Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Baby love

Three weeks old, and he has "woken up."

Looks around at the world.
Gazes into faces held close.
Coos after the bath.
Sucks on his fist for entertainment.
Relaxes on the bouncy seat in front of the open screen door with the fresh breeze on his face.

Mmmmmm, baby love.

She's lucky we don't spank

My five-year-old is testing me in ways I had never imagined. I knew she was going to be in love with her brother. I knew she would protect him. I knew she has an obsession for all things related to babies. But I didn't know how smothering this would become...

I feel like a broken record, this is all I say, all day long: "Stop touching him." "Leave him alone, he's sleeping." "You can hold him when he's awake." "DON'T TOUCH HIM WHEN HE'S ASLEEP."

Last week she broke the baby swing. Not even 72 hours after I assembled it. The replacement part arrived today. We'll see if it fixes the problem. I might resort to garnishing her future allowance to pay for the replacement.

Yesterday, in the spastic haste that she has developed in order to hurryupanddoeverythingsoshecangocheckonthebaby, she dumped a full cup of cold juice in my lap. Accidentally, yes. But ohmygoodness, it was the last straw.

Deep breath.

On the upside, she loves her brother. She will do anything for him. She is helping change and wash the diapers. She keeps tabs on his every breath, whimper, twitch and flutter. She has calmed down at school and the teachers have praised her for it. She doesn't tire of helping with anything. Yet. {snicker}

Ah, my daughter. If only you would give me a little personal space when I'm nursing the baby, I would be much more patient with you. But I love you through this crazy, nutty, exciting time anyway!

Hooray for breastfeeding!


Breast-feeding rates hit new high in U.S.
Three-quarters of new moms nurse their infants, at least briefly, CDC says

Monday, April 14, 2008


Christian was born on April 6 at 10:53 am, in the water at home. We are doing great--feeding, changing, watching, learning about each other.

The labor was intense. Long. Frustrating. My second back labor, posterior sunny-side-up baby. Foggy, yet some parts were startlingly clear. I am not ready to write the birth story yet. It may take some time. I have to process and figure out how to compose it first. Call me if you want to hear about it. I can talk it through, but not write it yet.

He is perfect. Precious. I am truly unworthy of the honor it is to be his mother. I feel like a first-time parent all over again, but with a certain calm and ease that the first-timers would pay any price to get in those initial weeks.

His sisters are obsessed, to the point of fighting over the amount of time he spends on their laps. E has a devouring fascination with him that she cannot control--I am constantly demanding her to give him space, back off, take her fingers out of his mouth, etc. M is more reserved, but concerned and loving in a tender way that makes me so proud of her. I wonder how long the interest will last?

It is an amazing feeling to have a son. It is still settling in. I always thought I would have all girls. The fortune-teller was wrong. I am blessed with a boy!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Odd cravings

In the last few days, I've had some odd cravings:

Cherry cola slushie*
Hot roast beef sandwich
Arroz con pollo*


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Birth Beads

I have been blessed many times. These beads symbolize the many blessings given to me by dear friends as I complete this journey of pregnancy on my way to a new phase of woman/motherhood.

Thank you!

Wearing baby

I've been a ring-sling mama for almost eight years. I started wearing M in a Maya Wrap when she was five months old. Both of my kids have spent as much time in a sling as a stroller (we are equipment hogs). I've even become a distributor for several sling companies, so that I could pay for my own slings through the small profit made by selling them when someone notices the ones I have worn.

When E was a baby, there were ring slings, rebozos and Moby wraps. Now with babe #3 soon to appear, I have been introduced to the myriad of baby slings, wraps, carriers and packs. I am still too intimidated by to delve into that abyss, but I have peeked over the edge and have seen where it could lead me... and where it has led my friend, JB (shout out to your collection!).

So I have pulled together a little bit of a collection myself--from remnant inventory, requests from family traveling abroad, gifts from friends and one recent purchase.

Here's what I have so far:
My original, first Maya Wrap (in #15 blue chambray)
A FancyBabySling lavender/gold Asian-print ring sling (I think this company is no longer in business)
A Taylormade wine silk ring sling
A Taylormade batik royal blue ring sling
A homemade Mei Tai, have no idea who made it.
A Placid Baby Mei Tai
A Sleepy Wrap in light blue
Two rainbow-on-black rebozos from a street vendor in Guerrero, Mexico
A blue and aqua rebozo from a street vendor in Guatemala.

What I don't have links to here, I will have to take pictures of or show you in person. You'll probably see them in person. Don't hold your breath for me to post pics.

In closing, I am sharing these pictures I took from our vacation to Southern California last summer. We spent the day at Venice Beach, and I was very excited to spot a Latin American family fishing in the jetty, with the mom carrying the youngest on her back. To preserve her privacy, I didn't take pictures of her face (well, actually, she wouldn't turn around at the moment I was snapping these), but I did see that the rebozo she was wearing was knotted in the front near her right shoulder. Notice that the baby is not wearing shoes--he didn't need to, as he was not put down the entire time that I was watching them (a good hour or so we were in the same vicinity).

(NB: I don't plan on wearing my baby in quite that position.)

My little doulas...

They got really upset last night when they had to go to bed without helping me in the birth tub. Doulamadre was here to give me a pampering session and it was getting late. I was in the tub, let them do some massage and water splashing, but they both cried when they got put to bed before helping me get out. I felt so bad. Tonight, I will get in and relax earlier!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My little doulas

My girls are natural doulas. The last two evenings, while I was relaxing in the rental birth tub with the jets on, they have attended me every second. They were scooping water over my back, rubbing my shoulders, stroking my hair, kissing me, suggesting that I flip over, adjusting the towel I was leaning on, checking the thermostat every 10 seconds, and basically loving me to death in that tub.

They cannot wait for the big day.

I love them so much.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The $90 Dell Laptop

Hooray for extended warranties!

Our Dell laptop freaked out and died a couple weeks ago. After a tech replaced much of the internal parts, and after I spent about 12 cumulative hours on the phone with the help desk, they decided it will be better to send us a whole new laptop instead of fussing with more parts expense and tech hours. Oh, and I told the tech today that I'm due to give birth any day and would like to get this taken care of before then. He commented that his wife is expecting their second in July, so he must have felt empathetic towards me and talked his boss into the replacement option... I didn't realize how well that would work! I just thought that the birth card would just get me a tech sent out here to finish diagnosing the problem. Instead, it got me a brand-new laptop!

I highly recommend buying your next computer from Dell, with the extended warranty, and wait until you're due to give birth for it to break.

I swear, I didn't plan it this way!