Tuesday, December 31

Christmas Blvd

A nearby church has a Christmas event they call Christmas Blvd with sledding, trains, horse rides, food trucks, a puppy petting zoo, and other fun stuff. 

We had fun with Mavry and Eliel.  Mavry's favorite thing, judging by what she talked about all the way home, was the fire.  She kept saying "bye bye, hot!"

They had free pictures with Santa.  I thought Mavry would think it was fun, or at least feel relatively neutral about it, but she did not like sitting on Santa's lap.  Eliel, on the other hand, was sleeping, and didn't mind at all. 

Tuesday, December 10

Eliel: 2 months

Eliel turned two months old on November 24th!  Time is really flying. 

He enjoys getting time by himself under his mobiles or next to a mirror, but he doesn't get much uninterrupted time unless his big sister is sleeping! (Of course, I try to get him to sleep when Mavry is sleeping, which I am only sometimes successful at doing.)  He gives us wonderful coos and smiles when we make eye contact with him.  He's been rolling over from front to back since he was less than a month old.  He might be able to make it from back to front before the next month is over!

He's really a wonderful little guy and we are so happy to have a family of four!

Monday, December 9

Thanksgiving on the Beach




For Thanksgiving this year, we rented a little vacation condo on the beach in San Diego.  We had a full kitchen to make/heat up our Thanksgiving dinner.  We got rack of lamb like last year, which Colin cooked.  I made pork stuffing (highly recommended!), cranberry orange sauce, sourdough rolls,
mashed cauliflower, mushroom gravy  and coconut custard cake.  We took walks on the beach and had a little play time in the rain on the beach on Friday morning too.  It was so lovely!

Friday night, we saw a big Christmas tree from the highway and went in search of it, then found out it was at Sea World.  The parking was free since it was close to closing, so we decided to see if we could get close to the tree.  We ended up getting in for free with a one hour shoppers pass and we got to see the big tree, some reindeer, lots of fun holiday lights, and the dolphins.  When we left, Mavry said "bye bye dolphins!"

Before we headed back on Saturday, we took in some views and had lunch in La Jolla.  Eliel is getting to be a big boy already!

Eliel: 5 weeks

My mom and Colin both asked recently if we were going to do the monthly pictures with Eliel.  I actually have been taking his pictures but I hadn't gotten around to posting them. 

So, here is Eliel with Raggedy Andy at 5 weeks old. (Mavry's pictures were taken with Raggedy Ann, both of which were made by my mom for me when I was little!)

Sunday, December 8

Mavry on a Horse

I love the part at the end where she sticks her tongue out in delight.

Pumpkin Patch and Halloween

A week or two before Halloween, Mavry, Eliel and I met friends at a farm that grows their own pumpkins and had some fun posing for pictures and climbing up pumpkin mounds.

Our costumes were two birds, a tree, and a birdwatcher. (Colin wasn't wearing his birdwatching gear in this picture because he'd just come from work.)  Mavry at first was not a fan of her hat/mask, but after she saw other people in costume at this street fair in Orange, she warmed up to the idea.

On Halloween night, Colin set up a "tunnel of light and wonder" in our front yard out of the chicken run and put lights and a mirror inside.  It was a big hit among the neighbors and Colin is talking about what he'll do next year.  Mavry and I went trick or treating to about five houses.  When we got back to the house, she excitedly showed Colin the contents of her bag, seemingly saying "I just went up to people's doors and they gave me candy!"  It was pretty cute.  She learned the word Halloween (how WEEN!) that night and kept saying it with enthusiasm for many days after.  It still comes up randomly. 

Then the weekend after Halloween, we went to our church's fall festival where Mavry rode a miniature horse, a rocket ship ride, and bounced in the bounce house with the big kids.  She loved it.  Colin had his birdwatcher costume complete with binoculars and shorts with socks pulled up for this one. 

Saturday, November 23

Grammy's Visit and the Beach

When Eliel was just a week old, Colin's mom came to visit.  Colin worked out how to get her here when Laura left and Eliel was still inside.  I asked him to wait to book the details until after Eliel came because I didn't want to be still waiting when she left like I was with Laura!

Mavry got another week of reading just about as many books as she wanted and I got to take a nap every day thanks to Grammy!

We took a trip to the beach while she was here and took a few pictures to document California baby Eliel's first beach visit at less than two weeks old.

Sunday, November 17

Mavry and Eliel

 Mavry loves Eliel, and he is learning to love her too, but there are many times when the relationship looks something like the above

We took a gazillion pictures, trying to get a suitable one for a birth announcement.  It proved to be much harder than expected, even with two adults working to get pictures, because Mavry is mostly interested in poking Eliel's eyes and giving him smothering hugs.

 The above three were taken at 1 week old.

 Brenda, Colin's mom, took the above one for us when Eliel was almost two weeks old.

Mavry has started saying "cheese" and taking pictures with my phone.  Usually the pictures are of the floor or the couch, but sometimes she gets a face shot.

Monday, November 11

Eliel's Birth

So Laura left on Saturday.  Colin came home from taking her to the airport and filled up the birthing pool and it stayed in our living room halfway inflated, just waiting.

Colin was convinced we shouldn't go to church on Sunday because I was beginning to have signs that the baby would come soon.  (Colin's brother's baby was born at home in Finland just a few days earlier even though they hadn't planned on a home birth because he came so quickly!)  But I wanted to get out of the house and it felt good to go to church.  (Well, it felt as good as anything feels when carrying a large baby past 40 weeks.)  We came home and had a relaxing Sunday.  I remember really enjoying being around Mavry that day and thinking maybe that's why baby was waiting - just so Mavry could enjoy another day of being the baby.

Colin went to work on Monday.  Mavry and I went to play with some friends at an indoor playground after her nap and then I went to Trader Joes to get some snacks and a treat for the midwives.  (I had already eaten cookies I had bought for the midwives when baby didn't come early like I expected, but this treat was better.)  We ate roast and carrots for dinner that I'd put in the crock pot that morning.  Right around dinner time was when I started feeling contractions again.  I told Colin "I'm feeling contractions, but I've been feeling them almost every night for two weeks!  I don't want to get my hopes up."  He wisely told me to do a hypnobabies relaxation track.  He put Mavry to bed and by the time he came out from her room, I knew it was the night.  I had started timing contractions.  They were pretty regular, but not to the 4 minutes apart, one minute long for one hour (4-1-1) yet.  I called my midwife anyway.  She asked if I could talk and walk through a contraction.  I could.  She told me to call her again when they got more intense. 

I called her again within the hour and told her I'd like for her to come.  She probably got to our house around 10:30.  I had just gotten in the birthing pool before she got there.  It felt SO GOOD.  I guess I stayed there until around 1:00 AM when my midwife suggested I change positions to make the pushing more effective.  I told her I didn't want to move but I would if she thought it was a good idea.  She suggested I stand up and walk to the bed.  I think I had to push one time in between the living room and the bedroom and then I think I pushed one time on the bed.  Then she asked me if I wanted her to break my water.  She told me it would help baby come out faster and I immediately said YES!  If I remember right, I pushed one or two more times after she broke my water and he was out.  Sometimes babies are born in their bag of water, but oh my goodness I was already pushing out almost 10 pounds of baby (I soon found out).  I couldn't imagine pushing out any more! I was so thankful that he was out.  I wish now, since this is most likely our last birth, that I had been able to see his head come out, but I was so caught up in the process that I couldn't do anything but focus on pushing him out.  I am so glad that Colin was able to watch him come out, that we were able to put him on my chest right away, wait until the cord stopped pulsing to cut it, and enjoy being with our boy in his very first moments. 

We stayed there on the bed and held him, letting him nurse (he came out pooping and was hungry from the start!).  I remember saying over and over "I'm so glad you're here! I'm so glad you're finally here!"  It felt so good to have him on the other side of my belly and so good to be finished with labor.  I had pushed for an hour, which isn't too crazy considering how big he was, but I realized after I got on to the bed that I had some doubts in me about whether I could actually push a baby out.  Since my hospital experience with Mavry had ended with the midwife giving me something to stop me from pushing until the doctor got there and then the doctor using a vacuum (ugh), I hadn't finished the birth on my own.  Once I realized that, I looked at Colin straight in the eyes and said "I can do this!" He looked right into my eyes and said "You can do this!", which was exactly what I needed him to do.  A push or two later and Eliel was in our arms!

We got time alone to spend with Eliel in our bed while the midwives cleaned up in the living room then they came back to check on us, weigh him, and clean up in the bedroom.  They guessed his weight since they knew he was a big guy by looking at him, but even they guessed low.  He surprised all of us by being 9 pounds 13 ounces!  We all had a slice of cheesecake and they started a load of laundry for us and then they left. 

Eliel after some bonding time, about to be weighed.
We went to sleep at about 4:30 and then Mavry woke up at 6:30.  We had thought about taking her to spend the night at my friend's house who was planning on watching her, but we thought she might as well sleep in her own bed.  It worked out well and she was able to meet her little brother as soon as she woke up.  We had been talking about the baby and she would kiss my belly when we talked about him.  When she got to meet him, she seemed to think it was all completely normal. 

Mavry meets Eliel.
The only bad thing for us about having a home birth instead of a hospital birth was that there wasn't anyone to bring us breakfast in the morning.  :)  We were completely worn out but completely overjoyed to have our little boy join our family.

Waiting for Baby (Laura's Visit)

Laura came to visit four days before Eliel's due date and stayed for a week.  This was the only week she could come and I was convinced that baby two was going to come before or soon after his guess date because Mavry came the night before hers, second babies usually come a little earlier than first ones (I thought), and I'd been feeling ready since before I got to 37 weeks whereas with Mavry I was convinced she was going to come later.  

I tried to encourage Eliel (we didn't know he was a boy at that point) along because I really wanted him to come before Laura left.  Laura and I went walking twice a day with Mavry in the stroller.  I kept telling Eliel I was ready for him to come out.  I did hypnobabies relaxation tracks.  I went to get induction acupuncture (the acupuncturist told me based on what she could tell that the baby was big and would come within two days...he didn't!).  I got my membranes swept by my midwife.  None of this worked in the time frame I wanted it to and Laura left on Saturday. 

I had contractions every night that Laura was here and I'd been having them for about a week prior, but I'd wake up and nothing would be different.  During almost every walk, I felt like the baby was so low he could just come out anytime!  But he waited.  I was glad that Laura got to come but sad that she didn't get to meet the baby.  Since I was convinced the baby really was going to come anytime, we didn't do much besides walking.  We just made it to a few shops and to the Fullerton Arboretum.

While Laura was here, Mavry got some quality time with her.  She started asking one of us to read her a book, then if someone else was nearby, she would take it to them for a second reading.  Laura would show Mavry pictures of Wesley and Curtis and also facetime with them in the evening.  So, the afternoon after Laura left, Mavry looked across the table to where Laura would have been sitting and said "Curtis?" (It sounds more like Churchis when she says it.)  Even now sometimes Mavry will see a picture of a little boy, Curtis or not, and say Curtis! 

Friday, November 8

6 month absence!

Wow.  I've been meaning to come back to this space to document some of our lives (mostly just for us to remember) but have not made the time in 6 months. 

Whew! I'm guessing that about 6 months ago, Mavry started taking just one nap a day.  That meant that I could either nap or get something done during her one nap instead of napping during one nap and getting something done during another nap.  I chose naps a lot of days (since I was growing a baby) and getting something done other than blogging on the other days.  Now we have a 6 week old and things are surely crazier but I'm at least feeling a little more rested so maybe I can get a few posts in to catch up. 

Two pictures from the summer: a surprise date that Colin planned and us wearing hats from a photobooth set up at a wedding of one of Colin's friends. 

Wednesday, May 8

Coming in September!

We've had a lot going on over here - we bought a house and moved in January and soon afterwards found out that we have a little one on the way!  Mavry was the first one I told that she is going to have a little brother or sister in September.  (Colin was the second.) 

(It wasn't so long ago that we took this picture to announce the coming of our now 15 month old!)

Thursday, April 18

Mavry at 14 Months

This morning at breakfast Colin gave Mavry a piece of crunchy toast and said "I love to hear her eat crunchy food."  The sound I love to hear from Mavry is the smacking sound she sometimes makes with her mouth when she's on the verge of sleep.

Mavry wears training pants when she's at home instead of diapers.  This morning she got off her little potty and there were no more training pants in the bathroom for me to put on her.  She went in the bedroom where there was a basket full of clean laundry.  She pulled out a pair of underwear and gave them to Colin so he could help her put them on!

She is constantly bringing us books to read to her and she knows the sign for book, which she uses a lot.  Her favorite sign, though, is "more" which she uses to tell us that she wants more to eat, both at the table and any time she feels hungry.  The girl eats a lot.  She loves dairy, meat and fruit, but is a little pickier when it comes to certain types of vegetables.

We are thankful for our spirited girl.