Sunday, November 18, 2012

A 2 Month Post For N.G.

Norma Grace is two months old!  And a week.  Or ten weeks old this Tuesday.  I guess that really isn't very long, but it seems like she's been here forever.  It's hard to imagine that such a short time ago we didn't know her...and now it's hard to imagine life without her!  I suppose it's one of the mysteries of parenthood that we can have more than one cherished child and delight in them both the same.  It's been so much fun getting to know her...and somehow having an infant the second time around is more relaxing than the first even though having two kids is harder.  Experience has a mellowing effect when it comes to mothering, I think.  Or maybe it's lack of sleep.  Either way I worry less, and cuddle more.  I enjoy the challenge of having two kids overall. And it is definitely a challenge.  I don't think I ever really felt that way with just Frazier.  It's just that now there's two of them...and still only one of me.

At her six week doctor's appointment, which we actually went to when she was seven weeks old, she weighed 10 lbs 4 oz and was 22.5 inches long- considerably smaller than Frazier was at this point, in weight at least.  She seems a little more fragile, too or maybe just floppy sort of...though she's perfectly normal.  It's just that Frazier came out of the womb a two month old.  He was so big and strong from the get-go and he's the only baby we had to compare her to!  She still fits in her 0-3 month clothes...but I've pulled out a few 3-6.  We're still not sleeping all night; it's more like 5-6 hours consecutively on good nights.  Sometimes it's as few as three.  I'm not one for schedules and I nurse on demand so it's unpredictable from one night to the next.  I feel like she's generally a pretty content baby and she's very pleasant all day.  She does prefer to be held ALL THE TIME and loves being worn in the Moby.  She is making lots of cute noises these days which I very much enjoy.  It think she's much more verbal than Frazier was and this week she laughed for the first time!!  I feel like it's truly something magical to be there for the first time someone laughs.  Once she'd done it, I spent the whole rest of the week trying to get her to do it over and over again.  Oh, the crazy things we do to make our kids laugh.  Well, I guess I can really only speak for myself.  It's worth it though. :)  Here's some I finally got on video:

I don't want Norma Grace to feel slighted when it comes to know, second child syndrome where they have only a fraction of the pictures Child #1 had...and they all contain Child #1, too?  Since I'm a compulsive picture taker- this really isn't a problem.  Fear not, darling, your life will be as well documented as Frazier's.  They just may not be as well organized, though.  Here's proof that Mommy is taking LOTS of pictures of you lest we forget what an adorable two-month old you were. :)

Happy 2 months, N.G.  You're too wonderful for words.  We're so glad you're ours.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Autumn Almanac

Well, October has come and gone..31 golden days.  November has begun, yet the weather fails to indicate it is so.  Today it was a balmy 80 something degrees.  We did have a few precious crisp days sprinkled throughout the last month and we wrang the coolness out of every minute.  Regardless of the higher temperatures, the leaves are still turning and falling and the pumpkins and mums arranged at every turn insist that it is, indeed, autumn.  My very favorite time of year.  Every fall I think is the best I've ever had, and still fall just gets better every year.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Like Brother, Like Sister

Norma Grace

Frazier (this picture refused to upload right side up)

Norma Grace

Norma Grace

Norma Grace


Norma Grace

Norma Grace



Sunday, October 14, 2012

1 Month

Well, Norma Grace came home, we took a million pictures, and the computer crashed- and I do mean  it died a magnificent, total wipeout kind of harddrive death.  And it wasn't a slow decline either.  It just sprung this on us...right in between Frazier having pink eye and Josh's sinus infection.  Fortunately, we have an external harddrive we put all our pictures on and Josh does a periodic backup so we didn't really lose anything...except the actual harddrive, a few word docs, and all the time it took to re-download all the programs we use.  Time was at a premium the last few weeks anyway, so we did it slowly, in shifts.  At long last I think we've recouped all our losses, excepting the time.

Overall, it's been a really wonderful month and it's gone by way too fast.  My parents arrived and left.  Ross is here through tomorrow.  We've had a welcome parade of friends and family around and many of them came bearing food and gifts.  The past couple of weeks things have begun to morph into our new normal and I'd say we're adjusting well.  When Frazier was a month old he'd been to his first doctor's appointment, a lactation appointment, the hospital for jaundice, church once, and McAlisters for dinner.  At one month, Norma Grace has been to 7 restaurants (3 of them more than once), her two week appointment, an audiology appointment, small group (twice), the park, Drug Emporium, Target, Wal-Mart, Kohls, Frazier's dentist, 4 consignment stores, my salon, a baby shower, our friends The Nehlses' house (twice), a MOPS steering team meeting, MOPS (twice), BSF (twice), Hobby Lobby, TJMaxx, Jefferson, and church (three times).  At her two week appointment she weighed 8lbs 10oz and I know she's gotten even bigger since then.  She's outgrown all her newborn outfits and is wearing all 3 month now.  She smiles already, but they're fleeting and difficult to catch on camera.  She definitely likes a pacifier, though she's picky and partial to the Soothie or Gumdrop.  She's been a pretty easy baby thus far, though she nurses about every three hours all around the clock and is often gassy in between.  My blog archives remind me that Frazier was sleeping a 7 hour stretch at night by 5 weeks.  I won't complain, but I will say that it will be nice to sleep for more than three hours in a row one day.  That day will be here sooner than I think, I know, and when it is I'll miss our late nights just the two of us watching House Hunters International. :)

Frazier has been nothing but sweet to the baby and has told me many times that he is "so glad she came out of [my] tummy!"  He is forever kissing on her and is quick to try and comfort her when she cries.  He takes her a paci, or sings to her or brings something of his to show her.  I honestly think he's genuinely glad to have her around.  I suppose I'll have to remind him of this one day.  :) Once I heard her fussing in her carrier and by the time I got to her he was already kneeling next to her doing "This Little Piggy" on her toes.  I'm pretty proud of him for jumping right into his new role and taking the whole transition with as much grace as you can expect from a 3 year old.  Every week seems to get even better, too.  (I'm typing on the laptop while sitting in the bathroom with Frazier as he plays in the tub and we just heard her cry a little and Frazier said, "Oh- you better go check on the baby," then when I didn't get up immediately he prodded again, "I want you to go check on the baby; I think she's just crying a little bit," :)  I really think she likes when he's around too.  I thought it would be harder to juggle the two of them, but I don't feel stretched too thin...yet.  I think if I were getting more sleep I'd be golden.  Nevertheless, we really couldn't have enjoyed having Norma Grace here the past month more. It kind of feels like she's been part of us all we always belonged together.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

By Any Other Name

You may recall the nightmare that was naming our first kid.  We haven't forgotten, and unfortunately, naming a second proved to be equally as difficult.  We may have to stop at two kids simply because we could not name a third, but as with Frazier Norma Grace's name is not at all ordinary and not the least bit arbitrary.

You see, Josh and I each have a grandmother here on earth.
Jessie Mae and JoAnn.  
They have known and loved us for three decades and you couldn't ask for two better grandmothers.  As a matter of fact, I was under the impression no one else had grandmothers as good as mine until I met Josh's.  And then I stood corrected.  We're blessed beyond measure that Nama and Mae Mae are part of our lives.  It's been a privilege to share our lives and now our children with them.

But we also each have a grandmother in heaven.
Norma and Grace.  
My Nana never knew me as a grown up.   She never met Josh and she will never hold my children.  I have missed her now for longer than we had together.  Josh's Grandma Grace did get to meet me, though I wish we'd known each other better and I wish she could have met our kids.  But these women share more than the fact that we loved them and they are no longer with us.  They each had names we thought were beautiful, not necessarily inherently, but because of the women to whom they belonged.  

Dear Norma Grace,
   We chose your name because it meant something to us.  It meant honoring two ladies we were blessed to know and wish you'd been able to meet.  They made these names beautiful by the way that they lived.  And as you are the most beautiful little girl we've ever known, we're giving them to you. I think they'd be proud for you to have them.  Now go and make it your own.
Mom & Dad

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hello, Norma Grace

She was almost as early as her brother was late!  We were pretty surprised...I think we may still be in shock that she's already here!

Norma Grace was born September 11, 2012 at 1:30am.  She weighed 8lbs 2oz and was 19inches long.

My water broke at home around 11:20pm Monday night.  Since prep and planning is a hobby of mine the ship-out was very organized and we didn't forget anything.  We dropped Frazier off with a darling friend who was on-call for just such an occasion.  We also had a number of back-up friends on-call...we are blessed with such awesome friends.  I mean, we'd be blessed to have one friend willing to take our kid in the middle of the night at a moment's notice...but we had a whole slew of them!  We got to the hospital around midnight and within an hour and a half she was in my arms.  My doctor didn't even make it.  You will never hear me complain about this labor experience- two hours, no drugs, no epidural.  (Nevermind that the second half of it I thought I was going to die and at the end I begged for the pain control I'd so adamantly denied earlier...only to be told it was much too late.) Turned out I did live through it afterall.  And then we just sort of sat there stunned that it was over. Nursing has been great, recovery has been great.  I was up and around pretty quick, no prescription pain meds.  I think back on the last time we did this and it's a 180 degree different experience.  This is how it should be. :)

Now we have a daughter and Frazier has a sister.  He's been a super big brother, but I expected no less.  Now, a week before her due date and four days after her birth, I still can't believe she's really here.  But it's wonderful.  I spent weeks watching and feeling her move around inside wanting so badly to be able to hold her.  And now I can!  It may sound strange, but when first we met, before she smelled like baby shampoo and Pampers, I held her to my face and breathed her in and I said to Josh that she already smelled familiar.  She smelled to me like Frazier.  
Like someone that I love.
Welcome to this world, Norma Grace.   Come give it all that you've got.

Monday, September 10, 2012

In The Summertime

Recently, the summer heat finally broke like a fever that had lasted, oh, four and a half months.  And we could breathe again.  Compared to last summer, this one was that we actually had some precipitation and days here and  there that the temperature wasn't over 100.  Now that fall is beginning to seep in with cooler mornings and evenings and breezes throughout the day, summer is already beginning to seem like a string of distant memories.  The misery of the suffocating heat Texas summers bring is settling to the bottom of the memory jar while all the good stuff bubbles to the top so that even so soon removed from it, what we remember isn't the hot, just the happy.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Big Fat Random Blogpost

*At the end of July we had Frazier's three year check up.  It was probably the least eventful check-up we've ever had.  Except that he flipped out about having to take off his shoes to be measured.  No shots this time.  To date, he's only ever been to the doctor for well check-ups.  The kid's never sick...knock on wood.  I doubt his doctor even really recognized us, but she's really wonderful so she didn't let on.  She seemed adequately impressed with how brilliant and coordinated he is. :) He was 3ft 1.25 in tall and weighed 35.6 lbs.  Despite his significant head start, he's been slowly averaging out height and weight-wise.

*At long last, Frazier is finally...drum roll please...POTTY TRAINED!  I wish I could say that our potty training experience was a brilliant display of impeccable parenting and a polished process altogether that was brief, painless and effective...but that would be a gross misrepresentation of the truth.  In fact, it was a long, agonizing process and it is only by some miracle we're through it.  I have zero advice for anyone else and I don't look forward to doing it again.  After a year of lackadaisical encouragement interspersed with a few short stretches of hard-core potty-training-bootcamp he just magically embraced the idea...wholeheartedly, in its entirety.  I really am proud of him and he's very proud of himself.  He goes all by himself right down to flushing and washing his hands and sleeps all night in underwear- no accidents in weeks.  Already all our previous potty-training woes seem so far away.  Thankyouverymuch.  

*Josh and I have birthdays on either side of our anniversary- his is 9 days before; mine is 4 days after.  The celebration of both this year was spectacular!  Happy Birthday to us!

*A couple of weeks ago, my cord blood collection kit arrived.  We donated Frazier's umbilical cord blood and plan to do the same this time.  However, there is now the option to donate via the Texas Cord Blood Bank as a non-fixed-site volunteer donor, meaning I don't have to deliver at a major hospital anymore.  They'll take donations from other sites, too.  I found out they were the closest this time through  It's free.  It's not that complicated, considering.  And it could save someone's life.  There are other options for donating using a national cord blood bank which is also free so even if there is no local bank to collect for you, you can still do as we did last time.  As a side note, this collection kit is significantly larger than the last one we had.  I mentioned this to my doctor who reminded me that "everything's bigger in Texas"! :)
*We challenged ourselves to choose a hymn and a scripture verse for each of our children.  With Frazier it was difficult because the possibilities were so vast.  With Lentil it was difficult because there was one less option of each...and they were pretty much our favorite.  Frazier's verse is Romans 15:13 "May...God fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may abound in hope" and his hymn is Be Thou My Vision.  Lentil's verse is from Proverbs 31:25 "She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." and her hymn is He Leadeth Me.
*This is me at 38 weeks.  Here's me at 38 weeks pregnant with Frazier.  At my last appointment I was at 4.5cm dilated and 70% effaced which is far ahead of where I was with Frazier at this point so hopefully we won't have long to wait!!