Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Horizons

Both Henry and Hope have found new territories to explore -- Henry in his new bike seat (a wonderful gift from our friends Cass and Lynn who are coming to visit this weekend!!!) and Hope on her explosively colorful tummy-time mat from our dear friends Annie, Kevin, Zac and Fin. Both cannot be happier as the world has just grown exponentially in scale and scope. So much to see...so many textures to feel...so much wind to have whipping at your face...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Expressions of Hope

Week Two Considerations

Hope and I are on our first big day out alone...all the grandparents have visited, bestowing us with love, gifts and assistance to make each day a bit easier...yet now it is just me-n-Hope during the day, as Shannon is back at work 8-5. Today was marked by the 2-week doctor appointment, wherein we learned that our growing girl is now 8.2 lbs, 21.5 inches tall and well into the "good" percentiles of height/weight/head size. Well, OK, her head size is only in the 25th% while her height is in the 90th%...but time is on our side and if Henry is any indicator, her head will be finely proportioned in no time (and I was certainly not complaining two weeks ago when said head was coming out!).

Feeding is going well, as is sleep -- these seem to be the big themes of the first few post-partum weeks. I am adequtely addicted already to season 5 of The West Wing -- the only politics I can seem to stomach these days. I have seasons 6 & 7 ready to get me through the first months of breastfeeding -- it worked with Henry and I know it will work with Hope. It is challenging to look outside at the beautiful, sunny days, longing for a hike in the mountains or a swim in the lake...but Jeb Bartlett and the White House staff serve as an adequate, temporary distraction.

Henry has begun exercising his two-year old perogatives of both the exclamatory "No!" and the overuse of the possessive "mine!" While there was much talk of first child regression when baby #2 was coming, his regression seems limited to calling himself "Baby Henry" and wanting to do a bit more rocking in the mornings. He even surprised us with a success on the potty the other day, which was met with resounding applause and commendation. He's been blessed by much grandparent love in the past two weeks, but has also had to suffer the goodbyes, which are difficult for him. Time this past weekend in Spokane with his cousins, Auntie Deb and grandmas was particularly exciting, yet he keeps asking for them now that we are home, hoping they will be there for more play time.

There is drama in the works at CWC -- enough that some of our good friends are leaving the company, which also means leaving town. It is terribly sad for us to say our goodbyes...Henry has had a few very close friends depart too, so it is affecting us all. As of this week, Shannon and I once again have a new boss, one that neither of us has met yet...another change...another change...I am trying to stay optimistic.

Monday, July 21, 2008

First Week

Henry's special bday cake from PG
Big Brother loving to hold Hope
Grandpa Buddy takes Henry to see an airplane
Family cuddles
A few special shots from the past week. It has been a very full first week of Hope's life and we are all getting adjusted to life as a foursome. Henry has started to identify things and places that are specifically "Henry's" and Shannon and I are doing our best to take care of the kids, the house, the yard/garden and ourselves...in that order. It seems there is always so much to be done. Sleep has actual been fine; Hope and I have fallen into a nice routine. We got word we need to fatten her up a bit today, so we have a goal of 7 ounces by Thursday.
We have had all grandparents visiting (Grandma Linda arrives Wednesday) -- so Henry and Hope have been showered with love. We are feeling really grateful our families are so close.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Before, During and After

Before Active Labor...During Active Labor (blessed epidural)...After Labor...The Results...It could not have been more perfect!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Before and After Considerations

Henry and Mommas celebrating Di's 40th on July 8th
An evening swim in the lake just before labor set in for real
Henry delighting in his new sister Hope on the first day home
Sweet Hope on her first day
Bringing baby home...what a joy!

Day Two being at home and all is well. Our first night sleeping together was a bit rough -- it swiftly took me back to the many sleepless nights of the first go around with Henry. Hope is doing great; it will just take a bit of adjusting as we get days and nights figured out. My body is a bit sore, though on the mend. It is great to have Shannon home for a few days. Purple Grandma was a tremendous help (she went home today to check in on her home and work a bit) and we are so grateful for everything she does for us! Every moment with this new little one and we are all even more in love!

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Hope for Us All!

Welcome dear little Hope Lillian Zagorsky Barnes! Here she is in her first few hours. She arrived July 13th, 3:19am weighing 7 lbs, 14 ounces and 21 inches long. She is alert, feeding well and bestowing love on us all. Her big brother Henry is as curious as can be; the whole family is filled with amazement and joy. What a blessing!

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Strategy

It occured to me today that if I keep "doing" at my normal pace, this kid might think that there is no space in my life for him/her...so I tried a new routine today and actually sat down, made myself a huge lunch, drank a big glass of water and then took a nap (midday mind you, with the sun pouring in the window!) And while contractions still have not begun, I am hopeful that a calmer invitation to join us may get things moving.

Of course, if anyone reading has any home remedies for induction, I am all ears!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Anticpation...Is Making Me Wait!

The paper/plastic bag pantry disaster is now well-organized, the turkey chili is cooling for placement in the freezer, the dead bugs have been extricated from the window sills and the photo album is updated...still no baby. A work colleague told me to eat ginger snaps, yet after starting my day with a large, anticipatory handful, the thought of eating one more has me a bit ill. I know this kiddo is calling the shots and already has me once again in student mode for the lessons of patience, receiving and letting go of control. Alas...

Awaiting labor is an interesting phenomenon. Shannon was talking about the build up to the IronMan the other day, all the preparation and excitement and nerves...but at least, she said, she knew when it was going to start -- and once she started, she knew she was in it to the end.

With labor, you get ready -- prep the room, prep the older sibling, make sure you have your phone tree in order, have Grandma on duty and sister on call...and then you wait...and wait. I had anticipated working up until the moment when things got started as I did with Henry, but realized that I had all this extra vacation time I needed to use. So, my last few days have been oddly free -- free for taking walks, reading books, writing...and I find I have trouble settling into non-structured time like this (sadly). So often I crave alone time with nothing planned -- and here it is, and I feel restless and wanting of something to do. I am sure if I could bank sleep, this would be a useful option; unfortunately, this seems neither plausible nor possible.

And so, I cook and putter and rub my belly. Believe me, I know that when this kid does come, these days of summertime slouch will be sorely missed!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Summer Time Fun in the Sun

Henry feeding the baby his popsicle
Henry and his friend Kelly in the pool
Maggie and Hen in the sprinkler

Our little "nakey-bakey"

Still Waiting...and Now 40

Turning 40 did not seem to set this kid in motion -- so we are still awaiting his/her arrival. Birthday celebrations included a lovely Sandpoint day, wonderful phone calls from friends and family, snacks at the bakery, a spa foot rub and a family picnic with Henry, Shannon and Purple Gramma at the beach. It was perfect.

I feel a bit in holding pattern -- walking 4-5 miles a day in hopes the kid will drop. Until then, I have decided to explore the world of scrapbooking (is this something I should be proud of?) and to make sure we have our bags ready for the hospital...stay tuned!