Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Full Hands Full Heart

One of the most wonderful things about a new baby is how they fall asleep right on top of you, and they stay there.  For hours.
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Sadly, this was also one of the most difficult things for me to accept when Sophie was this tiny.  I had been such a busy person pre-kids. I filled up my every millisecond with activity.  And then I had a newborn. And suddenly, there was no more knitting.  There was no more standing over a boiling pot.  There was no more yoga, no more running, no more sitting at a sewing machine.  No more taking beautiful artistic photographs of my homegrown tomatoes.  (No more homegrown tomatoes.)  Time stood still, and all I could do was Just. Sit. There.

It drove me absolutely bonkers for the first few months of Sophie's life.  I tried to figure out a workaround -- maybe I could type blog entries on my phone.  Maybe I could use the iPad.  Maybe I could knit, if I just did it slowly enough, with as little movement as possible.

But no.  Sophie wouldn't stand for it.  If I moved, she woke up. And screamed.  And so, I learned how to Just Sit There.  I spent a lot of time staring at the things in her room in the wee hours of the morning. Counting the squares on a quilt.  Trying to remember lines from movies.  Anything to occupy my restless brain.

This time around, I've been lucky.  Scarlett lets me type with her in my lap, which is huge. But I still miss my hands.  I still miss my hobbies.  I miss my homegrown tomatoes.  And it takes some mental fortitude for me to just relax and enjoy this time.  Just relax, quit trying to DO things and just BE.  (... she says as she types this blog...)  This time with a newborn is so short, so fleeting.  Scarlett will be toddling around our house, dropping things in our toilets before I know it.  (Shudder.)  And so I'm making an extra effort this go-around to slow down, give myself a break, and let myself just sit here and stare at those long, gorgeous piano fingers.  To let myself just sit here and enjoy the feeling of a warm baby making my right arm fall asleep.

The hobbies will return, and they'll be even more enjoyable because I will be able to share them with my girls.  We will be able to cook together, craft together, grow tomatoes together. And I'll be able to tell them stories about how, when they were very tiny, I sat in our armchair for an unreasonably long amount of time, just sniffing their little baby heads and trying my best to cement that scent in my brain.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fastest Month Ever

Scarlett is a month old already.
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Really she's nearly a month and a half old now, since her one month birthday was March 1.
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She weighed in at 10 lbs. 4 oz. for her 4 week appointment, which makes a mommy very proud. (Although I still think she looks like a tiny doll baby.)
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Sophie is getting used to having a sister.  Every so often, she will be doing something else and suddenly "remember" that Scarlett is around, and she will turn to Scarlett and say, "Hi Baby!"
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Today we were at Target, with Scarlett in her carseat in the basket of our cart, and Sophie sitting in the front of the cart in the child seat.  Sophie turned around halfway through our Target trip and gasped and said, "Hi Baby!" as if she'd just realized Scarlett was with us in Target.  It was adorable.
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One of the most deliciously wonderful parts of having two little girls is getting to dress them the same!  Nana sent us a few matching outfits, and I absolutely couldn't wait to see them dressed up in matching clothes, so I put them on today, even though Sophie was suffering through a nasty ear infection.
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So we're looking a wee bit disheveled in these pictures, but I still think they look SO cute all matched up.
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Oh, and did I mention Sophie has learned how to take her clothing off?  Lovely.
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She eventually leaned in for a kiss, but this is as far as she got, which is okay because really, Scarlett doesn't need an ear infection also.
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Steven and I have also decided among us that Sophie is going to be a really funny kid once she starts speaking in sentences.
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Just something about her already tells us she's a jokester.
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I am also consistently amazed at how much she understands.  I asked her, "Do you want to wear your sunglasses on your eyes?" and she nods.  And sure enough:
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That's what she wanted.
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During Soph's naptime today, Scarlett and I went to a local quilt show.  I'm not a "quilter" per se, but I like all the fabrics and I'd really like to learn how, eventually. (You know, when I get my spare time and both hands back to myself for more than 5 minutes at a time, which will probably be when both kids are off to college.)  But I did take some pictures for my sister-in-law, Jenny, who is an accomplished sewer (seamstress?) and even has her own shop - go check her out!
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Jenny, you could totally make these things!
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(Ok, is the onesie dress cute or hokey? I couldn't tell... I was surrounded by EXTREMELY hokey things, and it seemed to be something cute and current in a sea of chintz....)
Here was my favorite quilting idea: recreating your kid's art onto a quilt.
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Come on, that's adorable.
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The quilt show was pretty well attended.
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And there were some seriously time-intensive quilts.
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The squares on this one were about the size of a post it note.  Maybe smaller. I can't even imagine how long it must have taken to put together.
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We're planning to have a quiet rest-of-the-weekend, so Sophie can rest and recover from her ear infection.  She's been pretty mopey and cranky and short-tempered so far...here's hoping she feels better tomorrow.  I'm going to try to keep up with the posting regularly - it may be the only way for me to track the kids' development, since I am woefully terrible at updating the baby book.  Maybe I'll just print the blog someday.... (add that to my to-do list. :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Home with Scarlett (and her first visitors!)

Our first few days home with Scarlett, we enjoyed having Grammy and Grandpa (Steven's parents) over to visit!  Grammy got a chance to feed Miss Scarlett, and Grandpa entertained her with his impersonation of Clarke Gable, "Now see here, Scarlett..."  We could tell she loves it already. :)
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We got home from the hospital on Saturday, and they flew in on Superbowl Sunday to help us out.
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We spent as much time as we could relaxing (which ended up mostly being during Sophie's nap time from 12-2 PM. She is a bundle of nonstop activity when she is awake!)  Grandpa had a few moments where he wanted to throw Grammy's iPad out the window ("Boy I hate this machine!"), but he worked through it. :)  He might be more of a PC guy...
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After we said goodbye to Grammy and Grandpa, my friend Erica came over to take Scarlett's newborn pictures!  Here is a sneak peek into the newborn photo shoot!
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The pictures turned out beautifully.  Erica's a total pro!  This is the one we used for Scarlett's birth announcement.  I love it!
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Our next visitors were my sweet friend Julie and her son Elijah -- I have no idea how I managed not to get a single picture of us and our kids together (argh!), but Elijah and Sophie loved hanging out together!
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We also tested out the double stroller, and Julie clued me in to the fact that it can hold the infant seat.  This was a life changing realization for me.  We aren't using the infant seat here -- I had Scarlett tied to me with the Moby Wrap so we could test out the "two toddlers" setup of the stroller.  And it worked like a charm!  I heart my stroller!
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Julie was also kind enough to assist with Scarlett's first bath!
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She actually didn't mind the bath -- she is such a different kid than Sophie, who SCREAMED during her first bath.
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But Scarlett generally is not a screamer.  She quacks -- she cries in monosyllables. "Waack!"  Then she will wait a minute or two, see if anyone responds, and then she will do it again, a bit louder. "WAACK!"  It takes her a while to get worked up to full cry.  And I am SO GLAD.  The Lord must know what each of us can handle, and He knew I could only handle one screamer. :)
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Her little umbilical cord still hasn't fallen off, so we are limited to sponge baths for now.  Also, I think I should win a Mother of The Year award for my choice of location for this first bath:  Right next to the electrical socket!  Why, that's a perfect place for a bath, Mommy, nice job!  (For the record, the "bath" was basically just me wiping her down with a wet washcloth, so I hope the danger of electrocution was fairly limited.  I still sort of cringe at this though. :)
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Perhaps for her next bath, we'll choose a less scary location.
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So there you go! I am so glad we had plenty of visitors during the time that I was home from work - I can remember wishing that I had people in the house toward the end of my maternity leave with Sophie.  This time I think it went much more smoothly, mostly because I had family and friends around to help me and spend time with me!

And because I have no idea when I will next get an opportunity to blog, let me go ahead and tell you about my latest obsession: Green Monster Smoothies!
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I got the idea from Kristin, who posted this recipe on Twitter, and something about it intrigued me.  I tried it out and with this recipe alone, it wasn't sweet enough for my taste, and also, I didn't necessarily need it to be low-calorie (I'm nursing and need all the healthy calories I can get) so I changed it up a bit:
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So my recipe goes something like this:

Green Monster Smoothie
Dollop of Greek yogurt
A cup or so of Vanilla Soymilk or Vanilla Almond Milk
Handful of frozen pineapple
Frozen banana
Two handfuls of baby spinach
Tablespoon or so of peanut butter

I feel like a superhero after I drink it. I was very very anemic during my pregnancy with Scarlett (and I think it may have even contributed to her jaundice at birth), and so this huge dose of iron is a game-changer for me.  (Beware, these smoothies do have some, um, colon-cleansing properties when you first start drinking them...)  But they give me so much energy and I find myself craving more greens now!  I am excited to see if they really do help my skin/eyes look brighter.  PLUS, Sophie will drink them, which is awesome, because now she will have a good dose of leafy greens in her system.  (Although the highly-anxious side of me is still wary of the bagged baby spinach, since there was an e. coli issue with bagged spinach not that long ago... maybe we will buy fresh produce spinach not in bags, instead?)

And now that I've written out the recipe, I want a smoothie, so I'm off to the blender!