Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lucy Claire is ONE

We celebrated Sunday at my parent's house with presents and cake. All the big kids were inside when I brought Lucy in and they all yelled "Happy Birthday LUCY!" when we walked in. From that moment on I think she knew this was HER special day. She had not had a good nap that afternoon so I expected she may be overwhelmed by everything but she was such a happy girl the whole night. Her presents thrilled her (for about 10 seconds each and then were quickly forgotten while she attacked the tissue paper and boxes), she loved her cake, and she loved having all eyes on her every move. She has learned to say "I One" and hold up her finger when we asked how old she was and she got so much attention and applause for it that now she does it randomly, just for kicks and giggles. Like yesterday at lunch I suggested she not try to stuff an entire muffin in her mouth and she just answered "I One" and held up her little finger at me.
Did I mention she LOVED her cake. Because, oh boy, she loved that cake. She will nod her head whenever she is happy about something and her head started nodding after her first bite and didn't stop. She seemed to figure out quickly that Grandma was responsible for this chocolatey miracle and whenever she locked eyes with Grandma she would nod her head emphatically and say "Mo!Mo!" (more, more).
On her actual birthday we got her up and sang to her and then after the big girls were at school, I took Lucy and Ace to the park. Later we had a picnic at the beach and more cake after dinner.
I hope Lucy enjoyed her special day, I hope it made her happy. Because she makes me happy every day. She is our dinosaur, our Wooz, our Baby Lucy. We love her so much, she adds so much laughter and joy to our house. She makes our family complete, she makes my heart overflow with love, and she makes every day funnier and brighter.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lucy Claire

From October 3, 2008:

I can't believe it has been 2 weeks since we first checked into the hospital, thinking we were going to meet our Wild Card Lucy within a few hours (turns out my cervix wasn't in on that plan and it was almost 4 days later that we finally met her). In that time, there were some memorable moments, some of which are only funny a full 2 weeks later! Here they are so you can laugh with (or, more accurately, at) me:

My doctor is, ahem, well, old. Throughout the pregnancy we would joke that he better not retire before my due date. As I was in the hospital that first day he came in a few times to check on me and update us on what was going on. At one point he talked to us for a few minutes and turned to leave and ran smack into the door. Another time he got tangled in the curtain as he was trying to push it aside to walk out. After the second mishap, I looked at Andy (after the doctor was out the door and down the hall) and said "Um, that is the man that will be delivering our baby." Andy looked back and said "Let's hope he has a spotter". We found this incredibly funny. In my defense, it had been a long, long day and we needed some comic relief. As it turned out, our doctor was not on call Monday and Lucy was delivered safely into the hands of some complete stranger. I didn't see my doctor again until Tuesday morning.

*The following stories were so incredibly NOT funny to me at the time but looking back, I can laugh*

I mentioned in my birth story how miserably itchy I was during the last stages of labor (a common side effect of the epidural that no one really warns you about). I kept sitting bolt upright in the bed and yelling at Andy that I couldn't take it anymore. Often I would make my point clear by throwing up after yelling. I told him I needed him to come scratch me. So there we were, I was squirming and moaning because every time he scratched somewhere, another part of me itched more and I wasn't getting any relief. I kept slapping his hand away and then immediately asking why he stopped and demanding he scratched me again. The nurse never even batted an eye, she must be used to seeing irrational women and helpless dads. I give Andy major labor coach points for not telling me I was acting like a crackhead.

Once I realized the epidural had worn off (another common thing that no one warns you is likely to happen) I totally flipped out. In a matter of minutes my bottom half had gone from comfortably numb to, as closely as I can describe it, on fire. I was in such pain and in my mind, I felt like the solution was as easy as changing locations. I kept looking at the floor and thinking how cool and soothing it looked and I honestly wanted to get down on the floor to have the baby. Then I thought gravity would be a help and I wanted to stand up. Then I thought that I really had to pee (turns out I just really had to push a baby out), and I wanted to be on the toilet. During all of this, I'm trying to get Andy to help me with my escape from the damned bed that I was starting to hate. Of course, the downside of a standard hospital deliver (supposedly medicated) is that I'm hooked up to all sorts of machines and my legs are the only part of me that is still numb so it is not possible to get up. But this is not acceptable to me and I keep whispering to Andy that he has to help me get up and go to the bathroom. As the pain progressed, my demands got more unreasonable and at one point I told him I just wanted to get the *blank* out of the hospital. Again, he gets more points for not calling me crazy, he just keeps looking desperately at the nurse and telling me calmly that I need to stay on the bed. When the nurse left the room to get the doctor so I could start pushing I thought this was our opportunity to put my brilliant plan of delivering a baby by myself, in another location into action and I told Andy to help me get up and out of the bed. I've never seen him look so relieved as when the nurse came back in the room to help him calm me down.

Originally from September 28, 2008
I've found plenty of time to just sit and hold her and soak in that baby love. I still feel like she is literally a part of me, the way I felt when I was pregnant. The nurse at the hospital described the mother/baby bond as being a couplet and that is the most accurate way I can describe it. When I'm not holding her I feel like I'm missing a part of me and when I do hold her I feel so at peace. We breathe each other in and soothe each other. I've been feeling twinges of the baby blues (see tub crying incident above) but it melts off me when she's nursing or cuddled close to me. I sometimes want to go back to the hospital where it was just the two of us and have a few more days to do nothing but be with her, without all the distractions of home but then I remember how I ached to be home with my other babies and I just try to recreate that quiet bond here during the moments when the other kids are occupied or sleeping.

Happy First Birthday, Wooz. We love you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sad Day

One of my favorite songs ever.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Julia's Day in Numbers

3: Hours spent in school

1: Picnic lunch and long walk along the beach with Grandma, Mommy, and Lucy.

8: Number of times she had to get in/out of the car for school pickups and errands.

900: Estimated number of laps she ran around the front/back yard with Hayley and Ace after school today

.5: Number of bites she ate out of her chicken salad and bagel at dinner.

12: Chunks of honeydew melon she ate that made up 99 percent of her dinner instead of the rejected bagel and chicken salad.

4: Number of times she got out of bed and asked for milk, iCarly, a vitamin, toothpaste, and a bagel because she just wasn't tired at all.

3: Minutes it took her to fall asleep once her head touched the pillow.

Sleep tight, sweet Juju, tomorrow will be another busy day.
I am starting off my Tuesday morning agonizing over Julia's homework assignment. Yes, Julia, the two year old. She has homework. She goes to school for 6 hours a week and I've already spent close to that amount of time worrying over her homework. She brought home a small paper bag with the instructions to fill it with a few small objects that will help her teachers and classmates learn a little about her. One small bag will only fit about 3 items. I just don't know how I will be able to fit Julia's very big personality into such a small bag. Julia has many layers, like a parfait. Maybe I should put a parfait in there? Last year I went through a similar process with Ace, I spent an hour printing out some favorite family pictures, another hour going through our toy box to find 2 of his favorite toys and his favorite book, then I made a special trip to Dunkin Donuts so I could get a bag and cut out the logo. I helped Ace decorate the bag with stickers and markers and placed it carefully by the door so it would not be forgotten on the third day of school. Two minutes before we left the house that morning Ace poured the contents of the bag onto the floor, grabbed a random Power Ranger toy that he had found under his bed that morning, stuck that in the bag, and proudly proclaimed he was ready to go. Maybe I shouldn't invest so much time in the project this time around.

*The countdown has begun, ONE WEEK until Lucy's first birthday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saying Hello to Second Grade

We watched Obama's back to school speech after dinner last night and halfway through Hayley turned to me and said
"I bet this guy is FAMOUS"

She had a fabulous first day of Second Grade and I hope she is now having a fabulous second day of Second grade.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Saying goodbye to Summer

Saturday was our Back to School Feast with Grandma and Grandpa. We ate burgers and homemade fries and saved room for a Boston cream pie for dessert. We shared our favorite memories of the summer and what we were looking forward to most as the school year starts.

Sunday we had a fire in the fire pit and had a weenie and marshmallow roast. One by one the kids got sleepy and I gave them each a bath and tucked them in. When they were all asleep Andy and I watched the last logs burn and enjoyed a cool September night (I even had to go inside for a jacket).

Today we played outside and met Grandma at the beach for one more afternoon at the beach.

Tomorrow? Watch out Second Grade, Hayley is on her way!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I wrote this in March 2006 and reading it today made me smile. In fact, anytime I think about Ace's chubby little baby feet I smile. You may not believe this but I remember exactly what they looked like when he was a baby. I can conjure them up in my mind at any moment, he had the chubbiest, pinkest feet with 10 monkey toes. He loved to chew on his feet and loved to push them into my face while he nursed so I would kiss and pretend to eat them. Now Lucy loves to do the same thing. She loves nursing and laughing while I kiss her toes, it is in the top 10 list of her favorite things to do. And, by they way, Lucy does have shoes but has never worn them.

Originally from March 30, 2006:
Ace has no shoes. Poor baby, he lives in South Texas where it is rarely below 70 so he spends 90% of his time barefoot. Sometimes he has socks but he likes to eat them so he takes them off. Shoes confuse him and he walks really funny with them on or else he runs into things because he can't stop staring at the foreign objects on his feet. I shared this with the priest at the church where I teach and he told me that his acupunturist says it is very important to walk directly on the earth to keep our equilibrium correct. So Ace will have extraordinary equilibrium. My baby still needs some shoes.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Last of the Summer Whine

The kids have been fighting a lot this week, the last week of summer vacation. It is understandable, they have been together all day, every day, for almost 3 months now. The house can seem very small, and they all feel like they need a little space now and then.

Everyone is looking forward to school. Ace and Julia will be at the same school but different days and hours. Lucy will have some time without her 3 personal assistants. I think they are all ready for that.

But they will miss each other. They are four very unique little people but we are one big family, and we need each other.

You Go Girl,

....just don't go too fast.