Thursday, June 4, 2015

Olive Mae

I realized today that I haven't talked much about my new little girl.  This blog is very Gideon intensive, partially because I haven't had time to post anything since becoming a mother of two and partially because Gideon is so easy to write about.  We know each other so darn well at this point and he says the cutest things.  But Olive Mae is definitely worthy of many words, pages of words, books of words.  Get a boat, fill it with words and then maybe you will be halfway to as many words as there are to say about my daughter.  My daughter.  humph, I don't think I've ever typed those two words together before.  It feels good.

Olive has been her very own little person from day one.  She loves to eat and sleep and laugh and play.  She has important opinions but she proceeds with caution.  She examines her world very carefully and is not afraid to reach for what she wants.  She does things in her own time.

Olive is quiet.  She always seems to be taking it all in with her big blue owl eyes.  She was born strong so that she could swivel her head around and see the entire room and everyone in it.  When she speaks it is either in quick outbursts of opinion or small coos of contentment.  On the rare occasion that she is noisy for the sake of noise, she relishes in it and expresses herself with her entire body.

Olive's first word was DaDa which is appropriate because the husbandit has determined that she WILL be a daddy's girl.  At the very least he is already the girl's daddy, wrapped tightly around her little finger.  I often hear him talking to her over the monitor, calling her his angel, telling her he loves her.

She has many nicknames: Ollie, Mae, Mae Mae, Sister Bear, Sister, Little Bit.  She has also been called Queen of Drool.  She drools a lot and almost always wears a bib.  She is also an adorable little thumb sucker and addicted to her bedtime lovie, Funny Bunny.

Her brother is immensely proud of her and often asks other people "Does your baby have teeth?  Olive already has teeth."  "Does  your baby say words?  Olive says DaDa."  She has been sick recently and anytime he hears her cry he comes running to dance, makes faces, sing, and clown around in hopes of making her smile.  The first night she had to have a breathing treatment her crying woke him and he came in and held her hand. She immediately stopped crying.  Olive loves her brother with all of her tiny heart.  He can always make her laugh and she often is so distracted just by his presence in a room that she can't eat, sleep, or play.  She just wants to smile at her brother.

Olive always smiles her biggest smile at whoever is walking behind her on the stairs.  She loves to pull hair.  She loves DaDa's watch.  She loves slapping DaDa's chest.  She loves to give mommy boops.  She loves going to new places.  Sometimes when you are holding her she will wrap her arms around you, push her face into your chest, and squeeze you so tight that you can feel her love transferring from her little body straight into your heart, filling it all the way up to the top.

All of these words and so many more describe the experiences we have had with this little girl, my little girl.  And now, instead of writing about her I am going to play with her, this entire post has made me want a drooly little hug.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Last Day of Preschool

They say time flies when you are having fun.  They should add that it also flies when you are busy/overwhelmed/overjoyed/have two kids.

Today is Gideon's last day of preschool.  It boggles my mind that he was an only child when he started school last September.  We didn't know how this year would go, we had hopes but knew better than to make any guesses.  Turns out Gideon is an amazing, loving, hilarious big brother.  He has a big heart and it is wide open for his family.  This morning before school I told him that when he started school our family was smaller but now it is bigger.  He exclaimed "I want my family to get bigger, bigger, bigger!  I love my family!"

A friend recently posted on facebook that she didn't know she would cry on the first and last day of preschool.  She was so right!  It is a bittersweet moment and I am so proud of Gideon for so much.  He makes his bed, cleans his room, brushes his teeth, picks out his clothes and dresses himself, takes bad tasting medicine without complaining or bribing, hops on one leg, counts to 12, plays a million games by the rules, loves to snuggle, is gentle with his sister and lives to make her laugh.  He has worked hard on controlling his emotions and venting his frustrations in a healthy way.  His speech is really coming along to a point where strangers are understanding much of what he says.

He wants to be a scientist/paleontologist/Egyptologist when he grows up.  Or a chef.  Or an astronaut.  He says his favorite food is blueberries but I've seen him put away a bean burrito faster than you can say "take smaller bites you are going to choke!"  His favorite color is blue, his old favorite color is white...and orange.  His second favorite color is pink or red.  He likes colors.  He LOVES chalk and could spend hours outside drawing on the sidewalks.  His favorite favorite favorite thing right now is the Bing game where we all work together to make up a story.  He is a constant and impenetrable wall of sound, letting his imagination spill out through his voice as he concocts adventures with best friend zombies, living dinosaur bones, mummies from Sarcophagus City, and more.

In a nutshell, my baby is growing up, but as he loves to hear me say, he will always be my baby boy.  Now if you'll excuse me I seem to have gotten something in both of my eyes

Friday, October 17, 2014

Welcome Olive Mae

When I was pregnant with Gideon time seemed to fly by.  I was in grad school and student teaching which left me very little spare time and yet I still managed to marvel daily at the changes in my body while daydreaming about what was to come.  Now I am full time mom to a 3 year old which actually leaves me with even less spare time but I still manage to complain almost daily about how much more painful and uncomfortable pregnancy is the second time around while feeling guilty about how my increasing physical and emotional limitations are affecting Gideon.  And that is why I haven't chronicled my pregnancy journey as extensively this time around.  Infertility makes you timid about pregnancy, it is hard to feel safely pregnant, you wait for the other shoe to drop, and getting pregnant our first month trying left me in a state of disbelief for nearly my entire first trimester.  But truly, discomfort aside, this pregnancy, this baby, is very much a wish granted.  

I was in such disbelief over getting pregnant our first month trying that I continued to take pregnancy tests for several days after the first positive.

And now she's here! Right here in my arms sleeping peacefully as I write this one handed on my cell phone. The last 24 hours have been surreal and so different from Gideon's birth.  As we made our way to the hospital Friday morning for our scheduled c-section Mac and I both kept pointing out differences; the drive felt shorter and less bumpy when not in labor, we parked in a different lot, we checked in on a different floor, we were repeatedly asked if we had recently been exposed to Ebola, so many differences.  

I won't lie, choosing to have a surgery for which you will be awake the entire time feels like insanity, my mind rebelled against it and from the moment I put on the hospital gown I felt like I was on the edge of a panic attack.  True, this wasn't my first c-section, but the last one was an emergency after over 12 hours of mostly unmedicated labor.  My fear then was for my baby, this time my fear was selfishly for myself.  What if I hemorrhaged or had a stroke?  What if I ended up in a coma or died?  The thought of Mac having to raise our children without me, of Olive never meeting me, of Gideon missing his mommy, it was unbearable and ever present in my mind Thursday night.

Friday morning came, my mom arrived to stay with Gideon, we took pictures, packed the car, and eventually I found myself in a hospital gown hooked up to machines, answering medical history questions, and having my blood drawn (I was so dehydrated they couldn't get a vein and I ended getting poked several times).  The surgery was scheduled for noon but at 11 my doctor walked in and asked the nurse if we could go early since he had extra time.  Amazingly I found myself being wheeled into the ice cold operating room only a few minutes later.  The unexpectedness of the time change sent my anxiety through the roof and having an epidural put in without my husband there to hold my hand brought me to the edge.  When the anesthesiologist said she had hit bone and needed to start over I went white as a sheet.  Thankfully I had a fantastic nurse who got everyone to take a step back and talked me through my panic attack before they continued.  I have never been so relieved as I was when Mac walked in and squeezed my hand.  Now that he was there I could do this, the time had come.  The next few minutes felt like an eternity but the husbandit says it was only about 5 minutes before the immense pressure followed by amazing lightness that signaled Olive had arrived.  I am tearing up just typing about it, the feeling is indescribable.  I hadn't seen her sweet face or heard her angry wails yet but my emotions blossomed the moment she exited my body.  And then came the unexpected news, our little girl had RED HAIR.  Mac and I had been speculating for weeks about how much hair and what color and we always timidly suggested that it could be red, after all we have lots of red heads on both sides of the family, but I had never quite believed we could be that lucky.  It is a silly thing but for some reason the idea of a little ginger girl enchants me.  And then there she was, out little Olive with a pimento top, a perfect little pumpkin head in time for Halloween.


The rest of the surgery took ages, my blood pressure dipped extremely low and everything started to spin.  I couldn't feel my lips and felt faint, barely able to tell people that I felt like something was wrong.  The anesthesiologist was very attentive but had to dose me three times with medication to get my pressure back to just low and those last minutes of surgery, trying to look at my daughter through a haze, were agony for me.  Finally it was all over and we were wheeled back to the tiny triage room we'd started in.  I was so grateful to have some alone time with Mac and Olive before family came in this time.  Don't get me wrong, it was also amazing to welcome Gideon to the world with a room full of love (people), but I am glad we got to do something a little more intimate this time.  

After lots of joyful hugs, baby snuggles, and storytelling my mom left to get back to Gideon.  Later my dad and Debbie arrived and Mac's parent left to give them some time with the new granddaughter.  Finally we were moved to a larger room with cell phone reception so I could finally overwhelm people with texted pictures of Olive from different angles.  

It was extremely frustrating for me not being able to get out of the bed, or feel my toes, or stop the shaking that was constantly rippling through my body.  The side effects of surgery are no joke.  But Mac made it so much better for me as we laughed about how quickly one forgets about changing tiny diapers and trying to burp a tiny tummy.  It is absolutely true that you should marry your best friend.  There is no one else in the world who I would be able to do this with; all of the gory, gross, and uncomfortable bits are so much more bearable just because he is there to make me laugh or reassure me.    

Finally it was time for Gideon to come to the hospital and meet his new sister.  He, GG, and Grampa Rock arrived at the same time as my brother Jeremy and I could tell as he walked in the room that he was overwhelmed by the people, machines, and lights.  I wanted desperately to pick him up and hold him but I was still unable to walk and he was afraid to touch me.  I am sure I was a scary sight for him with the epidural, IV, catheter, and leg cuffs.  But as always Gideon is a trooper and fell in love with his sister immediately before he asked to go home.  Kids, lol.  

Not long after everyone left Mac and I began to feel the adrenaline in our systems dissipate and give way to exhaustion.  We turned on some mindless television, ate some dinner, and settled in for the first of many nights as a family of four.  It was amazingly peaceful compared to our first night with Gideon.  We were so scared then.  Scared to fall asleep, scared to be too rough, scared to do everything wrong.  This time we feel confident(ish) and ready to take this on.  Our family finally feels complete.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ninja Exercises

Gideon:  Look at me, I doing ninja exercises!
Me:  Wow buddy
Gideon:  It weally hard
Me: Can I take a picture for daddy?
Gideon:  No, a video.

X Ray Vision

Gideon:  I have X-Ray vision mommy, I can see the baby inside your tummy
Me:  Oh, what does she look like?
Gideon (Peers closely at my baby bump):  A blueberry with long legs, like a spider!
Me (not at all creeped out by that image):  What's the baby's name?
Gideon:  Let me see again (stares at bump)  BlahBlahBeepBeep

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Tale of Three Ellies

When Ellie was lost in Portland a couple of years ago, Mac and I scrambled to find a replacement online as quickly as possible. I won't lie, it was like we looked into the future and saw a world where, having lost his friend, Gideon never slept again which meant we never slept again.  It was terrifying.  The problem was we found a couple of options ebay but couldn't quite remember what word was stitched on our Ellie's blanket body. Finally the only solution was to buy two Ellies, ($30 each) one with "hug" and the other with "love" and hope that one of them was right. When they arrived (express overnight) one was blue, and big, and like Ellie's older cousin instead of Ellie so I put it (her?) away in a drawer with the intention of giving her to another deserving child someday/blocking out the entire memory of this expensive ordeal.

Well today Gideon was looking for some undies in a drawer (yep, that drawer) and found the last of the Ellies. He was pretty indignant at first, like "Ummm excuse me, what is this Ellie doing in a shipping envelope in the back of my underwear drawer, MOM?  Can you explain THIS?" And I'm pretty sure he is going to start searching every drawer in the house for treasure (wouldn't you?).   But he also fell instantly in love, named her Blanket Ellie, and now they are all quite happy together. So much so he is carrying all three of them around and won't put them down. 

 He also requested we make a movie about the Ellies

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Join the Battle For Net Neutrality

I don't usually get political or causey on this blog but I think this is important, certainly for this generation, but more so for the next.  I want my kids to enjoy the same amount of internet freedom (or more!) as I have.  So, if you, like me, want to stop ISPs from having the power to slow down and break your favorite websites (ie, control what you can and cannot access on the internet) in order to increase their profits join the Battle For The Net!