of the house, only two weeks ago ---now, just trying to find a place of his own that does not involve pink, bottles or baby sissy.

But James is such a funny little guy. His vocabulary is starting to finally take off. I've heard that boys speak a little slower than girls... but I fear that once he starts really talking, it's never going to stop. So far, we've got: uh-oh, duck, ping (for penguin), quack quack, baby, tweet tweet, daddy, ruff ruff, tree, book, momma (kinda), batana (banana), all gone, dog, ba-boom (balloon), ba-boon (baboon), bats

Well, naptime is a quiet time in the house... I should be doing something more productive.  Like sleeping.

January 10, 2009

Siblings



James is adjusting very well to the arrival of his "sissy," Stella. He repeats the word "baby" over and over again when he sees her, and pats her (quite gently) on the head. At nighttime, James is the most gentle little boy...I get a big hug before he goes to sleep, and last night, a few pats on the shoulder. He is the best. Life is going to be so chaotic...I can see that. But still, Stella is a wonderful, peaceful baby...and James is such a joy, I really can see nothing in the world to complain about.







January 4, 2009

Operation: Parents of Two Kids





I think the realization that Jason and I are now parents of two children hit us this evening. A fantastic dinner of hotdogs was on the stove, James was causing havoc on the kitchen cabinets, James' dinner of grilled cheese was effectively burning on the stove, Stella was in her bouncy seat beginning to cry because James was screaming, and I'm standing in the middle of it thinking: oh boy, here we go!

My parents just left today - they have been here since last Monday, when I went into the hospital. They were total lifesavers - they stayed with James during our long stay at the hospital, cooked meals for us, cleaned... I really do not know what we would have done without them. I cried like a baby when they left today, as did James.
I'm not sure what the next year will bring - I know the first year of a new baby is the most trying (I know this because we have recently been through it!) - but what I do know: we are blessed immeasurably, could not be more tired and happy, and I would not change a thing.

Love to you all,
M




January 2, 2009

Introductions....


Miss Stella Rae arrived on December 31, 2008 at 7:40 pm, weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long. Her brother welcomed her home by putting his head on her chest, and snuggling up to her... which made every one of us cry. More to come...