Sunday, January 30, 2011

A menagerie

I'm going to start Jamie's birth story this afternoon.  I wonder how many days it will take me?

In other news:
  • One of the side benefits of bathing every few days is that it makes a hot shower feel like an absolute luxury.  I can hardly believe how amazingly wonderful it feels.  It makes it almost worth it.  My preference is to shower every other day.
  • I have fancy long nails for the third time in my life.  With every pregnancy, my nails become a lot stronger and I grow them out as an experiment.  This time instead of cutting them all back as soon as one breaks, I've been filing them.  That's what it's called, right -- a nail file?  It sounds wrong.  Anyway, I like them, but it is kind of annoying too.  I can feel them as a type.  And I've found that I have to handle things differently because they get in the way.  Definitely not working hands.
  • I had my last postpartum appointment with my midwife yesterday.  I felt very sad that I wouldn't be seeing her again very soon, if at all.  Another chapter closes.  There was another 3.5 week old baby there and I couldn't believe how small she was.  The hostess of whose home we were using referred to Jamie as a "bruiser" in comparison to her petite frame.  He seemed to be stronger too, with better control over his head and arms.  Interesting.
  • Jamie is definitely more like Diego when he was a baby.  Diego was the one that all the great-grandmas referred to as "husky".  (Oh, how I loved that!)  Truen was always (and is) very small, at the bottom of the charts, the baby that made the nurses wonder if he was "eating enough" or growing well enough.  He's just small -- there's nothing wrong with that.  In fact, as a three year old, he's wearing clothes that Diego wore at two.  Size: 2T.  And we still have to roll the pants.
  •  Squeeze broke down his 72 gallon bow-front aquarium this weekend.  The remnants of the fish have been moved to a 10 gallon tank (which shows how many we actually had left) and drained all the water out the window.  There just isn't time for such a massive hobby in his life right now.  And it isn't even massive, really.  Just a few hours a month, but even that was too much.  He's had it up since 2001.  It used to be at the end of our bed in our duplex on Humboldt in Minneapolis and we watched it every night, mesmerized.  It is truly the end of an era, though neither of us are sad about it.
Over and out.

Monday, January 24, 2011

♥ Little darlin' darlin' darlin' ♥ -- then a run-down on adjustments

 Sleeping sweetly in his sling

 Awake and pondering the ceiling beams
Don't you just LOVE his old-man-pants look?
Or the wrinkles on his forehead?
Or his little round nostrils?

Gettin' chunky --
I had just been showing Squeeze his round little belly
The little sweet darlin' darlin'

Things are good in these parts.  I can't believe how much adjustment it has been for me in mothering a newborn again.  I have forgotten so much -- I think that is what has surprised me the most.  I feel like my skills are rusty.

I didn't do any reading or ruminating on the new babe beforehand, either.  I must have had too much to do.  I also think that I assumed that I've done this twice before, it would be old shoe, right?  In some ways, yes.  But I have definitely been taken by surprise.

Night nursing has been the hardest for me.  I swear, with the other two boys, it was a pleasure.  Or at least, I took it as my serious duty to nurture my child -- through both sustenance and tender loving care. 

With this little guy, I'm so groggy that I can hardly believe he's waking me up again.  The nights feel like an endless cycle of nursing and then trying to get him to belch so he'll sleep soundly until the next nursing.  Which feels like it never happens.  And I swear whenever I set him down, he's either squirming because I can't get that elusive burp out, or he's hungry again.

Things have improved the last few nights.  I feel like we have a better rhythm.  I have also adjusted my expectations, which is always helpful in the game of life.  Particularly in the realm of mothering.

Another helpful thing in this arena has been re-reading through some of Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva-Jill Romm. Her sections on mothering the mother, the newborn, and newborn care have helped me re-focus my vision for caring and connecting with my new baby.  Little Jamie.  It has been good for me to ruminate on these things. 

(I highly recommend this book as the go-to for dealing with sick kids.  It is my first pick, for sure.  Many of the recommendations and home remedies have been very helpful -- everything from ear infections and diarrhea to fever and vomiting.  Highly recommended.)

The other thing that has side-swiped me is the amount of time I don't have to just sit and stare at him.  To enjoy his sweet newness.  With Diego, I sat for hours and just looked at his beautiful face, smooching his soft skin and taking in his heavenly scent.  With Truen, I had him in the sling 80% of the time, carrying him with me wherever I went, snuggling and smooching him.

With this little guy, I have plans

As soon as he's asleep in the morning, I set him down and try to get as much done as possible.  I have one big project in me per day.  Cooking a couple of meals, cleaning up the kitchen, laundry, picking up, trying to squeeze in a healing bath and subsequent shower so I don't stink.  You should see the size of our laundry pile in the living room.  I'm pretty sure that the majority of our clothing is laying on the couch.

And I haven't been slinging him as much as Truen, because my body seems to be slower to recover after this pregnancy.  I feel almost 100% by this point, but those first couple of weeks were rough.  The ligaments that attach to my pubic bone hollered their protest if I lifted much of anything or walked too much, let alone slinging a newborn in front of me. 

Things have improved this past week, but now I feel like I can work more efficiently when he's not on me.  In most ways, I am able to accept this as a piece of reality.  In other ways, I am mournful.  I want him with me at all times.  But it is so much easier to scrub potatoes or wash dishes without that sweet little 10-pound lump in front of me. 

I have been slinging him, just not as much.

Ultimately . . . I am adjusting happily and working on re-setting expectations for life right now. 

I do love having a newborn again -- they are so sweet.  One thing I appreciate about them is that when they are crying, even stormily, they instantly STOP the second you pick them up or provide them what they need.  How refreshing!

And Little Jamie . . . what a darlin'.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here I am!

I can't believe it has already been a week since my last post.  Or that Little Jamie is two weeks old!  Or that, in the fact that my life is so busy that I am still only two-thirds of the way done writing my birth story in the baby book, most of it involves the simple act of sitting around and nursing or patting a little babe's back. 

Or giving his older brothers attention.  Or napping to recover lost sleep.  Or trying to keep us all fed.  Or changing and/or washing diapers.  Or trying to find the time to fit in a healing comfrey and sea salt bath.

In the midst of it all, I am getting to know Little Jamie and remembering how to mother a newborn again.  I love how he gets so sleepy after being awake a half-hour.  He bleats out the most pathetic little cries, obviously in need of yet another nap.  It's just so cute.

He's sleeping in the sling right now, snuggled up on my chest.

I love the way he smells, all the sweet little grunts and snorts he makes, his lamb-like mewls, flailing limbs, softer-than-soft skin, and when he is awake and stares all around in his quiet-alert state.  I love how he grunts like a little animal when he is threatening to wake up.

I love how Diego and Truen caress his head softly and seems genuinely entertained by their baby brother and how Diego cracks up when the babe belches.  I love Squeeze's affectionate baby talk and sweet snuggles.

Posts about Jamie will be filed under the "Danie Blizzard" label on my blog.  Danie Blizzard, in honor of the most outrageously funny name created by my brother and SIL in this post, It's a Boy! while waiting for us to finally figure one out.  Abdul Danie Blizzard.  That one made me laugh for days on end! 

Danie is also my dad's name, which makes the reference even more precious.  We were considering it for a middle name, but Jamie Danie just didn't sound right in the end.

That's a wrap.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lots to say

. . . but not much time to write it out.

I'm feeling well.  Healing well, though interestingly, I feel like I am recovering from pregnancy, not childbirth.  I'm 33, so it is probably harder has I get older?  Sheesh, that's scary.  And, as others have pointed out, those muscles and ligaments have already been stretched out twice before.

Jamie is doing well -- as sweet as a warm, sunny morning.  I adore him.  Having a newborn again is wonderful.  What a beautiful time of life it is -- and so fleeting.  There is no comparison.

The brothers are affectionate and loving.  They love to caress his fuzzy little head and smother him with sloppy kisses.  Truen is particularly gentle and careful, which definitely falls in line with his general personality.  Diego takes pride in telling everyone, "His name is Jamie Sterling". 

We've had a couple of bumps in the road of adjustment -- mostly within the realms of being careful around mama and/or baby and our sleeping arrangements.  But nothing too horrific. 

We co-sleep, so our sleeping arrangements go like this: Jamie, Mama, Truen, Diego, Squeeze.  Diego had a hard time and cried that first night, but has since has transitioned well and has been happily snuggling with Squeeze at bed time (with a little snuggle with mama before hunkering down for the night).  

I've found that I am really mourning the change.  I miss him.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised; and I'm not, even though I wasn't anticipating it.  Probably because there was too much else to think about.  I miss his warm little body snuggled up next to mine.  I miss being close to him while he is drowsy, still, and softly snuggling.  I am sad that life is changing, even though I am happy about the change that precipitated this adjustment. 

My tender mama's heart...!

Diego has been waking up in the early morning hours to sliver in between me and Truen to touch my neck.  I'm so glad.  While Truen doesn't generally like to snuggle, he does like to be with me, so he has been a little irritated with Diego sneaking in to take his spot.  But not crushed.

Blaine is back at work today, after a week and three days off.  I miss him terribly.  He had a day off for bereavement yesterday, as his grandma died the day after Jamie was born.  The funeral was yesterday.  Talk about a mixed bag of joy and grief for the extended Borealis family! 

She hadn't been doing well this past month after getting knocked out by a bladder infection.  Thankfully, we were able to see her several times in the past weeks, though she was worse and worse every time we saw her.  We can hardly believe we won't be seeing her again.  I felt like that when my grandpa died, too.

So we are sad.  And happy.  And adjusting.  And in love.

I've had a lot of inquiries about my Birth Story.  I am definitely planning on it.  First I have to finish writing it out in Little Jamie's baby book (I'm about half-way done) and then I need the time to pound it out on the computer.  It's-a-comin', though much slower this time around.

Oh, and finally . . .

As I was carrying the phone into the sunroom this morning, I happened to see the time: 11:11 AM on 1.11.11 -- amazing.  I still can't believe how freqently I happen to look at the clock at that time.  What fun to see it on January 11, 2011!  Wow.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Meet Jamie

He has a name!
::: Jamie Sterling :::
I am totally smitten

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

10:36 AM

So quick, I know.  Our third little baby BOY was born this morning after just a few pushes.  In the tub.  With daddy, doula, and midwives watching.  Another amazing experience, though it went so quick I could hardly believe I was actually experiencing it.

  • 8 lbs 7.5 oz
  • 21 inches long (I think)
Nursing like a champ.  Totally has Diego's nose.  Sleeping softly.


Possibly maybe

Welllll . . . it is looking like this might just be it.


I was awakened by contractions somewhere between 2:30-ish am, not fully realizing it until 2:51 am, when I started timing.  They're coming somewhere in the range of every 10-12 minutes and getting more unpleasant.  Like, I'm forcing myself to breathe calmly because I keep on trying to hold my breath.  Why...?

So . . . the midwife is on her way (she's got a few hour drive from where she is) and said she is glad I called.  I'll probably start waking up Squeeze and my doula friend in an hour or so.  Probably.  It would be such an unpleasant surprise for all of us to find that this isn't it.

It.  You know.  Labor.

Meanwhile, I'm hungry.  And eating leftover friiiiiiiiiiii-tta-ta.

Monday, January 03, 2011

And now for something completely different

"And I will give you lots of presents, ho-ho-ho"*

We own almost all of Squeeze's paternal grandmother's vintage Christmas decorations.  In fact, we have so much of it that this strange handless Santa sits near the toilet during the month of December.  Don't ask me why.  Squeeze does most of the holiday decorating.

The other night, as I went to the bathroom for the 15-billionth time that day, I happened upon this delightfully picturesque scene of Jodo Kast imploring Santa for a new jet pack for Christmas.  Oh man, it made me laugh out loud.  I love my husband.

*Truen's quote

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Due date

Still no activity.  I vacillate between feeling overly antsy and my normal, optimistic self with a sense of lingering curiosity.  No despair, thankfully.

Who?  What?  When?? 

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2010 Booklist: Completed

  • The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun - Gretchen Rubin
  • The Idle Parent: Why Laid-Back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids - Tom Hodgekinson
  • Home Education - Charlotte Mason
  • Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection - Jessica Prentice
  • A Charlotte Mason Education - Catherine Levison
  • My Grandmother's Chinese Kitchen: 100 Family Recipes and Life Lessons - Eileen Yin-Fei Lo
  • The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food -- Before the National Highway System, Before Chain Restaurants, and Before Frozen Food, When the Nation's Food Was Seasonal - Mark Kurlansky
  •  More Charlotte Mason Education - Catherine Levison
  • A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning - Karen Andreola
  • The Lost Art of Real Cooking: Rediscovering the Pleasures of Traditional Food One Recipe at a Time - Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger
  • Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression - Mildred Armstrong Kalish
  • Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition - Ramiel Nagel
  • The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History - Katherine Ashenburg
  • Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey: Poems 1991-1995 - Hayden Carruth
  • The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry (half-done, savoring it for later)
  • The Fourfold Path to Healing: Working the Laws of Nutrition, Therapeutics, Movement and Meditation in the Art of Medicine - Thomas S. Cowan, MD with Sally Fallon and Jaimen McMillan
  • Glass Ceilings and 100-Hour Couples: What the Opt-Out Phenomenon Can Teach Us about Work and Family - Karine Moe and Dianna Shandy
  • Feeding the Whole Family: Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents - Cynthia Lair
  • Preserving Food Withouth Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation - The Gardners and Farmers of Terre Vivante
  • Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era - Boston Women's Health Book Collective
  • Food and Loathing: A Lament - Betsy Lerner
  • The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World - Michael Pollan
  • Keeping Bees: A Complete Practical Guide - Paul Peacock
  • The Secret Garden Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett's THE SECRET GARDEN - Amy Cotler
  • Old Mother West Wind - Thornton W. Burgess
  • Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie, Edited and Abridged by Josette Frank
  • The Trolley Car Family - Eleanor Clymer
  • Winnie-the-Pooh - A.A. Milne
  • Stuart Little - E.B. White
  • The Brownies: Their Book - Palmer Cox
  • My Father's Dragon - Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • Elmer and the Dragon - Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • The Dragons of Blueland - Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins - Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater
  • Alice for the Very Young - Lewis Carroll
  • The Secret Garden - Francis Hodgson Burnett