Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Traveling with the babe

Holland and I will be taking a trip on June 2nd to visit my grandma and aunt and cousins who live near Baton Rough, Louisiana. It's very exciting, but also a bit scary. Traveling with little ones isn't easy and you know I'm already near losing my mind with no sleep and all the tantrums and screaming. So...this will be an "adventure". After a week we'll be driving to Austin, Texas to stay with my cousin Tina Belle. She has a little baby too, named Sydney Belle. So cute! Sadly I will be gone for two weeks, away from my darling girl Kathryne and hubby Doug. Hopefully they will catch up on sleep and chores and get to do fun stuff without the tot around to make things crazy. Kathryne doesn't like that I will miss the last weeks of school, but I think she can handle it. Her second "mommy" Naomi will take care of her!!!!
I will post some pics of the trip at some point, and also a pic of Tina and I when we were little. We look the same as we did then. Glad to see some of us never change.
I also wanted to send congrats etc. to Doug and Nicole on their wedding day! Good luck and have fun on the honeymoon. Hope we get to see them soon.

Madness I say!

You all are not going to believe it! After all my years of scheming and dreaming about putting in a new kitchen at our home on El Sol, it's finally happening! My dad and I went to Ikea in Burbank on Sunday and I thought we were just pricing/looking. He said "Get what you need." I almost had a heart attack, because I wasn't prepared. So this week Doug and I are putting together all the cabinets and drawers. We so lucky it's a three day weekend coming up, so we can spend a lot of time getting it done! yeah!
So, now I need to find a countertop product and a backsplash (the walls are kind of icky). My dreams seem to be growing, because all I can think of now is knocking down part of the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and install a nice big island in the middle, and banquette seating (built-in) and French doors and....
Wake up! Focus on the kitchen girl! I know...I'm losing my mind. This house could be really sweet one day, and I can see it's potential, so that's why I'm freaking out.
Poor Dougy. He'll bare the brunt of it, but he's used to it. Right honey?
Please wish us luck as we rip out the old and install the new. I'll post some pics of before, during and after so you can see how amazing it is. Yay to my Dad for being a trooper too. Love you!!!!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ode to Mom on Mother's Day

Moms are wonderful. Moms are difficult. Moms worry. Moms make you worry. There's nothing like a mother's love. There's no love harder to extricate from. That favorite dinner mom made when I was ten cannot ever be beat. She made me eat my brussel sprouts, or mushrooms, or eggplant. Mom or mother is one of the sweetest words you can ever hear a child say. Except when it's included in a whine or I hate you kind of voice. Being a mom is a pretty thankless job, considering you don't get paid. Being a mom is priceless and beyond compare. Moms don't sleep much, even when their kids are grown. Thanks for taking care of us when we're sick Mom, and loving us when we are unloveable. Thank you for the tender kisses, and the helping hand that we didn't know was there propping us up. You are special in every way.
Moms make the world a better place everyday and we love you for it.
We love you Mom!

Having a bad hair day?



Hair! It's one of those pesky subjects that we all have our opinions about. Some men have it, some don't! Some of us gals have great hair, some don't! Dr. Laura said that if you don't like bald men don't focus on the bald part of the guy. That makes sense. I on the otherhand have had problems focusing on other parts of myself when I don't have good hair. I mean, come on, have you not seen What Not To Wear (TLC) and they do this amazing transformation with just hair. It does make a difference how you feel and how people perceive you.
I just had my hair cut the other night, and colored too, a neat color called Brandy. And it made me feel better, even thinner! So I am posting before and after pictures to see what the world says about it. The hair is unstyled in both photos, but look at the difference in my face. It's freaky.

Oh, as you know, Holland is now a toddler. She's graduated to the next level, and boy is she tearing up the world around her. Nothing is any good, toys are boring, she only wants to be out seeing and learning new things. Being at home is just wrong! And there's no one to play with at home. She throws toys out of her toy boxes, throws cereal on the floor, opens cupboards, eats things that I'd rather not think about, and much more. The horror! She squirms and wriggles and writhes, even when nursing herself to sleep. I feel so inadequate to handle her after the angelic Kathryne. I wasn't prepared for the fact that I might have to call Nanny 911. Ha!
Well, at least I'll have pretty good hair.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Holland is one year old today. I decided it would be a good time to repost her birth story, since it was on the old site and not on the blog.

Holland in the hospital nursery, right after her first bath.

Holland was born Tuesday, May 10, and 11:09 am. She weighed 8lbs 10.5oz and was 21.5 inches long. Here she is in the hospital nursery, just after her first bath. She was less than two hours old.

Labor and Birth

Sarah went into labor around 2:30 Tuesday morning, May 10. She got up and had some tea and toast, waiting a bit to make sure she wasn’t experiencing false labor. At 3:30, she whispered, "Hey" to me. I mumbled, "What’s up?" Sarah said, "Contractions."

I attempted to spring into action, scurrying about like an expectant father on a sitcom. Sarah sat calmly on the couch and prompted me to please sit down. After putting on some coffee, I started timing the contractions. By 5:00, they were consistently 40 seconds long and 3:00 minutes apart. I called the doctor, who told us to go to the hospital. I woke Kathryne up and called Dave (Sarah’s dad). We were happy that something was finally happening; it had seemed like the baby was never going to come.

We got to the hospital at 6:00am and settled into our LDR (Labor and Delivery Room). Verdugo Hills Hospital has a comfortable maternity ward and really friendly people. They treated us well during our stay. Sarah was just under 3cm dilated. I put on a Sade CD and we started breathing through the contractions. I was feeding Sarah crushed ice at the end of each contraction and grabbing minute-long naps until the next one started.

The anesthesiologist came in to administer an epidural. Sarah was really looking forward to bypassing a lot of labor pain, and I was all for it as well. Why suffer if you don’t have to? The insertion of the catheter into her spine was, itself, a painful and uncomfortable procedure for Sarah. The worst part is that it didn’t work. Her right leg became numb, but that didn’t help ease the pain of the contractions. A different anesthesiologist came in around 10:00, pulled out the catheter, and poked a new hole in Sarah’s spine. This one also failed.

It isn’t easy to watch your loved one in so much pain. The contractions were now stronger, longer, and more frequent. Sarah was having a tough time. I used a technique from Lamaze class to get her through it. Sarah was doing the hee-hee-hee-hoo breathing method. I would hold up two, three, or four fingers to tell her how many "hees" to do. That gave her something to focus on other than the pain. When she started to cry or panic, I kept her focused on me. Somehow we made it through.

By 11:00, the contractions were coming right on top of each other. They were extremely intense, and Sarah felt a strong urge to push. She had only been at 4cm the last time the nurse checked, so I told her not to push and called the nurse. The nurse came in, checked her, and said, "Start pushing." Sarah had become fully dilated (10cm) in a surprisingly short time.

Now, if you’ve never had a front-row seat to a baby delivery, let me just say that it’s the most amazing and disgusting thing I’ve ever witnessed. I’ll spare you the detailed description of the things my wife’s body did. Even as Holland was emerging, I could not believe she was fitting through there. I was holding Sarah’s left foot, as the center of my universe was just inches away.

The top of the baby’s head became visible, and it was covered with dark brown hair. Sarah was pushing hard, but the baby didn’t seem to be moving forward quickly enough. To make matters worse, the baby’s heartrate dropped during each push, so we really needed to get her out. The doctor attempted to use a suction device, but it popped right off Holland’s head (probably because of all the hair). Another push and the doctor was able to pull her head out. Holland pushed her face out and turned it straight toward mine. I was ecstatic! "I see her face! There she is!" What I didn’t say out loud was that she looked like Edward G. Robinson.

Now the baby’s head and a shoulder were out. The doctor sucked all the goo out of her mouth and nose. She and the nurse untangled the cord, which was wrapped twice — loosely — around Holland’s neck and started pulling on her head. Babies can take a lot more physical stress than I realized. Dr. Parks was pulling hard on my daughter’s head and exclaiming, "She’s just too fat!" And then ... sphlorrt! She was out. They held her up, flopped her down on Sarah’s belly, cut the cord, then whisked her over to the little wrangling table so they could work her over. Holland was crying and kicking. Sarah and I were crying and kissing and laughing and praying. The doctor delivered the placenta, and Sarah sighed, "Ah, that feels better!" Doc stitched her up, congratulated everyone, and left.

Post Partum

Once things had calmed down, I got to hold my beautiful little baby girl. She no longer resembled any film stars from the forties. She was spectacular. I wasn’t prepared for how much I was going to love her. We called Kathryne and told her she had a little sister. She had been waiting at our friend Naomi’s house. Minutes later, Naomi, her daughter Soraya, and Kat showed up with Starbucks coffee and the greatest chicken club sandwich I ever met. After a day of recovery, Sarah and Holland came home.

Monday, May 08, 2006

You are so beautiful...

Just wanted to let you know we haven't forgotten Kathryne! She is still alive! This picture is of her and her dear friend Darlene on our way to Easter services. Pretty!

Doppelganger or Clone?

As a mom you love to hear that your kids look like you. It makes you feel good! But when I look at Holland and Kathryne I think they are so uber beautiful, that I can't imagine that they look like me. They are an improved version of me maybe. But when I saw this picture of me when I was about a year old, I was convinced that Holland looks like me quite a bit. Kathryne looks like me sometimes, a much thinner version of me! Yeah! Let me know what you think??

Holland's Day

Well, Holland's first year has almost passed us. We had a party for her yesterday, and she really enjoyed herself. After the first few tentative looks around at the "crowd", she decided to grin from ear to ear most of the afternoon. She snarfed her cake (pumpkin muffins), ripped open presents and played in her new sandbox. Thank you to everyone who shared the day with us.

It hasn't been an easy year by any means. And yes, I would change a few things if I could. But overall it's been positive. Holland is healthy, intelligent, spunky, vocal, happy, and lots of fun. We won't talk about all the sleepless nights, breastfeeding pains, all the messy diapers and sticky hands. She is so much fun, a great companion to take around town and share the day with. I love taking her to Trader Joe's or Ralph's; she gets so many comments about her pretty eyes or lovely hair. I think she's going to be a tomboy though, she just doesn't seem very frilly yet. I wouldn't mind her being more delicate, she loves to slap things and hit drums and tables, she's very scratchy. Almost like a little lion cub. She doesn't know her own strength.

Predictions for the year: she's already walking, so I see running and jumping coming soon. She can follow directions already, so I look forward to having her help me pick up toys soon. Hopefully we will expand her menu, get her to eat more new foods, possibly nurse a little less (give me a break...), learn to hold her own sippy cup without spilling all the liquid and playing in it, and finish teething.

I'm going to post a photo of me when I was about her age and you guys can compare us. It's almost eerie how we look alike.

I love you my baby Holland, keep growing strong and healthy. I can't wait to hear what you have to say about us all!

Love, MOM